A new VAT software 'standard' to be implemented by HMRC could end up as a white elephant, figures in the tax software industry warn
Despite a year of collaboration between HM Revenue & Customs, ICAEW,
standard setters BSI and the software industry, demand for the new standard has
Richard Anning, marketing director at business software giants Systems Union
said: ‘The main issue for us is where the demand is for the standard. We don’t
see much demand from customers or tax authorities; we’re adopting a wait and see
Other figures in the industry also questioned whether there would be interest in
the ‘publicly available specification’, known as PAS76.
A lack of interest among the providers would mirror a previous situation when
an attempt by HMRC to launch a VAT software accreditation failed.
An HMRCspokesman said: ‘Feedback from HMRCaudit staff and our national VAT
telephone advice service has, for some time, reported a demand from business for
HMRC to recommend tax safe VAT accounting packages.’
HMRC controversially launched its plans at industry event Softworld
Accounting and Finance, in March 2005.
Details of the scheme infuriated the ICAEW, who claimed that its own tax
software accreditation was adequate for software companies, and further
compliance would be a waste of money passed on to software companies’ clients.