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MTD and your Retirement plans - a survey (1)

Option 1: Accelerate your intention to retire (or wind-down provision of services)

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This is NOT intended to be yet another post for moaning about the (im)practicalities of MTD, but is posted because I've been surprised by the frequency with which Aweb members are threatening to avoid involvement with MTD by the simple expediency of some combination of ... selling their practice / ceasing to trade or retiring / 'sacking' current clients / or more extreme measures (like emigrating).

The surprise lies not in the angst and stress of those contemplating an uncertain future, but in the apparent belief that this is an affordable personal solution (rather than just a cri de coeur before knuckling down, as so often before, to dealing with the mess imposed by the political classes on your clients - the taxpayer).

So I thought I'd post the same thing 3 times ... with 3 different options:

* Option 1: Accelerate your intention to retire (or wind-down provision of services)

* Option 2: Reduce your practice to size your resources can service (despite impact on profits)

* Option 3: Keep going and seek growth opportunities (even if how isn't immediately obvious)

I'm hoping you can 'register a vote' for one of those 3 options ... either by posting in the usual way but only under the appropriate Option thread, or (if you prefer to preserve anonymity even of your avatar) by selecting 'Like' for the appropriate Option.

It's not a Referendum let alone an Election, but the voting pattern may help to clarify the plans of the majority - not just those of us who are already retired or were planning it shortly irrespective of MTD!

Replies (21)

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RLI
By lionofludesch
04th Aug 2021 00:02

I chose this. I would have retired anyway next year and I didn't want to go through the process of setting up systems for clients which their new accountants would then go on and change. It would've made no sense.

The money was fine. I'm glad I did it. You never know when your retirement will end. Not that you'll hear me complaining when it does.

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By Geoff56
04th Aug 2021 09:02

This is my most likely option. I will be 66 and although it's a little earlier than I was contemplating, I think most people need some kind of trigger to retire and I guess this will be mine. For me, dealing with MTD for ITSA is not an option. Extricating myself from my little practice will not be easy and I just hope the finances work out.

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By John Stone
04th Aug 2021 09:30

I'm 69 this month so I'm off!

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By MKH
04th Aug 2021 09:34

without doubt retiring pre 05/04/2023...

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By the_fishmonger
04th Aug 2021 11:03

@Hugo-Fair

Another option is required:-

Are you going to look to leave the practice side of the profession

It isn't retirement or either of the other two but, will no doubt be one which many are considering also

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Replying to the_fishmonger:
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By Hugo Fair
04th Aug 2021 11:53

True ... although I was hoping that "or wind-down provision of services" sort of encapsulated that scenario.
I was conscious that one of the basic rules of surveys is "keep it short/simple", plus this isn't really the purpose of Aweb (so I didn't want to abuse the facilities with even more separate posts).
Is leaving practice what you are considering (so I should count your post here)?

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Replying to Hugo Fair:
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By the_fishmonger
04th Aug 2021 14:46

It has crossed my mind to seek alternatives. So, yes, count a vote here for me

The thought of people trying to get to grips with MTDfITSA, and the subsequent pile of dunnage to fix, just seems like too much unnecessary work coming our way.

MTDfVAT has been a difficult enough learning process for those who hadn't touched a computer accounting system in 50 years of breathing.

Ultimately, it's my sanity I feel the need to protect from what's coming.

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Replying to the_fishmonger:
RLI
By lionofludesch
04th Aug 2021 15:28

the_fishmonger wrote:

MTDfVAT has been a difficult enough learning process for those who hadn't touched a computer accounting system in 50 years of breathing.

The learning didn't bother me. I've learnt stuff before - RTI, CTSA, SA etc etc. I could've learnt this too. But it's not worth the effort for an extra year's fees.

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By I'msorryIhaven'taclue
04th Aug 2021 14:58

I'm going to do something completely different!

Clients are going down like nine-pins (and will continue to do so as furlough winds down and BBL repayments kick-in). And I really don't feel like recruiting a fresh set of opponents. Time for a change!

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Replying to I'msorryIhaven'taclue:
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By steve 12321
12th Aug 2021 15:17

what will you do?

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Glenn Martin
By Glenn Martin
04th Aug 2021 15:29

MTD does not really bother me as we only deal with Ltd Co clients and the SA returns of those directors. We don't really do sole traders so I think it will not be a big issue for us.

Covid has focussed me a lot more and I have realised I have more years behind me than are in front of me, so finally made some solid plans and actions to slide down into retirement.

I worked night and day throughout the last 18 months to the detriment of my own family, for not enough reward and very little appreciation from those I supported.

I am in the process of buying a holiday home in Northumberland, which I will be renting for maybe 5 years before moving there full time, convert the stable building into an office as I start to reduce my working week.

10 years and I am out of here tops.

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By norstar
04th Aug 2021 15:37

For me, it's six of one and half a dozen of the other. HMRC make me want to pack up and go into industry or merge in with a bigger firm, however the bureaucracy I have to deal with from my POB does just as much to disillusion me - especially when other firms I know of haven't seen them in years.

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By Macey
05th Aug 2021 10:06

Now deal with Ltd's only (well what's left after IR35) and at 59 starting winding down my practice of 30yrs. Will be seeking to disengage with all sole traders/partnerships ahead of 2023

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By GHarr497688
05th Aug 2021 23:19

I am 60 next year. I have 80 or so clients affected and I feel for each one as they rely on me. Having to beg HMRC for an exemption and receive patronising comments from HMRC MTD Ready people who know nothing isn't something I am prepared to do. Being sold crap software and inflated prices is a big NO NO. Charging clients and explaining MTD in a positive way is just not on when I 100% think it will fail. I have downsized - invested in pensions - spent 50% less over the last three year to prove I can live on less. No way am I going to be a party to this absolute farce just because HMRC are not big enough to acknowledge this new system is basically flawed.

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By kcjacques
06th Aug 2021 09:59

I will be 67 by then, so it has been the push I needed to retire.

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By L Haldane
06th Aug 2021 10:22

Hitting 60 this year and had originally planned to go on for a few more years, but MTDFiT has made me decide to call it a day within the next 18 months.

I love my practice and it has served me very well since I started out with a single client and a box advert in the local paper 25 years ago, but all the changes that have been enforced on practitioners in the last few years (RTI, FRS102, GDPR, MTD VAT, IR35 .....!) have sapped my energy to the point where I simply have no appetite left to gear up for the impending circus of MTD FiT.

The only hills I shall be climbing in 2023/24 will be those in the wild open spaces of Scotland.

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By hilaryedwards
06th Aug 2021 10:39

I'm 66 next year so I shall be retiring on 31/3/23 :-)

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By Technica
06th Aug 2021 14:41

I'm not looking to replace the clients I've lost as a result of IR35 changes, and a part-time job in the local garden centre is looking increasingly appealing.

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By Peter-S
06th Aug 2021 16:31

I'm 60 next year. In an ideal world I would be looking to work a few hours less a week not twice as many. In terms of the extra office hours required I currently see MTD as an impossible task for me and my staff to cope with. So do I ditch some clients and hope to up fees to others to make up the difference or just ditch them all and put my feet up? The latter is looking the most appealing as dealing with MTD will be a nightmare regardless.

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By codling
10th Aug 2021 08:36

I am 69 later this year and my partner is 68 and this has made us decide to finish before MTD ITSA starts. We did want to go on for another 3 years or so for various reasons but this is the last straw.
We run a 2 person practice with one full time and one part time employee and we are not as tech savvy as many and we do not want to spend lots of time doing bookkeeping for clients on lots of different systems with their own foibles. We do not have the capacity to expand and take on more people, and we do not want to anyway. Our full time employee is nearing retirement age also and we are too long in the tooth to take on and adjust to new employees.
The problem now is to find someone to take on the practice which has many really good but aging clients who are not interested in digital bookkeeping (some are but they are in the minority). Most of these have been clients for many years and are akin to friends and we need to make sure they are well looked after.
Next step is to make sure the practice is in as good a position as it can be ready for our departure and to ease them into knowing that we will not be looking after them for much longer.
At least this has forced our hand.

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By markabacus
13th Aug 2021 12:05

We are in a similar position to others below, my wife and I are already 66 and beyond and were looking to reduce down our work load. She, alongwith a part-time employee do book-keeping and payroll and myself accounts and tax.
We need to sit down and review how best to manage this before 6/4/24 making sure no 5/4 year ends to give us the extra year!
In fairness it probably hasn't changed our planning just helped us to focus on it more. More urgency
PS: Just catching up on my reading material and read y/e 31/3 doesn't now give us an extra yr. Focus tightens to 6/4/23

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