Just enough for SMEs to buy the software they need do the online VAT return for MTD, now that HMRC has knocked bridging software from spreadsheets on the head and turned it into a closed shop.
The UK government is promising to subsidise new software investment by small and medium-sized enterprises by up to 50 per cent, or a maximum value of £5,000. The Treasury has not yet said how that list of "approved" software packages will be drawn up, however. As part of the spring Budget’s effort to Help to Grow, under the …
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Upvoted for the useful link.
Hmm, I query the assertion at the end of this paragraph:-
"Under Making Tax Digital (MTD) for VAT, businesses will have to provide more information than they already do"
"This is not correct: no business will need to provide information to HMRC more regularly than they do now, nor send any additional information."
I thought that with Phase 2 it was mandatory to set the "journey" of data into stone, the figures behind the customary Box data supplied on a traditional VAT return. To do so involves submitting that journey, surely?
I have seen Bridging software using spreadsheets which meets Phase 2 requirements very well. However, I suspect there are some implementations that will fail, because of insufficient linkage between Box and Journey.
Yes, for phase 2, cut and paste went out the window, as did manually filling boxes in in, but I did find another link yesterday where HMRC stated that File-Save actions were fine and considered suitable "digital links" when moving data into bridging spreadsheets. Which is what I've been doing all along. I export as an XLS file from Sage 50, and import it into my suppliers web page by clicking "Upload" and locating the file on disk. The format of the XLS spreadsheet is pretty much 9 cells filled in with the VAT values.
I'll try and dig out that other link I found.
How about providing some substantial technical / financial help in order to provide meaningful security assistance, combined with rigorous appraisal of current implementation, to SMEs? I mean, with the apparently growing number of attempts to phish / attack all manner of businesses globally, would it not be prudent to make meaningful efforts to bring SMEs up to speed regarding keeping their systems as safe as possible and teaching good security practice? It would seem a relatively small price to pay now in order to try and protect the green shoots of recovery later - just saying.
Companies have to be registered companies and have between 5 and 249 employees.
Apparently this does not apply to bespoke software and it has to be the first time of purchase. As Dan 55 comments, does this cover subscriptions?
I have a customer who paid a few thousand for some off the shelf software some years ago. There is a new version out which he is interested in upgrading to, but this scheme is almost encouraging him to go to a rival product, buy that and ditch the existing one.
In reality, this is not about providing software - it's about being seen to support small business - but only businesses larger than 4 employees, so no that small (one of my past clients with a turnover in low millions only had three staff). It's probably been arranged primarily to divert attention from the threats of increased business taxes.
Does the Chancellor owns shares in Xero, Intuit, etc by any chance?
Don't really get this myself; historical "subsidy" schemes like the Individual Learning Account can be disastrous in terms of administration. For those that don't remember ILA; it was a good idea; badly executed. A lot of people saw flaws in the administrative processes of ILA and set up a pair of shell companies; one inputting data to "register" claimants, the other, to "sell" something to purported claimants (often, an e-book so you could extract money from the ILA scheme with no physical goods to bother about). The scheme was such that you could effectively print money by typing in names from the phone book.
Admin concerns aside, most of the budget appears to be relatively sensible; BUT; what is not in the budget is far more damning than what is in there. Keir called them out on this; one of the first times I've thought he delivered a half effective speech. Useless, awful first-past-the-post...
The last time I looked into a scheme like this, it was providing small businesses with a "web presence".
In practice, the money was channelled through a limited list of "approved suppliers", simply distorting the competition for the provision of services to the detriment both of the other suppliers and the businesses that were supposedly getting a freebie.
It's really all about headlines. If you were feeling generous you could call it "raising awareness".
This is effectivly a tax on British owned and operated companies.
Foreign owned businesses just do not pay it.
e.g. Starbucks after some public outcry now "volunteers" to pay approx 3.5 million in corporation tax.
Costa Coffee pays 24 million.
Costa could actually reduce this by operating some well know fiddles involving Luxembourg but choose not to. These options are not viable for smaller companies.
So it raises very little money and gives a competitive advantage to giant multi-national companies over locally owned businesses.
> So it raises very little money
Are you kidding? It raises around 10% of the total receipts to HMRC which is hardly "little money" in anyone's terms. And that will rise with the announcements in the week's Budget.
It's also completely incorrect to say "Foreign owned businesses just do not pay it". Foreign owned businesses have lots more opportunity to reduce their declared UK profit (and hence the corporation tax they pay) but many foreign owned businesses in the UK pay corporation tax. Also many British business pay zero or next to zero by the same schemes that help the likes of Starbucks - since you quote two coffee shops, try looking for Caffe Nero's tax payments (a British company). You might need a magnifying glass.
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