Making Tax Digital - the journey so far

Philip McNeil By Philip McNeill, Head of Taxation, (Tax Practice and Small Business Taxes)

26 June 2017

Philip McNeill looks at achievements on MTD so far.

While we ponder the impact of the recent election, it is a good time to reflect in what has been done on Making Tax Digital (MTD) so far and what might be on our wish list for the coming year.

ICAS has been actively involved in promoting members’ interests and raising public awareness of MTD, since the debate was first opened in autumn 2015. From stakeholder meetings to practice visits, it has been a busy couple of years.

Engagement with HMRC

Between September 2015 and May 2017, ICAS attended almost 40 meetings with HMRC on MTD ranging from nudges and prompts in software to agent service and segmentation. This includes stakeholder engagement meetings and behind the scenes input of practitioners’ views.

Responses to consultations

ICAS responded to all of HMRC’s MTD formal consultations and has also made informal reports to HMRC on additional issues such as software development framework. Formal consultation submissions alone run to 26,000 words and can be found here.

Articles on MTD

From Accountancy Age to Taxation Magazine and Technical Bulletin to CA Today and CA Tax, ICAS has been informing the profession, the public and its members on MTD. Over 30 articles have been published, along with additional comments in the press.

Awareness has also been raised through publication of the ICAS MTD strategy paper, which was widely circulated among professional, trade bodes, and Government.

Evidence to the Treasury Select Committee and House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee

Both these committees recommended significant changes to both the scope and timetable of MTD; and ICAS’ submissions are quoted in both reports.

Involvement with members

ICAS has an MTD Strategy Group and an MTD Panel. HMRC visits to member firms have been arranged as well as engagement meetings where practitioners can meet HMRC staff involved in MTD. ICAS staff have attended meetings around the country to hear members views. There has been additional input via ICAS committees.

Looking forward

From the start ICAS has supported a non-mandatory approach to MTD, allowing systems to be properly developed and tested; and adequate provision to be made for the disadvantaged and those with complex affairs.

Collaborative compliance will be more effective than dictat, and agents are key to the success of any new system. Radical change is needed if the smallest businesses are to be successfully accommodated.

Next steps

Please get involved in the next stage: your views and experience will inform policy and change.

Contact the ICAS Tax team.

MTD roadshows 2017

How will MTD impact your practice and business?

Speakers from the ICAS tax team and practice support will take you through the maze. What we know, and, equally importantly, what we don’t yet know. From technical tax to software choices, key decisions need to be made now.

MTD will impact how we do business and what services are offered to clients. Staffing needs, market positioning and training are all key to success. How can you develop your digital strategy to ensure success?

A panel of experts from all sides will field your queries on any aspect of MTD. Dates and locations as follows:


  • Tax

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