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Firms play the MTD ITSA waiting game

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Many accounting firms are choosing to hold back on fully engaging with the government’s plans to digitise the income tax self assessment regime. Richard Sergeant examines the reasons behind this and asks what needs to happen to move preparations up through the gears.

23rd Nov 2022
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From a practice perspective, I can completely understand why there is a reluctance to get started with Making Tax Digital for income tax self assessment (MTD ITSA).

Many of the main software providers are yet to unveil their full solutions, while HMRC’s track record on the project is one of delay and uncertainty. Even the merest mention of the subject on these pages surfaces, shall we say, strong views.

However, given the (current) timeline and the potential headache of getting both practice and clients across the line in time, I’m still intrigued as to why more firms aren’t engaging with this.

At Accountex Summit North last month, around 200 delegates who were willing to put their hands up (in an admittedly unscientific study), responded to the following question. 

How many of you:

  • Have chosen your preferred tech route?
  • Are waiting for vendors to come up with a solution?
  • Are waiting for more clarity from HMRC before starting?

The answer was a neat 30/30/40% split, meaning the majority wanted more information from vendors and HMRC before they were willing to spring into action.

Is it too early to get started?

Given a kick-off date of April 2024, there is still time to sort things out, especially when there is a degree of uncertainty around whether this is actually a concrete date. And of course, we know that many clients will not think about moving forward until they really have to.

However, this seems to be less about apathy and more about uncertainty.

You have your chosen tech route

What about those who have already chosen their preferred technology route? Are these the super-organised vanguard? Or is something else at play?

Some seem to have total faith in an existing provider. Dom Busby of Served First is a good example: “I'll hold true to Xero as I know they'll be committed to following through on MTD”. 

If you’re already a super-user of one particular accounting platform I can see why this approach makes sense, as you hold a high expectation they’ll be able to deliver an end-to-end approach.

But many of the main ledger providers have yet to unveil their full solutions to the open market, so is it wise to adopt such a position of blind faith? Is it better to evaluate other types of solutions? Or should practitioners continue to play the waiting game?

We should also recognise that some firms may not have many sole traders clients, so there's none of the diversity which provides pause for thought.

Waiting for the tech providers

The fact that many firms are waiting for the technology providers to come up with a solution suggests there is a significant focus and reliance on the vendors. 

Just yesterday I was invited to an online meeting of a group of accountants discussing their approaches, and the general consensus seemed to be that because this was largely a digital record-keeping problem, it was primarily the vendors’ responsibility to come up with the answers. 

 

Given that the vendors will have to meet the standards and requirements of HMRC, this does have a ring of truth about it. But should we also be cautious of ‘outsourcing’ the answers to the software vendors?

A concern here might be that we see this as purely a technology question, and not take into account service line and practice structure changes, and the need to change the habits and behaviours of clients. However, without choice, and without having an opportunity to poke and prod the tools, it is hard to make decisions which could dictate how and what we communicate to clients. 

Waiting for HMRC clarification

In the conference session I mentioned earlier, the largest group of respondents were those waiting for clarification from HMRC before acting.

Given the Revenue’s ‘previous’ with MTD for VAT around delays and soft landings, it is easy to see why some will wait until they have all the facts. Once we know where we are, it is always easier to act.

There are, of course, those who profess it will never happen, and some who hope it won’t. Even with the current economic climate and political shenanigans of 2022, however, this seems unlikely. But who knows? And this is the point. If there is regulatory uncertainty and a possible change in the goalposts, how is it even possible to plan effectively?

What are we supposed to tell clients? Will landlords get a reprieve or will the thresholds move? Will the quarterly reporting aspect remain in place? And of course, surely the tech companies can’t finalise their solutions until they know themselves?

The thresholds point, however, is a moot one. as the core of the work is deciding on data collection, mapping, calculation and successful filing with HMRC. The issue of thresholds is more about policy than technology. 

A bit of everything

As ever though, these things are tightly connected, and that’s why it’s becoming a waiting game. 

Andy Perrett, Associate Cloud Accounting Partner, TC Group, puts it well: “We know our most-likely tech stack, but have some queries around the process that we are waiting and watching the vendors on. And the real need to keep an eye on HMRC for further developments, details or changes.”

Moving from awareness to taking action is hard to do in this kind of environment, and waiting is an important part of knowing how to act. However, as Penelope Allard from The Wild Bookkeeper points out: “The danger with waiting too long will be the time it takes to get clients set up and adequately trained in what they need to do”.

So what can be done, while we wait? 

Non-technical action

Over the last 12 months or so, I’ve had the opportunity to spend a lot of my professional time focusing on MTD. It’s not for me to dictate the approach firms will take or make assumptions about priorities, but for what it’s worth here’s a list of some of the most pragmatic advice I’ve come across. Things that hold value now, even if you are waiting. And it’s primarily non-technical. 

  • Segmenting clients: who do you understand will be impacted, and what level of support will they need eg none, some, a lot
  • What will the service offering need to be?
  • What processes will be needed?
  • How long it will take and the resource requirements
  • Encourage clients to get a separate business bank account.
  • Overlap relief calculations. It will take a long time to get them from HMRC - should we start now?
  • It is tax return time, give them some warning and some information. Even if it is along the lines of: “Harebrained scheme of the government which might not happen but I have to let you know”
  • April 2023: if we’re still on the current timeline, start the process of registration.

And one final, and more technical point: use the vendors for all your worth. No one can afford to be left behind, and neither can the software companies. Use their webinars, resources and expertise to show you their plans and how they might help you.

 

Replies (64)

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By User deleted
23rd Nov 2022 15:26

I don't see how it can be starting in April 2024. The biggest change since Self Assessment yet at this stage there's 100 people/firms piloting it and there's been no mainstream notification about it anywhere.
I wasted enough time when it was first meant to be launching, never again.

Thanks (21)
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By CJaneH
23rd Nov 2022 16:16

My memory with SA & digital tax returns & VAT online submission followed by VAT MTD is that the system was introduced. The tech savvy/enthusiastic accounts started using the various software packages and the rest of us followed later. As a sole practitioner, with no staff and small turnover clients that have got little further than a smart phone I am getting out.

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By North East Accountant
23rd Nov 2022 16:27

The 40% waiting is no surprise, in fact I'm surprised it's not more.

HMRC agile working (I use the term loosely) is to blame because HMRC are working to a deadline of 6th April 2024.

On 5th April 2024 HMRC will say, right we're done, and then change the guidelines constantly thereafter. They forget that their end point is everyone else's start point and if they keep changing the goalposts, everyone is constantly having to update, change, amend, incur costs etc to keep compliant.

Take GDPR as a great example of this, and the ICO Guide to the GDPR.

08/02/18 - we downloaded the ICO guide (Version 1.0.19) and based all our in-house policies etc on this.
22/03/18- checked for updates, guide now Version 1.0.49, amended policies etc, right we're good to go and advise clients.
18/05/18-just before the go live date of 25/05/18, the guide is now Version 1.0.82 and has changed 33 times since we last looked at it....argh...
23/05/18 - Data Protection Bill 2018 becomes Act
25/05/18 - GDPR go live date
29/05/18 -the guide has changed again and is now Version 1.0.122
20/06/18 - the guide is now Version 1.0.152
25/09/18-the guide is now Version 1.0.229.

So between first looking at it in February 2018 and September 2018 the ICO GDPR guide changed 210 times.....

And that's for something as simple as Data Protection so what on earth will it be like for MTD ITSA.

And yet for Self Assessment we had definitive guides, set in stone ages before, printed and everyone across HMRC and the entire profession were all working off the same 2 guides.

Progress from HMRC in the last 27 years........yes but backwards not forwards.......and at vastly increased cost too.

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Replying to North East Accountant:
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By flightdeck
24th Nov 2022 10:30

That's pretty shocking. It is like they don't know what they're doing so they push something half-baked out and actively wait for the feedback to identify everything they missed and got wrong.

A private company would not last a year working like this.

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Replying to flightdeck:
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By North East Accountant
24th Nov 2022 11:11

You're right it is shocking indeed and a private company would be long gone.

But HMRC are not a private company so can take as long as they like, waste as many billions as they like, cost others (software companies, accountants, taxpayers) untold millions and countless time, and if it all falls flat on it's face, not one person will be held accountable at HMRC or lose their job.

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By NotAnAccountant2
23rd Nov 2022 16:43

I'm surprised that the "waiting to see" isn't far higher than 40%

One of the key reasons to hold off is that HMRC won't explain how they think even very, very simple, real world examples should work.

This isn't people coming up with obscure corner cases which there might be one examples in the world that will actually have to deal with it, this is examples where there are hundreds of thousands to millions of tax payers that fall into this example.

Married couple, jointly owned property, tenants in common, unequal shares. Do we have a "record keeper" and a "passive" owner or does each owner now have to be their own record keeper?

If it's "record keeper" then explain how that is expected to work.
If it's "each taxpayer has to keep their own records" then expect howls of protest.

(and if it's "HMRC doesn't care which of the two is chosen" then they STILL have to example how "record keeper" is supposed to work for those who chose that route)

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Tornado
By Tornado
23rd Nov 2022 16:54

The reasons why this will not happen in April 2022 are just about all mentioned in your article.

Any Accountant of experience can see from the evidence available that this project is years away from even working a little bit. If this was a viable project, by now there would be a fully functional system on long term test that would be ready to go on the due date taking into account every aspect of what the MTD project is supposed to do.

We might end up getting some sort of compromise, but it would be just a sticking plaster on an idea that seems impossible to ever turn into reality.

We already have an excellent system in Self-Assessment and I think it would be of much greater benefit to us all if software developers were released from the interminable uncertainty over MTD and allowed to use their already proven technology to elevate Self-Assessment software to better, more efficient and reliable systems. Use of Digital technology will grow by natural means quicker than by forcing people to use half baked software and the unnecessary use of fines and other punishments that people will rebel against.

As has been said many times on AWEB, most people are NOT against more extensive use of Digital Technology but the Mandatary MTD Project is just NOT the way to do it.

I think the Government should put this project to death as soon possible and concentrate on more user friendly ways to encourage greater and acceptable use of tax and accounting software into the future, and I am speaking as someone who first prepared Accounts over forty years ago on a desktop system, and has been doing so ever since.

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Replying to Tornado:
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By GHarr497688
23rd Nov 2022 18:15

When I said something similar to the HMRC Making Tax Digital Readiness Team they said I was wrong with the proof being that so many had signed up to Making Tax Digital for VAT so it proves the case beyond doubt. What would your reply be to such a reason for carrying on with ITSA .

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Replying to GHarr497688:
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By Latinaid
24th Nov 2022 10:26

Did they sign up voluntarily or because it's mandatory?

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Replying to Latinaid:
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By GHarr497688
24th Nov 2022 12:27

Mandatory

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Replying to GHarr497688:
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By wilcoskip
24th Nov 2022 13:51

I think my response would be along the lines of:
(a) VAT is by its very nature a quarterly accounting system (for the vast majority) so the systems and mindset (and accountancy costs and man/woman-power) are mostly in place.
(b) VAT is (largely) in place for larger and more organised businesses, a good % of which were already using computerised systems. This is just not the case for smaller self-employed peeps and landlords.

So, VAT and ITSA are apples and oranges.

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Replying to GHarr497688:
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By adjadj
24th Nov 2022 14:30

‘What would your reply be ro that reason for carrying on ……….

ITSA and VAT are totally different. Let’s look at VAT first. It replicated an existing business process with users who were used to the discipline of quarterly VAT reporting. No new data fields. As such relatively simple

ITSA
1/ New to 4.2 million people with more that 100,000 over the age of 70
2/ joint property income solution is not fit for purpose
3/ crazy rules for people with sub £1000 income and property income. Need to set up a self employment stream only to have all tax refunded by the £1000 tax relief
4/ it would appear to have an unbelievably complex method for making adjustments at the end of the year
5/ Brand new EOPS function at the end of the year. Unfamiliar to both taxpayers and HMRC support teams
6/ For those people who do not buy expensive software solutions they will no longer be able to use the SA system to enter other tax information. Instead they will have to use the brand new Update and Submit a tax return service. This will be brand new functionality so it will inevitably have some bugs. It will be brand new to HMRC support staff and taxpayers

It worries me that some HMRC staff are think all will be fine because they have already got MTD VAT working OK. If that attitude is prevalent within HMRC then we are heading for an almighty train crash

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Replying to adjadj:
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By GHarr497688
24th Nov 2022 15:45

I did reply with something along those lines. The reply was that HMRC had asked the profession and taxpayers and the evidence/replies suggested that the MTD system would reduce error , increase productivity and close the tax gap. HMRC quoted me the evidence and based on that they would push ahead and if compliance wasn't 100% then the taxpayers would face a penalty as legislation was passed for the initiative to start in 2024. If HMRC data is so robust your comments above are wrong and unfounded based on the evidence. I have the letter from HMRC.

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Replying to GHarr497688:
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By BryanS1958
24th Nov 2022 16:03

It's a shame you can't upload their response, I haven't had a good laugh for ages!

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Replying to GHarr497688:
Tornado
By Tornado
24th Nov 2022 16:47

Indeed - The reply you quote completely ignores the Elephant in the Room which is regardless of why they are still pushing ahead with this project, there is not even the smallest amount of evidence to demonstrate that they will actually achieve their goal by April 2024, 0r lets face it .............. EVER.

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Replying to Tornado:
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By GHarr497688
24th Nov 2022 18:06

You need to research HMRC analysis of partakers responses. I get regular updates on the benefits and time saving of using digital tools , and I quote:

"to make it easier, more efficient and more effective for taxpayers to report and pay the right amount of tax"

I can't see why you are not up for it lol ;)

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By GHarr497688
23rd Nov 2022 17:12

Thank goodness I am old enough and wise enough to be able to leave the Accountancy profession for good. Expecting a layman to keep digital records and file six times in a year won't work. I will be out of Accountancy when MTD ITSA gets scrapped after it's massive failure .The future is of no concern to me. Good luck HMRC you will need it.

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Jennifer Adams
By Jennifer Adams
23rd Nov 2022 17:15

One point that no one seems to have mentioned (it's been mentioned loads of times in comments to other similar articles) is that HMRC wont be ready.

Hands up all those who agree...

Example of incompetency (or do I mean complacency?) ...l have been hanging on the phone for 1.5 hours now being passed from one VAT dept to another trying to get a client re registered for VAT using the same reg number and yes.. I have written as I was instructed (twice - they lost the first letter even though sent recorded delivery or whatever they call it these days).

I've been trying for weeks to get through and every time they are either not answering the phone or you are put on hold for hours.

>>> I've just put the phone down to try again and their offices are closed.

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Replying to Jennifer Adams:
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By Ammie
24th Nov 2022 09:49

Jennifer, I totally understand, I have that experience very regularly and it is often a total waste of time telephoning HMRC. Writing takes a very long time for them to respond to, if at all, and it is always a case of chasing repayments or meeting compliance. Yet HMRC have no difficulty in sending out letters of nonsense or chasing debt.

The telephone operators have no more access than the agent or the taxpayer and all they advise is what they read of their screens, which is the same as yours. They often guess a reply and even "accidentally" cut the call off. The digital systems are flawed and too often conceal overpayments, particularly with regards to PAYE. Why? I find this too much of a coincidence and is probably directed towards the disorganised or inefficient who would often not even know that an overpayment is available. I could make a very long list of regular issues!

Don't tell me HMRC how much money the state purse is losing in tax evasion and non compliance yet for some very strange reason no figures are published of what unclaimed, repayments not chased and given up or over taxing comes to.

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By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
23rd Nov 2022 17:47

From our side, all our clients who benefit from digital are on it. Because we are not idiots, and our clients are not idiots

I love simple tech that works and saves us and our client time. We are not deliberately wasting our time using out dated systems.

Which only leave those for whom it is not suitable.

Why would we force those clients onto something not suitable for their needs before its 100% absolutely necessary? And even then it will be "cost/benefit" analysis.

Chances are our biggest tranche of "not suitables", ie landlords will get a reprieve as its just too hard to make their mad system work. I know that, everyone who deal with landlords knows that. CIOT know that. OTS know that. Most software vendors are slowly coming round on that one too, hence only a couple of vendors even looking at that area. HMRC will get there eventually. It just takes them a very long time to see the obvious, but eventually they normally get there.

For the rest, I am sure we can slam low quality data through HMRC's servers if we need to. Its not used for anything, so who cares about it. HMRC will be too busy herding several million unrepresented tax payers towards the system, years down the line to bother agents filing on time.

Don't forget the square root of zero compliance effort has arise on VAT apart from turning off the old system. HMRC dont care how you do it, so long as you use the new tool. They simply dont have the resources to check up on you.

If agents want to wear the hair shirt on this stuff, they can knock themselves out. I prefer to concentrate on supporting my clients commercially, and working out their tax bills. That's my job. My job is not to facilitate deluded IT fantasies.

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By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
23rd Nov 2022 17:51

Repost as the other one got eaten by the server monsters:

From our side, all our clients who benefit from digital are on it. Because we are not idiots, and our clients are not idiots

I love simple tech that works and saves us and our client time. We are not deliberately wasting our time using out dated systems.

Which only leave those for whom it is not suitable.

Why would we force those clients onto something not suitable for their needs before its 100% absolutely necessary? And even then it will be "cost/benefit" analysis.

Chances are our biggest tranche of "not suitables", ie landlords will get a reprieve as its just too hard to make their mad system work. I know that, everyone who deal with landlords knows that. CIOT know that. OTS know that. Most software vendors are slowly coming round on that one too, hence only a couple of vendors even looking at that area. HMRC will get there eventually. It just takes them a very long time to see the obvious, but eventually they normally get there.

For the rest, I am sure we can slam low quality data through HMRC's servers if we need to. Its not used for anything, so who cares about it. HMRC will be too busy herding several million unrepresented tax payers towards the system, years down the line to bother agents filing on time.

Don't forget the square root of zero compliance effort has arise on VAT apart from turning off the old system. HMRC dont care how you do it, so long as you use the new tool. They simply dont have the resources to check up on you.

If agents want to wear the hair shirt on this stuff, they can knock themselves out. I prefer to concentrate on supporting my clients commercially, and working out their tax bills. That's my job. My job is not to facilitate delusional IT fantasies.

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Chris M
By mr. mischief
23rd Nov 2022 17:58

Totally support every word of that last post! The latest VAT enquiry I have is probably the stupidest and most shambolically run to date. And that's really saying something from HMRC, who have sought £1m from my client base in enquiries over the years and achieved £105.00.

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By Philysis
23rd Nov 2022 20:38

Common sense will prevail on this subject. Scrap it , the current system ain’t broke , it’s works well due to solely army of compliant accountancy providers and consent from U.K. public as recognised by Jim Harra. If any improvements can be made it’s for hmrc to push its data like p60 and p11 d back via api to accountancy providers software. That should be the scope of the project , hmrc talk to us with your data, and avoid this unnecessary cost , remember the chancellor needs savings.

Now mtd becomes mte , making tax easy ! Wake up Whitehall

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the sea otter
By memyself-eye
24th Nov 2022 09:12

There's a bun fest at the end of the month in Coventry - HMRC will be there. I'm going with
a) a pot of glue
b) a bucket of oil
c) A go pro so I can film myself and appear on the evening news

I will call the protest "Oi'll just stop"

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By ianmatt
24th Nov 2022 09:17

The day this nonsense is enacted is the day I jack in. I don't expect it to happen, at least for those trading under the ever reducing in real terms VAT threshold.

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By Duggimon
24th Nov 2022 09:22

"I’m still intrigued as to why more firms aren’t engaging with this."

It's simply a case of once bitten twice shy. We engaged early with MTD for VAT, putting some of our clients who don't use computers on cloud bookkeeping systems that we did all the data for early in order to be ready for the go live date.

Then, when it came, HMRC had been unable to deliver the specified system and instead had a shiny new portal for accepting the same information they already got on the old system, but at a cost of billions.

Our own costs were in the significant time spent sorting out these bookkeeping systems which we had been told would be essential but which were of no use to the clients. We saw it at the time as an investment in the future to secure a smooth transition but it ended up being pointless costs we just had to eat.

I would be absolutely mad to start going through my clients now and set them up on the systems as currently specified 16 months in advance. I have no idea if HMRC can deliver MTD for ITSA on time and as specified, maybe they can but, importantly, with all their new IT pushes over the last 20-25 years, they have never done so yet. Not once. Not a single system as discussed and specified over a year prior to launch has arrived on time and as specified.

So what is it we would do to get these clients ready for a mystery system? We have a general idea of what's likely to happen, but no specifics, and I really don't want to eat a load of costs across what will be a much much larger proportion of our client base.

I'm not an IT sceptic, I love IT solutions to problems, I use them as much as I can to streamline my work and the clients I have who do use IT systems love them too. MTD is the future and is essential for the progression of the tax system into the modern age, but HMRC are not capable of delivering the systems we need and are so far out of touch when it comes to setting the rules and requirements that what we end up with will be baffling, difficult and, from this temporally distant vantage point, completely unpredictable.

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Replying to Duggimon:
Chris M
By mr. mischief
24th Nov 2022 12:12

That is an excellent summary of what a shambles this is and why, despite appearances to the contrary, we are not ostriches sticking our heads in sand. Merely people who believe the emperor is wearing no clothes based on the fact that we can see his todger.

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Replying to Duggimon:
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By User deleted
24th Nov 2022 13:21

Exactly, I've no idea why anybody who doesn't worship at the altar of cloud software gets classed on here by some as a luddite.
I'm a child of the 70s, was there as the silicon revolution was born and love technology. BUT when it is beneficial.

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By JohnB
24th Nov 2022 09:43

You ask, 'Is it too early to get started?'
I wonder if it's too late to get stopped.
I have started to break the news to my clients that the current system of one tax return a year is to be replaced with five returns per year and this is being done to help them.
For reasons I cannot understand, nobody believes this.
For some reason, many are under the impression that this will increase costs or even drive them out of business.

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Replying to JohnB:
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By Brodders
24th Nov 2022 12:10

or drive them underground or the black market? Watch the tax gap explode

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Replying to JohnB:
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By Brodders
24th Nov 2022 12:10

or drive them underground or the black market? Watch the tax gap explode

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Replying to JohnB:
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By Brodders
24th Nov 2022 12:10

or drive them underground or the black market? Watch the tax gap explode

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Replying to JohnB:
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By Brodders
24th Nov 2022 12:10

or drive them underground or the black market? Watch the tax gap explode

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Replying to JohnB:
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By Mark Garrett T and A
24th Nov 2022 15:52

Six returns or heaven help us eleven for a self employed person with a half decent rental property!!

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By norstar
24th Nov 2022 09:56

I remember burning the midnight oil in January a couple years ago to get everyone's tax return done on time. I was grouchy with my family, I was tired and stressed. This was because HMRC were adamant there would be no extension to the 31st Jan deadline.

Then with only days to go, they U-turned and gave people another month.

I've never trusted or forgiven them since then when it comes to these deadlines and I'm not about to foist costs on my clients nor myself in the expectation that there will be MTD until it's certain.

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By Marlinman
24th Nov 2022 10:06

With all the dithering and delays, I've not wasted any time on it. If and when Taxfiler comes up with anything, I'll have a look at it but a lot of my clients will be applying to be digitally excluded.

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By johnjenkins
24th Nov 2022 10:45

HMRC won't ditch MTDITSA completely but it's highly likely they will postpone the controversial "updates" with a box on the 2025 tax return confirming that the figures have been produced using digital means.

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By gillsoffice
24th Nov 2022 11:05

I'm trying to point out the advantages of some of the accounting software (Xero mainly) to certain clients where I think it would benefit them in their day to day work anyway (eg bank feeds/issuing sales invoices/tracking income), but NOT as a tool for handling MTD. If MTD does happen then they will at least be partly ready.
Our tax system is way too complicated and I can't see how HMRC can ever construct something meaningful without asking for a full tax return for each submission (in which case just use the SA system already in place).
I don't see it's going to happen, but HMRC are going to put us all through months, if not years, of torture before it's binned. It adds to my fury that we are paying them to do this to us (and our clients and the software houses).

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Jennifer Adams
By Jennifer Adams
24th Nov 2022 11:08

Ammie is 100% correct. In his Autumn statement the chancellor wants the NHS to reduce 'waste' - I submit that he could save millions by getting HMRC to work efficiently.

And they can start by stopping sending out those letters that tell you what you already know - e.g that a company return is required. I know that legally they have to do this but that could easily be changed.

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By StephenGuy
24th Nov 2022 11:10

Years ago I used to put systems in place for government inspired hoops, only to have to change everything (several times) as the rules and requirements changed. Now I'm older (and I like to think wiser) I will wait until the merry-go-round has stopped moving before thinking about getting on.

The last client I spoke to about MTD4SA said "April 2024 - I could be dead then".

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By Michael C Feltham
24th Nov 2022 11:27

With the UK Government (Or, more appositely the charade which masquerades as a government!) changing as regularly as the tides, and tax "strategies" changing by the minute, HMRC have about as much chance of implementing MTD ITSA as I do of flying Concorde backwards across the Atlantic blindfold, with one arm tied behind my back!

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By BryanS1958
24th Nov 2022 11:46

What is MTD ITSA? Am I missing out on something?

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Replying to BryanS1958:
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By johnjenkins
24th Nov 2022 13:42

It's the festive Costa blend.

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By Swimmingagainstthe Tide
24th Nov 2022 12:00

We are not engaging because it won't work and we all know it. At best it will be introduced in a shambolic way with no penalties for non compliance. Many taxpayers will be unaware or will ignore the whole system. Accountants and HMRC will be overwhelmed. After a number of years the system will limp towards moderate compliance but will have achieved almost nothing. In the meantime thousands of workers will have wasted years when they could have been doing something useful.

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Replying to BSSRoberts:
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By GHarr497688
24th Nov 2022 12:30

You speak the truth. Although if it goes the same way at the VAT HMRC will hide the truth and say it's worked rather than lose face or they will be paying themselves bonuses on the penalty charges received or not receive should I say .

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By Brodders
24th Nov 2022 12:05

If anyone has read about the sub-postmasters scandal, this really does have overtones of something similar...must be the taxpayers fault right, not the HMRC computer system...

But i do tend to agree with a lot of people - that this project just won't happen

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Guest speaker, Jonathan Russell
By Jonathan Russell
24th Nov 2022 12:18

Until such time as HMRC declare exactly what is required and who will be caught, did anyone else pick up the side reference about people with dividend income being included as a possibility. How can we know what skill set we will need, what best approach is etc. Great opportunity for software houses to frighten people into signing up for products they may not need. Many businesses have no need of a bookkeeping product and are better served with a spreadsheet and bridging software.

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By GHarr497688
24th Nov 2022 12:46

When I first told clients in 2015 they all ignored me. I am telling them the same things now about ITSA and they are still ignoring me . I have clients doing MTD VAT who wouldn't be able to do MTD ITSA , I have more intelligent clients exempt from MTD VAT and yet less intelligent clients are expected to MTD ITSA as I will not be grovelling to HMRC for exemption. In fact I will leave the profession. HMRC are in chaos , pushing a system no one wants , Accountants are leaving the profession , HMRC can't get suitably trained staff , we have a skills shortage in Accountancy . I am from sorry Mr Harra but it's time to sit up and listen rather than go on the Martin Lewis show saying what a lovely man you are. What goes round comes round.

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Jennifer Adams
By Jennifer Adams
24th Nov 2022 13:05

Another day - another day spending hours on the phone trying to get through to HMRC.

This time I steeled myself with a mug of strong coffee before trying to get through to the 'HMRC Indv & Small Business Compliance - Customer Compliance Group'. I am chasing the update to a letter I sent in January (as I was told to do in the enquiry letter received) to which I have never received a reply/no acknowledgement/nothing.

This time it went straight to music rather than the 'everything is on the website' etc

Client has paid £3000 on account and that money is still sitting in the self assessment account (why has no one picked this up at HMRC?)

I rang in April and again in June and actually got through to a person to be told it was being seen to.... it's nearly Christmas and nothing.

After 10 mins waiting I give up again as life is too short and at my age the stress is too much.

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Replying to Jennifer Adams:
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By Michael C Feltham
24th Nov 2022 14:50

Jennifer:

Do what I did, after a coupla hours wasting time with the Agent's Helpless Line.

I have a favourite dictum, to which I have abided for many years, which is:

"Don't talk to the monkey; talk to the organ grinder!"

Thus in the final event, after phone calls, letters (unanswered etc) I wrote to Jim Harra.

Emails flying backwards and forwards from senior honchos, but shortly, agreement with my core points (Three Year Written back tax rebates refunded and carry forward of the huge capital losses on cessation).

And, I now have the letter from HMRC to prove it!

As with ALL government agencies, HMRC are a complete shambles.

Welcome to Third World Britain!

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