September 2nd, 2016
Making Tax Digital – toolkit for responding to August 2016 consultation documents
Produced by Tolley in association with Rebecca Benneyworth
HMRC unveiled six consultation documents on 15 August 2016:
- bringing business tax into the digital age
- simplifying tax for unincorporated businesses
- simplified cash basis for unincorporated property businesses
- voluntary pay as you go
- tax administration
- transforming the tax system through better use of third party information
These consultations set out more detail on the ambitious project to create the most digital tax authority in the world.
For an overview of the Making Tax Digital (MTD) project and a summary of the key points from each consultation document, see the Making Tax Digital – overview of the August 2016 consultations news item on TolleyGuidance. If you have a subscription to TolleyGuidance, please use the link above otherwise you can request a free trial to TolleyGuidance using the form on the right.
This news item includes a toolkit which firms can use to get the MTD conversations going amongst staff in the office. It picks out the key questions in each consultation document and provides templates which the firm can use to respond to HMRC. Responses must be submitted to HMRC by Monday 7 November 2016.
Toolkit for responding to the consultation documents
The sheer scale of the MTD consultation documents present a challenge to advisers in making the time both to assimilate and consider the implications but also to draft responses to HMRC.
The Digital Advisory Group, together with HMRC, is anxious to seek responses directly from those most affected by the proposals – small businesses, and the agents and advisers who support them. Therefore, to help those firms who may not have the resources to respond to consultation documents normally, the Digital Advisory Group has short-cutted the process by producing a toolkit which includes:
- a short PowerPoint presentation (with detailed speaker notes), which might be used in a session for partners and staff to familiarise themselves with the proposals
- a 'crib sheet' for the leader of the session, setting out the questions the Digital Advisory Group believes are most relevant to smaller firms of accountants and tax advisers from the six consultation documents
- six response template documents in Word, one for each consultation document (again only the most relevant questions from each consultation document have been listed)
To download these files, see the links below.
It is not necessary for the leader of the session to have studied the consultations documents before delivering the presentation, as the slides, speaker notes and crib sheet should cover this. The speaker notes in the presentation are cross referenced to page numbers in the relevant consultation documents in case the leader needs more information.
Here are a few suggestions for running an informal session for staff:
- display the slides on a screen so that everyone can follow the content
- use the speaker notes in the PowerPoint presentation to help the group understand what HMRC is considering, and how it might affect the firm and its clients
- use the speaker 'crib sheet' which lists all of the questions in the various response templates in the order covered in the slides (although this not the same order as they appear in the response templates). It might be a good idea to appoint a scribe to record the points discussed, and it may even be possible for that person to make notes directly onto the response templates to make it easier to tidy these up into the official response later
- use the separate response templates as different teams within HMRC will be looking at the responses to the different consultation documents. The relevant contact details are shown at the top of each template. Note that the questions in the response templates are listed in the order they appear in the consultation document (rather than in the order they are discussed in the presentation) to help HMRC analyse the responses
- feel free to add any other comments that come out from the session to the various templates. Do not feel that all of the templates or indeed all of the questions on the template have to be completed – any feedback given will be very useful to HMRC
- an optional page is included at the back of each template to give HMRC some context for the answers
Presentation and crib sheet
Click below to download the presentation, complete with speaker notes. For those not familiar with the notes function on PowerPoint, these appear in a separate window at the bottom, underneath the slide.
Click below to download a printed pdf copy of the presentation for use by the leader of the session. This is set to one slide per page, with the speaker notes printed underneath the slide.
Click below to download the eight page 'crib sheet', which lists all of the questions in the various response templates in the order in which these are covered in the presentation (although this not the same order as they appear in the response templates). Using the presentation in conjunction with the crib sheet should facilitate the group conversation and mean that the response templates can be filled in by the note-taker in draft in real time.
Response template – bringing business tax into the digital age
Click below to download the response template for the main consultation on bringing business tax into the digital age.
Response template – simplifying tax for unincorporated businesses
Click below to download the response template for the consultation on simplifying tax for unincorporated businesses.
Response template – simplified cash basis for unincorporated property businesses
Click below to download the response template for the consultation on the simplified cash basis for unincorporated businesses.
Response template – voluntary pay as you go
Click below to download the response template for the consultation on voluntary pay as you go.
Response template – tax administration
Click below to download the response template for the consultation on tax administration.
Response template – transforming the tax system through better use of third party information
Click below to download the response template for the consultation on transforming the tax system through better use of third party information.