Making Tax Digital with Xero and Tanda
Getting your taxes right costs money, but getting them wrong costs even more. Last October, the HMRC hit some of the UK’s largest businesses with fines for ‘careless behaviour’, totalling £59m. Some 115 Finance Directors and other senior finance executives failed in to comply and were also fined. Often, these errors result not from an intent to deceive, but from inaccuracies in the submitted tax returns. The UK government has taken steps to rectify this problem. Most recently, they announced the Making Tax Digital (MTD) programme.
The MTD, which will begin on 1 April 2019, is an HMRC initiative designed to make it easier to get taxes right. By next year, all VAT-registered businesses with a turnover above £85,000 will have to keep digital records and submit VAT returns using MTD compliant software. Already, UK businesses are expressing concern about their readiness, noting that many are not even aware of the impending change. So how can your business ensure that you are Making Tax Digital? How can you avoid opening yourself up to investigation and fines come 2019?
Out with the old, in with the new
According to HMRC, 1.8 million businesses still file manual returns. They, along with everyone else using non-MTD compliant software, will need to transition as soon as possible. And with less than six months to go, time is quickly running out for large and small businesses alike. Recent RSM research, carried out by YouGov, suggests that a third of businesses are still unprepared for the new MTD rules. Businesses still using Microsoft Excel and manual records are going to be the hardest hit.
Meanwhile, industry pundits are also worried about the complexity of the online process compared to the manual completion of VAT returns, and the costly software upgrade involved. Even if the business fails with record keeping, they must still have an API linking the business’s accounting software with HMRC from the start of the compliance period, to avoid being fined. There is no way around it: businesses will need to choose their MTD-compliant software and fast.
Making Tax Digital with Xero and Tanda
The HMRC released a list of VAT Compatible Software, and Xero is among the select few that already have the right system in place. One of Xero’s biggest drawcards in the transition process towards MTD compliance is their ability to onboard businesses. They can onboard any company smoothly to new methods of digital tax management. In fact, they have done this is other parts of the world that have adopted similar initiatives. Xero is not new to the game and is also able to integrate with other workforce technology platforms.
In the UK, Tanda is making a name for itself not just for seamless end-to-end integration with Xero other accounting software, but also for its wide range of features. Tanda sends timesheets to Xero in a ready-to-export format. This automatically updates leave balances in the process. This means less time worrying about compliance. Managers can spend more time focusing on growing the top line and engaging teams. With Tanda, you’re not only getting easy integration with VAT Compatible Software. You’re also getting all the tools you need for a successful business.
Moving with change, effortlessly
With the UK government’s efforts to streamline processes and take advantage of the digital age, as well as the numerous tax changes to be implemented over the next few years, the cost of not switching to VAT compliant software is high. Most accountants and managers will agree that the initial investment in MTD compliant software is more than worth it. Besides avoiding fines, these changes help in the long run to create sustainable and scalable businesses.
The many software options out there can make it difficult to decide which one can help you transition the fastest. But MTD is just the beginning. There will be more and more changes to come, and they will affect all businesses no matter the size. It’s now up to businesses to select the best software that provides not just MTD compliance, but also other tools that will help them navigate the new, increasingly digital UK business landscape.
Industry Insights UK |
Brexit Business Impact: How to Future-proof your Trade
Major uncertainty has hit the United Kingdom since the 2016 Brexit referendum. This is despite few real changes in legal status, regulation, or tariffs so far. In the past two years, UK and EU citizens followed the development of the withdrawal agreement. This agreement will determine what comes next for both parties. But things are coming to a head this year. The UK will leave the EU on March 29 regardless of a deal with the EU. Developments are taking a toll on the UK’s economy. There is now rising inflation and less investor confidence. What can businesses across the UK do to survive Brexit? 1. Study the state of your industry “A disorderly Brexit has the potential of leading the UK into a recession, which could have significant disruption to finance and economic growth.” That’s according to Business Economics professor Francesco Moscone at the Brunel University London. But no one is sure how exactly it will impact businesses. There is a lack of preparation among owners and managers. Stay ahead of the curve by assessing your industry. Below are some common industries in the UK and potential impacts as outlined by experts. Hospitality The weaker pound has affected the hospitality industry in two ways. On one hand, costs increased have for imported goods. This has eroded the profits of business owners. On the other, it has encouraged more tourism from both local and overseas visitors. This has also resulted in a greater demand for accommodation. Besides this, the hospitality workforce is being significantly affected. Eduard Elias, co-founder of Cycas Hospitality, said that many foreign workers are leaving the UK or choosing not to come in the first place. Hospitality businesses need to prepare for rising costs in both goods procurement and operating expenses, such as hiring and retention. Restaurant Research from accountancy firm Moore Stephens has shown that 20% of the UK’s restaurants are at risk of closure because of Brexit. This is due to several factors. One is the predicted food shortage due to import price increases. Only 49% of the food consumed in the UK is produced here. 30% comes directly from the EU. Notably, when it comes to fruit and vegetables, 40% of fresh produce comes from the EU. Workforce supply is also a major issue: 75% of waiters and 25% of chefs in the UK are EU nationals, according to CEO of the British Hospitality Association (BHA), Ufi Ibrahim. Overall, Brexit could most heavily affect the restaurant industry. Healthcare Like in hospitality, post-Brexit labour supply is going to be a major concern in the healthcare industry. According to the NHS data, 10% of NHS doctors, 16% of NHS midwives, and 5% of NHS nurses come from elsewhere in the EU. In an already challenging recruitment environment, UK businesses will need to prepare for a shortfall in medical health professionals. There are also concerns about post-Brexit healthcare regulations and qualifications, as the UK may no longer be required to align with EU rules and frameworks. It is thus not surprising that according to data and analytics company, GlobalData, 59% of healthcare industry professionals now view Brexit negatively. 2. Audit your supply chains and EU contracts Brexit can disrupt the operations of any UK business if an EU supplier cannot cope with changes. Unprepared EU suppliers could be unwilling to continue cross-border transactions. According to the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS), 40% of UK companies are already seeking domestic suppliers. This will save costs on customs and other import fees. Further, 25% of UK businesses with 250+ employees have spent over £100,000 preparing their supply chains for Brexit. It is thus important for every business owner to trace their supply chain. Assess whether it is worth maintaining these transactions early on. All EU contracts also need to be revisited, as not all of them include legal provisions for importing and exporting that define who is responsible for shipping goods across borders. These provisions, known as incoterms, determine risk and affect VAT. Current contracts may lack the details for a new customs border between the UK and the EU. If the business is large, there will be more contracts to assess. There may be a transition period in the withdrawal agreement that will give you some time to prepare. However, you have a higher chance of surviving Brexit if you do this early on. 3. Invest in the right technology By March 29, Brexit will affect everyone in the UK across the board. For businesses, it will have an impact especially on labour supply and finance. The legal changes will come fast, and may prove overwhelming for some. Investing in the right technology months ahead of Brexit will determine the future of the business. From rotas, to onboarding, to payroll, the right workforce technology platform can ease the transition by outsourcing the nitty gritty to a reliable service provider. Tanda, for example, manages many aspects of day-to-day operations that will be affected by Brexit. Managing rotas will prove to be challenging post-Brexit, what with the predicted shortfall in staff. But Tanda’s rota software allows you to build rotas to match customer demand, see staff availability as you go, and set targets and rota costs to make sure you never go over budget. The customisable onboarding feature that comes with the package lets you collect information about UK and EU employees, and makes sure you never lose that information. Finally, Tanda’s labour compliance makes sure you never breach the new labour laws. Preparing your business for Brexit is going to take some hard and fast decisions. There is no doubt that Brexit’s implementation will affect many aspects of the economy. Brexit may hit some industries harder than others, among them hospitality, restaurants, and healthcare. Stay ahead of the curve by studying the implications for your industry, auditing supply chains and EU contracts, and investing in the right technology. Whatever the outcome of the negotiations and the terms of the withdrawal agreement, businesses need to begin preparing today if they hope to become Brexit-proof.
Industry Insights UK |
UK Right to Work: A simple guide to check eligibility
Various changes are expected to occur in the UK as a result of the Brexit negotiations. Business owners anticipate that developments will affect labour and employment regulations across the country. While there will be no change to the rights and status of EU citizens currently living in the UK until at least 31 December 2020, employers are already raising questions and preparing for changes. One major issue is the UK Right to Work, as a no-deal result could impact the labour supply of projects in some industries. So who can work in the UK right now, and how might that change? UK Right to Work at present In general, citizens of the United Kingdom, Switzerland or one of the following European Economic Area (EEA) countries, have the right to work in the UK: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden. These citizens need to produce documents that prove their nationalities, such as their passport, Biometric Residence Permit, or adoption certificate. EU nationals will need to prove their right to work in the UK through, for example, a valid UK National Insurance number. Nationals of certain countries, such as Romania, Croatia, and Bulgaria, may require special permission. Citizens of countries not specified above usually need to apply for a visa to be able to work in the UK. There are various types that include long-term, short-term, investors, entrepreneurs and talent visas. In most cases, a certificate of sponsorship from a licensed employer is required before you can work in the UK. Read more: Brexit Business Impact: How to Future-proof your Trade Employer’s responsibility to check Employers are responsible for complying with migrant work legislation. They need to ensure that none of their employees are working illegally in the UK. To this end, the Home Office launched an online Employer Checking Service. According to immigration minister Caroline Nokes, “This service enables UK employers to check the current right to work, in real time, of a person who holds either a biometric residence permit or a biometric residence card, and to see whether they are subject to any restrictions.” The online service will benefit employers, as employing illegal workers has dire consequences. Employers can face a civil penalty with a maximum fine of £20,000 for each illegal worker. It can even affect their ability to sponsor migrant workers. Employers can avoid the civil penalty only if the online check backs up their decision to hire. UK Right to Work post-Brexit According to immigration minister Caroline Nokes, in case of a no-deal Brexit, employers will be expected to check whether EU nationals have the right to work in the UK. “If somebody hasn’t been here prior to the end of March , employers will have to make sure they go through adequately rigorous checks to evidence somebody’s right to work,” she said. EU citizens in the UK must apply for a ‘settled status’ in order to remain in the country. The registration process that will affect around 3.5 million EU citizens is currently being tested. Because the negotiations are ongoing, it is impossible to tell whether the no-deal Brexit scenario will take place. According to Furley Page Solicitor Tessa Robinson, the current immigration system will apply to EU workers arriving in the UK until 31 December 2020. Individuals who arrive by the end of 2020 can apply for the EU Settlement Scheme until 30 June 2021. Regulations and procedures beyond this depend on the Brexit negotiations. What employers should watch out for There is plenty of speculation surrounding the possible effects of Brexit. Investor confidence remains unstable after the pound failed to recover from its nosedive after the Brexit vote. Two years ago, the currency dropped 10% to its 31-year low of $1.33 to a pound. It has hovered there since. This financial climate has contributed to a skills shortage in many sectors, notably construction and hospitality. Given this, employers need to watch out for pressing challenges, as well as opportunities. It is too early to tell what the real impact on labour will be. However, all trends indicate that recruitment is going to become a challenge. Employers can future-proof their business by putting systems in place to remain compliant with new regulations. They also need to ensure a steady supply of qualified labour. Beyond the usual recruitment strategies, employers can source a contingent workforce and invest in management software. They can do these changes now to avoid the negative effects of Brexit.
Events & Media UK |
Tanda clocks in at Xerocon London
Tanda recently joined over 70 exhibitors at Xerocon London 2018 – one of the biggest fintech showcases in the UK. Held at the Excel London conference centre, industry leaders from Europe, the Middle East, and Africa were present, discussing the future of business and cloud accounting, at the 2-day event. With over 3,000 attendees, Xerocon is truly the accounting world’s ‘Coachella’. The event also marked Tanda’s first year in the UK. “Xerocon London 2018 absolutely exceeded our expectations in terms of size and how great it was to meet the wider Xero community,” said Macrina Rozario, Partner Manager for Tanda UK. Xero, founded in 2006, is used in over 180 countries by 1.58 million subscribers and integrates with more than 700 add-on solutions. “The best thing about the Xero community is how open everyone is to getting to know each other’s product and working collaboratively through a diverse ecosystem of apps and vendors,” she added. This year, the HMRC initiative Making Tax Digital (MTD) underscored the importance of legally compliant platforms. “With most Xero clients preparing for MTD, this is the perfect time to look at Tanda and make the move onto the cloud if you haven’t already done so,” Rozario said. Due to MTD, business owners and managers will need to ensure a streamlined payroll process by 1 April 2019. With Xero as one of the few MTD-compliant accounting platforms, you can easily integrate the system with Tanda to ensure accurate pay runs and no violations down the line. Read more: Making Tax Digital with Xero and Tanda The UK business environment is facing major changes, and Tanda has focused its research and development on ensuring compliance and adaptability. According to Country Manager Bryce Davies, Tanda UK has been building integrations with British payroll systems like Xero, Sage, and Brightpay, as well as all types of POS systems. “We are also building our leave entitlement management, which is bespoke to the UK,” he said. Tanda, which opened its office in Clapham, London a year ago, is looking forward to expanding its business operations and welcoming new clients and partners. “We’ve already grown from an MRR of £2,000 to £10,000 in just 12 months. We now have over 120 clients, and we’re committed to staying in the UK through Brexit,” Davies said. Tanda’s clients in the UK include the Manchester City Council, Net-a-Porter, and new Tesco discount chain, Jack’s. Inspired by the success of their participation at Xerocon London 2018, Tanda is set to join the conference again in 2019. “It was great to hear so many positive comments and feedback on the product. A lot of people we connected with last year were impressed with how far the products came in just a year of adapting to the UK market,” Rozario said. “We’re hoping next year will be bigger and better and [will] allow us to connect with even more accountants and bookkeepers who can eventually become valued long-term partners,” she concluded.