Jun 8, 2021 10:37:48 AM by Amit Wason

What is a Digital Link for Making Tax Digital (MTD) for VAT

Making Tax Digital Navision

Can you still use 'Bridging' software to submit MTD for VAT? 

A customer - with complex VAT calculation requirements - was looking to keep their Excel spreadsheet solution to submit VAT to HMRC via their 'bridging' solution.

They asked, "Is this something that is still allowed to be done?". 

Especially concerning that the soft-landing period ended in April (2021).

The Digital Journey

After investigating this, the above approach is still valid.

The software you use to submit your VAT return does not need to be the same software that records your VAT.

However, there is a caveat.

You cannot do this manually. You can no longer type, copy & paste, or cut & paste your information to a spreadsheet or other software.

If you did this, your data will not have followed a digital journey as manual tasks were performed to get the data to where it is. This is not a digital link.

This 'digital link' rule has the force of law with it. 

What is Digital Link

A digital link is defined by HMRC as a digital exchange of data "within and between" different software. You can't copy from one system and into another (e.g. Excel) but you can export from one and import into another, it just cannot have any manual interventions of that data. 

However, you can use formula to mirror data, as that is a digital link.

Better from one System

However, the simplest way to submit VAT to HMRC is to have the data - from your record keeping software - calculated and submitted from that same software.

This makes for a simpler and easier solution for all.

If you want to discuss complex VAT requirements and see if they are possible to achieve with modern software, please do not hesitate to contact us. 

If you would like to keep your existing setup, then that is fine too. Just ensure that there are no manual data interventions along that journey, so it is a fully digital process.

Further reading

Please read the HMRC Aritcle on what constitutes a digital link


We are a software company not tax or VAT specialists. This article does not constitute advice on VAT. To ensure you are compliant with your VAT reporting, please consult a specialist in this area.

Links added were correct as at the time this post was written. They have been included for reference purposes only.

You may be taken to sites that are external to ours and we take no responsibility for their content.  

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