As we move into December and all thoughts turn to Christmas, or self assessment season, depending on your disposition, here at AccountingWEB we thought we’d use this last MTD podcast of the year to round up the last 12 months in the world of Making Tax Digital and look ahead to 2018 and a crucial, some might say pivotal year for the project.
Enlightening the pod this month are Paul Aplin, tax partner at AC Mole and Son and deputy president of the ICAEW, Mark Purdue, product manager, tax at Thomson Reuters, and Brian Palmer, tax policy expert at the AAT.
The panel was largely positive about this year's digital taxation developments. particularly with the shift in focus away from self-employed individuals and small business towards VAT-registered businesses.
Brian Palmer commented that while we can now see in the simplest form how MTD for VAT is going to work, where we still don't have clarity is around how it will work if a business or individual is using spreadsheets, what will be acceptable manual intervention and how this will need to be evidenced from a compliance point of view.
Mark Purdue told the pod that from a software development point of view the project is moving in the right direction. However, he also pointed out that HMRC was slightly behind where they were hoping to be in terms of having something physical for providers. "We don't yet have the APIs in a test environment for us to interact with," said Purdue.
Paul Aplin added that for two years there have been arguments about whether the cart was before the horse in terms of MTD mandation. "We should have been having a very different discussion," said Aplin, "and that discussion was how can digital technology help businesses to function more effectively and efficiently. If we could have concentrated on that, as we now can thanks to the July statement... then we can actually have the right discussions, look at the technology and what it can really deliver, and the tax information then becomes what it always should have been - a by-product".
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