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Making Tax Digital for VAT is coming - are you ready?

UK businesses are reminded to take steps to prepare for Making Tax Digital (MTD) for Value Added Tax (VAT) before it becomes mandatory for all VAT Registered businesses from 1 April this year.  MTD is designed to help businesses eliminate common errors and save time managing their Tax affairs.

The latest independent study of over 2,000 businesses found that MTD made preparing and submitting VAT Returns faster for 55% of businesses surveyed and 53% of businesses felt more confident they are getting Tax right. 67% of businesses also felt MTD reduced the potential for mistakes in at least one aspect of the record keeping, preparing and submitting returns process.

As of December 2021, nearly 1.6 million Taxpayers had joined MTD for VAT with more than 11 million returns successfully submitted. Around a third of VAT Registered businesses with Taxable turnover below ₤85,000 have voluntarily signed up to MTD for VAT ahead of April 2022, and thousands more are signing up each week.

Since April 2019, businesses with a Taxable turnover above ₤85,000 have already been required to follow MTD rules, keeping digital records and filing VAT Returns using MTD compatible software.

As announced in July 2020, all VAT Registered businesses must meet MTD requirements from April 2022, regardless of turnover. HMRC is now reminding businesses below the ₤85,000 threshold of the steps which they need to take to be ready and will offer support if needed.

To sign up to MTD VAT, businesses, or an agent on a businesses' behalf, need to:-

Step 1 - Visit GOV.UK and choose MTD compatible software.

Step 2 - Keep digital records starting from 1 April 2022 or the beginning of their VAT period.

Step 3 - Sign up and submit their VAT Return through MTD.

If businesses have not yet signed up to MTD for VAT, they should do so now to ensure they are ready in time for the April 2022 deadline.

Joanna Rowland, Director General for Transformation Group in HMRC, said:- "MTD is fundamental to the delivery of a trusted and modern Tax system, making it easier for businesses to get their Tax right and supporting the UK to go digital. By signing up for MTD, we expect most businesses to experience long term benefits, including reduced errors and time saved in managing their Tax affairs. We encourage businesses to explore digital record keeping for their VAT affairs and use this time to choose the right software to support their business needs."

FSB National Chair, Mike Cherry, said:- "We have worked hard to ensure Making Tax Digital launch dates were adjusted to give small businesses more time to prepare and allow more competition to open up in the accounting software market. It's important that firms do all they can to get ahead of deadlines and access the affordable platforms that are now available; if they are members of FSB, they will have access to a new easy MTD member service that we are creating. We'll continue to work with Government, and through our support services, to minimise the admin and cost impacts of MTD on small firms whilst unlocking the productivity gains the initiative could bring."

Businesses can find help and support on how to sign up for MTD on GOV.UK. Agents can sign up on behalf of a business, although businesses remain responsible for meeting their VAT obligations. Those who do not join may be charged a penalty for failure to do so. For businesses who need help and support on signing up for MTD, HMRC is running a series of webinars. More information can be found on HMRC's MTD help page.  A spokesperson for HMRC added:- "We recognise that some businesses will experience upfront costs in joining MTD. There are a range of compatible software products available for MTD for VAT, allowing businesses to choose which tools they use to run their business and Tax affairs. A list of software compatible with MTD for VAT, including low cost options, can be found on the .Gov.UK website. Some VAT Registered businesses may be eligible for an exemption from MTD, if it is not reasonable or practicable for them to use digital tools for their Tax. If a business has previously been Granted an exemption for VAT online filing, this will carry over to MTD VAT requirements. Go to GOV.UK for more information on how to apply for an exemption."

Liverpool ONE steps into 2022 with the signing of Russell and Bromley

LIVERPOOL ONE's operators, Grosvenor, have announce that Russell and Bromley, the premium British footwear and handbag brand, is to launch a new 3,000sq ft site on South John Street, its 1st within Liverpool. Set to open this spring, the new Russell and Bromley store will showcase the brand's extensive collection of fashion led luxury women's and men's footwear and handbags. The new Liverpool ONE unit will also present its new contemporary store format reflective of the brand's luxury offer, providing an engaging customer journey that allows the perfect creation of its hand crafted products within a premium setting.

Alison Clegg, Managing Director, Asset Management, Grosvenor, commented:- "Liverpool ONE's tenant mix strategy is driven by an in depth knowledge of our visitors, their preferences, and spending trends; and the introduction of Russell and Bromley is a direct reflection of this. Their signing is a great start to 2022, and the brand is indicative of the quality of operator seeking to make their home in Liverpool ONE to share in our success."

Andrew Bromley, CEO, Russell & Bromley, added:- "We are delighted to have secured this key location in Liverpool ONE to further enhance our presence nationwide. It is a high quality destination with a great reputation and unique appeal that attracts customers from across the region. We look forward to joining the Liverpool ONE community and welcoming new (and existing online) customers to experience the Russell & Bromley brand 1st hand in store and to our exciting new collection for the Spring / Summer season ahead."

The signing of Russell and Bromley follows a very successful year for Liverpool ONE, with 37 brands, totalling 280,000 sq ft, signed, opened or renewed in the year. Highlights included:- Tessuti, Bershka, OMEGA, Castore, Rituals, Gym + Coffee, Escape Live, Gordan Ramsay's Bread Street Kitchen, Bean Coffee, Maggie Fu and Mamasan. Furthermore, new and existing occupiers invested ₤11.5m in their Liverpool ONE stores and restaurants in 2021.


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