Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Making Tax Digital Grant Thornton VAT filing solution.

From our experience a large number of businesses rely on Excel spreadsheets in preparing the VAT return workings. Grant Thornton’s VAT filing solution provides a quick, simple and cost effective way to submit the required VAT return data to HMRC directly from Excel via an API connection. We map our solution to your Excel workings and within a few clicks your data will be transmitted to HMRC.

Making Tax Digital Overview
Making Tax Digital (MTD) became mandatory on 1 April 2019 for most UK VAT registered organisations with a taxable turnover above the VAT registration threshold (currently £85,000 for UK established businesses). Once within MTD regime, businesses are required to submit their VAT return data electronically via an appropriate Application Program Interface (API).

From 1 April 2020, businesses will also be required to ensure that they meet the “digital links” requirements. This requirements looks at how the source data links with the VAT return workings and the VAT return calculations are pulled together. In order to meet this requirement, businesses will need to review their internal VAT return preparation processes with a view to reducing the manual manipulation and “cutting and pasting” of the data. They will also need to ensure that the data is digitally linked.

Grant Thornton VAT return filing solution
Our MTD compliant VAT return filing solution is a bridging solution which integrates neatly into the existing VAT return workings Excel spreadsheet tool bar. The add-in is easy to install and use, and is accessed via a toolbar button at the top of the spreadsheet.

Following the submission of your data to HMRC via an API connection, an automatic email will be sent to your nominated recipient's inbox with the summary data confirming that the submission has been successful.

Our VAT filing solution has been successfully tested and demonstrated to HMRC. We are now listed as a recognised software supplier.

Basic IT requirements
The key technical requirements for our MTD software are as follows:

1. Internet connection (port 443 open)
2. Internet Explorer 11 (does not have to be default browser, but has to be installed on machine)
3. Firewall allows access to our application
4. Excel 2013 or later
5. Please note that there is no Excel macro to install

Please discuss these requirements with your IT team to understand if it is possible to install the software and confirm what version of Excel your business currently has.

Client take on procedures and engagement letter
Our software is subject to an activation fee and the on-going annual submission fee. The fees vary depending on the frequency of the VAT returns and the number of VAT registrations.

In order to activate the software, we will need to complete the client take on procedures and sign an engagement letter with you. We will not able to set up the users and activate the software until this is complete.

Registering for MTD
In order to use the software, you will need to register for MTD with HMRC. Once registered for MTD, the software will receive automatic feed of information from HMRC.

Installation of software
The software is available to upload from Microsoft Office app store. The users will need to be set up on our system in order to activate the software.

Further information
Please feel free to get in touch if you would like further information and a demonstration of our MTD VAT filing solution. Please email the Grant Thornton VAT Team at