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Post Info TOPIC: MTD excel spreadsheet convert to csv file.


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MTD excel spreadsheet convert to csv file.


Hi all,

I have been using  software to calculate  vat for those clients operating retail vat schemes.   Let down by the lack of forthcoming updates to comply with MTD,   I have madly been looking into alternatives.   

 

I have been working on producing returns via excel  for these clients,  all seems well and they are producing accurate returns.   If I convert my VAT 100 form to a csv file  will I be able to submit this to HMRC? 

 

Thank you in advance for any input.

 

Julie



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Domino VAT Accounting Ltd



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Hi Julie
The numbers from the excel sheets will need to be linked digitally - this can be done via bridging software (some free, some with fees - none really recommended as yet given the circumstances)

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Joanne  

Fallows Hall Ltd 

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Thanks Joanne, Will have to have a look around for bridging software !! What a phaff.

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Domino VAT Accounting Ltd



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Hi Julie

These are the ones I know about that are free or low cost.  

Vitaltax  FREE  https://vitaltax.co.uk/

VAT Direct  FREE  https://www.vat.direct/

Avalara  FREE  https://www.avalara.com/simplify/en/eu/avalara-mtd-filer.html

NJ Technology  £40 + VAT https://www.neilsonjamestech.co.uk/

 

However, if you already use Taxfiler, they now have bridging software.  Add the VAT number to the clients list and you can import an excel sheet or paste from clipboard 

Just out of interest what software are you using?



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John 

 

 

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I keep forgetting that taxfiler now have bridging software.



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Joanne  

Fallows Hall Ltd 

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Thanks John, Will check them out. Depending on the clients preference I use a combination of Xero, Sage, VT, Moneysoft, these are for straightforward VAT clients. No problems with these, moved my first client over to MTD this week as they require monthly returns. My main problem has been with my retail VAT scheme clients as the software is bespoke. I have sussed how to produce accurate returns via excel hence my enquiry about csv files. Will certainly check out list, many thanks. Julie

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Domino VAT Accounting Ltd



Expert

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The free ones suggested above seem (at a very quick skim read of their pages) to *require* Excel, because they provide an add-in.

In the discussion on the El Reg news item I posted t'other day about MTD submissions going pear shaped, someone mentioned their own low-cost solution and I asked for the link: www.xlvat.com

The advantage of this one (as well as being low-cost) is that although it's based around submitting via an Excel spreadsheet, it doesn't need users to install an add-in; you upload the spreadsheet to their server. This means you can use alternative spreadsheets, such as LibreOffice Calc, saving the file in XL format - or even save the VAT return from your accounts software as an Excel sheet if it allows you to (Sage does, for example).



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Vince M Hudd - Soft Rock Software

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Thanks Vince,

I have had a quick look at Johns suggestions this morning and will add yours to the mix. Will advise once I have found something I feel comfortable with !!

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Domino VAT Accounting Ltd



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Good point about add ins Vince.

I have some Open Office files, although I went back to excel when I started to use the VT addins.



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Joanne  

Fallows Hall Ltd 

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Thoughts are my own/not to be regarded as official advice,which should be sought from a suitably qualified Accountant.

 



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POSTER REMOVED THEIR OWN POSTS.

This post will be allowed to remain as a marker to the responses that followed. other posts will be removed.

Posters account has been cleared of all VEIS.



-- Edited by Shamus on Tuesday 25th of June 2019 05:58:10 PM

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Master Book-keeper

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VEIS disguised as being helpful, whilst its a topic that is on trend this is clearly just link building!

Clearly not read the rules of the site, thin edge if we start allowing software companies to dump stuff.

Of course, we all know buyer beware and self recommendation is to be ignored.


Cannot see you on the HMRC list
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/vat-returns-and-ec-sales-list-commercial-software-suppliers/vat-commercial-software-suppliers

Of course many companies providing software are cloud based so you dont necessary need an app.

Plus you dont need excel or csv to use many of the offerings out there. You can use google sheets, open office etc with many.



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Joanne  

Fallows Hall Ltd 

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Thoughts are my own/not to be regarded as official advice,which should be sought from a suitably qualified Accountant.

 



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Cheshire wrote:

VEIS disguised as being helpful, whilst its a topic that is on trend this is clearly just link building!

Clearly not read the rules of the site, thin edge if we start allowing software companies to dump stuff.

Of course, we all know buyer beware and self recommendation is to be ignored.


Cannot see you on the HMRC list
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/vat-returns-and-ec-sales-list-commercial-software-suppliers/vat-commercial-software-suppliers


Strange, it's not on your link Joanne, but is on this one https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/making-tax-digital-software, under VAT MTD for IOS and VAT MTD for Mac OS. I'm wondering if your list is out of date, as Taxfiler isn't on there either.  

ALthough we've not conversed, Darren posts on ukbusiness forum.  I wouldn't say the post is VEIS but it's certainly link building. The XLVAT that Vince posted upthread is a fraction of the cost and does the same thing.

 



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Leger wrote:
Cheshire wrote:

VEIS disguised as being helpful, whilst its a topic that is on trend this is clearly just link building!

Clearly not read the rules of the site, thin edge if we start allowing software companies to dump stuff.

Of course, we all know buyer beware and self recommendation is to be ignored.


Cannot see you on the HMRC list
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/vat-returns-and-ec-sales-list-commercial-software-suppliers/vat-commercial-software-suppliers


Strange, it's not on your link Joanne, but is on this one https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/making-tax-digital-software, under VAT MTD for IOS and VAT MTD for Mac OS. I'm wondering if your list is out of date, as Taxfiler isn't on there either.  

ALthough we've not conversed, Darren posts on ukbusiness forum.  I wouldn't say the post is VEIS but it's certainly link building. The XLVAT that Vince posted upthread is a fraction of the cost and does the same thing.

 


 Oops, I just did a google search!  I have the darned thing in my faves somewhere amongst a million and one other things.  Thanks for the latest link though.

Personally have to disagree about the VEIS. They would all be at it!   Its not so bad if someone on here recommends them or mentions their product but they have not had the site's permission to post.   



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Joanne  

Fallows Hall Ltd 

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Hi Darren

VEIS is very easily identifiable spam (I think)  It's an acronym invented by us a long while ago to warn about spam or potential spam..  Like I said, I don't think your post is spam, but including your website in the footer of your post is link building. From my understanding links to a posters website are only allowed once the poster is an established contributor. You're more than welcome to stick around and contribute, as I think the brown stuff is about to hit the fan as 7th August looms nearer and nearer, so as a software vendor you could well have something unique to contribute.

I disagree that your software is the only one compatible with MAC OS numbers.  If you read the thread through Vince (VinceH) provided a link to very similar software to yours, called XLVAT.  



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VATMTD wrote:

I created this app because there wasn't an MTD solution suitable for myself, an Apple MAC user with simple accounts.

I didn't want a cloud solution and didn't like the idea of uploading my accounts to a random website.

I buried my head in the sand when the MTD emails and letters started doing the rounds as i'm sure many others have too.

So i've created a solution that will answer the question Mac users will likely be asking their accountants, yet i'm not allowed to tell anyone about it.

 

It is what it is I guess.


 You can tell people about it on as many other sites as you like, but you have to get permission before dumping your spam on this site. Don't know why you do not get that after me saying it several times.

Just to make this VERY clear:- You need permission BEFORE you post something advertising something!  In fact it is also ONLY long term users and contributors who have the right to advertise their business on here. Those are  the rules of this site.

Despite saying you had removed your link from your profile, you have not. Not a great start when you are trying to build confidence in a brand to go back on what you say, I wouldn't have thought.

Besides the above do you really consider that your target market on this site is correct?  Just how many bookkeepers and Accountants do you think use their iPhone etc to lodge clients vat returns?

 

 

 

 

 



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Joanne  

Fallows Hall Ltd 

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VATMTD wrote:

 

Nowhere in these pages does it show my website's URL, so no links are going to be picked up by Google which is what I assume you are accusing me of.


There is a link in your profile.

The 'accusation'   (once again, getting boring now) is not getting the permission of the site to include such advertising link BEFORE the links were posted.

 



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Joanne  

Fallows Hall Ltd 

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For the record - for anyone with a MAC, MTD can be submitted via the following (these are just SOME of the products that can be used and took all of two minutes to locate):-

Vital tax
BTC
TaxCalc
Taxoptimers
Liquid Accounts
123e filing
MTDfVAT
VAT Direct

There are more - I cannot read my own scribble on the long list!

I am not endorsing any, apart from perhaps the last one,VAT Direct, from Cirrostratus, but only because Ive run a successful test on it (not for MAC!!) and in all truth because the guy behind it has singlehandedly given answers and fed back issues to/from HMRC on a daily basis for months on end via Accountingweb, without the need to self advertise until way after the pilot when he pops in the odd mention about his software. Its not on every bothering post. Plus his software is currently free and at most 50p next year. He has helped people both online via Aweb and indeed offline and deserves a bloody medal in my book. As opposed to the now daily dumping of ads, like the one above, from the other companies now popping out of the woodwork.

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Joanne  

Fallows Hall Ltd 

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VATMTD wrote:
I guess no-one uses a Mac either do they 

Not that I've encountered. biggrin

 

Anyway, I stayed clear as sometimes these things work themselves out and other times they need intervention.

In removing the posts you have broken the thread. Which I now need to fix... Now, I could in this instance put your posts back but I'm not going to as such serves no useful purpose. I will however tidy up the thread so that Julies original questions and the sites responses are not sidetracked.

 

 



-- Edited by Shamus on Tuesday 25th of June 2019 06:36:06 PM

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Shaun

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Shamus wrote:
VATMTD wrote:
I guess no-one uses a Mac either do they 

 

 

In removing the posts you have broken the thread. Which I now need to fix... Now, I could in this instance put your posts back but I'm not going to as such serves no useful purpose.

 


 I am looking at them all.....tab back far enough and they are still all there.   Sitting on my PC if you really wanted to add them, but as you say dont really add anything to the OP.



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Joanne  

Fallows Hall Ltd 

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Cheshire wrote:
Shamus wrote:
VATMTD wrote:
I guess no-one uses a Mac either do they 

 

 

In removing the posts you have broken the thread. Which I now need to fix... Now, I could in this instance put your posts back but I'm not going to as such serves no useful purpose.

 


 I am looking at them all.....tab back far enough and they are still all there.   Sitting on my PC if you really wanted to add them, but as you say dont really add anything to the OP.


Hi hun, got them all in a word document  thanks biggrin

just deleting / tidying posts and the wee miscreant in me thinks, do I leave Julies "Are you taking the piss?" directly after your post but then thinks, no, I'm rather attached to my wedding tackle and wouldn't like to see anything untoward happen to it!!!

Sorry, tidied away a couple of yours as well that lost meaning once the original messages had been removed



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Shaun

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Casu wrote:

Are you taking the piss?


had to remove it from the thread due to where it fell with the posters deletions tidied away but have to say, I love this short response that encapsulates perfectly in five words what others were attempting to convey.

Nice one Casu



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Shaun

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Shamus wrote:
Casu wrote:

Are you taking the piss?


had to remove it from the thread due to where it fell with the posters deletions tidied away but have to say, I love this short response that encapsulates perfectly in five words what others were attempting to convey.

Nice one Casu


 I spotted where Caron's comment landed as you were clearing up the mess left by the poster!    Thought it was hilarious.  Nearly answered it with a 'yes, always'.  wink    So your manhood is safe, at least for today!  rofl.gif



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Joanne  

Fallows Hall Ltd 

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Cheshire wrote:
I spotted where Caron's comment landed as you were clearing up the mess left by the poster!    Thought it was hilarious.  Nearly answered it with a 'yes, always'.  wink    So your manhood is safe, at least for today!  rofl.gif

 biggrinbiggrinbiggrinbiggrinbiggrin  I won't put the link up but Darren's logo looks very much like a phallic object.  I nearly mentioned it yesterday in a reply but thought it might be a bit below the belt!!



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Shamus wrote:
Casu wrote:

Are you taking the piss?


had to remove it from the thread due to where it fell with the posters deletions tidied away but have to say, I love this short response that encapsulates perfectly in five words what others were attempting to convey.

Nice one Casu


 had to be said. although I dont often swear in public.



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(Selects a random MTD thread... well, okay, not entirely random; this one mentions Excel - which is relevant!)

I've said previously that I was always going to wait until the last possible minute before thinking about MTD. I've decided to make that the last possible month... just in case anything goes wrong, so I have weeks to sort it, rather than just seconds. With that in mind, I've made a start today, by enabling MTD for the client I'm at today.

That's step 1, and step 2 is the software.

I have a piece of software called Prophet (which runs on RISC OS so no good for any of you lot, but it's on the HMRC list as "Elesar Prophet" - because someone else got there first with Prophet on that list, even though the RISC OS software has been around a hell of a lot longer!). My plan is to use that for MTD submissions...

BUT!

Because my RISC OS kit is all on a wired internet connections (the OS doesn't do WiFi without alternative hacks), I have no back up if my connection goes down - and I'm arguing with my provider at the moment, so that's actually a risk; I'm fast approaching the point where I'll tell them where to stick their broadband! So I thought I'd better look for something to use as a backup, just in case. Anything that runs on Windows is a solution, because I can just turn on the WiFi hotspot on my phone and connect the laptop to that.

Going down the list of software on the HMRC site one by one, I found 100PcVatFreeBridge very near the top - and I think this one is worth highlighting here, because:

* It is free. (This is especially useful if it's just a backup solution) - but if you wish to pay for it, there's a Virgin Money donate link to donate to the developer's son's charitable trip to Malawi.

* It can handle multiple companies - so suitable for us. (Although as far as I can see, this software allows you to set up individual log-ins for each client rather than as an agent - not a problem for me; I've always submitted via the client VAT accounts anyway.)

* And here's why I picked an MTD thread that mentions Excel; it's a separate piece of software that runs on Windows and imports the data from an XLS / XLSX (i.e. Excel file) - but since it's just loading the data from the file, that means you can use other spreadsheets that can save in that format; so OpenOffice or LibreOffice are both covered. \o/ (It should therefore be suitable for anything that can export either an Excel file, or a CSV file, or any other delimiter, such as TSV - you just need to load the result into a spreadsheet to export it as Excel).

In all cases, though, there is a little extra setting up/grunt work you'd need to do: the various values have to be in a suitably named cell (a range containing the one cell); it uses these to pick up the relevant values - so the cell for box 1 has to be called Q1_VAT_BOX1 (for quarter 1), Q2_VAT_BOX2 (q2) and so on. That's a bit of a nuisance, but hey ho.









-- Edited by VinceH on Wednesday 3rd of July 2019 02:14:36 PM

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According to HMRC there are 11 free MTD providers. However, the number of providers has gone up since they made that statement and there are now just under 450 providers in total. Probably more than 11 are now free. Most of the bridging systems use some way of linking cells to the internet. Some have cells with a name prior to the cell with the value. Others do as you describe. They all need some way of mapping the information to the APIs.

In the end if I were a book keeper or accountant I would try out a number of the free systems both because you can then work out which are the better systems and also to get a better understanding of how MTD actually works.

For example MTD has 4 query apis
a) List obligations (vat returns)
b) Look at a specific vat return
c) List liabilities
d) List payments.

I would suggest it is worth making sure that you have software that can handle all of those queries. According to a thread on AWeb Sage, for example, does not handle queries (beyond getting the details of outstanding vat returns). I am not sure that is right, but that is what someone said (a Sage user).

It is important to note that you can run more than one piece of MTD software on any set of credentials. For example, you could have some QB clients, Xero clients and Sage clients all authorised using your ASA. However, you could then use another piece of MTD software which is able to look at the situation with any one of your clients so you don't have to use the software that the clients are using.

Some software has a page where you simply type in the vat number of the client you want to find out about whether the vat return has been received or not and it will tell you (whether the client is on Sage, QB, Xero etc).



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Hi Vince

I haven't done anything yet, primarily because I'm still waiting for my MLR to go through.  I did it in March, so it's been over 90 days, however I made a mistake on the form, which I had to correct, so I think they've taken the date as May rather than March, which is bloody annoying.

I'm going to be using Taxfiler for now, but I do intend to get VT Accounts later this year, and then I'll do it direct from VT.



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Hi John (H)

"Most of the bridging systems use some way of linking cells to the internet. Some have cells with a name prior to the cell with the value. Others do as you describe. They all need some way of mapping the information to the APIs."

You mean software isn't psychic? Colour me shocked! :p

But being serious, there were two reasons I chose to specifically mention this particular piece of software. The first reason is split in two; the first part being that it's free (if you look back over my posts on MTD, you'll see that this is a particular bone of contention for me, with providers such as Sage using it as an excuse to charge subscription fees). The second part of that first reason is the charitable donation. That made it stand out to me.

The second reason is that another problem I've highlighted a number of times is that some solutions require that you USE Excel; the MTD offerings are Excel workbooks, and if you use something like LibreOffice, they're no good. (You can import Excel workbooks, obviously - but you'll have a hard time making ones that obviously make heavy use of scripting work in LibreOffice!)

The fact that it runs as a separate application, which LOADS Excel files, thus allowing users of alternative software that can save in that format, was therefore a feature that made it worth highlighting.

"It is important to note that you can run more than one piece of MTD software on any set of credentials."

Yes - hence why I was looking for a backup solution in case I have no broadband at home. I would obviously need to have more than one MTD solution in place in order to use the backup solution in the event I can't use my primary choice.

(i.e. if I can't use RISC OS Prophet because I have to resort to WiFi provided by the phone, so have to use the backup software. The whole idea would fall flat on its face if it wasn't possible to authorise more than one piece of software!)

Thinking on it a little further, I might make a point of using it for one client, throwing in a donation, then putting in a feature request to allow the import of CSV files with the 'name' (as used now for named cells) and value being in adjacent fields.

And hi John...

"I haven't done anything yet, primarily because I'm still waiting for my MLR to go through."

I wouldn't wait too long, though, in case there are any problems - that's why I went ahead with the first of mine yesterday - arguably the easiest one, because they're the most organised.

I assumed it would just be a case of logging in, and clicking the button to say "Okay, let's go MTD" (so to speak) - but there is a little more needed; it asks for the company's UTR as well, which I don't have on anything to hand (because the only tax I handle is the value added sort), so I had to obtain it from the client.

That's going to be fun with my messiest one - I went straight there yesterday after dealing with the easiest one so I could start the process of them trying to *find* their UTR to give me ASAP. :(

(Of course, I might have realised this was needed if I'd read up on the whole process a little better!)

ISTR you do a more complete service, though, so you'll probably have that for your clients.

"I did it in March, so it's been over 90 days, however I made a mistake on the form, which I had to correct, so I think they've taken the date as May rather than March, which is bloody annoying."

Oops! I seriously wouldn't risk waiting for HMRC to get their arses into gear - you may find yourself rushing around at the last minute.

 



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Vince M Hudd - Soft Rock Software

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Hi Vince,

I try not to make it too obvious, but I am an MTD developer with a free services of my own. I try to avoid, however, discussing the merits of my software and instead provide information about how MTD works and how best to use it. That in essence is where my posting above is directed at. Although I have done a wide range of things and currently chair a substantial computer company I decided a few years ago to do some development work myself and am currently running a relatively small startup one of the things it does is MTD software. Hence I actually write the code to interface with MTD (in java and javascript) which does help in understanding how it works. From my point of view it is quite nice to be dealing with the end users of software and it really helps in understanding what they find helpful and what is difficult about software.

MTD has its complexities because it involves interfacing systems. The process of bridging is just a little bit more technically complex than many day-to-day tasks. People with solid experience of Excel, Open Office or Numbers don't have a problem with it, but for people coming from handwritten accounts it is quite a bit more of a learning curve. I write that way having done two support calls this morning before getting on the train involving both submitting vat returns. It is quite clear that some of the cloud accounting systems are quite a complex learning curve for people, but that bridging also has its support challenges.



-- Edited by johnhemming on Thursday 4th of July 2019 11:22:21 AM

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Master Book-keeper

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VinceH wrote:

And hi John...

"I haven't done anything yet, primarily because I'm still waiting for my MLR to go through."

I wouldn't wait too long, though, in case there are any problems - that's why I went ahead with the first of mine yesterday - arguably the easiest one, because they're the most organised.

 

"I did it in March, so it's been over 90 days, however I made a mistake on the form, which I had to correct, so I think they've taken the date as May rather than March, which is bloody annoying."

Oops! I seriously wouldn't risk waiting for HMRC to get their arses into gear - you may find yourself rushing around at the last minute.


 I can't register for the ASA until I have my MLR in place, as it asks for the date and number of your MLR, so I may well be rushing around at the last minute.  But sod 'em I'll file the old way if push comes to shove.



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Hi John (H)

Yes... I glanced back over the MTD threads before posting, so I've spotted that. Since you're clearly a relatively new forum poster, it's worth pointing out that I'm a techie. As well as this sort of work, I'm also a programmer (and various tangential things) - mainly on the sadly less well known RISC OS, with Windows to a much lesser extent.

(Very little web programming, though - not even accessing remote APIs via desktop software, which is why I haven't dabbled with MTD from a programming POV, other than reading through the APIs.)


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And hi John... (this could get confusing!)

"I can't register for the ASA until I have my MLR in place, as it asks for the date and number of your MLR, so I may well be rushing around at the last minute. But sod 'em I'll file the old way if push comes to shove."

You can still switch those clients you need to, but via their VAT account, rather than through your agent one. (Ditto their submissions). That's better than ending up with problems either doing it late, or the old way, surely?



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HMRC have a plan whereby they wish to stop people using multiple gateway accounts. There are difficulties with that in that at times it is not agents submitting multiple submissions, but people who have more than one legal entity.

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johnhemming wrote:

HMRC have a plan whereby they wish to stop people using multiple gateway accounts. There are difficulties with that in that at times it is not agents submitting multiple submissions, but people who have more than one legal entity.


You would really think that HMRC would be trying to make things easier for agents rather than keep putting more and more obstacles in the way of those attempting to keep them properly informed.

Then again, it's not really HMRC pulling the strings on the debvelopment decisions but rather consultancies like Accenture and CapGemini who seem to gear development from the consideration of the major corporate rather than the many, many micro businesses out there and those attempting to service them.

I am sure that they would not be so cavalier with new systems if they had to compensate accountants and businesses for the additional work created by them.

 



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The machinery of government is quite complex. I would not think this is necessarily driven by consultancies. I haven't tried to track down where this all came from. It is at times possible to tell how ideas get into the machinery of government, but it can take a lot of work researching documents.

I can myself see the logic of ensuring that the process of adding up inputs and outputs is automated (which in essence is what this does). I don't know what the figures are from HMRC about what proportion of errors are in situations in which an automated system would not have made the same error. I am pleased that the UK is not going down the route of SAF-T (Standard Audit File - Taxation) which involves taxpayers giving all the transactions to the tax authorities.

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johnhemming wrote:

The machinery of government is quite complex. I would not think this is necessarily driven by consultancies. I haven't tried to track down where this all came from. It is at times possible to tell how ideas get into the machinery of government, but it can take a lot of work researching documents.

I can myself see the logic of ensuring that the process of adding up inputs and outputs is automated (which in essence is what this does). I don't know what the figures are from HMRC about what proportion of errors are in situations in which an automated system would not have made the same error. I am pleased that the UK is not going down the route of SAF-T (Standard Audit File - Taxation) which involves taxpayers giving all the transactions to the tax authorities.


Hi John,

its designed and developed in Telford by CapGemini (I still remember when they were Hoskyns... Oh how the kiddies grow)

Many years ago coming from the management consultancy background myself I've been involved in design and development of some of these Government sollutions for IBM.

From HMRC's perspective it's all about cashflow and improved speed of harvest. Automating it does not prevent the error and ommission, only the timeliness of reporting so I cannot see them getting any more money from the digital revolution but rather they will get the same money (or less.... Lets not forget that this should circumvent to need for payments in advance) faster.

The big question of course is whether the cost of these developments justifies the improved speed of return.

The cynic in me thinks not.



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Shaun

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VinceH wrote:

And hi John... (this could get confusing!)

"I can't register for the ASA until I have my MLR in place, as it asks for the date and number of your MLR, so I may well be rushing around at the last minute. But sod 'em I'll file the old way if push comes to shove."

You can still switch those clients you need to, but via their VAT account, rather than through your agent one. (Ditto their submissions). That's better than ending up with problems either doing it late, or the old way, surely?


There's a thought, thanks Vince. Presumably they will need to set up a Business Tax Account? 

My surname is Ross so you can put John R if you want to save any confusion



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Shamus wrote:

its designed and developed in Telford by CapGemini (I still remember when they were Hoskyns... Oh how the kiddies grow)

Automating it does not prevent the error and ommission


SAF-T is a creature of the OECD and I don't think it could be argued that CapGemini are responsible for that.  There has been a generalised movement towards electronic tax systems.  The automation with digital links can prevent mathematical errors (although it can also enable ones in formulae or errors in software to have more of an effect)  Omission is obvious on an inspection.

If you have digital reporting it can in essence either be at a detailed level or a summary level.  I don't think the detailed level is necessary. 

 

 

 



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johnhemming wrote:
Shamus wrote:

its designed and developed in Telford by CapGemini (I still remember when they were Hoskyns... Oh how the kiddies grow)

Automating it does not prevent the error and ommission


SAF-T is a creature of the OECD and I don't think it could be argued that CapGemini are responsible for that.  There has been a generalised movement towards electronic tax systems.  The automation with digital links can prevent mathematical errors (although it can also enable ones in formulae or errors in software to have more of an effect)  Omission is obvious on an inspection.

If you have digital reporting it can in essence either be at a detailed level or a summary level.  I don't think the detailed level is necessary. 


Hi John,

simply stating the facts.

You asked where MTD was being designed and developed. The answer is by CapGemini in Telford (although much of the actual development side will be in India and then approved in Telford).

No matter how complex the system, no matter how good the internal formulae, human input remains always the weakest point of the chain.



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What I was referring to was how the idea of doing this came into government thinking, not so much who is writing the code.

From a technical perspective using OAuth2 and json is a really good thing along with web apis. In no way do CapGemini have a monopoly on that. Some APIs use XML and I would not expect CT to move away from iXBRL.

However, the question is really a policy one as to where the idea came from that it is a good idea to make tax accounting automatically add up so you can follow the audit trail from individual transactions through to final submission with automatic calculations.

There is then, of course, the question about quarterly submission of SA data.

If you think about it Domestic Reverse Charge is all about (some of) the smaller end of the business not declaring tax.



-- Edited by johnhemming on Thursday 4th of July 2019 06:58:32 PM

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The Government tends to implement what the consultancies tell them they need to implement. I could tell you how it works but then I would have to kill you, lol.

I do repeat though that the original question related to who was implementing MTD and that is CG in Telford. I know that as it came as a surprise to me when I found that it was not Accenture which is the name generally all over Government projects.

I think that you are talking about things primarily from the perspective of sending information to HMRC where I am talking about HMRC dictating the information required, receiving and processing the data.

Last time that I did one of these projects the way it worked was that we worked from the actual legislation (generally before it was finished!) then told the Government how it would work in practice. Government is only really interested in the big picture and the bottom line. Which is as it should be.

The actual coding tends to be done in India. The UK side will be the decision making processes, quality assurance and testing.













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My original question was not about who wrote the code, but who came up with the idea (the idea is not the code)

johnhemming wrote:

The machinery of government is quite complex. I would not think this is necessarily driven by consultancies. I haven't tried to track down where this all came from. It is at times possible to tell how ideas get into the machinery of government, but it can take a lot of work researching documents.

 

I have considerable experience as to how local government operates and a limited amount of experience of UK government although I have not held ministerial office myself. Ideas come from all sorts of places. Almost certainly the consultancies drove the selection of Oauth2 and json, but the underlying idea of digital tax could have come from a number of places.



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Think tanks, consultancies, basically folk with agendas to make a name for themselves or a mark in the world, often without a care about how implementation is actually carried out nor the cost to the tax payer or businesses!

Whichever bright spark thought this one up should have been shot at dawn, but those who actually believed it was a good idea should also be rounded up and burnt at the stake, after, definately after, having to deal with a great variety of business folk try to set up and deal with this total farce.

It will not increase the tax take. Ive said it before and I will keep saying it - those who evade tax will continue to evade tax.

Try as you might to report them to the powers that be, they still just keep getting away with paying no tax. The NCA is too overwhelmed with MLR reports to be effective. Instead the law abiding businessman has to pay an absolute fortune in software costs, conned by the likes of the big desktop companies into paying through the nose for new and often still ineffective software or worse by the cloud bods who peddle their garbage software. Never mind the extra costs in us trying to sort it out for them. Those that can be passed on of course.

When they introduced VAT online HMRC showed their complete disdain to businesses. They really shouldnt cut off the hand that feeds. At that time they threated businesses who failed to report VAT online abominably, despite many businesses not having PCs. Go to your local library, they said, we have set up a sign in portal that is totally secure that you can use and it doesnt store your records on the PC. Absolute tosh. I tried it! My local library had no clue about it. Never mind that since then a massive percentage of libraries have closed. Those that remain open do not have access to the 'special portal' any more. But its ok, HMRC say, you can do it via your grandchild on his iphone (regardless of if the information is highly sensitive). Its all just about introducing a process by stealth and bullying.

Not helped by the ridiculousness of having to create new agent accounts and now no longer being able to access the clients in them.

Now I know John H is one of the providers of free software and for that we are grateful. But still this is the white elephant of tax.

I wouldnt mind if they got previous issues right but they are still fuching up RTI!!!!!!!!

Not only that but for example the R&D tax reclaims has now moved from 28 days to 96 because HMRC staff are being moved from actually dealing with their customers (ha, thats a laugh) claims to dealing with MTD and Brexit. THAT is breaking businesses!! Screwing with peoples cashflows and lives. Does anyone care? No!

Personally Im a one woman business who has been at breaking capacity for over 24 months (and still doing exams!) Yet now Im supposed to find UNPAID time to read up all the total garbage that is MTD and sort out all my clients who will, I guarantee not pay you more in VAT. The only thing possibly different will be a perfect box 6 and 7 (if I can be arsed!). Actually at one of the last audits of one of mine they did find an error - all £1.47....was owed to my client so at least he didnt rip the VAT man off! But boxes 6&7 were a pile of pants due to the nature of their scheme.

HMRC ran a pilot - where the hell are the results of the pilot? Why are we, as members of the public, not seeing the results?

Why do HMRC issue MTD guidelines and then CONSTANTLY change them and then not actually filter the information about the changes out to folk? They just dump a new VAT guide out there and expect everyone to pick over the bones of it. Actually be interested to know if anyone has checked it versus the legislation , knowing how keen HMRC are interpreting parts different to the rest of us. Ive had ONE email from HMRC. My clients have had less.

Im not asking ANYONE to answer these points. Im just having a rant!


My Mum gave up in 1973 saying she was not prepared to be an unpaid tax collector for the government. She had the right idea.

Never mind this mess being rolled out to other taxes.

Im kind of surprised that Accenture dont have a hand in this. It has their name written all over it. Actually isnt it CapG whose building looks like a swastika from the air. SAYS IT ALL!!!!!

That is the sole reason I am selling my practice at the end of the year.




-- Edited by Cheshire on Friday 5th of July 2019 12:10:52 AM

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One reason I put quite a bit of effort into answering questions about MTD is that HMRC's communications strategy has been superficial and generally ineffective. For example the video with the butcher in it that they put out recently doesn't really say anything about MTD and how it works. Hence people have a lot of questions, many of which I know the answer to, that are not answered.

The communication problems have caused a lot of stress with people as this is a regulatory process and not something optional. However, as you know I don't think it is that complicated nor does it have to be expensive. I know taxpayers who have lost sleep over this and that is wrong. One of them submitted her vat return yesterday. She had bought quickbooks and found it too complicated and was really worried. She isn't worried now.

Some of the software houses are charging what I think are unreasonably high prices for MTD compliance, but the software market is to some extent sorting that out through competition. There is, of course, a difficulty that the software houses that charge more have more money for advertising whilst operations like my own have relatively small marketing budgets (for all intents and purposes nothing).

What is true is that for many vat accounts the tax take won't be improved because people are already doing it right, at least from the point of view of box 5. I don't have sufficient information to say whether the vat registered businesses who are getting it wrong deliberately can be sorted out as a result of MTD.

What I can say is that tax authorities around the world are moving towards digital tax reporting. More are going for options around SAF-T (Standard Audit File - Tax) which involves reporting invoices individually to the tax authorities rather than the summary figures. Given the choice between MTD and SAF-T I would argue MTD involves less effort. In Italy I believe that B2B invoices need to be sent to the tax authorities before being sent to the purchaser.

What I can also say is that implementing MTD for Income Tax will be much harder (at least with moving to quarterly reporting) and HMRC need to improve their communications before doing this.

Some of the other MTD systems should be relatively easy (Trusts and the like), however.



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Hi John, arrrrrr....

There's a thought, thanks Vince. Presumably they will need to set up a Business Tax Account?

Well for the one I set up above, the login I have is just a bog standard gubbermint gateway for VAT only. Other log-ins for other taxes may be available, but I don't have access to them (because I only do their VAT stuff).

So as long as you have (or can get) access to that, it should be possible to do - but as I said, make sure you have other info to hand as well; in this case I needed their UTR as well. (Limited Company - it may differ for sole traders and partnerships).

(I've received an email this morning from HMRC to confirm it's now active)

The easiest way to find out for certain is just try - and if you can't do it because you or they don't have something that's needed, give up until you have it.

In that connection, the same day I set it up for that first client and realised I needed the UTR, I nipped over to my messiest client to set about doing the same thing... and wasn't able to do it because I've no idea where they keep their (non-VAT) tax stuff, and nobody there at the time knew, either. I'm going to head over later today to try and catch the director - but his approach to filing tends to be to put things in the nearest random pile then forget about it. I might have to try contacting their year end accountant, but he's a nightmare to get hold of (or to get a reply from if I email).

This is going to be fun - and exactly why I decided to start now, rather than the last minute.

My surname is Ross so you can put John R if you want to save any confusion

I'm sure I knew that at some point, but had forgotten.



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Cheshire wrote:

Not helped by the ridiculousness of having to create new agent accounts and now no longer being able to access the clients in them.


 Good rant but this is the one that they have totally ballsed up on, and the next month should indeed be really interesting (to say the least) as people start to sort out their first mandatory MTD filing.

Why oh why did they simply not move everyone over automatically, why the need for a new ASA?  A simple sign up procedure from the old portal should surely have been possible, using the same credentials to log in via whatever software you're using.

 

Thanks Vince

I'm going to give it until the 15th July, and if I've not heard owt by then, I will set each client up individually. Luckily I only have 3 who are VAT registered. I can see that John H's software can import from VT so will be going with that one.

 



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