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Penalties for ignoring MTD?

Penalties for ignoring MTD?

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Now utterly fed up and demoralised by this MTD stupidity, not helped by complete lack of software support.  What actually are HMRC likely to do if I just say sod it and continue filing as I used to do (i.e. direct from software but not with an activated MTD ASA account).  We, as a firm, have been using freeagent, quickbooks and kashflow for many years now and submitting VAT returns directly from the software using our agent govt gateway account.  In theory it should be simple as the software is already in place and in use.  But no, i've wasted hours setting up a ASA account and trying to convert clients over to it.  I've been doing the first tranche (qtr end 30/6) over the past few months and it's been a sodding nightmare.  I get the emails back from HMRC within a day or two saying the application for MTD is successful, but despite linking my new ASA to old Gateway account, none of the clients have come through.  First one I did, I actually did the agent authorisation process and got the code letter to specifically put it onto the ASA and it appears there now.  But then I read you don't have to do that if you've "linked" the accounts, which I've done.  Freeagent seems to work ok to get the "link" working between the software and ASA, and I've done a few returns using FAC with no problem.  But Quickbooks and kashflow are a bleeding nightmare - they just won't link at all.  I've checked the login/password combos in the "grant access" procedure and also within the software  - all correct, but they just won't link so there's no way I can submit the returns.  I can't even submit manually using the old gateway login either which I could previously.  These are clients where I've usually used the software to submit directly and now due to MTD it's stopped working.  The help/support from both QB and KF is absolutely shockingly useless - no help at all, not evening reading my emails or listening to what I'm saying - just keep repeating their stock copy and paste answers.  I'm seriously thinking of just saying "sod it" and not converting any more QB or KF clients and just submitting via software directly as previously.  Realstically, can HMRC do anything?  They're still getting the same figures, automatically from software, just via the old portal not via the new ASA with MTD activated.  I'm really tempted as I'm wasting far too much time without any resolution in sight, so it looks as if these returns are going to be late (if ever submitted!). Needless to say, Qb and KF are now off my preferred list and I won't be putting any new clients onto them, and probably starting to migrate existing clients away.

Replies (17)

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By Tim Vane
26th Jul 2019 11:45

Probably best not to be so whiny about it. Firstly it's not you that's going to cop the flack it's your clients, and that's both unprofessional and inexcusable. Secondly, it really isn't that hard - yes you shouldn't believe the software hype but also don't believe the whingers. Finally, learn to use paragraphs.

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By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
26th Jul 2019 13:21

If you cant get the thing to link, how about using something like VT or other bridging to get the returns filed? If they are gone from HMRC's end, then I imagine they are transferred.

It sounds like its software end and not your end.

NB with VT, you have to file from the same excel workbook, or be forever re-authorising the thing for each client.

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Replying to ireallyshouldknowthisbut:
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By vtsoftware
26th Jul 2019 14:07

ireallyshouldknowthisbut wrote:

If you cant get the thing to link, how about using something like VT or other bridging to get the returns filed? If they are gone from HMRC's end, then I imagine they are transferred.

It sounds like its software end and not your end.

NB with VT, you have to file from the same excel workbook, or be forever re-authorising the thing for each client.

If you tick the agent box in the Grant Authority dialog in VT, you just have to grant authority once and that single authorisation is then valid for all your clients in any Excel workbook (via the VT MTD For Excel add-in) and any VT Transaction+ file.

Philip Hodgson
VT Software

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Replying to vtsoftware:
By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
26th Jul 2019 16:00

@Philip, that is interesting. We couldn't get it working with different work books (we kept on getting requests for reauthorisation), but it worked fine with one workbook for multiple clients.

I will retest that next month, with our second trail batch. We only did a few this quarter and left them rest on the old portal.

NB whilst we are at it, it would be helpful if VT produce a decent report we could send the client with the (a) filed values on it (b) submission confirmation (c) date the money is coming out. I mocked something up for our own use, but I imagined this would be auto generated your end.

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Replying to ireallyshouldknowthisbut:
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By Wanderer
26th Jul 2019 16:09

Did our first MTD submission with VTT+ today & it was an extremely painless process so thanks for that.
Agree with IRSK's NB point, the information is largely there however would be good to have the ability to print the confirmation etc. Of course you can copy & paste but it could be a little slicker.

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Replying to Wanderer:
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By vtsoftware
26th Jul 2019 17:13

We have been taken aback by the number of users wanting to print out the confirmation in this digital age (hence we just put in a copy button so you can get it into an email). It is easy for us to add a print button.

I'm sure you will never need to show the confirmation to HMRC. In any case, it is permanently stored in the VTT+ file (or the workbook if you keep a copy before you update it next quarter).

Clients can see all the details of their submitted MTD VAT returns by signing into https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/business-account

Philip Hodgson
VT Software

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Replying to vtsoftware:
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By johnhemming
26th Jul 2019 17:59

One solution to printing a window without a print button is to (Windows commands)
a) Get software that will print from images (such as GIMP)
b) Copy the window you want to print to the clipboard (press Alt and then PrtSc whilst holding down alt).
c) Copy the contents of the clipboard to the image software. (GIMP has Edit/Paste as new Image)
d) print that.

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Replying to vtsoftware:
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By johnhemming
26th Jul 2019 20:31

vtsoftware wrote:

Clients can see all the details of their submitted MTD VAT returns by signing into ....


I think it is worth saving an audit report from the previous returns API immediately after trying to submit the return.

Today's issue about 500 errors on numeric period keys is an example of when that is useful. Although the HMRC servers are saying that the submission has failed in fact if you look at the submitted return using the period key the HMRC servers do have the data. Hence you can prove not only that the data was submitted, but it was recorded on the HMRC servers.

HMRC say this issue has been solved now (althought the example we have is not yet fully resolved). However, submission records are for the exceptions rather than the norm (ie situations when HMRC say a submission has not been made - but in fact it has).

Its the same as logging API calls. Most of the time this does not matter, but some time it might and having the log is then may be very useful.

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By John Stone
26th Jul 2019 13:26

Theresa Middleton (HMRC - MTD) said on 16 July 'We'll be contacting customers who don't manage to sign up by their first mandated date to encourage them to do so'. So no immediate penalties?

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Replying to John Stone:
By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
26th Jul 2019 16:02

There are no MTD penalties, I don't think they have even been decided on, let alone imposed.

There are theoretical penalty based on the "not keeping proper records" but HMRC needs to issue a warning first and give you time to correct.

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Glenn Martin
By Glenn Martin
26th Jul 2019 13:50

I imagine the system will allow you to still file under the old regime if you could not get signed up in time.

That might trigger a letter to you client so tell him first what happened to pre prepare

I must say I am suprised that all mine were done without much issue.

I think hanging back until the main errors were sorted was a winning plan

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Replying to Glennzy:
RLI
By lionofludesch
26th Jul 2019 19:05

Glennzy wrote:

I think hanging back until the main errors were sorted was a winning plan

Annual accounting has been a winner for me. Six months delay and first returns spaced out over a year instead of a quarter. I have a client who'll submit his first MTD return in October 2021.

Can't remember who gave me the tip but thank you very much.

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