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Exclusive: MTD for VAT: 7 tips to help clients with Making Tax Digital – TalkOfNews.com

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MTD for VAT: 7 tips to help clients with Making Tax Digital

#MTD #VAT #tips #clients #Making #Tax #Digital

Got new or existing clients looking to change their processes so they adhere to Making Tax Digital for VAT?

With all VAT registered businesses having to follow Making Tax Digital (MTD) for VAT rules, the number of clients you need to help in this area will increase (if it hasn’t already).

To help you support your clients with MTD, we’ve created this article.

It covers the benefits of digital working and how to educate your clients on how they need to submit their VAT Returns, and plenty more too.

Plus, discover how your practice can save time and money with this ROI calculator.

Here’s what we cover:

Which clients does Making Tax Digital for VAT apply to?

How to encourage clients to move to digital ways of working

7 tips to get clients with Making Tax Digital for VAT

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Final thoughts on Making Tax Digital for VAT

All VAT-registered businesses have to follow the Making Tax Digital for VAT rules.

Since 2019, MTD for VAT applied to businesses with a taxable turnover that was over the VAT threshold (currently £85,000).

The remit for MTD for VAT expanded in April 2022. Now, the rules also apply to businesses under the threshold that are registered for VAT (unless they’re exempt).

One of the key reasons for Making Tax Digital existing is to encourage businesses to adopt digital ways of working.

To resist this is not only to risk breaking the law but it also puts the business at a competitive disadvantage.

When attempting to comply with MTD’s rules, businesses that cling to old ways of working and rely largely on paper have to put in more effort than those that don’t.

But you can help your clients by communicating this to them, while emphasising the benefits.

Using HMRC-recognised accounting software means business admin tasks can be reduced from days to just hours.

It means businesses always know their cash flow position, so they can make smart decisions (and spot any problems before they become out of control).

And creating a VAT Return if the accounting data is already within the software is just a matter of clicking a few options, then perhaps applying adjustments, and clicking to submit the return.

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It’s this positive and inspiring message that can often be buried underneath what seems to businesses to be yet another mandatory requirement from the government.

And it’s not just clients that benefit.

Making Tax Digital means that you, as an accountant, are in a better position to assist your clients and offer an even better service to them.

Start your clients on the journey today by helping them use software that’s MTD-ready and that will support all future MTD compliance requirements.

In April 2024, many sole traders will have to use MTD for their income tax. While from April 2026 at the earliest, incorporated businesses will have to use MTD for their corporation tax returns.

Here are seven ways you can help and support your clients with Making Tax Digital for VAT.

HMRC is relying on accountants to educate about the specifics of MTD for VAT.

Since you intimately understand the situations of your clients, this makes sense.

So how can you do this?

Here’s three easy and simple suggestions:

  1. Tack on information to the end of existing conversations. Use every client touchpoint as an excuse to educate, and ensure all members of your staff have the knowledge to do so. Some practices have even added MTD messaging to their email signatures to ensure it’s always included in communications. Updating your website and social media accounts is a wise move.
  2. Email blasts can keep your clients up to date. In fact, treating this just like a marketing campaign will pay dividends because you should be selling new or different service offerings that fit with MTD’s requirements and what your clients need. Treat this as an opportunity to sell increased awareness of what you offer.
  3. Webinars can help you reach lots of people. If you run the webinar as a Q&A session, the initial prep requirement is reduced too. Worried about being stumped by a difficult question? Let people know you may have to respond with an answer after the webinar. And video conferencing tools such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams are essentially free, easy to use, and widely adopted.

This might catch out clients who ask you to take care of their VAT Returns for them.

They might think they can simply forget about Making Tax Digital for VAT, and carry on as they always have.

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But they’ve still got to keep VAT accounting records digitally, and know about the digital linking rules (no copy/cutting and pasting of key VAT data from one destination to another).

This might seem like an education issue. But it’s more than that.

You may need to help your clients adopt a digital solution that’s right for their needs.

At its most basic, this could be just a spreadsheet – although the MTD for VAT rules mean it needs to include more details than just input and output VAT amounts (for example, invoice-level details such as tax point dates, VAT rates, and so on).

But if the client uses accounting software that connects to your systems, which in turn makes producing VAT Returns much easier, it’s a win-win situation for both you and them.

When clients first hear that Making Tax Digital is going to affect them, you can expect four W questions in rapid succession: Why, when, who, and what.

The ‘when’ question is likely to be one of the most pressing that clients will ask of you because they’ll be afraid of getting penalised.

You can answer it very easily by providing deadlines for the client to meet. This includes registration deadlines, start days, and first filing dates, as follows:

When do clients sign up for MTD for VAT?

Clients shouldn’t sign up less than:

  • Seven days before their return is due; or
  • Five days after their return is due.

When do clients start using MTD for VAT?

For clients who file quarterly VAT Returns, these are examples of what start dates look like:

  • 1 April 2022: If the previous VAT quarter ended 31 March 2022.
  • 1 May 2022: If the previous VAT quarter ended 30 April 2022.
  • 1 June 2022: If the previous VAT quarter ended 31 May 2022.

When do clients first file VAT Returns using MTD for VAT?

Again assuming quarterly returns, these are examples of when initial VAT Returns for MTD for VAT must be filed:

  • 7 August 2022 for a VAT quarter beginning 1 April 2022.
  • 7 September 2022 for a VAT quarter beginning 1 May 2022.
  • 7 October 2022 for a VAT quarter beginning 1 June 2022.

Before clients can register for Making Tax Digital for VAT, they need to know which MTD-recognised accounting software they’re going to use. HMRC won’t let them proceed unless this is known.

The software can take different forms, depending on the client’s needs, and you should be prepared to help with solutions.

Some may choose to use bridging software with their existing spreadsheets.

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Others may use their existing software but add in an MTD for VAT submissions module.

Then there are those who find their software is already MTD-recognised and they simply need to register for MTD, and then authenticate within the software.

Make sure your clients realise that. Just because the software is MTD-recognised, it doesn’t mean they are.

Helping clients with software is one of the immediate messages to communicate, because some may need to switch accounting packages if the one they use can’t be updated.

While you have to educate your clients about Making Tax Digital for VAT, you also need to cover myths, misinformation and incorrect assumptions.

For example, clients may assume there’s another soft landing period this time around for MTD for VAT.

In April 2019, this provided additional time for businesses to be less strict when interpreting the digital linking rules, meaning they could continue to copy and paste from one place to another.

However, there’s no soft landing period now for new adopters of MTD for VAT.

There’s a new penalty points system to consider too, which starts from January 2023.

By far the biggest misconception will be that MTD doesn’t apply to your voluntary VAT-registered clients (it does, of course).

There might also be beliefs that businesses can opt-out of MTD for VAT, with clients perhaps having heard about digital exclusion.

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But this is limited to exceptional individual circumstances, such as where somebody lives in a location without internet access, or for people who can’t use technology because of physical or mental impairments.

Education on Making Tax Digital for VAT may be just the first step for you to take with your clients.

You may need to help some of them translate their existing processes into ones that are compatible with MTD for VAT.

If invoices are created outside the accounting software, for example, the details need to be entered into the system to be compliant with the digital records requirement.

This needs to be something that always happens for each and every invoice, otherwise there’s a risk of penalties from HMRC.

Key to helping clients create MTD-compatible workflows is identifying the points at which accounting data is generated or manipulated.

Typically, this will be at the point at which sales and purchases are made.

In this instance, ask your clients when paperwork is generated for VAT purposes, because it’s that VAT data that needs to be captured (such as tax point, VAT rate, VAT number and so on).

It’s when they receive receipts, bills and invoices, for example, that they’ll need to be aware of MTD for VAT’s requirements.

Having gained experience from the 2019 rollout of Making Tax Digital for VAT, you can segment clients into lists that will determine how and when you help them.

You might segment out those that need help first (such as monthly VAT filers), or those that are more technically savvy and will perhaps need less help overall.

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And it’s likely that some of your clients will embrace MTD for VAT more wholeheartedly than others, who may consider it a difficult and painful process.

So why not leverage the clients that can in order to help the clients that can’t?

There’s a number of ways you can do this, such as via client get-togethers (in person or online).

Some practices even run their own private online chat forums on their websites, where clients can gather to speak to each other.

Onboarding clients to Making Tax Digital for VAT might feel like a duty for accountancy practices, but it’s actually a way to increase exposure for what you do.

Savvy practices are using it as an opportunity to create new service offerings that are more aligned the way the business world operates nowadays.

Why not do the same?

At the end of the day, helping clients with new processes can be a rewarding experience in itself, and can help increase client confidence and satisfaction in what you do for them.

Editor’s note: This article was first published in January 2022 and has been updated for relevance.

Making Tax Digital: A practice survival guide

Need support with Making Tax Digital, for your clients and your practice? This free guide will help you get ready for MTD for VAT, Income Tax Self Assessment and Corporation Tax.

Download your free guide

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Exclusive: FDA Finalizes Rule To Make Hearing Aids Over-the-Counter – TalkOfNews.com

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FDA Finalizes Rule To Make Hearing Aids Over-the-Counter

#FDA #Finalizes #Rule #Hearing #Aids #OvertheCounter

On Tuesday, the FDA finalized a rule that will allow for hearing aids to be sold over-the-counter, theoretically cutting time and money from a multi-step, expensive process.

“Reducing health care costs in America has been a priority of mine since Day One and this rule is expected to help us achieve quality, affordable health care access for millions of Americans in need,” Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said in the FDA’s release.

Why are hearing aids so expensive?

To get a hearing aid, you previously had to visit an audiologist to get your hearing evaluated and get them fitted, as well as obtain medical clearance from your doctor, according to Cleveland Clinic.

The actual devices, however, are not usually covered by insurance or Medicare and are sold by Audiologists, who usually charge $2,000 per hearing aid — so $4,000, roughly, for a pair, according to Forbes Health.

“The rule is expected to lower the cost of hearings aids,” the FDA added in its statement. Over-the-counter aids could be available — and thus more accessible for many — in stores by mid-October, it added.

People who are over 18 and who have “perceived mild to moderate hearing loss,” will be able to buy the devices over the counter, per the FDA.

Luis Medina, a pharmacist and owner of Baron II Drug & Surgical, a surgical supply store and pharmacy in Moonachie, New Jersey, told Entrepreneur he hopes to start selling hearing aids in his store because he often recommends them to customers.

Beyond that, he’s just happy his mother-in-law might finally be able to hear him talk — she balked at the initial price of around $2,000 per ear for her aids.

“This weekend was my mother-in-law’s 93rd birthday and all she said was ‘what?’ and ‘huh,’” he said.

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Exclusive: Behind the Brand with On Running’s Olivier Bernhard – TalkOfNews.com

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Behind the Brand with On Running’s Olivier Bernhard

#Brand #Runnings #Olivier #Bernhard

When On Running co-founder Olivier Bernhard was a child, running made him feel whole. He had trouble focusing in school, and says that in today’s society he would have probably been given medication to help him focus. Luckily, his parents saw the energy he needed to expel and put him in a running club. That changed everything. The experience of moving his body and running gave him a sense of belonging and place and eventually he would grow up to be a pro Swiss athlete. 

“I’ve been a runner all my life,” he says. “I would say I’ve had this DNA in me. I started racing when I was 5 or 6 years old, and I enjoyed it. Maybe not so much to climb the podium and claim a medal. It was more the feeling of running, the breathing and heartbeat.” 

Bernhard–a multi-championship Ironman–never intended to be at the helm of a disrupter or challenger brand, nor did he intend to create a running shoe company. The idea sort of found him when he was looking at ways not to create new running products but to create a different kind of running experience and feeling. 

“I always felt there was room not for another running shoe but for a different running feel,” he says. “I had no clue how to build or manufacture a running shoe, but I had this vision or dream that stuck with me [where] I really wanted to bring that different feel to life in a running shoe.”

At the time, Bernhard was sponsored by Nike, and he first approached the company with his idea. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, he was rejected and that resulted in his beginning his own project and, later, company. Bernhard admits that had he been in Nike’s position at the time, he might have laughed himself out of the room as well, because the shoe prototype he presented was, in his own words, hideous. 

The first prototype for the On Running sneaker was a Frankenstein of sorts. Bernhard says he glued pieces of a garden hose to a traditional running shoe to create a softer landing and a springboard-like mechanism to push off from while in motion, sort of like shocks on a car. It might have looked a bit slapdash when he put the sample together, but the sensation when using the shoe was exactly what he was looking for. 

Bernhard describes his current career to me as “surfing a dream,” and says he’s always been happy because he’s always done what he loves. Even after Nike said no to him, he was determined to get his idea off the ground. Years of professional athletics had taught him that no often meant not right now, so he stayed the course.

Bernhard presented his concept to two friends, David Allemann and Caspar Coppetti, and while these two men thought the shoe prototype was terrible, they were converts once they ran in it. The three friends formed the company On Holding AG in Zurich in 2010 and quickly developed a somewhat cult-like following among runners. Once people tried the shoes, they were hooked and had no problem paying whatever the price tag to get their hands on a pair. 

Bernhard says that many people warned him not to compete against established juggernaut brands like Nike, Adidas, or New Balance, but he had spent years training in the Swiss Alps and he’s not one to shy away from an uphill battle or discomfort. He says he liked to go to the mountains to test himself and improve, so it’s no wonder that he’d end up in a similar position with a product–pushing it to its limit to see how it could be better. 

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The On Running founders were less worried about competing in their chosen market and more concerned with creating a great product that they themselves would want to buy. By focusing on the product more than the market, they were able to not only find their unique niche in the athletic space, but also create a superior product and find immense revenue success.  

Just starting your own business and having it be successful is a win, but On Running was in motion and things were about to get even bigger. After some time, the guys were approached by tennis legend and fellow Swiss athlete Roger Federer. Federer wasn’t just a fan. He was interested in getting very involved. Was this a Michael Jordan Jumpman moment for On? Maybe. Federer is arguably the G.O.A.T., and collectively the Swiss countrymen had a lot in common in terms of vision and competitive DNA. 

“He kind of knocked on our doors by posting Instagram pictures about going into tournaments wearing our shoes, and what we often do with celebrities like him or actors, we send a care package,” Bernhard says. “He came back and said, ‘Hey, can we go out for dinner in Zurich?’ and of course we didn’t say no! And that’s how we met and talked, and it was nice, but only a week later he said, ‘Hey, could I actually be a partner?’”

Federer came on board and even invested his own money in the brand. Along with the On Running team, Federer started designing a tennis shoe and spent most of his pandemic lockdown working on that. I ask Bernhard if it was a planned trajectory to go from running shoes to tennis shoes, and he says that it sort of just happened. To him, any kind of body movement is good, and it seems that On Running is poised to jump in where the team sees opportunities.

Bernhard tells me that On Running’s mission is to ignite the human spirit through movement and that was put to the test in 2020. Like most active/athletic companies, On emerged from the pandemic well in the black, and its 2021 IPO proved the company is a top-tier competitor in the athletic market.

Noting that Bernhard started his company shortly after the recession, I ask if he has advice for entrepreneurs starting out now during uncertain financial times. He says it’s all about products that are recession-proof. He notes that even during tough financial times, people will invest money in their health, and he’s not wrong. Now more than ever, people want to spend more time outside versus on their sofa and are finding more ways to work out and stay healthy. 

“If things get tough, then you prove if you’re made out of steel or a little plastic piece,” he says. “I loved to compete in [difficult] conditions. Even in 2010, we knew that it was going to be super tough. But we looked at each other as athletes. We said, ‘We want to found the company right now, and if we can survive this, we can take any storm that hits our boat.’”

On has proved that it’s a brand that can weather the test of time. It began in a recession; it thrived during a global pandemic. The founders have shown that their products are the kind that people will invest in even during troubled times. But what troubles Bernhard these days now that he’s been in business for more than a decade? He tells me it’s knowing that his company contributes to waste. Bernard impressed me with his connection to the outdoors and care for the land that has given him so much. Our interview took place a day before his birthday, and I asked him how he was planning to celebrate. He let me know that his kids had planned a beautiful day together hiking in the Alps. No wonder he wants to walk the talk and do his part to help preserve what’s most important.

“I always had a hard time being an athlete and knowing that everything I have on my feet and everything I wear is actually ending up in a landfill,” he says. “And I didn’t think that was going to change. When we founded the company, I was super excited, but I also felt bad because I felt that now I’m playing into that. We are producing more waste.”

Bernhard says that he brought this up to his partners mostly thinking that things would remain the same as they always had, but these days the company is taking seriously its pledge to contribute less to waste and is starting to experiment with recycled materials. Bernhard also tells me that On is experimenting with the concept of a subscription service wherein a consumer can return a pair of shoes when they’ve worn them out and once On gets the pair back, the company will send the customer a new pair and recycle the old pair and put the materials toward new products. He describes this as the products becoming circular, and it’s not a bad idea. 

The market has shown that consumers are comfortable with subscriptions. We pay for streaming services, subscription boxes, even subscribe and save on items on Amazon. Why not on our footwear? On is successful because it is evolving with the times. The founders have watched the world and the market change in the 12 years they’ve been in business, and wherever the trends are heading, they’ll be running right after them.

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“We spend a lot of time in nature, training and moving, and we are very thankful that we can do that,” Bernhard says. “We want to help the planet to make sure that it’s going to stay for generations to come.”

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.

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Exclusive: Apple releases iOS, iPadOS, and macOS security fixes for two zero-days under active attack – TalkOfNews.com

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Apple releases iOS, iPadOS, and macOS security fixes for two zero-days under active attack

#Apple #releases #iOS #iPadOS #macOS #security #fixes #zerodays #active #attack

Apple released surprise software updates for iPhones, iPads and Macs on Wednesday that fix two security vulnerabilities known by Apple to be actively exploited by attackers.

The two vulnerabilities were found in WebKit, the browser engine that powers Safari and other apps, and the kernel, essentially the core of the operating system, and affect both iOS and iPadOS, and macOS Monterey.

Apple said that a vulnerable device accessing and “processing maliciously crafted web content may lead to arbitrary code execution.” The two flaws are believed to be related.

Some successful exploits, such as powerful nation-state spyware, use two or more vulnerabilities in conjunction to break through a device’s lawyers of protections. It’s not uncommon for attackers to first target a vulnerability in the device’s browser as a way to break into the wider operating system, granting the attacker wide access to the user’s sensitive data.

Apple said iPhone 6s models and later, iPad Air 2 and later, iPad 5th generation and later, iPad mini 4 and later, and iPod touch (7th generation), and all iPad Pro models are affected.

Apple did not respond to a request for comment.

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