Where is the bridging software to plug the MTD gap?

a bridge too far
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One of the unresolved mysteries of Making Tax Digital is how and when tools will become available to let businesses transfer spreadsheet-based VAT calculations into the new end-to-end MTD for VAT system.

With the VAT pilot scheme now in its early stages and mandatory online filing less than a year away, the spreadsheet question cropped up again and again in the recent Accounting Excellence Talk on MTD.

During the live webcast, panellist Rebecca Benneyworth explained, “One of the key bits HMRC emphasises in the regulations is that it must be end-to-end digital. It’s fine to take data from some software and then push it through a spreadsheet. If your VAT affairs are extremely complicated, you probably will still have to do that.

“But HMRC says is that is not to be rekeyed. It’s got to be electronically transferred and then submitted from the spreadsheet, or from the spreadsheet back into the product and submitted from that.”

The spreadsheet question is of equal importance to practitioners advising small businesses and large groups with complex VAT arrangements, she continued.

When VAT came up on the rails, she suggested officials visited some large companies to see how they did VAT. In one instance, a company had 23 linked spreadsheets to work out its partial exemptions across the group.

“It was at that point HMRC realised they would have to allow data to pass through spreadsheets,” Benneyworth said.

What is MTD bridging software?

The initial digital taxation proposals cut spreadsheets out of the loop. However, after encountering complex issues such as those described above and intense lobbying from accountants, professional bodies and various select committees HMRC comprised, coining the snappy term ‘bridging software’ in the process.

When HMRC talks about bridging software, this is more than likely to come in the form of an add-in widget that you bolt onto a spreadsheet to transfer the data without rekeying.

Such a solution has been tested on the income tax side, and as the MTD for VAT pilot progresses in the next few months, more such bridging tools are likely to come forward, Benneyworth said.

May accounting excellence sponsors Intuit QuickBooks

Companies coming forward

Webcast participant David J asked the panel: “When will HMRC approve software providers' bridging software for those many many (mostly smaller) clients who rely on Excel spreadsheets for their VAT records and returns?”

HMRC’s answer is that commercial developers will provide the bridging software in time for the April 2019 go-live. Companies such as Clear Books, TaxCalc, Wolters Kluwer and DataDear are beginning to come forward with solutions.

Clear Books Micro, for example, replaces a client’s Excel spreadsheet with an equivalent, free online grid program to record sales, cash in and expenses, while the £75 TaxCalc VAT Filer app will import VAT data from a spreadsheet to feed an online MTD for VAT submission.

A public sighting at Accountex

MTD bridging software proved to be an elusive creature at last week’s Accountex in London, but some intrepid seekers found their quarry at the stand of DataDear.

An add-on developer for Xero and QuickBooks Online, DataDear starts from the premise that the business will operate its spreadsheet records in tandem with one of the main online systems. Once a basic ledger has been created for the organisation, it will be able to push data from DataDear’s validated spreadsheets to Xero or QuickBooks Online and filed with HMRC from there (the validated sheets will be filled in by the business user/accountant).

Big Four intrigue

For seasoned MTD watchers, one of the more intriguing aspects of the programme is how the Big Four accounting firms will bridge the spreadsheet gap. Serving the richest, most complex multinational clients across a multitude of different tax regimes, they cannot simply adopt a plug-and-play solution and hope for the best.

Rumours have reached AccountingWEB’s ears that at least two of the four are testing bespoke bridging solutions, although no one was available to comment for this article.

John’s ‘Stok-take’ - Bridging software

When the government changed horses from MTD for income tax to MTD for VAT, it seriously wrong-footed almost all of the developers serving the accounting profession. Specialist tax and practice developers understand how to build code around HMRC specs and regulatory requirements and had invested millions in retrofitting their compliance programs for MTD for income tax. All that work is “effectively redundant” in the words of Xero UK managing director Gary Turner as attention turns to VAT.

VAT invoices and returns are normally recorded in bookkeeping applications like Xero, Sage, QuickBooks and the rest. They tell us that all MTD for VAT needs is a little tweak to swap in the MTD equivalent of the VAT 100 return. But with a few exceptions, these developers don’t really get all the workflows, tracking and data queries that go on within a typical accountancy practice.

Specialist practice developers, meanwhile, are all trying to work out how they’ll link to the VAT bookkeeping engines to access filing dates, tax totals and payment details that should be available via HMRC’s emerging application programming interfaces (APIs). Sage, IRIS, Wolters Kluwer all have feet on both sides of the VAT fence and should be able to cater for all requirements. BTCSoftware and TaxCalc have made the necessary arrangements, while Forbes Computer is said to be courting VT Transaction+ users with a spreadsheet bridging tool.

On the ledger side, QuickBooks Online has a two-way interface with Taxfiler (now owned by IRIS), while Xero is working on a partner strategy with the likes of Thomson Reuters and IRIS.

FreeAgent already handles self assessment returns from its bookkeeping platform and has been an MTD enthusiast for years. Like Clear Books, FreeAgent has confirmed it will have an MTD-ready VAT return output option before too long.

As we have seen from the varied bridging tools that have surfaced so far, such a complex combination of situations and applications is spawning all sorts of different technical approaches. Keep an eye on AccountingWEB as the MTD for VAT pilot progresses, when we hope to compile a more detailed guide to the available applications.

For a detailed look into the mechanics of MTD for VAT and how to prepare your firm and clients, see the May Accounting Excellence Webcast, What’s ahead on the road to MTD?

Additional reporting from Tom Herbert.

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About John Stokdyk

John Stokdyk, AccountingWEB head of insight

AccountingWEB’s Head of Insight has been with the site since 1999 and likes to spend his time studying accountants’ technology habits. When not nerding out, you can find him exploring obscure indie music and searching for the perfect organic sourdough loaf from his base in Brighton, UK.

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30th May 2018 16:39

John’s ‘Stok-take’

I see what you did there John, Cheesy but I see.

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30th May 2018 18:29

One wonders who the lowly client is supposed to file their VAT returns.

HMRC seems to forget many small business don't even hire an accountant to do the VAT, they file in year and the accountant has look to make sure they haven't made a hash of it at the year end.

Where are those clients solutions to a problem of HMRC's own making?

If I was a betting man I would happily bet £250 on even odds it will be voluntary (if at all) by April 2019.

Fundamentally there is NO benefit to any side of this, its just a face saver for HMRC for canning full MTD.

If you cant key in 4 numbers correctly into your VAT return, then the rest of your accounts will be garbage anyway given you will already have made 100's of keying entries. Something which seem to bypass the "brains" at HMRC who seem to think the data arrives by magic and photos of receipts (obviously)

We will be slamming in one quarterly sales invoice and two quarterly purchase invoices (one with VAT, one without) into whatever system we use and reccing it back to the 'real' accounts. HMRC wont care if the tax is right.

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By Tornado
to ireallyshouldknowthisbut
30th May 2018 22:41

"If I was a betting man I would happily bet £250 on even odds it will be voluntary (if at all) by April 2019."

I think there is NO chance that MTD for VAT will be mandatory from April 2019.

This article sums up nicely the current situation with Bridging Software, and the current situation seems to that we are no wiser than we were this time last year.

I am even more intrigued now to know how bridging software will be able to magically extract the correct information from my spreadsheet based accounting system without getting a programmer in to tell it what to do. Likewise for tens of thousands of businesses, many of whom do not even know yet that MTD for VAT is coming.

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By Peter-S
to ireallyshouldknowthisbut
31st May 2018 10:56

ireallyshouldknowthisbut wrote:

We will be slamming in one quarterly sales invoice and two quarterly purchase invoices (one with VAT, one without) into whatever system we use and reccing it back to the 'real' accounts. HMRC wont care if the tax is right.

I have seen this as a tempting 'solution' for some while now. I certainly have little inclination and, more crucially, the time to teach clients who do not want to know anyway how to computerise their accounting systems. All by next summer and without the proper availability of software to do it.
I hope HMRC are planning on hiring more helpline staff for next July when Joe Public finds he can't use HMRC software anymore and doesn't know what to do about it.

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to ireallyshouldknowthisbut
31st May 2018 12:21

Those who don't hire an Accountant don't need to worry. They know nothing about it for some reason! and as I've mentioned here before, I wonder why. I agree, the word 'voluntary' is what I expect to see before the end of this year, it cannot possibly work any other way. Yes, many may say I'm naïve, but I remember software providers telling me that pre April 2017 when I said it would all be postponed. I also think it's pretty appalling that HMRC promote SAGE, what's that all about?

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By Tornado
to Wyn Lewis
01st Jun 2018 09:34

"I agree, the word 'voluntary' is what I expect to see before the end of this year,"

Reviewing the chaotic way in which this is being handled, I am now thinking more along the lines that MTD for VAT will not even be voluntary from April 2019 and will simply not happen.

In my opinion now, there is absolutely no chance that HMRC, software developers and businesses will all have the necessary fully tested systems in place by April 2019, not even for a voluntary system.

It is easy for HMRC to continue trying to kid us otherwise as they have nothing to lose. They still have the ultimate last minute 'get out ' which is to just cancel the project and carry on as before.

As I have mentioned before, I think Mel Stride is going to be the scapegoat for all of this as he does not seem to have any real understanding of this project, and is being 'set up' as the person responsible for its ultimate failure.

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30th May 2018 22:28

I'd have a little more confidence in HMRC's requirements if HMRC were to exhibit even a modicum of understanding of technology.

Let's look at the most basic example that most teen schoolchildren these days could handle. Logging in.

Login in to the agent portal. Now, how many times did you have to enter your credentials? Once, twice, three times?

How many times last time.

Is there any consistency whatsoever?

Personally, I've started to think of it as a three number lottery. If I get in on the first go, jackpot.

The problem is, this is fundamental stuff, and by no means the worst that HMRC do with tech (possibly one of the most annoying).

So will MTD ever work. My guess, not whilst an understaffed, and demotivated HMRC are calling the shots.

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By Tornado
to SteLacca
31st May 2018 10:00

I have only prepared a few 2018 Tax Returns as yet and I already have two instances where Exclusion 70 is applicable. This necessitates filing the Tax Returns on paper and all the hassle that goes with that.

No one can really take HMRC's grand ideas seriously when they cannot even create basic software that is able to calculate tax liabilities correctly ... two years in a row.

I also note that there are 31 (11/05/18) other current exclusions which are still waiting to be fixed. It is disgraceful really.

The tax system is far too complex and needs to be simplified before embarking on fancy digital projects. Even the very simple action of changing the year end to 31st March or some other logical date would help. It is laughable that a massively complex tax system is shackled to a reporting date of 5th April!

Why?

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to Tornado
31st May 2018 10:40

Until 1752, the beginning of a new year was on Lady Day (the liturgical anniversary of The Annunciation of our Lord to the Blessed Virgin Mary), which falls on 25 March. The year end for financial purposes fell on 24 March.
When Great Britain adopted the Gregorian calendar in September 1752, eleven days were skipped.
In order to preserve a fiscal year of 365 days, the year end was extended to 5 April 1753. It has remained as 5 April since then.

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to leon0001
31st May 2018 10:46

I know the historic "why" but I still ask "why". We are the only advanced economy in the world that has a fiscal year that does not finish at the end of the month. The next most important economy that does this is Iran. It causes no end of bother. CT converted to 31 March in 1965. SA brought the end of PYB. I don't see why the fiscal year cannot change. Personally I would change it not to 31 March but to the calendar year because even 31 March causes some confusion. Eg when HMRC refer to 2017 for income tax they are referring to 2016-17 but 2017-18 for CT.

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to kevinringer
31st May 2018 11:15

When PYB went to SA many of us asked that the year end be either 31st march or dec 31st and that this would be a great time to change it. We also asked for balancing payments and on account payments to be changed to 31st march and 30th september, but unfortunately we were dealing with Gordon Brown.

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to leon0001
31st May 2018 11:00

WOW! I never knew and more worryingly, never thought to ask.

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31st May 2018 08:15

The total lack of any credible specification from HMRC is driving the "myriad solutions". They really are utter numpties, the HMRC top brass!

If I were running a pizz up in my local brewery I most certainly would not sub-contract any part of it to HMRC!

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By booksy
31st May 2018 09:56

Good article Thank you John

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31st May 2018 10:35

Now let me think. What can I say to enhance this debate?
Yep got it. Why is Rebecca always up beat about MTD when surely a person of her intelligence has to realise that it is not if the software can be made to work, it's the smaller business that do not have the knowhow or finances to comply with it that will be the problem.

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to johnjenkins
31st May 2018 11:21

The software could be made to work better eg why does Sage default to T1 for insurance, council tax and even drawings. These are fundamental software errors. I've yet to use software that can handle retail schemes, partial exemptions etc in a user-friendly manner. We've had partial exemption and retail schemes since 1973 so why hasn't software caught up? FRS has been around for decades but software can't handle that eg the 1% discount finishes 12 months after registration which can be mid-period - Sage can't handle that. And when a business ceases to be FRS Sage brings into the next VAT period all the input tax from the FRS period. These are fundamental errors that have been in the software forever so why haven't these been fixed?

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By Tornado
to kevinringer
31st May 2018 11:56

Your points are valid and demonstrate that VAT is too complex to be trusted to software.

If HMRC really expected every VAT registered business (over the registration limit) to file using MTD for VAT software from April 2019, then they would have also announced the abolition of the special schemes from the same date, with perhaps the exception of Cash Accounting.

The special schemes were introduced to specifically REDUCE the amount of book-keeping required by some businesses but if everyone is using MTD compliant software, then the special schemes would be redundant.

I find it increasingly surreal that HMRC and the Government continue with the delusion that this clearly unworkable project will happen, it clearly will not.

There are thousands of Accountants, Project Managers, Software Engineers who can see how ridiculous this whole project is.

We need to start from scratch and approach this in the same way as any substantial commercial project. The world is full of impressive projects that have been successful only because they were approached and managed in the correct manner.

As far as I can see, the driving force behind MTD are many of the highly influential giant software developers who are only interested in boosting the value of their shares. Why is it that Mel Stride chose to speak at a Sage sponsored event at Accountex and not independently as a Government Representative in one of the other Theatres?

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31st May 2018 10:40

Can someone tell me how MTD for VAT can be made to work in the case of a three company VAT group each with a separate piece of accounting software recording their data?
In my clients' case three separate Sage datasets.

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to Mark Garrett
31st May 2018 10:42

No, but I don't think such practical matters will prevent HMRC from charging penalties until the first of such cases reach the Tribunals.

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31st May 2018 10:51

"An add-on developer for Xero and QuickBooks Online, DataDear starts from the premise that the business will operate its spreadsheet records in tandem with one of the main online systems"
I thought the purpose of bridging software was to bridge from the accountant/client's existing spreadsheet direct to HMRC and not via other MTD software eg page 5 of https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploa... makes it clear the API links the spreadsheet direct to HMRC. I know that Absolute are developing a product that will do this.

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By 0098087
31st May 2018 11:34

Still don’t know why this is necessary. You’d think with brexit at the same time this would be delayed or moe realistically be shelved. More costs for businesses when most studies show brexit will cost us all more. Sorry, but hmrc and this government are more out of touch with reality then any govt I’ve known and I go back to the Heath government

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to 0098087
31st May 2018 12:29

It's not necessary but it is a necessity from HMRC's point of view that every transaction for every business is captured. Of course the software giants have said "we can do that".

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31st May 2018 12:14

Nobody has yet mentioned VAT Return Manager from Neilson James Technology (https://www.neilsonjamestech.co.uk) .
I signed up for one of Neil Cudbertson's first agency licences and have successfully been filing VAT Returns from last month.
The software is quite new and not yet polished but works fine, and Neil is working on further MTD tools.
He's still finalising his pricing structure but I think it will be good value for money, and it imports VAT Returns directly from VT Transaction plus accounts!

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to philcollis
01st Jun 2018 11:53

First I've heard of Neilson James and VAT Return Manager, but thanks for letting us know about it Phil!

We'll get on the case to find out more about their plans - and give Absolute and others mentioned here a call while we're at it. This is a subject that will run and run on AccountingWEB.

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By Tornado
to John Stokdyk
01st Jun 2018 13:28

"This is a subject that will run and run on AccountingWEB."

What would you do without us? :)

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to philcollis
25th Jun 2018 11:42

Thank you, I've bookmarked his website - I use VT a lot and am aware they have no plans to develop the software to file directly to HMRC , so was hoping for a compatible bridging solution.

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to TMK Accounts
31st Aug 2018 12:38

Me too. I'm a great fan of VT.

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31st May 2018 12:31

The shambles continues....

Let's face it we all know what will happen. Some will move to software solutions and spend lots of time and money in doing so, some will use 'bridging software' and carry on as before and the vast majority will fudge it one way or another and HMRC will be powerless to do anything about it.

From HMRC's point of view as long as the data magically appears via the appropriate gateway they will be none the wiser as to whether the transactions are recorded electronically. Will they care? Will they open investigations?

Presently, businesses are obliged to keep sufficiently good accounting records but if they don't do they get fined? No. The same is likley to happen with MTD.

The big frustration is that HMRC will still only end up with the same 4 figures on the VAT return that they ever had (from most businesses). Can somebody remind me why this is happening?

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to BSSRoberts
17th Jul 2018 01:05

I think everyone is missing the massive point, MTD was set up because?
I remember the earlier representations stating it would allow the general self assessed tax payer the ability to cut its costs because the quarterly returns would reduce the larger tax liabilities due after Christmas, they could maintain those returns without the need of an accountant! Then VAT MTD was announced digital copies of both Sales and Purchase invoices to be provided as proof of your calculations, then HMRC had spent millions on the development of a computer system that could correlate and match the Sales invoices with corresponding Purchase invoices and match that to the bank transactions that happened, there was boastful reports of said computer having the ability to track everyones digital footprint and then triggering investigations if our lifestyles did not match our returns.
My horror was not that HMRC had that power, but when a company fraudulently amends an invoice to help its cash flow or just because it is criminal who gets the investigation? If small entrepreneurs to save money decide to go it alone with their tax affairs because HMRC told them it was beneficial then to my mind HMRC are clearing the savannah for a mass feast, and their aggressive nature as of late is the writing on the wall that all they care about is targets and not the small enterprises that keep this country going

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31st May 2018 18:42

Duplicate

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By djtax
31st May 2018 14:35

'HMRC’s answer is that commercial developers will provide the bridging software in time for the April 2019 go-live.'

On that basis there seems to be no compunction at HMRC to allow us much time to review/test/adopt/educate clients prior to April 2019. So much for any support from HMRC for my 'many many (mostly smaller) clients who rely on Excel spreadsheets for their VAT records and returns'. Merely confirms my long held belief that HMRC do not care about small businesses, perhaps because they do not have as strong a voice as the big guys?

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to djtax
31st May 2018 14:49

I might be wrong here (no doubt someone will put me right) but it's my understanding that there has to be a year testing (meaning all components in place) before it can go live. So I'm assuming (as others) that, although it will go live in April 2019, it will be on a voluntary basis.

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to johnjenkins
31st May 2018 15:07

Lord Carter recommended 12 months testing when he published his review in 2006 http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20060719043117/http:/www.hmrc..... HMRC accepted the recommendations. I've reminded HMRC about this but HMRC has chosen to forget it and ignore it even though HMRC have never said HMRC has changed its policy.

This also applies to numerous other 'services' eg DDS which is still in beta (ie test phase) but is compulsory. This goes against Carter.

HMRC will say that MTD has been in pilot since April 2017 and that it is going wonderfully whereas in reality the one item of software we are all waiting for (the spreadsheet linking software) is still not available.

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By Tornado
to kevinringer
31st May 2018 16:45

"HMRC will say that MTD has been in pilot since April 2017 and that it is going wonderfully"

Yes indeed, and 400,000 businesses were going to be signed up to the Pilot by Autumn 2017.

What are we missing here?

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to Tornado
01st Jun 2018 10:25

Indeed. I attended a HMRC meeting in Manchester where HMRC said they expect 400,000 businesses to participate in the pilot. HMRC expected this level of participation because HMRC mistakenly thought MTD would be easier and more efficient than the current system. We know from https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/community/industry-insights/rowleys-clai... that the actual number of participators is tiny. I have been told by someone in the know (one of the institutes) six months that the number was a couple of dozen and I've since heard that some have dropped out. I suspect the true number participating may now only be single figures. A far cry from the 400,000 HMRC anticipated. Surely HMRC should get this message loud and clear.

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31st May 2018 15:41

I am very confident that big business for once will help us shoot this down.

Before setting up my practice I worked for part of a big multinational. We used group vat accounting. Some parts were on sap, some sage, some small stand alone subsidiaries had their own setup. All brought together by group finance into 1 vat return.

I can't begin to imagine what a nightmare Mtd will be!

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31st May 2018 15:41

I am very confident that big business for once will help us shoot this down.

Before setting up my practice I worked for part of a big multinational. We used group vat accounting. Some parts were on sap, some sage, some small stand alone subsidiaries had their own setup. All brought together by group finance into 1 vat return.

I can't begin to imagine what a nightmare Mtd will be!

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By tedbuck
31st May 2018 16:24

There you go - we all agree - it's a waste of time and effort and it won't work so why are they doing it?

Answer - it makes work for people to do - the Gordon Brown solution to unemployment - create 'make-work' jobs doing nothing that makes wealth but just takes people off the dole.

See also Health'n safety
GDPR
NHS administration
More complex tax laws
and so on.

And think of all the lovely fines that come out of it to swell the Goverment coffers so they can give it to the likes of Carillion.

I think it ought to be called the 'RipoffState'.

Did anyone notice that the UK's productivity has been going down? Not really difficult to see why is it?

Governments are now totally incompetent and seem to be run by Civil Servants who have never been in the real world and Politicians whose greatest achievement is a degree in politics and a researchers job for one of the current bunch of Socialist or Communist parties.

A complete and frightening lack of basic common sense.

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to tedbuck
01st Jun 2018 07:08

tedbuck wrote:

Politicians whose greatest achievement is a degree in politics

That made me laugh. If it were the case things may be better. I suspect most politicians degrees are more in line with degrees in bakewell tarts.

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31st May 2018 18:46

HMRC believe our client's can correctly input all their data into accounting software but they don't trust us to be able to take 4 figures and manually key the figures into their website to complete a VAT return. Simple bixarre!

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to BSSRoberts
01st Jun 2018 10:49

Well said

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01st Jun 2018 09:22

The lunatics are running the asylum!

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01st Jun 2018 11:34

Can't wait to be sold the MTD 'add-on' by IRIS now that they have taken over TaxFiler..wonder how much IRIS will ramp the price up by?

Looks like I might have to look at FreeAgent..

Currently using QB Online which links with TaxFiler nicely, can't imagine that lasting now IRIS owns TaxFiler- and QB Online links back to the HMRC site for filing at the moment anyway...

Just all seems very pointless.

Big market for someone to develop the app that files returns just by entering (manually) the required totals.

Clients who don't use accounting software aren't going to magically switch- why should they?

I have a client who issues a couple of invoices a month from Word/Excel and then sends me his listed stack of receipts and bills, which I then enter onto my excel sheets. Then use my agents HMRC portal to file the VAT Return. Why would we change this? Who's going to pay for the additional software that we don't need or want?

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to Ian McTernan CTA
01st Jun 2018 17:51

I couldn't agree more with you. That describes most of my VAT registered clients. Actually, with some of them, I post the paperwork to VT+, which I had fondly imagined would take care of things, but you know how that is panning out.
I am still totally baffled as to what any company with bespoke systems is going to do; I only have one client in that boat. He is naturally completely in the dark about this, and I don't have the strength of mind to raise it yet. After all, it might not happen (with fingers tightly crossed)

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01st Jun 2018 14:07

So, it took a visit to a large company, to see 23 spreadsheets used to calculate partial exemption, for the clowns to realise that spreadsheets are fundamental to the VAT process, PRECISELY BECAUSE of the arbitrary computational elements of the VAT code which sit OUTSIDE THE SCOPE of a double-entry book-keeping ledger?

This proves that HMRC are functionally issue-illiterate.

Never mind the obscure matter of partial exemption, how do they expect the basic transaction of EU reverse charges to work?

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By adebola
04th Jun 2018 11:54

Having read John’s article with interest as well as the comments made by readers, I wanted to update everyone on our progress here at Liquid in relation to MTD for VAT.

For the last 6 months we at Liquid Accounts have worked closely with the HMRC to develop the required Bridging Software for MTD. We are nearing the final stages and hope to release soon.

It is not an add-in widget that you bolt onto your spreadsheet – as you may know, HMRC require the numbers from your accounting software or spreadsheet to be unaltered in any way when filing takes place.

You simple carry on as normal with your spreadsheet and upload it to the Liquid app – it will prompt you for the sheet with the VAT return data. The app does the mapping for you in a couple of minutes and you do not rekey any data – the mapping is retained for future returns, so does not need setting up each time you use it.

As requested by HMRC the Liquid VAT filer will be free for 1 user 1 company - ideal for small businesses with no extra cost.

For agents/accountants, a multi company, multi user version will available at the time of release – currently estimated for September 2018, well in advance of the April 2019 deadline.

For more information email [email protected]

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to adebola
04th Jun 2018 12:21

This is indeed good news. However (yes there had to be an however) I don't consider Sept 18 "well in advance of the deadline". Again you've got to get onto the pilot to see if it all works. What if HMRC or your software doesn't like the spreadsheet set up? What about if there is an error and you find it later or when the Accountant does the year end accounts? Have these sort of po-fahs been taken into consideration, cos I assume all the data on the spreadsheets will be uploaded not just the totals.

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By Tornado
to adebola
04th Jun 2018 13:25

"You simple carry on as normal with your spreadsheet and upload it to the Liquid app – it will prompt you for the sheet with the VAT return data. The app does the mapping for you in a couple of minutes and you do not rekey any data – the mapping is retained for future returns, so does not need setting up each time you use it."

Three Queries -

1) What exactly is the process for 'uploading' to Liquid app? What exactly is uploaded to the app?

2) The implication is that HMRC only want relevant totals and not all transactions - is this correct?

3) Is this software suitable for companies of all sizes and and types?

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to Tornado
04th Jun 2018 14:38

If HMRC only wanted totals there would be no point. All they would be doing is exchanging one software for another doing the same job.

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By djtax
to adebola
11th Jun 2018 17:31

Thanks - that is useful to know. However issuing it not until September is still leaving it rather close to the April 19 date:

Provided it is available in September I would have say one VAT quarter to test it for my own understanding. As with most other accountants I will have 'other priorities' for all of Dec & Jan so there will be no spare time to experiment on new systems then. That would leave just about one more quarter to set it up with clients before having to go live for real. Is that really going to give adequate preparation for all those affected?

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