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.


In June 2024, our Excel VAT Filer software passed the terrific milestone of being used to submit over one million VAT returns!

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 'Knowledgebase' 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 one million submissions have been made to HMRC using Absolute Excel VAT Filer. In fact, using the most recent HMRC figures nearly 1 in 20 VAT returns submitted were done so using Absolute Excel VAT Filer!

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.

"Hi there, We just wanted to let you know how delighted we are with the Excel MTD Filer. It’s very rare that we come across software that is properly documented, does exactly what it says, has a simple, complete guide to usage, is affordable, and just works exactly as it should. We have been dreading MTD for VAT becoming compulsory for us, fearing that any solution would be complex, over-the-top in terms of admin, or might have serious privacy worries.

We are really pleased that Absolute Software’s Excel MTD Filer has none of the issues and all of those advantages. We read the setup guide, linked the cells in our spreadsheet to yours, logged in to the Government Gateway, gave the permissions and clicked ‘submit’. It worked perfectly. and we confirmed with our Government VAT account that submission was correctly made just 2 minutes after closing the software.

The whole submission process took 5 minutes, and with Customs/Government Gateway permissions recorded for 18 months, should be quicker still, next time. A great solution, properly priced. You have a new customer for life. As and when more is converted to MTD we shall turn to you for bridging products in the same way. Thank you! With all best wishes"

Mark – Director of Education (ASDTi)

MTD for Income Tax Self Assessment (MTD for ITSA)

MTD is being extended to incorporate self-employed individuals and property landlords. From April 2026, MTD for ITSA will apply to these self assessment taxpayers who have an annual gross income above £50,000. And from April 2027, the scheme is being widened to include individuals with an annual gross income of between £30,000 and £50,000.

We have created a free guide to MTD for ITSA which sets out the latest information from HMRC.

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 for ITSA. We are currently working closely with HMRC to develop 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 0330 0579651.

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