MTD – nothing to be scared of!

Making Tax Digital (MTD) is nothing to be scared of – and digital accounting could actually save you and your business time and money.

That was the message of our free interactive workshop for small business owners which we held with The Business Clinic in Preston earlier this month.

The aim of the presentation given by myself and WNJ colleague Donna Helm was to de-mystify the subject and take away some of “the panic” around the subject.

Donna supervises our accountancy software programmes and helps clients with training, and integration to make sure they get the most out of the software they choose.

We touched on some of the concerns people have, including increased compliance burdens, short timescales and additional costs.

Our aim was to give you the truth about digital accounting. We also looked at the whole concept of cloud accounting and its potential benefits.

Donna told the audience: “It can be of huge benefit to your business, in efficiencies and cost savings.”

She also stressed the importance of proper training to ensure businesses get the best out of the software and technology that is available.

The countdown to MTD is now well and truly on. As part of MTD, businesses registered for VAT with a taxable turnover above the VAT registration threshold of £85,000 will need to keep VAT records digitally and file their VAT returns using MTD compatible software.

This will start from their first VAT period starting on or after April 1 next year.

Businesses with a taxable turnover below the VAT threshold will not have to operate MTD, but can still choose to do so voluntarily.

VAT Notice 700/22: Making Tax Digital for VAT provides information to customers and adds to amendments to the VAT Regulations made earlier this year.

WNJ also has also set up a dedicated team which we have put together to address MTD issues and to help our clients chose, install and train how to best use the different software on offer.

The workshop was our latest collaboration with The Business Clinic – a growing Preston-based community interest company set up to support companies across Lancashire.

The Business Clinic delivers independent and thought-provoking strategy, skills and support to ensure healthier profits.

To discuss any issues regarding the HMRC’s MTD plans please contact me on 01772 430 000.

2018 Budget Summary

We are delighted to announce our summary of the key announcements in the Budget 2018 statement, made on Monday, 29 October.

Expectation leading up to the Budget had been for tax rises, with various revenue raising options discussed ahead of the statement. Despite this, the headline changes announced by the Chancellor included some good news for taxpayers and businesses:

• The personal allowance will be raised to £12,500 from April 2019, one year earlier than previously planned. At the same time, the higher rate threshold will rise to £50,000, also a year ahead of schedule.
• The pension lifetime allowance will increase to £1.055 million for 2019/20, with no change to the annual allowances.
• The VAT registration threshold has been frozen for another two years, meaning it will be £85,000 until 2022.
• The annual investment allowance (AIA) will increase to £1 million for all qualifying expenditure on plant and machinery made between 1 January 2019 and 31 December 2020.
• Business rates for retail properties with a rateable value below £51,000 will be cut by a third. Local newspapers will continue to receive a £1,500 discount and public lavatories will receive 100% business rate relief. These reductions will apply until 2021 when the rates will be re-evaluated.
• Fuel duties were frozen for the ninth year in a row, despite some speculation that the Chancellor would scrap the freeze.
It is worth noting that the draft Scottish Budget will be published on 12 December, which will include details of any changes to income tax rates and thresholds there for 2019/20.

If you have any questions about the summary’s contents, want a more detailed breakdown or how any aspects of your tax and financial planning may be affected by the Budget, please call us to discuss them.