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MTD and Brexit - two sides of the same coin!

MTD and Brexit - something eerily similar

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Listening to each of the two MTD webinars (yesterday and today) as my mind drifted, it dawned on me that there are striking similarities between MTD and Brexit.  Each produces hundreds - possibly thousands - of problems which we otherwise would not be faced with.  Each seeks to replace a current regime which works reasonably well with one which most likely will not.  Each therefore involves taking a major risk. Both Brexit and MTD could well result in chaos - in which case 'own goal' or 'shooting oneself in the foot' might be suitable descriptions in due course.

But there is one big difference.  We can hardly be accused of rushing into Brexit.  You would have had to have been in solitary confinement for the past few years to be unfamliar with the concept (if not the actual term).  That is not the case with MTD.  We are on the verge of it coming into force and the vast majority of those directly affected by it have never heard of it - let alone understanding just how much change it involves.  Accountants may or may not be prepared to put in the hard yards.  Most clients will not be.  And why should they?  They are busy trying to earn a crust.  They simply will not have the time or inclination to get to grips with this needless revolution.  Committees of MP's, Committees of Peers, business groups, accountants, Uncle Tom Cobley and all are telling HMRC to relax the timescale. When will somebody listen? 

 

 

 

 

 

Replies (18)

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By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
29th Mar 2017 14:57

The thing about Brexit is 52% of people think (and I say "think" in the loosest possible terms) its a good idea.

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Tornado
By Tornado
29th Mar 2017 15:19

I disagree, of course :)

I see MTD as influenced by EU techniques as used in 'Directives' where we are simply told what to do whether we like it of not. MTD is a classic example of this approach - dreamed up by ignorant bureaucrats who find themselves in undeserved positions of power.

Brexit will allow us to challenge MTD as more control over what goes on in our Government is handed back to the people and I am sure that MTD will not go ahead as planned for this very reason. Pressure that we now apply to our Government cannot be brushed off and blamed on the EU as the buck will now stop at Westminster (and devolved parliaments).

Those that roll over and accept MTD in its present proposed format need to be aware of the power that we now have and the Government MUST listen to us.

MTD in itself is not the problem, it is the speed of introduction and the mandatory aspects that are dictatorial. If we can persuade the Government to ease back on the project and take a more pragmatic view of the situation, the project is more likely to benefit us all in the long run.

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Replying to Tornado:
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By hiu612
31st Mar 2017 11:13

wow, blaming MTD on the EU. I believe the correct approach when using Trump logic is to publish via Twitter, and at a less sociable hour than 15:19. You also forgot Donald's mandatory exclamation mark

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Replying to hiu612:
Tornado
By Tornado
31st Mar 2017 11:50

Twitter?

I don't have a Twitter account and I don't look at it either !!

The clue is in the name - give a call consisting of repeated light tremulous sounds !!

Hardly a source of meaningful information !!

(The exclamation marks are mine)

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paddle steamer
By DJKL
29th Mar 2017 15:20

Other similarities- nobody knows with either the final shape of the end product and a fair few doubt the purported reasoning for trying to get there in the first place.

On the plus side MTD is unlikely to lead to significant regional variations re its outcome, something that certainly cannot be said, in particular for Northern Ireland and possibly re Scotland, re Brexit.

Of course the catch/bonus for Scotland may be that software developers cannot be bothered accommodating our different tax bands and our S prefix tax codes into their software, so it is even more unworkable up here; the positive spin on this could of course be that we get excepted from MTD- would be poetic justice for trialing the Community Charge on us before everyone else. (Not that it actually bothered me that much in the first place)

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By Duggimon
29th Mar 2017 15:27

The way I see it the main difference is that MTD is inevitable, there is no doubt that at some point the tax system will need to catch up with the internet age and become more up to date, in every sense. I don't doubt HMRC will mess it up entirely at first and that their current plans are stupid but in a general sense it's inevitable.

Brexit however was always optional and it's only because we live in a country where there's too many moronic single issue voters that we're being dragged out of the EU for no good reason.

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Replying to Duggimon:
paddle steamer
By DJKL
29th Mar 2017 16:18

It may be inevitable but not in current form.

I have been closely involved with Sweden for 12 years, we own a house there and I need to do a tax return there (albeit only re my local property tax as I am non resident)

They have online tax, they have a far tighter reporting schedule, they have had these for years.

I would say in the main that on average the Swedes are more computer literate than here in the UK. In 12 years I have not had a cheque book for our Swedish account, cheques are not used, bills are paid online using plus giro etc, invoices have an OCR ref number which one quotes when one pays, their accounting software links far more seamlessly than ours does with bank transactions.

In my opinion (though no expert) they are possibly at least 4-5 years ahead of us.

Yet even a tech savvy country like Sweden, with gadgets in multiple retail outlets wherever one goes, (they do like gadgets) ,does not insist on quarterly accounts data to Skatterverket. MOMS, yes, not accounts. (appreciate virtually all business entities in Sweden are MOMS registered)

They have the sensible approach of monthly payments to account, they have one unified tax account dealing with MOMS/Income Tax/Council Tax, Local Tax and if appropriate National Tax, they have an annual tidying up of payments to final annual liability, and their system works. (I can phone them , talk in English, and get help, I cannot sometimes do that in the UK)

What the UK is trying to do is run before it can walk, if a banking/accounting merger was enabled here, my payment in my books is your receipt in your books, a glorified one ledger over the whole country approach, then possibly MTD would be logical and constructive re progression, it would make sense.

But what we have is none of the current integration yet a forced and rushed attempt to cobble something together.

HMG should first concentrate on a more robust bank payment system with accounting layered into the bank offering, only once operative should MTD progress.

In effect we have developed our first car, instead of trying it on some low level track at a local event, ironing out the issues,we have somehow entered it into Le Mans and somehow imagine, with little pre race set up, that it will compete, and our pit crew with no experience and having stuck a diesel into it, will cope. It is equipped with a manual gear shift as they somehow think the driver, who has yet to pass his test (but may have an instructor along for part of the race) can cope with it.In addition if he does not win he is also going to be punished.

The whole exercise is cart before horse, and we all know that anything involving a horse ends up with a pile of ****.

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Replying to Duggimon:
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By Wiganer Elaine
29th Mar 2017 16:20

We are leaving the EU for the best possible reason - the democratic right to elect or remove who we choose to be in charge of us and not be controlled by a corrupt cabal of nameless individuals who haven't even managed to have their own accounts signed of by the appointed auditors. And, considering that the accounts of many multi-national firms have been signed off in the past and have later been found wanting - it makes you wonder just how bad/corrupt the EU actually is! That is of course if you actually bother thinking for yourself!

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Replying to Wiganer Elaine:
paddle steamer
By DJKL
29th Mar 2017 16:44

On paper.

Reality is that unless nominated and supported by party machinery, this is mere illusion.

We get given a choice of choosing those that are put in front of us as suitable for us to choose, and frankly any justification re democracy, one man/woman one vote, etc, is mere peddling of the same illusion.

Democracy can work at Community level, Council level, but after that it is a slight of hand.

"Meet the new boss, same as the old boss" has never been more apt.

Corruption is a matter of degree, it takes place at multiple levels, sometimes we are made aware and get self righteous, we see the miscreant removed by the press mobilizing public outcry, and we hail that a success, we have asserted our rights. It is little different to lynch mobs of history, directed by those with some power and influence influencing those that have little, a more sophisticated manifestation of the "rotten borough" now exists where the political classes control the masses.

You have been sold the tale that this is all supporting your rights to choice, those selling it are as cynical and morally bankrupt as those you decry in Europe, it is, I am afraid, going to transpire to be a phyric victory.

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Replying to Wiganer Elaine:
Stepurhan
By stepurhan
31st Mar 2017 12:17

Wiganer Elaine wrote:

We are leaving the EU for the best possible reason - the democratic right to elect or remove who we choose to be in charge of us and not be controlled by a corrupt cabal of nameless individuals who haven't even managed to have their own accounts signed of by the appointed auditors. And, considering that the accounts of many multi-national firms have been signed off in the past and have later been found wanting - it makes you wonder just how bad/corrupt the EU actually is! That is of course if you actually bother thinking for yourself!

Bingo!

Sorry, I thought you were attempting to cram in all the anti-EU rhetoric in a single post.

Just to address the first point, I think (for myself) that I have voted for MEPs in the past. Does that not mean that I have been involved in electing someone to represent me in the EU?

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Replying to Duggimon:
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By meadowsaw227
31st Mar 2017 12:26

Duggimon, is that your humble opinion.
We should never have been in the EU in the first place in my humble opinion.

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By BIGWAL
29th Mar 2017 16:19

I don't have a problem in principle to MTD - it can be no bad thing to modernise and update our HMRC submissions.
What I vehemently oppose is madating quarterly reporting. Not only does this create a considerable additional burden for both clients and accountants, the reasons given by HMRC for implementation are completly unsatisfactory and don't stand up to any sort of scrutiny. There is in fact no benefit to any party.
The major reason stated yesterday by HMRC is that it will reduce errors, but it could just as easily quadruple them.

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Tornado
By Tornado
31st Mar 2017 12:45

For those that have not studied the complex structure of the EU, this link is a very good read -

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Union

It is best to follow the further links, particularly to the European Parliament where it will become obvious that this particular department of the EU only has limited powers.

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By itp3asso
31st Mar 2017 13:43

Two sides of the same coin?
Don t you mean two mounds of the same posterior.

Okzy --bottom line:

Two Cheeks of the Same [***].

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By Chris Mann
31st Mar 2017 14:17

As DJKL says "In my opinion (though no expert) they are possibly at least 4-5 years ahead of us"

This comment, regarding Sweden, reminded me of one of our visits to France, in 1996. I was quite amazed that, in supermarkets, a small box was cited at the end of each serving area. Even more amazing, shoppers put their debit/credit card, into the box and then entered a PIN. Strange to say, it was around 10 years later, when the idea of "chip & pin" arrived in the UK!
Whilst I hate to take swings at my country I no longer think we are as "great" as we'd like to think we are. We still could be, if we stopped looking up our own **** and thinking we're something special.

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Replying to Chris Mann:
paddle steamer
By DJKL
31st Mar 2017 14:38

Yes, even the little things amaze.

In Sweden when you buy items in bottles and cans(juice/cider/beer etc) you are charged a small tax (pant) on each. You collect all these empties, with their 2-3 crown charge stated on the bottle, and when you return to the local ICA supermarket (in a three horse town with only 15 shops, so not just in the cities) there are machines into which you feed the bottles, it scans their barcodes and at end gives you a receipt which you use as currency to pay towards your next shopping bill- simple, works, less litter.

Cartons, everything else-plenty of places to deposit these.Recycling there has got to the point that we can go over for two weeks and only have one small carrier bag of rubbish during the period.

Small things like these spin through to much cleaner streets/roads, less cost re their maintenance, happier lives (except the long winters)

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By Barry Adams
31st Mar 2017 15:47

With a bit of luck Brexit will kill MTD (due to all the resources needed) or even better we will decide that Brexit is not a good idea before we get to MTD!

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Replying to Barry Adams:
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By BIGWAL
31st Mar 2017 17:14

Barry Adams wrote:

With a bit of luck Brexit will kill MTD (due to all the resources needed) or even better we will decide that Brexit is not a good idea before we get to MTD!


Sadly too late for both.
For better or worse Brexit has started and can't be stopped.
MTD is well in progress - and HMRC are so far down the road with quarterly reporting that they can't - or won't - stop either
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