VAT returns "to be submitted digitally"

Discussion in 'Accounts & Finance' started by Justin Smith, Oct 17, 2018.

  1. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

    17,261 1,936
    Lots of things are paid for and we expect government to pick up the bill. Health for example. You still pay for it just not personally charged for the high expense you have caused. Most people over time if they live long enough will have a high expense service on the NHS so pretty much expected that people don't resent paying for your heart op.

    Does that mean something new being brought in that you personally are using should be paid for by others when they won't gain any benefit and won't ever have use of it?

    Saving money and increasing tax take are very different things as any business owner should well know.
    Reducing costs and increasing income - very different things in your business? Certainly I would expect your accountant to think so.

    Yes I get that you are a business just over the VAT threshold. Been there done that. Its not the nicest place to be but can go beyond it. The sky is the limit.
    And you are lumped in with big business. Yes, that's the joy of being bigger than the smaller businesses, on the matter of VAT you are treated the same way as the big businesses. Because you are acting the same way as them.
    Any extra overhead should be an issue - as should any extra tax! One way or another you WILL pay for software provided by government.

    Yes businesses who are VAT registered may well use an accountant. By choice.
    Be somewhat surprised if an accountant for a business doing such high turnover doesn't save the company money too.
    Up to you as to whether you use an accountant, you know whether its worth it or not.

    Be annoyed by all means. Just don't expect everyone else to agree with you about who should pay for what you have to use.
    Do you expect government to pay for your computer too? For your phone?
     
    Posted: Oct 19, 2018 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
    #41
  2. Clinton

    Clinton UKBF Big Shot Free Member

    4,504 1,704
    @Justin Smith, I complete agree with you.

    No, seriously! It's a bloody outrage, a power grab and an imposition. It's bad enough that they're not paying us to collect their goddamn taxes!

    However, most people don't see it that way (as you probably discovered in this thread ;))

    But, if you feel strongly enough, stand up and fight!

    Many years ago, HMRC told me they wouldn't be sending me paper returns for my VAT any more and that I'd have to file online.

    I refused. (I won't go into the reasons, that's a long story, it's not that I'm incapable of filing online - I'm an accountant and I'm very clued up with technology.)

    They told me that new legislation had been passed and that I had no choice.

    I still refused (and I sent them my reasons).

    They stopped sending me paper forms... so I stopped sending them VAT returns.

    They started imposing fines. The fines kept going up and up, quarter after quarter, till they reached several tens of thousands of pounds (probably about £50K).

    I told them to get lost, I wouldn't pay. Everyone laughed at me and told me I was being stupid and argumentative and that I'd lose. But...

    Eventually, HMRC backtracked, waived all the fines and started sending me paper returns. They still do.

    So if you feel strongly enough, find others who think like you and do something about it!
     
    Posted: Oct 19, 2018 By: Clinton Member since: Jan 17, 2010
    #42
  3. Justin Smith

    Justin Smith UKBF Enthusiast Full Member

    577 59
    That sounds all very helpful, but I must admit my eyes just glazed over. Most of that doesn`t mean anything to me. I suspect there`ll be a few older business owners who are pushed to bring forward their retirement...... I cannot overemphasise how effing out of order I think the HMRC are being, let`s not forget the basic principle here, I`m paying them, they aren`t "doing me a favour". I`m particularly surprised it`s the so called "business friendly" Tories who are bringing this in. As I remember it flat rate VAT, to make life easier for smaller VAT registered businesses, was bought out under Labour (albeit Blair`s Labour, a rather different beast form Corbyn`s). What`s going on here ?
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2018
    Posted: Oct 19, 2018 By: Justin Smith Member since: Jun 6, 2012
    #43
  4. Clinton

    Clinton UKBF Big Shot Free Member

    4,504 1,704
    PS: If you want to see how I dissected their terms and conditions and formally objected to individual terms as the grounds for my refusal, drop me an email and I'll send you my document. I'd post it publicly here but it might bore everyone to death.
     
    Posted: Oct 19, 2018 By: Clinton Member since: Jan 17, 2010
    #44
  5. SteLacca

    SteLacca UKBF Ace Free Member

    1,507 297
    MTD is rather a different beast. The whole process is legislated, including the penalty regime for failing to comply. It is NOT simply a case of HMRC having an arbitrary procedure. Unless someone genuinely fits into the legislated exceptions, no tribunal or court would overturn the penalties for failure in MTD.
     
    Posted: Oct 19, 2018 By: SteLacca Member since: Jun 16, 2016
    #45
  6. Justin Smith

    Justin Smith UKBF Enthusiast Full Member

    577 59
    Doing something similar did occur to me, but if the page on their site for one to file ones VAT return (that`s filing your VAT return online anyway, let`s remember) is removed, how would you file your return ? If, by some oddity, you were still able to fill in that online return, then pay them what you owe, one wonders what they`d actually do about it, and what the courts would do about it if it ever got that far. After all, you are paying the VAT people what you owe them.
    The fact we`re even talking about this for something bought in by a supposedly "business friendly" Tory Govt would be hilarious, if it weren't worrying and upsetting me so much.....
     
    Posted: Oct 19, 2018 By: Justin Smith Member since: Jun 6, 2012
    #46
  7. Clinton

    Clinton UKBF Big Shot Free Member

    4,504 1,704
    Nothing, but nothing is beyond challenge!

    They'd still do something about it.

    If you want to challenge these things you need to be prepared to read the legislation, find holes in the wording, find where it conflicts with other legislation, whatever. It's your job to find holes.

    When the DfE banned flexischooling in 2012 I got together with other campaigners and got the decision overturned on the grounds that the DfE hadn't done a proper assessment on how that would affect children with SEN. It was a technicality but it worked and the DfE reversed their decision within a month.

    When our local secondary was earmarked for closure we challenged it and as the decision was relying largely on demographic stats provided by the LA we set out to prove that the LA was crap at stats and found evidence that they had screwed up on stats numerous times in the past. The closure decision was reversed.

    Think less about being outraged and more like how Mr Loophole would think.

    Or just fall in with everybody else and ...comply!
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2018
    Posted: Oct 19, 2018 By: Clinton Member since: Jan 17, 2010
    #47
  8. Justin Smith

    Justin Smith UKBF Enthusiast Full Member

    577 59
    Are any of the business organisation planning to support anyone who fights this, through the courts if necessary * ? I`m so annoyed about it I`d volunteer, with their support, obviously.

    * On the basis one keeps paying the VAT one owes but the HMRC won`t accept it ?
     
    Posted: Oct 19, 2018 By: Justin Smith Member since: Jun 6, 2012
    #48
  9. Clinton

    Clinton UKBF Big Shot Free Member

    4,504 1,704
    Here's a small extract from the 10 page document I sent HMRC when I refused to comply with filing online VAT

     
    Posted: Oct 19, 2018 By: Clinton Member since: Jan 17, 2010
    #49
  10. Justin Smith

    Justin Smith UKBF Enthusiast Full Member

    577 59
    Like it.
     
    Posted: Oct 19, 2018 By: Justin Smith Member since: Jun 6, 2012
    #50
  11. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

    17,261 1,936
    It appears to be something of a joke, LA and stats.
    Sadly some campaign groups appear to be worse at stats, going for the headline rather than useful reality.

    Many years ago I had to disassemble some homeless statistics and one LA area I knew pretty well.
    How many homeless did they record living at one of the busiest road junctions in the borough? None.
    The stats say what the LA want them to say when the collection is rigged. Multiple LAs rig the stats.
     
    Posted: Oct 19, 2018 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
    #51
  12. Clinton

    Clinton UKBF Big Shot Free Member

    4,504 1,704
    Another bit:

    You need to be patient, you need to be persistent, you need to be a pain.

    Change can be achieved but it's takes awkward sods to achieve it. I am an awkward sod. Are you one? If not, give up, just go and get assimilated!
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2018
    Posted: Oct 19, 2018 By: Clinton Member since: Jan 17, 2010
    #52
  13. UK Contractor Accountant

    UK Contractor Accountant UKBF Big Shot Full Member - Verified Business

    4,689 786
    "This is especially significant considering 25.1"

    I Wonder what 25.1 was all about;)

    One of my clients didn't go to all the trouble - they just phoned HMRC up said they were not going to file online, the internet is not safe, so they just sent out paper VAT Returns for completion.
     
    Posted: Oct 19, 2018 By: UK Contractor Accountant Member since: Sep 18, 2013
    #53
  14. Justin Smith

    Justin Smith UKBF Enthusiast Full Member

    577 59
    Ahh, so they are flexible......
     
    Posted: Oct 19, 2018 By: Justin Smith Member since: Jun 6, 2012
    #54
  15. SteLacca

    SteLacca UKBF Ace Free Member

    1,507 297
    Sorry, Clinton. All you argued against were HMRC processes and procedures. That is a very different prospect than arguing against what is written down in law. Your stated success has no bearing on arguing against MTD penalties.
     
    Posted: Oct 19, 2018 By: SteLacca Member since: Jun 16, 2016
    #55
  16. Clinton

    Clinton UKBF Big Shot Free Member

    4,504 1,704
    Nope, they had the legislation to back it up. It was a long time ago and I don't have all the details, but all the arguments that accountants (and ex-HMRC staff ;) ) offered were based on legislation passed at that time. The approach that seemed best at the time was to challenge HMRC's implementation rather than the law so that is what I did.

    Besides, I don't care what's "written down in law". The law says you should pay a fine when you get caught speeding. Ask David Beckham how much he paid. There have been numerous occasions I have challenged the law - including immigration law and corporate law. Most times I have won (even when lawyers told me I had no chance in hell and I decided to fight the case myself).

    But, hey, I'm sure there are lots of accountants all over the country telling people they have no option. Like they told me back in the day.
     
    Posted: Oct 19, 2018 By: Clinton Member since: Jan 17, 2010
    #56
  17. UK Contractor Accountant

    UK Contractor Accountant UKBF Big Shot Full Member - Verified Business

    4,689 786
    thats when online vat filing came in. No idea what they are going to be like with MTD. Like everything HMRC touches it will a shambles for sure with penalties flying about all over the place spuriously churned out by their computer systems.

    I think there was some case law a few months back where the judge throw out HMRC's penalties demand as they were not issued by a 'human'. Not sure if went to appeal. @SteLacca should know.
     
    Posted: Oct 19, 2018 By: UK Contractor Accountant Member since: Sep 18, 2013
    #57
  18. paulears

    paulears UKBF Big Shot Full Member

    3,993 986
    Well - it's pushed me to talk to my accountant, and he explained it simply, and I was able to try the popular versions of compliant software in his office. Accepting that the simple software I've used for years has to go, I've got used to the idea and am switching to FreeAgent on Jan 1st. I have large amounts of receipts to process, many for very small amounts and the idea that I can use my phone to photo them, and this goes into the accounts, and then I can get rid of the receipts seems pretty attractive. Looking after receipts has been a real pain for years. I can use the system on any computer and phone. The accountant doesn't;t have to charge me for checking all my receipts, saving money which will pay for what I now have to give him each month to provide the software. He can give me a package cheaper than I can get from FreeAgent, so probably it will eat up the saving - leaving me with a small extra outgoing. For the phone scanning of receipts this seems worth it. Invoices can be emailed direct from the system, and automated reminders sent for unpaid ones. It can match up invoices against entries in my bank account. I quite like this. Not so sure about cloud storage, but I'm told this is fine. I'm more annoyed HMRC have not sent me anything in the post about this - pure luck I found out!
     
    Posted: Oct 19, 2018 By: paulears Member since: Jan 7, 2015
    #58
  19. SteLacca

    SteLacca UKBF Ace Free Member

    1,507 297
    That's a different thing than challenging the law. HMRC are far from infallible, and given that the front line staff work from HMRC internal manuals rather than the law, they rarely know what the law itself says, and never seem to know where their manuals are patently wrong.

    I would have no problem taking a case to the tribunal where I believe that HMRC and the legislation are contrary to each other (and, in fact, I'm defending an enquiry at the moment that may finish up in me doing exactly that).

    However, where the law is clear and unambiguous (which is the case with fixed filing penalties), unless you can demonstrate the legislated terms for appeal (reasonable excuse, incorrect process by HMRC etc.) then you will not win, no matter how loud you shout.
     
    Posted: Oct 22, 2018 By: SteLacca Member since: Jun 16, 2016
    #59
  20. Justin Smith

    Justin Smith UKBF Enthusiast Full Member

    577 59
    There`s something deeply wrong where the HMRC can insist you change all your systems and pay extra money as well, juts so you can pay them. I`m surprised anyone thinks this is a reasonable state of affairs.
     
    Posted: Oct 23, 2018 By: Justin Smith Member since: Jun 6, 2012
    #60