Digital Delays

The proposal to render tax digital presents a fundamental and seismic change to the UK’s tax system. It’s ramifications should be worthy of the full attention of individual and business taxpayers when the consultation documents finally become available.

The latest development is that the consultation on digital tax accounts is to be delayed until after the EU referendum on 23 June, HM Revenue & Customs has recently confirmed.

Concerns have been raised that the delay could compress the consultation process given that beta tests for the proposed quarterly system are scheduled to commence in July, while advisers are supposed to be able to manage clients’ affairs from December.

Last month, the chairman of the Treasury Select Committee expressed concerns over the burden the move would place on taxpayers – particularly businesses. In a letter to David Gauke he warned that, “This would entail the use of designated software packages. It would have an impact on large businesses (who may not currently have accounting systems which are compatible with HMRC’s requirements) as much as on small businesses, who may not use computers.”