Spring Budget 2017 – Making Tax Digital
The introduction of Making Tax Digital (MTD) will fundamentally change the way businesses, the self-employed and landlords interact with HMRC. The introduction of MTD was first announced as part of the March 2015 Budget measures and is expected to see HMRC move towards a fully digital tax system by 2020.
There have been some concerns that the roll-out of MTD is moving too fast. HMRC had previously confirmed that businesses, self-employed people and landlords with a turnover under £10,000 a year will not have to make quarterly updates or keep records electronically.
In his Budget speech, the Chancellor announced a one year deferral from Making Tax Digital for Business for unincorporated businesses and landlords with turnovers below the VAT threshold. This means that businesses, self-employed people and landlords with income of less than the VAT threshold will not have to start quarterly reporting until 2019. It has been estimated that this delay will cost the Treasury some £280m between 2018 and 2022.
It has now been confirmed that businesses, self-employed people and landlords will be required to start using the new digital service from:
- April 2018 if they have profits chargeable to Income Tax and pay Class 4 National Insurance contributions (NICs) and their turnovers are in excess of the VAT threshold;
- April 2019 if they have profits chargeable to Income Tax and pay Class 4 NICs and their turnovers are below the VAT threshold;
- April 2019 if they are registered for and pay VAT;
- April 2020 if they pay Corporation Tax.
There will be an extensive trial period beginning in April 2017 for testing the MTD reporting system before any full scale rollout. HMRC has also confirmed that there will be a 12 month initial period where HMRC will be lenient in issuing late submission penalties.