It pays to plan ahead when making tax digital

Helen Bassett of Smith & Williamson outlines the details of the Government’s Making Tax Digital initiative and offers help and advice for businesses.

What is Making Tax Digital

for VAT and who is affected? Making Tax Digital (MTD) is HM Revenue & Customs’ (HMRC’s) strategy to modernise the tax system. As well as improving HMRC’s own internal systems, MTD involves mandatory digital record keeping and reporting by taxpayers. MTD is required for any compulsory VAT registered entity, starting with the return for the first period commencing after 1 April 2019. If the entity is voluntarily registered for VAT they can opt in to MTD or continue to submit VAT returns as they are. In October 2018, HMRC released a statement confirming that 3.5% of entities required to meet the MTD requirements have now been given a six-month extension. This deferral, until 1 October 2019, applies to VAT registered entities who fall into categories that include VAT groups.

What does MTD mean for

those preparing VAT returns? There will be two key requirements for relevant VAT registered businesses:

New events are coming soon

We are delighted to announce that we are changing our Bath events programme. Having taken into account

member feedback, we are going to stop running the Bath Chamber Breakfasts. Instead, events in 2019 will be a mix of masterclass/workshops and informal evening networking, including previews of new venues and behind the scenes tours. With a refreshed timetable, we aim to continue to offer our Bath members the opportunity to network, connect, do business and learn from each other. We would appreciate your

feedback as this develops and hope you will come along. The first event will be held at Kaleidoscope Collection’s Homewood in March so watch this space for more information.

changes sooner rather than later. My key message is to plan ahead!

Working with you – can we Helen Bassett

• To maintain digital records to provide a complete digital audit trail to support VAT returns; and

• To use MTD compatible software to report VAT data on a VAT return period basis and receive information from HMRC, using an HMRC Application Programming Interface (API).

If your accounting software will be MTD compliant, hopefully this transition will be a straight forward process, however if Excel creeps into any part of your VAT calculation/submission work then you may need to make some

help? We can carry out a review of your accounting systems and VAT return processes to identify any gaps between your current VAT compliance process and where it needs to be for MTD. We can work with you to implement changes to ensure your business is ready to submit its returns under MTD by April 2019 (or October 2019). I have been advising entities of

all sizes (from small companies through to large corporate groups) about the MTD changes since early 2018 when the draft legislation was released. My team and I understand that every business is different, and using our knowledge and experience working with clients, we have been advising and implementing appropriate solutions that work now and are as future proof as possible.

For more information, please contact Helen Bassett,

helen.bassett@smithandwilliams, 0117 376 2182.

Inspirational women to share their stories

Bath Chamber of Commerce is delighted to be partnering with the Gainsborough Hotel and UWE Business School for a series of talks in 2019 by some of the country’s most inspiring women. Phenomenal Women is a series of

five high-profile events planned for 2019 starting in February with Bel Mooney, the fascinating journalist and broadcaster.Guests will hear about her life-journey, the challenges she faced and how she forged her career, followed by a Q&A. This will be followed by a

lecture from a UWE business school fellow on a subject of specific interest to local businesswomen. The event was developed after

research to discover what topics were of interest to businesswomen in Bath - revealing that subjects such as public speaking, presentation, networking, CV


Our new Initiative member, Hargreaves Lansdown launches new Mentoring Awards. The awards are open to

organisations and individuals living and working in the South West, from the private, public and voluntary sectors and individuals with three categories: mentor scheme of the year, mentor of the year and mentee of the year award. The awards will take place in February 2019. mentoring-awards


A local business has been featured in The Parliamentary Review, a prestigious publication that profiles leading representatives showcasing the best practice they have used to become experts within their field. Award-winning web development company Worthers, based at Folly Farm offices, was one of just 16 firms asked to appear in the technology sector’s edition of the publication, which includes a foreword from Theresa May. To view Worthers's article visit: www.theparliamentaryreview

MHA Monahans’ growth and strategic business development has been recognised in the Accounting Excellence Awards 2018, with the firm winning the Practice Growth Award. The Practice Growth Award

Bel Mooney

design and personal marketing. The event tends to attract lawyers, MOD staff, accountants, architects, structural engineers, plus many others. In the main it is women who attend but the event welcomes all and includes a discounted ticket price for Chamber members.

For further information visit: https://phenomenal-women-bel-

recognises excellence in growth through the use of a number of strategic initiatives to bolster and support growth of a Practice. MHA Monahans was highlighted for its geographical expansion, with mergers and acquisitions over the past three years developing the firm’s presence across Somerset, Wiltshire and Bath. However, it was also MHA Monahans’ approach to investing and retaining staff that impressed the judges. With regular engagement to ensure that staff are aware of opportunities within the firm, as well as being part of the decision-making process on staff-related matters, MHA Monahans’ approach enables them to recruit and keep the best professionals.

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2019 insight 11

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