MTD - thank goodness I didnt tell my clients!

Jennifer Adams
Accountingweb
Columnist
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My father's favourite saying was 'Least said – soonest mended'. I am so glad that I didn’t waste too much time planning how and when I was going to tell clients about MTD. Of course the real reason I didn’t tell them was that I was too scared of frightening them.

I was convinced that some would leave me - the landlords for example. Of all clients they are the most computer savvy ones and I have a letting agent on my books who had been told by his association to gear his systems to submit quarterly returns on his client's income etc.  I had only one landlord who would have been affected in July 2018 but I'd not told him (I didn’t want to ruin his summer).

I did have a plan though. I planned to get better software that would be able to cope (cloud based) plus a more upgraded type of practice management software. These I have done and even though MTD is deferred I am glad that the threat pushed me into action.

I also started to create a one page basic information sheet on MTD which I intended to give to clients when I met them this year to go over their accounts (the ones whom I see obviously). The others I was going to send the page at the same time as the accounts. Plus I was going to send out a separate newsletter and put onsite.

John Stone said he told his clients and is now having to go back and explain

https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/any-answers/making-tax-digital-what-a-joke

..I didn’t tell so I don't need to explain anything (she says smugly!).

I always did wonder whether MTD would actually come to anything much because of the lack of interest from the media = hardly anything. Did they know something we didn’t?

One answer to the deferment could possibly be seen in John's (editor's) article 'Stripped Back MTD delayed until 2020' where he says:

https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/tax/hmrc-policy/stripped-back-mtd-delaye...

'Reports from specialist accountants working in the sector suggest that significant numbers of freelance computer programmers have stopped working for HMRC because of the public sector IR35 rules that were introduced in April'

I worked on the new Beta RTI system, particularly the pages for viewing by agents (it was me who suggested the 'flag' for any payroll that had query - although I wanted the 'flag' on the front list of clients but no mind – it's there in some form). At the time I was told that HMRC had taken on a number of IT programmers to work on MTD. Many of those have obviously now left leaving HMRC with a problem.

But I would suggest that the real answer can be found here: 28 March 2017 - 'HMRC urged to undertake comprehensive pilot of Making Tax Digital as costs remain unclear'

https://www.civilserviceworld.com/articles/news/hmrc-urged-undertake-com...

... the House of Commons Treasury Committee is not best pleased about the way HMRC has calculated the cost to the economy of MTD.

Tornado says that MTD will appear at a later date in some form or another and we all know he is right. HMRC have spent too much on this system to let it go completely although that is what the government did with the NHS computer system that they spent millions on.

In my article 'MTD – HMRC has a dream' I ended the text with the comment: 'It is time to show HMRC that some facets of its dream will, in fact, be unworkable and as such be fantasy'.

https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/tax/hmrc-policy/making-tax-digital-hmrc-...

As it stands HMRC's 'dream' has been reduced to dust and it serves you right David Gauke.

About Jennifer Adams

Jennifer Adams is Consulting Editor of AccountingWEB and is a professional business author specialising in corporate governance and taxation. She runs her own accounting and consultancy business with offices based in Surrey and Dorset.

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19th Jul 2017 11:10

"I did have a plan though. I planned to get better software that would be able to cope (cloud based) plus a more upgraded type of practice management software. These I have done and even though MTD is deferred I am glad that the threat pushed me into action."

I think this has been the most positive thing altogether. MTD- in one form or another - is coming, but hopefully in a more informed way. The spur to get systems and client facing data collection in place I think is significant.

Thanks for the article.

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19th Jul 2017 13:13

I have attempted to use more cloud based systems, but it has actually slowed my processing slower. And that apparently, is progress.

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to rockallj
21st Jul 2017 21:27

rockallj wrote:

I have attempted to use more cloud based systems, but it has actually slowed my processing slower. And that apparently, is progress.


Progress as defined by whom? Idiots, knowledgeable individuals, people with vested interests in convincing you to think their way? If cloud based system make you less efficient then challenge them (the providers); or simply make an informed choice. The choice is yours; choose wisely.
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By Eric T
20th Jul 2017 08:10

I did discuss what was happening with my clients but I also held off getting involved in any specific courses or webinars on the topic ESPECIALLY if the course or webinar was being promoted by a software company.

I am now relishing the thought of explaining to clients the government climb down on this matter - which I have started doing.

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20th Jul 2017 13:30

What is MTD?

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By Dib
to Kim Jong Un's Hair
21st Jul 2017 16:51

Making Tax Difficult?

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to Dib
21st Jul 2017 21:33

Dib wrote:

Making Tax Difficult?


Their biggest achievement.
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22nd Jul 2017 05:40

Making Tax Diabolical.

I had a plan, see earlier posts of mine - MTU Making Tax Up. I had floated my plan with 5 key clients and all 5 had said they would opt for MTU at £150 plus VAT compared to full-blown MTD at £600 plus VAT, despite the various caveats on MTU.

I am so glad I did not broadcast MTD, see earlier posts of mine I always felt it was likely to crash and burn before go live date.

In my view it is now dead in the water and will be slowly killed off, or altered so radically it ends up being fairly sensible and easy to implement instead of stupid and difficult.

ALL - repeat ALL - the Cloud products my clients use are:

1. Slow.
2. An increased security risk.
3. Full of material errors.
4. Expensive

Compared to the VT software solution I use where I get to choose the accounting solution. So why would anyone go down that road except with a gun to their head?

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By NH
23rd Jul 2017 11:27

If you are doing the book-keeping for the client, for me the benefit of using cloud based systems all depends on one thing, and that is whether or not bank feeds can be easily controlled by us rather than the client and whether those feeds work consistently.
get that right and a) we can do the book-keeping whenever is most convenient and b) it means we don't have to constantly chase the client for that missing statement.
At present this seems to be hit and miss depending on the software provider and the bank, but things are improving and hopefully will continue to do so

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