Making Tax Digital Update

Making Tax Digital: an overview

MTD for individuals: the Personal Tax Account Digital tax accounts for individuals – Personal Tax Accounts (PTAs) – have already been created by HMRC. The accounts are pre- populated with information already held by HMRC. PTAs are set to be developed further and taxpayers will be able to report any additional sources of income through their digital account. Individuals may wish to register for a personal tax account by visiting uk/personal-tax-account. HMRC anticipates that, over time, many individuals with straightforward tax affairs may no longer need to complete a tax return.

MTD for businesses: the revised timescales

Making Tax Digital is a new government initiative with the stated aim of ‘bringing the tax system into the 21st century’. The new regime will ultimately move taxpayers to a fully digital system, with businesses and individuals required to register, file, pay and update their information using a secure online tax account.

The new MTD initiative was originally set to be implemented between 2018 and 2020. However, in response to concerns raised by business and industry experts regarding the pace and scale of the changes, the government put forward a revised timescale for the introduction of Making Tax Digital for Business (MTDfB). Under the revised timetable, starting from 1 April 2019 those businesses with a turnover above the VAT threshold (currently £85,000) will have to keep digital records for VAT purposes and provide their VAT return information to HMRC using MTD functional compatible software. The MTD requirement will remain even if turnover subsequently falls below the VAT threshold. The government has confirmed that keeping digital records and making quarterly updates will not be made mandatory for taxes other than VAT before April 2020. Similarly, those businesses below the VAT threshold which have voluntarily registered for VAT can opt to join MTDfB. HMRC will be piloting MTD for VAT for the rest of 2017, with wider live piloting beginning in Spring 2018. The government plans to make the necessary VAT regulations available by no later than April 2018, allowing businesses and software developers a period of 12 months to develop the necessary software to meet the detailed requirements before they come into effect.

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