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Bookkeepers to benefit from UK digital tax accounts

Bookkeepers to benefit from UK digital tax accounts

The UK tax system has been undergoing some important changes, and the introduction of digital tax accounts is set to become one of the most significant.

Now a CEO of a highly respected accountancy body thinks that HRMC's latest moves could eventually have big benefits for bookkeepers.

First stage

The first stage of the rollout isn't likely to cause earth-shattering changes to the UK's accountancy sector. However, with taxpayers having online access to their accounts information and the proposed linking of accounting software and bank accounts, accountants and bookkeepers will be expected to change certain aspects of the way they go about things.

Real-time filing requirements will be a major change, and the overall aim is to achieve a reduction in administrative time, cost and effort for taxpayers and HMRC.

In fact, the sheer weight of information that will be delivered to and recorded by HMRC will mean that the tax authorities will have to consistently check and verify data to avoid potential problems for taxpayers.

Good news for bookkeepers

Chief executive of the International Association of Bookkeepers, Malcolm Trotter believes that this new situation will increase the importance of the role of bookkeepers.

“While it might be naturally supposed that automation would be able to reduce work by producing and submitting calculations, I would in fact perceive the potential for bookkeepers’ work to actually increase, as more businesses look to them to ensure everything is correct in real-time,” Trotter explained.

There may be problems ahead for taxpayers who are unfortunate enough to have overpaid sums, as delays may well increase for recouping.

“At present, I would say that the bookkeeping and accounting professions do not yet have sufficient confidence in HMRC as regards executing refunds in a timely manner,” Trotter said. 

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