HMRC have now updated the list of Income Tax Self Assessment suppliers so there are now six suppliers including at least one that provides some free software.
HMRC have a list of over 450 suppliers for MTD VAT, but the list of MTD suppliers for Income Tax Self Assessment (ITSA) has been more static. Until December 2019 there were only four suppliers with software "available now", but now two more suppliers have taken the list to 6 suppliers.
Unsurprisingly, given the author of this article, the most recent addition is Cirrostratus Exedra Ltd who offer a freemium service. Cirrostratus have been offering free bridging and cashbooks for VAT for over a year and are now offering free bridging and cashbooks for ITSA.
"It is nice to see the cloud cashbook working as it was designed," said John Hemming CEO of Cirrostratus. "From one set of analysed transactions if you press some buttons you submit the VAT return. By using a different option on the drop down box you can now submit a Self Employment or Property return. This is an efficient way of doing accounts for small businesses.
"Our plan," he said, "is to continue operating on a freemium basis. We offer free bridging services. We are also developing software for managing business processes that will be particularly useful for smaller businesses. For some of that software there will be a small and cost effective charge, but the basic MTD service itself will be free."
"I continue to recommend to tax agents that they identify a single self employed or property business in order to use MTD ITSA so they can learn the processes before MTD ITSA is made mandatory. That means that when ITSA becomes mandatory it will be easy to simply start using the ITSA functions that people are already used to."
"In theory it is possible to sign up to the system and submit an income tax return for the tax year 2018-19. However, we do not think that is a good idea. It is, however, a good idea to look towards submittting a return for 2019-20. There are limitations as to which taxpayers can join the system, but if tax agents want to find out about how it all will work - learning by doing - then they should email us. ([email protected])"