Tax & Accounting Blog

Making Tax Digital Pilot – What is currently happening?

Accountancy Practices March 22, 2021

Last month, I provided an update on how Making Tax Digital (MTD) mandation in April 2023 may impact you and your clients. This month I will focus on what steps are happening at Thomson Reuters today to help prepare for the pilot.

Onvio is our cloud product with capabilities around document management and collaboration, eSigning and firm management. It is also the tool our clients use today to do their MTD for VAT submissions using our bridging solution, Onvio VAT. Onvio is our future cloud suite that over time will have all the necessary compliance capabilities an accounting firm will need in lieu of a desktop suite of products, echoing what we have today in the Digita Professional Suite.

Our solution for MTD will be in Onvio, and we are currently focused on building the functionality needed for an accounting firm to support a selection of clients in the pilot from April this year.

We joined HMRC’s original pilot back in 2017 and gained huge insight into how MTD software will interact with the MTD process. We have been actively involved in the pilot since, and although more recently the profile of the MTD pilot reduced (HMRC shifted focus to mandation of VAT and planning for Brexit), we now know that mandation kicks off from April 2023, and that an enhanced pilot is set to commence from April 2021. This mandation date has also increased the level of interest in the pilot, and there is now a growing number of firms preparing to take part.

HMRC already have broad coverage in their test environment for a typical small self-assessment client, and they are continuing to work at pace to get comprehensive coverage well before mandation.

So, our journey towards the pilot includes various streams of work.

Our involvement with the original pilot has provided vital experience of the complexity, and challenges, that MTD introduces. This in turn, has helped influence our priorities of what software functionality is important for the pilot phase of MTD.

We already have many firms using Onvio, and we are working with several of them as “MTD Product Partners” to focus on software design, workflow considerations and discussions around how to handle the challenges MTD will bring.

We are initially focusing our software on a simple quarterly submission for a sole trader or landlord, and over the year we will build out the functionality, as this process alone will still give vital insights into how tax compliance will change under MTD.

In the coming months I will write further around the impact MTD will have on your firm and your clients, and why early engagement with the new process makes sense. In the meantime, be assured that we are well placed to support your firm on the MTD journey.

Whilst MTD will create challenges for both you and your clients equally, your client will be looking to you to guide them through these changes. Navigating MTD is not just about choosing the right technology, but ensuring you have the right information to share with your clients, at the right time, to help them understand what is expected of them.

We are committed to helping you through this journey, with a range of options covering pilot participation and access to in depth insights and information you can share with your clients.