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Making Tax Digital not to be extended in 2020

The Spring Statement contained good news for business as the Government confirmed that Making Tax Digital (MTD) will not be mandated for any other taxes or businesses in 2020. From 1 April 2019, VAT registered businesses with turnover over the VAT threshold (£85,000) will be required to maintain digital accounting records and to file their VAT returns directly from MTD compliant software.

HMRC had previously announced that to allow for delivering EU exit responsibilities it was slowing the IT delivery of some elements of MTD relating to income tax and corporation tax. The confirmation from the Chancellor that MTD will not be mandated for income or corporation tax and that MTD for VAT will not be extended to all VAT registered businesses until at least 2021 will reassure businesses and allow time for a more measured approach to implementation and additional testing.   

The government also confirmed a light touch approach to penalties in the first year, with no filing or record keeping penalties to be issued to businesses that are doing their best to comply. There is no soft landing for late payment penalties (default surcharge).

Caroline Miskin, ICAEW Tax Manager, said:

“We are encouraged that HMRC is adopting a very light touch approach – one of encouragement rather than compulsion – for at least the first year of MTD and that penalties will not be issued for late filing. It is crucial that HMRC is not heavy handed with businesses during this period of immense change and it has acknowledged the pressures that businesses are under by not extending MTD to include both more taxes or businesses.

“MTD for VAT is a major change in tax administration and it is important for the UK tax system that it is a success: this is too important to be rushed.”

Further information is available here