Making Tax Digital: A guide for Agents Services Account and Businesses

A Simple and easy to use Step by Step Guide to Making Tax Digital to signing up!   

Here at BTCSoftware, we are always trying to make your lives easier. So, we have been busy creating guides that will help you in during your MTD transition when signing up.

This is a step-by-step guide that shows you how simple it is to implement Making Tax Digital for your practice or business when you sign up.

Making Tax Digital for VAT as an agent: step by step

  • Agents need to create an Agent services account (ASA), which provides the agent with the log in details requiredto access the VAT APIs. Agents will also need to use the link existing clients’ services, if they want to submit for aclient who they have an existing relationship with in VAT.
  • Businesses submitting their own VAT returns only need to complete steps 3 and 4. They can do this using an existing Government Gateway (GG) ID if they have one OR they set up a new one.
  • Be prepared – once signed up to MTD returns MUST be submitted using MTD compatible software, don’t sign up unless you are ready.
  • Where a business pays by Direct Debit and email address must be provided
  • Businesses that pay by Direct Debit have to sign up at least 15 working days before they need to submit

Important: The role of the Business Tax Account (BTA)

  • A business does not have to set up a BTA for an agent to link clients to the new ASA
  • A business does not have to set up a BTA to be signed up to MTD by an agent (the journey only requires them to validate an email address)
  • A business does need to have a BTA set up to authorise a new agent relationship
  • Once a business is signed up to MTD, the BTA will be used to send them notifications to file and provide a view of their VAT returns, so whilst the journey itself does not require the business to sign up to BTA, being in the service and interacting with HMRC digitally does.

Step 1: Create agent services account (ASA)

• Before signing up to MTD you must first create an Agent Services Account (ASA). For guidance and to create an account go to‐an‐hmrc‐agent‐services‐account

• You may already have an ASA if you’ve signed up for the Trust Registration Service (TRS), you do not need to create a new one for MTD.

• The ASA is currently only used for the TRS, MTD VAT and MTD Income Tax. The GG ID which is generated in this journey is the one you will use to access MTD Services. You will still need your old GG IDs to access other HMRC online services.

Step 2: Link existing agent/ client relationships

• Once the ASA is created, you can use the service to link existing authorised SA and VAT relationships you already have with a business, by following the guidance to link existing clients.

• The link clients service is accessed from inside the ASA, once done you will see an ‘Account Linked’ message.

• This process require you to input your existing GG IDs so that we can identify the relationship already exists.

• All the clients that exist under a specific GG ID are linked to the ASA (if you have multiple GG accounts you may need torepeated this step to link all accounts)

Important: The client list cannot be viewed from within the ASA.

Step 3: Authorise MTD compatible software

• As you are using BTCHub, this is already MTD compatible software

Step 4: Sign businesses up to Making Tax Digital (MTD)

• Using the GG ID generated at step 1, you can sign up clients by going to:‐use‐software‐to‐submit‐vat‐returns

• You will receive confirmation that the client’s information has been received. We will email you (usually within 24 hours, but can take up to 72 hours) confirming you can start using MTD software to submit the client’s return.

• You should tell your client you are submitting returns through Making Tax Digital

• Each client needs to be signed up individually or the client can sign themselves up.


For an Agent, when connecting software to HMRC you must use your new ASA GG ID (provided at step 1). If you attempt to log in with another GG ID our systems will not be able to recognise the MTD relationship with your client so you will receive an error message and be unable to file the return.

Making Tax Digital for VAT as a business: step by step

Step 1: Check if you can join

• Before signing up to MTD you must first check if and when you have to join Making Tax Digital for VAT.

• You must follow the rules for Making Tax Digital from your first VAT Return period starting on or after 1 April 2019 if your business:

• has a taxable turnover over £85,000

• is not part of the deferral group

Step 2: Sign up for Making Tax Digital

• Use this link to sign up for Making Tax Digital ‐‐up‐for‐making‐tax‐digital‐for‐vat

• The link clients service is accessed from inside the ASA, once done you will see an ‘Account Linked’ message.

• After you’ve signed up, you cannot use VAT online services to send VAT Returns.

Step 3: Authorise MTD compatible software

• As you are using BTCHub, this is already MTD compatible software

Can we help?

And if you’re concerned your tax software isn’t up to the MTD for VAT challenge right now, why not contact the BTCSoftware sales team by phone 0345 241 5030 or book a free demo when it’s convenient for yourself and your business. 


Are you coming to Accountex this year? If so, please do visit us at Stand 530. We look forward to meeting you!

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