Almost three quarters (74%) of VAT-registered firms signed up for Making Tax Digital (MTD) before the second stagger deadline last month.

HMRC’s figures showed that over 230,000 mandated businesses joined the scheme before the 7 September 2019 deadline.

Most (94%) signed-up businesses submitted VAT returns before both the first and second stagger deadlines.

Around 80,000 firms missed the stagger-two deadline, and HMRC will write to those to remind them of their obligations.

Those businesses are unlikely to be penalised, with the Revenue adopting a light-touch approach until 1 April 2020.

Jim Harra, deputy chief executive at HMRC, said:

“Our ambition is to help businesses moving to MTD to get it right, not to penalise them.

“HMRC’s decision not to enforce penalties will help businesses transition to MTD without fear of getting it wrong.”

The Revenue’s reminder letters continue to increase the number of stagger-one businesses signing up to MTD for VAT.

Around 120,000 missed the stagger-one deadline on 7 August 2019, but 5% of those have since joined the scheme.

More than 80% of the total mandated population is signed up to MTD for VAT and actively using the service.

HMRC estimates that around 60% of stagger-three businesses have signed up before the next deadline on 7 October 2019.

Talk to us about Making Tax Digital on 0161 761 5231 or email