Worked for Inland Revenue for 11 years in the 70s and 80s before I saw the light!
Progressed from working for medium sized firms of accountants to starting my own practice in 1996 and havent looked back since, with hubby joining me in partnership 7 years later.
Thanks for the heads up! We fortunately now only have a small number of VAT registered clients and only 3 affected by MTD (but not yet registered). I have taken PDFs of all of the VAT certificates while I can.
Back Duty! Ah those were the days, when I used to cycle around Camden Town as a Back Duty Officer for the Inland Revenue, sitting in local pubs to see what lunchtime catering they might offer (and not be paying tax on), visiting the local markets to look for non-compliant traders and scrolling through numerous planning applications on microfiche at the local council offices then checking to see if the architects were declaring the income. Sadly, the job didn't last long as I was returned to normal duties. Those were the days when there was so much post on hand that casework allocations were abandoned and post was stacked in boxes and dished out to tax officers daily. I saw the light and left soon afterwards.
Believe it or not, I miss the days when we could pop down to the local tax office and get a receipt for a hand-delivered tax return. With so many returns having to be filed by post now, due to the many exclusions that have been created, at least we would not have the hassle of having to appeal against incorrect penalties and upset clients.
Some clients just think "oh that's a good idea", go ahead and buy and set up an accounting package with absolutely no reference to the accountant and leave us to sort it out at the end of the day. I had two clients who did this and had no idea what they were doing. As I have found out (painfully), once the VAT returns have been filed through the software it can be impossible to change the transactions. One involved an error with a bank transaction and cannot even be journalled out.
If clients speak to me first I ask them to please talk to me about the software they want to use and I will help them through the setup process but they don't all do that.
We applied, on behalf of a non-computer literate pensioner with commercial lettings, on the grounds that it was not possible for him to keep digital records (he records everything by hand in a big analysis book). Of course they have rejected the application because we can do it all for him!
I cannot see how that reconciles with HMRCs aim for information to be recorded from direct records on a timely basis. We will be waiting until the end of each quarter and then working mainly from his handwritten records as the bank statements alone do not show enough detail and we dont see his cheque book or paying in slips.
Although VT isn't on your list, they have promised that they will be able to file direct with HMRC after the March quarter is passed, so I am hedging my bets and staying with them. They are well priced and easy to use.
I tried looking at others but they were either too expensive, did not have a trial version to look at or were not simple enough for our clients to use.
I presume that if you're doing it for him now that will set a precedent. You've got to try for exemption then you will know.
Yes, but how do we apply... and surely me doing everything for him does not comply with the legislation (though I suspect this is the inevitable solution for many clients!)?
"Referring to the grounds for exemption listed the Notice says “These may apply even if you are not currently exempt from online filing for VAT.”"
So does this mean my 70+ year old client with commercial lettings and over the VAT threshold, who keeps all of his records in a big handwritten book and does not own a computer will now be able to claim exemption, rather than dumping all of this in my lap?
It would be really great to know now and not in April!
Great article but for a small practice like ours, the fee base is too low for a percentage increase to make any real impact. I started making a rod for my own back years ago (I do all of the tax work), as we have far too many clients leaving it late but have never yet failed to meet the deadline - but only by working flat out in December and January. Its my own fault I know!
I have chosen the other option of passing clients on to a former colleague and am starting to run down our practice. I really don't want to get involved with MTDfB.
We have three clients left who will be caught by MTDfV and I have only kept those because they are long-term valued clients and friends and not for the fees. Now I am concentrating mainly on personal tax, though it does mean my husband is more or less out of work!
Given that all of this is supposed to be starting in less than three months, why haven't they sent out letters to all of those affected yet? I only have two clients who will be caught (having ditched, sorry passed on all of the others last year) but neither of them have had a letter yet! What about the unrepresented taxpayers!