HMRC have confirmed that from 14 February 2018 the Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), the current platform used to submit VAT Returns electronically, will be decommissioned and replaced with a new platform.
From that date, all electronic Returns must be submitted via this new platform.
Businesses that manually submit their VAT Returns using HMRC’s website and Government Gateway ID will not be affected, although their is likely to be changes in how the pages appear.
Those businesses that submit VAT Returns via their accounting software will need to ensure the software is compatible with the new platform. This may require businesses to apply or purchase an upgrade to continue submitting their VAT returns electronically.
For example, Sage have advised ‘To accommodate the changes, we will be updating the latest version of Sage 50 Accounts only. If you or your clients would like to continue to submit your VAT return from your Sage Software you will need to upgrade to our latest version’
Looks like Sage will force upgrade (and presumably it will cost).
Glad I don't use such antiquated desktop software! Most cloud software such as Xero, it will be seemless and no extra cost.