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VAT Making Tax Digital Avalara

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Rover110
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VAT Making Tax Digital Avalara

#197867

Postby Rover110 » January 31st, 2019, 10:34 am

I don't know how well publicised this is, but HM Revenue want everyone to submit their VAT returns digitally for VAT periods starting this April 2019. I submit returns quarterly and my period starts April so I will need to do it for my period ending June 2019.

Digitally does NOT mean on the HMRC website. They want to avoid the human hand touching those numbers (even doing copy-and-paste). So their intention is that your accounts program should automagically send the numbers in a way that HMRC's receiving computer can understand. (It is documented at https://developer.service.hmrc.gov.uk/a ... n/docs/mtd )

No doubt the accounting-program providers have updated/will update their software to suit. But the updated code might only be available to those who pay ongoing subscriptions rather than having bought the program outright a few years ago. It does seem to be regarded as an opportunity to charge businesses money for what used to be free.

For those businesses who are so small that they do their accounts on a spreadsheet, there do seem to be some options.
I have seen advertisements for accountants providing a service to accept your spreadsheet and transfer the numbers for a per-submission fee of perhaps £10 - £20 per return.
And Avalara advertise a free add-in to Microsoft Excel https://www.avalara.com/vatlive/en/vat- ... s-mtd.html that will do the same job for free. I don't know what's in it for them, but I have registered my interest in it.

Why am I telling you all this?
Although I have received an email confirming registering my interest in the add-in, I have received nothing further.
So I would like to know if anyone has received the add-in, and if so how quickly it came.
It would not surprise me if they are swamped by requests. As far as I know, their add-in is tied to a single VAT number, so they'd need to recompile it for each applicant. And maybe they do not see any urgency in sending the filer out because the earliest I'd need to use it is early July.

But I want to test it sooner because if I can't use it, this might just be the kick to force me to abandon my home-grown accounts and use a commercial package. I'd hate to have to enter everything twice, so I will need to use the commercial package starting in April. And I also hate spending money unnecessarily!

- Rover

Slarti
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Re: VAT Making Tax Digital Avalara

#197880

Postby Slarti » January 31st, 2019, 11:08 am

According to HMRC, their software is still in development https://www.gov.uk/guidance/software-fo ... pdates#Dev so I doubt if anybody has their hands on it yet.

Slarti

johnhemming
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Re: VAT Making Tax Digital Avalara

#197912

Postby johnhemming » January 31st, 2019, 12:28 pm

You can use the service I offer here if you wish:
https://www.vat.direct

That is live and is being used for submissions during the pilot period now. (We started last year).

If people join the pilot scheme it is free for this year.

AndyPandy
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Re: VAT Making Tax Digital Avalara

#198050

Postby AndyPandy » January 31st, 2019, 8:31 pm

Just one note. You don't have to file digitally if your vatable turnover is below the VAT threshold (£85K).

johnhemming
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Re: VAT Making Tax Digital Avalara

#198052

Postby johnhemming » January 31st, 2019, 8:48 pm

Not at the moment.

About half of the VAT registered businesses are below that figure.

brightncheerful
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Re: VAT Making Tax Digital Avalara

#199921

Postby brightncheerful » February 8th, 2019, 2:01 pm

I clicked the link and read:

"MTD for VAT will be mandatory for businesses whose taxable turnover is above the VAT registration threshold (currently £85,000) from 1 April 2019. It will remain voluntary for VAT registered businesses below the VAT threshold until 2020 in any event."


Currently, I do my VAT return quarterly and manually enter on-line. I don't relish the thought of linking Xero direct to HMRC: I don't use the Bank account feed link as it is so why would i want to risk it?

PinkDalek
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Re: VAT Making Tax Digital Avalara

#200007

Postby PinkDalek » February 8th, 2019, 6:27 pm

brightncheerful wrote:I clicked the link and read:

"MTD for VAT will be mandatory for businesses whose taxable turnover is above the VAT registration threshold (currently £85,000) from 1 April 2019. It will remain voluntary for VAT registered businesses below the VAT threshold until 2020 in any event."


Which link and yes for some but not all VAT registered businesses over the threshold!

In case you want 6 months respite, would there be any merit in your going on to annual accounting (if eligible):

https://www.icaew.com/technical/tax/mak ... td-and-vat

A six-month deferral will apply to around 40,000 of businesses who fall into one of the following categories:
...
annual accounting scheme users

These businesses will be mandated to use MTD from October 2019.


Eligibility https://www.gov.uk/vat-annual-accountin ... ligibility

Gilesyb27
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Re: VAT Making Tax Digital Avalara

#200857

Postby Gilesyb27 » February 12th, 2019, 4:07 pm

Am I being thick or does bridging software just = a semi-automated cut and paste from your existing excel spreadsheet?

at the moment I manually cut and paste the figures from my spreadsheet to the HMRC VAT submission website. the new systems I've looked at would involve creating excel equations of eg "=£incomeC16" to move the figure into the bridging softwares excel insert. the insert is then copied to HMRC. So there is still a manual step, performed by me! :?

Tell me I'm wrong.........

Dranz100
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Re: VAT Making Tax Digital Avalara

#222136

Postby Dranz100 » May 16th, 2019, 2:35 pm

Anyone used Avalara yet? This is my front runner so far, as:-

I have 3 companies, and am tight as a gnat's chuff, so subscription software isn't for me.
All my stuff is in Excel, been that way for nearly 30 years, and no reason to change.
And I think in Excel.

So I'd be happy to hear experiences of free bridging software.
Thanks,
Dz.

PS. Gilesyb27: I agree: bridging software is a bit of a semi-automated copy and paste.

Laughton
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Re: VAT Making Tax Digital Avalara

#222219

Postby Laughton » May 16th, 2019, 7:37 pm

All my accounting data is stored on my computer - so that's digital, right?

In fact all my data is in Sage Line 50 accounts (on my computer, not "in the cloud") and has been since before they prodced software for Windows (it used to be on an Atari ST). I click a button when in Sage and it automatically submits my VAT return. Can someone please explain how it does that, if not digitally?

I'm afraid that, what with MTD for VAT, the fact that HMRC can't manage to allocate my PAYE payments to the correct year let alone the correct month, they won't let me submit my own CT600 on their website anymore because I've gone over the turnover threshold has all become too much and I've decided to wind up my company and retire.

Rant over. Sorry.

Rover110
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Re: VAT Making Tax Digital Avalara

#222243

Postby Rover110 » May 16th, 2019, 9:19 pm

I've gone with johnhemming's offering.
It suits me because my accounts aren't in a spreadsheet - they are in a database. I've added code to export the VAT numbers as a .csv file when I run my quarterly report. And I've just had its first VAT direct-debit leave the bank so it seems to work.

I think it will work out as £20 / year. Not enough to break the bank, but sufficient (I hope) for him to keep it working.

Rover
johnhemming wrote:You can use the service I offer here if you wish:
https://www.vat.direct

That is live and is being used for submissions during the pilot period now. (We started last year).

If people join the pilot scheme it is free for this year.

johnhemming
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Re: VAT Making Tax Digital Avalara

#222269

Postby johnhemming » May 17th, 2019, 7:02 am

Thank you for your kind comments. It is an interesting experience dealing with MTD. I have decided for this year to offer a free service until such a point as the additional work requires additional marginal costs (such as me having to employ additional people, I already have some staff and my business is profitable anyway). I have, in fact, reduced the future price (2020 onwards) for current clients to £6 per year (plus VAT 50p per month). My experience (and I have some clients who have now submitted 3 quarterly returns) is that once people get going there are no real support costs. Obviously I have to keep the server(s) whirring. I do 99% of the coding myself. I have even seen someone set up an account and submit a vat return within 35 minutes without any support requests.

My experience with people who currently do manual accounts has led me to write a cloud cashbook. Technically it is a bit complicated creating a spreadsheet and putting in formulae and in the end having an online cashbook is easier for people to use. All they have to do is to put in the transactions and the links (digital links) are then in place.

I know, however, that MTD is causing worries for people. I have picked up some business from organisations such as PWC and Quickbooks because my software is more flexible and easier to use.

bungeejumper
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Re: VAT Making Tax Digital Avalara

#226060

Postby bungeejumper » June 1st, 2019, 6:42 pm

Many thanks, John, and good luck with the software. I'm having a "dummy run" go with Quickfile, which is (theoretically) free, but I'm planning to try two or three systems over the next nine months before I finally "go live" next April when the HMRC requirement comes in. Will have a try with yours, I think. :)

I'm recently (90%) retired after 36 years of self employment, during which I've done everything on a spreadsheet, including my VAT calcs, but I have always left my accountant to do my annual accounts and my self-assessment form. From here on, though, I'm going to be doing just £10K a year of work, which will keep my hand in. I intend to stay VAT registered, if only because the odd £1,000 or so of annual VAT rebates will make it worth the candle of filling in the quarterly forms.

The main thing I need to sort out is what I do about 'apportioned' expenses. For the last 36 years I've claimed 80% of my phone costs, or 60% of my car costs (nowadays more like 10%) against tax, and HMRC has always smiled upon that approach, and it's been easy to build that into a spreadsheet record because I'm in personal charge of the calcs, and the ratios! If I can find an MTD program that makes that sort of a calculation/entry easy, then this thing might just manage not to cost me too many long evenings and sleepless nights. :( But drop-down menus with a choice of fixed rates are not likely to meet my needs.

I confidently predict that five million part-time freelancers turning over smallish amounts of money will find the whole MTD business too complicated, and will therefore get themselves into trouble with HMRC unless a way can be found to exempt them from the requirement.

BJ

johnhemming
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Re: VAT Making Tax Digital Avalara

#226074

Postby johnhemming » June 1st, 2019, 7:37 pm

If you are doing under 85K of work you don't have to do MTD.

However, I have just written some code to do disallowance of costs and it would be nice if someone were to experiment with it. My main system is a bridging system, but I have also written a cloud cashbook. (it is not the same as cloud accounting).

HMRC have agreed a temporary arrangement where people can put summary infomation into the cashbook and submit from there.

Of the 2.1M vat registered businesses about half turnover under 85K.

bungeejumper
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Re: VAT Making Tax Digital Avalara

#226085

Postby bungeejumper » June 1st, 2019, 8:20 pm

johnhemming wrote:If you are doing under 85K of work you don't have to do MTD.

At present, no. But doesn't the regime extend to all VAT registered businesses from next April, regardless of turnover?

BJ

johnhemming
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Re: VAT Making Tax Digital Avalara

#226089

Postby johnhemming » June 1st, 2019, 8:31 pm

No the change next April is that you need digital links between the prime vat records.

You are, however, welcome to a free cashbook account for your own accounts as long as you remain below the VAT threshold.


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