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Well that was another January!

Another January... is it worth the while?

Didn't find your answer?

Anybody, like me, thinking enough's enough?  With MTD coming (eventually) time to sell up to do something different.  Or are you eager for more?  Just a barometer check on the thoughts of others. 

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By memyself-eye
11th Feb 2020 10:17

Not just MTD..
I just need to win the big one on the premium bonds and I'm off (even if it's not such a big one)

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Replying to memyself-eye:
By Paul D Utherone
11th Feb 2020 14:28

Quote:

Not just MTD..
I just need to win the big one on the premium bonds and I'm off (even if it's not such a big one)


Me first :)
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By ohgoodgodno
11th Feb 2020 10:18

For us, the usual suspects have got worse, mainly I think we've made a rod for our own backs and have always got the late comers in on time in prior years, so these clients have got away being late and think they can be late in the day again.

Some of these definitely deserved to be late and get fined, but we still got them done, not always for any appreciation either

I see MTD as a big opportunity if it comes in, I think we'll have fewer clients but will do more for them, it will be the opportunity to wave goodbye to the clients who are always last minute and unresponsive

not sure why this post needs to be anon?!

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Replying to ohgoodgodno:
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By lincolnartist
11th Feb 2020 10:37

Yes, IF mtd ever comes in, I will be able to increase fees on the organised clients, ditch the last minute ones so win-win

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Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
11th Feb 2020 10:33

"Well, I heard some people talkin' just the other day
And they said you were gonna put me on a shelf
But let me tell you I got some news for you
And you'll soon find out it's true
And then you'll have to eat your lunch all by yourself
'Cause I'm already gone
And I'm feelin' strong
I will sing this vict'ry song, woo, hoo,hoo,woo,hoo,hoo"

Above is for those like me that have stepped off the client driven January treadmill, for those of you who cannot escape:

"January
Sick and tired, you've been hanging on me
You make me sad with your eyes
You're telling me lies
Don't go, don't go"

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By Whatisname
11th Feb 2020 10:40

Ditto stepping off the treadmill - feeling great!

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By SXGuy
11th Feb 2020 10:52

Im hopeing MTD for tax will never come, I just wouldn't be able to cope with it if im honest.
Im a one man band, yearly clients I can deal with, chasing them all every 3 months will be a logistical nightmare.

I personally cant see it happening for a very long time anyway, no one is ready to comply with what it would entail, think about the amount of clients who come in at the last minute, or leave organising their work till way past April. Now imagine how they would be having to organise themselves every 3 months? isn't going to happen.

Until we reach the point where everything is done digitally, its never going to work.

It was never a great leap for MTDfV, because majority of vat reg clients were already submitting details every quarter, so they were used to the process, but to then apply that to yearly clients who require S/A, sorry it isn't a laughing matter, but it feels like one.

Can you imagine the infrastructure HMRC will need to deal with all these people? I don't even think they are ready to cope with it.

But, to answer your question, if it were to happen, my fee would go right up, because id be forced to employ someone just to handle to chasing if nothing else.

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Replying to SXGuy:
Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
11th Feb 2020 11:02

You seem to be under a delusion that HMG cares about the stresses they will cause to your business and those operated by your clients.

You just need to listen to something like Gove's recent comments to importers/exporters to better understand that most in government have little real idea how business actually works/operates and of those few who do understand only a tiny proportion actually care about business.

HMRC will get their shiny new tax toys because they have the ear of HMG and you and I do not.

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Replying to DJKL:
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By SXGuy
11th Feb 2020 11:19

That's fair enough and I agree with you, but they can not change the fact that compliance will probably be next to zero.

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Replying to SXGuy:
Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
11th Feb 2020 11:22

Well, post transition more fines for HMG.

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By K81
11th Feb 2020 11:04

Also hoping that MTD will not reach personal tax any time soon - as said by others a lot of clients can barely manage to provide information once a year, documents lost, duplicates requested. Am I the only person who asks HMRC to send employment history figures to clients with increasing frequency , how will that work?

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By Bob Loblaw
11th Feb 2020 12:00

I quite enjoyed it. I usually spend 10 months of the year so sedentary that I often get mistaken for a corpse. The primal rage I felt by the 31st January was a nice reminder that I'm still alive and kicking.

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By adam.arca
11th Feb 2020 12:41

Well, for me personally, it wasn't the worst January I've ever had by any means.

But, at the end of the day, it was still a January and I'm not getting any younger. By the 31st I was absolutely comatose on the floor, far too knackered to even be angry about it all (and I don't do silly hours any more).

As for extending MTD, clearly something has to give. Either HMRC / HMG need to stop day dreaming about all the wonderful things *going digital* is supposed to do (they'll probably claim it improves your love life next), or the accountancy profession will need to change pretty fundamentally the way it does things. I know which I think is more likely and I'm not really looking forwards to it.

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Replying to adam.arca:
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By JoF
11th Feb 2020 13:25

Chatting with a pal who works for HMRC the other day and the message from within was that MTD went well/was all sorted.

I know that was the message being portrayed externally but did think that internally they might not be patting themselves on the back for such a mess. I think my pals ears are still hurting from my wee rant.

Im getting closer to quitting this lark on a day by day basis. Just cannot for the life of me think what I want to do. I can take my pension (early) and it will be my second retirement (am 55) but know I will be bored without something part time at the very least. Need a business idea, well I have a few, but need one that I really want to follow through with. One that doesnt include dealing with members of the public!!!

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Replying to JoF:
Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
11th Feb 2020 14:05

As I gallop towards 60 I know how you feel, it is why the practice part of my activities is now no more, just two employments now albeit one has a fair few different beasties to keep me busy.

Even they now have a limited shelf life, this summer I will commit for three more years taking me up to 63, not sure there will be another 3 years after that to state pension age at 66, I may just down tools early (my dad in effect retired at 55 and managed to occupy his days).

Re careers post accountancy, I always fancied a secondhand bookshop but they are these days dying (damn you Amazon) , so maybe a retro toy shop with old Hornby, Triang and Meccano instead- probably get no customers so can sit all day at a workbench behind the counter building things.

The perfect house and shop is currently up for sale in West Linton where I am originally from (the old bookshop), virtually no passing trade so nobody to disturb me at work , in season fishing on the Lyne Water for trout, even a garage for my Reliant and as a bonus it needs a lot of work on it so we can maybe live in a building site for three years, what is not to like- catch may be persuading the other half, frankly if the ability to shop and lunch in Edinburgh is not part of the deal I doubt the required second vote will be forthcoming.

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Replying to DJKL:
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By JoF
11th Feb 2020 16:04

Im almost surprised the shop hasnt got a 'sold subject to contract' sign on it and you can stay in the house and commute back to Mrs DJKL at weekend! Reckon my Mum would have signed my Dad up just to get rid of his meccano from the house!

My daft hobby idea last night was to make furniture for dolls houses, until this morning when I remembered I now good at flat pack stuff so have little hope with creating such things from scratch. Nor do I have a creative bone in my body!

Im fab at baking and looking for someone else to eat it all, so might just stick with doing something along those lines.

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Replying to JoF:
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By legerman
12th Feb 2020 13:25

Quote:

Im fab at baking and looking for someone else to eat it all, so might just stick with doing something along those lines.

Darn, I started my diet (again) on Monday. So far, so good! If (when) I abandon it I'll be in touch :)

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By Matrix
11th Feb 2020 13:35

I don’t feel we make that much from self assessment under the existing system after all the chasing and faffing and we are not cheap. So it will certainly not be a money spinner when we have to do it 4-5 times a year.

We will adapt though and look at it as an opportunity. As we all know, technology means that taxpayers can file all this themselves but most do not want to, so there is plenty of work out there. Self employed clients are getting younger, I have just set up a second company for a 23 year old.

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By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
11th Feb 2020 15:32

I remain intrigued that people who run their own practices moan about Jan.

If you work for a bigger firm, sure you get what you are dealt, but anyone who is the boss sets their own policies and how busy or not you are. I would not even consider working weekends in Jan to accommodate lazy clients. My call.

MTD for general clients is clearly barking mad, but its a great billing opportunity for the profession. We can charge a pretty penny to fling really low quality data to HMRC which they wont act on, and as an added bonus all your SA will be done by the summer as you will have the data by end of April.

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Replying to ireallyshouldknowthisbut:
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By atleastisoundknowledgable...
11th Feb 2020 16:55

Quote:

... its a great billing opportunity for the profession. We can charge a pretty penny to fling really low quality data to HMRC which they wont act on, and as an added bonus all your SA will be done by the summer as you will have the data by end of April.

*

* other viewpoints are available. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’ll lose 90% of the SA clients as soon as I quadruple their fees.

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Replying to atleastisoundknowledgable...:
By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
11th Feb 2020 17:25

but you wont need to *4. You are not working the tax our 5 times a year, you only do that the once, you are just shunting low quality data over to HMRC 4 times a year & doing the normal year end stuff as you normally do.

It will be about systems and processes, dealing with exceptions and "no shows" of data from the client. It will be nothing to do with tax or accuracy, but building a user friendly way of your client supplying shoddy data, and your flicking it in HMRC general direction. Its not as if any tax is due on submission, its just about submitting SOMETHING to avoid a fine. Its a completely different mindset to what we normally do, and I think a lot of accountants will do it poorly, which actually get me quite interested from a business opportunity POV. I imaigne 3 levels of service, a "do it properly, with quarterly tax estimates at probably 5 times normal fees", a "quick and dirty t/o & costs" port from client data, and a low cost "rough estimate" service having spelled out any penalties etc. I think most will go middle range, and the PITA clients just pay you to put in what they did last year. If you are pricing say £50 a submission for the middle option, so £200 PA on top, for say 150 client,s that £30k PA fee income for about a 2 weeks work a quarter, allowing 30 minutes a client. Potentially you can file in 5-10 minutes for organised clients, and an hour for slow ones, its "look ma no hands" work, no need for my to sign off or check it, my No.2 can do it.

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Replying to ireallyshouldknowthisbut:
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By SXGuy
11th Feb 2020 18:31

That's all good and well if all you need do is submit "something" every quarter, I'm sure there will be some who just send in 1/4th of the previous years accounts and then adjust it all on the 5th submission at year end.

But if the submissions require a digital link and be backed up by bank statements supporting those figures it won't be so easy.

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By Red Leader
12th Feb 2020 11:43

Three more Januarys for me and then it's stumps. Great!

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By Husbandofstinky
14th Feb 2020 12:59

MTD will get railroaded in and just see it as yet another compliance and revenues exercise. Some may see it as an opportunity although the idea of multiplication of fee income as a result for everyone to me seems far fetched. For some yes but not the majority. The decision then will be which route to go down next. The idea of fewer more lucrative clients appears great, but then the old adage of eggs and basket springs to mind.

It will be what it is going to be and there will be a living to be made. However, retirement for me doesn't have to be a million miles off (even though sub 50 - just) and will just play it by ear. Not going to get too excited over it.

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