Scrutton Bland Adviser Winter 2018

What do businesses need to do now? If you haven’t started organising your digital accounting plans then our advice is to get moving – do not leave things to the last minute! You should make sure that by the April 2019 start date your software systems are set up and tested, and ready to go. Scrutton Bland are running a series of MTD events across the region which are free and will run from 4.30- 6.00pm at each of our offices.

What if a business is still using manual records for tax returns? There are still many businesses who feel comfortable using traditional paper- based methods of recording their business information, and who may be nervous about moving their records to a digital format. With MTD as long as you can operate a smartphone or tablet then you can report to HMRC from that, using the correct software package. However we would suggest that businesses use MTD as an opportunity to look at the systems they use to keep financial records, and to ask themselves what information they need to extract from those systems to run their business. Are there any exceptions? The government has just announced that there are a small number of business categories whose start date will be October rather than April 2019. These include trusts, ‘not for profit’ organisations that are not set up as a company, VAT divisions, VAT groups, those public sector entities required to provide additional information on their VAT return (Government departments, NHS Trusts), local authorities, public corporations, traders based overseas, those required to make payments on account and annual accounting scheme users. For the remaining 96.5% of mandated businesses, the deadline remains 1 April 2019.

What about MTD compatible software? Will HMRC provide this? HMRC will not be providing free software so it is likely that most businesses will need to make an investment in some level of software package themselves. There are currently over 60 software suppliers whose products are suitable, including Xero, Quickbooks and Sage – however businesses should ensure that they have the current version, as older versions may not be acceptable. Many of Scrutton Bland’s clients have already made the transition to digital accounting via our sblive service, and we continue to work with all our software providers to assist with the development of sblive to ensure it is as convenient and easy to use as possible and of course it is fully compatible with HMRC’s requirements.

For more information on MTD and to find out more about Scrutton Bland’s MTD training and information programmes, contact Ryan Pearcy on 0330 058 6559 or email

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