This is the question being asked by some commentators following the announcement this week that the 2017 Finance Bill has been cut from 762 pages to just 140.
The cull of legislation is as a direct result of the Snap Election called for June and the Treasury has said that the reduced bill includes only those items that need to pass through Parliament before the election. A whole raft of budget announcements have been axed including the (already controversial) Making Tax Digital (MTD) proposals.
MTD has faced constant criticism from MPs and the tax and accounting profession over its short timetable, with the many calling for it to be delayed. It is unknown whether HMRC will push back the implementation date of 1 April 2018 for VAT-paying unincorporated businesses with a turnover above £85,000 now MTD has been dropped from the Bill.
On 18 April, representatives from Accounting Institutes were up before the Treasury Select Committee to review issues raised in the Finance Bill, with all three witnesses, after a push, agreeing that MTD should be delayed and not included in the forthcoming Bill.
As well as MTD, all corporation tax measures have been left out of the Bill including carried forward losses and corporate loss relief.
Changes to overseas pensions and offshore transfers have remained, as well as the sugar drinks industry levy and disguised remuneration relating to employment income provided through third parties.
Whilst the MTD initiative has been unpopular and there are concerns around timely implementation in our opinion it is highly unlikely that it will be shelved all together and depending on the result of the June election may well be included in a post election budget and the original timetable of implementation kept.
Until we hear otherwise it’s safest to assume that HMRC will continue with their plans and the timetable will remain as currently proposed:
To keep you up to date with what the MTD regulations currently are and how these are changing we are running a series of Free Briefings throughout 2017 and 2018 at various locations, to book your place click here
For more information on Making Tax Digital and any aspects around taxation, cloud accounting or business advice generally contact us on 0845 177 5500, call in at your local office or use our on-line contact form.