IRIS Software, MTD, FRS & the BBC

By Steven Cox | 9th February 2017 | 14 min read

When it comes to rhyming acronyms that are affecting the accounting industry, IRIS always has you covered...

The accountancy landscape has seen some big changes over the last few years, with arguably the most disruptive yet to come in the form of Making Tax Digital.

Making Tax Digital is one of the standard-bearers of the government’s ongoing digital strategy, which aims to transform the relationship between citizen and state. The new legislation will begin rolling out in April 2018, and IRIS software will be compliant from day 1, just as it was with the new FRS.

To Beeb or not to Beeb, that was the question

Last autumn, HMRC asked for feedback on their MTD proposals and accountants reacted in their droves, chiefly via an MTD survey that we distributed during the consultation period (see the results here).

Due to the sheer volume of passionate, largely negative, reactions, many commentators were of the opinion that the timescales HMRC had initially proposed would be pushed back and that the exemption threshold would increase significantly.

In reality, neither of these things occurred, though HMRC also stressed that they are still debating certain issues, including the aforementioned threshold and the overall fiscal impact. 

In a clear sign that Making Tax Digital is beginning to seep into the public consciousness, last week, BBC Radio 4 broadcast two episodes of its Money Box programme featuring segments dedicated to the new digital tax regime, and you can watch them both below.

The first - Tax Simplification. It’s Complicated - asked, ‘What impact have recent efforts to simplify the UK's tax system had, and to what extent will progress be helped or hindered by government plans to move HMRC to a fully digital tax system by 2020?’ Its guests included John Whiting, Director of the Office of Tax Simplification, and Paul Aplin, Tax Partner at AC Mole & Sons, Vice President of the ICAEW and long-time IRIS customer.

The second - Money Box Live: The End of the Tax Return - covered similar themes, urging listeners to discuss their MTD-readiness and put questions and comments to a panel of experts.

Tuning in

While neither show revealed any new information in relation to MTD's intricacies, it was refreshing to hear the topic broached on national radio. Both presenters and panelists effectively explained the main thrust of Making Tax Digital, including who is affected and when it will affect them, and the current issues that are being raised relating to costs and digital readiness.

Paul told an interesting anecdote regarding public awareness of MTD as things stand: he’d been asking every taxi driver he came into contact with whether or not they were aware of HMRC’s directive. None were.

Anecdotal evidence it may be, but it's no secret that awareness, particularly of those most affected - i.e. small businesses - needs to increase dramatically, and software vendors and accounting practices alike are waiting for HMRC to start spreading the word on a national scale.

For more information on Making Tax Digital, visit our MTD Hub, an online resource full of guidance, insight, news and events to help you turn transition into opportunity.

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