April 1st may be synonymous with practical jokes but next year April 1st also sees the introduction of Making Tax Digital.
All VAT registered companies with a taxable turnover above the £85k threshold need to be aware of how MTD will affect them. From 1st April 2019 it will no longer be possible to file VAT returns through the HMRC website and many desktop accounting software packages will also require upgrading.
The good news for clients using Xero to submit VAT reurns is they will not notice any changes and Xero MTD functionality won't require any updates or extra fees. Sadly the same cannot be said for other accountancy software. Many older operating systems that currently allow VAT returns to be filed online will no longer link to the HMRC website after 1st April 2019 so users will have to upgrade to a newer version.
It may still seem a long way off but you need to be looking at your systems now to determine what actions you need to take. After all, only a fool would ignore the MTD deadline and failure to file a VAT return is no laughing matter.