BASDA announces its new Making Tax Digital (“MTD”) initiative and the launch of an online MTD forum where developers can collaborate to help ensure the introduction of MTD is a success.
MTD is an ambitious UK government initiative to transform the tax system to make it fit for the digital age and ensure taxes are collected correctly. The Exchequer is losing over £8 billion a year due to avoidable taxpayer mistakes, according to HMRC’s tax gap figures from 2014-2015. In the same financial year over £3.5 billion of revenue was lost due to errors in VAT returns.
MTD is an extensive project with ambitious milestones and it is vital to the UK Government and HMRC that it is successfully rolled out. Business Software Developers, including BASDA members, will have an important role to play as their systems hold the data and generate the information needed for organisations to comply with MTD. From April 2019 businesses above the VAT threshold will be mandated to keep their records digitally and provide quarterly updates to HMRC for their VAT. This relies upon software providers to develop, test and upgrade solutions and educate customers so that they will be ready to meet their obligations to ensure MTD is a success.
BASDA represents the UK business software industry and is the only industry organisation focused on supporting the issues that business software development organisations and their customers face.
MTD is the latest example where BASDA can bring software providers together to benefit everyone. BASDA has set up an online MTD community forum. This is open to BASDA members and others by invitation. In this private online moderated forum BASDA seeks to stimulate discussion and information sharing on MTD topics such as testing, deadlines and deliverables. With a strong track record in bringing business software providers together to collaborate, BASDA’s knowledge and experience through this forum will provide critical input and direction in particular as the deadline for MTD approaches.
Benefits in participating in BASDA’s MTD initiative include:
- Access to BASDA’s extensive experience and knowledge
- Sharing of information gained so that product management and development resources can be used most efficiently and cost effectively
- Discussion between developers on approaches to MTD development and testing
- Collective feedback and questions on MTD from the group to HMRC – rather than from multiple individual organisations
- Representation with HMRC at regular meetings and updates
- Increased access to and sharing of actionable information through representation and engagement with HMRC, helping drive effective collaboration with the software industry
- Delivering better software faster to customers – tested to meet HMRC MTD requirements
- Educating and supporting customers about MTD and how they can upgrade, implement and go-live using software to meet the MTD timetable
- Reflecting BASDA member interests and concerns as a group to HMRC to help smooth the introduction of MTD so that it has the best chance for success
Kevin Hart, Chairman of BASDA said: “As a representative of BASDA and its members I have a seat on HMRC’s Digital Advisory Group – set up to assist HMRC in the formation and roll-out of MTD – along with attending several senior stakeholder forums with HMRC (including the Minister). Such exposure along with listening to our members needs and concerns, helps us best understand the challenges and opportunities which face our industry in making MTD a success. By launching the MTD community forum, BASDA members can safely voice questions and issues and look (and respond to requests) for collective solutions. We will also collate and share aggregate insights and findings with HMRC where we can help address common issues being faced (and, indeed improvement suggestions) for swift attention and revert accordingly. This one voice for our industry can ensure that MTD has the best chance of being rolled out successfully and on schedule.”
Yvette Nunn, Director, Berkeley Associates and member of HMRC’s senior stakeholders forums commented: “Without BASDA’s focus and contribution, work and investment of their members, MTD would not happen. Collectively, you are essential to every accountancy firm and their ability to work, by creating the digital link between HMRC, taxpayers and businesses.”