UK accountants are likely to provide more clients with VAT submission services due to the Making Tax Digital (MTD) legislation, according to research by IRIS Accountancy Solutions.

MTD is legislation which is due to come into force in April 2019 and aims to modernise the way that individuals and businesses in the UK manage their tax.

Registered businesses operating with taxable turnover above the VAT registration threshold will be required to keep digital accounting records and file VAT returns using MTD compliant software from April 2019.

The research found many of the accountants from the 553 accountancy practices surveyed do not believe their clients are willing to continue to spend time keeping their books up-to-date and would prefer their accountant to deliver bookkeeping services.

Over half (58%) of accountancy practices expect to provide bookkeeping services for clients from 2019.

IRIS found nearly three quarters (73%) of accountants will continue to carry out submissions for clients when Her Majesty’s Revenues and Customs’ online VAT service is no longer available for businesses with a turnover above the VAT threshold.

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By GlobalData

Nearly two thirds (63%) of accountants would make quarterly VAT submissions using bookkeeping software in April 2019.

IRIS Accountancy Solutions CEO, Sion Lewis, commented: “The IRIS survey confirms MTD for VAT is likely to increase demand from UK businesses for accountancy practice compliance services. Accountants need to retain the compliance loop at the core of their practice but they should also use them as the springboard for value-added services, enabling to stay relevant in the coming years.

“MTD is the centre piece of the digital economy in our industry and every reputable vendor is going to huge lengths to ensure their clients of all sizes can maximise the opportunities as the industry transforms.”