As HMRC ramps up VAT filing publicity, how are you communicating with clients?

By James Nadal | 25th February 2019 | 3 min read

HMRC has written to all affected businesses to notify them of the imminent changes to VAT Filing as it steps up its publicity campaign.

But have you communicated the changes with your accountancy clients yet?

Officials at HMRC have been outlining the key points about Making Tax Digital for VAT in a series of letters to firms.

By the end of the month, HMRC will have written to every business required to join this year, Theresa Middleton, Director of the Making Tax Digital for Business Programme, said this week.

The organisation is ramping up its publicity campaign, using Britain’s oldest family butchers (R J Balson & Son Butchers based in Dorset, started in 1515) as an unlikely poster child of MTD for VAT to encourage others to move with the times.

It has been re-iterating some of the core messages about what is set to change, with a news release stressing that “HMRC is inviting businesses to reduce time spent on paperwork and join its digital revolution”. The latest statement urges firms to start testing the new MTD service for submitting VAT returns.

So, amidst this communications blitz, how are you informing your clients about the changes? Are you struggling to find a way to do this efficiently?

One great way to do so is by using Accountant Go – delivering the essential information to all of your affected clients to their finger tips.

Enabling you to deliver these vital messages to clients’ mobile phones directly gives you a big advantage. The mobile app provides you with one central hub to manage all MTD related activity from.  The self-service portal is ideal for helping clients to understand more about what’s required of them on MTD and what changes you are making. Among other things, it enables you to:

• Send messages to non-VAT or VAT registered clients in groups that are automatically created based on IRIS data

• Create a dedicated MTD team inbox and MTD button, directing clients to your MTD web page or microsite

• Give clients a direct view of their UTR and VAT numbers so they can register for MTD without asking you

• Send clients forms which they can complete on their phone.

HMRC is heavily emphasising in its communications the need for businesses to have compatible software in place to submit their VAT return and for them to speak to their accountants and software provider about this.

IRIS customers are in pole position on this front. Not only is our software compatible, we’ve been leading the way from the beginning, as exemplified by long time IRIS customer Rowleys Chartered Accountants. The firm became the first UK accountancy practice to complete a quarterly filing submission in the MTD programme in March 2018 using IRIS Personal Tax.

So, with more than 16,500 firms already signed up to do their VAT digitally, according to HMRC, what will you do next to add your business clients’ names to the list?

If you would like help with understanding more about communicating the MTD changes effectively with your clients or need some more support with compliance, please call us or email