HMRC begin their MTD campaign

21st September 2018

With the countdown to MTD just 6 months away, HMRC have launched their online marketing campaign to raise awareness of the new system to small business owners.

This follows some criticism from professionals including accountants of the lack of preparation, support and advice from HMRC ahead of the changes. This knowledge gap has been felt despite HMRC working closely with software providers to help them to bring a wide range of MTD products to the market.

The recent update includes a webpage with information including the new HMRC VAT notice, details on the MTD VAT pilot, as well as an outline of the criteria for the new scheme. It also includes a communications pack designed to support businesses and agents preparing for MTD with source material and information which can be used to support any letters, articles, presentations, social media activity, or web content planned by stakeholders.

The guidance follows on from recent ICAEW research that found that nearly 40% of businesses who will be impacted by the April 2019 legislation are still unaware of exactly what MTD is! So does this new documentation provide additional clarity that businesses and representatives have been asking for?

HMRC have started to push on their social media platforms including twitter where they link to their guidance pages for small business owners.

One of the aspects outlined within this new guidance is the VAT Notice 700/22: Making Tax Digital for VAT. This notice includes–

  • Who needs to follow the MTD rules and from when.
  • The digital records businesses must keep
  • How businesses must use software to keep digital records and file their returns from those digital records

Guidance on software still is still somewhat patchy. HMRC will not confirm until later in the year those software providers that will be accepted under the new scheme when the private pilot becomes public.

There are currently 150 software providers who have stated they’ll be MTD ready by April 2019. Although not all of these are ready with just 6 months remaining. A list of currently approved software providers can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/software-suppliers-supporting-making-tax-digital-for-vat/software-suppliers-supporting-making-tax-digital-for-vat

Only time will tell if software providers, accountancy firms and small business owners will feel prepared when MTD is implemented. What is clear, however, is that HMRC will begin making a more conscious effort to promote it across their platforms.

If you’re looking at your current software and need any assistance then please speak to your office contact for more information.

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