Change, Uncertainty or Progress, MTD and VAT?

Do you look at the world and see change, uncertainty or progress? I thought that the two words sum up the world at the moment are change and uncertainty. Much of it is in the name of progress. Perhaps that has never changed and the consistent thread of life is change and uncertainty.  In our sound bite, I want to look at the change and uncertainty around MTD and VAT. But first.


Driverless Trucks on British Roads

Change, Uncertainty or ProgressI saw the headline this morning that “driverless” trucks are on the way. Small convoys of partially driverless lorries will be tried out on major British roads by the end of next year.

The government has awarded a contract to the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) to carry out the tests of vehicle “platoons”.


Trials to Start by the end of 2018

Up to three lorries will travel in formation, with acceleration and braking controlled by the lead vehicle. The trials are expected to take place on major roads by the end of 2018.

The lead vehicle in the platoons will be controlled by a human driver and humans will also control the steering in lorries to the rear – though acceleration and braking will be mirrored. The idea is called drafting or slipstreaming and will reduce fuel consumption by up to 10%, saving money and lowering emissions.

Platooning has been tested in many countries around the world, including the US, Germany and Japan.

Edmund King, president of the AA, said.

“Platooning may work on the miles of deserted freeways in Arizona or Nevada, but this is not America,”

I must admit that the thought of platooning HGVs makes me nervous. I am happy with driverless trains because they are controlled by the tracks. What about platoons of lorries in adverse weather. Will they all jack knife at the same time. I know this represents progress and change, but the outcomes feel uncertain.


Change, Uncertainty or Progress and VAT filing?

MTD (making tax digital) was on a well-defined timeline. There was a plan. We all knew where we stood; software companies were gearing up for the new technology and professional firms like The Long Partnership are eyeing the marketing possibilities. Then change and uncertainty hit the project. Be it the loss of program contractors, or coming to terms with the reality of the issues involved, the project has been delayed,  kicked temporarily into the long grass.  But wait, this is not true for VAT returns.  MTD and VAT is coming in 2019, but we don’t yet know all the details.

Here is our best guess.

As ever, any thoughts or questions on the above or other aspects of tax planning, please call or email.

Call us on 0800 180 4401 or email

Slaying your tax dragons and making life less taxing!

Alan Long
The Long Partnership

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