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MTD faces growing delay demand

28th Sep 2016
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Professional bodies have added their voice to accountants’ concerns about the Making Tax Digital timeline for implementation, with many still believing that a delay does not go far enough.

In a letter to Chancellor Philip Hammond, Treasury select committee chair Andrew Tyrie suggested a pilot scheme. “From this,” he writes, “the lessons from customer’s experiences can be learnt, and well before digital reporting is made mandatory.”

He concludes: “Better to get it right than stick to a rigid timetable.”  

In the letter Tyrie outlines his concerns over the availability of free software and how long it will remain free, how the quarterly reporting will align with universal credit, and the impact of the £10,000 exemption, especially for business whose turnover is just over the threshold. 

Profession supports delay

Joining the dissent, the CIOT's president Bill Dodwell told the Treasury committee during a hearing on the UK's tax policy on 6 September that the groups view is that [MTD] is “too rapid” and making it compulsory is going to make the rollout “very challenging”.

The ATT is also urging the government to listen to Tyrie’s advice. ATT president Ralph Pettengell said: “It is in no-one’s interest to rush the introduction of MTD and end up with a range of problems for both businesses and HMRC when proper consideration of suggestions and further detailed consultation could assist the achievement of making HMRC into one of the most digitally-advanced tax administrations in the world by 2020.”

It wouldn’t be the first time the government took a more measured approach to introducing a digital change. AccountingWEB's consulting tax editor Rebecca Cave cites the gradual move from paper to online filing for PAYE as already setting a precedent from 2004 – 2009. Online filing for VAT returns was also introduced gradually before it became compulsory from 1 April 2010 for businesses with turnover over £100,000.

Backing a delay in a previous article, Cave wrote: “It would give the software companies the time to develop low cost or free apps to be used by this tier of businesses. The delay will also allow accountants more time to introduce their clients to digital methods of keeping business records (the exact format of which is another detail to be decided).”

A delay doesn’t go far enough

However, ACCA’s head of taxation Chas Roy-Chowdhury tells AccountingWEB that a delay is “just kicking the can down the road” and not dealing with the real problem, which he says is mandation.

“We can defer it as much as we want, but we need to get to the heart of the problem, and the heart of the problem is the additional admin burden that the new system is going to bring… The whole mandation issue is ill-conceived.”

Roy-Chowdhury argues that small businesses are already fearful of what a post-Brexit world might bring, and the MTD mandation would impose an additional burden on small businesses.

He adds: “Our members are going to have to incur costs which they will not be able to recover in fees, and the whole framework is completely unnecessary. It's not there to help small businesses as the spin the government puts out on this - it's there to try and fill the tax gap.”

The consultation documents themselves were originally supposed to have been published in Spring 2016, but were knocked off schedule thanks to the EU referendum campaign and the Panama papers fallout. 

What do you think? Should MTD be delayed to fit a more realistic timeline or will that just prolong the inevitable? 

Replies (62)

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By RobertD
28th Sep 2016 18:13

Hurrah for Chas Roy-Chowdhury! The devil isn't in the detail, the whole hideous plan is fundamentally flawed.

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Chris M
By mr. mischief
29th Sep 2016 09:15

I agree. A delay is welcome. But the Government has no business specifying how a given operation keeps its records. If a company wants to log its transactions on papyrus reeds it should be free to do so long as they are complete and accurate.

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Replying to mr. mischief:
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By JoandToby
29th Sep 2016 11:19

Couldn't agree more - what does it matter as long as the records are accurate and taxpayers are paying the right amount of tax. We have a client who still uses the big ledger books and his totals balance to the penny and another on all singing and dancing software with his van posted to motor expenses and his drawings in wages and salaries. As long as we as their agents are verifying the records and submitting them digitally what is the issue?

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Tornado
By Tornado
29th Sep 2016 09:40

I have written to Amdrew Tyrie to support the comments in his letter to Philip Hammond.

I have many other thoughts which I did not convey to Mr Tyrie but it does seem that there is s significantly greater number of people across the spectrum who are now questioning the value or need for the whole MTD project.

My further thoughts are that as one of the stated aims of the project is to reduce the tax gap and collect more revenue, where is the most likely place the 'lost' taxes are going to be recovered from?

Most people who use Accountants and other Agents will not be high on this list for the simple reason that Accountants know what they are doing. They also have a legal and ethical responsibility to their clients and like me, are just interested in ensuring that our clients pay the correct tax.

I think the most obvious source responsible for the Tax Gap is the vast number of people who have been actively encouraged by the Government into Do-It-Yoursef-Taxes. As Accountants we know the common errors that people make when preparing their own Accounts and invariably those errors result in under-declaration of tax in my experience.

So is this desperate rush to get the small businesses into MTD simply a realisation that encouraging people into DIY tax was not such a good idea and something needs to be done quickly to stick a plaster on the wound.

I can also understand the obsession with sidelining Accountants as although we hold the key to successful tax administration, the Government are not prepared to lose face by admitting this.

A much more pragmatic approach from the Government is what is called for and a significant delay or re-think on MTD altogether would be of significant help.

The MTD Team really are in a little world of their own, although they are probably entirely convinced their proposals are right. I can just imagine this team at work, lots of love between them and a group hug at the end of each day, just before their parents come to take them home.

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Replying to Tornado:
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By Alanpryan
29th Sep 2016 10:24

Tornado is spot on...the whole 'DIY tax' scenario has simply enabled the more IT savvy to have a go at filing their own tax returns. This has led to (in my opinion) particularly where CIS sub-contractors are concerned a cottage industry in filing returns that lead to inflated refunds. I have seen this from clients that have left and done this - where they are still showing as a client and I can see what they have received!

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Replying to Tornado:
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By JoandToby
29th Sep 2016 11:22

The MTD Team really are in a little world of their own, although they are probably entirely convinced their proposals are right. I can just imagine this team at work, lots of love between them and a group hug at the end of each day, just before their parents come to take them home.

[/quote]
Exactly - made me laugh but very true!

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By RobertD
29th Sep 2016 10:13

I think Tornado's statement that they are convinced they are right is correct. They view the outrage by agents as fear of client base and fee reduction. The real truth is that we will HAVE to slim our portfolios and charge the remaining clients more. Intrinsically, the Revenue's belief that digital will promote less errors is flawed. It is promoting a have a go at digital bookkeeping whilst complaining that there is a tax gap caused by agentless taxpayers... sorry customers. The AWEB members and HMRC have adopted a siege mentality and are soldiering on with this lunacy. I suppose backed up by the belief that if HMG have agreed to squander £1.3b it must be correct. The kings clothes. I for one will petition, consult, inform and tweet so that I can say that I didn't just stand and watch.

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Replying to RobertD:
Tornado
By Tornado
29th Sep 2016 10:29

Yes, I must remember that taxpayers do not exist, they are 'Customers' as you point out.

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By accountright
29th Sep 2016 10:15

I agree - we cannot stand by and not have a rant about the whole stupidity of HMRC with MTD
I joined the webinar the other day and asked the question "what about Accounting Standards?" The reply was "what are they?"

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Replying to accountright:
Jonathan@Aiteo
By [email protected]
29th Sep 2016 10:25

Accounting standards, seemingly, are something HMRC are keen to entice companies away from using.

Thanks (4)
Replying to accountright:
By Rebecca Cave
03rd Oct 2016 10:44

accountright wrote:

I joined the webinar the other day and asked the question "what about Accounting Standards?" The reply was "what are they?"


OMG!!
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By DMBAcc
29th Sep 2016 10:23

At last some heavyweights are now fighting our corner. Please God some genuine common sense prevails. I have written to Andrew only to find that the Gov't protocol is that I must write to my LOCAL MP. So I just copied him in with the hope that Andrew will start to challenge his colleagues. As someone has said not one of my clients pays the wrong tax. I make sure of that so the Gov't will not get one extra penny from any of my 50 clients (or me for that matter). So the Gov't will not be closing the tax gap by IMPOSING costly accounting software on my clients and me. It will make some of my clients think whether it is worth the effort and close their small businesses. They don't earn enough to pay tax but their turnover is above the rediculously low £10,000 threshold. BARMY!!!!

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Replying to DMBAcc:
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By accountright
29th Sep 2016 10:28

likewise - I have written to my local MP and to Theresa May (email passed on to the appropriate Gov dept who will respond to my concerns). I expect as Mr J told me previously, they will say "we feel your pain" but tough we've made up our mind and we need to save face!

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By MBK
29th Sep 2016 10:36

Andrew Hubbard hit the nail on the head in his editorial in last weeks Taxation when he said that, until the government make the case for quarterly "updates", they will not get the profession to back these changes.

Certainly, from where I sit, I cannot see there is any kind of case for quarterly reporting. The only reason I have seen advanced is that it helps taxpayers to have an idea of estimated tax liabilities. But that is palpable nonsense.

So I shall continue to oppose MTD for the time being.

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Replying to MBK:
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By Vaughan Blake1
29th Sep 2016 14:02

It is the quarterly thing that gets to me. MTD as such is a grand idea, but why quarterly filing?

If HMRC think taxpayers want this, and they keep implying it is wanted by the 'customers', then we all need to say, "thanks, but no thanks, we're fine as we are".

I would like to see the quarterly filing bit delayed until someone explains the benefit. Alternatively, allow the 'customers' busting to file quarterly (so that they know where they are) to do so voluntarily, then we can see how many actually want it!

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By tax91
29th Sep 2016 10:42

We can only hope that the sensible advice given by Andrew Tyrie and others can persuade Philip Hammond to apply common sense and cease the mad rush for HMRC to implement a yet unformulated MTD project and for the concept to be re-examine.
However, I am not holding my breath!
Tax91

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By Sagiquarius
29th Sep 2016 10:46

The whole idea of MTD worries me.
I am now semiretired with a naturally dwindling portfolio of clients. I have worked both sides of the divide, and can only see MTD as yet another staff shedding excuse from HMRC. Where is the service?
I hate all the admin imposed on my own business as much as I hate the idea of taxpayers/clients/customers attempting to do a task which took me years to train for. There is no way mistakes will be reduced. Errors of misunderstanding will take ages to sort out. I've already had one protracted argument about government department "information" being incorrectly applied. No apology, only a threat of increased penalties if I'd got it wrong! Surely a staged introduction of MTD would be best, with more time for feedback? SA in 1995 was child's play in comparison with the changes anticipated now.

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By BryanS1958
29th Sep 2016 10:53

As usual our professional bodies are doing nothing to help their members and businesses in general. Why are they negotiating about delaying implementation? they should just be saying "NO" it is a very bad idea.

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By wyoming
29th Sep 2016 10:47

If any evidence were needed that HMRC's Digital Tax Accounts are unlikely to be "fit for purpose" by 2018, just look at what has happened to NI in 2015/16. When they got rid of the Class 2/4 deferment process, they said it would all be fine. They would automatically adjust Class 2 and 4 bills via self-assessment to give credit for Class 1 payments suffered as an employee. Yeah right, that's going really well!

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By frankmcd
29th Sep 2016 10:48

DMBAcc says:

"...not one of my clients pays the wrong tax. I make sure of that so the Gov't will not get one extra penny from any of my 50 clients (or me for that matter)."

Echoed. I will be responding to the consultation to suggest that MTD is mandated for un-represented clients only, whilst represented clients are be left alone to be looked after by us.

Is there no-one within HMRC who even perhaps suspects that agents actually preserve the tax take?

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By SimonLever
29th Sep 2016 10:51

The only reason for quarterly updates is so that eventually there will be quarterly tax payments for amounts not paid under PAYE.
Once HMRC have the information they can estimate the tax due and then take it from your bank account - yes you will have to sign a direct debit to them.
Paying tax quarterly instead of 6 monthly will greatly increase the cashflow which is the ultimate aim.

Thanks (3)
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By SimonLever
29th Sep 2016 10:52

The only reason for quarterly updates is so that eventually there will be quarterly tax payments for amounts not paid under PAYE.
Once HMRC have the information they can estimate the tax due and then take it from your bank account - yes you will have to sign a direct debit to them.
Paying tax quarterly instead of 6 monthly will greatly increase the cashflow which is the ultimate aim.

Thanks (1)
Replying to SimonLever:
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By Comptable
07th Oct 2016 15:51

So HMC gets a one off cash flow advantage.
And taxpayers get additional costs and work and inconvenience........forever.
And £xm or whatever of cost gets transferred from HMRC to taxpayers.

Does that sound like a reasonable deal?

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By DMGbus
29th Sep 2016 10:54

One software supplier [mentioned in another Aweb thread on MTD] has just stated (quote below) that they have received no information from HMRC about the precise requirements of MTD, so how can HMRC be confident "all will be well" at the mandation date of 2018?

"We will but as yet HMRC have not released any details of how this is going to work so we can’t give any idea yet of what this will entail but we will definitely be incorporating it into the software".

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Replying to DMGbus:
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By accountright
29th Sep 2016 11:34

yes, I made that comment - it was VT software!

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By coleprice
29th Sep 2016 11:02

Agree with Chas Roy-Chowdhury, Robert D et al.

MTD as it stands so far is a flawed mess, ill-conceived by people who appear to have no knowledge of SME's. By knowledge I mean (a) the financial, statutory and regulatory pressures under which owners have to try to run businesses, (b) the strengths of small business owners which usually includes sales, marketing, and how to make a profit but rarely includes the ability to maintain pristine records, however good their overall feel for their business may be.

The reasons trotted out for MTD are at best glib hope without experience or knowledge, at worst economy with the truth. I suspect it would be very instructive if a poll could be obtained from HMRC officers at the sharp end of things, on their opinion of the workability of MTD and the real reasons behind its introduction, i.e. more redundancies, more shoving the whole compliance burden, both in cost and time, on the taxpayer.

What we're hearing at the moment is PR speak from government or related vested interests.

I can see MTD will be the Treasury's poll tax and its end will be not riots but longer dole queues and all the toxic negatives for society that go with that.

It is great news though that more high-profile figures on behalf of the bodies they represent are making their voices heard.

Cole Price

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By davebeman
29th Sep 2016 11:06

I find the whole concept ill conceived. A significant fraction of my client base is older people who have been in business for some time. They now have pensions but continue to trade. All of them would fail the £10,000 criterion and be required to comply. They will find the concept of electronic record keeping and submission unwelcome at best and impossible in most cases. They are compliant taxpayers but I fear some may even emigrate!!

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By rboggon.yahoo.co.uk
29th Sep 2016 11:38

I have written to my MP saying that the whole project is unnecessary and once the "self employed" public get to know the details that this will be the new Poll Tax.

I of course got the party line in the reply which did not address the issues.

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By Mr J Andrews
29th Sep 2016 11:38

How on God's earth have we succumbed to this idiotic HMG brainwashing. Consultations, seminars , chatlines - whatever. At the end of the day , this is the Government's IDEA thrusted upon the Profession to do HMRC's job of change. This is not a partnership venture to some amicable way forward in minimising tax legislation nor making improvements to the SA system . Conversely Tolleys Yellow and Orange will get fatter and fatter ; the accountancy profession will be spending more time on certain smaller respected clients , from whom there is little likelihood of additional fee income ; in turn these represented clients will be spending more time - quarterly as opposed to annually in submitting records . And don't get brainwashed into the RevenueSpeak of how much more beneficial this administrative crap will be to Waldemar the subbie on a turnover of £18K a year or Dick the pensioner with gross rental of £12K per annum. Sadly we are perpetuating this brainwashing by continuing to take part in the farce. And what about the poor sods who are not represented . What has HMG done to make these ''CUSTOMERS'' aware of Big Brother 's proposals - particularly in view of the imminent November deadline for these so called consultations. Have I missed something here about equality and fairness for all taxpayers . The Care and Management provisions of the 1970 Taxes Management Acts appear to have been overlooked in this respect , not to mention the Human Rights legislation.
So , 'Delay' appears the latest vogue whilst the spin , discussions , counter debate etc continues. Rather than postpone this particular match , best to kick the load of b*llocks into touch.
Has anyone tried calling the telephone numbers in the 'Consultation' documents ? I tried calling a Ms Sophie Sharp HMRC today [ 03000 542 664 ] over concerns on the Unincorporated Property Business documentation. Simply met by an answerphone message that this lady was away until 11 October , but advised to speak to one of her colleagues - Ms Megan Shaw or Ms Catherine Robinson.....But no alternative telephone number provided. The farce continues.

Thanks (6)
Replying to Mr J Andrews:
Tornado
By Tornado
29th Sep 2016 11:50

"concerns on the Unincorporated Property Business documentation"

It is a pity you were deprived of a response to your question ..... still laughing next week perhaps if you had.

Anyway, let us hope Ms Sharp has a good holiday away from all this MTD fuss. Perhaps Ms Shaw and Ms Robinson are with her.

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By youngloch
29th Sep 2016 11:45

My colleagues would tell you that when challenges arrive I've always been the one guiding us, as a small firm, through.

They would also tell you that, without even realising, we are already probably 40/50% in the cloud.... and, yes, that will become 100% naturally over probably the next two years I envisage (whilst still using spreadsheets on the side a lot though I'm sure!)

But what they might not tell you is that in 26 years of doing my job this is the first time I've actually felt stressed, not just for a day, but for months now sensing the simple fact that, whatever we do - and even if that means we do everything - that our clients are going to struggle with this, and I mean really struggle.

What stresses me is these clients are people I've know and we've looked after for many many years - we are not a faceless "online" type firm, we genuinely care about our clients.

April 2018 - January 2019, if they stick to timetable, would be a nightmare trying to deal with 2018 returns AND the introduction of MTD.

Great for ££££ (assuming clients can pay) but I'd probably need that in the divorce proceedings that would likely follow!

Andrew Tyrie is totally right - test it out - if we had, say, 20 clients going in during year one that will let us bed down the whole process.

We had the same with auto enrolment where two clients were in the "test pool" and that allowed us to properly get to grips with it making the rest easy.

BUT will HMRC listen...........

Thanks (5)
Replying to youngloch:
Tornado
By Tornado
29th Sep 2016 12:01

"But what they might not tell you is that in 26 years of doing my job this is the first time I've actually felt stressed, not just for a day, but for months now sensing the simple fact that, whatever we do - and even if that means we do everything - that our clients are going to struggle with this, and I mean really struggle."

I suggest you relax a little if you can. For a start you are one of thousands (possibly tens of thousands) of Accountants and Other Agents in the same situation, you are not alone. Secondly, the MTD proposals are so bizarre that there is absolutely no way that this tripe is going to be mandatory for some time yet.

Whilst each of us needs to consider our own situations, I think it is best to sit back and see how things develop over the next year or so before making any decisions at all. If action is to be taken, it will be easier to sift out the really important points from the rubbish in a year's time, thus saving unnecessary work (and further stress) in the meantime.

Thanks (4)
Replying to youngloch:
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By Vaughan Blake1
29th Sep 2016 14:29

'Keep calm and carry on' as the cliché poster says!

I celebrated 40 years in the profession this month and yes, MTD both concerns and puzzles me. When I started the only deadline was the date of the next Commissioner's Hearing, and a friendly call to the local DI usually could push that on a month or two.

Pre self assessment, all my tax returns went in by 31 October, but many had 'per P60' or 'per accounts to follow'. Oddly Sch E assessments with earnings/tax deducted were correctly issued without the taxpayer ever sending in details of earnings or tax deducted.

The late great Philip Hardman said to me back in the eighties that Pay & File was "the thin end of the wedge", and what a wedge it has proven to be! But, we are still here, batting on and once we get over the transition, the next generation will know no different, and it will be the norm, leaving us old guys to reminisce about the old days.

So "keep on buggering on" as WC once said, things tend to work out and usually aren't as bad as you think they are going to be.

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By accountright
29th Sep 2016 12:02

Anyone know anybody at the BBC or Channel 4 that might be interested in bringing this debacle to the attention of HMRC's "Customers"?

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Replying to accountright:
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By accountright
29th Sep 2016 13:39

I have now written to both Panorama and BBC News - this issue needs to be brought to the attention of all taxpayers (sorry HMRC's Customers)
How much of a "Public Interest Story" do you think that is going to be?

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By davebeman
29th Sep 2016 12:21

I have highlighted in my survey responses that HMRC have so far spent £Nil in advising their "customers" of the impending changes. This hapless task falls on me and my professional colleagues. I also suggested that they have failed to do this because they fear the massive backlash that would undoubtedly ensue. Please, everybody, write to BBC News, Panorama, Martin Lewis or perhaps Darren Clarke or Warren Gatland!

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Replying to davebeman:
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By RobertD
29th Sep 2016 12:30

davebeman wrote:

I have highlighted in my survey responses that HMRC have so far spent £Nil in advising their "customers" of the impending changes. This hapless task falls on me and my professional colleagues. I also suggested that they have failed to do this because they fear the massive backlash that would undoubtedly ensue. Please, everybody, write to BBC News, Panorama, Martin Lewis or perhaps Darren Clarke or Warren Gatland!

... and get Dominic Littlewood turning up when Theresa Middleton is getting in her car in the morning!

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By RobertD
29th Sep 2016 12:26

If anyone has trouble contacting Mt Tyrie (saying they should contact their local MP), try writing to [email protected]

... and write to your MP to get their views and understanding of it. Not just be fobbed off with pass it on rubbish. I let mine know he is accountable.

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Replying to RobertD:
Tornado
By Tornado
29th Sep 2016 12:57

It is with Bexit that we take back more control of what goes on in Parliament. Whilst some may argue that nothing has/will change, we do need to ensure that we hold our MP's and other representatives fully accountable for the legislation that is passed in Parliament. That is what they are there to do and the buck (will) stop with them.

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Morph
By kevinringer
29th Sep 2016 13:36

I've spent over an hour this morning trying to sort out to Marriage Allowance claims. One couple has one in SA and the other PAYE, the other both are SA. Basically HMRC say the MA should have worked and cannot explain why it has not so are having to refer the matter to higher authority. MA was announced in 2013 and is quite a simple allowance having some similarities with MCA. Yet 3 years later HMRC has still not got it right. In fact not a single one of my SA MA claimants has had the allowance yet. HMRC has no right to force MTD on taxpayers when it cannot get MA right. And look at C2NICs. Another mess.

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Morph
By kevinringer
29th Sep 2016 13:42

We are all agreed that MTD will not work and will place a costly burden on our clients. Many of us have submitted numerous comments on AW forums. But we're not going to get anything done about MTD if we chatter amongst ourselves. We really need to get the message out to clients and the authorities. I've written to all my clients and spoken to many. I'm participating in the consultation and attending a face-to-face meeting. I've sent loads of feedback to ACCA (Jason Piper and Chas Roy-Chowdhury). Next step is write to my MP. I've got a petition at https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/167738. What else can I do. What else can you do?

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Replying to kevinringer:
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By Mr J Andrews
29th Sep 2016 15:20

Well done Kevin Ringer for starting the petition. Having signed , I'm now asking all of my clients to do likewise.
Can we all follow suit ?
Jim.

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Replying to kevinringer:
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By Mr J Andrews
29th Sep 2016 15:20

Well done Kevin Ringer for starting the petition. Having signed , I'm now asking all of my clients to do likewise.
Can we all follow suit ?
Jim.

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By P2
29th Sep 2016 15:29

"The MTD Team really are in a little world of their own"

This comment made me think that if Bernie Ecclestone does leave Formula 1 he could always come over here and bang a few heads together in the MTD Team.

Remember the new F1 qualifying rules that were introduced at the start of this year's season? For how many races did that last ?????

Ill-conceived, unworkable, did not achieve the desired effect; boycotted, costly to the sport, had to be reversed.

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By petestar1969
29th Sep 2016 16:03

We don't want it delayed, we want it scrapped altogether.

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By kdbr
29th Sep 2016 16:33

I too have taken this whole shenanigans to my MP, who fully understands the position and has also had discussions with FSB.

However she recognises that the present govt has a pretty fragile majority, and in view of that reckons the only hope of getting governmental intervention is if the Tory back benchers start making noises.

So, anyone with a Tory MP, get in touch now, and get clients to contact them too.

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By HLB
29th Sep 2016 17:40

I attended an Agents consultation meeting yesterday in Cardiff.
HMRC really believe that small business owners will use their Apps to record their transactions in real time! This will save them accountancy costs apparently.
Why do they think this? Answer - they have asked their customers and this is what they said.
Tax and accounting is to be made simpler. No regard for GAAP. Didn't even know what it was.
No appreciation of how the Vat flat rate scheme would work on their Apps. No idea how the small business person will claim for H P interest on their van with their App. I would have thought that like my practice you have been inundated with Payroll since RTI and AE. They had no appreciation that customers would not be running their own payrolls and would need to get the info from their accountant to put in their App as RTI will not feed the info in.
It was pointed out by several present that they will be putting enormous pressure on accountants as clients will turn to us for help. They appeared surprised at this as they really think that their customers can do it themselves. What they don't appreciate is even if they can the vast majority won't want to. They will want us to do it for them and who can blame them. Most are busy enough as it is.
Also clueless as who is to train their customers on how to use the Apps. Just knew that they don't propose to do it.
The most incredible experience of my life.

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By HLB
29th Sep 2016 17:41

I attended an Agents consultation meeting yesterday in Cardiff.
HMRC really believe that small business owners will use their Apps to record their transactions in real time! This will save them accountancy costs apparently.
Why do they think this? Answer - they have asked their customers and this is what they said.
Tax and accounting is to be made simpler. No regard for GAAP. Didn't even know what it was.
No appreciation of how the Vat flat rate scheme would work on their Apps. No idea how the small business person will claim for H P interest on their van with their App. I would have thought that like my practice you have been inundated with Payroll since RTI and AE. They had no appreciation that customers would not be running their own payrolls and would need to get the info from their accountant to put in their App as RTI will not feed the info in.
It was pointed out by several present that they will be putting enormous pressure on accountants as clients will turn to us for help. They appeared surprised at this as they really think that their customers can do it themselves. What they don't appreciate is even if they can the vast majority won't want to. They will want us to do it for them and who can blame them. Most are busy enough as it is.
Also clueless as who is to train their customers on how to use the Apps. Just knew that they don't propose to do it.
The most incredible experience of my life.

Thanks (2)
Tornado
By Tornado
29th Sep 2016 18:28

It takes quite a lot to shock me, but the ever increasing reports of consultation meetings and webinars that expose the MTD Team's unbelievable ignorance of the complexities of the MTD project, does truly shock me. It is like being told you have a life threatening illness ... you knew something was wrong but you did not quite expect such a devastating truth.

Theresa May will have to step in quickly to stop this Titanic of a project from sailing any further otherwise the Tories in particular, will lose legions of business supporters and other affected voters, all disillusioned with the capabilities of this Government to handle important issues.

We were promised cuts in Red Tape but all we get is wagonloads more, all for no valid reason.

I don't think there is any particular opposition to modernisation of the administration of the Tax System, but the whole project needs to be scrapped in it present proposed form and started again with a proper Team that includes a much better selection of advisers which would include less highly paid 'Consultants' and more of the people that work at the front line and actually really do understand how the Tax system works and how it should work.

In the meantime, the current Self-Assessment system is more than adequate to keep the taxes rolling in.

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By Eddie S
29th Sep 2016 22:14

Just love Vaughan Blake's post. Having joined the Revenue in 1965 and moved to the profession in 1973 his comments ring so true!
Retired in theory, but a few elderly clients won't let me go until they drop or I drop, whichever comes first!

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