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Making Tax Digital with ABM(Updated)

by | Aug 13, 2019 | ABM - Advanced Business Manager, New Product Information, News

Rectangular white/green logo featuring ABM text(black/left) and Advanced business manager  text(white/right). Best bespoke accounting software

A quick refresh on Making Tax Digital:

As many readers should know by now, Making Tax Digital (MTD) for VAT is a new initiative by the government to simplify and improve how businesses or individuals manage their tax affairs. The main effect this will have is that from 1st April 2019 onward,  all VAT-registered businesses with a taxable turnover above the VAT threshold are obligated to use MTD – compliant software to digitally submit VAT returns and keep digital VAT business records. At the time of this articles’ publishing the VAT quarter that has just passed did not require the use of a digital submission, so before the next VAT return period comes around, here is a guide on ABM’s Making Tax Digital solution.

Income tax stock image. Advanced business manager and compliance with Making tax digital

MTD, Advanced business manager, and Dart-Digital: the plan moving forward

Tax optimiser bridging software

After much time spent evaluating the needs of our clients, and the situation regarding Making Tax Digital, we at Dart-Digital – official UK resellers of Advanced Business Manager(ABM) – have decided to pursue the use of the Tax optimiser bridging software as our means of electronically submitting VAT Returns in accordance with HMRC guidelines.

To start off, clients of Dart-Digital using ABM must provide their company details so that the team can create a corresponding company profile in Tax optimiser for their use. Access to this profile and the VAT Return service is then given through a link that will be sent to clients. Note that clients are not obligated to use the same MTD software as Dart-digital, and so reserve the right to use alternatives if they wish. 

Tax optimiser is quick, easy to use, and is a HMRC recognised utility software. Instead of requiring an install onto a local machine however, Tax optimiser is accessed on the internet through a web-browser and works by receiving a file generated by Advanced Business Manager(ABM), then uploading it to the HMRC web service. As an MTD bridge, it also shares some of the same basic characteristics that are expected from software of its kind; such as not being involved in how figures for a VAT Return are prepared, how frequently a return should be made, whether they are adjusted for partial exemption, or whether they are based on cash movements. The software simply acts as a medium to collect the figures from existing systems(ABM) and to submit those values to HMRC through the specified official channels. It will also receive the HMRC proof of receipt response, and present this to the user for printing or filing whilst retaining a copy within its database. The ABM output must be an Excel file.

Processing the VAT Return with ABM

Before Tax optimser can be used, clients must process their own VAT Return. Below is a short guide on performing this task using the ABM client.

Firstly, from the main ABM menu, select the ‘Accounts’ tab from the list on the left. Then, from the drop-down list select ‘VAT’. Afterwards, select the appropriately named ‘VAT Return’ icon on the top level navigation/actions bar.

The following screenshot illustrates the above mentioned group of actions.

Screenshot demonstrating the steps to creating a VAT Return in ABM

Subsequently, the VAT Return action window appears. The next two steps are to click ‘calculate from accounts’, and once that has finished, ‘Send to Excel’. Alternatively, you can also manually enter the values for the Return. The screenshot underneath demonstrates this.

Screenshot demonstrating the steps to creating a VAT Return in ABM

Note that if you used the ‘calculate from accounts’ function, you can click on the small Excel icon at the end of each row to generate and open an Excel spreadsheet containing a breakdown for that field.

When ‘Send to Excel’ is selected, an Excel spreadsheet should automatically open which displays the VAT Return information in a neat table:

ABM VAT Return save file prompt

Save this Excel spreadsheet where-ever appropriate, then head over to the Tax optimiser website via the link given by Dart-Digital to upload said file and get it sent off to HMRC. 


Are your IT systems ready for MTD? If not, check out our previous article covering the importance of keeping IT systems up to date. Alternatively, contact us regarding any other questions with Tax optimiser and if ABM has caught your interest. Be sure to read up on its Core Elements and Service Manager too!

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