HMRC publishes six consultations detailing its digital tax strategy
HMRC has outlined the details its digital tax strategy in a series of consultation documents, published today.
The six consultation documents, which seek views on HMRC’s Making Tax Digital programme to digitalise the tax system, are being unveiled as HMRC also announces that 1.3 million small businesses will be able to benefit from Making Tax Digital without needing to update HMRC quarterly or keep their records digitally.
The announcement follows the news that HMRC’s chief digital officer is set to leave the department when his contract expires next month.
The government is also considering deferring digital record-keeping and quarterly updating for a further group of small businesses and will explore options to assist businesses with the transition. Finally, the consultation documents confirm that those who cannot go digital will not be required to.
Jane Ellison, financial secretary to the Treasury, said: “We are committed to a transparent and accessible tax system fit for the digital age, and Making Tax Digital is at the heart of these plans. This new system will make the UK’s tax administration more efficient and straightforward, and will offer businesses greater clarity when it comes to paying their tax bills.
“By replacing the annual tax return with simple, digital updates, businesses will be able to concentrate on putting people and profit, not paperwork, first.”
The documents on Making Tax Digital look at:
Edward Troup, executive chair, HMRC, said: “Making Tax Digital represents very significant change. It will bring the tax system into the 21st century and help make HMRC one of the most digitally-advanced tax administrations in the world. Going digital will abolish the annual tax return as we know it by 2020, replacing it with a personalised digital service through which taxpayers will be able to send and receive information to HMRC at the click of a button.
“There is still a lot to design and develop, and it’s important that we do this hand-in-hand with our customers and their representatives; these consultations are the next step in this process.”