Making Tax Digital for ITSA: How accountants can prepare sole trader clients

With Generating Tax Digital for VAT in complete swing, for accountants, focus is turning to the upcoming section of MTD: Making Tax Digital (MTD) for Cash flow Tax Self Assessment.

This is occasionally referred to as MTD for ITSA.

The regulations are straightforward, but it’s the moment all over again going to be the accountancy career obtaining their noses soiled at the proverbial coalface in helping consumers adapt—especially tens of millions of sole traders who are above the £10,000 threshold.

In this post, we emphasize some things to consider that could possibly enable kickstart your procedures when it comes to supporting all those people today.

Here’s what we address:

Why accountants should really start planning their sole trader shoppers now

As considerably as most shoppers are involved, MTD for ITSA has many fronts for which sole traders must prepare:

  1. Transitioning to accounting application, if they have not by now. Alternatively, sole traders may well use some form of bridging answer if they insist on utilizing spreadsheets (when having measures to be legally compliant with the electronic linking rules, of course—remember that copy and pasting quantities into a spreadsheet from in other places will almost certainly be legally prohibited).
  2. Change to electronic report-maintaining for their cash flow tax accounting relating to self-work, like compliance within all procedures connected to this (e.g. knowledge capture from documents this sort of as invoices or payments), again inside of the prerequisites of electronic linking.
  3. Basis period reform for sole traders, for the minority that demands it. It could theoretically be required for a company to put into action this for the tax 12 months 2023/24.

Scheduling ought to start off now due to the fact each and every element in the higher than list is likely to demand from customers time and methods. As described, some of the deadlines necessitating motion could be here quite before long.

For most techniques, the incredibly initially position will be to section their client lists in accordance to these conditions. That in alone will be time-consuming.

As soon as which is done, procedures should dedicate means about educating and utilizing. And this will be a continuous system up to and even outside of the start out date of MTD for ITSA in April 2024.

This scenario is complex by the following, which need to be taken into account throughout any setting up:

  • Some sole traders will also be landlords, so they might have to also use MTD for ITSA for assets money even if their sole trader money is underneath £10,000 (that is, their sole trader additionally rental earnings is bigger than £10,000).
  • Typical partnerships sign up for MTD for ITSA in April 2025, so will need their possess training and onboarding processes major up to that time. It’s not still clear when other profits tax-shelling out people today and companies will be essential to indicator up to MTD for ITSA but, if MTD for VAT is a information, this will likely be staggered across the several years following 2024. In other terms, MTD for ITSA is persistently heading to call for preparing and sources, possibly all the way to the stop of the 10 years.
  • Basis period of time reform influences all sole traders, not just all those previously mentioned the £10,000 threshold for MTD for ITSA, so the filtering for that certain activity need to be drawn from your total sole trader customer base.
  • Those people beneath the MTD for ITSA threshold may possibly however speak to you and have to have help when they learn of MTD for ITSA (e.g. from ads). Though the response could be straightforward for these consumers, it will still take in time and assets. In other words and phrases, the times adhering to an HMRC mail-out may perhaps established your telephones on fireplace!

Make sure your clients understand the relevance of adopting the compliance alter faster instead than afterwards. Shift now and the cost stays the very same, but shift later on and they’re very likely to incur higher fees.

Inspire your customers to just take advantage of any pilot techniques, this kind of as that available for MTD for ITSA.

Try to remember that they will have to have suitable software package, as will you if you would like to maximise your service providing for them.

Strategies to converse the adjustments to sole traders

Though chat of digitalisation in accountancy is very little new, procedures that are inclined to embrace reducing-edge technologies are likely to obtain efficiencies when it comes to conversation.

With no working with these technologies, techniques hazard becoming overwhelmed.

So, let’s choose a glimpse at a several suggestions—starting with the more progressive way of driving engagement.

Instagram/Facebook Reside

Virtually all your shoppers will have social media accounts of some variety, and your apply will ideally now have its individual social media presence to link with this.

Facebook Dwell (also on Instagram in a broadly similar way) is basically a way of broadcasting stay video, just like a information reporter on Television set.

Viewers are confined to commenting (and you can approve remarks in advance of they are observed), but you also can share polls and screen world wide web backlinks (e.g. to HMRC internet sites that clarify far more).

You can stay broadcast from a telephone or personal computer, or use the Reside Producer software program for a extra professional approach.


It may well no for a longer time be chopping edge but utilizing Zoom or Microsoft Teams to host an on line webinar suits in numerous people’s comfort and ease zones currently, following the enforced technological migration triggered by the pandemic.

Since these are fundamentally on line conferences in all but name, invitations can be scheduled inside of Zoom or Microsoft accounts and despatched to purchasers, which can increase engagement.

They can be interactive, and the webinar can be recorded far too so that you can make it possible for accessibility at a later on day, deriving additional benefit from your get the job done.


By using e mail or printed and posted, newsletters remain a essential way to connect with clients about all sorts of troubles. They’re significantly less easy than videoconferencing in today’s entire world, however, due to the fact, you are going to want to be certain you continue being GDPR compliant.

In other words and phrases, folks usually need to choose-in to acquire email messages or newsletters. But e-mail newsletters in distinct have had a resurgence a short while ago, and people aren’t as resistant to them as they the moment ended up.

And the rest…

The Pareto theory suggests 80% of final results usually come up from 20% of the work.

In terms of standard education and learning for a follow, it’s the little points that often work finest.

Tack a point out of MTD for ITSA onto each and every incoming or outgoing consumer cellphone contact, for example.

Insert a brief paragraph box to the invoices you deliver out.

Have everybody include a point out of MTD for ITSA to their electronic mail signatures.

Place a banner on your website mentioning it, and how you can enable.

Put this question out to your employees to see if you acquire any revolutionary solutions primarily based on the peculiarities of your exercise: How would they spread the term about MTD for ITSA?

MTD for ITSA advantages for your sole trader shoppers

With any luck, several of your current shoppers necessary to use MTD for ITSA will currently use a cloud accounting answer. If so, there is a very good opportunity this will be MTD-ready in time for April 2024, despite the fact that the consumer will have to have to sign-up for MTD (or you can on their behalf), plus change on the MTD operation inside of the software package.

Remember that MTD for VAT and MTD for ITSA are two fully different considerations—accounting program with MTD for VAT currently activated will not immediately be activated for MTD for ITSA.

Those applying older desktop-based mostly program may possibly require to request an enhance.

Equally, the upgrade route for all those relying on spreadsheets might be a minimal bumpy, with a need to utilize suitable bridging plugins for the spreadsheet app.

For individuals who aren’t utilizing software, you should really emphasise the gains of accounting software that you are going to currently know about—a 24/7 watch of funds flow, for instance, so they generally know in which they stand.

This way clientele can spot complications coming, as well as see opportunities when they occur.

But it’s important to emphasise more recent technologies also.

Automating financial institution reconciliation, for case in point, is reworking organization admin by massively lessening the sum of time taken to match payments from invoices.

Similarly, receipt capture usually means getting essential MTD-essential info into the client’s accounting gets a piece of cake—just snap the receipt or invoice with a cellular cellphone straight soon after acquire or receipt of the items.

And do not overlook maybe the most important boon for any accountant—linking consumer accounting to your possess programs, so you can see their live money data.

This enables for you to make new value propositions all over periodic look at-ins, for instance. This reveals how MTD for ITSA is eventually a organization opportunity for tactics.

Last thoughts

MTD for ITSA may possibly truly feel like some time away.

But as an accountant, you have to start out arranging instantly.

Means and finances wants to be allocated, and the sheer scale of the perform should be quantified. This may possibly feel like the early stages but you know from knowledge with MTD for VAT that important dates will be in this article prior to we know it.

Going forward, wise practices are already creating performing events that fulfill frequently and set plans so that milestones can be obtained.