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Changing priorities at HMRC

Over the coming years, the government plans to phase in its landmark Making Tax Digital (MTD) initiative, which will see taxpayers move to a fully digital tax system. However HMRC has shared a statement about how they are prioritising change in the department and as a result some parts of MTD will be delayed. HMRC has acknowledged the challenges in:

  • exiting the EU and
  • the ambition to become the world’s most digitally advanced tax authority.

While some of the finer details are still being decided, HMRC have announced that, to achieve the above, some aspects of MTD are to be delayed.  HMRC still plan to go ahead with MTD for VAT from April 2019. Information on some of the delayed projects is set out below:

Plans to introduce further digital services for individuals

There will be ‘halted progress’ on simple assessment and real-time tax code changes. Additional services in this area will only be added where they reduce phone or post contact or otherwise deliver ‘significant savings’.

Other digitalisation of services affecting fewer individuals

This includes Inheritance Tax payments, Tax Advantaged Venture Capital Schemes applications and PAYE Settlement Agreements

Creation of the single digital account for all businesses

HMRC has confirmed this will now happen at a ‘slower pace’. HMRC has confirmed the single digital account remains an aim of the department and they stress it will not impact the delivery of Making Tax Digital.

Voluntary Making Tax Digital for Business service for income tax 

HMRC has confirmed this will continue to be available for any sole trader wishing to make quarterly updates to HMRC.

Mandatory Making Tax Digital for VAT - still ‘on track’

HMRC stated that MTD for VAT is still on track. VAT registered businesses with a turnover in excess of the £85,000 VAT registration threshold,  will be required to comply with the requirements of MTD for VAT for all VAT periods commencing on or after 1 April 2019. 

In addition, the government has confirmed that, it will not mandate any further MTD for Business changes before 2020, at the earliest.

Internet link: ICAEW blog

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