HMRC invite us to join MTD system

Who feels signing up clients to MTD would benefit them or us in any way?

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I have today had an email invitation to sign up clients to MTD so agents "have the opportunity to build their knowledge, prepare their clients for future change and get ahead of Making Tax Digital (MTD) changes before it becomes a legal requirement".

I drafted a reply then realised, in typical HMRC form, it was not possible to email to their "no-reply" email address. See my response to the invitation below



Dear HMRC,

All of my clients that would benefit from electronic record keeping have been using such systems for years. How about HMRC’s use of modern IT? Are you aware of a clever means of communicating known as “Email”? Many of us use this, instead of slow, expensive post, for general communication, but not HMRC.

The MTD proposals look likely to be as popular with taxpayers as a chicken sandwich at a Vegan festival. I do not see it will bring any advantages to HMRC either. An expensive waste of time.

It would suit us better if every single hour spent devising MTD systems was spent getting your existing service back to an acceptable level of performance. It is pathetic that calls take about forty minutes to be answered; the quality of call  handler is variable, often not getting matters resolved, and the web-based “help” is rarely “helpful”. Letters take many months to get a reply.

Even matching the level at which taxpayers must comply with MTD rules to the VAT threshold would reduce the pain, by relieving those with smaller turnover from the burden of extra reports.

Yours, with no intention of signing any clients up for MTD before forced to.

Donald MacKenzie

Replies (8)

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By Jason Croke
26th Apr 2024 09:58

Nice, just the right measures of sarcasm and don't want to over egg that dairy free pudding.

You should add that your clients would not relish the reality of being given penalties and tarnishing their previous good compliance record whilst beta testing HMRC's software.

Thanks (1)
By bernard michael
26th Apr 2024 10:19

Why bother to reply just junk the e-mail as I did ?? Joining it would be like Chinese water torture and only bring grief to no obvious benefit..................... as opposed to the propaganda offered by HMRC

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By JCresswellTax
26th Apr 2024 10:21

Got this too. Thought 'HMRC can go take a flying [***] to themselves' then deleted it.

Thanks (2)
By Jane Wanless
26th Apr 2024 11:41

I agree with the answer apart from "forty minutes" to get calls answered. Perhaps if "on a good day|" was added?

On a serious note, has anyone checked with their insurers? If signing up clients to an unnecessary penalty regime, would practitioners be covered if they accidentally incurred penalties?

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By SteveHa
26th Apr 2024 11:51

I got it. Barely read past the first sentence.

With regards your response:

I have today had an email invitation to sign up clients to MTD


Are you aware of a clever means of communicating known as “Email”?
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Replying to SteveHa:
Donald MacKenzie
By Donald MacKenzie
26th Apr 2024 11:58

My point was that I cannot REPLY to the email from HMRC and they do not use email for normal correspondence.

Thanks (1)
By Dougscott
26th Apr 2024 12:42

If HMRC were to pay me for the extra time that this would entail at a commercial rate of say £250 per hour (excluding VAT) then of course I would be happy to beta test for them.

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Replying to Dougscott:
By FactChecker
26th Apr 2024 15:32

hmmm ... not so sure.
For work with which I'm comfortable, in an environment that is well defined and working, and where HMRC (who are to all intents and purposes the 'client') accept all liabilities ... then maybe.
But with an incomplete specification, subject to unknown unknowns on potentially a daily basis, and with the threat of penalties hanging over me rather than HMRC ... not for twice that rate!

Thanks (4)