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Ftax VAT Overview (for Agents)

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We are very grateful to our clients for their comments and suggestions, without which these guides would not be possible. If you have a suggestion to improve this guide or its associated video, please email

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Ftax VAT Overview (for Agents) - Step by Step Instructions

This guide gives an overview of the Ftax VAT form for Agents. The form enables you to submit VAT returns in an MTD compliant manner using data derived from a variety of sources: your own spreadsheets, those of your clients, and files generated by other accountancy packages such as Sage. If you are not an agent but wish to use the Ftax VAT form to submit your own VAT return, please click here to see the video and guide Ftax VAT Overview (for Businesses). This guide is broken down into the following sections:

  1. Transferring VAT return data
  2. Granting authority to Ftax
  3. Downloading the form
  4. Setting up the form for yourself, your client or both
  5. How to enter business information
  6. Importing VAT periods from HMRC
  7. Submitting the form to HMRC

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1. Transferring VAT return data

Before submitting your VAT return using the Ftax Agent VAT PDF form you must first transfer the VAT report data from your spreadsheets or those of your clients. This may be done in one of two ways:

1.1 Using the Ftax VAT Link spreadsheet tool. This is included with your Ftax Agent VAT package and may be down loaded via the Downloads tab within your Ftax Account. The spreadsheet tool creates a file in XFDF format and is suitable for use with Microsoft Excel only. The nine numbers needed for the VAT return are clearly marked and correctly formatted for you and the tool will automatically save the file in the same location as your spreadsheets and in a suitable format. A video and FAQ with more information on this is available here.

1.2 By means of a .csv file. Your own spreadsheets, those of your clients or another accountancy package can be used to generate a CSV file which can then be imported into the Ftax VAT form. Further information on this is available on the video Exporting Data from Spreadsheets as a .CSV File.  Note that .CSV VAT report files output from Sage and other applications may be also be transferred in this way.

The .xfdf or .csv files produced as described above are now ready to be imported into your Ftax Agent VAT PDF form as described in Stage 6 of this guide. But first you must prepare the form as described in Stages 2. to 5.

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2. Granting authority

The new MTD system from HMRC requires users to grant authority to the software that they use to make submissions. You should only need to do this once for each software supplier you use and the authority is valid for 18 months. As a user of Ftax, you will only need to do this once regardless of how many clients you submit on behalf of. In order to grant authority to Ftax, click the link on your Ftax Account Home page:

Grant authority

This link will take you to the relevant section of the HMRC website. Please note that HMRC say this process can take three days. For further information on granting authority to Ftax, click here to view the video How to grant Authority to Ftax for MTD

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3. Download the form and if necessary, comply with the special notice

Download the form from the Ftax website, open it with Adobe Reader and save it in a known location. If this is the first time that you have used an Ftax form, a Special Notice will be displayed which you must comply with before you continue:

Special Notice


The video and guide Ftax Setup Checklist will provide you with further information on the settings on your computer which you will need to check before you begin using the Ftax MTD VAT form.

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4. Set up the form for yourself, your client or both

The form enables you to set up an Agent Copy, a Client Copy or a copy to which both you and your client have access. Choose 'Buy Agent Editions' and then 'Buy MTD Packages from the Ftax website:

Agent packages location on Ftax website


Having purchased one or more forms, you now have a choice as to who can work on each form. Downloading a form will produce a screen which allows you to select from three options. Tick to select so that the Agent or Client has access. If both Agent and Client require access to the same form, set up an Agent form then, using the same UTR, a Client form: 

Agent or Client


4.1 Agent only: you intend to prepare and submit the VAT report on behalf of your client:

Agent copy of form


4.2 Client only: your client intends to submit their VAT report themselves. The video Ftax VAT: Getting Started (for Clients) may assist your clients in familiarising themselves with the form:

Client copy


4.3 Both Agent and Client copies: you intend to work with your client to submit their VAT reports. The two copies ‘sync‘ via the Ftax servers so that both view the same data and can securely transfer data from one to the other. The form will advise you when to sync to ensure both copies feature the same data. First set up an agent form using the client's UTR. Then set up a client copy and send your client the form using email. Use a different means, for example text, to send the eight digit password which the system offers you:

Client password

You may also like to send your client a link to the video Ftax VAT: Getting Started for Clients. The video gives a brief overview of how to set up their copy of the form, enter their password and add data. It can be accessed on the Ftax website by clicking here.

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5. Enter business information

Go to the 'Businesses' page by clicking on the tab in the navigation bar on the left of the form, or simply scrolling down from the front page:

Businesses selected in left hand nav bar


Enter the business details including Business Type. HMRC notes on this and many other aspects of completing the VAT return can be accessed by clicking the red ball in the middle of the VAT page. This will open a new tab and take you to the HMRC website:


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6. Importing VAT periods from HMRC

Clicking the 'VAT registered' box on the right of the page will result in the two boxes beneath being highlighted:

VAT tick box


When the VAT registration number is entered, the form will go online to HMRC to import the VAT period and date when payments are due. Please note that there can be a delay while our systems retrieve your data from HMRC. If the registration number is entered incorrectly, the following error will appear:

Obligations error


If the details you have entered are correct, the following message will appear and the VAT payment dates and any previously held data will be imported into the form.

Obligations success


The data will be entered on the VAT page. A summary will also be displayed on the opening page:

VAT page


The VAT page can be used to display each of the four VAT quarterly or twelve monthly reports by clicking the ‘Next‘ or ‘Previous‘ buttons:

VAT details

Ensure you are displaying the next quarter or month to be submitted before clicking the ‘Import VAT Report‘ button. Ftax MTD forms allow you to import a CSV file from your own spreadsheets or another accountancy package. Further information on this is available on the video Exporting Data from Spreadsheets as a .CSV File. You can also import an XFDF file which has been created by the Ftax VAT Link spreadsheet tool. Further information on this is available on the video How to Use the Ftax VAT Link Tool

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7. Submit the form to HMRC

When you are ready to submit, simply click the ‘Submit VAT Return‘ button and then agree with the form Declaration, HMRC’s popup declaration, and finally the ‘Submit Now‘ button. A green ‘Success‘ screen should now be displayed:

Success Receipt

Click the ‘Back to Return‘ button to go back to the VAT page and you should see a message at the bottom of the screen which says 'confirmed by HMRC'. You should also see a red tick in the success box:

Confirmed  by HMRC message

These mean that the form has successfully submitted and that this has been confirmed by HMRC and that the form has double checked this and is now displaying it. Totals for the entire tax year, again confirmed by HMRC and double checked via the form can be seen at a glance on the front page of the Client's VAT form:

Front page after submission


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We are very grateful to our clients for their comments and suggestions, without which these guides would not be possible. If you have a suggestion to improve this guide or its associated video, please email

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