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UK Lawmakers Call For Further 'Making Tax Digital' Delay

Monday, March 20, 2017

A committee of the UK's upper house of Parliament has called on the Government to further delay its Making Tax Digital plans until 2020.

Under Making Tax Digital, the Government will require taxpayers with a turnover exceeding GBP10,000 (USD12,370) to maintain digital accounts. Chancellor Philip Hammond announced in the Spring Budget 2017 that the Government will extend its deadline for switching to digital filing by another year to 2019 for 3.1m small businesses.

A report from the Lords Finance Bill Sub-Committee said that "the roll-out of the scheme is being rushed, imposing unnecessary burdens on small businesses, and will yield little benefit to the Government."

It said that the Government should be more realistic about the expected cost burden on businesses and make the obligation to keep digital records and report quarterly optional for businesses with a turnover below the VAT threshold (GBP83,000).

The report also recommended that regulators consider allowing certain businesses, such as those with seasonal or highly irregular income, to be exempt from the scheme.

Lord Hollick, Chairman of the Sub-Committee, said the concession "does not go nearly far enough and [the Government] needs to further delay the scheme's implementation and take a more incremental and gradual approach based upon the evidence from the pilot."