IRIS summer release heats up MTD preparations

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Although Making Tax Digital has taken a backseat in recent weeks due to the general election, the digital initiative still governs the direction of software developers, as the summer update from IRIS shows.

IRIS’s update to its practice management data mining is the most newsworthy addition of this release, with the search capability updated to find the number of clients caught up in the first wave of MTD. This means accountants will be able to identify all clients with random property income or sole trader trading income above the VAT threshold.

Commenting on the IRIS Accountancy Suite summer release Paul Onions, associate product director at IRIS, said, “One of the biggest challenges is to understand the impact that the changes may have on their practice. For example, they don't know, without being able to interrogate their systems, how many of their clients are going to fall into the scope and when.

“This summer release allows accountants to size the problem, then start to use that drill-down of data, that information, openly with their clients,” added Onions, “then explain to their clients what's happening, when it's happening and the impact it might have on them, and start to talk about the additional services they can offer.”

HMRC calculation fix

While Making Tax Digital is still very much on IRIS’s agenda, the summer release also tends to two compliance updates: a fix for the HMRC calculation error and adding new forms for Companies House.

According to Onions, HMRC discovered that its computations were wrong following the introduction of the new savings rates. Although HMRC has added exclusions, IRIS has also built in corrections to the calculations.

Also on the compliance front, IRIS has responded to the changes to the Persons of Significant Control filings that Companies House initiated earlier this week.

IRIS’s next update is scheduled for the end of September, when the software house plans to introduce quarterly filing elements ready for MTD. Previously, the April update included data capability enhancements so accountants can see when clients last submitted a letter of engagement.

With MTD still at the forefront of IRIS’s plans, Onions advised IRIS users: “You might want to update your letter of engagement to include the digital transfer of data on a quarterly basis because a lot of engagement letters might only look at annual filings for tax purposes, rather than the quarterly filing of accounting data.”

The features rolled out in this update include:

  • New tags for dates engagement letter sent and returned
  • IRIS Personal Tax additional functionality to cater for the new restriction of finance cost relief for individual landlords
  • Correction of HMRC exclusions and tax calculations
  • Additional compliance updates:
  • Updated dividends, RPI and tax districts databases
  • Updates to cater for latest HMRC specials and exclusions
  • Trust tax forms R185 and Form 50FS updated to the latest versions
  • Update to the CT600 and CT600K final versions from HMRC
  • Updated academy reports to allow preparation of accounts following the Academies Accounts Direction 2017, for year ending 31st August 2017
  • Updated auditors' report for both charities and academies for the revised ISAs (for periods commencing on or after 17th June 2016)
  • Company secretarial changes regarding persons of significant control
  • Time and fees and client dashboard enhancements

About Richard Hattersley

Richard is AccountingWEB's practice correspondent. If you have any comments or suggestions for us get in touch.

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