The Independent Garage Association (IGA) hosted its latest members’ event recently and reminded garages about the forthcoming Making Tax Digital (MTD) rollout and all its latest guidance.
Any business that has a taxable turnover above £85,000 and is VAT-registered will need to keep digital records of tax and VAT returns after 31 March 2019.
To do this, businesses will need to begin using MTD-compatible software, which supports their ability to exchange data records digitally between themselves and HMRC.
If more than one application is being used, data that flows between those applications must also be exchanged digitally, called ‘bridging software’.
Digital records can be kept in a range of compatible digital formats.
They do not all have to be held in the same place or on one piece of software.
For example, a spreadsheet can be a component of digital record keeping provided the product that consolidates records, or summary records from the spreadsheet, can exchange data digitally with HMRC.
Time to make changes
HMRC will give businesses until 31 March 2020 to make sure there are digital links between software products.
Before that date, cut and paste will be an acceptable way to transfer information.
A list of all software providers businesses and agents can use can be found here.
The IGA event in Essington, Staffordshire on Wednesday 13 March was also attended by the DVSA, where a number of issues relating to MOT tester and testing station RAG scores and the need for testers to complete their annual training were addressed.
The IGA reiterated that it is the responsibility of garages to check whether parts supplied by customers are genuine or fake.
Garages can check with the Intellectual Property office if there are any suspicions regarding components.
It was also recommended that any garage fitting these parts should check that they are still covered by their insurance; many companies do not cover claims relating to consumer-supplied parts.
The IGA confirmed that new guidance for members in regard to work providers would be released in its latest work provider report.
The report will be released at a later date.
Training and employment law
As the number of vehicles fitted with advance driving assistance systems (ADAS) increases, the IGA is considering running training courses on the new systems for members.
Workplace pension contributions for employers and employees is changing again; from 1 April 2019, all employers will be contributing a minimum of three per cent to employees’ pensions – an increase from the current two per cent minimum.
Employees themselves will need to contribute a minimum of five per cent of their earnings to their pension, a two per cent rise from the current three per cent minimum.
Any company found not following these new policies could be fined £20,000.
The IGA is a representative body for the independent garage sector, offering a membership scheme that provides technical training, a member helpline, legal and HR advice and other benefits.
For more information about the IGA and its services, click ‘more details’ below.