In Product Updates 417 and 416 enhancements were made to the existing online submission of VAT returns through the Government Gateway portal.
However, with the new MTD initiative that is due start in April 2019 this mean that although if a VAT Return is due in April it can be done via the current submission format. All VAT Returns due after April 2019 must use the new MTD format.
The MTD format is not only a completely new format compared to the old XML format but it will also use a completely different authorisation process.
Exact is currently working with the HMRC on completing this format and receiving the required certification from the HMRC in time to meet the required VAT Return deadlines.
The new MTD initiative does mean that all UK customers will be responsible for signing up to the MTD and for getting a deferral from the HMRC if they have a complex VAT set-up so that their deadline will then be October 2019.