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The Live Expo guide for the discerning tax brain

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The 2021 capital of culture becomes the capital of tax. Coventry’s Building Society Arena will be the centre of the tax universe for two days at AccountingWEB Live Expo in less than a month. Here's your ultimate guide...

5th Nov 2021
Editor AccountingWEB
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As a tax aficionado, you will have probably already packed your yellow tax handbooks into your rucksack and stocked up on some zero-rated snacks for the trip to the West Midlands - no chocolate trousers on the gingerbread men, please!

But with an Avengers-style speaker line-up of tax mavens swooping in with their tax deductible capes, it’s difficult to know where to even begin (or how to behave when you meet your tax idols in person). 

Therefore, advance planning is vital! But help is at hand. AccountingWEB will help you - the discerning tax brain - navigate the 60 sessions, 80 exhibitors and the who’s who of tax that you may meet at the exhibition. 

Don’t know where to start? AccountingWEB’s essential guide to the Live Expo is packed full of the best sights and itineraries to make sure your trip to the exhibition is a memorable one. 

Like with any travel guide, the first step in preparing for your trip is to make sure you’ve booked your tickets. Register now for your tickets, do your homework and book sessions in advance. 

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Meet the speakers

The Live Expo gives AccountingWEB readers the best chance of seeing tax royalty out in the real world. 

Expect whispers across the exhibition hall of “Look! It’s Rebecca Benneyworth off Tax Talk!” For the many that only got their tax fix over the past 20 months through online webinars, Live Expo gives tax brains the chance to return to live face-to-face seminars. Unlike the virtual webinars though, pyjamas are optional. 

Some of the tax experts you can expert to see roaming around AccountingWEB Live Expo are:

  • Anita Monteith
  • Bill Dodwell
  • Jason Croke
  • Kate Upcraft
  • Paul Aplin
  • Peter Rayney
  • Rebecca Benneyworth
  • Rebecca Seeley Harris

These speakers are likely to receive a Springsteen-like reception when they rush to the stage to deliver their seminars, so be sure to arrive with plenty of time to get your seat - or register early and book the session today. 

Day one sessions for tax enthusiasts

Now this is where the fun starts. So, you’ve arrived at the Coventry Building Society Arena on day one, with your coffee flask in hand and you’ve managed to grab a software-branded notebook off one of the stands ready to scribble down the latest tax updates. But where should you start? Decisions, decisions, decisions.

The first stop for any tax brain should be the Tax Academy Theatre at 9:15am for Rebecca Benneyworth’s Autumn Budget review. She will be joined by Paul Aplin and Kate Upcraft to untangle the key measures hidden in the Red Book undergrowth, such as the basis period reform. 

Then be prepared to make a quick dash over to the Accounting Excellence Theatre at 10.45am to hear HMRC’s MTD vision. In what’s likely to be a popular session, the head of MTD Giles McCallum will set out to the ACCA’s Glenn Collins his long-term plans for tax digitalisation. This session will give you a chance to put your question directly to Giles. 

Grab yourself some lunch and then at 1.15pm you can settle down in the Any Answers Hub to enjoy TaxTalk Live. Rebecca Benneyworth will again be joined by Paul Aplin and Kate Upcraft to take questions from the floor - no loud munching on your crisps in the back row!

Day two sessions for tax enthusiasts

Don’t stay out too late at the day one After Show Party as the tax coverage kicks off bright and early with a self assessment survival seminar at 10am in the Tax Academy. Rebecca Benneyworth will be joined by the ICAEW’s tax technical lead Anita Monteith to provide you with tips and advice to power through January - let’s hope the only headaches you will be having will be from the AccountingWEB lager and not busy season! 

Now that you feel prepared for self assessment, don’t go too far away from the Tax Theatre as at 11.15am, Rebecca Benneyworth and IR35 expert Rebecca Seeley Harris will guide you through the personal tax challenges waiting for SMEs. So use the time in between the session to think about what questions you want to ask the two Rebeccas. 

Whether it’s the Basílica de la Sagrada Família in Barcelona or the Magic Kingdom in Orlando, every destination has that one place you have to visit. It’s the same for AccountingWEB Live Expo if you’re a discerning tax brain. A must see session is the 12.15pm Tax Talk: Whitehall special in the Accounting Excellence Theatre. In this special edition of Tax Talk, Rebecca Benneyworth will be joined on stage by HMRC’s chief executive Jim Harra and the Office of Tax Simplification’s Bill Dodwell. You will hear directly from the UK’s tax head honchos on what changes will affect your clients in the year ahead. 

Once that session finishes, you will have enough time to stroll over to the Any Answers Hub for the Best tax panel in the world at 1.15pm - and the name of the session doesn’t lie. Tax boffins like Anita Monteith and the CIOT president Peter Rayney will take your tax questions on, well, anything. The floor is open for a wide-range of topics. So, bring your toughest question.

Before you pack your bags and leave the Expo, wander over to the Tax Academy at 3pm for a Business tax update. AccountingWEB contributor Jason Croke will be looking back over the past 12 months of VAT and Brexit headaches. So, after two days on your feet, take a seat and enjoy a dose of One Stop Shops and postponed import VAT. 

Top tip: Exhibitions are great fun and are not only a chance to learn but also to catch up with old and new friends. But time goes really fast and before you know it, you’ve spent the day on your feet and you’ve forgotten to eat or drink. So take some time in our Chill and Charge Zone or our Business Lounge. For many it’s the first time out of the office in almost two years, so we've made sure there is lots of space for you to network but also relax and enjoy yourselves! 

Explore the exhibitors

No trade show is complete without speaking to the multitude of vendors. After hearing about all the latest tax updates, it’s time to amble around the exhibitor hall lanes and take in the latest tax software and advice. 

The place to visit is the TaxAid stand (A10), the charity partner for the event. As a tax brain you have years of expertise that could be used to volunteer for the charity. 

If you’re looking to upgrade your tax systems, a good place to start would be with the Expo’s premium partners: 

  • FreeAgent [Stand E20] allows you to run your clients’ monthly payroll in bulk and file your clients’ Making Tax Digital VAT returns.
  • IRIS [Stand F1] provides a suite of integrated compliance, productivity, and collaboration solutions for accountants
  • Sage [Stand E1] offers fully integrated solutions for bookkeeping, payroll, tax and compliance 
  • TaxCalc [Stand D10] comprises of tax, accounts, company secretarial, compliance and practice management solutions
  • Xero [Stand E10] recently launched a new personal tax feature which means Xero Tax can be used for both your individual and company clients.

Elsewhere, Ad Valorem, Dedicated Capital Allowances, Fortune Tax and WhisperClaims all make worthwhile exploring if you are looking for tax specialists. 

It’s also worth catching up with other software useful for a tax enthusiast such as BTCSoftware, Capium, Hammock, Nomisma, Outbooks and Wolters Kluwer.

After getting a taste of the software you’re going to use in the year ahead, your last stop (or first stop) should be HMRC’s stand. This will be your chance to speak directly with the tax department and ask them your burning questions!

Going home

And so, CPD checked off for the year, tote bags full to the brim with swag, and notebooks dogeared with tax advice to take back to help your clients, it’s now time to go home. 

But what about more on Making Tax Digital? Join us in our next tour of the Live Expo when we’ll round up the top MTD sights, bootcamps and itineraries over the two day event. In the next few weeks, we will also provide a guide for an ambitious practice pioneer and a tech geek.

What tax session are you most looking forward to seeing at the Live Expo?

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