Giant MTD delay: what it means for you

Giant MTD delay what it means for you IRIS | Giant MTD delay: what it means for you
By Jenny Strudwick | 1st July 2019 | 14 min read

There’s a good chance you will have seen a headline or two in recent days about ‘delays’ to MTD for VAT.

If you were just scanning and flicking through the news at rapid pace, you could be forgiven for feeling a sudden pang of anxiety as your eyes caught sight of this.

But there’s no need for concern or panic.

A delay of sorts has indeed been announced by HMRC, but it only relates to a very small niche area of the regulations.

Confused about what it means?

The delay pertains to a small number of businesses using the GIANT (Government information and NHS Trust) service to provide additional information with their VAT return.

Already, HMRC had allowed the April deadline to be deferred for a small proportion of organisations due to the complexity of their requirements.

This latest move simply pushes this back further for that even tinier percentage operating under GIANT.

There is currently no information about when exactly it will be delayed until, but I am certain that the number of businesses impacted will be low.

It’s worth a quick look at what Theresa Middleton, HMRC’s Director for Making Tax Digital for Business, said in an email last week.

She said the “vast majority of the deferred group” will still start using the service for their first VAT return for the period starting on or after 1 October 2019. So, that’s all of them except for those affected by GIANT.

She wrote: “Customers who use the GIANT service are currently required to submit additional information with their VAT return. Due to an ongoing review by the government into VAT simplification in the public sector, we will be extending their deferral period.

“The effect of this deferral for these customers is that they should continue to submit their VAT returns as they do now.”

The aforementioned review, announced at Spring Statement 2019, is exploring a potential reform to VAT refund rules for central government, with the “aim of reducing administrative burdens and improving public sector productivity”.

Ms Middleton pointed out that the review is still underway, and that she and HMRC bosses will need to consider the outcome in the context of MTD for GIANT customers.

HMRC says it will write to affected businesses again later in the summer with further information about the timetable for joining Making Tax Digital, and to formally extend their deferral period.

There was bound to be the odd tweak or alteration in some of the finer details of MTD for VAT – especially for those organisations with more complicated set ups. This is merely that.

For now, it’s back to focusing on the first quarterly submission deadline of August 7 – a subject we’ll be exploring in another article soon.

For now, if you have any queries about MTD, one of our dedicated specialists would be very happy to call you. Get in touch via email -

About the author

Jenny Strudwick

Senior Product Manager

Jenny is Senior Product Manager for Tax at IRIS. She has been with IRIS for over 18 years working across many different departments including Support, Engineering and now Product Management. During this time she has been instrumental in major tax changes from FBI to iXBRL and now MTD. Jenny works closely with HMRC on major changes in taxation especially now as they develop their MTD strategy. Prior to joining IRIS, Jenny spent a number of years in practice and has now accumulated over 21 years’ experience in UK taxation.