Making Tax Digital for VAT

With the introduction of HMRC’s Making Tax Digital Plan, Absolute have developed revolutionary bridging software to enable individuals, partnerships, companies and agents (or indeed anyone that is required to) to submit VAT data in the required MTD format to HMRC.

Excel and MTD Compatible software

The key benefits of the Absolute Excel VAT Filer are:

  • it is one of the easiest to use pieces of software on the market;
  • it is fully MTD compliant, linking directly between your spreadsheets and HMRC’s MTD platform;
  • you can use it straight from Excel and no other accounts software is required;
  • it tells you how to fix rejected VAT returns from HMRC using its ‘Knowledge Base’ function;
  • the software is fully MTD compliant and already includes the required changes relating to the end of the soft landing period;
  • it comes with free, unlimited technical support by email; and
  • it is one of the most cost effective MTD for VAT solutions on the market!

Our handy FAQ section gives a breakdown of the Excel VAT Filer’s functionality.

To see how simple our new Excel VAT Filer is, play the video below:

Ongoing product enhancements

We launched Excel VAT Filer in the summer of 2018. Since then we have sold licences to nearly 14,000 users who in turn have filed nearly 400,000 VAT returns. We regularly ask for feedback from our users to make sure the software is performing as they need it to.

As a result, we have amended the spreadsheets to make the process of filing VAT returns quicker and smoother. Plus, we have added the following updates:

The ‘Knowledge Base’ to handle VAT return rejections

  • This function sets out Excel VAT filer queries and HMRC VAT return rejections. Any issues which arise when making your VAT return submissions can now be easily addressed, enabling you to successfully submit your VAT return.

The ‘Client Portal’ to give you more visibility and control over your licences and submissions.

Within the software you can now:

  • check any VAT submissions that have been made to HMRC;
  • reprint any successful submission receipts from HMRC;
  • confirm how many licences you have left and when they expire;
  • place your own orders via the Client Portal, 24/7, and the licences will be automatically added to your account;
  • create your own username and password for the spreadsheet;
  • generate your own login details for your client portal;
  • check and amend your own account details;
  • add multiple contacts/usernames and passwords to your account enabling you to track who is making submissions and when;
  • unblock your own account if it has become locked due to incorrect username and password being entered too many times;
  • receive automatic licence reminders (30 days and then 7 days) prior to when your licenses are due to expire.

A demonstration of how to access and use the Client Portal can be seen in the video below:

NB. All of these product enhancements are provided FREE and as part of your annual licence.

“The Absolute bridging software is so very easy to use, with complete instructions given. If I can do it, anybody can!”

Melissa Collins - D A Collins Scaffolding Ltd

The future of bridging software

We frequently hear rumours (usually started by our competitors!) that bridging software will no longer be allowed after the end of the MTD soft landing period in April 2020, which was subsequently extended to April 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic. So let us reassure you about the rules and Excel VAT Filer’s place in the market!

HMRC have told us unequivocally that bridging software will still be accepted after the end of the soft landing period. They have also confirmed that no end date has been suggested.

Detailed off-software calculations, such as partial exemptions, remain exempt from digital journey obligations.

Copy and paste function

MTD software which uses a ‘copy and paste’ function to submit VAT returns will not be acceptable after April 2021. This does NOT apply to Excel VAT Filer which already uses digital links which are locked into the software. Excel VAT Filer therefore meets the HMRC MTD filing requirements both now and after the end of the soft landing period.

Agent Services Account

For agents who have registered with HMRC’s Agent Services Account (ASA), they and their clients can continue to keep using Excel, providing they are using MTD compatible bridging software such as our Excel VAT Filer.

Brexit changes to VAT returns

HMRC have confirmed the process for filing VAT returns after Brexit will not be changing. The only thing which will be different is the wording on the VAT return which relates to boxes 2, 4, 8 and 9. The new wording for these sections will now read:

  • Box 2: VAT due in this period on intra-community acquisitions of goods made in Northern Ireland from EU Member States
  • Box 4: VAT reclaimed in the period on purchases and other inputs (including acquisitions in Northern Ireland from EU member states)
  • Box 8: Total value of intra-community dispatches of goods and related costs (excluding VAT) from Northern Ireland to EU Member States
  • Box 9: Total value of intra-community acquisitions of goods and related costs (excluding VAT) made in Northern Ireland from EU Member States

These changes took effect from 8 April 2021. Absolute updated the Excel VAT Filer with these changes and circulated to all of our users.

Period key updates

We have also been notified by HMRC that VAT customers with a fully numeric period key (e.g. NNNN) will see this change into an alphanumeric format (e.g. NNAN/NNAA) over the coming months. This change of period key may cause some MTD bridging software packages that use the HMRC API to not return liabilities and payment information to VAT customers. The Excel VAT Filer has been updated with these changes so the transition to the new style of period key should be seamless.

It’s not too late to change!

If, having purchased another brand of MTD compatible software, you are beginning to regret that decision, it’s not too late to move to Absolute’s Excel VAT Filer.

Recent customers have told us they have moved to Absolute because their initial MTD software was:

  • very complicated to set up and use;
  • requiring too much time in training and supporting staff (and clients) in how to use the software and perhaps most worryingly;
  • when subscribing to ‘free’ software, many of these packages were not free for very long and the price increased significantly upon renewal.

If you’re concerned about moving to Absolute’s Excel VAT Filer bridging software, please call our Sales Team on 01869 255797, who would be happy to talk you through the process and hopefully alleviate any fears you have.

“Highly recommend this product, as it does exactly what is required by HMRC but without inflated prices unlike many other software providers.”

Jan Douglas - Jan Douglas Bookkeeping.


Pricing starts from as little as £40 + VAT for up to 10 traders (unique VAT numbers) for a 12 month period. The licence period activates when you file your first successful submission to HMRC.

Absolute's Excel VAT Filer is a standalone Excel based product that can be set up in minutes, no lengthy installations required. The spreadsheet simply requires a user name and password and saving to your desktop.

The program can also be linked to any existing spreadsheets you may have so that the information is directly imported into boxes 1-9 ready for you to click ‘submit’. It comes with free unlimited support via email from our experienced support team.

Please note that the Absolute Excel VAT Filer will run on Windows 7 or later operating systems and only Excel 2010 or later versions. We also have a MAC compatible version that will run on the latest MAC operating system running Excel for MAC 2016 or later. The software will not run on Apple Numbers.

Buy Now

For more information please contact us or call our Sales Team on 01869 255797.