Making Tax Digital

If you run a business you may already have received your Making Tax Digital letter, or it's winging its way towards you. If you haven't heard of Making Tax Digital it's a government initiative that sets out a bold vision for a digital tax system to 'make it easier for individuals and businesses to get tax right and keep on top of their affairs ? meaning the end of the tax return for millions'. Alternatively of course, you could say that it just gives HMRC great powers, but then I am an old cynic!

i'm a software developer and business owner not an accountant I would suggest you speak to your accountants after having done some basic research, otherwise they wil simply use MTD a mechanism sell you a solution like Sage, Quickbooks or any of the other accountancy packages (see Software suppliers and available products).

Making Tax Digital letter

Version 1

Businesses need to change the way they keep their VAT records and submit VAT returns as part of Making Tax Digital and effects VAT registered businesses, if their annual taxable turnover is about the VAT threshold (currently 85k).

You can make the switch to MTD now, but will need to keep digital records using software or a combination of software packages or spreadsheets (using a bridging API to transfer data to HMRC).

Version 2

Shorter than version 1, it highlights the need for eligible VAT registered businesses to keep digital records and use software to submit VAT returns from 1 April 2019. It encourages those businesses to act now to get ready for Making Tax Digital, and start using software to keep VAT records.

Do you need software?

Many small businesses use software that is already MTD compatible, but many others use custom solutions the are unique to their business processes and procedures and have used companies like Ayrmer Software to develop CRMs, etc. If this is the case, you wil need to speak to your software developers before making a decision.

You don't have to use software thou and having had a chat with another business yesterday, i was shocked to hear accountant pushing software that wouldn't meet the needs of the businesses day-to-day activities.

If you are already uses a customised solution, you can use spreadsheets in conjunction with a bridging package that will communicate with HMRC's Application Platform Interface (API).

Resources & further reading

Here's a few of the resources I found when spending half an hour doing some basic reasearch:

Making Tax Digital: the use of spreadsheets confirmed by HMRC

Use software to submit your VAT Returns

MTD Filer helps businesses of all sizes with UK VAT returns

Making Tax Digital: how VAT businesses and other VAT entities can get ready

Date: 15/11/2018


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