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What does the move to digital mean for cash?

Anita Monteith considers how new digital methods, such as blockchain and cryptocurrencies, are affecting all aspects of business and whether it will lead to cash being phased out. She touches on local currencies, the sharing economy and Making Tax Digital.

Faculty Editorial ­Anita MonteithIt struck me recently that our move to digital has many aspects, and tax practice and law get entwined with most of them. There is learning to work with digital tools in the digital medium, there are new tools for transacting and giving value such as blockchain, and then there are new ways, and indeed new taxes, for taxing digital transactions. I have been working increasingly with the first while reading, writing and thinking about the others.

The Tax Faculty team has definitely embraced the move to digital in every sense of the word. It is a bumpy journey, but is in some ways reminiscent of the early 1990s when we began using personal computers, DOS was then replaced by Windows, and then self assessment was introduced and tax returns started to be filed online. A nightmare then, but would we ever want to go back to the old days?