Making Tax Digital (MTD) is due to come into force on Monday 1st April 2019 for VAT registered businesses. Under the new rules, businesses with a turnover above the VAT threshold (currently £85,000) must keep digital records for VAT purposes and provide their VAT return information to HMRC using MTD functional compatible software.
The change is a fundamental one to those who still use pen and paper or Excel spreadsheets to submit VAT returns to HMRC. Whilst the use of spreadsheets will still be allowed, they will have to be combined with the use of software to meet HMRC’s new requirements. Penalties for failing to comply have not been declared but are expected to be soft to begin with as businesses transition.
Since April 2018, Lorna and her colleague Michelle Watson, who heads up the Business Support Team at Moore Stephens’ Peterborough office, (pictured above) have been working with the firm’s clients to introduce them to cloud computing or desktop software they can use to maintain VAT records digitally in preparation for MTD.
Lorna Bloor, Business Support Manager at Moore Stephens, says: “Getting businesses ready for Making Tax Digital has been an ongoing project for our team for the last few months.
“We have been going out to see our clients to find out more about how they work and find a piece of software that will work for them. We then offer as much or as little training as they require until they either feel confident enough to carry on using the system themselves, or they outsource it to our team to manage for them.”
The Business Support Team is headed up by Lorna. Lorna started her career at Moore Stephens 21 years ago, shortly after completing her A Levels, and gained her ACCA qualification and worked her way up through the company. Completing the team are Karen Wade, who has also been with Moore Stephens for more than 20 years, and Tracie Whitley.
As well as preparing companies for Making Tax Digital, the Business Support Team also provides other business services including management accounts, bookkeeping, VAT returns and bank reporting. It also works closely with the Moore Stephens Tax Team to provide cashflow forecasts and budgets and advise on tax efficiencies.
The team has worked hard to stay on top of technology, becoming proficient with the following accounting software packages and apps: Sage 50, Sage Business Accounting, Xero, Quickbooks, Receipt Bank and AutoEntry.
“We build close relationships with our clients and get to know the latest software in depth so we can provide the right level of support,” says Lorna. “As well as getting to know the accountancy software packages and apps, we get to know their businesses so we can find the right fit for them. Then we come up with a support solution bespoke to that client and their needs.
“No question is too silly. We recognise that you are doing what you do best – running your business. Let us help you to do the rest.”
For more information visit www.moorestephens.co.uk or call 01536 461900.