What is all the fuss about?
Making Tax digital (MTD) is a government initiative that is designed to transform the Tax system by 2020, and will mean the end of the traditional annual tax return.
However, the starting timetable is much sooner than this – 2019 for some people.

In essence it will require businesses, landlords and the self-employed to send summary data to HMRC every quarter, through a Digital method (such as Book-keeping software or an App).

What’s the timetable for this?
Businesses and individuals are required to comply with this from the following dates:
April 2019 – self-employed (Sole Trader and Partnerships) with annual turnover more than £85,000
April 2020 – self-employed (Sole Trader and Partnerships) with annual turnover less than £85,000 and Landlords
April 2020 – Limited companies

What else is covered by Making Tax Digital?
All Individuals will have personal tax accounts, which will be updated with their PAYE and Bank interest income periodically.

Reporting timetable each year
Assuming you choose an accounting period in line with the tax year, your annual reporting will look like this:
1. First quarterly return due in July
2. Second quarterly return due in October
3. Third quarterly return due in January
4. Fourth quarterly return due in April
5. Fifth and final year-end return due the following January

That’s five returns you have to make each tax year!

What does this mean for those that are self-employed or run a business?
Businesses will be required to submit their accounts every quarter (followed up by a year-end reconciliation to ensure the tax liabilities are correct), and they will need some form of software to keep their records, and submit the data to HMRC.

This will means that businesses and self-employed will no longer be able to keep the income and receipts in a shoe box or carrier bag, until the end of the tax or financial year, and then deal with it close to the tax return deadline.

It means information has to be recorded digitally and on a more regular basis.

Can a self-employed person still file their self-assessment annually through their government gateway account?
No.
Returns will need to be submitted via commercial software.
And they will need to be submitted quarterly as well as a final year-end return (five each year in total).

If I already use a book-keeping software solution such as Xero, Quickbooks or Sage – will I need to do anything differently?
Software providers are looking at making their solutions MTD-compliant, and so you won’t need to use any further software if you already use such a solution. What you will need to do is consider the accuracy and completeness of the data recorded in the software.

What if I don’t use book-keeping software – does that mean I will need to sign up to one?
Not necessarily.
While a cloud-based book-keeping software solution is certainly one answer for many businesses, for those that don’t want the cost of a full-blown book-keeping package, then there are other solutions.
At AJ Accountancy, we are looking at an App which will allow users to log income, receipts, mileage, etc, as they go along. The App will then be able to submit the client’s data quarterly to HMRC, to ensure compliance.

If you are interested in considering such a solution, then please get in touch for a no-obligation discussion.

What should I do now?
You should consider how you are currently recording your business transactions and whether you need to consider an alternative solution in order to be compliant.

If you would like to discuss how your business currently records it’s transactions, then please feel free to get in touch with us.

What if I have other questions?
Then simply get in touch with us and we will do our best to answer these questions.