I recently held our first formal meeting with the new Financial Secretary, Rt Hon Mel Stride.
Following the announcement on changes to Making Tax Digital for Business (MTDfB), I reiterated ICAEW’s positive response to the new timetable and changes to the implementation, which mean that MTDfB will not take effect until April 2019 and will only be mandatory at that time for businesses over the VAT threshold. As I wrote following the announcement, this was a great outcome for ICAEW’s campaign which has long argued that mandation should not be compulsory and that its introduction should allow enough time to ensure the system works for business. During Wednesday’s meeting, I sensed a real willingness on behalf of HM Treasury to work in close partnership to ensure that we get MTD right once it returns. This would also allow ICAEW to make sure our members are well prepared for the changes ahead.
This also applies to our work around the updated Professional Conduct in Relation to Taxation (PCRT). ICAEW and HM Treasury agree on the need to bring unaffiliated advisers and legal professionals into scope to ensure that there is a level playing field for tax advice. For our part, ICAEW is working to simplify and digitise the code, to ensure that it is as straightforward as possible for members to follow.
This meeting was part of a regular series of exchanges which ICAEW holds with the Financial Secretary, as well as with other Government departments, parliamentarians, senior officials and wider stakeholders. Our aim is to promote and protect our profession, and reflect the views of our members who work in practice, business and the public sector.
In these uncertain times, our stakeholders value the insights our members provide into what decision makers and finance directors in UK businesses are thinking about the commercial environment, including tax, investment, access to talent and trade.