Making Tax Digital: software causes hard issues

Making Tax Digital continues to move towards implementation, despite a delay. Time to consider the software implications, says Allan Davidson in our Business Support Department

During the 2015 budget, the Government announced their intention to overhaul the way in which we, the tax payers, submit our returns. The sea change was given the suitably on-trend title of Making Tax Digital (MTD), alluding to the fact that the end of paper was nigh. This “streamlined” new system was meant to be a utopia moment for the accounting system market, still battling against the insurmountable rock of manual record keeping. In the 2 years since the announcement, the market place has been awash with information, opportunities and, at times, threats about the future of tax collection. The race to be the pre-eminent software provider for MTD was on: who would win, no one knew.

So after this flurry of activity, it was somewhat of an anti-climax to hear that the Government had decided to delay part of the rollout until 2020. It is however merely a delay in the digitisation of our tax returns and burying our heads in the sands of ‘it won’t happen’ is ill-judged: VAT returns will still have to be MTD-compliant by April 2018, and the rest of the changes will follow after – some possibly coinciding with Brexit.

What the delay provides is time: time to do it properly; time to consider best practice; and most importantly, time to organise ourselves to embrace this change. There is absolutely no doubt that the digitisation of your financial records has begun and the need for appropriate accounting systems is fundamental to this process. However, we are keen to stress ‘appropriate’.

Our dedicated team will guide you through the minefield of appropriateness and work with you to understand your needs and tailor the selection accordingly. The Government quote “Annually £6.5bn is lost through error. These reforms will improve the quality of record keeping and reduce mistakes.” Clearly this is not something that is going to go away. Please contact the team for a no obligation meeting to discuss your current system and future needs. Let us support your digitisation.