We’d like to thank AIM (Association of Independent Movers) for their article published on 11 January regarding digital VAT returns. The article said: ‘VAT-registered businesses with a taxable turnover above the VAT threshold are required to use the Making Tax Digital service to keep records digitally and use software to submit their VAT returns from 1 April 2019.’

For most small movers, this will be the responsibility of their contracted accountant, but for those that do everything in-house, it is important to check that their software is compatible.

Last June, the British Chambers of Commerce issued a press release detailing the results of their research which showed that a quarter of firms had never heard of Making Tax Digital, and many businesses had struggled to access help, support and advice from HMRC. In view of their findings and the pressures on HMRC to support companies through Brexit, they asked the government to delay the roll out of the new system for a further year. Clearly they were unsuccessful.

We are somewhat embarrassed to admit that we at The Movers & Storers Show are part of the 25% – we had received no information about the new system at all!

On checking we have found that HMRC are indeed moving to digital VAT returns, which will mean at least a quarter of UK firms having to switch from manual or spreadsheet record keeping and instead purchase an HMRC- acceptable accounting programme – all by 1st April.

Furthermore, a rumour is circulating that HMRC are also looking to introduce quarterly Corporation Tax returns….now that is sneaky! At the moment it is just a rumour, however we’ve spoken to some accountants who have confirmed they know this has been proposed but without an introduction date.

Clearly the current nine month gestation period to ensure the accounts are correct will be impossible to enact. but more importantly the nine months and one day payment period will cease!

We apologise in advance if it is no more than a rumour, however let’s all be aware just in case!

Further information on the Making Tax Digital programme can be found here.