Director Principle Point
Columnist
Share this content

What has MTD ever done for us?

20th Jul 2017
Director Principle Point
Columnist
Share this content
Rome
istock_andreaflavioni_aw

Richard Sergeant takes stock of the recent developments around the introduction of MTD, and asks if it really wasn’t such as waste of time after all?

MTD has seen some fierce opposition from the profession, with some real justification, equalled only by the relief its delay has brought.

However, on reflection, I think the last eighteen months or so has provided an opportunity for the broader accountancy sector to reflect hard on how it operates, the impact of which has arguably been positive.

Government has acknowledged that things need to change

Since the 2015 budget announcements, we have been hearing about the ambition for a “world class modern digital tax system” from government, and this is to be applauded. The fact that the timescales seemed hopelessly unachievable took the edge off a bit. But now there is at least a fighting chance to have the technical standards, infrastructure (and hopefully) the legislative clarity about how this is going to work in place first. Acknowledging and pursuing that change in the medium term can’t be a bad thing for an increasingly digitalised world.

A wide and inclusive debate galvanised the profession

Never short on opinions, the debate amongst accountants and the wider market has been significant. Not only in its passion, but also in its depth and breadth of argument. Having implications far beyond the simple digitisation of tax records has encouraged the level of discussion we haven’t seen for some time - significantly assisted by much of it taking place on digital channels (like AccountingWEB and social media).

The perhaps ironic element however, given this exposure, is the lack of engagement by and to the business community at large. The reason for delays is undoubtedly a mix of practical, communication, technology and politics, but the vociferous and well-thought-out engagement of accountants has played a key part.

The big rethink: collecting client data and internal processes

Regardless of how much ire has been vented at HMRC, all UK firms have now had the chance to reflect on what the impact of the original proposals would be to both themselves and every single one of their clients, as Jennifer Adams blogged recently.

Not least the practicalities of moving to digital record keeping, but also the significant impact on workflows, internal systems and the resources required. For some, this has had the impact of seriously reviewing their offerings and putting plans in place. And I would suggest that they don’t stop there. We now have the model of what we might expect more of in the future, and putting the investment in now could prove transformational.

Software providers kicked into action

For those being asked to deliver the technical goods by both accountants and HMRC, this has probably been the most unprecedented, and expensive, round of development programmes they have had to contend with. I can’t prove that, but if you add up all the meetings, pouring over technical specifications and actual development time, this has been a substantial investment.

The promises around functionality and reform are now public record and we should continue to expect along these lines. Greater integrations between systems have already been a great bi-product that would have come anyway but has been speeded up - in particular between practice management/accounts and bookkeeping software.

Engagement with clients

Engagement on issues where the details are hard to come by is by no means easy. Especially as we know clients will be expecting answers, not just to be told of the problems. It’s been interesting to see the range of approaches here, and it has been broad. But opening dialogue around the systems they are using, and the direction of travel they should be going in, can only be positive - as AccountingWEB blogger youngloch says towards the end of this recent post. There is momentum here that should be maintained, especially by those that have seen MTD as the lever to move more appropriate clients to the cloud.

MTD is delayed, long live MTD

The plan has been jettisoned, but let’s not forget that it’s not gone away. There is also a timetable in place to bring more clients on to digital record keeping and filing. In many ways there is even more uncertainty now about the future of MTD than there ever has been, however at least we’ve all been warned. What comes next will be more thought out, more prepared and may come round quicker than we think.

Replies (42)

Please login or register to join the discussion.

avatar
By SpreadsheetUser
20th Jul 2017 17:04

In a democratic country you cannot dictate how people keep their records. Figures are already submitted digitally at the final stage.
The API elements of MTD are a great idea but there's no benefit whatsoever in changing how people operate their accounts nor the frequency in submitting.
If the Cloud Systems were all as good as they say they are then everyone would have flocked to them by now. And yes I have used them.

Thanks (13)
Replying to SpreadsheetUser:
My photo
By Matrix
20th Jul 2017 18:24

I agree, all the clients I have met this week do not want to change (currently VT and Sage desktop) and I am glad I was bringing them this news rather than saying that they had to change in the short term.

Thanks (6)
Replying to SpreadsheetUser:
Richard Sergeant
By Richard Sergeant
21st Jul 2017 11:31

Cloud is as good as everyone says, it just depends who's saying it.

I think the issue you raise around changing how people operate their accounts and filing frequency is perhaps the biggest point. Cloud in itself is just a bi-product, a connecting tissue.

Thanks (0)
Replying to SpreadsheetUser:
Richard Sergeant
By Richard Sergeant
21st Jul 2017 11:31

Cloud is as good as everyone says, it just depends who's saying it.

I think the issue you raise around changing how people operate their accounts and filing frequency is perhaps the biggest point. Cloud in itself is just a bi-product, a connecting tissue.

Thanks (0)
avatar
By anthonystorey
21st Jul 2017 10:16

My clients don't want to change either even though they now have to pay 5p for their carrier bags.

Thanks (8)
avatar
By sherodwilliams
21st Jul 2017 10:27

It would be fair to say that the big picture of MTD is necessary and that whilst Government probably wanted it pushed towards the front of a Treasury agenda, common sense has brought a delay which from most practical standpoints is absolutely necessary. HMRC are now to be seen as a Service Provider & taxpayers as their customers but it is simply not possible for HMRC to provide a service for which they themselves do not have the tools and resources. I still waste far too much of my own & therefore HMRC time dealing with incorrectly issued P800's for clients who are in the SA system. We currently wait up to 8 weeks to receive a response to queries which is not because correspondence is in the post room but because HMRC's in-trays are not being reduced. In over 40 years in practice I am now starting to have sympathy with HMRC because they lack the resources to properly implement what is being asked of them. MTD will not make them type twice as fast and without decrying the work they do, there is little incentive it seems to implement & operate what they see as something which will only cause them more frustration than they already have.
In conclusion & with deference to the author, I love the idea that people have "poured" over the technical stuff rather than "pored" !!

Thanks (7)
Replying to sherodwilliams:
Richard Sergeant
By Richard Sergeant
21st Jul 2017 11:33

Well if after 40 years you are now having sympathy with HMRC perhaps they can "pour" themselves another!

*good spot*

Thanks (0)
avatar
By P&G
21st Jul 2017 10:36

Agreed MTD is a great opportunity to change the existing compliance based business model. There will still be compliance no matter what the doom mongers say, it will just be provided in a different way.

What is still worrying is the complete lack of information filtering through to business owners from the profession. Our marketing is working well and we are busy meeting potential new clients. When MTD is brought into the conversation, almost without exception, the business owner is unaware of the proposed changes and that includes those currently using some of the larger accountancy practices.

There are still too many firms sleep walking towards MTD just as they did with AE. This time though the consequences are more extreme. Another consolidation frenzy awaits but this time forget about selling for 1x GRF, those practices not ready for MTD will be worthless.

Thanks (1)
avatar
By johnjenkins
21st Jul 2017 10:42

When I first saw the headline I thought "this could be interesting". After reading the article I thought "this could be a load of cobblers".
When will the "high techies and silly salespeople" get it into their heads that MTD was ill conceived and won't work and the "cloud" isn't what we want. You've only got to look at IR35 and IRIS to see why not.
The movement of digitisation has to be on a voluntary basis not mandatory. Come on we are still doing paper tax returns (which has the ability to be digitised at HMRC end). I think it's all been said before on other posts.

Thanks (7)
Replying to johnjenkins:
avatar
By Michael C Feltham
21st Jul 2017 11:26

John:

Your second conclusion was the correct deduction!

Wall-to-wall BS...

Thanks (1)
Replying to Michael C Feltham:
Richard Sergeant
By Richard Sergeant
21st Jul 2017 11:42

I won't get my coat just yet...

What is sure is that this is the direction of travel, like it or not. May take 10 years, but things don't sit still.

Thanks (1)
Replying to rsergeant:
avatar
By Michael C Feltham
21st Jul 2017 13:58

Agreed.

With the UK Government they usually accelerate backwards...

Thanks (2)
Replying to johnjenkins:
avatar
By RICHARDBIBBY
21st Jul 2017 12:50

Well said, I agree with you. A load of cobblers. MTD is/was just a Bureaucrats dream that a number of people in our profession seemed to be carried way with. Just let businesses get on with business and don't bog them down with electronic paperwork.

Thanks (3)
Replying to RICHARDBIBBY:
Richard Sergeant
By Richard Sergeant
21st Jul 2017 13:17

Fair view

Thanks (0)
avatar
By youngloch
21st Jul 2017 11:07

I don't want to repeat my Blog as a post but let's face it nobody likes change and a year or so ago I was totally anti MTD and migration to the cloud because, looking back, we were already under so much pressure with work that this was the straw that was going to break the camels back.

Cloud accounting software has advanced an awful lot though and in my opinion investing in new tech that can save us time does NOT mean fees go down. Certainly when clients log on and see how their accounts look now (most are read only users) they see it is an improvement and nobody is suggesting a cut in our charges!

We stopped using analysis pads and red books nearly 30 years ago, we migrated from Lotus 123 to Excel, we started using desktop software. Perhaps the difference then was that we were not faced with a million deadlines which made us wonder how we could cope.

Cloud systems are getting better and, as an accountancy practice/bureau, the software suppliers have been offering some fantastic deals which (without revealing details) let us buy a massive chunk of licences at a price that we can live without passing on as a "known" cost to clients. We've got 95 still "sitting on the shelf" but believe me when I say I was shocked and delighted at the deal we were offered.

Also don't read this as meaning we're putting all our clients in the cloud because we're not - it won't suit everyone and in some cases spreadsheets will still be the best solution.

I would make one vital observation - no software (cloud or desktop) will make John the Plumber an accountant and in my opinion Cloud accounting is only powerful in the hands of very competent clients or better still our staff!

Final point - Cloud accounting is not bound to MTD and in my opinion must be viewed as independent of one another. If you deal with the first on your own terms then the second, if it happens, will be much less of a drama

Thanks (1)
avatar
By Ammie
21st Jul 2017 10:45

Like much we are dished up, an ill thought out proposal. The cynic in me tells me HM government is trying it on, on a suck it and see basis, and to test if it meets with objection or interest and if not it can be steamrollered through on a quiet night and pave the way for more revenue, quicker revenue and cost cutting of their finances.
This one clearly has not worked, back to the drawing board. I expect it will happen but in a completely unrecognisable form to that they dished up on day one.
On this basis lord help us on the Brexit negotiations!!

Thanks (1)
avatar
By dmmarler
21st Jul 2017 10:53

I have already seen a number of potential clients who have set up cloud systems badly and in a hurry to meet the original deadlines, and the whole system is such a mess it neither gives them the management information they need for the business nor the data an accountant would need to do accounts easily. I have declined to quote and said why.

Thanks (2)
avatar
By SXGuy
21st Jul 2017 11:12

Basically I've spent the last two years informing clients that something may be changing and may change in one way or another but unsure how we implement such change as yet. I've now gotta wait a year before I can tell them now that everything I said was incorrect and they may or may not need to worry for another 2 to 3 years.

Thats what it's done for me.

Thanks (3)
Replying to SXGuy:
Richard Sergeant
By Richard Sergeant
21st Jul 2017 11:40

You might also have to tell them in a year's time something completely different!

MTD is less clear now than it has ever been!

Thanks (2)
avatar
By justsotax
21st Jul 2017 11:13

Cloud/MTD/advances in software....maybe I am a luddite but whilst we have been sold the dream of 'easier/quicker/more profitable etc linked to all this what is the actual reality.

How long did it take you to complete a 'simple' return in 2000, how long now?...I wouldn't bet against the final time accrued being about the same.

Thanks (2)
avatar
By Keith Gibbons
21st Jul 2017 11:58

An excellent article if only because it reflects my conclusions after reflecting on MTDfB since the treasury announcement of deferral to 2020.

As a sole practitioner, I have recognised the major changes that may be needed for my future service offering. Richard's point about cost to the profession, and software houses is very important. For me, it can be measured in £000's which leaves me believing HMRC estimates of cost to the economy as well short of the true cost. I suspect the profession and software houses, combined, will already have spent more than HMRC. I wonder at the cost to taxpayers when they are drawn in to the project.

"My clients don't want to change either even though they now have to pay 5p for their carrier bags."

I suspect these clients will, in the fullness of time, be at a competitive disadvantage. However, HMRC needs to rethink the mandation element of MTDfB to accommodate the unwilling until such time as, say, 75% of affected taxpayers have opted for digital reporting. This approach will give HMRC, and the app's market, time to demonstrate the costs and benefits of adopting HMRC's proposals for digital recording.

An alternative is to restrict the detail to be reported. This is my favoured choice. Most taxpayers know when they have made a sale and the value of the sale. Surely, it will not be a hardship to report monthly sales by the end of the following month via an HMRC portal (as with VAT returns). No need for taxpayers to keep digital records, and HMRC have a major leap forward in terms of information regarding each taxpayer's activity? Registering a SIC code for the taxpayer ought to mean late vat registration is a thing of the past. I feel mandation at an early stage will be acceptable under this approach.

I struggle to accept that MTDfB will deliver anything more than an in-year tax guesstimate for taxpayers. The end of year report will nearly always contain accounting adjustments and error corrections which can have a major impact on the tax liability. I worry that the tax guesstimates (under either form of MTDfB outlined above) may misinform taxpayers and lead them to make inappropriate business decisions that they will later regret.

Finally, will HMRC succeed in closing the tax gap with MTDfB? I very much doubt it. My experience is that the highest frequency of tax return errors arise with taxpayers that ditch their accountant and go it alone with self assessment. Digitisation and Apps will give many (often the least tax aware) the confidence to self assess. I see the profession being flooded with calls for help from those that thought tax was easy (with a bit of help from mates down the pub) but have discovered to the contrary as HMRC near the end of their enquiry and have outlined the additional tax bill, complete with penalties and interest.

I will continue my digital journey in the hope that ministers and HMRC recognise that MTDfB needs to help business instead of imposing a further raft of challenges.

Thanks (4)
By Paul Donno
21st Jul 2017 12:00

I agree that MTD should be delayed only for HMRC to be sure that they can cope. As a firm we only accept clients that operate online and from our point of view MTD is a great opportunity to get businesses online. Just as an aside we don't operate time sheets either something that the new technology allows us to do. I see the comments on this thread where clients don't want to embrace change, sometimes we have to be bold and ask the question do we want to act for those clients because they will cause the most work for little reward.

Thanks (1)
avatar
By Arbitrary
21st Jul 2017 12:11

'The government has acknowledged that things have to change'. No, the government/HMRC wish things to change (and mostly for its benefit). What it has 'acknowledged', and only very recently, is that what they set out to do was quite likely unachievable and a bit unpopular. Presumably it will continue trying.

Thanks (3)
Replying to Arbitrary:
avatar
By johnjenkins
21st Jul 2017 12:20

Totally agree with you. I've seen it all but still have an open mind when it comes to new technology, working practices etc. When I first saw MTD I actually thought this is an April fool joke which I missed. Once having realised HMRC were hell bent on getting this up and running I thought ok let's see if it works. I tried every which way but could not see how MTD would work. So it's not a question of when it will commence. It's a question of what will HMRC replace it with?

Thanks (1)
avatar
By Michael C Feltham
21st Jul 2017 12:13

Lets drill down into the writer's "analysis" and then consider what his company do.

Quote:

Quote:
Principle Point works alongside accountants in practice, their marketers and those that supply them (in particular software companies), on business development related challenges.

So, no inherent bias in Mr Sergeant's perspective, then!

Clearly, as so often, Mr Sergeant has little if any hands on experience and or knowledge of operating an SMP-SME Accountancy Practice.

The cloud, is presently espoused as some miracle new generation in ICT, which offers the opportunity to dedicate every man-machine interface to some mythical Magic Pumpkin, which will solve each and every EDP (ELECTRONIC DATA PROCESSING) task in the galaxy!

Wow!

Whereas in reality, it is just another form of Data Storage and Management, off-site. Not much different in point of fact to Data Farms (Now generally called Data Centres): which of course, in any case, are wholly necessary to any cloud function.

Perhaps the only singular difference has been what is called "Virtualisation": which is simply the replacement of physical servers (Hardware) by software servers.

Hosting application software, remotely, is nothing new: indeed, this was hailed as the cat's left knee cap, quite a few years ago when the concept of what were originally terms "Apps" and "Applets", came into being. The core concept being instead of a user purchasing say productivity Suites (e.g. Office Pro), they would "Rent" an app (Or Application) each and every time they wanted to write a letter, compile a spreadsheet et al.

Rather than major office users having to set-up a full Client-Server network, they could adopt what is called "A Thin Client Solution". In other words, each users end terminal device would simply be a watered down PC, which could browse the Net and work on the remote web server using the host's processing capacity and functionality.

Early systems (Accounting systems particularly), were very prone to crackers (i.e. naughty people breaking into the system and nicking data). ALL the early accounts systems providers failed.

There are two main reasons for insisting on local processing and data storage for and of privileged and sensitive information:

1. It is ALWAYS under your own control! You can triple back up (Off Site) and physically.

2. If and when the remote system, broadband connection etc crash, one can still work!

MTD:

Tax Returns are already "Digitised": CT Accounts are already "Digitised" using iXBRL. Naturally, HMRC decided they had to be different!

XBRL (Extensible Business Reporting Language) is a software "Lingua Franca" and set a global standard for numerical data recording and exchange.

The core of the MTD thrust was to compel each and every taxpayer to use bookkeeping software. Most larger SMEs and all PLCs have done for a considerable time. Not Enterprise Accounting, of course, which they ought to be, but tired makeovers of old systems.

The majority of SMEs are small; most, numerically, are One Man Bands: a good idea to substitute some simple accounting software for the time-honoured Tesco bags.

However, firstly, one has to teach a fundamentally quasi-literate innumerate horde to become the reverse: and then teach them how to use an bookkeeping package, properly.

Forsooth: far too many kids leave a secondary college, proudly bearing a Sage (e.g.) sustificate, and insist they are Sage (etc) "Experts". I have yet to meet one who knows the basics.

Indeed, I have yet to meet a "Lecturer" teaching people how to become Sage (etc) proficient who, themselves, can use the package properly!

Personally, I am sick and tired of this seemingly endless parade of industry cheer leaders, telling us how wonderful the cloud and MTD will be; or even, worse, is already!

They aren't; they wont - for the foreseeable future.

Thanks (9)
Replying to Michael C Feltham:
Richard Sergeant
By Richard Sergeant
21st Jul 2017 12:37

While the idea of being an "industry cheerleader" is tempting, I shall for the time being be keeping my pom-poms undercover.

Thanks (0)
Replying to rsergeant:
avatar
By johnjenkins
21st Jul 2017 12:43

If you've got an arguement, let's here it cos that's what this forum's all about and it is Friday afternoon.

Thanks (1)
Replying to johnjenkins:
Richard Sergeant
By Richard Sergeant
21st Jul 2017 13:25

The point of the piece is to say there has arguably been some positives out of this process of 'failure'.

And, that it has been a warning as to the, I believe inevitable, direction of travel.

I don't think cloud is an answer to any question in particular - the debate is more broadly about change.

Thanks (0)
Replying to rsergeant:
avatar
By johnjenkins
21st Jul 2017 13:47

Why change? SA works perfectly well. Perhaps the closing down of "paper returns", but then HMRC has to make sure that the returns filed electronically are accepted and we don't have to submit "incorrect" returns. There has been no positives come out of this just a total waste of time and money and I always look for the "positive" in anything.
Let's change it around. instead of us giving HMRC information on a quarterly basis in the formate they think is best. Why not HMRC give us the information we require in order to complete clients tax affairs in one go. Then they can put it into any format they like.

Thanks (4)
Replying to rsergeant:
avatar
By Michael C Feltham
21st Jul 2017 14:13

To employ the tired old American adage:

"If it aint broke; don't fix it!", comes to mind.

HMRC, per se, is indeed very much "Broke"!

And urgently required "Fixing"!

Strategic Planning stratifies priority: instead of HMRC, Treasury and Government attempting, once more, to design and implement a Mars Bound Space Shuttle, surely, they would be far better served to design a Channel Ferry which actually works and competes?

For example, my practice has been vainly trying to obtain authorisation for a PAYE case, now for three months.

We have applied, faithfully, three times for the authority; received the code; input such code to HMRC's magic online system; the process has been accepted, a little tick appears and the "Awaiting Authorisation" message vanishes.

Yet still no access to HMRC's online PAYE facility!

Write a letter? We tried; three months to receive an anodyne useless response.

Email HMRC? after all we live, supposedly, in a brave new digital age; well, Government tell us so, almost every day.

Yet we are unable to email HMRC!

Why?

They certainly use email comms: I received copious emails from them when handling a serious debt case last year. and another client was sent emails by HMRC VAT, last week.

Ergo, I would suggest HMRC pours the footings, prior to trying to put the damned roof on!

Thanks (2)
avatar
By justsotax
21st Jul 2017 13:06

....another case of BS trying to baffle brains...

Of course in 5 years time all cars will be computer operated/driverless....(resulting in no accidents presumably)....these kind of promises are made whilst the world continues to heat up....the car manufactures can't even make an electric car that travels more than 200 miles without requiring a 13 hour recharge FFS...

Thanks (0)
Replying to justsotax:
Richard Sergeant
By Richard Sergeant
21st Jul 2017 13:31

Hands up, you may have baffled my brain.

Not quite sure how what you're saying relates to the article - maybe it's that Friday afternoon feeling.

Have a great weekend all.

Thanks (0)
avatar
By richardterhorst
21st Jul 2017 14:25

Making tax digital = good
Quarterly reporting = bad
Justification by HMRC = abysmal
Not understanding small business people = 100%
Forcing it = bad
Time scale intially proposed = stupid
Vested interests at play = totally
Free software = in your dreams
Reducing cost = pull the other one

The summary

Thanks (9)
avatar
By justsotax
21st Jul 2017 14:38

I think it was the assumption that the inevitable use of computers and software will result in a better world.

I am not convinced that MTD provides the solution the Revenue are looking for. And whilst some will sell the cloud dream, for most businesses a simple excel spreadsheet will do the job. Its about adding number in the right column...were not talking rocket science.

Thanks (1)
Replying to justsotax:
avatar
By Michael C Feltham
21st Jul 2017 19:14

Quite a few years back, my Practice Manager and I wrote a simple Excel spreadsheet, larded with Macros, etc, which provides those who are able, to maintain quite a reasonable set of books.

However, even these they manage most capably to screw up!

Just spent many hours trying to reconcile a set of "Records" which were hopeless!

Now this is not a micro-operation: their revenue has varied between £1.5 Million and 1/2 a million now for some years!

However, I do understand their problem; they are working in their peak season, 24/7.

I can hear the shouts, "Take over the books for them then!".

Not too easy when they could be anywhere in continental Europe... carrying the daily expenditure records with them.

Thanks (0)
avatar
By Mr J Andrews
21st Jul 2017 19:10

Who the hell do we think we are ?
The accountancy profession appreciate the delay - anticipating the inevitable . Software companies are seeing ££££ slip through their fingers . HMRC can rely upon remaining staff to maintain the sinking ship for the next few years.

But what about Joe Public - the small businessman who luckily and innocently hasn't a clue about MTD and how close he came to quarterly { or is it sevenfold } reporting ; and the penal consequences for not spending more time on futile administration rather than put the effort into his small business. Joe was the most likely candidate to suffer from this dumb , ill thought out fiasco by clueless mandarins.

Remember the so called 'Consultations' ? Again , Joe wasn't asked his views and purposely kept out of the equation. So much for fair play for all taxpayers.

I suggest HMRC start the process again from scratch. AND INSTEAD OF SOMEONE WHO WAS THE GOVT's CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER INVOLVED WITH THE MTD WHIM INITIATION, WHO SUBSEQUENTLY MOVED TO A HIGH RANKING ROLE WITH THE UK's BIGGEST SOFTWARE SUPPLIER, I further suggest members of the profession are invited to play a role in ensuring a fair workable system . And bring Joe along for good measure. HMRC haven't a clue how small businesses struggle and could learn a thing or two at the same time.

Does anyone see the jigsaw falling into place with the whole concept of MTD - or am I just a cynic ?

Thanks (3)
avatar
By BBK
22nd Jul 2017 07:47

We live in a world which is becoming more and more complex and the tax system is part of it. Tax simplification is a big joke. I look forward to the day when there will be be a digital meltdown and all 'tax customers' records have been wiped. I believe MTD will have the opposite effect and make information even less accurate. Many clients will submit their own figures to save increased fees and will not have a clue. HMRC is totally under staffed and not very well educated. How is the online help desk going to cope. Instead of wasting millions in MTD, HMRC should be properly funded and give real people a job, the tax customer can talk to and get help and advice. Where is the local tax office? I can only say we live in interesting times.

Thanks (0)
avatar
By farrcorfe
22nd Jul 2017 10:48

Why do some people think that MTD is a good thing? Great to have the Revenue get up to speed but taxpayers should have the freedom to keep their business records how they like. Most of my clients have turnover less than £100k and many of those keep their records either in a carrier bag which I sort through or in quarterly envelopes for VAT purposes. There can be no benefit in forcing taxpayers to 'comply' with the State's diktat - voluntary acceptance of the MTD regime is surely the way to go. My Institute and the others do not seem to grasp this concept; they merely asked technical questions on how MTD would operate and brushed aside members views

Thanks (1)
Replying to farrcorfe:
avatar
By Michael C Feltham
23rd Jul 2017 11:50

Quote:
My Institute and the others do not seem to grasp this concept; they merely asked technical questions on how MTD would operate and brushed aside members views

Let us examine precisely why?

The main CCAB (Consultative Committee of Accountancy Bodies) are Hand-in-Glove with Government and desire, principally, to influence Government policy on taxation treatment of major plcs and multinationals.

Let's remind ourselves of which bodies form CCAB:

ICAEW, ACCA, CIPFA, ICAS and Chartered Accountants Ireland. (CIMA resigned some time back: which rather tells you something!).

Look yourself: https://www.ccab.org.uk/board.php

Next Google each Board Member and see which ONE has SME/SMP experience.

Well, I will tell you right now: nary the one!

Meanwhile, the other non-CCAB accountancy bodies of any significance are all desperately trying to smooze with Government to gain credibility.

A majority of accounting web members serve the SME business population: the vast majority (numerically) of UK accountancy practices are sole practitioner or two partners, a few more than two; and this is irrespective of qualifications.

If you now look at the HMRC (Supposed!) consultative process on MTDfb; the Commons and the Lord's ditto, then the SME voice was not audible!

Yet the lower echelon of SMEs are precisely the majority group which will be seriously impacted by MTDfb!

Little more can be said...

Thanks (2)
Replying to Michael C Feltham:
avatar
By Ammie
23rd Jul 2017 17:35

Michael you have nailed it.
Many many changes mask indirect and sometimes questionable beneficiaries, more often than not financial.
The world has developed on that basis since the caveman and nothing is about to change any time soon.
Money and greed is a very powerful.

Thanks (0)
avatar
By North East Accountant
24th Jul 2017 09:06

The new improved MTD coming to an inbox near you in 2017,2018,2019.......well when HMRC figure out how to make it work.

Thanks (0)
avatar
By thebaldman
24th Jul 2017 12:38

For me thisMTD was just a sales push by software companies to sell more software and cloud storage with very limited benefits for tax payers. How can making more returns each year be an advantage. What would HMRC do with all this information? We already have online submission in a prescribed format why extend this to record keeping? What is wrong with spreadsheets?

Thanks (1)
avatar
By thebaldman
24th Jul 2017 12:39

For me thisMTD was just a sales push by software companies to sell more software and cloud storage with very limited benefits for tax payers. How can making more returns each year be an advantage. What would HMRC do with all this information? We already have online submission in a prescribed format why extend this to record keeping? What is wrong with spreadsheets?

Thanks (0)