Last week we posted comments on the challenges practitioners will face in the coming year. This week, our thoughts are with tax practitioners as this week saw the end of their closing attempts to keep clients the right side of their self-assessment filing obligations for 2016-17.
Sole practitioners, especially those with limited support, will likely be worn out, and looking forward to the absence of the pressure they have been working under for the past several weeks. Hopefully, they will have plans to escape the office for a few days.
No doubt there is a measure of anti-climax, disappointment that the last weeks’ efforts have not resolved a problem for all time, that the 1st February does not mark the end but merely resets the clock to 365 days to go until the next filing deadline. However, if MTD proceeds as mooted by HMRC, perhaps we can look forward to a time when SA returns are abolished for most tax payers, and instead we have a constant rolling program of live data management.
Last week, HMRC revealed that over three million tax returns were still outstanding and that eight million had been filed. It would be interesting to see how many of the unfiled taxpayers were supported by professional advisors.
In any event, congratulations to all practitioners on surviving yet another filing season and we hope that you will have time in the following weeks to take a well-deserved break. Informanagement will continue to support the profession with a range of tax content products and we will be introducing new ideas later this year, in time for Accountex. Why not pop along to our stand (#846) and say hi.
Watch this space, and well done on crossing the finishing line.