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Looking ahead at Accountex 2018

Last month, we travelled to the ExCeL London for Accountex 2018. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the event, it is the UK’s largest exhibition and conference dedicated to Accountancy & Finance Professionals.

The exhibition provides the perfect opportunity to network with peers, discover new products and technology and listen to insightful talks from industry leaders. Held over two days, thousands of people turned out with their questions and notebooks at the ready.

This year, the focus was on the big changes that lay ahead, not only for us as accountants but for our clients too – namely, Making Tax Digital (MTD).

Making Tax Digital (MTD), as we know, is a key part of the Government’s plans to make it easier for individuals and businesses to get their tax right and stay in control of their affairs. It aims to achieve this by constructing a modern tax system that is more efficient, more effective and more user-friendly.

HMRC’s initial plans were heavily criticised in respect of the pace of implementation as well as the scope of the regime.

As a result, in June 2017, the Government announced a new timetable that will see the following conditions apply:

  • From April 2019, only businesses with turnover above the VAT threshold (currently £85,000) will need to keep digital records and only for VAT purposes;
  • businesses will not be required to keep digital records, or to update HMRC quarterly, for other taxes until at least 2020.

Most recently, it was revealed that several of HMRC’s current projects would be put on hold, or else subject to significant delays, because of Brexit preparations. Find out more here.

However, HMRC are confident that MTD for VAT is still on track to be delivered, as expected. Read more in our article ‘MTD pilot ongoing as Brexit causes reprioritisation of HMRC’s projects’.

Live piloting of MTD for VAT is now underway. Initially, HMRC have invited VAT registered entities with the most straightforward affairs to sign up. More complex businesses and public bodies will likely join much later in the year.

With this in mind, you can imagine the vast array of products, solutions and new technology – all designed to make the transition to a digital tax system easier – that we were met with.

There was a real buzz in the room, with everyone eager to engage and share their knowledge with one another!

Ever-improving technology is opening the door to a new way of working for many businesses already. So, as we continue to move towards a digital age, those who resist will surely miss out.

We enjoyed our visit, coming away with plentiful notes and new ideas to improve the way we work with our clients, as MTD draws closer.

Here at George Hay, we keep up to date with all the latest changes to tax and accounts legislation – including announcements relating to Making Tax Digital.

We support a number of online accounting and bookkeeping software packages, including KashFlow™ and Xero™. When it comes time to make the transition, our team of expert advisers will be on hand to provide you with as much or as little assistance as you require. From introducing you to your chosen platform, getting you set up and providing training to assisting you with incorporating the software into your usual accounts routine.

Our aim is to assist our clients with choosing and implementing a system to best suit their business, and to offer professional support and advice throughout the transition and beyond. To speak to one of our experts about Making Tax Digital and what it means for your business, contact us today.

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