For VAT periods starting on or after 1 April 2020 (or 1 October 2020 for deferred businesses) your accounting systems must use digital links for any transfer or exchange of data between software programs, products or applications used as functional compatible software. That is the end of the current 12 month “soft landing” extension.
Businesses with complex or legacy IT systems may require a longer period to put digital links in place. These businesses can apply to HMRC for additional time to put the required digital links in place. If your business qualifies then the additional time will be granted as a specific direction from HMRC.
If, for example, your company purchases another business it may take additional time to digitally link different software applications or packages to meet the MTD legal obligations. HMRC will consider an application to extend the digital link deadline longer than the “soft landing” period. That would mean the businesses would continue to be able to “cut and paste” during the extension period.