New Year, New Criticism

17 January 2017

My blogs on Making Tax Digital (MTD) from the second half of 2016 finished with us awaiting, more in hope than expectation, the publication of the Government’s response to the 12 week making tax digital consultations and the draft Finance Bill legislation anticipated to rush the new tax system into law during the Spring. They also frequently reflected on Andrew Tyrie MP’s lambasting of the proposal’s implementation, and it seems that 2017 is going to bring more of the same.

However, this time the criticism comes in the form of a full blown 142 paragraph Treasury Select Committee report complete with 148 cross referenced sources and witness evidence from last Autumn from the Chartered Institute of Tax, Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, Federation of Small Businesses and HMRC’s Digital Advisory Group.

A bigger drum this time, but the message being beaten out remains the same, and it’s the same message that’s coming from all interested parties.

We like the idea of MTD – it marks progress and it’s full of potential.

But it’s being rushed through without proper consideration. A short timeframe and a mandatory introduction using the smallest businesses as guinea pigs is unacceptable.

Of course, whether it’s a rush job in April next year or a more considered and staged introduction, there’s no doubt that increased digitisation is coming, and my colleague Adam Fernandes has been offsetting my negativity about MTD implementation with his publications about the benefits of embracing bookkeeping packages and cloud solutions. So regardless of whether you’re doing it to comply with the Government’s demands, why not sign up to one of his free workshops to learn a little more about what cloud accounting software could do for your business.