Making tax digital, HMRC guidance and the tax gap

A key aim of the Making Tax Digital service is to ‘close the tax gap due to errors with people making their VAT returns’, according to HMRC. An alternative – and perhaps better – way to deploy technology to improve compliance is set out in an Office of Tax Simplification report. Better HMRC guidance, the OTS says, is likely to lead to more accurate tax reporting and ‘help to close the tax gap, as taxpayers should have a better understanding of HMRC’s view of the law’. Read more:

My article for Accounting and Business January 2019, published (free to view) by ACCA.

Finance bill, VAT threshold and Brexit

Tax Notes published (paywall) the following articles in the week of December 24:

VAT Issues Need to Be Addressed in Brexit Talks, MPs Say
A significant reduction in the VAT registration threshold may be imposed on U.K. businesses if a new EU VAT directive takes effect during the proposed Brexit transitional period, a House of Commons committee said.

MPs Seek Finance Bill Change to Steer Brexit Debate
As the U.K. government ramps up preparations for a no-deal Brexit, members of Parliament hope to use a finance bill amendment to force the government to seek Parliament’s consent to such an outcome.

Digital services tax, business rates, employment status and Brexit

Tax Notes published (paywall) the following articles in the week of December 17:

U.K. DST Not Intended to Resolve Business Rates Issue
There is no formal link between a digital services tax and reductions in business rates, members of Parliament were told two days after they asked Amazon UK to disclose its U.K. sales and tax liabilities.

U.K. Business Groups Urge MPs to Prevent Disorderly Brexit
There is not enough time to prevent “severe dislocation and disruption” in a no-deal Brexit, five U.K. business groups said as they urged members of Parliament to prevent a disorderly exit March 29, 2019.

U.K. Steps Up No-Deal Brexit Plans Amid Anger Over Vote Delay
Cabinet ministers decided to step up preparations for a no-deal Brexit, as U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May’s critics denounced her decision to defer a vote on the EU withdrawal agreement until mid-January.

U.K. Tax and Employment Rights Plan Draws Lukewarm Response
Aligning the existing employment status frameworks for tax and employment rights purposes will be difficult if the government continues to rule out changes to national insurance contributions, U.K. tax professionals said.

Juncker Seeks to Lower Temperature After Fraught Brexit Talks
U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May maintained that she is still seeking “further assurances” about the proposed Northern Ireland backstop, after EU-27 leaders reiterated that the Brexit deal is “not open for renegotiation.”