Making Tax Digital Inception Date Fast Approaching

Friday, 11 January, 2019

Commodity Watch by UFU Legislation & Rural Affairs Policy Officer Lorraine McKnight

With, just seventy-eight days remaining to the introduction of Making Tax Digital the UFU Legislation Committee would again like to encourage UFU members to take the necessary steps to ensure that they can comply with the requisites brought about through the introduction of Making Tax Digital (MTD). MTD will come into effect on Monday 1st April 2019 meaning that all UK businesses with a turnover above the VAT threshold of £85,000 will need to keep digital records and submit VAT returns digitally.  Making Tax Digital is an HMRC initiative designed to ensure that the UK tax system is effective, efficient and supports HMRC’s plans to be one of the most digitally advanced tax administrations in the world. For many farmers the introduction of Making Tax Digital will signify the end of paper based accounting systems and those using electronic spreadsheets such as Excel, will need to invest in specialist accounting software or bridging software capable of sending and receiving data from the HMRC website.

Any Accountant can advise on when, and how to digitalise a paper based system, and members are encouraged to raise any specific individual queries directly with their Accountant or HMRC. Those who already hold a digital submission exemption will automatically continue to be exempt. HMRC do recognise that it will take farmers a period of time to adjust to the changes MTD will bring and will not pursue filing or record keeping penalties during the first year of MTD’s inception if a business can demonstrate that they are doing everything within their remit to comply with MTD.  However, action will continue to be taken by HMRC to safeguard VAT revenue and sanctions will remain possible in cases of deliberate non-compliance.

To be effective and in order to minimise any impact in April farmers should have already commenced the process of preparation required to facilitate MTD. Rural Support in conjunction with the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) as part of the Farm Family Key Skills programme are hosting a number of seminars to help farmers prepare for the changes MTD will bring. These Seminars have been ongoing from the Winter of 2018 and will continue during the early months of 2019 with details of forthcoming Seminars as follows:

  • Tuesday 15th January, Millennium Centre, Loughgiel, 7.30pm
  • Wednesday 16th January, White Horse Hotel, Eglinton, 7.30pm
  • Thursday 17th January, Canal Court Hotel Newry, 7.30pm
  • Tuesday 22nd January, Seagoe Hotel, Portadown, 7.30pm
  • Thursday 24th January, Fir Trees Hotel, Strabane, 7.30pm
  • Tuesday 5th February, Ballymena Rugby Club, 7.30pm
  • Tuesday 12th February, Corick House Hotel, Clogher, 7.30pm
  • Wednesday 13th February, Strangford Arms Hotel, Newtownards, 7.30pm

These events are free to attend and are open to all farmers and rural family members the only requisite is the need to produce farm business ID details to aid the registration process at the event. Anyone requiring further information on any of the Seminars above is encouraged to contact Rural Support on telephone number 028 8676 0040 and for those with a general query in relation to MTD please contact your Accountant or HMRC on telephone number 0300 200 3700.