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MTD 4 VAT - filing only service

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We all have clients that file their own VAT Returns with no problems. They use spreadsheets to prepare the figures and off they go. However, we are starting to see clients getting itchy about MTD, and are looking to remain compliant without changing their processes.

It seems obvious that, for those clients, we can offer a filing only services which means that they can carry on as they are, and we simply complete the process in an MTD compliant fashion. I wouldn't anticipate more than 10 - 15 minutes per return.

What sort of pricing do others think is suitable for such an offering?

Replies (27)

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By Wanderer
19th Feb 2019 14:00

We're avoiding this idea.

Ties you into something that's very time critical, no of clients x 4 times a year.

We're making clients responsible, will of course help them on their way, show them how etc. but leave them with the ultimate (practical) responsibility for doing it on an ongoing basis.

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By SJRUK
19th Feb 2019 14:33

We're going to offer this service. The clients that use spreadsheets seem to be adverse to software and therefore we will use our bridging software to file - or that's the plan. Not sure on pricing yet, but considering £40 per quarter to cover our time and the software cost.

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By SXGuy
19th Feb 2019 15:00

How will you digitally link the filing only service? I'm guessing they send you their spread sheets? Otherwise, you can't just input figures verbally given.

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Replying to SXGuy:
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By johnhemming
19th Feb 2019 15:06

Emailing the spreadsheets is a digital link.

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RLI
By lionofludesch
20th Feb 2019 08:44

I don't have this problem but, if I did, I'd be spending time with the client to educate him how to submit it themselves.

More expensive at the outset but it'll be more convenient and cheaper in the long run. I'd guess the client would be better off within a year.

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By raju m
20th Feb 2019 10:40

Can anybody recommend a good and cheap bridging software that submits vat returns from excel spreadsheet totals please? Raju

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Replying to raju m:
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By DuncH
20th Feb 2019 11:44

Try vital tax they have download in Microsoft excel store and YouTube videos that show you how.

Ps its free!

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Replying to DuncH:
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By hl45
21st Feb 2019 11:06

Free?!?
For the first year then a monthly fee, doesn't sound free to me!

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Replying to hl45:
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By DuncH
27th Feb 2019 17:33

Apparently Vital Tax were hoping HMRC would contribute to having free software available, this is not going to happen so they are looking to charge £12 pa when they have sorted out how to do it. Anyway its free for the next year.

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Replying to DuncH:
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By johnhemming
27th Feb 2019 19:08

Most of the bridging suppliers are free to start out with.

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Replying to raju m:
7om
By Tom 7000
20th Feb 2019 11:47

vital tax

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Replying to raju m:
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By Mike Towle
20th Feb 2019 12:53

Hi. Adminsoft Accounts can be used as bridging software for Excel and OpenOffice Calc. Can be used for free too.

https://www.adminsoftware.biz

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Replying to raju m:
Morph
By kevinringer
26th Feb 2019 14:49

We've gone for Tim Good's https://www.absoluteexcelvatfiler.co.uk/. There is a cost but we decided it was safer to go with a supplier with a track record that is likely to still be in the market in a year's time. I can't see many of the free suppliers being with us in 12 months.

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Replying to kevinringer:
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By johnhemming
26th Feb 2019 19:34

It will be interesting to see the developments in the market as MTD expands to cover other areas. VAT is actually quite easy to write, but Income Tax is a lot more complicated (even just doing the bridging parts) and there will be quite a few other aspects such as the Agents API (which is at a very early stage at the moment)

Some of the people who were spending quite a bit on marketing a few months ago appear not to have got beyond the vapourware phase.

It is going to be interesting to see which suppliers can keep up the pace. One point about the bridging offerings, however, is that you can swap from supplier to supplier for each submission. Even though the authorisation is for 18 months with HMRC you can rescind that from HMRC's website and transfer to another supplier.

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Replying to johnhemming:
Morph
By kevinringer
27th Feb 2019 08:53

John, I agree about bridging software if MTD is expanded (that's a definite 'if'). It is easy to see bridging software working for VAT but income tax is far more complex. I can't see how bridging software could work for income tax.

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Replying to kevinringer:
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By johnhemming
27th Feb 2019 12:38

In the end some system needs to keep track of the details of self-employment income. The totals from that can then be sent directly from the software that keeps track or bridged through some form of bridging software.

It is quite feasible to maintain, for example, a list of dividend income and interest received in a spreadsheet and then to transfer that information from the spreadsheet to MTD via a bridge.

The same applies for other aspects of income. There are, however, complexities of management for people who have multiple sources of income. My view is that it is best handled in the system doing the bridging which is one reason why it is more complex really than VAT.

The underlying issue is that income tax is a lot more complicated than VAT. Hence the interface to HMRC is more complex and involves things like crystallising the values as well as submitting data. VAT has 5 apis. Income tax at the moment has more than 50.

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All Paul Accountants in Leeds
By paulinleeds
20th Feb 2019 10:52

£60 pq. £40 pq may be sensible, but we need to request, review, file, email & bill. It's not just press the button and file any rubbish.

Get the client to email you the Excel sheet. Use you software to link to the Excel sheet and submit.

I would never just submit without a bit of review work.

I've just bought 123 sheets. Simple and effective.

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Replying to paulinleeds:
7om
By Tom 7000
20th Feb 2019 11:51

If you are going to review them you need to at least treble those fees. Or you will be chasing your tail when you get 30 returns 90 minutes before you go home on a Friday which is deadline day.

Or have an engagement letter saying no checking - submission only no liability accepted and its £40- but if you want us to check it its another £100

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Replying to Tom 7000:
By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
20th Feb 2019 12:40

@Tom, poor client management if you would let that situation happen and still file 'em on time. if you file VAT (which we do) you have to have clear deadlines. 75%+ of our VAT comes in the first week of the month.

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By pauljohnston
20th Feb 2019 10:57

Raju - ptp has bridging software for speadsheets

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By NH
20th Feb 2019 11:08

We have avoided this by insisting that software should be used, in fact we have gone to each client and shown them the benefits to all concerned, so far no one wants to stick with spreadsheets

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By DuncH
20th Feb 2019 11:42

Free as there are other free alternatives out there, if your clients can file their own returns now why should they have to pay you to do something they can do themselves

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Replying to DuncH:
7om
By Tom 7000
20th Feb 2019 11:52

because things change and people cant cope. They aren't all as clever as you/us

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Replying to Tom 7000:
RLI
By lionofludesch
20th Feb 2019 16:43

Tom 7000 wrote:

because things change and people cant cope.

Mel Stride says they can.

He is adamant about it.

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Replying to DuncH:
All Paul Accountants in Leeds
By paulinleeds
20th Feb 2019 14:09

Many clients pay for things that they can do, but just not wish to do it or simply value their accountant doing the w0rk.

I can clean my house, the windows, do the decorating and the garden. However, I chose to let others do some of these!

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Replying to paulinleeds:
By JCresswellTax
20th Feb 2019 14:34

Lazy swine!

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By SteLacca
21st Feb 2019 11:54

Thanks, all,

Among the comments there seems to be a consensus around £40 - £60 PQ, which is in line with what I was thinking.

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