Content team, IX | Insight Exchange
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Dec 2019: Self assessment - bigger than politics

28th Nov 2019
Content team, IX | Insight Exchange
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It would be a push to diagnose an outbreak of election fever among AccountingWEB members, but politics showed up prominently in our monthly trend radar during November, writes John Stokdyk.

Election-related traffic has more than doubled on AccountingWEB since the beginning of October.

More than 40 members got stuck into the debate around Philip Fisher’s analysis of Labour’s manifesto proposals for tax, but there was plenty of traffic for articles considering the prospects for existing policies, such as Loan charge review hits the election buffers and the suggestion that off-payroll working reforms would benefit from a delay.

Batten down for self assessment season

While political content saw the biggest percentage rise over the past two months, our old friend self assessment has been building steadily since August and broke into the top five in our trend tracker, where we expect to stay until the end of January.

Payroll, accounts production, corporation tax and tax software are all jostling for attention just outside our top five growth topics for December, indicating that AW members are devoting a lot of attention to the full sweep of tax season compliance issues.

These topics come around like clockwork at this time of the year, so suppliers serving the practitioner market should have their “We’re here to help” messages and campaigns – as well as all the associated support efforts - lined up in good time for the busy season ahead.

Now it’s time to start anticipating the issues that they might have time to think about in early February, such as ensuring that MTD for VAT complications don’t intrude on personal tax workloads, or implementing more effective practice and workflow management systems.

Accountants curious about fintech

Our fintech coverage continued to attract traffic, particularly some of the announcements at November’s Xerocon event. That trend should persist a little when we visit Fintech Connect in early December and write up our findings, and look back at developments in general in 2019. Soldo, which combines expenses management with fintech features, published a whitepaper on financial automation and has been reaping steady interest from readers during the past month.

This might be another fruitful subject to explore next year.

Top stories for November 2019

Away from politics, a cavalcade of tribunal decisions livened up things on AccountingWEB during November, but the biggest controversy of all related to HMRC’s efforts to legally justify its habit of issuing computerised penalties rather than sticking to the letter of the law. The retrospective nature of the guidance change came in for a kicking from the tax community.

Picking up on previous successes by Insight Exchange clients in providing background advice and insights on tax and compliance issues, IRIS bagged the top two spots for supplier posts in November with news on the MTD soft-landing policy and self assessment exclusions for 2017-18.


Tax community slams retrospective tax law change

HMRC cops it for unsubstantiated fraud claim

Taxpayer penalised for employer’s mistake on P60

IR35: Another win for TV presenter

Can accountants delay VAT inspection visits?


Baby Boomers hang up the pencil

ICAEW rebukes CCJ-flouting showbiz accountant

The importance of updated articles of association

Streamline your processes to escape employee hand-holding

Grant Thornton slashes partner pay


Directors’ current accounts: Company law requirements

FRS 102: The impact on directors’ current accounts

Labour pledges ‘economic rewrite’ with radical election manifesto

IR35: The opportunity for better accounting of human capital

Sacked Capita accountant loses blackmail claim fight


EY unleashes TaxChat self assessment service

Xero Tax set to hit the UK market in March 2020

Supreme Court hears Morrisons defence of rogue auditor data breach

Receipt Bank launches small business credit card

Industry updates

IRIS: HMRC uncovers 15 sets of errors in self-assessments

IRIS: HMRC to extend MTD no-penalty period for some firms

KeyPay: CSVs: The curse of practice efficiency

Xero: Xerocon London 2019 - Your guide to inspirational and thought-provoking talks

Zoho Books: Brexit: Implications for VAT


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