Changes in digital tax returns welcomed

Jul 18, 2017

The government’s decision to delay the rollout of a programme aimed at digitalising tax returns was welcomed this week by one of the largest independent accountancy practices and business advisers in the area.

The original plan for Making Tax Digital from the tax authorities would have meant that the rollout of the plan would have caused a change from this year, including forcing the smallest businesses and sole traders to start quarterly VAT reporting from April this year.   But now those below the £85,000 VAT threshold will now be exempt from quarterly reports until the government reassesses its plans.

There will also be a delay until April 2019 for businesses with a turnover above the VAT threshold, when they will be required to start keeping digital VAT records.  The full programme rollout will be delayed by “at least” two years to 2020.

The announcement was made by the Minister in charge of Making Tax Digital, Mel Stride, after protests from businesses, MPs and the Treasury Committee.

Jonathan Walton, managing director of Whitley Stimpson Ltd, one of the largest independent accountancy practices in the area with offices in Banbury, Bicester, High Wycombe and Witney said: “We welcome the delay because it gives more time for the tax authorities to test software and for businesses to adjust.

“Like many other businesses we supported the change but were concerned by the pace at which the government tried to introduce it.  We are glad that all businesses and landlords will have at least two years to adapt to the changes before being asked to keep digital records.

“It will mean a large change for all businesses and it is important to get it right.  We are involved in helping businesses in our area to adapt or introduce systems to cope with this change, and the delay will give much more time for them to achieve the change in a properly measured way.”

Further details of the changes and their implications are available from Jonathan Walton on or 01295 270200.