MPs question ‘huge’ variation in digitisation cost estimates

A comprehensive pilot of the Making Tax Digital project is needed to establish whose estimates of additional compliance costs for small businesses are closest to reality, according to Andrew Tyrie, chair of the House of Commons Treasury committee.

“There are huge differences between the Federation of Small Businesses and HM Revenue & Customs about the administrative burden. This is the heart of the matter,” Tyrie said in a March 27 statement.

“The FSB think that with MTD, businesses might spend three times as much time on their tax obligations as they currently do. This could cost them around £3,000 a year in time, salaries, and accountants’ fees. HMRC thinks that they will spend less time, leading to a small net saving,” Tyrie added. He has asked the Administrative Burdens Advisory Board for an independent view, based on its members’ business and accountancy practice networks, of the responses provided by HMRC and the FSB. Read more:

My news story for Tax Analysts, March 29 (paywall)