Making Tax Digital – quarterly tax filings from April 2023?

Government plans for Making Tax Digital – a programme that will require about 4.3m self-employed people and small businesses to keep digital records and report their income to HM Revenue & Customs every quarter from April 2023 – are facing a fresh challenge according to today’s FT [£].

The timetable has already been pushed back and the objections are fairly predictable – mainly to do with disruption, systems not being in place, pushback from people who will be fined for not complying properly, etc, etc. One nugget of information in the FT piece though:

“The average time to answer a taxpayer’s phone call is currently about 17 minutes 34 seconds, compared to 6 minutes 39 seconds during 2019-20.”

Either way, it will be interesting to see how this problem is largely circumvented by weaning people into using compliant software? HMRC already keep a record of software that is compatible with the need to keep VAT records (personal experience here – doing tax returns is a pain – it becomes a complete nightmare when VAT is involved).

All of this needs to be read in the context of the way that HMRC is getting better, and more active in crunching data that it has access to stem tax evasion measures (according to the FT [£])…

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