Most Frequently Asked Questions: Making Tax Digital

Our MTD-ready products are: Sage Business Cloud Accounting, Sage Business Cloud Accounting Start, Sage 50cloud Accounts and Sage 200cloud.

To find out if you’re on one of our MTD-ready solutions, click here and select your product. You’ll find instructions on how to check if your software is compliant.

If you’re not on our MTD-ready software, call our team on 0845 111 9988 and they’ll be happy to discuss your options.

We’re working on ensuring all of our products are ready to go for the open beta. Some are ready now, and some will be ready very soon. Check out our help article here to find out which products are already set up for the open beta, and what you need to do to get started.
Whilst HMRC are opening up their beta program to half of mandated businesses, some of our products are still going through final testing to ensure the submission process is as smooth as possible. We’ll contact you via email once you’re able to start submitting through the open beta with step-by-step instructions.

Sage is committed to investing in our Sage Business Cloud software and all of our time and resource is focused on making these solutions really deliver for our customers.  If you’re on software which isn’t MTD-ready then the best option is to move to the Sage Business Cloud. We are aware that making this move immediately could be a challenge for some businesses, so we have developed solutions for a number of products which will enable you to meet your requirements. Speak with our sales team on 0845 111 9988 or your account manager to discuss the best option for you.

You’ll need to keep your records digitally – this means that you are required to store a digital copy of the transactions which make up the 9 box VAT return.  This needs to be kept in functional compatible software. Functional compatible software is Software or a set of software programs which must: record and preserve digital records, send the data to HMRC through the API, receive information from HMRC via the API. 
You do not need to keep any additional business records because of MTD. However, business records must be kept digitally to be compliant. If you use spreadsheets, the spreadsheets must be able to submit the required data to HMRC digitally.  The spreadsheets must preserve any digital records so you will need to ensure that the data is not accidentally over-typed or deleted – Software will make this much easier.

You will not have to follow the Making Tax Digital rules where HMRC is satisfied that: your business is run entirely by practising members of a religious society whose beliefs are incompatible with the requirements of the regulations (for example, those religious beliefs prevent them from using computers). It is not reasonably practicable for you to use digital tools to keep your business records or submit your returns, for reasons of age, disability, remoteness of location or for any other reason, you are subject to an insolvency procedure. 

HMRC will decide if you meet exemption criteria so check with them directly and don’t just assume you meet the criteria, you don’t want to end up with a penalty.

You do not need to keep any additional business records because of MTD. However, business records must be kept digitally to be compliant. If you use spreadsheets, the spreadsheets must be able to submit the required data to HMRC digitally.  Sage Business Cloud can do all of the hard work for you and ensure that you’re able to calculate and submit your return quickly and easily. If you submit grouped VAT, we are currently looking at how we can support this. We will be providing the functionality and will share more information soon.
If you are on our cloud-based software you won’t need to do anything we’ll upgrade it automatically. Please give us a call today on 0845 111 99 88 and we will be happy to help.
HMRC have been clear on this and section 5.3 of the communication pack states HMRC will not be offering its own software products, but will provide the Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) that commercial software developers will use to develop a range of applications that will enable businesses to keep their records digitally and integrate with HMRC systems.

Why Sage?

  • MTD-ready solutions for every customer, no matter how big or small.
  • We provide a range of support to help you make your business compliant and avoid penalties.
  • Sage has a strong history of working with HMRC and has been working with them on MTD for years in the lead-up to the deadline.
  • We benefit from over 35 years’ experience keeping British businesses compliant.
  • We’ve supported customers through big compliance changes such as Auto-Enrolment and RTI. You’re in safe hands.


  • Award-winning support from UK-based experts – you are our priority.
  • We have training solutions for your every need, from the basics to an in-depth bespoke training solution.
  • Support the way you want it: digital, webchat, telephone or onsite. 

Making Tax Digital Webinar

Our webinar includes in-depth, expert product and compliance opinions from MTD specialists, accountants, and top professionals at Sage. Find out what you should be doing today, tomorrow, and how we can support you.

Join the free webinar

Expert Training

MTD 1-2-1 with a Sage Expert

Bespoke 1-2-1 training tailored to the needs of your business via webex.

What we’ll cover:

  • What MTD means for your business
  • Confidence on the new MTD process from sign-up to submission
  • VAT health check for your business
  • Hands-on training on your software helping you get VAT right 
  • Flexible service tailored to your situation and business needs

Available for Sage 50 Accounts and Sage Business Cloud Accounting

Sage helps you handle the entire accounting process, all the way up to tax preparation. We're working closely with HMRC to make sure you’re ready for the launch of Making Tax Digital.

Watch the set up and submission of MTD on one of our Sage Business Cloud solutions, Sage 50cloud Accounts.

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