The UK government has set a target of 2020 for a fully digital tax system to make HMRC’s tax administration ‘more effective, more efficient and easier for the taxpayer’. Consultation is over and MTD is going ahead.
“2017 is the year when most accountants will need to start giving the subject serious attention as they are forced to reset their strategies for a digital age.”
Joel Oliver, CEO, MyFirmsApp
Accountants must ask themselves two questions:
With MTD, can we continue to operate as we do now?
Do we want our clients to be responsible for their own quarterly filing?
If the answer is no to both these questions, change is inevitable.
Two groups of clients are likely to find the transition to MTD most challenging:
Those that keep their books manually and file their own VAT via the gateway
Those that HMRC describe as “straightforward” - manual record keepers, not vat registered, non corporate and not an employer
Digital technology has become a mobile-first experience with over 900 billion hours spent on mobile, and the number of Smartphone users expected to reach 44.9 million in the UK this year. The business world is changing because of the rate of mobile adoption and mobile devices such as Smartphones and tablets are used for all kinds of business activity: for talking to customers, for raising quotes, creating invoices or capturing receipts and for searching for information that is relevant to their business.
Many firms have expressed concern about MTD and the potential to be cut out of the tax process for some clients. Is this the death of the tax return and a valuable revenue stream? The answer is in short, yes, but it doesn’t have to be. By embracing technology and offering a simple and easy to use solution to clients, firms can still protect their place as trusted advisor and ensure they are the doorway to HMRC. They can turn a potential threat into a huge opportunity.
Having your own App can provide a simple and effective solution for your clients that will not require any accounting knowledge on their part just the ability to use the inbuilt camera on their smartphone.
Yet, crucially for accountants having your own app helps you retain and strengthen the Accountant / Client relationship giving you all the control and flexibility needed to ensure your clients' compliance.
By providing clients with your own branded App, they can record all the necessary information needed for MTD. They simply by photograph receipts and allocate them to the relevant account. They can by take photographs of their invoices OR simply enter daily cash taking value so that income is recorded with the same fuss free method.
This is a win-win situation for you, the accountant, as it is easy to track what clients are doing with an integrated dashboard, monitor entries and make amends. This easy to use solution will keep accountants at the forefront and enable them to be responsible in real-time for MTD’s quarterly returns.
“With our App, accountants secure a place as the ‘middle man’ between client and HMRC”
Justin Mays, Head of Research & Development, MyFirmsApp
Here at MyFirmsApp, we believe that MTD presents an opportunity for the profession with the very real potential to enhance the role of the accountant into the necessary real-time tax advisor. With the deadline for submitting quarterly returns one month after the quarter end date, quarterly reporting if handled correctly should also open the door to additional advisory work and business planning (should the firm want it) and it can be achieved even for the most basic of your clients.