HMRC's announcement on 'Bringing business tax into the digital age' cannot be rushed

ACCA's head of tax Chas Roy-Chowdhury comments on the announcement from HMRC about plans for how its Making Tax Digital project will work.

Chas Roy-Chowdhury says: 'Getting tax bills right first time is clearly important. So HMRC's plans go some way to ensuring this happens.

'Our concerns about this project have always centred on the pressures of quarterly reporting for filers, and the practicalities and cost of doing so.


'We are pleased that logistics for business have been taken into account – such as being able to use spread sheets to record receipts and expenditure, and that for those businesses that cannot go digital will not be required to do so.

'We are also pleased that HMRC has said further consideration is needed by government on initial exemption thresholds and deferring the changes for some small businesses alongside their business costs – such as software.

'But we are disappointed that there is no full scale deferral especially in the light of Brexit, business uncertainty and the changes ahead – we hope the Government's final decision will be a wholesale deferral to 2020 so that business can prepare.

'We also believe that SMEs need to be exempt at least to the VAT threshold at £83,000.

'We look forward to continuing our work with HMRC and ACCA will be giving evidence to future Treasury Select Committee hearings.'

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