The Treasury will be publishing draft clauses for the November Finance Bill this week. The idea being that interested parties can consult on the published clauses prior to the formal budget presentation 22 November 2017. The closing date to make representations is Wednesday 25 October 2017.
Whilst it is encouraging that government are taking steps to involve tax professionals and their oversight bodies in this process, we wonder if HMRC take much notice?
For example, what drives tax policy? Political or economic considerations; or both? Obviously, the latter is more likely, but Brexit will also have an impact this year, and the ruling parties’ slim majority in parliament.
It does feel as if we have our options for progressive changes in the tax code limited by the mammoth task of disentangling UK legislation from the control of the EU.
Accountants in practice also need to keep an eye on the GDPR clock. Clients, especially larger concerns, will be under pressure to make sure that their supply chains are GDPR compliant. Expect requests, and soon, for clarification of the steps you have taken to secure any personal data of your client and their customers held on your IT systems. You need to back up a positive response with appropriate ground work: information audits, data protection impact assessments and other required compliance activity.
If you give an assurance, and are then found to be a data processing risk, it will be a brave practitioner that will try and pass on the claim to their insurers.
And in the background, MTD is ticking away. You will need to be using MTD compliant software to file clients VAT returns by April 2019, and larger clients’ quarterly accounts data by April 2020.
The next two or three years are going to be a time of change, and most of it at the behest of legislation. It will transform compliance activity, our relationship with clients and the way we consider and appraise risk. Time to step up…