MTD for VAT – problems and errors

Since Making Tax Digital (MTD) for VAT was introduced in April 2019 many Money Manager 7 users have been successfully filing their VAT returns using the new system. We have a separate Making Tax Digital for VAT guide which shows you how to set up Money Manager and use the new MTD for VAT service. You should use that guide first and return to this guide should you encounter any problems.

You should be aware that MTD for VAT is a ‘live-development’ service and as such HMRC are still actively making changes to the way that the system works. Money Manager will prompt you to update the software before attempting to file a VAT return should there be any necessary changes to the software as a result of HMRC developments.

1) Check that you have the latest version of Money Manager installed.

Click ‘Help – Program Update‘ from the main menu in Money Manager, and install the latest update if applicable. Try submitting the VAT return.

2) Check that you are using the correct system for filing VAT returns

The first thing that you should check is whether or not you are actually due to be filing MTD for VAT returns at all. The new rules specify that you must use MTD for VAT periods which start April 2019 onwards. If you are filing a return for a VAT period which started before April 2019 then you should still be using the ‘old‘ system.

e.g. for quarterly VAT returns:

VAT Quarter System to use
Feb – Mar – Apr Use the ‘old‘ system for filing VAT returns (as VAT period starts before April 2019)
Mar – Apr – May Use the ‘old‘ system for filing VAT returns (as VAT period starts before April 2019)
Apr РMay -Jun Start using  MTD for VAT (as VAT period starts after April 2019)
May 2019 onwards Continue using  MTD for VAT

( Some users may have registered with HMRC to join the ‘pilot’ scheme for MTD for VAT, in which case they would start using the new system before April 2019).

If you realise that you should still be using the ‘old‘ system for filing VAT returns then you should make sure that you have Money Manager set up correctly in order to do this. Click ‘Tools‘ then ‘Online filing setup‘ from the main menu in Money Manager and remove the tick from the box marked ‘Send VAT returns using Making Tax Digital platform‘. You will then need to enter your HMRC online filing ID and password in order to use the ‘old’ system for filing VAT returns.

3) Error messages

If you are satisfied that you should be using the MTD for VAT system but are having problems when trying to file the return, there are a number of error messages that HMRC may return:

ERROR – “HMRC are refusing to accept a return for that period”

HMRC may return this error message for a number of reasons:

  • The VAT period that you are attempting to file started before April 2019 (see section 1 above)
  • You are attempting to file the return too early – e.g. you cannot send a VAT return for the period Apr – May – June before the end of June.
  • You are attempting to file a monthly VAT return but HMRC are expecting a quarterly return (or vice versa). Click ‘Tools’ then ‘Data File Setup‘ from the main menu in Money Manager, click on the ‘VAT‘ tab, and specify the correct ‘Reporting period‘.

ERROR – “HMRC are reporting that your are not authorised to access that VAT account” and ERRORS 400-499 – (authentication errors):

For some reason HMRC are reporting that you are not authorised to file MTD VAT returns. You should contact HMRC, quoting their error message, and for advice on what to do next. Please note that HMRC do not tell Moneysoft why they think that you are not authorised, so you should ensure that HMRC provide you with a resolution to this problem and that they do not simply refer you back to us.

ERRORS 500-599 – Errors in this range indicate a problem with HMRC own servers. Check HMRC MTD for VAT Service Availability and Issues page to see if the HMRC system is undergoing scheduled maintenance or is having known issues. We would advise that you abandon your attempt to file your VAT return and try again at a later point, having given HMRC some time to address such issues. If you continue to experience problems then you should contact HMRC to ask when their systems will be up and running again.

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