Making Tax Digital concessions welcomed but concerns remain, UK tax professionals say

Tax professionals welcomed limited concessions announced by HM Revenue & Customs to ease the transition to digital tax reporting for unincorporated businesses, but they warned that the timetable for further consultation and implementation remains too tight.

“The government is listening to the concerns of smaller businesses in the implementation of Making Tax Digital,” said Frank Haskew, head of tax at the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, after HMRC responded to six consultations published in August 2016. Confirmation that spreadsheets will be allowed as part of digital record keeping, and a decision to allow time for further consultation on both the timetable and a proposed exemption limit for smaller businesses, are positive steps, Haskew said.

The concessions are relatively minor, said Rebecca Bradshaw, a director at Lancashire-based chartered accountants Rotherham Taylor Ltd. MTD will still place an unnecessary burden on smaller businesses and many taxpayers will struggle to cope with the transition to digital reporting, she added.

Read more: My news story for Tax Analysts, 1 February (paywall)

HMRC’s responses to the Making Tax Digital consultations, 31 January