Small businesses spared tax plan

HMRC overhauls its plans for digital tax returns

Digital Tax logo

TAX reforms that would require businesses to file VAT returns digitally have been postponed.

Mel Stride MP, financial secretary to the Treasury, confirmed the Government will delay plans for the roll-out of their Making Tax Digital tax reforms to 2019, while small businesses with a turnover below the VAT threshold (£85,000) will be exempt from the changes although they will have the option to use the new system voluntarily.

Under the new timetable, businesses will be required to file VAT returns online from 2019, but will not need to keep digital records, or update HMRC quarterly, for other taxes until 2020.

ACS chief executive James Lowman welcomed the news, commenting: “All our evidence suggested that the cost and administrative burden of Making Tax Digital had not been fully assessed and prepared for.

“The delay will give the government more time to pilot the reforms and business more time to prepare for the changes.”

NFRN chief executive Paul Baxter said: “Since the plans were first outlined the NFRN and our members have been very vocal and at every opportunity we have put forward our concerns about the full impact digital returns could have for small independent retailers.

“We are pleased that the government has sat up, listened to our concerns and, more importantly, taken note of them.”