Member Since: 5th Oct 2007
16th Jul 2019
Does anyone at HMRC ever look at AWeb? If not why not?
All the above comments reiterate for the nth time what we have all been saying all along that HMRC have brought in MTD for VAT too quickly and without an adequate level of pilot testing. Why on earth do HMRC choose to ignore our (usually well intentioned) feedback? Are we now just seen as the enemy, to be disregarded by HMRC?
I for one would be interested to hear what response Peter gets from HMRC to his letter. Sadly I suspect it will be the usual bland apology from a junior officer replying 'on behalf' of the HMRC chief saying 'not up to our usual standard of service' and that HMRC will note the comments and aim 'to do better next time'. As if....
26th Mar 2019
All the above comments demonstrate exactly what a proper pilot should have dealt with starting at least a year ago. However HMRC top brass are no doubt still crowing about the 'success' of the current pilot - is it now 20,000 or 30,000 signed up - just the odd one million still to go....
15th Mar 2019
In his initial post John makes the point that HMRC have 'ignored the representations of the accountancy bodies, the FSB and the scores of witnesses the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee heard or received written evidence from'.
I and two of the regular contributors to AWeb were among those invited to speak to Lord Forsyth's committee as part of their hearings on MTDfVAT last October. I was pleasantly surprised at the total unanimity of opinion amongst all those involved (apart, of course, from the software company reps and HMRC) - that HMRC were bringing this in too quickly and without adequate testing (and with an unwelcome cost burden to businesses). Apart from some damning criticisms of HMRC the Lords final report made the sensible recommendation to go ahead from next month but on a voluntary not mandatory basis for the first year or two. Many contributors to AWeb were hoping that the spring statement would announce just that.
A lot of people in the accounting/tax profession put in a lot of time in contributing to the Lords report (as did their lordships themselves - they all had a very good grasp of the issues and had clearly done their homework).
Given that HMRC have ignored everything we said on such a key issue I do not see why any accountant/tax adviser should ever again bother to take time out to offer well meaning, constructive feedback to HMRC on any topic.
12th Feb 2019
Re HMRC 'help'lines - I long along renamed them 'unhelp'lines...
7th Feb 2019
The overly convoluted complaints system is a long standing bugbear of mine. It discourages all of us from making complaints so HMRC get a false view of our overall 'satisfaction' with their services, and how many of us don't bother for the odd £50 how many times over? We end up correcting HMRC mistakes in our own time at our own expense - especially if a client is on a fixed fee basis. Why are we collectively so soft as a profession - we are letting HMRC get away with murder!
26th Nov 2018
I forgot to add - re the timing of the HoL report. They had intended to complete their enquiries and present the report to the Treasury before the 2018 Autumn Budget but were frustrated in this objective by Philip Hammond's surprise announcement of an early Budget (last year it was at the end of November).
24th Nov 2018
I believe their report falls within the normal routine of the primary role of the House of Lords in reviewing proposed legislation (in all areas of government not just finance/tax as is the case here). Whilst HoL cannot initiate new legislation it does have a very real role in holding the Commons to account and sifting through the minutiae of proposed new laws where the Commons has not had the time to review the detail.
Having met the HoL committee I was impressed at the amount of 'homework' they had all done on this topic and their understanding of the issues concerned (I was one of the eight accountants at the HoL round table discussion last month together with Kevin Ringer). It certainly dispelled any suggestion that the HoL is a cushy post for retired old duffers who achieve nothing of value!
Whether this committee has the power to force change on this topic remains to be seen - though they do have form: it was the same committee that forced HMRC to backdown last year on the original wider MTD proposals.
The committee chairman Michael Forsyth (former cabinet minister in the 1990s) struck me as a man to be reckoned with who is unlikely to accept HMRC's initial response as the end of the matter. How much of parliamentary business goes on behind the scenes? If I were Mel Stride I would start looking for another job...
I think Select Committee reports are officially addressed to the relevant government department ie in this case HM Treasury. Philip Hammond will be aware of the report's conclusions and recommendations.
22nd Nov 2018
We should fight back! Why not ignore the new system in April and continue to use the old system (which is not going to be switched off as HMRC are committed to keeping it, if only for those 'officially' exempt from the new system).
6th Mar 2018
I fully agree with the sentiments expressed here. My concern is when (or if?) HMRC are going to actually agree with any software providers to allow issue to us of a viable end product to somehow provide the missing electronic link between continuing to use Excel spreadsheets but then comply with MTD for VAT filing. No such software is yet available despite the MTD for VAT pilot staring in 4 weeks time. Are all those businesses (and their accountants) who are relying on HMRC to keep their word on Excel spreadsheets now being effectively excluded from the pilot? In which case what happens when we reach April 2019?
19th Sep 2017
From some of the above comments is it the case that we would have to import/convert client Excel records into some other MTD compatible software, to then submit to HMRC? If so HMRC are not being all that helpful or truthful in saying Excel is OK.....