As ex HMRC I am "unqualified" as in no certificates and no letters.
I have PI and AML registration with HMRC. I have my agent accounts with them and am all set for MTD for VAT on proper software
I can put together a correct set of accounts and accurate tax returns (as evidenced by a clear full enquiry just completed). So my work has been checked by HMRC and found to be good.
If you suddenly take all us unquals out of the system you would not be able to cope.
I do not pretend to be chartered and I have a friendly local contact who helps out when the letters matter (such as the odd mortgage application).
Let's live and let live there are bad and good in both camps.
Whatever the future changes are this initial change just sets the foundation. It is not a pointless change, as although it is currently the same information, the infrastructure for more information now has a platform to build from. It does mean that spreadsheets will have to go and that information will be tagged (a la xrbl) so that more sense can be made of it by HMRC computers.
As with RTI and PAYE it means greater care is needed along the way as changes will lead to questions.
The only sensible way forward is to embrace so that as step changes come in you are ready for them.
Some of the comments re MTD mirror those when we started with ELS. We have to look for the positives and keep up as at some point the leap will need to be made and the longer it's left the further you will need to jump.
I write this as a sole trader accountant who already had all that need to be on software on it, not for MTD but because I thought it the best way to operate and the best solution for me and the clients.
Bobbins ha not heard that since I left Manchester ...
I kind of expected that the RTI system should already check the code - if you're using a live system why not and try to get it correct. In the old days when we had to do end of year checks in HMRC a difference in code would mean a further review was required. Once computers came in (yes I am that old) it would produce reams of fanfold paper of taxpayers who were not on the expected code. It's an old problem and I don't understand why it's only being addressed now!
Having been on the end of poor auditing in the public sector I can say that it can be about sending in inexperienced and untrained staff. As an educational establishment we had a "big" firm and there was no consistency of staff (so no one looking at year on year trends) and often they did not have the knowledge to spot things. We sacked them when someone they sent to check the journals asked our FD "what is an accrual?" not what is that accrual. He didn't understand them and our FD had to explain it to him.
I think this technology is a given and we either embrace it or die. Ultimately I am a small practice but have most clients already on a suitable platform and so MTD has become just a matter of doing the HMRC thing and telling QuickBooks the client is now on MTD. In terms of trusting these new processes I guess that I am one of the lucky ones in that having learned all this using a paper and pen I understand what it should be doing and have an insight into the answers provided.
Those who grow up on these things may not understand the process from this number t that one and so will less easily spot when things go wrong - especially if the training doesn't cover it (and it should).
The truth is that this has been a steady process from the early 90's onward. We had spreadsheets rather than squared paper. We got tax return software, then HMRC invited us to submit online wth ELS. Back then the forums were indignant with people saying why should we help HMRC why should we do this for them? The luddites often missed the fact that repayments came more quickly, that tax returns hit HMRC as I had sent not with errors added by HMRC inputters. Would anyone really want to go back to printing out tax returns and posting them to HMRC? If so is that best for your clients?
The issue is that for those who have refused as much of this as possible the leap is great to catch up. Most of these things bring pluses as well as minuses. All my VAT reg clients are on accounting software (whether they know it or not). I do their stuff quarterly and their accounts are the easiest to do at their year end. So roll on full MTD as my goal is an easier life. All done quarterly - if I'm doing everyone each quarter I will have time as I will not be doing the whole annual accounts for anyone. Each quarter will be balanced up and OK. So then just the clever bit from bookkeeping to annual accounts to do.
I'm not suggesting it's all rosy as HMRC IT is poor - but as I don't have to make software decisions and move people onto a suitable platform I can deal with the issues that present. Good accounting software has been around for a very long time. MTD was mooted long enough ago that we should all have realised we will need to do something and that spreadsheets won't do anymore.
So for me I'll adopt the tech I think is useful and serves me and my clients. Clients who like that we can share their accounting data. that I can see all their invoices in their software without them having to courier their files to me, where they can be up to date and get real business value from their data as we can report on last week as the invoices have come through receipt bank and the bank feed has picked up a lot of the rest or that their websales are in their accounts directly via an online link. HMRC want what? - we had that covered last year....
My understanding is that if HMRC recognise you are over the threshold you will lose access to the portal
If there is no Purchase Ledger then it is not suitable for standard accounting VAT clients. It may be fine for clients on the FRS scheme though where there is no requirement to record purchase invoices under MTD for VAT.
It's not a contradiction it's an concession for retailers who may have many hundreds of sales in a day which would make the system too onerous. Interestingly in the consultation this was only open to retailers with a t/o under I think £1m and they had to apply for it. In my submission I said whilst I valued the concession to insist they have to apply was a pointless trap for the unwary. Looks like they listened haha.
INterms of the small transactions you mention then how are they bought? If the platform keeps the required individual records (which may also be needed for currency and VAT MOSS reasons) then as long as a summary is transmitted to say QuickBooks digitally (and that could be direct or via a spreadsheet as long as not cut and paste and no re-keying) then your records would be OK. No where does it say that all the digital records have to be on the same system.
Non mandated businesses will still be able to use it but mandated businesses will be locked out bu HMRC so it will be effectively retired for them.