The Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) has welcomed the fact that HMRC has rowed back on some aspects of its flagship Making Tax Digital initiative, but has warned that the timetable for implementing the scheme is still “daunting.”
The organisation was responding after the tax authority set out further details for how the new regime will work in practice.
Following a consultation last year, officials have agreed that businesses will be allowed to continue to use spreadsheets for record keeping and confirmed that no penalties will be issued for late submissions in the first year of the initiative.
Despite the concessions, the institute remains convinced that HMRC should push back the start date for the new arrangements.
At present, pilots are intended to start in April and the scheme scheduled to begin in earnest next year.
Bill Dodwell, the CIOT’s president, said: “Businesses and tax professionals across the UK will be poring over today’s announcements to see what they mean for them and their clients and customers. The fact that there were more than 3,000 submissions to these consultations shows the level of concern about the proposals and the impact they will have.
“The promised software isn’t yet available for anyone to see its capabilities, or know how many providers of free software will actually deliver in the envisaged timeframe. There is also no ability yet for agent access. All of these things make the case for delay even stronger.”
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