Only 57 percent of businesses are ready for Making Tax Digital deadline

Only 57 percent of businesses are ready for Making Tax Digital deadline

A survey by software provider Advanced has found that only 57 percent of UK businesses who must comply will be ready in time for April 1

Only 57 percent of businesses are ready for Making Tax Digital deadline

HMRC’s ambitions to turn the UK into one of the most digitally advanced tax regimes in the world have been beset with challenges as companies drag their heels in complying with the Making Tax Digital deadline.

While those VAT-registered businesses with a taxable turnover above the VAT threshold must be ready by April 1, 57 percent of those surveyed by Advanced said they would be.

There will be a “soft landing” period of a year during which firms will not be fined if they don’t comply in time.

HMRC recently announced on their website that “During the soft landing period only, where a digital link has not been established between software programs, HMRC will accept the use of cut and paste as being a digital link for these VAT periods.”

While this led to some confusion about whether or not the deadline had been extended, a spokesman confirmed MTD will go ahead as planned.

“Ideally, come and give the pilot a try,” he said. “There are several thousand people in the pilot now, and it is going very well.”

Creating awareness

Some critics have said HMRC should have done more to create awareness of MTD ahead of the deadline. Inaccuracies cost the Exchequer more than £9bn a year, something MTD is designed to resolve.

Jon Wrennall, CTO at Advanced, said: “The government is right to implement initiatives that mean organisations need to become more digital, but our research suggests that not enough support is being given to help them prepare.

“However, this responsibility doesn’t fall to the government alone. Suppliers approved by HMRC to support Making Tax Digital need to offer ongoing support too, as well as provide software that is accessible and user-friendly – otherwise businesses will continue to hold back or make errors.”

Karbon Homes, a client of Advanced, has used the company’s software to get ready for MYD.

Jeni Atkins, acting finance manager at Karbon Homes, said: “It meant I could just get on with submitting our company’s VAT. It was a case of attaching the csv. file and making the submission online, which was reflected on the Government Gateway immediately.”

To help businesses get ready for Making Tax Digital, and understand more about the mandatory regulation, Advanced is running a free webinar on February 13 at 9am GMT.

A list of HMRC approved software providers can be found here.

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