Businesses are being urged to prepare for the biggest shake-up in the way they submit VAT returns for years, with many still not prepared for the April switch-over.
Chartered accountants Lovewell Blake says that demand for its Making Tax Digital masterclasses is so great that they have had to double the number of events they are holding – although they say that too many businesses are still not ready for the change.
Nearly 100 local business owners came together to hear Richard Wild, head of tax technical at the Chartered Institute of Taxation, explain the new regulations, which will require VAT registered firms to submit returns via accounting software from 1st April.“Making Tax Digital will fundamentally change not only how businesses submit their VAT returns to HMRC, but how they keep their underlying records,”
said Mr Wild, whose long career has seen him act as an anti-avoidance adviser with HMRC, as well as working in a ‘big four’ Indirect Tax Litigation Team.“It’s quite understandable that businesses could be nervous and quite daunted with the prospects of moving from manual records or spreadsheets to software, but they really need to grasp the nettle and look at how they can comply.”
Lovewell Blake tax partner Jamie Norton said that businesses shouldn’t regard Making Tax Digital as a threat, but an opportunity to improve the way they operate. “There are many benefits to cloud accounting: having up-to-date information at their fingertips can transform the way entrepreneurs plan and monitor the progress of their businesses. That information will be more accurate, more timely and more accessible than it would be with traditional record-keeping methods.
“It may be that Making Tax Digital is the piece of red tape which forces many businesses to make the move to cloud accounting; I’m pretty confident that the vast majority will look back in a year’s time and be very glad they made the move.”
Demand for a series of free masterclasses on Making Tax Digital being run by Lovewell Blake has been so high that the firm has now added extra dates to the programme. The series of small-group sessions will take place at Lovewell Blake’s Norwich, Great Yarmouth, Thetford, Lowestoft and Halesworth offices in February and March; for full details, and to reserve a place, visit our events page