Breathing space Government Making Tax Digital

20 Dec 2022

The government has accepted arguments put forward by landlords and accountancy groups, and delayed a key deadline for compulsory digital tax returns.

A statement from HM Treasury this afternoon says: “Understanding that self-employed individuals and landlords are currently facing a challenging economic environment, and the transition to Making Tax Digital for Income Tax Self Assessment (ITSA) represents a significant change to taxpayers and HMRC for how self-employment and property income is reported, the government is giving a longer period to prepare for MTD.”

It continues: “The mandatory use of software is therefore being phased in from April 2026, rather than April 2024.

“From April 2026, self-employed individuals and landlords with an income of more than £50,000 will be required to keep digital records and provide quarterly updates on their income and expenditure to HMRC through MTD-compatible software. 

“Those with an income of between £30,000 and £50,000 will need to do this from April 2027. Most customers will be able to join voluntarily beforehand meaning they can eliminate common errors and save time managing their tax affairs.”

Victoria Atkins, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, says: “It is right to take the time to work together to maximise the benefits of Making Tax Digital for small businesses by implementing the change gradually. It is important to ensure this works for everyone: taxpayers, tax agents, software developers, as well as HMRC.”

And Jim Harra, Chief Executive and First Permanent Secretary, HM Revenue and Customs, adds: “HMRC remains committed to the delivery of Making Tax Digital as a critical part of our strategy for digitalising and modernising the tax system, but we want to make sure we get this right and deliver it effectively.

“A phased approach to mandating MTD for Income Tax will allow us to work together with our partners to make sure that our self-employed and landlord customers can make the most of the opportunities this will bring.

“The announcement relates to MTD for ITSA only. Making Tax Digital for VAT has already been implemented and is demonstrating the benefits to businesses and the tax system of digital ways of working.”

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