MTD Cut and Paste Loophole
Making Tax Digital came into force on April 1st, 2019, but thousands of businesses and their Accountants are choosing to take advantage of the “soft landing” until April next year, by using bridging software and carrying on with the software they are used to. Some will use the “loophole” – some would say a giant wormhole – allowing the figures to be “digitally transferred” to MTD compliant bridging software. This, of course, is a euphemism for “Cut and Paste” – which is absolutely disallowed by the MTD regulations. There is nothing stopping anyone using bridging software to “digitally copy” 9 manually typed rows in a spreadsheet. Unless there is a VAT visit, how will this be policed?
One Size doesn’t always fit all
After the “soft landing” period businesses will need fully compliant software to manage MTD’s expansion to other taxes, in particular, self-assessment submissions.
This breathing space will allow businesses to choose software better suited to their situation- “one size fits all” solutions can hinder rather than help smaller companies.
A major problem that has bubbled to the surface is the number of businesses, mainly in rural areas, Lincolnshire being singled out, that have difficulties with slow or non-existent internet. City-based businesses have Fibre and Broadband but certain areas of the country need satellite or 4G (when that works) to access the internet and HMRC’s systems.
Computer says No
The other problem is that many people these days have relegated their computer to their kids’ bedroom, only use a Tablet or phone or are “too old”, in their words, to use a computer and so have never purchased one.
Rural business slow on the uptake?
Access to a computer can be mitigated by using a friend’s computer if needs must, but the problem in rural districts is compounded by the lack of internet connectivity at the same level as other parts of the country. This has led to a much slower uptake to MTD in these areas. A Business run in the traditional way with the old mindset will inevitably face barriers switching to the MTD way of doing things and lacking any guidance, will make decisions as to what software to use without fully researching the options.
What has HMRC ever done for us?
A major part of the MTD story that seems not to be discussed is the benefits of embracing this new technology and a new mindset. By doing so businesses can make changes in their processes and save money, time and a lot of stress by better understanding how their business is doing. The additional costs of extra software – especially as low cost as ExpressVAT and XpressoBooks can easily be saved just in an owners time, in a month or two. The extra money made as a consequence of time saved and better financial management is up to the individual.
The times they are changing …
You still have time to move your business into HMRC’s Digital Tax future by assessing your current business processes. Many small cash-based (Mom & Pop in American parlance) businesses take an ad-hoc attitude to financial management but by revising or adding newer ways of working, you will increase your bottom line.
ExpressVAT: Making Tax Digital – Making Tax Easy!
What makes ExpressVAT different is that everything is done on your phone, including submission. No computer is needed. The App (which is HMRC-recognised) can work without any internet access, but will “sync” (backup) your data to our” Cloud Servers” as soon as a reliable (and unreliable) connection is present. So two of the major problems have been solved at a stroke. Other software will not work unless you have internet access.
Saving time is your first step in streamlining your business processes and ExpressVAT and its bigger brother XpressoBooks are the only 100% smartphone focused HMRC recognised applications available. Both are user-friendly cash-based business focused and easy-to-use with no need for training like other software.
Both apps work exactly the same with XpressoBooks adding a facility to automatically send your info to your accountant, a Staff Starter Form and a list, logging of hours and pay changes to accountants who do Payroll (optional use) and a more granular reporting system. If your accountant does your VAT XpressoBooks is for you.
Choosing ExpressVAT (or XpressoBooks) for filing your VAT returns can be your first strategic move and will make MTD for VAT easy for you and your business. With your phone always with you, entering transactions and “snapping” a photo of your receipts, keeping your finances up to date will become a habit. And with no computer or other software needed, you will have “Your Business in the Palm of Your Hand”.