Member Since: 15th Dec 2005
Jason Piper works in the Professional Insights team of ACCA dealing with tax and business law matters. His policy and research interests cover all aspects of the design and implementation of tax systems and their interaction with business form and the wider economic environment.
He represents ACCA at a number of international expert groups on tax and business law matters, convened by the UK Government, the European Commission, Accountancy Europe, the European Association of Craft, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (UEAPME) and the Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD (BIAC).
Senior Manager, Business Law and Tax ACCA
4th Mar 2019
It is still there, and implicit in the bit of the guidance where it says "HMRC will however take effort, time and cost into account in its overall assessment of whether it is practical for you to follow the rules for Making Tax Digital." but not really explicitly discussed in the guidance, and a little hard to explore without concrete examples.
HMRC are of course already using that power with the October deferral letters as well, which are both a direction under Reg 25A to keep filing how you are, and also a specific “notification of exemption under Regulation 32B SI 2018/261 from the requirement to keep an electronic account (digital VAT records)”
4th Mar 2019
Sorry for any lack of clarity there - the worry is simply that unrepresented voluntary registrants will apply unnecessarily, and "gum up the works". That wasn't something I'd thought would be a significant issue, but HMRC found that of those who had made calls to request exemption an appreciable proportion didn't need to.
It's vital therefore that the message gets out to those below the registration threshold that they don't need to do anything, even apply for exemption. Unfortunately of course the VAT Notice isn't necessarily the first (or even last) thing those taxpayers would read, and similarly there's not a lot more the professional bodies can do to reach them, since most probably won't have an accountant advising them either.
12th May 2017
Interesting - how does this interact with the CIS refusals issue of a couple of years ago, when HMRC withdrew the computer generated notices when a similar legislative "discretion" mechanism (requiring human intervention) was invoked?
6th Apr 2017
tbh, I'm not sure what the 20/3 update did add. The page still says there *will* be FB clauses on exemptions for T/O and insolvency - but all I've found is SchA1 Para 15 (2): "Regulations under sub-paragraph (1) [further exemptions beyond digital exclusion] may in particular make provision for exemptions based on income or other financial criteria."
Altogether far too much of this legislation is being deferred to regulation; flexibility is all very well, but that shouldn't be a substitute for getting important stuff like this right first time in primary legislation - and if that means slowing down the timetable to allow for proper consultative review, then the timetable should be slowed down.
6th Apr 2017
Some suggested answers:
1) It won’t.
2) Yes. SchA1 TMA1970 Para 18 (3) [although see also 18(4)]
4) It can’t
5) We don’t know yet; hopefully there’ll be details in the promised condocs.
6) Interesting question – especially given that these days it’s mostly software developers highlighting the flaws to HMRC
7) Yes – s8 (1D)(a) clearly retains non-electronic filing; nothing in 8(1AC) precludes use of non-electronic filing for MTD
8) Goodness knows.
9) Good question
10) For DRD purposes, HMRC allocate joint accounts by £/X where X = number of signatories – and there is no mechanism in law to change that without formal appeal against an incorrect notice, even where HMRC (via Form 19) or the banks already know about the uneven allocation.
11) Question for the Banks, rather than HMRC (though no less important for that) .
12) There’s no indication from Draft SchA1 in the Finance Bill that they won’t be.
6th Apr 2017
And another question:
A taxpayer with only one source of taxable income, a trade with an EoPS, wants to file just once. p/e 30 April, EoPS is all ready to go on 29 Feb next. A SchA1 Para 8(4) declaration should also meet the requirements of s8 (2) TMA as the “Final Declaration”, so here’s your genuine simplification/benefit: finality 10 months after period end, all submitted and done. Except… you can’t file online, in year (The List, Item 1). You have to file the EoPS at PE+10months, but can’t file the Return until April 6 next. How does this make life easier for the taxpayer?
5th Apr 2017
Page was updated 20 March, but refers to 31 Jan draft clauses, which exclude eg new Para9 re filing portal, and refer to Partnership EoPS; cf new SchA1 per s120 FB(No2)2017, which references Partnership Returns at Para10 (equivalent to old Para9). Read in conjunction with Sch25 (and 26) amendments to TMA1970, esp s8, it appears that HMRC's intentions for the process have changed significantly.
21st Feb 2017
tbh, I'm not sure how HMRC have done an impact assessment on costs at all.
The biggest population, who'll have the highest proportional transition costs, for MTD are the micro/S end of SME. But we don't yet know how many of them there are, because the exemption thresholds haven't been set yet.
And, because HMRC have only just announced the existence of the "spreadsheet" option (likely again to be of most interest to whatever is left of the micro/S population once the threshold is set) neither we, HMRC nor the software houses have any idea what those products will look like, still less how much they'll cost. So, what's the assessment based upon?
14th Dec 2016
I think the analysis for PSCs looks about right. The worry though is that the legislation isn't written with a definition of PSC in it - it's a two stage test around analysing the relationship with the worker (which is the complex employment status aspect) and the characteristics of the legal entities in the chain(be they company, partnership or individual).
Provided the public sector body can prove that it's not contracting with a body which is an "intermediary" as defined in respect of the worker, then it is at zero risk. If it does engage with an intermediary then it gets into risk, analysis and mitigation around employment status.
The worry is that any SME providing any service which could have once been taken by a direct employee of the council/school/department will have to show that the intermediary test is passed - except that the public sector may look at the risk & aggravation of doing all those tests vs the cost of simply contracting through one plc outsourcing firm and decide that Capita, G4S etc are suddenly a more attractive prospect for maintenance, web-design, catering services etc...
24th Nov 2016
Who's writing the free Welsh Language version?