Digital tax accounts delayed - for individuals

All eyes were on Budget 2018 being delayed because of Brexit – but it’s the full rollout of Making Tax Digital that is first to fall victim to Britain’s departure from the EU.

In fact, in an email to tax experts, HM Revenue & Customs has admitted that its “plans to introduce further digital services to individuals” are being put on hold due to “EU Exit” work.

But contractors are unlikely to cheer the change too loudly, as the ‘MTD’ timetable for businesses including the self-employed, is not understood to be affected by the delay.

So digital records for VAT purposes are still scheduled to be required from April 2019 – from which point digital VAT returns are going to be mandatory for VAT-registered traders.

The agreement that no further mandatory steps for businesses will be introduced by HMRC before April 2020 remains in place too.

However the “pause” on MTD for individuals means no further work on Simple Assessments, HMRC explained in its email, or on real-time tax code changes.

Brian Palmer, of the Association of Accounting Technicians, said: “At the end of 2017, HMRC had 15 major programmes and more than 260 projects running.

“It is hardly surprising in this context that Jon Thompson, HMRC’s chief executive, felt the need ‘to take a step back and look carefully at what we could, and should, deliver in light of those challenges.'”

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