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How is the unrepresented VAT trader to know?

Where is the information campaign on MTDfVAT

My wife runs a small industrial property rental business, which, despite having turnover in the low 10's of K, needs to be vat registered to benefit from TOGC on acquisitions.

Now, as it happens, I am aware of the MTDfV plans - but, if she was running the business on her own, and managing to file the vat electronically without issues, how would she (along with all the other unrepresented vat traders) be getting to know about MTDfVAT?

I guess the 7th of July 2019 when she found the HMRC VAT website not working - and then incurs a penalty?


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17th May 2018 09:27

Speaking with HMRC on Tuesday they told me a publicity campaign is planned, but they wanted 'real things to show' before pushing the button. Speaking with FDs/business owners around the country awareness is still pretty low, so it's much-needed.

I believe there will be a 'soft landing' for penalties in 2019, but will double-check that for you.



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17th May 2018 11:11

Presumably it is beyond the wit of HMRC to contact VAT registered businesses directly.

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17th May 2018 11:58

Surely your wife is not affected. She is not over the registration threshold so need not join the club.

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17th May 2018 14:48

I imagine they haven't launched their publicity campaign as HMRC simply don't know if its going to go ahead or not.

It would be much more confusing to announce it publically and backtrack than just just kicking the can along until the end of the year and do it in a panic in Jan/Feb time.

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to ireallyshouldknowthisbut
17th May 2018 15:38

This reply really worries me. Are you saying it is not a foregone conclusion that VAT registered traders will not have to digitally file their quarterly records at HMRC from April 2019?
If indeed you are right and it is not a foregone conclusion then this is a scandalous waste of my time and I am appalled by HMRC ill-consideration!!

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to davidbarry
17th May 2018 16:04

Of course its not a foregone conclusion.

There is no third party software on the market to trial other than very early beta's for (sage? and Iris??)
The (very limited) trials have just started
There is no upside for HMRC in the whole thing
There is a big downside for users

No-one (apart from the software vendors trying to cash in) are going to give too hoots if the launch is very very soft.

My guess is it will be effectively voluntary for a good 12 months given the 'soft' approach to penalties. Lets face it who in their right mind is going to do this if there are no penalties, UNLESS its quicker and easier than the current very quick and easy system?

Whole thing is just a fig leaf to hide the embarrassment of the climb down on MTDfb "proper" with the data feeding into actual tax returns.

This is just a very minor interface between the legacy bookkeeping system and HMRC filing, replacing the current 9 box entry with a wildly more expensive and complex version of the same thing.

Its completely stand-alone and unintegrated with anything else.

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to ireallyshouldknowthisbut
17th May 2018 18:06

It really is like BREXIT. No -one knows the end game and what it eventually will look like. I dont like uncertainty.

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to ireallyshouldknowthisbut
17th May 2018 15:41

Also, why do you think that HMRC have not yet made up their minds? All HMRC podcasts are certain about April 2019 start date deadline for VAT registered businesses.
Thank you.

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to davidbarry
17th May 2018 16:45

Because those presenting webcasts/podcasts etc. are not the decision makers, just the puppets.

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17th May 2018 16:49

To be fair they did contact businesses before FRS limited cost trader regs came in so I think we might assume something similar.

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to andy.partridge
17th May 2018 17:39

I agree Andy, I imagine the decision to go live or not with this, wont take place until around budget time.

Then they will circulate in Q1 some quick letters based on if its
1. Live and compulsory (ie fines)
2. Live and advisory (no fines)
3. Sort of works in some cases (voluntary)

And if they cant get it work and a sudden shaft of common sense descends to HMRC when they realise they have to deliver a magic border in NI made from pixie dust and political promises rather than deliver a fig leaf to a failed project, no contact.

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to ireallyshouldknowthisbut
17th May 2018 18:04

I have phoned HMRC agent helplines and I cant find one officer who has even heard of MTD. If HMRC are serious then they should set up a dedicated helpline. No helpline and no staff training. Its leading me to think that you are correct.
The software companies rub their hands in glee. Its an unfair world. Not now sure what to do or think.

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24th May 2018 11:06

"The pilot, although successful, has highlighted the need for further checks, so we are extending it for a further year and going live in April 2020". Could well be Mel's parting speech next year (maybe sooner).

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By ClaireB
24th May 2018 12:33

It's rubbish, isn't it. I work part-time in industry for a business which is well over the VAT threshold limit and if I didn't have a foot in the practitioner camp, no-one in the company would have a clue about it (unless they read the pop-up messages from Sage, which they don't).
Sage have said that they will be compliant, and I can keep an eye on it, but there will be many, many businesses who don't use big name software and will be met with a nasty shock just a few months before it's due to go live.

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24th May 2018 15:53

Just back from Accountingtex.

Explained to me (As I was still confused after reading tons of articles) is that if you are on a cloud based software package and submit your VAT returns online via the software you are essentially fully compliant with MTD. What the software supplier said is that they will have an add-on which send to HMRC (seperate login) confirmationthat your records are kept digitally and that those records were submitted.

You are then 100% compliant. As its all automatic I and my clients would have to do nothing.

Sounds like the 2000 millinium bug saga from all the noise about it, or does it? Just sounds to easy especially with HRMC reputation for cocking easy things up.

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By slarti
to richardterhorst
30th May 2018 16:15

And if, like very many companies, you are not on a cloud based accounting system?

There are many, many companies out there who are on packages hosted in-house with no intention of ever going to the cloud.

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