Procrastination. Everyone does it—putting off tedious tasks because there’s something more exciting or immediately pressing to work on for your clients.
But preparing for the first phase of MTD for Income Tax Self Assessment (MTD for ITSA, or MTD for Income Tax), effective from April 2026, doesn’t have to be one of those boring tasks.
MTD for ITSA will transform how you work with your clients and do business.
Instead of spending hours battling through tax return tasks that offer very little business value, you can focus on real human-centred consultative work.
From 2026, sole traders and landlords with an annual business income that’s more than £50,000 will need to file quarterly returns using MTD-compatible software, and complete end-of-period statements and a final declaration every tax year. The same rules will apply to those with an annual income over £30,000 from 2027.
It’s just as significant a change as Self Assessment was in the 1990s.
You’ll need to understand what MTD for ITSA means for you and your clients, the cost of getting ready for it, and how to make the most of your time and money.
But where do you start?
Sage for Accountants and the first of our exclusive masterclasses is sure to take that stress away.
Here’s what we cover in this article:
- How you can plan for MTD for ITSA
- What to expect from our first masterclass
- The first step to MTD for ITSA success
How you can plan for MTD for ITSA
MTD for ITSA provides you with the chance to offer your clients another much-needed service and become more of a trusted partner to them.
UK businesses will look to you to guide them when it comes to signing up for the new way of managing tax returns, changing their admin processes, and understanding what kind of software to use.
The government relies on you to give businesses help and advice about Making Tax Digital changes.
Clients will want to keep in touch with you for guidance and supports, whether that’s for dealing with the quarterly updates, end of period statements, or the final declaration.
HMRC has designed MTD for ITSA to speed up the tax return process.
And in turn, that’ll give you more time to spend on vital consultative work – another additional income stream.
That’s where Sage for Accountants comes in handy. It’ll give you exclusive access to our first Practice Success Plan masterclass, which is all about the best way to plan for MTD for ITSA.
You’ll get five-star advice directly from experts such as GoProposal founder James Ashford, who knows the ins and outs of preparing for the new legislation.
You’ll also be able to access a unique return on investment (ROI) calculator, which will give you a good idea of balancing the costs associated with MTD with the financial benefits cloud technologies and improved accountancy organisational health can provide.
James will put you on a pathway where you can provide a more effective and efficient service that clients pay more money for, as you can spend more time focusing on the human side of your business.
What to expect from our first masterclass
Here’s a taster of what’s in our first masterclass:
1. Create your plan
You need the tools to create a clear, confident, and profitable plan. In this first session, you’ll learn how to:
- Look back at tried and trusted MTD for VAT plans
- Develop an expert understanding of MTD
- Segment your clients so you can give them the right kind of service
- Organise your client needs and put them at the heart of your approach to MTD for ITSA.
2. Refine your plan
Take advantage of practical tips to make the most of the new MTD rules. Sometimes, small changes can make the most significant difference. Work with our experts to:
- Review the skills, talent, and potential in your team
- Unlock more ways to make money
- Use our return on investment (ROI) calculator to work out the value of what you spend
3. Approach your first 100 days
As time passes, get on track with actionable insights. We give you a roadmap for your first 100 days, which covers how to:
- Build human-scale, not bigger-scale
- Decide your key milestones and achievable goals
- Build smart objectives
- Achieve regular wins.
4. Launch your plan and get started
Dig into strategies to manage practice and client workflows. Understand how you can:
- Engage your team and develop their practice management skills
- Work how who’s accountable for what
- Appoint an MTD Practice Champion
- Communicate in real time with your clients.
The first step to MTD for ITSA success
MTD for ITSA Plan and Prepare is the first masterclass in our 4-Step Practice Success Plan, which looks like this:
- Plan and Prepare: Create an action plan
- Practice Readiness: Examine processes and workflow
- Client Readiness: Create client behaviours for success
- Deliver and Succeed: Maximise the positive impact and reach your goals
We’ve designed the masterclasses to be transparent, straightforward steps that help you develop something unique to your practice.
What are you waiting for?
Start building your digital future today.
Find out more about the Sage for Accountants 4-Step Practice Success Plan and how to sign up at www.sage.com/en-gb/cp/sageforaccountants
Editor’s note: This article was first published in July 2022 and has been updated for relevance.
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