How is MTD for VAT for you?

In the last couple of weeks I have registered the three businesses that I am responsible for, to HMRC’s MTD for VAT data links (via Xero that I use as my preferred accounts software).

I have to say that in the main it was a fairly straight forward process. Not sure I would go so far as to eulogise “what was all the fuss about”, but definitely, so far, so good.

What about the roll-out to include accounts data?

One item that I will be fishing for in HMRC’s pond is an indication when MTD will be expanded to include the upload of quarterly accounts data; presumably for income tax in the first instance and then corporation tax. The only date we have is no earlier than April 2020…

My guess is Brexit is going to scupper that deadline and it will be pushed forward to April 2021 at the earliest. Keep an eye open for early adopter requests from HMRC as this “beta” process now seems to be a feature of their development protocols.

Are you encouraging property landlords to digitise their record keeping?

One aspect of the next MTD roll-out will be the inclusion of buy-to-let and other landlords if their rental income exceeds £85,000.

My guess is many will be reluctant adopters of the digital need to record transactions. This has been my experience of talking with clients who would be affected.

In spite of the uncertainty, I am working on a standard chart of accounts that I can use in Xero for these clients, and there are significant advantages as I will use the software to collect capital payments (property acquisitions and improvements) as well as revenue transactions. Xero also has a useful “tracking” facility that I will use to provide clients with detailed results for each property; something that is not particularly easy when records are kept manually, or worse still, in a carrier bag.

What has been your experience?

I’m interested in canvassing the opinion of practitioners about their experience using the sign up process for clients.

If you are willing to share your experiences, good or bad, just add a comment to this blog post and I will make sure that the constructive comments are bundled (anonymously) and sent to HMRC for a reaction.

I have direct links to the department that has been responsible for developing the MTD API’s etc, and in the fullness of time I will post again with any interesting responses or developments.


Bob Edwards

Bob has been working with practices across the UK offering novel ways to improve cross-sales and increase new client acquisitions. He is also interested in "step changes" in legislation that offer challenges, and therefore opportunities, for practitioners to provide new recurring and one-off support services to clients.

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