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MTD "fall out" has already started

10th Nov 2016
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The MTD consultation deadline date has passed so anyone who wanted to complain /make their point should have done so by now. But having spoken to one HMRC person overseeing previous consultation papers - if you havent submitted it isnt too late - he said they would accept late submissions but obviously not too late.

As Rebecca said in an article - everyone should have submitted a response to at least one or two of the questions so that the number of complaints are noticed.

We now have to await the outcome. However, I have submitted responses to other consultation papers on behalf of Accweb members and I can tell you now that MTD will go ahead in the format  as set .
And the reason is to tie in with Universal Credit - there is an indication that this is the real reason in one of the documents. HMRC have spent a fortune of (our) money on this project and wont go back on it now.
This should have been stopped at the beginning. I spoke to Rebecca a couple of weeks ago and complained that the Institutes dont appear to have done anything much. She said that they had been fighting hard but I havent seen much evidence of this - maybe because they have and havent won that they are keeping quiet out of embarrassment.
MP's tried as we know and got no where. So it will be interesting to view the result. I cant help but think that HMRC originally thought up this idea as a way to save money and now have gone so far down the road (and cost) that they cant back out now.

Meanwhile - the fallout is happening already. There have been many comments from (lets say) the more elderly Accweb members saying that they will be giving up and retiring early. In my area the number of small accountants are few and far between just by the nature of logistics. Any who want to sell are usually swallowed up by the bigger office based firms in the area. They buy up the practice and the practitioner stays on as a consultant.

The broker I used a couple of years ago must have trawled through their back log of clients because this week I received an email saying that there was a practice available for sale only 20 miles drive from me. A small non VAT registered practitioner working from home wants to retire. That same day I received a letter from another broker saying that there was a smaller set of fees for sale for the same reason in another area again in the next big town.

I answered both and although the first broker responded the same day I am still waiting for the one that sent the letter to respond - perhaps it was one of those 'putting feelers out' letters similar to letters sent by estate agents saying that there is someone wanting to buy a property in your road etc.

Meanwhile I have a meeting set with the proprietor of the first practice next week. I havent been told whether I'm the only one interested but I have been given a list of the number of clients, the type of client and fee income from the top 10 clients

From my past ventures into the buying of a practice (see my blog here June 2014 https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/community/blogs/jaadams/due-diligence-li...) I have kept the Due Diligence questions that the broker sent at the time so I will be going through that before the meeting so I am well prepared.

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rebecca cave
By Rebecca Cave
11th Nov 2016 09:37

It is not fair to say the Professional Bodies are keeping quiet about MTD. They certainly are not!
Yesterday I downloaded 19 response documents on MTD from; CIOT, ATT LITRG and OTS.
The CIOT submissions on MTD can be found here: http://www.tax.org.uk/policy-technical/submissions/making-tax-digital-ci...
ATT here:http://www.att.org.uk/technical/submissions/making-tax-digital-att-comments
LITRG here:http://www.litrg.org.uk/latest-news/submissions/161108-making-tax-digita...
Also the six ICAEW Tax Faculty responses can be found here: http://www.icaew.com/en/technical/tax/tax-faculty/tax-faculty-representa...

There has been a huge amount of work undertaken on MTD by volunteers in all the institutes in contributing to those submissions and reviewing drafts.

Also many face to face meetings have been held between technical officers of the Insitiutes and HMRC, but also between ordindary members and HMRC around the country. I organsised a face to face meeting in Milton Keynes where around 40 practitioners where able to question HMRC representatives. I will be organising two more MTD meetings in early 2017 and early 2018 and will speak on a panel on MTD in March 2017.

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By hedglen
11th Nov 2016 15:53

I am not elderly, although I've spent 25 years in tax, but I am looking to get out of this by April 2018.

It seems as though I spend more time doing admin than actually 'doing' tax these days and probably have better things to do (after I've done my own quarterly report....!).

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Jennifer Adams
By Jennifer Adams
11th Nov 2016 18:30

Thanks for the links Rebecca. I did not mean to belittle any work that has been done and I am sure there has been a lot done behind the scenes but have a look at Tax Insider mags for say, the past year. Nothing apart from telling everyone that the consultations will be (now have been) published and asking for comments.
This is going to cost a lot of people dear and I dont mean in money terms. The Institutes should be screaming from the roof tops. Telling us that they have had major moans to HMRC, advising us that they have told HMRC that life is not as straightforward as they believe it to be and telling all members that they understand and have been fighting their cause.

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By MBK
24th Nov 2016 13:21

Excellent article Jennifer - and I agree that our institutes have been nowhere near vocal enough. Sadly, par for the course.

What bugs me most about this is HMRC's dishonesty. They won't come out and actually say why they want quarterly reporting - we all know that "helping customers to be more aware of their upcoming liabilities" is just tosh. We all know what the agenda is, but HMRC will not admit it. Professionals do not like being lied to. Especially when we know that the lie is necessary to avoid having to say "we don't trust you".

Our institutes should have called them on this dishonesty - but I suspect too many vested interests prevent it.

When you get right down to it, all HMRC should actually want is mandatory digital annual reporting (ie the year end report). If they just stuck to that 80% of the furore would disappear, because we pretty much already do that for all our limited company clients. Yes, there would be some transitional issues, but we'd put up with them for the long term efficiency.

Somebody at the top needs to get a grip.

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