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MTD bridging software for small companies

Confused it to whether excel is enough to comply with MTD

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I am rather confused with what should really be a simple question to answer. I have various clients who are VAT registered and no formal accounting software is used - I literally use excel spreadsheets and submit online. The MTD guidance from HMRC suggests this is sufficient but then makes reference to needing 'bridging software' to actual comply with MTD. Does this software have to be paid for or are HMRC going to provide a free version for these small companies with simple VAT affairs? Apologies if this seems a rather basic question. Thanks in advance.

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13th Dec 2018 10:11

I wouldn't like to rely on HMRC's free software - even if there is any. It's HMRC policy to make it difficult to use so that they can justify withdrawing it on the grounds that no-one uses it.

What's the best software ? Who knows ? We won't know until MTD has a track record.

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13th Dec 2018 10:15

there are 2 products already on the market one from Absolute Tax which i have purchased and is straight forward. Effectively you appear to copy your spreadsheet(s) into theirs and link the vat boxes 1-8 to to your totals. also Thomson Reuters (digita) have one as well

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to carnmores
17th Dec 2018 16:49

Shop around though, depending on the number of clients you have you can find cheaper options. We found free VAT bridging software. It is called VitalTax. I used it to submit VAT return a week ago, seems to be simple to use.

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to norwichaccountant
18th Dec 2018 09:28

norwichaccountant wrote:

Shop around though, depending on the number of clients you have you can find cheaper options. We found free VAT bridging software. It is called VitalTax. I used it to submit VAT return a week ago, seems to be simple to use.

Yeah ok pal, we will all fall for this and take the advice of someone who only joined yesterday to promote their product.

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13th Dec 2018 13:23

Tim Good showed the Absolute brdiging software in action the other day. So after all this fuss and bother over the last 2 years or more, it boils down to this.

Instead of entering the figures, that I'm sure we have all done with absolutely no problem whatsoever for 10 years, they have decided that its better for us to link another spreadsheet to ours and then file it.

We have probably filed over 5,000 VAT returns online and have never typed in a wrong figure (in fact, how can you type in a wrong figure if box 5 has to agree ?) But having to link to another spreadsheet does add an extra layer of complication that might slightly increase the chance of a mistake happening.

I would love to know how much the government have wasted on putting this brainwave into action, and whoever came up with the idea originally should have to pay them back.

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to kenny achampong
13th Dec 2018 13:33

Yeah - but I think you have to look at HMRC's end game which is everybody's bookkeeping fully on line.

Probably achievable sometime around 2350.

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By Dandan
to lionofludesch
17th Dec 2018 13:06

lionofludesch wrote:

Probably achievable sometime around 2350.

..or not achievable at all. Technology is developing so fast into the realm of the unknown. Block chains and P2P in busines are just the beginning of what will make business accountability practically impossible to track by the outsider (namely HMRC and hackers).

With digital data supported by digital data which itself rests on digital data and so on, businesses will ,in future, enjoy greater protection which in turn makes it impossible for HMRC to achieve any sort of Big Brother ambition.

The fragmentation of business data into thousands of parts on servers across the world and the lack of transaction trails would make HMRC have to re-invent how they verify the correct matching of income and expenses.

I have said it before , if we are looking a 100 years ahead , I envisage a system where tax is paid according to a benchmark system. You pay a fixed tax amount according to the industry you are in and its benchmark rate. As for individuals , they might pay tax according to their status /profession /vocation. It will be the only effective way of collecting taxes. Anybody care to stretch their minds into the future ?

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to lionofludesch
08th Mar 2019 08:55

lionofludesch wrote:

Yeah - but I think you have to look at HMRC's end game which is everybody's bookkeeping fully on line.

Probably achievable sometime around 2350.

What's the significance of ten to midnight?

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to kenny achampong
13th Dec 2018 14:32

@Kenny, those are pretty much the points I made to the House of Lords.

I also added the point, that, in the event of a keying error, we would most probably pick it up next quarter, or at the very least at the year end when the VAT is reconciled. Due to the way VAT is inspected (last couple of quarters) the final year end check procedure [which is the big one] wont yet have been put in place. And therefore HMRC will have a tendency to overestimate the incidence of this type of error.

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By Bob 88
to kenny achampong
07th Mar 2019 18:03

Out of 9 boxes on the VAT 100 form I normally have to input data to only five. I've been doing this since HMRC started the on-line filing. How difficult can it be?

Digital upload should be optional not compulsory.

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to Bob 88
07th Mar 2019 18:15

Bob 88 wrote:

Out of 9 boxes on the VAT 100 form I normally have to input data to only five. I've been doing this since HMRC started the on-line filing. How difficult can it be?

Digital upload should be optional not compulsory.

Five ?

I usually do six.

Or four if you only count the seven boxes you have to type numbers into.

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By Bob 88
to lionofludesch
08th Mar 2019 11:53

Usually 1,4,6,7,8.

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to Bob 88
08th Mar 2019 12:07

Bob 88 wrote:

Usually 1,4,6,7,8.

Fair enough. I don't have a lot of exporters myself.

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13th Dec 2018 13:52

Just wait and see what VT release, Ive heard whispers of it being referred to as the MTD saviour by some corners (not the round neck t-shirt corner of course) of the profession.

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By Dandan
to MissAccounting
17th Dec 2018 13:14

MissAccounting wrote:

Just wait and see what VT release, Ive heard whispers of it being referred to as the MTD saviour by some corners (not the round neck t-shirt corner of course) of the profession.

If I had the money , I would have bought VT a long time ago. All I can do now is work on my own MTD saviour.

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to Dandan
17th Dec 2018 13:46

Dandan wrote:

If I had the money , I would have bought VT a long time ago.

I would've bought the rights to Kashmir and Immigrant Song. Hardly a day passes without I hear one or other of them.

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to lionofludesch
17th Dec 2018 14:02

i didnt have you down as a LZ fan, anyway you are correct publishing royalties go on for ages whereas software needs constant updates

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to carnmores
17th Dec 2018 14:26

Oh aye, big LZ fan. Anything in that genre. Mrs Lion and I went to see Def Leppard at Sheffield last Friday. Great stuff.

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13th Dec 2018 14:44

Have a look at Avalara, they are producing free bridging software .

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to legerman
13th Dec 2018 15:45

HMRC have a list of companies offering bridging software.

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By Lkc77
07th Feb 2019 21:50

Many thanks. A further question - my client is VAT registered but not a limited company - sorry if sounds silly question - but is it both sole traders and ltd companies who have to comply with MTD software?

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27th Feb 2019 13:22

I've also left it late. I am only a small business so thinking of opting for the free Vital Tax bridging software.
Could anyone advise me if the spreadsheets we transfer to bridging software are just the boxes 1-8 or do we have to transfer all the individual transactions.
The main reason I ask is, my largest client has 5 separate pubs which he runs under the same Limited Company. I do his accounts separately as he likes monthly reports to see how each pub is doing. I then incorporate all the figures together for VAT and Year End Accounts. This means that the transactions for each pub are separate iykwim?

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By Lkc77
to moboffsol
27th Feb 2019 19:27

Hi - I ended up using the free VT software last week and found it very user friendly. I ended up speaking to a VT representative on the phone too over the same question. Basically you link the box numbers on the software to a cell on excel so in theory no you don't need all the individual data. There's still time for HMRC to get back to me and say it's wrong though says the cynic in me! But the VT guy claimed this method is fine. Hope this makes sense!

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to Lkc77
06th Mar 2019 23:45

Lkc77 wrote:

Hi - I ended up using the free VT software last week and found it very user friendly.

I take it you mean vitaltax as opposed to VT, which is bookkeeping software, and isn't cheap. It is though an excellent piece of kit.

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By Lkc77
to legerman
07th Mar 2019 06:28

Yes - that's exactly what I mean

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By uksmurf
06th Mar 2019 19:02

Hi, we are a small company on the margin scheme and is not a Ltd company. Our current bookkeeper is stopping at the end of March and so we were looking to do the accounts and submissions ourselves.

I've been looking into vitaltax for submissions as we have found it easier to track the margin scheme calculations in excel.

I haven't heard back from them yet but have been reading this thread and am now wondering if this is a long term solution? A lot of other threads have mentioned that the 'formal' software doesn't have easy work arounds for the margin scheme and so don't want to waste our money making things more complicated than they need to be.

Any advice would be greatly received.

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07th Mar 2019 07:09

HMRC are not providing a free version, but there are lots of providers of bridging software, many of whom (including me) are providing free introductory offers. The annual cost in any event for one business should be of the order of £10-£40 a year (perhaps £1-£3 per month) the main marginal cost to the suppliers being support.

The list of suppliers is available from HMRC here:
https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/making-tax-digital-software

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to johnhemming
07th Mar 2019 08:52

No, that can't be right. HMRC said there'd definitely be free software.

Unless you're calling HMRC a bunch of liars.

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to lionofludesch
07th Mar 2019 09:03

If people are careful about how they go about things the cost of MTD can be less than in the impact assessment. I think in the end HMRC can be asked to be held to what is said in the impact assessment.

My clients are quite happy about how easy it is to implement MTD in a manner which is compliant in the long term.

Even doing SAF-T would not be that difficult, but no-one is suggesting that.

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By uksmurf
to johnhemming
07th Mar 2019 09:11

Thanks, yes vitaltax offer first year free and we've found a spreadsheet template that will link to them too so will only cost around £50 per year going forward. I was just worried this was a "too good to be true" cost option bearing in mind most other places are around that per month.

Have checked and Vitaltax are on the MTD link for HMRC so that definitely makes me feel more confident about using them. Thank you!

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to uksmurf
08th Mar 2019 22:34

It would seem all the bridging software is fairly similar. I am going to use Vital Tax but waiting for my registration to come through from HMRC. Can I ask where you found the spreadsheet template that links.
thanks

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By uksmurf
to Psychic Sue
08th Mar 2019 22:54

Hi, this is the website where there are spreadsheet templates for the types of companies on the VAT margin scheme www.easybookkeepingspreadsheets.com

The vital tax website has a couple of other companies that specifically feed into it and you can also use your own spreadsheet as long as you end up getting the values needed for the 9 boxes on your VAT submission. You can see them on the demo video on their website too.

Hope this helps!

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13th Mar 2019 17:09

I've tried a lot of MTD VAT bridging software. A lot of it fell short of the mark. The software that stood out from the crowd for me (and the solution I will be using come April 1st) is Easy MTD VAT - https://easymtdvat.com

It is super simple to use, and inexpensive if you buy submission tokens in bulk. Suitable for individual businesses, accountants and agents.

I hope that helps.

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to MadeOfStarStuff
18th Mar 2019 08:22

MadeOfStarStuff wrote:

I've tried a lot of MTD VAT bridging software. A lot of it fell short of the mark. The software that stood out from the crowd for me (and the solution I will be using come April 1st) is Easy MTD VAT - https://easymtdvat.com

It is super simple to use, and inexpensive if you buy submission tokens in bulk. Suitable for individual businesses, accountants and agents.

I hope that helps.

Do you want some spam with that? You should declare your interest when promoting your own product.

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