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

With Earning Tax Electronic for VAT in entire swing, for accountants, focus is turning to the subsequent phase of MTD: Producing Tax Digital (MTD) for Money Tax Self Assessment.

This is sometimes referred to as MTD for ITSA.

The rules are easy, but it’s after again going to be the accountancy career having their noses soiled at the proverbial coalface in assisting shoppers adapt—especially hundreds of thousands of sole traders who are previously mentioned the £10,000 threshold.

In this report, we highlight some issues that could possibly aid kickstart your procedures when it arrives to supporting individuals people.

Here’s what we cover:

Why accountants ought to start off getting ready their sole trader clientele now

As far as most clientele are worried, MTD for ITSA has various fronts for which sole traders should put together:

  1. Transitioning to accounting software package, if they have not now. Alternatively, sole traders might use some kind of bridging option if they insist on working with spreadsheets (whilst using steps to be lawfully compliant with the digital linking procedures, of course—remember that copy and pasting quantities into a spreadsheet from somewhere else will most likely be legally prohibited).
  2. Swap to electronic record-maintaining for their cash flow tax accounting relating to self-work, like compliance inside all processes related to this (e.g. knowledge seize from paperwork these kinds of as invoices or payments), once again within just the needs of electronic linking.
  3. Basis period reform for sole traders, for the minority that involves it. It could theoretically be essential for a business to employ this for the tax year 2023/24.

Scheduling should begin now simply because every element in the above record is going to demand from customers time and assets. As pointed out, some of the deadlines demanding action could be listed here very soon.

For most procedures, the pretty first career will be to section their client lists in accordance to these criteria. That in by itself will be time-consuming.

The moment that is finished, procedures need to dedicate sources about educating and utilizing. And this will be a continuous process up to and even outside of the start off day of MTD for ITSA in April 2024.

This circumstance is sophisticated by the next, which must be taken into account through any setting up:

  • Some sole traders will also be landlords, so they may possibly have to also use MTD for ITSA for property earnings even if their sole trader profits is under £10,000 (that is, their sole trader furthermore rental earnings is bigger than £10,000).
  • Normal partnerships sign up for MTD for ITSA in April 2025, so will need their very own education and learning and onboarding procedures primary up to that time. It is not but crystal clear when other income tax-spending folks and businesses will be expected to sign up to MTD for ITSA but, if MTD for VAT is a information, this will most likely be staggered across the years following 2024. In other terms, MTD for ITSA is persistently heading to have to have scheduling and methods, potentially all the way to the finish of the decade.
  • Foundation period reform has an effect on all sole traders, not just these earlier mentioned the £10,000 threshold for MTD for ITSA, so the filtering for that individual process will have to be drawn from your overall sole trader client foundation.
  • People under the MTD for ITSA threshold may even now speak to you and need aid when they learn of MTD for ITSA (e.g. from ads). While the remedy may well be very simple for these consumers, it will nevertheless take in time and resources. In other text, the times pursuing an HMRC mail-out could set your telephones on fireplace!

Ensure your shoppers understand the relevance of adopting the compliance change sooner rather than later. Move now and the rate stays the exact same, but go later and they’re most likely to incur larger charges.

Motivate your shoppers to acquire edge of any pilot strategies, this kind of as that available for MTD for ITSA.

Remember that they will require suitable software package, as will you if you desire to maximise your support offering for them.

Recommendations to communicate the variations to sole traders

Although communicate of digitalisation in accountancy is absolutely nothing new, tactics that are eager to embrace reducing-edge systems are likely to achieve efficiencies when it will come to communication.

Without the need of using these systems, procedures danger remaining overcome.

So, let us choose a glimpse at a several suggestions—starting with the much more revolutionary way of driving engagement.

Instagram/Fb Reside

Virtually all your clientele will have social media accounts of some kind, and your apply will hopefully by now have its own social media presence to link with this.

Fb Live (also on Instagram in a broadly related way) is simply just a way of broadcasting dwell online video, just like a news reporter on Television set.

Viewers are limited to commenting (and you can approve reviews right before they’re observed), but you also can share polls and display web links (e.g. to HMRC web sites that clarify a lot more).

You can reside broadcast from a phone or laptop or computer, or use the Reside Producer software package for a much more qualified technique.


It may well no for a longer period be cutting edge but making use of Zoom or Microsoft Teams to host an on the internet webinar fits inside lots of people’s convenience zones nowadays, adhering to the enforced specialized migration prompted by the pandemic.

Simply because these are basically on the net meetings in all but identify, invitations can be scheduled inside of Zoom or Microsoft accounts and despatched to customers, which can raise engagement.

They can be interactive, and the webinar can be recorded much too so that you can permit accessibility at a later on date, deriving further value from your work.


Through e-mail or printed and posted, newsletters continue being a crucial way to communicate with purchasers about all forms of concerns. They’re fewer straightforward than videoconferencing in today’s world, although, because, you’ll will need to guarantee you stay GDPR compliant.

In other words, people today commonly must opt-in to get e-mails or newsletters. But e-mail newsletters in certain have had a resurgence lately, and individuals are not as resistant to them as they the moment ended up.

And the rest…

The Pareto theory says 80% of outcomes usually occur from 20% of the effort and hard work.

In terms of common education for a exercise, it’s the smaller issues that typically do the job best.

Tack a point out of MTD for ITSA on to each individual incoming or outgoing shopper mobile phone get in touch with, for case in point.

Include a short paragraph box to the invoices you send out out.

Have every person increase a mention of MTD for ITSA to their electronic mail signatures.

Place a banner on your web-site mentioning it, and how you can assistance.

Put this query out to your staff to see if you receive any ground breaking answers primarily based on the peculiarities of your exercise: How would they spread the term about MTD for ITSA?

MTD for ITSA rewards for your sole trader clients

With any luck, lots of of your existing shoppers necessary to use MTD for ITSA will presently use a cloud accounting solution. If so, there’s a great prospect this will be MTD-prepared in time for April 2024, despite the fact that the consumer will want to sign-up for MTD (or you can on their behalf), plus switch on the MTD operation within just the software package.

Don’t forget that MTD for VAT and MTD for ITSA are two fully individual considerations—accounting software program with MTD for VAT already activated will not instantly be activated for MTD for ITSA.

People making use of older desktop-based mostly application may perhaps want to seek an improve.

Likewise, the update path for all those relying on spreadsheets may be a little bumpy, with a need to implement suitable bridging plugins for the spreadsheet application.

For individuals who aren’t employing computer software, you should really emphasise the added benefits of accounting application that you will by now know about—a 24/7 check out of funds flow, for case in point, so they generally know where by they stand.

This way consumers can spot issues coming, as well as see chances when they arise.

But it’s important to emphasise newer technologies much too.

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

Similarly, receipt seize signifies getting essential MTD-required data into the client’s accounting will become a piece of cake—just snap the receipt or bill with a cell telephone straight following acquire or receipt of the goods.

And really do not ignore maybe the largest boon for any accountant—linking customer accounting to your very own techniques, so you can see their dwell economic info.

This enables for you to generate new value propositions around periodic check out-ins, for case in point. This displays how MTD for ITSA is in the long run a business prospect for procedures.

Ultimate views

MTD for ITSA could truly feel like some time absent.

But as an accountant, you have to start out organizing straight away.

Sources and price range needs to be allotted, and the sheer scale of the operate have to be quantified. This could possibly feel like the early stages but you know from knowledge with MTD for VAT that crucial dates will be right here right before we know it.

Shifting ahead, sensible tactics are currently generating functioning events that meet routinely and set aims so that milestones can be accomplished.