News Update - Extension to MTD 'Soft Landing' period as a result of COVID-19 (HMRC communication dated: 1st April 2020)

COVID-19 is creating extremely difficult times for all, and we are committed to helping in every way possible all those businesses facing unprecedented challenges.

Therefore, we are providing all MTD businesses with more time to put in place digital links between all parts of their functional compatible software. This means that all businesses now have until their first VAT return period starting on or after 1 April 2021 to put digital links in place.

News Update - Deferral of VAT payments as a result of COVID-19 (HMRC communication dated: 27th March 2020)

The Chancellor announced a VAT payments deferral on 20 March 2020 to support businesses with cashflow during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This means that all businesses with a UK VAT registration have the option to defer VAT payments due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020. Businesses have until 31 March 2021 to pay any VAT deferred as a result of this announcement.

Businesses do not need to inform HMRC if they wish to defer payment. They can opt in to the deferral simply by not making VAT payments due in this period.

Businesses who normally pay by direct debit should cancel their direct debit with their bank if they are unable to pay. This can be done online if they’re registered for online banking. They should do so in sufficient time so that HMRC does not attempt to automatically collect on receipt of their VAT return.

Should they wish, businesses can continue to make payments as normal during the deferral period. HMRC will also continue to pay repayment claims as normal.

Note: Businesses must continue to submit VAT returns as normal.

For more information please go to GOV.UK and search “Deferral of VAT payment”.

Welcome to Neilson James Technology

(Provider of 'HMRC Recognised' MTD VAT Bridging Software)

Supports: Excel, CSV files, Acorn Legal, Avanti, Exchequer, FBA-Promar, Infor SyteLine, IRIS, Kingswood, More, Money Manager, Microsoft Business Dynamics, MYOB, Opsis Millenium, PC Law, Pegasus Opera I, Perfect Books, Quickbooks, Sage, SAP Business One, SAP ERP, Solar, Tally R4.x (UK), TAS Books, VT, Xero & Zoho Books.

Neilson James Technology (NJT), based in South Manchester, is a provider of software applications and a wide range of IT support services. NJT has extensive experience in the development of VAT Return & customised Microsoft Office based applications. In particular, development of Excel based applications that interact with accounts software and HMRC.

NJT also possesses a wealth of operational, technical & project management experience within Government agencies & the IT industry spanning over 3 decades. This includes the Magistrates' Courts Service and commerical software suppliers.

Making Tax Digital (MTD)

MTD for VAT became effective on 1st April 2019. This means, Taxpayers with a turnover above the VAT threshold (currently £85,000) have to keep their records digitally (for VAT purposes only), and Provide their VAT return information to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) through MTD compatible software. Although HMRC has stated that some of the more complex businesses will not be mandated until October 2019.

However, there will be a 'Soft Landing' period for at least 12 months, from the date of mandation, whereby HMRC will not impose financial penalties against those Taxpayers that do not fully comply with the legistlation, specifically, the digital links (See rule 3 below).

For information, HMRC currently has no plans to introduce a mandatory requirement to submit transaction level data (Supplemental information). Therefore, Taxpayers only need to submit VAT Returns that contain the 9-box totals.

For information, MTD for Income Tax will not be mandated until 2021, at the earliest.

Terminology: Throughout this website, the generic term 'Taxpayer' covers to all types of Taxpayer, including Businesses and Individuals.

'NJT VAT Return Manager (MTD)' - Live Bridging Software

(Free demonstration version also available - see below)

MTD Dashboard Example

NJT offers a 'Bridging' software solution, named the 'NJT VAT Return Manager (MTD)', for submitting MTD compliant VAT Returns to HMRC.
HMRC refer to this as 'Bridging software' as it's function is to provide an MTD compliant digital link between your accounting software and the HMRC system.

Prepared VAT Returns can be imported from a variety of accounting systems & formats, including:
Excel, CSV files, Acorn Legal, Avanti, Exchequer, FBA-Promar, Infor SyteLine, IRIS, Kingswood, More, Money Manager, Microsoft Business Dynamics, MYOB, Opsis Millenium, PC Law, Pegasus Opera I, Perfect Books, Quickbooks, Sage, SAP Business One, SAP ERP, Solar, Tally R4.x (UK), TAS Books, VT, Xero & Zoho Books.

Please Note: Additional systems will be considered on a request basis. However, Systems will require the facility to export VAT Returns to either a Text based file or an Excel file, in a consistent format and layout.


Single Business licences cost £36 per year
Agency & Multiple Business licences start from £40 per year

Compatibility (Relates to All NJT Software):

The software is compatible with Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Excel.
The software is Not compatible with Mac Office/Excel, OpenOffice or LibreOffice.
For further information see the 'View the minimum system requirements.' link below.

Applicable For:
Quick Links:

'NJT VAT Return Demo (MTD)' - Demonstration Bridging Software

For information, before you can use the 'Live' bridging software, you first need to sign up to MTD. This is because HMRC require that you 'Grant Authority' (Authorise the software), using your MTD account.
Consequently, it is difficult to obtain a practical understanding of how the 'Live' software works, prior to siging up to MTD.

NJT has therefore developed 'Free' demonstration software, named the 'NJT VAT Return Demo (MTD)', that simulates the 'Live' bridging software.

This demonstration software allows you to simulate the full 'End to End' process without being signed up to MTD. This is a perfectly safe method to familiarise yourself with the functionality of the 'Live' software without actually communicating with HMRC. Additionally, you may wish to use this software to assist in training or to improve understanding of the required processes under MTD.

[Click here] for more details.

Clarification on the Use of MTD Bridging Software

There appears to be some confusion amongst certain circles regarding both the Acceptability and Lifespan of Bridging Software.

Acceptability & Lifespan

For the avoidance of doubt, the HMRC VAT Notice 700/22 (see link below) explicitly defines Bridging software as 'Functional compatible software' and is therefore a perfectly acceptable method of submitting, MTD compliant, VAT Returns to HMRC. Bridging software is NOT just an interim solution as some people are advocating.

The VAT Notice defines 'Functional compatible software' as a software program, or a set of software programs, products or applications. Therefore it is perfectly acceptable to use one software program to keep your accounts records (This includes spreadsheets) and a separate software program (Bridging software) to submit your VAT Return. The only stipulation is that you must transfer the data digitally.

The confusion is actually related to the rules governing the transfer of data between the accounts software and the Bridging software (Digital Links).
Again for the avoidance of doubt, the NJT Bridging software supports the, MTD compliant, digital transfer of data from a variety of accounts software and formats.

HMRC is adopting what is called a 'Soft Landing' for a period of 12 months from the date of your mandation, during which you are allowed to transfer data manually. For example, if you were mandated on 1st April 2019, then you must transfer data digitally from 1st April 2020.

[Click Here] HMRC VAT Notice 700/22: Making Tax Digital for VAT

The 3 Golden Rules of MTD for VAT
  1. Accounts Records: Your accounts records must be kept digitally for Tax purposes using 'Functional compatible software'.
    This includes all transactions that are required to calculate the 9-box totals in your VAT Return. For information, records kept within Spreadsheets are classified as digital records.

  2. VAT Returns: Your VAT Return must be submitted using 'Functional compatible software'. This can achieved using a single integrated software solution or a separate Bridging software solution.
    HMRC only requires your VAT Return submission to include the 9-box totals (Not the transactions).
    For information, HMRC has no current plans to introduce a mandatory requirement to submit transaction level data (Supplemental information).

  3. Digital Links: Following the 'Soft Landing' period, all data must be transferred digitally between 'Functional compatible software'.
    • Exporting & Importing digital files, for example, (Text, CSV & Excel files) are all acceptable.
    • Linked cells in spreadsheets are acceptable.
    • The emailing of Digital files between the different software applications is acceptable.
    • The use of 'Copy & Paste' is only acceptable where controlled by the software (For example, via buttons).
    • Manual entry of data is not acceptable, unless for purposes outside the scope of MTD. However, the data must be transferred digitally.

Income Tax (MTD) - Development

Initial high-level development has commenced to provide a solution for Self Assessment Tax submissions. A Demonstration version is planned for release summer 2020, subject to the availability of the necessary finalised HMRC technical documentation.
Initial thoughts indicate that a new combined solution will be developed in Microsoft Access, covering both VAT and Self Assessment. This will be a true 'Multiuser' solution with a separate database, which can be stored on a central server.
For information, Microsoft provide a free 'Runtime' version of Access, which can be installed by customers that do not have Office 2016.

Additionally, HMRC has announced that the live MTD Income Tax system will be mandated no earlier that 2021. The first mandated phase is 'Self Assessment', which will include Self-Employed 'Businesses' and Self-Employed 'UK Property Businesses'.