Changes are afoot at HM Revenue & Customs.
You may have been aware that in the March 2015 budget George Osborne announced that he was bringing HMRC into the 21st Century and abolishing the Annual Tax Return. Well George Osborne has left, but his plans are still in place.
The Making Tax Digital initiative has been pushing ahead in the background and is currently at the consultation phase. We are aware of some of the plans that have been put in place, but until the consultation phase has finished, which will be on 8th November 2016, then we will not know the final details of how it is due to be rolled out.
Although we don’t know the full details, we do know that the following things are being reformed;
- The method of updating HMRC with your income and expenses information, and the regularity of this update
- An online digital account which will allow you to see your total tax position at any point in time, across all taxes
- The inclusion of a voluntary pay as you go for taxes
- The ability to offset tax overpayments against tax charges across all taxes (not just income tax)
- Reformation of the penalty system
HMRC Timeline for the introduction of Making Tax Digital
(click to open timeline graphic in new window)
FAQ about Making Tax Digital
Making Tax Digital is the government initiative transforming the way we report tax to HMRC.
Over the next few years, all business will have an online digital tax account and they will be required to report income and expenses to HMRC on a quarterly basis.
The Government’s current plan is that sole traders, partnerships and landlords will have to start reporting on a quarterly basis from April 2018.
For limited companies, they will need to report on a quarterly basis from April 2020.
You will be required to submit your income and expenses on a quarterly basis. This will need to be done using third party bookkeeping software. This essentially means that reporting on Excel spreadsheets will not be accepted.
No. HMRC have advised that there will not be a need to complete 4 tax returns each year. The best way to view the returns, is as a Quarterly Information Update. The details regarding exactly what this process will be are yet to be agreed and disseminated into the public domain. We expect this information to be released in Early 2017.
You can register for your own digital tax account NOW. This will mean that you will be set up for when the quarterly reporting applies to you.
We will need you to provide us with your paperwork on a regular basis (at least quarterly) so that we can ensure that your accounts are up to date.
No. At the moment, we have been told that you will still only have to pay tax once a year, and the deadlines will remain the same for tax payments. However, by making 4 returns a year, you will be able to see throughout the year how much tax you are likely to have to pay. This will mean that you shouldn’t get a surprise at the end of the year.
HMRC have advised that those self employed individuals or landlords, where it is a secondary income of less than £10,000 turnover, will be exempt from quarterly reporting. For example, if you are employed and rent out a property, your total annual rents are less than £10,000, then you will not need to report on a quarterly basis.
For the majority of our clients, we already use KashFlow, an online bookkeeping software, and we have included this charge into your monthly/annual fee. For those that do not use KashFlow there will be an additional charge for this licence cost.
All the details concerning the roll out of Making Tax Digital have not been finalised. The consultation phase will come to a close on 7th November, so we should know the final details in January 2017. We will be keeping you informed on a regular basis of important dates and announcements. These will be available on our website. We will advise you well in advance of any forthcoming changes that affect you directly.
The full details and consultation papers for HMRC Making Tax Digital is available here –https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/making-tax-digital-consultations
If you’re looking for an accountant that can help you with Making Tax Digital at your company, get in touch today