Tax Goes Online
We live in a digital and technological world, surrounded with people on their mobile devices broadcasting their thoughts, pictures and updates every second. HMRC wants to do the same. We have seen the revamping of their website. We have seen the integration of all government departments featuring on the GOV.UK website. Now HMRC wants to make tax digital (MTD), claiming the reforms will ‘transform the experience for millions of taxpayers’.
So what does this mean for you?
HMRC proposes that all accounts go digital in the next four years, starting with income tax from April 2018, VAT from April 2019, and April 2020 for corporation tax. Digital means accounts are updated through accounting software or by direct entry on a quarterly basis. This also means businesses are required to keep digital accounting records. HMRC proposes quarterly updates are made and there will be an End of Year declaration.
A consultation paper has been released by HMRC and the closing date for the consultation is 7 November. Our professional accounting body, Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales (ICAEW) is collating responses from our members to question HMRC on all aspects of the paper, especially where HMRC proposes to make the changes mandatory. We are particularly concerned with the proposed changes surrounding the appointment of agents acting on your behalf, a service that WSM as your accountants feel is vital for us to support you, take away worry and deliver the best service to you.
WSM is in a strong position in this digital world. We have heavily invested in our IT services, which over the past ten years has resulted in a paperless office. We use a central management system to hold all client files. We have accounting and tax software that enables us to file accounts and tax returns electronically, and cloud-based portal services where we can securely store, receive and send documents.
WSM are fully-equipped for this inevitable change and support the introduction of a modern tax system using digital technology, making it easier for business to comply with their tax obligations. However, we are firm in the belief that this should not become a burden on individuals and businesses. We will follow up on this and let you know the outcome of the consultation. Watch this space!
Any queries and suggestions please contact Annie Lee.