Xero Tax set to hit the UK market in March 2020
In a raft of product news at Xerocon 2019, perhaps the most notable was the cloud provider’s announcement that it will roll out its corporation tax and accounts production modules in March 2020.
Day one of Xerocon 2019 kicked off with news that the Xero Tax corporation tax and accounts production module will be released in March 2020.
The move marks a fundamental, much-trailed shift away from the company’s cloud accounting software roots, and was received with cautious optimism by the Xero fan base in attendance at ExCeL London.
Built on the functionality of Instafile, a small software business acquired by Xero in 2018, accountants will have single login interaction between core Xero data and tax and year-end accounts compliance and will be able to access a fully integrated tax preparation workflow on the Xero platform.
In her keynote at the Docklands-based event, chief product officer Anna Curzon labelled the move a “fundamental reinvention” of compliance in the UK.
“You can use Xero login details end to end, with statutory filings made entirely from Xero,” said Curzon. “Any adjustments can be made from one version of the truth, which will save a huge amount of time.”
Xero Tax features announced at the ExCeL include single sign-on with Xero, removing the need for uploading and downloading between accounts software and accounts production software, and fixed asset register integration.
Speaking to AccountingWEB at the event, Curzon announced that the first tranche, including corporation tax and accounts production, will be released in March 2020, but users can join beta testing for micro-entities and small business right now.
Xero’s director of operations Damon Anderson added that the firm was “live and running” on corporation tax and are also fully released on FRS 105 micro-entity filings and FRS 102 1A small business filings.
The new tool also offers e-signing and custom document styling, integration with companies house, and users can post tax directly back into Xero.
According to Curzon, users can check for common anomalies and service bookkeeping transactions from within the accounts production workflow. Accountants can also prepare final accounts from Xero data with automatic account classification and iXBRL tagging, and a multi-user review process allows advisers to pass work around their practice without leaving Xero tax.
Curzon announced that Xero Tax will be available free as part of a partner subscription in the UK. Xero partners at Xerocon can request early access to micro-entity filing and help beta-test small company filing ahead of its general release next year.
The road ahead
With Xero’s MTD for VAT solution up and running (with the odd hiccup along the way) and the corporation tax module due for release in March 2020, thoughts on the show floor strayed to other taxes.
While an update on personal tax was conspicuous by its absence in the announcements, speaking to AccountingWEB after her keynote Curzon said that it was in vendor’s future plans for the product. Also in development, according to the Xero site, are partnership tax, trusts and estates.
Speaking on the No Accounting for Taste podcast’s Xerocon special, Avery Martin director Glenn Martin was optimistic about the time and money-saving possibilities of the Xero Tax product.
However, he added that until the successful testing and rollout of the product, many practice owners may choose to keep their powder dry and stick with their existing providers.
With Making Tax Digital for self assessment currently due to arrive in 2021 (at the earliest), this is likely to prove a key staging post for Xero’s personal tax product.
While many of the announcements were for upcoming products, one tax-related feature mentioned at the show that is already available is a new view in Xero HQ of VAT requirements across accountants’ entire client portfolio.
Accountants have a real-time view of when clients’ MTD VAT returns are due, filing status and which clients are registered as Non-VAT. This has been built to allow users to track upcoming compliance requirements for all of their clients, instead of across different spreadsheets, task lists, emails, or individual client files.