Share this content

The problem with 'Making tax digital'

15th Dec 2015
iStock_lechatnoir_computer

The government has launched ‘Making tax digital, outlining its long-term play to digitise the UK tax system. But its ambitions could be too much for small businesses to cope with.

Since the Chancellor’s announcement in March heralding the death of the tax return, HMRC has received a £1.3bn boost to make his digital dream a reality. “This government is bringing the digital revolution to Whitehall – ensuring that the services it provides are similarly transformed. The tax system is no exception,” wrote Treasury secretary David Gauke in the introduction to the latest policy paper.

AccountingWEB member Steve12321 responded in terms that will be very familiar to small business owners and their accountants: “How is it better to have to produce accounts and calculate tax four times a year instead of once?”

He’s not the only person asking the same question. “If you have to update quarterly what will the deadline be? We’re almost going to give the information in real time. It will be impossible to run business because you will always be reporting to HMRC,” said Rebecca Benneyworth.

“Businesses won’t be able to cope. There’s essentially going to be four self assessment deadlines”, continued Benneyworth. “That’s going to be horrific, especially if we lay the existing penalty regime on top of it.” [NB: Since making these comments Benneyworth has been named as HMRC’s lead consultant on digital for small businesses - see belowEd]

Accountant and tax campaigner Richard Murphy also bristled at HMRC’s perceived misunderstanding of accounting. “What HMRC seems to think is that accounting is just an exercise in totting up the books,” Murphy wrote.

“It’s assembling the data to populate the return that takes all the time. HMRC’s claims utterly ignore that fact and want to increase the time-consuming part of the job fourfold. That they do not seemingly understand this is deeply troubling.”

Not all of AccountingWEB’s members were negative, though. “Once it comes in and becomes second nature, I think it might be a positive,” wrote Cstwragby. “Clients will HAVE to give us their records once a quarter rather than this nightmare every December and January chasing up disorganised people to bring in their records.”

“It’s still self assessment,” said SteLacca, referring to page 10 of the ‘Making tax digital’ document, which reads: “Of course, taxpayers will still be responsible for ensuring that their tax bills are right and telling HMRC about information that is not reported through other means. But digital accounts will make this much easier, quicker and simpler.”

On behalf of the software trade body BASDA, chairman Kevin Hart responded: “Yesterday’s document both consolidates numerous separate pieces of information that have entered the public domain and confirmed speculation in the industry with regard to timeframe. It is, however, rather light on detail, such as how the many complexities of tax are to be addressed.”

Hart added that one of BASDA’s primary aims will be to balance the department’s aspirations with the regulatory burden it imposes on the tax/accounting software industry and its customers.

Personal tax accounts

Ahead of the digital strategy paper, HMRC launched the trial version of its newly renamed personal tax account (PTA) on 1 December. The system relies on the GOV.UK Verify identity management system to control access to the system. Verify uses third party companies like Verizon, Experian, the Post Office and a Dutch company called Digidentity to verify the identity of the user.

Set-up is supposed to take 10 minutes, but that flies out of the window as the user faces a series of tricky questions, some not answerable off-hand. In the case of Digidentity, the user needs to download an app to their smartphone.

The service is certainly secure. Steve Checkley, director at TaxCalc, observed on TaxCalc's blog: “The nature of the hoops that I had to jump through would suggest that it could only have been me that was trying to gain access to the account.”

But the worry is that many accountants’ clients could find Verify too difficult to navigate. “Despite providing my passport details, address details, bank account and credit card details, the Experian software also wanted answers to ‘lifestyle’ queries such as my mobile phone supplier/contract,” wrote Hugo Fair on Any Answers. “Not only does this feel invidious… but it brought my attempt to register to a dead end as I’ve never possessed a mobile phone.”

Gauke told delegates at the HMRC stakeholder conference on Monday: “By 2020 HMRC will be a world-leading tax administration that is efficient, effective and easier for customers to use, enabled by £1.3bn of extra investment announced in November’s Autumn Statement.”

HMRC may be ready for its digital revolution, but many normal Britons might not be.

Replies (160)

Please login or register to join the discussion.

avatar
By 68fw
31st Dec 2015 03:52

be careful what you wish for...

carnmores wrote:
Is pointless roll on the future

This will be my last comment on this thread:

Well over a decade ago... my gangmaster clients (and my firm) "felt" the state jackboot... when on 30 days notice it demanded monthly VAT returns and payment, pre-authorised supplier VAT claims, penalty lead retrospective cancellation of supplier VAT claims deemed "bad" on suspicion before court action, short notice "surprise" VAT inspections carried out by VAT enforcement squads and suspension of VAT repayments and finally, military style VAT officer raids on the work place and employees and the establishment of a state quango to "administer and police" gangmaster business - they gave legitimate business and their accountants a bloody good kicking.

If you were an accountant with experience of the above onslaught, you know only too well what lies ahead...

 

"if you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - for ever."    (Orwell)

 

Thanks (0)
avatar
By Old Greying Accountant
31st Dec 2015 17:18

Sactimony ...

... is worse than negativity

Thanks (0)
avatar
By carnmores
01st Jan 2016 19:21

i like the idea of Sactimony

quasi religious Dame Lin 

Thanks (0)
avatar
By carnmores
01st Jan 2016 19:21

i like the idea of Sactimony

quasi religious Dame Lin 

Thanks (0)
avatar
By Jamesm2705
05th Jan 2016 10:27

Government response to petition

I see that the Government has responded to the petition relating to the change to quarterly reporting. The full response can be viewed at https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/115895

They are basically saying that software is to be used to update HMRC on a quarterly basis by the tax payer. I assume or at least hope that this can alternatively be done by the Agent.

Based on this response, it seems that client records will be needed by Agents 4 times a year in order for us to summarize each quarters income and expenditure. I've no idea how adjustments for stock AIA etc etc will be implemented).

I run a small practice with approximately 70 clients, 100% of which keep manual records, some of whom struggle with all things technology based and a few who do not even own a computer. All of those clients who are not VAT registered or run payroll are happy to provide me with their books and records once a year and to let me look after everything for them. They do not have the time or inclination to file quarterly. They are busy, out there in the real world earning a living. It seems that I will need to have eight meetings a year with each client instead of two.

Tax needn't be taxing!!! 

 

 

 

Thanks (1)
avatar
By North East Accountant
05th Jan 2016 11:03

Just send, simple!


Love the first line of the government response;

"Making Tax Digital will not mean 'four tax returns a year'. Quarterly updates will largely be a matter of checking data generated from record keeping software or apps and clicking 'send'."

All our worries are over fellow accountants, just click send!

 

 

Thanks (0)
avatar
By steve 12321
05th Jan 2016 12:20

Apps

OMG.  No understanding at all.  

A lovely response with some simple examples to explain it to us accountants and the completer of tax returns. I love the way they explain it. All you have to do is buy an App, scan and press some buttons and the software will do the rest. (You just need a back office function to make sure the end result makes sense)...and the good news, you can claim the extra costs against your tax bill..  we are great aren't we? 

I am assuming this is the 10,000 response.  

We need to get through to them effectively so they do not harm the economy and put off the would be and existing self-employed?

 

Thanks (0)
avatar
By Pavilionaire
06th Jan 2016 11:32

Mixed messages

The HMRC response to the 100,000+ petition is very insulting to all tax practitioners, however accountants are thick-skinned and will take that in their stride. 

What I find more worrying is the message they're sending out - that making a tax submission is now about a quick check then hitting 'Send'.  Have HMRC ever heard of the phrase "the devil is in the detail"?

If you take away the time required to check accounts there will be more errors.  Who will be responsible for a significant oversight on a quarterly submission?

And who wants to do work in a rush and be a slave to four times the amount of deadlines? 

 

Thanks (0)
avatar
By carnmores
06th Jan 2016 11:47

@Pavillionaire

Pavilionaire wrote:

The HMRC response to the 100,000+ petition is very insulting to all tax practitioners, however accountants are thick-skinned and will take that in their stride. 

W

 

 

This petition was a ridiculous waste of time ,  this is a matter between the individual taxpayer and the Government , we the AGENTS are  just a side show. This matter was decided and worked on  for quite a  while  so why anyone thinks that a petition now would be effective is beyond me , its just venting.

And thick skinned , i dont think so!

Thanks (0)
avatar
By Pavilionaire
07th Jan 2016 18:12

An alternative, more viable plan?

carnmores wrote:

Pavilionaire wrote:

The HMRC response to the 100,000+ petition is very insulting to all tax practitioners, however accountants are thick-skinned and will take that in their stride. 

W

 

 

This petition was a ridiculous waste of time ,  this is a matter between the individual taxpayer and the Government , we the AGENTS are  just a side show. This matter was decided and worked on  for quite a  while  so why anyone thinks that a petition now would be effective is beyond me , its just venting.

And thick skinned , i dont think so!

I don't think it is a waste of time because it might just make the politicians and civil servants reconsider of their proposals.

To my mind HMRC should have made the following change and let it bed in for a couple of year before even thinking about DTAs and abolishing Tax Returns:

Next stage = Simplify the annual Tax Return so all taxed income like salary, pension, interest is pre-populated on-screen and taxpayers / agents simply report on what HMRC doesn't know about WHILST AT THE SAME TIME getting taxpayers to pay quarterly, i.e. 1st POA by 31 Oct, 2nd by 31 Jan, 3rd by 30 Apr and final by 31 Jul.  This improves HMRC's cashflow whilst getting taxpayers used to doing something quarterly AND giving HMRC time to fine tune the Personal Tax Accounts online.

As an agent I'd actually welcome these changes. 

 

 

Thanks (0)
avatar
By Vaughan Blake1
06th Jan 2016 11:00

These taxpayers..

That wanted more certainty of their tax bill before the end of the year, were they told how this would be achieved? I suspect not!

I am still confused over whether QTR 4 will be a balancing up exercise or not.  If it is, then we are simply making payments on account for the other three.  If it isn't, then I don't see how using such 'raw' data will produce the right answer. 

Thanks (0)
avatar
By steve 12321
06th Jan 2016 15:51

Reducing the deficit

anyone got time to start a petition to cease the generous perks afforded to politicians in the way of generous pension schemes to help reduce the deficit and level the playing field?

 

Thanks (1)
Teignmouth
By Paul Scholes
08th Jan 2016 01:24

Fluctuating profits and accurate books
Surely profit and pay tax Q1 followed by loss and refund tax Q2 is better than the current Y1 and Y2 alternative, especially when the refund doesn't actually arrive until months after Y2?

The new regime will spark new cheaper easy to use IT solutions, with many accountants and bookkeepers keen to make best use of them and help their clients to keep their books up to date and accurate. Nothing new there.

Yes there are challenges and lots of unknowns which some will see as opportunities and others will see as threats. Nothing new there.

I could say that anyone who voted this lot in has no right to moan at what they are doing, I, on the other hand, have every right to moan at them but am prepared to go with the flow of technology and make the most of it, I've seen it happen too often to want to stand and wail at the tide.

Thanks (1)
By petersaxton
08th Jan 2016 07:54

Some thinking

I have a client who seems incapable of dealing with paperwork. 

He told me he wanted his accounts on Sage or QuickBooks. I said: "Why are we even considering this if you can't provide any paperwork or information?"

His response: "Doesn't the software do it all automatically?"

Thanks (0)
Teignmouth
By Paul Scholes
08th Jan 2016 09:29

Was he a grown up Peter?

Many people understand that record keeping is (currently) part & parcel of running a business and if you are unable to do it then you have to pay someone else to do it. Others are unwilling to do it or pay someone else and so, if they are minors you tell their Mum, or if grown ups, you tell them to go pester someone else or get a job.

In the future every time you buy something, all you'll have to do at point of sale is determine whether it's for your business or not, the supplier's computer system will then record that expense in your books, no paperwork.

 

Thanks (0)
avatar
By carnmores
08th Jan 2016 10:59

@Paul

having met you once at an AW drinks and having read your posts for many happy years I still have no idea how you voted, if at all, long may that reign. BTW i didnt either but am pleased with the result.

Thanks (0)
avatar
By MartinLevin
08th Jan 2016 17:55

Quarterly Tax Returns..

..as I said on LBC recently, "in the 1970s, a retired Speaker of the House of Commons (Sir Bernard Wetherall) stated that 95% of businesses, employ 5 or fewer employees, yet the Government treats them the same as ICI", (whom, as Imperial Chemical Industries,was the largest company at the time).  Since then, we have witnessed the "too big to fail" behemoths, that swallow up efficient small business into Big Corporate Works, that pay fancy salaries, which have attracted the next generation to work in them.  That stifles the enthusiasm of "working for oneself". However, those remaining in Small Business often struggle to keep their heads above water, and are forced to kow-tow with dictates foisted upon them from out-of-touch invisible (un)civil "servants" 

Thanks (1)
Teignmouth
By Paul Scholes
09th Jan 2016 10:11

Martin
Your first point refers to Capitalism. I've never had a chance to votes for something else, but I live in hope, perhaps when societies grow up?

The whole quarterly tax return thing is being blown out of all proportion, yes I'm sure the gov will make a meal of it in the planning and implementation, but just because your hard done by, point of failure, small businesses can't keep reasonable records at the moment, doesn't mean that can't be taught to.

There are tax and social benefits of working for yourself, compared to being someone's wage slave, the downside is that you have to keep reasonable records, hard done by, really?

Thanks (1)
avatar
By ronlfoot
09th Jan 2016 12:03

@Paul

There is so much wrong with your post of today @10.11,  I'm at a bit of a loss as to where to start.  

The "social benefits", would that include working 60+ hour weeks (including weekends), no occupational pension, no sick pay, no paid holidays, the constant threat of a Revenue enquiry, the personal legal responsibility for the goods or services supplied, etc. etc.

Yes, it's a wonderful life being self-employed!

In the 50+ years I've sailed the wide accountants' sea,  I've had as clients gardeners who garden, cobblers who cobble, upholsterers who upholster, window cleaners who .. well,obviously ...

They plough the lonely furrow of their trade and keep smiling.  They did not expect to have to cope with electronic filing, RTI if they employ a family member, they did not expect to have to "auto-enrol" a workforce of one.  They certainly did not expect to have to file quarterly returns to an unthinking, totally out-of-touch-with-reality civil service department.

Some of the aforementioned gardeners, cobblers, upholsterers, etc are eking out an existence at a rate of return well below the current minimum wage, never mind a "national living wage".  Frankly some of them would find it difficult to operate in an "employed" situation. But they do a worthwhile job and bye-and-large do it well.

Would you prefer them to become benefit claimants in the socialist paradise that you seem to favour?  Because, if they give up on the struggle, that (or go on the black) is what they will do.

Perhaps it's not only "societies" that need to "grow up".

 

 

 

Thanks (2)
By petersaxton
09th Jan 2016 16:27

Nearly right

ronlfoot wrote:

Perhaps it's not only "societies" that need to "grow up".

It's certainly people who start with "soc". That's why there's a mass of people who get paid not to work yet people from abroad come here and can manage to find work.

It would never happen in China.

Thanks (1)
avatar
By carnmores
10th Jan 2016 11:40

@Peter really !

LOL

Thanks (0)
avatar
By Old Greying Accountant
10th Jan 2016 13:43

Agree with Ronlfoot ...

... much as I like Paul I can't agree with his post.

You can train say a carpenter all you like, but he will never be able to deal with accounting software, however "foolproof" it is, it is not a matter of won't do it, but can't. That doesn't make him stupid, just has his mind wired in a practical way not an admin way.

Similarly he could show me how to hang a door until the cows come home but I will never manage more than a bodge job. 

This is why people pay carpenter, plumbers, electricians, mechanics etc. and conversely why they pay us, they don't want a bodge job on their accounts. 

To force them to have to pay us to do things for them on a more frequent basis is unjust.

I would say though 4 filings won't mean 4 times the cost, but it will mean more cost. A less scaremongering estimate would be their costs would double.

The bigger problem to me is the fact I am on a bad enough hamster wheel of VAT, RTI, CIS, I start my first AE this month and now this.

These proposals are on a par with the abortion of a piece of legislation that is AE, and seems to be designed to make things as difficult and expensive as possible for all concerned, where as pointed out above there are more efficient and simpler solutions that would have the same result, quicker tax collection.

To me the easiest solution for the self-employed is to calculate their average tax to turnover percentage for the last say 3 years and have them pay that each month - you could even have a simple screen to log in, enter turnover and press a payment button to pay the amount calculated. 

One thought is partnerships, how will that work, not all work on a fixed percentage, some have a monthly standard draw and allocate the remainder ad-hoc depending on numerous factors - that will be fun!

Thanks (0)
avatar
By MartinLevin
10th Jan 2016 16:07

As an Accountant who started in1963....

...and is still practising, thank goodness that in the last couple of days, some others have posted sensible pieces.  Back in 1980, after the umpteenth request from yet another self-employed client asking "what books should I keep?" I rolled up my sleeves, and designed the ABC Accounts Book.  I gave these to each and every client at the start of their financial year, and they were more than happy to copy the entries from their cheques book stubs, paying-in books, cash bills.  I accepted, and told the Revenue: "clients are TRADERS,not BOOK-KEEPERS".  My success rate on investigations was impressive. I even managed to fight off the VAT Man twice at the Tribunals.  I am still in practice, looking after those who meet these simple book-keeping procedures.I even have more time to do other things: answering requests from LBC (who started life as London Broadcasting Company), as their "High Street Accountant", thus keeping my feet on the ground.  Experience is valuable.  Compare that with the Young Turks, who try to shoe-horn their ideas onto the self-employed and real small business.  In tax, what goes round comes round.  (Estate Duty 1896, into Capital Transfer Tax, and then Inheritance Tax; plus Capital Gains Tax from 1975 re-morphing back in 2016+).  Like any SENSIBLE business, why not ask those at the shop-floor, or at the base of the pyriamid, how/what CAN be implemented?

Thanks (1)
avatar
By Old Greying Accountant
10th Jan 2016 17:11

Blimey ...

... I "started" in 1963, but didn't actually see the light of day until 1964, and accountancy came 18 years later!

Thanks (0)
By petersaxton
10th Jan 2016 18:01

Somewhere in between

OGA is right that clients can't produce anything near good accounts.

Paul is right that online bookkeeping is a great improvement.

I think with the power of collaboration it should be possible for the accountant to work with the client to get the accounts prepared at minimal cost.

Different clients can do different levels of work to help the accountant. Clients can start with passing to the accountant the documentation and downloading CSV files and emailing them to the accountant. Eventually the accountant can get the client to upload CSV files to the online bookkeeping software or use bank feeds. Eventually the client can get the accountant to scan the documentation and then attach the scans to the transactions. The accountant can explain to the client how to explain the transactions. Some clients wont want to do anything or can't do anything whereas other clients would be happy to do more as far as their ability extends so they could reduce their accountancy fees. Accountants could show the use of up to date accounts.

You will still get some clients who will just want to pass the documentation to the clients work together to get the CSV files but with the majority there should be the potential to make bookkeeping easier.

I wish Clear Books would allow documentation to be attached to transactions before the transaction has been explained as this is the obvious way to do things. Presently Clear Books wants the transaction explained before the documentation is attached. I can understand that it is not too important if the client has the documentation in front of them before attaching but if the accountant wants to explain the transaction it would make more sense if the documentation is attached before he attempts the explanation. I think this is a major design fault of Clear Books.

Thanks (1)
avatar
By carnmores
11th Jan 2016 10:58

@OGA

way to go!

Thanks (0)
avatar
By Old Greying Accountant
11th Jan 2016 12:03

There are many ...

... who will never be able to download and e-mail csv files, or even write up and send a meaningful excel sheet that can be converted, this is from experience, and despite their best efforts it is still easier to write everything up myself from scratch!

Thanks (0)
By petersaxton
11th Jan 2016 15:18

Agreed

Old Greying Accountant wrote:

... who will never be able to download and e-mail csv files, or even write up and send a meaningful excel sheet that can be converted, this is from experience, and despite their best efforts it is still easier to write everything up myself from scratch!

So maybe they should get their accountant set up on their internet banking or get them to visit their accountant so the accountant can do it after they log in. There has to come a point where they have to make an effort to get things done. Would you keep a client who said to you: "I'm sorry but I'm too stupid to know how to pay your invoices"?

Thanks (0)
avatar
By MartinLevin
11th Jan 2016 17:22

Record Keeping a problem?

Then give each of your clients an ABC Accounts Book.  I always do, and reap the benefits in time saved.  My clients are grateful for thinking about THEM, and are more than willing to meet me, as their accountant, half-way.

Thanks (0)
Teignmouth
By Paul Scholes
11th Jan 2016 12:19

Can always trust a left leaning comment to get them out of bed

Martin, as with so many other things in life, length of anything, including practice, does not guarantee quality, imagination, flexibility, willingness to try something new or even to look at the glass as half full, once in a while.

This is not a personal slight, honest, it's just that I work with, and have known lots of "Young Turks" over the years who in a few years are way ahead of us old timers in outlook, abilities and work/life balance.

Back to your and ronifoot's hard-done-by self employed.  I don't doubt ronifoot's experience of his clients but doesn't mean we all share that experience, don't you or he have any successful ones?  I do.

Reading ronifoot's experience I am left wondering why on earth they carry on if life is so hard, after all, it's not as if anyone is forcing them to work 7 days a week for tuppence ha'penny, they chose to run their own business (and I'm assuming still that they are grown ups).

I don't have any cobblers as clients so can't talk about their plight (except my local cobbler & key cutter drives a new Merc) but in discussions during hard times with my clients there is always an element of "would you not be better off doing something else or going back to employment?" This goes way beyond bookkeeping, I've seen too many clients (and accountants) with broken marriages and health, because they are unwilling to face the realities of running an inefficient or unsustainable business, so I see it as part of the service to highlight some realities.

What presumably sets people off down the line of self employment is that they are their own bosses and even if they lose out on employment benefits and the security? of a contract of employment etc, they see independence and the possibility of being better off as far more valuable.  One of my self employed clients went from a secure city job earning a huge salary, to running his own business 7 days a week and has had two years of losses, but he would not go back and still has confidence that his business will turnaround.

ronifoot - you said you had difficulty trying to comment on my post but you made a good effort.  I on the other hand have no polite way to respond to:

"They [self employed] did not expect to have to cope with electronic filing, RTI if they employ a family member, they did not expect to have to "auto-enrol" a workforce of one.  They certainly did not expect to have to file quarterly returns"

So what?  Did you advise them to expect no change in legislation and not to make use of digital communications in case the government spotted it and saw the possibility of making use of it themselves?  Would you prefer paper P35s and SA returns and writing countless, unanswered, letters to HMRC, maybe it's time to start a petition against the imposition of quarterly VAT returns or even a return to good old purchase tax?

Back to the topic; as long as it's filtered through people like Rebecca Bennyworth, I'm sure all the wailing, huffing & puffing, will get through and that, by the time the detail is announced it will be far less planet destroying than feared above.  It really does make far more sense to me and the clients I've spoken to, to have accounting records accurate & up to date and to pay tax (or get refunds) as you go.

Can you imagine "simplifying" VAT by putting everyone on annual returns and payments/refunds?

 

 

Thanks (0)
avatar
By Old Greying Accountant
11th Jan 2016 13:16

Paul ...

... in the SE with have it easy, in many areas there is no option of a job, it is work for yourself or benefits and i applaud those you would rather provide for themselves instead of claiming benefit - and they should be helped, not hindered.

Also, if you were a skilled carpenter do you think you would be happy stacking supermarket shelves day in day out for the rest of your working life.

The people who are most content are generally those doing a job they enjoy rather than those earning lots of money.

It is not online filing, RTI etc. that is the problem, it is the relentless mindless deadlines and penalties that are. 

I hate modern society and despite your many views I admire; on environment, meat eating etc. I feel you miss the point sometimes, and that surprises me as I thought you of all people I know would appreciate what really is important in life. 

Life shouldn't be about filling in forms for corrupt unaccountable governments.

We will not have a grown up society until we stop forcing everyone to be the same and rejoice in our differences. 

I still think G K Chesterton's message is powerful and evermore true. Whether or not you believe in God it reflects to road to hell our society is walking. And try reading the last Pratchett Discworld novel,  he was a guy who understood people.

O God of earth and altar,
bow down and hear our cry,
our earthly rulers falter,
our people drift and die;
the walls of gold entomb us,
the swords of scorn divide,
take not thy thunder from us,
but take away our pride.

From all that terror teaches,
from lies of tongue and pen,
from all the easy speeches
that comfort cruel men,
from sale and profanation
of honor, and the sword,
from sleep and from damnation,
deliver us, good Lord!

Tie in a living tether
the prince and priest and thrall,
bind all our lives together,
smite us and save us all;
in ire and exultation
aflame with faith, and free,
lift up a living nation, 
a single sword to thee.

 

 

Thanks (0)
By petersaxton
11th Jan 2016 15:34

I hate modern society?

I feel sorry for you.

That is a terrible outlook to have.

There may be many things I dislike but there are many more things I like and love.

I'm not even sure what you mean by "modern society".

Regarding a different comment:

I think it's funny about the "left leaning comment". My wife is originally from Poland and her and her Polish friends are so much happier now despite any problems they have because they are not treated like dirt by "left leaning" people who hated anybody who wanted to work hard and have a better life. They just wanted to impose a certain way of living on everybody rather than allow any freedom. Remember it was "left leaning" governments who would kill anybody who tried to escape from their oppressive regimes.

For some reason "left leaning" people want to pollute every discussion with their views and then they will be shocked that anybody dares to show how deluded they are.

Thanks (0)
avatar
By Old Greying Accountant
12th Jan 2016 11:05

Peter ...

... it is not me that needs your pity, it is the self obsessed society we have in general become.

As ever there are shining exceptions to this, but on the whole there is no society, just a collection of individuals.

Thanks (0)
By petersaxton
12th Jan 2016 11:30

Is it valid?

Old Greying Accountant wrote:

... it is not me that needs your pity, it is the self obsessed society we have in general become.

As ever there are shining exceptions to this, but on the whole there is no society, just a collection of individuals.

I'm not sure it is easy to make an overall judgement. Some people are self obsessed and other people are not. Since I became self employed I have cut back on my social life but I'm not sure you are meaning that. I don't think I would be classed as self obsessed because I am concentrating to a large extent on my client's needs. What would you think would make society less "self obsessed"? I'm not sure how easy it is to judge society because after all we are a collection of individuals. Is that bad? It's not like individuals can't interact and I'm not sure more interaction makes them less "self obsessed". I think many people are interested in how society should develop while still doing all they can to improve their own lives. I don't think you can say that is a bad thing. Surely "society" is made up of individuals trying to improve their lives and as a by-product it improves "society". It only becomes bad when people improve their lives to the detriment of others.

Just saying society is "self obsessed" is a lazy comment in isolation

Thanks (0)
avatar
By carnmores
12th Jan 2016 11:39

well said Peter

the left leaners cannot get over the fact that they lost the election , they simply don't understand why it happened, and now they are shouting and screaming on Any Questions & QT;. they seem to think that they have a monopoly on caring and compassion; they are destined to lose again until they change their approach which will ultimately mean ditching JC.

Thanks (0)
By petersaxton
12th Jan 2016 12:12

Next election

I watched Janan Ganesh on the last Sunday Politics and he was certain that Labour are unelectable with Corbyn in charge.

Labour seem to have given up on getting democratically elected and are aiming to change the country through unions causing maximum disruption in the future. They don't realise that the more they make life difficult for ordinary people the more the government will be backed in trade union reform.

Thanks (0)
Teignmouth
By Paul Scholes
12th Jan 2016 13:06

Oh dear!

As I say, such a comment always gets them out of their bed only now it seems that we need to call the nurse :0)

For the record I haven't voted Labour since May 97 (for which apologies) and (carnmores) I have no problem with the current breed having been dumped at the election, I'd have been almost as disappointed with them as I have been with the Tories.  

And Peter, this thread is concerned with the situation and political balance (or lack of it) in the UK, I'm sure if I lived & worked in Poland, and was posting on accountingweb.pl, I'd be railing against their "Conservatives". 

OGA I am in complete agreement with you over the North/South divide and feel just as much sympathy as anyone else for the plight of the self employed who have to struggle to make a living, but then so do I for the employed as well, the issue of work or benefits fits both and is nothing to do with this topic.  

What I rail against are comments that proclaim that all, or the majority, of small businesses are hard done by and put upon in that it suits the proclaimer's argument to twist the truth in that way.

I also have every sympathy with your outlook on modern society, believe it or not, I am at my most content when I am away from phones, computers & ipads and, after the initial shock,I love the hours I've spent some days when the internet goes down.  The must have, enough is never enough, consumerism, inequality and greed in this country and the States in particular, makes me despair for our society and the planet.

BUT I currently chose to live within it and so make the most of any technology that can make my and my client's lives easier and see as a good thing the government planning to do the same.

The past 200+ years have seen no end of change and people having to adapt and now is no different it's just speeded up.  There will always be the small % who can not or will not adapt and, as mentioned, it's our job to help them if we can to make the transition.

We saw the same sort of hand wringing and wailing when RTI was announced and implemented, with all those (poor hard done by) businesses without computers or the internet but it's here and the planet keeps turning and so I can't help think that the proclaimers just like proclaiming, they move from one moan to the next, on auto pilot.

Thanks (0)
By petersaxton
12th Jan 2016 13:42

Freedom or dictatorship? You decide - for now!

“As I say, such a comment always gets them out of their bed only now it seems that we need to call the nurse :0)”

Call the nurse, then. The nurse still won’t be able or willing to get you to see sense. The nurse will let you carry on in your delusional way.

“And Peter, this thread is concerned with the situation and political balance (or lack of it) in the UK, I'm sure if I lived & worked in Poland, and was posting on accountingweb.pl, I'd be railing against their "Conservatives". “

I’m sure you would. That wouldn’t make it sensible.

“OGA I am in complete agreement with you over the North/South divide and feel just as much sympathy as anyone else for the plight of the self employed who have to struggle to make a living, but then so do I for the employed as well, the issue of work or benefits fits both and is nothing to do with this topic.”

So you have sympathy with the employed and the self employed. What do you think should change in a practical way?

“What I rail against are comments that proclaim that all, or the majority, of small businesses are hard done by and put upon in that it suits the proclaimer's argument to twist the truth in that way.

I also have every sympathy with your outlook on modern society, believe it or not, I am at my most content when I am away from phones, computers & ipads and, after the initial shock,I love the hours I've spent some days when the internet goes down.  The must have, enough is never enough, consumerism, inequality and greed in this country and the States in particular, makes me despair for our society and the planet.

BUT I currently chose to live within it and so make the most of any technology that can make my and my client's lives easier and see as a good thing the government planning to do the same.

The past 200+ years have seen no end of change and people having to adapt and now is no different it's just speeded up.  There will always be the small % who can not or will not adapt and, as mentioned, it's our job to help them if we can to make the transition.

We saw the same sort of hand wringing and wailing when RTI was announced and implemented, with all those (poor hard done by) businesses without computers or the internet but it's here and the planet keeps turning and so I can't help think that the proclaimers just like proclaiming, they move from one moan to the next, on auto pilot.”

You seem to be criticising the people who say there are people left behind by progress yet you seem to be just as unhappy with people who wont live according to YOUR ideas. I don’t get excited by fashion, celebrity culture and flat screen TVs but I am happy to let people make the choice of how to live their life but it appears you are not. You are upset if people don’t live their life the way you want them to. You seem to be a frustrated Pol Pot.

Thanks (0)
avatar
By Old Greying Accountant
14th Jan 2016 12:56

@ Paul

I agree using technology where it helps, and yes most of my clients will whinge at paying me more and may be more tax, but they can afford it, but, and a big but, there are a significant number, not just in the north, who scrape a living as best they can without wanting to be a burden on the state.

AE is already adding insufferably to their cost and stealing their precious time, this will just add to their woes.

To me, the sensible option would be to apply the new regime to VAT registered businesses only and leave the very micro businesses with the status quo.

And Peter, there are many people worried about where society is going, very few doing anything about it, and with our corrupt and out-dated system of governance it is an impossible struggle - I think the Lin Homer debacle high-lights that!

Thanks (0)
By petersaxton
13th Jan 2016 14:05

OGA

Of course there are things wrong and Lin Homer is one example of that. But unless you articulate a few other things and how to correct them it is pointless just moaning generally.

AE: I think it's a crazy idea. I expect that the pension providers will swallow up most of the money like they always do. I have a small pension and, even after taking into account tax relief, I feel I would have been better off just keeping the money in the bank rather than paying it to a pension fund and then getting most of it back years later. As I understand it, I think employees have to have a separate pension scheme for each employer. I don't know whether they can be merged at a later date.

Thanks (0)
Teignmouth
By Paul Scholes
14th Jan 2016 10:52

Something we all agree on

I spent most of yesterday reviewing and puzzling over AE with Clear Books and am wondering if I can bring forward my own retirement's "staging date". 

 

Thanks (0)
By petersaxton
14th Jan 2016 15:23

Yes you can

Paul Scholes wrote:

I spent most of yesterday reviewing and puzzling over AE with Clear Books and am wondering if I can bring forward my own retirement's "staging date". 

You can retire any time you want.

Thanks (0)
avatar
By Old Greying Accountant
14th Jan 2016 15:25

@ Peter ...

... may be in February!

Thanks (0)
By petersaxton
14th Jan 2016 15:32

Long way to go

Old Greying Accountant wrote:

... may be in February!

I'm going to carry on for a long time if I can.

I have to admit it's easy to fill my day without working, though.

Thanks (0)
avatar
By Old Greying Accountant
15th Jan 2016 15:42

I meant ...

Old Greying Accountant wrote:

... may be in February!

... I might have time to expand on my rant in February!

Thanks (0)
By petersaxton
15th Jan 2016 15:49

Great

Old Greying Accountant wrote:

Old Greying Accountant wrote:

... may be in February!

... I might have time to expand on my rant in February!

I understand now.

Thanks (0)
Teignmouth
By Paul Scholes
15th Jan 2016 10:25

Any time Peter?

Is that an offer to pay off my mortgage?

Thanks (0)
By petersaxton
15th Jan 2016 11:02

No

Paul Scholes wrote:

Is that an offer to pay off my mortgage?

No.

Is that an offer to pay off my mortgage?

Thanks (0)
avatar
By MartinLevin
15th Jan 2016 12:07

Record based upon purely Bank Statements?

Can anyone enlighten me if the promoted software packages, especially if those referring to "downloaded bank statements into "csv"" [comma,separated variables?] allow for CASH (I'm old fashioned) or possible a CREDIT CARD statement - or even any OTHER PAYMENT source?

Thanks (0)
By petersaxton
15th Jan 2016 13:35

CSV

MartinLevin wrote:

Can anyone enlighten me if the promoted software packages, especially if those referring to "downloaded bank statements into "csv"" [comma,separated variables?] allow for CASH (I'm old fashioned) or possible a CREDIT CARD statement - or even any OTHER PAYMENT source?

Yes, it's just a CSV file so wherever you get the data from, if it's in CSV format you can use it as long as the fields are the same as that required for the bookkeeping software.

Thanks (0)

Pages