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Digital accounting records to be compulsory

9th Mar 2016
Tax Writer Taxwriter Ltd
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The government expects every business to keep its accounting records in a digital form.

This key requirement will under-pin Making Tax Digital (MTD), as was made clear in the MTD for business event held on 3 March. What’s more “digital form” doesn’t mean an Excel spreadsheet. Each business and landlord will have to use some form of accounting software which has a capability to communicate with HMRC’s systems. We expect further details on this software requirement to be included in one of the five consultation documents on MTD to be released shortly after the Budget.

However, moving to a commercial software package will mean extra costs and data transfer problems for many businesses who have created their own bespoke accounting software, or who rely on Excel spreadsheets. Della Hudson of Hudson Accountants agreed that new businesses can keep adequate records on a simple spreadsheet. She said: “We run basic bookkeeping workshops based on Excel for about 40 businesses per year.”

Hudson added: “I’m a technophile and a big Xero fan, but I still have clients who have no internet connection or computer, but keep beautiful handwritten ledgers.”

Elaine Clark chartered accountant, is less sympathetic to Excel-fans and technophobes. She is not surprised that HMRC is pushing for the end of paper records. Clark predicted that it will be a huge step-change for the self-employed, small businesses and also for accountants who have yet to start using cloud-based accounting.   

Without the use of internet-connected accounting software there will be no cost savings for businesses under the MTD project. HMRC has assumed that every business will seamlessly transfer a summary of accounting data from their accounting software to HMRC each quarter.

The end of the paper bag job may be welcomed by many accountants, but it’s going to be hard work to educate clients to use accounting software. Tony Magaritelli of the ICPA estimated that it will take three to four hours per client to ween them off their existing systems and bring them up to speed on new software. Where clients don’t want to (or can’t) use accounting software, an alternative may be to introduce them to Bankstream or similar products, which provide secure feeds of banking transactions directly into an accounting package on the accountant’s desk.

How are you gearing-up your clients for the end of paper? Do you see a bright digital future ahead or early retirement by 2018?

Replies (180)

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By petersaxton
10th Mar 2016 20:48

Sage?

Donald6000 wrote:

I would have thought that Excel spreadsheets were the bog standard analysis tool that most accountants used to analyse most aspects of SME accounts. Now we are being told that we have to use a commercial accounting package, which virtually rules me out of business as I only have one or two clients which I do for charity and to keep my hand in after retirement.

I cannot see the advantages to me of using Sage FC or Line 50 or whatever it is to service one or two clients. I may as well throw the towel now, in which case the clients will suffer. Perhaps David Gauke will do their accounts for them.

If you would consider using silly software at expensive prices then you may be better throwing the towel in. Plenty of accountants would be willing to use cheaper software for a few pounds a month.

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By Donald6000
13th Mar 2016 23:24

Plenty of Accountants

Yes but I am not plenty of accountants am I; I do what I do for charity. My clients don't pay me. Take your smart remarks elsewhere.

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By petersaxton
13th Mar 2016 23:43

So live with it

Donald6000 wrote:

Yes but I am not plenty of accountants am I; I do what I do for charity. My clients don't pay me. Take your smart remarks elsewhere.

So carry on doing it for charity. If you don't like your views being challenged then you will be happier avoiding discussion forums.

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By paulcolman
10th Mar 2016 21:23

Wave users
@stepurhan @tim_vane I asked Wave and they said they have 120,000 UK businesses using their free accounting software and growing. Well he actually said growling, but I don't think it's that bad!

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By petersaxton
10th Mar 2016 21:38

Using?

paulcolman wrote:
@stepurhan @tim_vane I asked Wave and they said they have 120,000 UK businesses using their free accounting software and growing. Well he actually said growling, but I don't think it's that bad!

Or downloaded it?

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Stepurhan
By stepurhan
11th Mar 2016 08:44

Still digressing

paulcolman wrote:
@stepurhan @tim_vane I asked Wave and they said they have 120,000 UK businesses using their free accounting software and growing. Well he actually said growling, but I don't think it's that bad!
This is still a digression of course, though you are sounding more like a Wave salesperson with each post.

I would point out that 120,000 UK businesses is not a big proportion of 2million (as you originally suggested it would be). petersaxton has already raised the question (do you know the answer?) of whether that number is actual use or just downloads. If a lot of people look at it because it is free, but end up not using it because they cannot understand it, that's rather an important fact to know.

But I think there is an even more important question. You say that the existence of Wave shows that free accounting software is available. My question is how are Wave, presumably a commercial business, financing this free provision of software? Is their model akin to the "free-to-play" games? (you can get a basic version, but have to pay for one that has any useful features) Are there in-account ads? Is this a free trial period that will become a paid-for program at a later date? A business with no income is not a viable business. A free accounting platform that could vanish tomorrow (taking client data with it) because it can't pay its running costs is no good to anyone.

No commercial enterprise can provide free software without some sort of catch that likely ends up costing the user. Enforced digital record-keeping is only viable if accounting software without commercial restraints is provided. If government wants to make the demand, it has to provide the tools to meet that demand. I can see them facing a drubbing in the courts sooner rather than later if they seek to force businesses to pay instead.

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By paulcolman
11th Mar 2016 10:57

100% free, funded by ads

stepurhan wrote:

paulcolman wrote:
@stepurhan @tim_vane I asked Wave and they said they have 120,000 UK businesses using their free accounting software and growing. Well he actually said growling, but I don't think it's that bad!
This is still a digression of course, though you are sounding more like a Wave salesperson with each post.

I would point out that 120,000 UK businesses is not a big proportion of 2million (as you originally suggested it would be). petersaxton has already raised the question (do you know the answer?) of whether that number is actual use or just downloads. If a lot of people look at it because it is free, but end up not using it because they cannot understand it, that's rather an important fact to know.

But I think there is an even more important question. You say that the existence of Wave shows that free accounting software is available. My question is how are Wave, presumably a commercial business, financing this free provision of software? Is their model akin to the "free-to-play" games? (you can get a basic version, but have to pay for one that has any useful features) Are there in-account ads? Is this a free trial period that will become a paid-for program at a later date? A business with no income is not a viable business. A free accounting platform that could vanish tomorrow (taking client data with it) because it can't pay its running costs is no good to anyone.

No commercial enterprise can provide free software without some sort of catch that likely ends up costing the user. Enforced digital record-keeping is only viable if accounting software without commercial restraints is provided. If government wants to make the demand, it has to provide the tools to meet that demand. I can see them facing a drubbing in the courts sooner rather than later if they seek to force businesses to pay instead.

I don't know whether the 120k in the UK is for active users or all time subscribers. If you don't use an account for a while they email you to say they are archiving it, so perhaps 120k is just recent and ongoing users. I didn't say it was a big proportion of 2m, I said (on a whim) almost as many as Xero. It might not be almost as many, but it's not an insignificant number so not 'utter rot' as Tim put it.

Their accounting is stated as "always 100% free". It's funded through relevant adverts at the side of the page and it charges for the payroll software but that's only available in USA and Canada at the moment. I advise my clients to export their data regularly as a backup.

I'm not selling Wave, just defending my opinion of it.

I agree, the government must ensure there are free tools available if they are going to demand it, like they do with RTI, and NEST. Perhaps they will soon be funding Wave too!

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By KenKLM
23rd Mar 2016 17:52

Free??

Why then are they withdrawing the free CT on-line returns for agents ? NEST do not charge at the moment but they specifically state they may introduce charges later . Will they offer free digital accounting software ? Doubt it . If they think that the average self employed person can or will do an accurate digital return they live in cloud cuckoo . Most younger clients (under 40 say ) do not want to know and its hard enough getting them to keep receipts .

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By petersaxton
24th Mar 2016 09:33

NEST?

KenKLM wrote:

Why then are they withdrawing the free CT on-line returns for agents ? NEST do not charge at the moment but they specifically state they may introduce charges later . Will they offer free digital accounting software ? Doubt it . If they think that the average self employed person can or will do an accurate digital return they live in cloud cuckoo . Most younger clients (under 40 say ) do not want to know and its hard enough getting them to keep receipts .

What has NEST got to do with this?

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By frankdavid
10th Mar 2016 23:50

Be positive

We are a bunch of compliant sheep, lets be more like French farmers. and say "no can do"

    Have HMRC got enough computer capacity to handle ALL the accounting detail generated  ?

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By petersaxton
10th Mar 2016 22:09

So what?

frankdavid wrote:

We are a bunch of compliant sheep, lets be more like French farmers. and say "no can do"

More seriously will this be applied only to  small businesses ?    Have HMRC got enough computer capacity to handle ALL the accounting detail generated by the major retailers and PLC's ?  I dont think so . I doubt if Marks & Spencer will be using Sage or Xero or even WAVE

Summaries will be sent to HMRC.

I doubt M&S will be using the software you mention but I don't think that makes any difference.

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By frankdavid
10th Mar 2016 23:52

Ooops correction, this wont apply to Ltd Co's only SA returns

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By Briar
10th Mar 2016 23:56

Fluffing Stupid!

Who are these idiots? Oh! I forgot, we elected them (maybe). But then what were the other choices? How many of those in power have any idea what happens at the grass-roots? They do not realise who makes money for the country.

Nuff said. 

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By SE_Confused
11th Mar 2016 05:01

I bet Mr Gauke and some others in Treasury have some pecuniary interest in pushing with this nonsense

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By AndrewV12
11th Mar 2016 08:53

Dates ???

I cannot see any dates mentioned in the above article, the more into the future the better.

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RLI
By lionofludesch
11th Mar 2016 08:56

Announced earlier

AndrewV12 wrote:

I cannot see any dates mentioned in the above article, the more into the future the better.

VAT unregistered businesses and certain individuals from April 2018

VAT registered self employed from April 2019

Companies from 2020

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By petersaxton
11th Mar 2016 09:14

5 years

lionofludesch wrote:

AndrewV12 wrote:

I cannot see any dates mentioned in the above article, the more into the future the better.

VAT unregistered businesses and certain individuals from April 2018

VAT registered self employed from April 2019

Companies from 2020

One year? These changes should be about an average of five years between.

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RLI
By lionofludesch
11th Mar 2016 09:20

Backwards

petersaxton wrote:

lionofludesch wrote:

AndrewV12 wrote:

I cannot see any dates mentioned in the above article, the more into the future the better.

VAT unregistered businesses and certain individuals from April 2018

VAT registered self employed from April 2019

Companies from 2020

One year? These changes should be about an average of five years between.

And - for me - the order is backwards.

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By petersaxton
11th Mar 2016 09:32

Not sure

lionofludesch wrote:

petersaxton wrote:

lionofludesch wrote:

AndrewV12 wrote:

I cannot see any dates mentioned in the above article, the more into the future the better.

VAT unregistered businesses and certain individuals from April 2018

VAT registered self employed from April 2019

Companies from 2020

One year? These changes should be about an average of five years between.

And - for me - the order is backwards.

I don't understand the split between self employed and small limited companies.

I'm unsure whether VAT registered should be before non-VAT registered because there are arguments both ways. You could say that VAT registered are more used to complexity but you could also argue that the lack of complexity makes it easier to introduce.

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RLI
By lionofludesch
11th Mar 2016 08:53

Bubble

Quoted in Taxation, David Gauke says ....

"Some £6.5bn is lost each year as a result of errors made by taxpayers."

Truly shocking - but is new software going to stop Joe Plumber allocating his new car to Motor Expenses ? Probably not.

In these days of bewildering specialisation, it is quite astonishing that the Government seems to think that anyone can prepare their accounts.  If taxpayers are making errors, how about someone who knows what they're doing having a look at the figures before they're submitted ?

Go no further than Any Answers to see some of the very strange views held by some small businessmen.

The man's clearly just come up the Lagan in a bubble.

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By petersaxton
11th Mar 2016 09:12

It will

lionofludesch wrote:

Quoted in Taxation, David Gauke says ....

"Some £6.5bn is lost each year as a result of errors made by taxpayers."

Truly shocking - but is new software going to stop Joe Plumber allocating his new car to Motor Expenses ? Probably not.

In these days of bewildering specialisation, it is quite astonishing that the Government seems to think that anyone can prepare their accounts.  If taxpayers are making errors, how about someone who knows what they're doing having a look at the figures before they're submitted ?

Go no further than Any Answers to see some of the very strange views held by some small businessmen.

The man's clearly just come up the Lagan in a bubble.

It will if there was the worry that HMRC could look at their online bookkeeping. If it was still a genuine error then HMRC may be able to tell by computers checking unusual changes in amounts.

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RLI
By lionofludesch
11th Mar 2016 10:28

More modest

petersaxton wrote:

It will if there was the worry that HMRC could look at their online bookkeeping. If it was still a genuine error then HMRC may be able to tell by computers checking unusual changes in amounts.

A fair point for a car - but for more modest expenditure, the same principle will apply.

We've all found entries in the books for expenditure, the allowability of which we have "differences of opinion" about with the client.

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By petersaxton
11th Mar 2016 10:41

HMRC v accountants

lionofludesch wrote:

petersaxton wrote:

It will if there was the worry that HMRC could look at their online bookkeeping. If it was still a genuine error then HMRC may be able to tell by computers checking unusual changes in amounts.

A fair point for a car - but for more modest expenditure, the same principle will apply.

We've all found entries in the books for expenditure, the allowability of which we have "differences of opinion" about with the client.

Yes, according to HMRC "what can possibly go wrong?" but accountants know that clients bookkeeping ranges from "a few errors" to "a complete mess". Accountants can still check clients work easily given it is online and have attachments to support the transactions. Accountants are used to spending a day (or whatever) correcting errors and preparing accounts whereas they should adapt to spending 30 minutes per month reviewing and correcting and two hours preparing the accounts.

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By The tired accountant
11th Mar 2016 09:57

As usual the little man gets screwed

lionofludesch wrote:

Quoted in Taxation, David Gauke says ....

"Some £6.5bn is lost each year as a result of errors made by taxpayers."

 

If the purpose of this is to ensure that the correct tax is paid, then maybe HMRC should test it out by forcing Starbucks, Amazon and the rest to use it first. 

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By petersaxton
11th Mar 2016 09:00

My view

There's a lot to be said for the new system proposed by the government but it should be introduced much more slowly. The government should set out clearly what they are trying to achieve then consultation would be more useful than the current massive amount of speculation. I don't understand the point of limiting it to the self employed. It should be for all businesses but starting out with high turnover businesses and slowly extended to lower turnover business once the problems are understood and rectified. I would have thought that 15 years is a more sensible period of change. The people who survive in business for 15 years could either get trained up to do the work themselves or hand all the work over to their accountants who would have time to arrange their practice to do the work required. I wouldn't have thought that accountants would have too much trouble moving over to an online bookkeeping model over time. I would also think it is sensible for HMRC to have access to the online bookkeeping (with compulsory attachments) so people cannot make it up and fiddle their taxes. I've mentioned this before and some people complained that HMRC would need a lot of staff to look at every transaction! That is only an argument used by silly people. Obviously HMRC would choose who and what to sample. 

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By Vaughan Blake1
11th Mar 2016 11:30

"£6.5billion lost annually due to taxpayer errors". Really?

Mr Gauke, please can we see your workings?

I presume that MR G's calculations show a net figure and exclude deliberate understatements.

Not sure why quarterly reporting with everyone using software is expected to reduce the error rate though.

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By petersaxton
11th Mar 2016 11:46

Government attitude

They don't think anybody makes a mistake. Just look at fantastic error-free HMRC we've got.

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By leon0001
11th Mar 2016 11:57

What information do they actually want?

It is now just over 2 years before this goes live.

So far I have seen no indication of what actual information is to be digitally provided to HMRC.

No specification.

No legal framework.

No indication as to quarterly periods: calendar? PAYE? VAT? Current year? Accounting year? Will 30 April year ends have to be treated as a cessation?

What about deceased taxpayers where no probate granted?

How will partnership results be expected to work?

Are we expected, in the absence of any such necessary information, to select suitable software (which may not even have been specified yet, let alone tested, implemented and then approved by HMRC), agree new engagement terms with our clients, change our procedures and business structure and be up and running by 6 April 2018?

Are we also expected to be finalising the last "normal" accounting period and preparing the 2017/18 SA returns at the same time?

I'm not a dinosaur or a Luddite. I just am extremely sceptical, based on bitter experience of HMRC and its predecessors over the last 35 or so years that this has any hope of being successfully implemented in the mandated timescale.

What planet do these people inhabit? Certainly not the real world.

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By cstwragby
11th Mar 2016 14:46

Moving to tax simplification?

I can't recall where I read it yesterday but I read proposals for small limited companies to accept the cash basis of accounting.

Is MTD a Trojan Horse to first move everyone on to cash accounting and then after that tax being a flat rate based on your turnover and sector?

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RLI
By lionofludesch
11th Mar 2016 16:04

Rates

cstwragby wrote:

I can't recall where I read it yesterday but I read proposals for small limited companies to accept the cash basis of accounting.

Is MTD a Trojan Horse to first move everyone on to cash accounting and then after that tax being a flat rate based on your turnover and sector?

Yes - I remember domestic rates being replaced by something similar.

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By steve 12321
12th Mar 2016 09:35

Question
Someone in a post suggested the way it would work had been issued. Is this true?
Thanks

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By petersaxton
12th Mar 2016 09:54

Someone?

steve 12321 wrote:
Someone in a post suggested the way it would work had been issued. Is this true? Thanks

Maybe

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By SE_Confused
13th Mar 2016 09:07

It was the office for tax simplification . Check nicola ross martin's newsletter

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By steve 12321
13th Mar 2016 15:38

OTS
Thanks for that.
How is the office for tax simplification getting on? Do they sit of a board with the OTC OFFICE FOR TAX COMPLICATION party who out votes any simplification
Shall we save money and get rid of them as it is not working
Yes it is silly comment but HMRC and government are out of control and have no regard for the people that pay their wages, taxpayers, self employed, business people etc.

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By frauke
14th Mar 2016 14:40

Really?

I have lots of clients who already have access to use online/cloud accounts etc.  But most will only update them once a year, and sometimes months after year end.   Having the facility is one thing, using it will be another.

I have quite a few clients that puts their "expense" claims in once every 3 years, as they find doing it "challenging".  They all have apps they can use to make it easier, but it does not make any difference.  I think the attitude is “we need to get a life”……….. 

The numbers of payrolls I do are going down, as clients are getting fed up with RTI and would rather not bother if they can find a way of not doing it.  

 

I have had several Ltd company clients ask to Self-employed again as they want to “go back to not keeping proper accounts”  - and yes  this is what they have said to me.

 

 

 

 

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By David Gordon FCCA
14th Mar 2016 14:48

There are fairies at the bottom of my garden-

 

The killer quotation is:

 "HMRC has assumed  all business will seamlessly transfer a summary of accounting data from their accounting software to HMRC each quarter".

 I simply do not accept that any experienced tax officer or accountant truly believes that this is humanly possible.

 WE already know that between two and four million taxpayers use an agent to file their Income Tax returns. Does HMRC really believe that this cooked up pie in the sky idea will be be any better?

 Does any professional accountant or experienced tax officer really believe, based on example of HMRC's management of its current IT and software interfaces, not least getting through to HMRC's help lines, that this is anything else other than privatising the cost of running the tax system from HM Government to the taxpayer.

 The purpose of business is to create capital and wealth and from that make a contribution to HM Govt to pay for deemed necessary services. It is not the duty of "Business" to run the tax system.

 I am old enough to remember when the Gods of computers including Bill Gates (Gawd bless'im) said, we would soon be living in paperless offices.

This might be similar starry eyed bull-shit[***][***]. Except that it is deliberate constructive dishonesty on the part of HMRC. HMRC must be aware from their own records that it is not within the ken of Homo[***] Sapiens.

 The Income Tax return IT system functions only because there are, I am told, some 40,000 registered taxpayers' agents out in the wilderness filing returns for a seven figure number of clients, at a total considerable cost to the taxpayer community.

 What on earth leads any informed person to believe this additional burden will be any different in substance?

 Who is this omptimistic gentleman who beleives that it will take "only three to four hours" to wean clients onto new systems?

I have a rule of thumb which has served me well since 1979. (My first office computer-  Apple system 48k) Allow one hour for each year of age up to forty, and one-and-a-half hours for over forty year old, to get a client on speaking terms with any accounting system, never mind proficient.

I had a firm of solicitors as clients, using a very well known commercial accounting software. After ten years use they still regularly managed to produce trial balances wherein the total debits did not equal the total credits. Not even the software house could work out how they did this.

 

 

 

 

 

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By Eddystone
15th Mar 2016 11:03

Optimistic gentleman ?

 

 Who is this optimistic gentleman who believes that it will take "only three to four hours" to wean clients onto new systems?

Well, right or wrong, as far as I'm aware but could of course be mistaken, Tony Magaritelli of the ICPA is the only spokesman of a professional body who's actually had anything to say on this matter, so good on yer, Tony !  And he represents mainly unqualified practitioners, I believe, so that doesn't say much for the ICAEW etc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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By David Gordon FCCA
15th Mar 2016 11:43

Contructive Dishonesty

 

 It is not the mechanics of the tax system which are the real worry. Machinery, given goodwill, may be sorted out.

 Rather it is the descent into Goebels-like propaganda by those persons directing HMRC, in order to support their claims.

 Thus, 2m may well use payroll software. The dishonesty of HMRC's straight corkscrew is that HMRC will not say how many of those are in fact managed by agents pp their clients.

 Taking just those firms I have had personal contact with, about thirty payroll agents deal with approximately 5,000 payrolls.

 I also believe I can name two payroll agencies dealing with specialised industries, that between them deal with at least 2,000 payroll small schemes.

 85% of UK businesses are less than 50 employees- I would make an educated guess that at least half of them use outside agents to deal with aspects of their day-to-day accounting.

 For PAYE, CIS, and VAT returns I would hazard a guess that the percentage is higher. For small Ltds I would guess that at least 85% use agents for Companies House and CTax. 

 It is therefore libellous and or slanderous dishonesty to claim that the vast majority (Never mind all) of "Small-business" persons are able with minimal adjustment to directly deal with this "Digital" pipe-dream.

 It is libellous and slanderous in law because, this false claim regarding these businesses will result in otherwise un-needed financial cost to those businesses.

 I have no doubt that neither the ICAEW nor the ACCA to name but two, will do nothing substantial in support of their members (and their clients) regarding this. This because those two bodies still seem to regard building a "Working relationship" with HMRC as their priority.

This in spite of daily evidence in most accountants' offices that HMRC by its actions, appears in practice, to regard those bodies with their members, as mushrooms.

Kept in the dark and fed manure.

 P.S.

 It is not in the end, HMRC's fault. HMRC are civil servants, trained from birth to do what they are told. Google the top fifty HMRC executives -per their website- to see just how many have not had any practical experience whatsoever as tax officers or tax professionals. It is the joint and several responsibilty of the 1,200 or so members of parliament and the House of Lords. 90% of whom would rather stand on a cowpat and eat worms rather than delve into the nitty gritty of the UK tax system. 

 Then it comes down to us. I do wonder just how few of us send copies of AccountingWeb stuff to our local MP. There are accountancy firms in every constituency. Similar to us, if our clients do not tell us we cannot yet mind read, despite HMRC's claims.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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By petersaxton
15th Mar 2016 11:59

Nonsense doesn't help the case

"It is therefore libellous and or slanderous dishonesty to claim that the vast majority (Never mind all) of "Small-business" persons are able with minimal adjustment to directly deal with this "Digital" pipe-dream.

 It is libellous and slanderous in law because, this false claim regarding these businesses will result in otherwise un-needed financial cost to those businesses."

I would suggest you don't know anything about the law regarding libel and slander.

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By David Gordon FCCA
15th Mar 2016 14:09

I will always learn, but

 

 If I make a false statement about you, and as a result of that statement you incur financial loss, this is actionable.

 As a class action, which I admit is not common in the UK, If I claim that the "Class" is fully capable of a particular action when according to evidence good in a court of law that "Class" is clearly not so capable, and that reasonably I ought to have known the truth of the matter, before making the claim, and as a result of my false claim I force "Class" to incur costs which might not otherwise have been put on "Class", I may be sued for that cost.

 I offer a real example.

Unfortunately I am drawn under a PI claim into third party proceedings.  A solicitor is being sued by a client, under a substantial PI claim. The solicitor has issued third party proceedings against me. For readers that are not aware, this means that A defends a claim made by B. If A loses he proceeds with a claim against me on the grounds that it is my fault he lost. A's third party claim against me will only proceed if he loses. Further A has two years from the date of judgment to decide whether to proceed against me.

The solicitor's claim against me is that I ought to have known certain aspects of property law when advising my client. My defence is that I advised on accounting and only on accounting. The lawyer was the legal adviser. OK, watch this space in two years' time.

 HMRC is falsely claiming without good evidence to support the claim, that my clients are suffciently IT aware to comfortably work this proposed system at no extra cost to the clients.

 Not just that the clients might be capable of learning, but are currently capable. On the basis of this false claim through powers given to HMRC by HM Govt, HMRC intend to impose costs on my clients.

 A false claim about my clients capabilities is being used to extract funds.

 It is correct  that libel is usually re an untrue denigratory statement which causes quantifiable loss of any sort. That does not prevent a untrue statement which claims the victim has certain abilities, and thereby causes the loss, is not also libel.

 As far as I understand it, the defendant's sole defence is to prove the statement was a statement of truth.

 A couple of elections ago the LibDems held out to students that they would do away with students' fees. This might have been taken as just being pre-election political guff. Regrettably some LibDems went further. They directly and clearly promised groups of students that this is what they would do. This turned pre-election poetic licence into real promises by individuals.

HMRC have advised their technically uninformed direct political masters not just;

That a certain system might be possible, but that

Based on HMRC's (False) evidence the system is reasonably actionable now.

This turns what may be seen as an acceptable target for future action into a direct lie. vide the LibDems.

 There is a real possibility of significant consequential loss. As I have said before: One the glories of the UK is that despite all the whinging and whining our tax system is by and large accepted as reasonable by taxpayers 99.995% of whom voluntarily pay their taxes. 

Accumulating actions by HM Govt through HMRC are risking converting our taxpayers to the views of say, Greek, French, Italian, Spanish, East European taxpayers. Then our UK tax affairs will really be up the creek without a paddle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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By petersaxton
15th Mar 2016 14:27

Totally wrong

Libel is a false defamatory statement.

Making out that somebody is better than they are isn't libel.

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By Huw Williams
15th Mar 2016 15:31

Not libel

petersaxton wrote:

Making out that somebody is better than they are isn't libel.

 

Hey you've come up with something positive to say about the government's pronouncements.  Congratulations!

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By David Gordon FCCA
16th Mar 2016 11:09

continuing the discussion

 

 Years ago before I gave up my cetificate as an IFA there was a concept of the expert or knowledgeable client.

 If the IFA was satisfied that the client was "Expert or knowledgeable" the IFA was exempt from some of the rules regarding the giving of advice. One of the safeguards was that the client had to sign a document confirming that he /she was "Knowledgeable". Treating a client as such when in fact the client was not so qualified,  was / still is? a serious misdemeanor under the rules governing IFAs. Sanctions might well include the IFA losing his certificate.

 HMRC has no mandate to treat my clients as "Knowledgeable" in digital mechanics.

 Reasonably, HMRC is entitled to assume that its customers aka taxpayers are able to read and write, and work a mobile telephone. Notwithstanding that 10% of my craftsmen clients are factually virtually illiterate, nevertheless do very well thank you.  Has anyone out there ever met a medical consultant, or a member of parliament, who they would trust with an accounting program?

HMRC is not entitled to lie to parliament claiming that all, never mind just a majority, of its customers aka taxpayers are aware of digital matters sufficient to enable this scheme to work without imposing measurable stress and or cost on the wider business community. 

 It is a lie provable as such in a court of law.

 HMRC is not an extraterrestrial  being or a god, it is not a sentient life form. It is a national organisation. Similar to all mega-organisations from Aldi through Microsoft to Walmart, if you search, you will find at the very top, one person, or a very small group who in practice set the tone and direction of that organisation. Absolutely I do not believe they are personally dishonest or stupid or unkind.

 Notwithstanding this, absolutely I have come to believe those particular HMRC executives are collectively not fit for the purpose for which they are employed.

 If any HMRC officer reading this wishes to continue the discussion, he /she has only to contact ACCA members dept to obtain my email address.

 

 

 

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By carnmores
22nd Mar 2016 12:42

what bloody nonsense
Defamation my arse[***]

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By The Black Knight
22nd Mar 2016 14:53

Budget report

The budget report seems to say that this will all be voluntary.

So are we being stired up by unscrupulous software companies?

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By petersaxton
22nd Mar 2016 15:43

Link?

The Black Knight wrote:

The budget report seems to say that this will all be voluntary.

So are we being stired up by unscrupulous software companies?

Do you have a link?

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By cstwragby
22nd Mar 2016 15:44

Surely not?!

The Black Knight wrote:

The budget report seems to say that this will all be voluntary.

So are we being stired up by unscrupulous software companies?

Surely not? :-p

What page was that on?

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By North East Accountant
23rd Mar 2016 08:39

Different Worlds

Just been on a Tax and Accounts update course yesterday where yet again I left feeling depressed at the constant level of change. It's never ending.

The MTD program seems to want to operate in a different world to the one that actually exists. There is no way MTD can work with the constant changes in tax legislation and new things introduced by HMRC.

Have they even considered FRS 102 and Companies Act 2006 which business/companies have to comply with.

Looks to me like the are making it up as they go along.

By the way is there any country in the world that has more frequent than annual reporting?

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By The Black Knight
23rd Mar 2016 15:26

PAGE 117 2.212

PAGE 117 -----2.212

Page 51

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By petersaxton
23rd Mar 2016 15:36

Can't find it

I can't see anything like that. I was looking here.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/budget-2016-documents/budget-...

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