Are small business being made to ‘shoulder the burden’ of leading the way on Making Tax Digital?

           Anne Rose

The Making Tax Digital initiative has been ready to go for some time but now small businesses are being made to ‘shoulder the burden’ of leading the way after a late change to its roll-out.


The Government’s Making Tax Digital initiative for VAT has been set to go live for all businesses on April 1, 2019, for a while now.


However, HM Revenue & Customs has now announced that it will delay the deadline for larger and more complex business to October 1, 2019.


This includes all businesses who are part of a VAT group and businesses who make VAT payments on account, typically larger businesses in both cases.


In addition, the deferral applies to Trusts, public corporations and public sector bodies.


At Burgis & Bullock, we have been readying our clients for this change for some time now, while trying to draw wider attention to what is required among the business community.


The announcement has been greeted with relief in many quarters but disappointment that this leaves SMEs to shoulder the burden of going first.

The House of Lords economic affairs finance bill sub-committee has previously heard from tax experts and business representatives who have expressed concerns about the way that the Making Tax Digital programme has been implemented as well as the communication between HMRC and small business.


It would seem that time is now seriously running out for all VAT registered businesses to get to grips with Making Tax Digital, because despite all of the feedback and commentary, it’s unlikely that HMRC will make any more concessions.


Businesses are advised that with the deadline rapidly approaching, they should start reviewing their current systems as soon as possible to make sure they have enough time to make any necessary changes.


In addition, they should also consider precisely what data they will have to share with HMRC as part of this new process and the quality of that data.


At Burgis & Bullock we are hosting a series of seminars for local businesses to ensure they are ready for the change, where our experts will be on hand to discuss how to get up-to-speed with software requirements and all of the important dates for the process.


There will be two seminars at our Leamington office at Waterloo Place, firstly on Monday, November 19 between 2pm and 3.30pm and on Tuesday, December 18 between 10am and 11.30am.


The remaining seminar will be held at our Stratford office at Elm Court on Monday, November 19, between 10am and 11.30am.

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