Cirrostratus are pleased to say that we are now able to offer a limited number of free pilot scheme accounts for those VAT registered businesses who wish to take part in the pilot scheme (and qualify to so do).
Making Tax Digital is the new way of submitting tax information to HMRC. From April 2019 the majority of VAT registered businesses will be required to start using Making Tax Digital compatible software to submit the VAT return. There are some exceptions. The main one is being below the registration threshold. For more information read the government's web page about this
Cirrostratus have developed software, using their Exedra Universal Communications platform, which allows people to submit VAT returns and obtain VAT information using their service.
Efficiency and Minimal Change:The Exedra system is a submission system. This means it takes information from a file or spreadsheet to submit the VAT return. There is no need to change all of a companies accounting systems, merely to get a spreadsheet with the correct values (which is then mapped to the VAT return and uploaded.)
Low Cost:Apart from reducing the cost of having to change system (which is not just a cost of software and hardware, but also the cost of disruption to a business of changing system - ask TSB if you need to know more about this) the Cirrostratus API (Application Programming Interface) will be low cost and for some businesses free.(provisional pricing schedule)
Cirrostratus are offering a number of free pilot scheme accounts. Any business that has already applied for a pilot scheme account has now been given a free pilot scheme account (regardless of whether or not they have access to the HMRC pilot scheme yet). However, our plan is to focus now on businesses that qualify for joining the open pilot. To check if you can do this (which involves using the HMRC website) click here and follow the signing up link (just over half way down the page it says "Sign up"). If you are interested in a free pilot scheme account from Cirrostratus please email us at email@example.com quoting your VAT number and name of business registered. This is on a first come first served basis. Any business accepted for the pilot scheme will have a free service until at least June 2019. (ie for the VAT returns for the period to 30th June, submitted potentially as late as August 2019) Once we have hit our limit for free pilot accounts we will change this web page.
HMRC Second Pilot stage: HMRC have now moved to a second open stage of the pilot scheme. As the number of businesses entering the pilot accelerate, we will be aiming to manage the numbers of people who start using our interface to ensure that we can support them through the process. If the volume of new accounts becomes difficult to support, we may introduce a process of pre-registration via this website to enable this to done. Additionally, we may not be able to make any firm commitments as to the date at which a service will be offered. Currently there is no pre-registration process. We are able to offer a service to anyone who wishes it immediately.
Important points about the second pilot: If you wish to participate in the second open pilot there are some important points to note.
With our experience of submitting data to HMRC we are building up information on creating Digital Links so that spreadsheet users can create a legally compliant accounting system
We have some clients that are writing the digital link CSV file from their accounting system. We don't mind whether it comes from a spreadsheet or an accounting system. Details are on creating Digital Links and non-spreadsheet users can create a legally compliant accounting system by creating the CSV file from their accounting system
On October 18th 2018 HMRC announced that some anti-fraud headers would be mandatory from April 2019. They have not yet confirmed which of the headers are mandatory. Cirrostratus, however, already generate all of the anti-fraud headers and hence are a future proof option for your MTD requirements. Cirrostratus also do two factor authentication (a text message to your mobile phone or something like that). HMRC have not yet said if that is mandatory or not, but if you use Cirrostratus two factor authentication is already implemented.
We have launched a forum in which people can ask questions and get responses about the implementation of Making Tax Digital (particularly for spreadsheet users). That forum is to be found Here.This is an explanation of how the basic submission process works in a video. You will see that the submission process itself takes about 20 seconds. That includes sending an authorisation code to a mobile phone and typing it into our system. Although this video has a schedule for Input and Output VAT our assumption is that you will get that information from your current accounting system (from a spreadsheet or a file) rather than keeping a separate VAT accounting system.
The following video talks about how to create digital links with Excel or Open Office and producing a CSV file from the spreadsheet. It does not specifically discuss the Exedra system.
Click here to go to the Cirrostratus youtube channel for other training videos