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The AccountingWEB Live Expo guide for MTD investigators


Are you in search of answers for MTD ITSA? Look no further than AccountingWEB Live Expo, where our tax and tech experts will explore accountancy’s biggest question. 


25th Nov 2022
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Pack your magnifying glass and deerstalker hat when you set off for Coventry this week and join tax and accounting tech experts in uncovering the answers to Making Tax Digital (MTD). It’s elementary, my dear Watson! 

The accountancy profession has virtually spoken about nothing else since the death of the tax return was announced. This year has been no different. So what’s changed?

  • April: MTD for VAT was extended to include all VAT-registered businesses.
  • July: HMRC released the long-awaited draft legislation for MTD for income tax self assessment (ITSA) and confirms three-line accounts.
  • August: HMRC publishes four sets of guidance on how to comply with MTD ITSA.
  • September: The MTD ITSA pilot expands after having had only nine participants earlier this year.
  • November: The Office of Tax Simplification calls for a landlord deferral.

But despite these updates (and there were more), there still remain some unanswered questions, including the election to use calendar quarter dates for the quarterly updates.

If you’re still feeling unsure about what you need to do, don’t worry. AccountingWEB Live Expo will be your MTD ITSA guide and will help you understand what you need to do to comply, the software available and how to get set ahead of the April 2024 start date. 

Ahead of the big two-day extravaganza in Coventry on 30 November and 1 December, this guide is designed to get you ready for the rollout with an itinerary of all the MTD sights from the Expo. 

But before you start scribbling down all your MTD questions to ask the experts, make sure you book your ticket. Registration is free and this ticket will let you hear from the tax experts and quiz the tech vendors. 

Day One

So you’ve got your list of MTD ITSA questions, you’ve noted down the MTD solutions you’d like to trial, and now you’re all set for Day One. 

Doors open at 10am, but if you’re keen to find the answers to MTD questions, be sure to arrive early as the first session is at 9.30am in the Keynote Theatre and it’s appropriately titled: Everything you need to know NOW about Making Tax Digital. And who better to take you through the technical aspects of MTD than Rebecca Benneyworth? 

Benneyworth will likely tick a number of questions off your MTD list, but one common question many are still struggling to answer is landlords. If this sounds like you then FreeAgent in Supplier Theatre 2 at 10am will explain how MTD ITSA will affect landlords and how software can help you disentangle this mystery. 

Next stop for those seeking MTD answers is Supplier Theatre 1 at 10.45am, where Sage’s Chris Downing and practice owner Samantha Mitcham will explain how you can deliver your MTD action plan today and the solutions available. 

After hearing more on how the accounting tech suppliers can support you in your MTD journey, the next destination on your itinerary is the Any Answers Community Hub for an MTD ITSA special version of TaxTalk Live at 11.30am. This is your chance to put your questions to a wide range of experts, including Rebecca Benneyworth, Kevin Hart from the Business Application Software Developers Association (BASDA), the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) tax faculty’s Caroline Miskin, Dean Shepherd from TaxCalc and bookkeeping champion Zoe Whitman.   

After a busy morning of MTD discussion, it’s now time to pick up some lunch and review your notes. This is also a good opportunity to wander around the exhibition hall and speak to the accounting tech suppliers and learn more about their MTD tools. 

You’ll then be nicely prepared to learn more about the MTD ITSA software runners and riders at 1pm in the Keynote Theatre. AccountingWEB technology editor Tom Herbert will be joined on stage by software experts and practice owners to summarise the tools available and to chew over the software you need to add to your stack.

After an action-packed day of MTD sessions and a chance to weigh up the different software options, you may be feeling a little more confident about what is in store and, dare we say, even looking forward to it (too much?). Well, if you’re looking for a positive spin on MTD ITSA, take a short walk over to the Supplier Theatre 1 at 2pm for MTD for ITSA is great! Yes, we said it! from the team at Xero. 

And then you’ll have just enough time at the end of this session to dash over to the Community Hub at 2.45pm for a special edition of Any Answers Live. If the popular AccountingWEB Live show is anything to go by – and the Any Answers forum for that matter – it won’t be long before the audience starts asking the panel questions on MTD. 

Day Two

The first session on Day Two for those looking for MTD answers is at 10.45am in Supplier Theatre 1, where Dext’s Paul Lodder is set to unveil the accounting tool’s brand-new solution.  

But since the doors open at 10am, it’s probably wise to productively use those first 45 minutes to check over the MTD ITSA questions you want answering today. Head over to the networking zone to gather your thoughts over a coffee, before catching up with a few vendors you might have missed yesterday – and pick up a few more notepads to write down more ideas about dealing with MTD in your practice! 

After the first session, make your way over to the Any Answers Community Hub for 11.30am to see VAT expert Jason Croke, Emma Rawson of the Association of Taxation Technicians (ATT) and CPDStore’s Zoe Lacey-Cooper answer your questions on MTD for VAT. Now HMRC’s VAT portal has closed, businesses have no other option but to use MTD software. 

But if the challenges of ITSA are still more at the forefront of your mind, head to the Supplier Theatre 2 at 11.30am, where Wolters Kluwer’s Mark Purdue will be quizzing practice owner Stephen Leonard on how he’s adapted his practice and got his clients MTD ready. Over the two days you’ll be learning a lot about the technical requirements and the potential headaches, so this session is designed to explore the opportunities that could come as a result of MTD.  

Now it’s time for a quick rest and some lunch. After a busy couple of days, it’s important you have a breather and even compare MTD notes with your fellow AccountingWEB members. Take your lunch over to the networking area and meet other readers in person and find out how they’re dealing with the challenges of MTD and whether they have any MTD tech recommendations from walking around the exhibition hall. 

Make the most of this short respite as Day Two closes with two back-to-back can’t-miss sessions.

Get your seats early in the Any Answers Community Hub for a live version of AccountingWEB’s Tax Talk show at 2.30pm. Host Rebecca Benneyworth will be joined onstage by tax titans like Paul Aplin, Rebecca Seeley Harris, ATT’s Helen Thornley and Dext’s Paul Lodder. The panel will cover wide-ranging topics such as P11D, employment tax and anything the audience wants to ask – so this is your chance to finally tick all those tax questions off your list. 

As soon as the session finishes, you’ll have to make a quick dash over to Theatre 3 for 3.15pm to see Rebecca Benneyworth close the Expo with a fireside chat with HMRC’s Chris Jennings on the VAT penalty reform. With penalties kicking in for the VAT periods starting on or after 1 January 2023, this is really your last chance to get your head around the new points-based regime. 

Meet the vendors

A critical part of your MTD journey is getting your tech in order. The Live Expo gives you the perfect opportunity to meet 100-plus accounting vendors and discover the tools available to ensure your practice and clients are ready for MTD. 

With so many vendors under one roof, it can be difficult knowing where to start. A good place would be to visit AccountingWEB Live Expo’s premium partners and find out more about their MTD solutions. 

You can see the full list of exhibitors here

Other itineraries

If you just want to find out as much as you can about MTD at the Expo, this itinerary demonstrates that you will have a jam-packed two days. But there is so much more to learn and discover at the Expo than just MTD, with sessions on growing your practice, finding new clients and discussions on the latest technology trends. 

And beyond all that, the Expo is about meeting your peers. AccountingWEB is a community and on 30 November to 1 December, you get the chance to network with old friends and meet new ones too. 

If you’re looking for more hot picks from the show floor, here are a couple more itineraries to help you get the most out of your Live Expo experience. 

Going home

And just like that, AccountingWEB Live Expo is over for another year. It’s time to pack away your deerstalker, count up the CPD points you collected over the two days, connect over LinkedIn with those you met over the two days and set off back home. But at least you’ll be going home with some answers to your MTD questions – and hopefully an awful lot of swag!

Replies (7)

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By User deleted
25th Nov 2022 18:51

Do HMRC even know the answers?

Thanks (1)
Replying to User deleted:
By Hugo Fair
25th Nov 2022 23:10

Agreed (if rhetorical) ... but, No (if a real question).

Sorry, Richard but "will help you understand what you need to do to comply, the software available and how to get set ahead of the April 2024 start date" cannot be true ... for precisely that reason (i.e. HMRC haven't yet decided how it should all work - so there's no complete specification (for developers) or comprehensive set of guidance/examples (for taxpayers)).

We can all make intelligent guesses (which are unlikely to be made more concrete by the mere thoughts/hopes of those with skin in the project) ... but it is HMRC that need to get their act together (although it may already be too late) - not agents & taxpayers.

I'm not prone to hyperbole, so I really mean it when I say that I have never seen HMRC approach such a fundamental change in reporting requirements *without* a series of prior stages (see PAYE, VAT and others) - nor *without* full-blown collaboration with developers (not just specs but workshops with direct access to specialists for 24 hour turnaround of tech queries etc).

The decision to take 'agile' as the primary tenet was both facile and dangerous (and not understood), leading to a lack of a cohesive plan let alone proper spec with change management ... which means there are NO overall experts within HMRC on this topic.
When allied to the lack of a stable set of specification and operational guidance, this means the lack of consultation with accountants was mandatory (since no certain answers to obvious questions can be provided).

I'm not sure which will be worse ... going ahead in full 'blinkers' mode OR yet again delaying it (entirely or partially) - but the fall-out could be apocalyptic.
HMRC's reputation (with taxpayers) cannot sink much further without forever disappearing below the waves - leading I suspect to the first unofficial version of civil disobedience to hit the nation's revenue collection service.

I hope I'm wrong, but if I was in practice I wouldn't be wasting time & money on 'preparing' clients for a fuzzy but undefined vision, when I could focus on more mundane but real issues.

Thanks (2)
By adjadj
25th Nov 2022 22:33

It would be useful to explore the following at the conference

Entry into MTD ITSA in April 2024 is defined by the 2022/3 income. If the MTD ITSA income end in 2023/4 does the taxpayer still have to join MTD ITSA?

Thanks (0)
Replying to adjadj:
By NotAnAccountant2
26th Nov 2022 09:28

adjadj wrote:

It would be useful to explore the following at the conference

Entry into MTD ITSA in April 2024 is defined by the 2022/3 income. If the MTD ITSA income end in 2023/4 does the taxpayer still have to join MTD ITSA?

That's just a special case of the "what happens if a business stops trading mid year." (Which HMRC doesn't appear to have any clue about, at least they're not telling us)

Death of an taxpayer is another one I've brought up here before.

Thanks (1)
Replying to NotAnAccountant2:
By adjadj
27th Nov 2022 05:17

As a business analyst I would consider my question about finishing property/sole trader income in 2023/4 as a classic transitional case. There are some 200,000 people who stop property income each year and a considerable proportion of them have income over £10,000. It is predictable that taxpayers who stop all property/sole-trader income BEFORE MTD ITSA has even started will ask why do I need to join MTD ITSA. As Hugo Fair has observed in his comment in this thread HMRC do not seem to have produced a comprehensive business design where these sort of things would normally have been addressed.

Stopping trading mid year is covered in the regulations, unfortunately I do not have access to my working notes to quote the references. In essence in the last quarter of trading a ceased trading message is included in the quarterly returns and a similar stop trading message is entered into the EOPS of the year. What is lacking is guidance as to what the taxpayer does in the next year.

Your question about death in mid-year is another one of those “it should have been answered by now questions”

I have asked numerous FOI requests about how MTD ITSA will work in practice. The FOI team do their best but it is clear to me from their replies that there is no comprehensive business design to which they can refer to.

I sense we are heading for an omni-shambles with million or so taxpayers unable to complete a tax return by January 31, 2006 resulting in delayed tax receipts.

Thanks (1)
Replying to adjadj:
By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
29th Nov 2022 10:56

Tsk, you there asking practical questions about exactly what this means before launching headlong into a major change.

You just have to BELIEVE IN THE STRATEGY and all HMRC's Digital dreams will come true, and all the naysayers will be proven wrong.

Its all about belief in the brilliant system and anyone who says anything against it is clearly wrong and not onboard with the upscaling of the UK digital aspirations which will release so much productivity that UK industry will be energised and outperform their baseline potential. Just BELIEVE.

I think I got that right, shove in a billion meaningless buzzwords to cover the massive void in actual planning , knowledge or any other boring stuff like that.

Thanks (0)
Replying to NotAnAccountant2:
paddle steamer
28th Nov 2022 14:24

MTD could certainly give rise to "Death of a Taxpayer", the recently discovered, previously unknown, play believed to have been written by the late Arthur Miller. (Or maybe by someone else called Arthur, like Arthur Anderson or Arthur Young)

Thanks (0)