The 65-year-old appeared at the Old Bailey facing an accusation of false accounting for allegedly fraudulently claiming £12,900 for research and translation services between January 6 2005 and January 15 2008.
Wearing a dark suit, white shirt and striped tie, he spoke only to confirm his identity and that he understood that he must return to court for a plea and case management hearing on November 18.
Mr Justice Sweeney told the ex-MP for Rotherham that a trial date has been set for May 6 next year.
Prosecutors announced in July that MacShane would face the charge following claims that he had faked receipts.
MacShane, of Westmoreland Terrace, central London, stood down as Labour MP for Rotherham last November.