HMRC MTD for VAT - News & updates

May 15 2019, 0 Comments

As you know, MTD for VAT was launched by HMRC on 1st April 2019.


Sadly, (as always), it's not been a seamless transition from HMRC. They are still having some teething problems and they will be taking down the service from time to time to resolve their issues.


We will post all communications and updates here as and when they arise.



15th May 2019


Dear Developer,

This is to let you know that scheduled maintenance to the Making Tax Digital (MTD) VAT service will take place on Thursday 16th MAY 2019 between 10pm to midnight. As a result of the downtime you will be unable to use the VAT API service, attempt to use the service will result in a ‘500 service error’ message. The service availability page on GOV.UK has been updated to include details of the downtime.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused.



14th May 2019


We recently advised you that software will see different period key formats for different customers in MTD, depending on where their records are held in HMRC’s systems. The majority of customers will have alpha numeric period keys (e.g. 18A1) and will not have any open obligations for periods prior to joining MTD. However, customers with a fully numeric period key (e.g. 0419) will be able to see open obligations for periods both before they have signed up to MTD and since joining MTD.


We’re aware that some customers, with numeric period keys, have been experiencing issues when attempting to view or submit information. We are pleased to confirm that we will be implementing a fix in mid-June which will correct the following behaviours:


  • when the customer submits the return data for the open obligation it will show as Fulfilled and in real time
  • as a result, they will be unable to send duplicate returns
  • the issue of some obligations not being visible will be resolved
  • all returns submitted using MTD software will be visible both in software and Business Tax Account
  • returns will display the correct ‘received’ date.


In addition, the customer will be able to see periods prior to them joining MTD have been Fulfilled, however, they will not be able to view the return. To view returns Fulfilled before joining MTD they will need to check their Business Tax Account.


We appreciate your continued patience and support as we transition the VAT service.



7th May 2019


Please see an extract from an email received from HMRC below:


To allow delivery of additional functionality, essential maintenance to the Making Tax Digital (MTD) VAT service has been scheduled from 4pm on Saturday 11th May until 4pm on Monday 13th May. As a result some services will be unavailable.


During the maintenance period, users will be unable to:


  • Sign up for Making Tax Digital,
  • Create an Agent services account (although all other Agent services will be available),
  • View previous submissions and payment details,
  • Set up new or cancel and amend existing direct debits,
  • Review and update any business details.


Users will still be able to submit VAT returns and make payments as normal.


The service availability pages on GOV.UK will be updated to include details of the downtime. 


Amongst other issues, these seem to be frequently recurring with HMRC:
1. If you receive the response code "HTTP response code !=200. Code received" when trying to submit a MTD VAT return, this means that there was an issue with HMRC's website and Business Accountz couldn't connect. You can login to their portal and check the status of your account and submissions here: HMRC portal


2. If you see the error "api. service. hmrc. gov. uk: 443", this means the VRN number has been entered incorrectly. In Business Accountz, go to Easy Steps >  VAT / Tax > Connect to HMRC's MTD and then you'll be able to enter the correct VAT number, without any spaces or letters.


3. If a submitted VAT return still displays as "Open" once it's submitted, please see this from HMRC:


"We are aware that some software products are experiencing problems where the ‘Get Obligations’ API end point is showing these numeric period keys as open, despite the VAT return having been submitted and the software having received a success message. HMRC are working to update these obligations at the earliest opportunity. Users should not attempt to make a further submission for a period already submitted, as this will not resolve the issue. We are also aware of some instances, where the obligation for a numeric period key is not viewable. We are urgently reviewing requirements and will provide you with a full response as soon as our investigation is complete." 


Unfortunately these are all issues on HMRC's end and beyond our control. If any changes are required in Business Accountz to support HMRC in resolving their issues, these will be released as updates to the software. Otherwise, we need to wait for HMRC to iron out the creases to their service.