Making Tax Digital To Be Delayed

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March 29th 2020
Tax Week 52
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Making Tax Digital To Be Delayed

Government halts plans to force taxpayers to file multiple tax returns per year prior to upcoming election.

Government proposals to modernise the tax system by creating online accounts for submitting tax returns and help keep track of tax payments - much like online banking - have been halted for the foreseeable future.

'Making Tax Digital', HMRC's headline project, was first green-lit back in 2015 under proposals titled to make tax 'easier'. The main objective was to provide people with full online access by 2020 and abolish the paper tax return altogether by that target.

A roadmap back then showed that the main tax groups (income tax and national insurance) were to come online by April 2018. However since then problems with the platform, transitioning issues as well as vociferous concerns from interested parties had led to a one year delay announced in the Budget for businesses with earnings below the VAT threshold.

Today the Finance Bill excludes 'Making Tax Digital' altogether - meaning another year or so will be added to the schedule pushing the full launch to possibly the end of the decade, with some thinking it may be shelved completely.

Accountant's recently uncovered information from the guideline paperwork that small businesses/self employed will end up filing five tax returns over the course of a fiscal year. This is four more submissions than currently - even though both can be done digitally.

It seems as though plans will continue but only after proper debate once the new parliament is in place.

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