Press release: Delays to digital tax reporting a welcome boost for small businesses

The body representing Scotland’s tax professionals has today (8 March) welcomed the announcement by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the UK Budget to delay the implementation of digital record keeping for businesses trading below the VAT registration threshold.

The Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) said that the decision to delay the introduction of Making Tax Digital (MTD) for small businesses by one year to April 2019 would provide small businesses in Scotland with more time with which to familiarise themselves with the requirements of the scheme and ease the transition to compulsory quarterly online reporting.

Commenting on the announcement, Moira Kelly, chair of the CIOT Scotland Technical Committee said:

“There has been considerable disquiet over the UK Government’s timetable for the implementation of Making Tax Digital so the Chancellor’s decision to defer its introduction for the smallest businesses represents an acknowledgement of the concerns felt by many businesses and organisations across the country.

“For businesses in Scotland, this will be a very welcome boost, providing them with more time with which to familiarise themselves with the requirements of MTD and ensuring that they have more time with which to obtain the appropriate software and advice with which to manage the transition.

“Not withstanding this very welcome boost, there will be many businesses in Scotland who are likely to be hampered in their efforts to move to digital record keeping, regardless of their size, by the lack of appropriate digital infrastructure, such as superfast broadband.

“It will be important for HMRC to step-up its efforts to engage with all of those who are affected by the move to digital record keeping – businesses, agents, professional bodies and software companies – to ensure that a collaborative approach delivers in the interests of all and ensures the success of the MTD project.”