VAT is one of those evil necessities in life that appears on everything apart from essentials and we all pay without thinking. For the businesses trying to administer it can be challenging beyond belief and if you deal with the VAT return you know exactly what I mean. What if you have businesses on different software programmes? What if you have different jurisdictions and varying rates? What about the recovery?
As good as any digital solution says it is I have never found any solution that is perfect for VAT and 100% trustworthy to get my VAT return right. Human error can occur which creates all sorts of problems in quarter end reconciling and calculation. As much as we want the eradicated the human touch will not be removed and therefore the ability to key incorrectly will exist.
In a world of digital tax compliance this can present huge challenges to any business. A lot of man power will be being exercised looking out how to make fool proof and how software can be made more robust. The challenge to which there is no solution of course, will be a business operating across different platforms. Unless bespoke programmes are written or a consolidating programme effected. Even so there will still be a challenge to ensure the output is correct and accurate.
As much as HMRC would love the spreadsheet to be consigned to the recycle bin cannot see it happening as it is the only system that really gives flexibility, allows review and verification and will effect the changes necessary to deliver accurate records.