3 min read

A new approach to tax returns to simplify digital requirements

1 April 2019 saw the launch of Making Tax Digital for VAT (MTDfV), the biggest change in indirect tax compliance in a generation.

The first step in the Government’s journey to digitise tax returns was introducing new rules for VAT, with businesses required to keep digital records and file entries using compatible software.

The solution

We built a solution to simplify this new environment for our clients. The VAT Return Filer app, available on our myInsight tax platform, allows them to submit and manage their filings and use additional features like trend analyses.

Almost 900 clients have signed up to use the Filer, including 87 that are new to Deloitte. Together, they are responsible for more than 7,000 filings a year.

Making Tax Digital (MTD) will impact businesses and individuals across a range of taxes. It’s designed to make the tax compliance process more accurate and help people get tax payments right. Latest figures show avoidable mistakes cost the Exchequer £9 billion a year.

Getting it right

“We could have just gone for a sticking-plaster approach with a simple Excel plug-in, but that’s not robust or forward-thinking,” said Chi Yip, associate director within Tax Management Consulting and one of our MTD leads. “We wanted to get this right for our clients.”

By creating a unique solution that caters to the whole market we are able to support our current clients, win new ones and drive adoption of other services.

For one financial services client, the Filer app provided a straightforward path to MTDfV compliance and gave them time to deal with the next phase of the MTD mandate: ‘digital links’. We have now worked with them to automate their ‘end-to-end’ compliance process and reduced time spent on this, while improving the ease of use, robustness and accuracy.

Serious games

Games are not just for kids. They can break down barriers, bring people together and allow them to explore options, making better decisions as a result. Tax is just one area in which we are using games to help our clients meet big and often unknown future challenges.

We decided to see if we could harness the mainstream popularity of escape rooms to bring our research to life and deepen understanding of complex issues. Players are asked to solve puzzles and challenges around three broad tax themes in the shortest possible time to escape the room, while considering solutions to challenges facing the tax function.

Hundreds of senior contacts at our largest clients have now been through the tax room and the concept is being scaled globally.

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