On course for MTD

Matthew Johnson & Donna Helm from WNJ

There will be no further delay to the government’s ‘Making Tax Digital’ (MTD) drive – despite the fears of small business leaders.

That was the strong message from Business Minister Kelly Tolhurst, quoted in an article in The Times newspaper earlier this month.

A number of organisations have been warning that businesses are not ready to move tax compliance online as they wrestle with the uncertainties around Brexit.

Research by The Institute of Chartered Accountants In England and Wales (ICAEW) published last month revealed that over 40 per cent of businesses about to be affected by MTD for VAT are not yet aware of it.

This is despite the changes being mandatory for most VAT registered businesses from April next year.

The survey also shows that although there has been a significant increase in the number of businesses now using accounting software, a quarter of all businesses are still using a paper based accounting system – unchanged from two years ago. Paper based records will not be permissible for MTD for VAT.

However the Minister told the newspaper: “We’re making sure the communication is there so small businesses know exactly what they’ve got to do. Digitalisation is the way to go.

“It’s all about making it easier for business, but it’s rightly down to us to sell it to businesses and make sure they understand what the benefits are.”

And on that subject, WNJ is hosting a workshop with The Business Clinic on that very subject next month.

Our free ‘How to Make Digital Accounting Work for Your Business’ session will take place at the business support organisation’s offices at 1 Lockside Business Park, Lockside Rd, Preston, on Wednesday November 21 from 6-8pm.

The aim is to ensure your company’s smooth and successful transition to the world of digital accounting.

I’ll be giving the presentation alongside my WNJ colleague Donna Helm, who supervises our accountancy software programmes and helps clients with training, and integration to make sure they get the most out of the software they choose.

We’ll touch on some of the concerns people have, including increased compliance burdens, short timescales and additional costs.

Our aim is to give you the truth about how much time and money digital accounting could actually save you and your business.

WNJ also has a dedicated team which we have put together to address MTD issues and to help our clients chose, install and train how to best use the different software on offer.

The workshop is our latest collaboration with The Business Clinic – a growing Preston-based community interest company set up to support companies across Lancashire.

The Business Clinic delivers independent and thought-provoking strategy, skills and support to ensure healthier profits.

For more information on the workshop and to book a place please visit www.thebusinessclinic.org

To discuss any issues regarding the HMRC’s MTD plans please contact me on 01772 430 000.