Making Tax Digital – let us explainMaking Tax Digital (MTD) presents a significant change for British tax payers and is a massive undertaking for HMRC who has ambitious plans for its tax administration. Quite simply, if you are a business that is VAT registered, under the new MTD scheme, your annual return will become a thing of the past. The new system is intended to help everyone keep on top of their tax affairs more effectively by bringing together all of an individual’s or organisation’s tax affairs and monitoring all the information on a monthly basis. “HMRC’s ambition is to become one of the most digitally advanced tax administrations in the world, modernising the tax system to make it more effective, more efficient and easier for customers to comply.” (HMRC) It would seem that one of HMRC’s key motivators is the many billions of pounds it loses through incorrect returns. “In 2014 to 2015 over £3.5 billion of revenue was lost due to these mistakes in VAT returns alone” (source: gov.uk). The key points to note: Every business and individual will have their own digital tax account, enabling them to see payments in and out, as well as their ‘balance’ – just like online banking It comes into effect April 2019 Businesses under the VAT threshold (currently £85,000) can choose to opt in or out of the new system, as preferred It is expected that all businesses will have to use MTD by April 2020 Information that can HMRC can obtain from employers, banks and government departments won’t be required to be provided The new system should create ‘tax in real time’ showing what is owing as close to real time as possible Better communications are proposed, allowing secure messaging “ICAEW welcomed the announcements. The institute’s position on MTD has been supportive of the move to digital in principle, but that MTD should not be mandatory or impose unreasonable admin burdens, and its introduction should allow enough time to ensure the system works. Removing mandation for the smallest businesses is a welcome step forward and one less regulatory burden for SMEs to worry about.” (ICAEW) This is a useful overview, provided by ICAEW: https://www.icaew.com/technical/tax/making-tax-digital
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