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Why making tax digital should be on every business owners agenda

With one year to go until the Making Tax Digital deadline comes into play, one technology firm is calling for those business owners not yet embracing digital life to start planning now.

Leanne Owen, Partner at tech consultancy HSJ Strato, is urging business owners not to put-off making steps towards the government-backed digital system: “Making Tax Digital will start to come into force in April 2019 for those businesses with turnover above the current VAT threshold; which currently stands at £85,000. However, across the course of the next few years more and more businesses will start to be introduced into the system aimed at transforming the tax system by 2020.

“Despite Making Tax Digital being used initially for VAT purposes, businesses will have the option of opting-in to record other taxation liabilities. Is it safe to assume that Making Tax Digital is only the start and the quicker businesses can embrace this move towards a digital relationship with its taxation and HMRC, the better.”

The scheme is aimed at keeping tax returns digitally in the hope that it will result in more timely and accurate record-keeping, helping to prevent errors associated with the manual processes and human error. Quarterly updates direct from records and Making Tax Digital-compliant software will help prevent errors that can happen when businesses undertake manual calculations or transcribe information from one format into another.

Leanne continued: “The number of businesses who operate an offline bookkeeping process will really need to change its ways, regardless of whether they are above the VAT threshold or not. The changes implemented from next April is only the start.

“Business owners need to start investigating compliant software now, as the process of embedding a digital roadmap can take some time. I urge all business owners to see it as an investment in its future. Making Tax Digital will be the catalyst for most businesses but it will deliver huge benefits.

“The software and regular reporting will help businesses stay on-top of their record keeping, affording them accurate information on the business’ performance, tax liabilities and real-time budgetary data.

“With 12 months to go until the start of the Making Tax Digital revolution, I urge those businesses owners who have not yet started their digital journey to start looking at software that can help. Free trials are available from most and there is a wealth of information out there.

“Don’t bury your heads, this is ne journey you can’t afford to miss out on.”

HSJ Strato works with businesses on embedding the right technology to take away operational headaches and reduce administrative duties through using automation and cloud-based solutions.