Agent Services Account
In order to access the new MTD services and to supply updates on behalf of clients, agents will need a new Agent Services Account (ASA). This is in effect a new Government Gateway to access the new service. Each agency will have just one account per firm, and will be able to set up staff with administrator or delegate access to the account. Many firms may already have created an ASA in order to submit Trust Registration Service returns.
A basic outline of the ASA and how to set one up can be found here.
Update on Engagement Letters
The engagement letter schedule for MTD was published on 18 January.
MTD pilot for Income Tax Self-Assessment
MTD for Income Tax Self-Assessment trials entered their public beta testing phase on 15 March 2018. You can access the service here. Taxpayers are eligible for the public beta if they are a sole trader with income from one business and their current accounting period ends after 5 April 2018, and taxpayers who rent out UK property (excluding furnished holiday lettings).
To take part in the pilot, businesses will need to record their income and expenses in a MTD compliant software package, which lets them send quarterly income tax updates to HMRC. At the end of the accounting period they will need to send a final report to confirm their income and expenses for the year. If they need to claim allowances and reliefs, they can do this within that final report. They will then be able to see a tax calculation for the year in their business tax account as well as through their software. Businesses taking part in the pilot will need to agree to the terms of participation, which can be found here.
Likewise, agents that sign clients up to the pilot (including clients whose digital records are being kept by the agent and clients that keep their own digital records) will need a software package that lets them send the updates to HMRC on their clients’ behalf.
If you and your clients are already using software to keep records, you should check with your supplier when it will be ready to allow you to send MTD updates to HMRC.
The current list of MTD compatible software products is set out on gov.uk here. We understand that there are a number of other products at various stages of development and HMRC have said that they will continue to add to this page as new products become available.
HMRC’s terms of participation’ for inclusion in the Income Tax pilots
Self-employed businesses and landlords can voluntarily join the pilot for Making Tax Digital for Income Tax. This requires a login via the Government Gateway and a link can be found here on gov.uk. Once logged in, you can view the terms of participation for businesses and agents, which we have reproduced below: