Absolute Excel VAT Filer

Making Tax Digital

Making Tax Digital (MTD) for VAT

It is now a legal requirement for all VAT registered businesses, local authorities, public corporations and trusts to file their VAT returns using MTD compatible software.

This means submitting VAT return data from accounts packages or Excel spreadsheets directly into HMRC’s MTD for VAT platform. You can no longer copy and paste data into your online VAT return.

To help businesses and agents file VAT returns digitally, especially for those businesses that use Excel spreadsheets to log their financial information, we have developed the Absolute Excel VAT Filer bridging software.

MTD Bridging Software

Our Excel VAT Filer is MTD compatible bridging software. It allows you to submit your VAT data in the correct digital format to HMRC by populating the 9 boxes on your VAT return. This is then digitally linked directly to HMRC’s MTD platform.

Since launching the software in 2018, we have regularly reviewed the product to make sure it delivers the best functionality for our users. As a result, we have introduced the 'Knowledge Base' feature, which lets users correct the issues from VAT returns rejected from HMRC. We have also made it easier to use the software and manage the licenses, with the introduction of the new 'Client Portal'. These updates, along with other enhancements are detailed here.

Absolute’s Excel VAT Filer software is suitable for filing as a single business or as an agent for multiple businesses. This HMRC MTD recognised software will also allow you to link to any existing spreadsheets you are currently using or to any spreadsheets exported from a bookkeeping package that isn’t MTD compatible.

If, as authorised tax agents, you have set up your HMRC ASA you only need our Excel VAT Filer to be able to submit VAT returns direct from Excel spreadsheets to HMRC's MTD portal. You, or your clients, won’t need to use additional bookkeeping or accounts software.

Spreadsheets ARE a long-term viable option for MTD

There has been a lot of misinformation in the media saying that businesses should not rely on using spreadsheets for MTD filing in the future. We are also aware of accounting software sales reps saying to customers that they will not be able to keep using spreadsheets and bridging software to comply with MTD. Instead they will need to transfer to an end-to-end accounting package (such as theirs!).

This is incorrect.

HMRC has categorically stated it does not have any plans to stop the use of spreadsheets with MTD bridging software. This applies to both MTD for VAT and MTD for Income Tax (see below).

The latest version of the HMRC stakeholder pack (18 March 2022) says: “You do not need to keep any additional business records because of MTD. However, business records must be kept digitally to be compliant. If you use spreadsheets, the spreadsheets must be able to submit the required data to HMRC digitally, for example, by using MTD-compatible bridging software.

“Bridging software allows relevant data to be digitally exchanged from the spreadsheet or other source where the digital records are kept, directly to HMRC. The summary information must not be physically re-typed into another software package.”

Many people have been pressured into buying expensive and complicated end-to-end accounting packages which they don’t need. Bridging software, especially our Excel VAT Filer, is one of the most cost effective and simplest to use forms of MTD compatible software on the market.

If you have any concerns about the long term use of spreadsheets and complying with MTD, please get in touch. We will always give you the facts, which you can also access direct from HMRC.

Simple. Quick. Trusted.

Since launching the product, over 500,000 submissions have been made to HMRC using Absolute Excel VAT Filer. In fact, in December 2021 HMRC reported that “nearly 1.6 million taxpayers had joined MTD for VAT with more than 11 million returns successfully submitted.” On this basis our Excel VAT Filer accounts for nearly 1 in 20 VAT submissions made!

The feedback from our users has been phenomenal. We regularly receive comments about how simple the software is to use; how quick people have found the filing process; and why many have already moved from using other MTD software packages to the Absolute Excel VAT Filer.

From this feedback (along with many other examples on our testimonials page), you can see why the Absolute Excel VAT Filer is one of the most trusted forms of MTD bridging software on the market.

Impressive software. Impressive Pricing

Pricing starts from as little as £40 plus VAT for 10 traders for a 12 month licence. To purchase your licence click here.

“I couldn't be more pleased to have chosen Absolute Accounting’s Excel VAT Filer software. I don't understand why so many are making MTD so complicated and expensive. I'm saving my clients a small fortune by being able to continue to record their accounts on spreadsheets as I've been doing for 20 years without the need for expensive accounting packages such as Sage etc. I'll be renewing my licence shortly.”

Noel Scaling

MTD for Income Tax (MTD ITSA)

MTD is being extended again from April 2024, courtesy of MTD ITSA. From that date, anyone who files income tax (self assessment) returns for income over £10,000 per annum from business or property transactions will have to comply with MTD ITSA.

Based on the success of the Excel VAT Filer, Absolute are in the process of developing a new bridging software tool that will offer a low cost, simple way for individuals to comply with MTD ITSA. We are currently working closely with HMRC to fast track the development of this new product.

Bridging software - don’t believe their lies

It has come to our attention (again) that some of the larger software companies and media are saying that using spreadsheets is not a long term option for complying with MTD.

THIS IS UNTRUE. It is only being said to make agents and/or end-users buy unnecessary and expensive accounting software, rather than simpler, low cost bridging software.

HMRC have categorically stated they do not have any plans to stop the use of spreadsheets with MTD bridging software.

In fact HMRC are working closely with Absolute Accounting Software to fast track the development of our MTD for ITSA software. Our ITSA bridging software will enable sole traders and landlords to use spreadsheets to log their financial information and file their MTD quarterly returns direct to HMRC’s MTD platform.

Please be assured that bridging software is here to stay for both MTD for VAT and MTD for ITSA. Don’t believe the lies that are being touted at the moment.

If you have any questions about our Excel VAT Filer or the use of bridging software in general, please contact us on 01869 255797.

If you would like to register to receive more information about our forthcoming MTD for ITSA bridging software, simply email Dave Frost at