Richard Asquith, Vice President of Global Indirect Tax at Avalara, is preparing to make tax digital. The digitisation is predicated to take place by next April as the Avalara team work hard to implement the transition.
Asquith spent ten years working for business leaders KPMG and EY before moving to his current role at Avalara. The move was fuelled by a desire to make a difference, and he disclosed to AccountacyAge that he “chose Avalara because [he] could see automation coming and wanted to be part of the group that had the power to finally automate international VAT.”
The future of tax is in good hands with a group who “specialise in harnessing the power of technology to support reporting more accurately on tax liabilities.” The new software allows the organisation to maintain digital business records electronically.
MTD also makes it easier to report tax and handle HMRC. A digital system can hold large volumes of data on the database, improving accuracy and most importantly tackling tax avoidance and evasion.
25% of all VAT still exist on paper and this is where the problems lie, a modernised tax system and the shift to digitisation is thus inevitable. Brexit has set the process back, extending the development timeline to April of 2019, but the shift will nevertheless occur.
The thought of digitisation is daunting to those who feel that technology destroys jobs in the finance sector. This logic is refuted by Avalara, who assert that technology exists to improve the quality of finance workers, rather than replace them.
Further research by Avalara indicates that 54% of businesses are unprepared for the change, and an additional 59% are unaware of the impact MTD will have on their business. It looks like electronic taxation is imminent, and Asquith is leading the way.