Sometimes where HMRC are concerned you just have to shake your head and walk away

Sometimes where HMRC are concerned you just have to shake your head and walk away

Here we are at officially the start of Spring 2018 and HMRC have a few days ago sent out a call for Agents to join the MTD pilot scheme.

This call has been repeated in their apparently monthly Digital Services Update. I say apparently because for some reason these Updates are only sent to the CIOT who then publicise them. Why only the CIOT? Who knows why they are not made available to any and all agents via the HMRC site itself who knows?

Anyway, whilst not a CIOT member I did pick up on the issue and had a look and the following made me smile.

“Services for paid agents”

MTD for Income Tax



From Spring 2018 we plan to open the MTD pilot for Income Tax to all paid agents.

This means that agents will be able to:

  • Create an Agent Services account
  • Copy existing SA client relationships to their Agent Services account
  • Sign up new and existing SA clients to quarterly updates. They’ll be able to sign up if their clients current accounting period ends after 5 April 2018 and they’re a sole trader with income from one business.
  • Submit quarterly updates through software – only applies when the agent is subscribed to agent services, the client is signed up to the MTD pilot for Income Tax, and the agent has enabled MTD compatible software for the client
  • Be authorised by a new MTD SA client (a digital 64 – 8 for MTDB). In addition, their clients will be able to
  • digitally confirm authorisation to the MTD pilot for Income Tax, and
  • digitally cancel authorisation for the MTD pilot for Income Tax.

There is more but seriously for me as an Agent it rests upon the part that says “and the agent has enabled MTD compatible software for the client” and do you know there are only 2, YES 2 MTD compatible software packages available at the present namely Iris and Rhino. Iris which is great software but very expensive and Rhino who frankly I have no personal knowledge of.

So exactly how many Agents will enrol? Certainly not myself because we don’t use Iris so those that do register will only give HMRC a viewpoint from the Iris user which is no where near the majority of Agents.

It’s like asking for motorists to take a survey but when you click through it says that you must be a Bentley owner to take part.

As I say you have to shake your head and walk away at the nonsense of it all sometimes.

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