Most small firms are not ready for digital accounts

Making Tax Digital (MTD) will mean most businesses and taxpayers will have access to their tax affairs online, in the near future, through their digital tax accounts. However, government research shows, the overwhelming majority of business owners and landlords remain in the dark over making tax digital (MTD). Ipsos Mori polled 2,900 small businesses and landlords on behalf of HMRC and found that 71% were unaware that there will be a requirement to submit quarterly updates to the taxman. A further 13% had heard of the requirements but knew nothing about them.

Subject to any further change, MTD will mean most businesses and the self-employed will be able to access their tax affairs online through their digital accounts from 2020. As it stands, VAT-registered businesses will be the first to submit quarterly reports to HMRC from April 2019. Though many SMEs were unaware of the requirements of MTD, 70% said they would not have an issue complying with it. 40% said they wanted guidance on how to prepare for MTD, and 72% said they would ask an accountant or tax agent for advice.

Mike Cherry, chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), said: “This new report highlights how much work is needed to enable the small business community to reap the benefits of digital tax reporting. The fact that so many firms don’t even know MTD is on the way is a real concern. Clearly, there needs to be a big push to get the message out there.” A live MTD pilot scheme is due to start in spring 2018, following a successful small-scale testing phase which got under way at the end of 2017.

At Wilson Wright Chartered Accountants, one of our aims is to ease the compliance burden by being proactive and forward thinking so that your time can be focused on what is most important to you. Please contact us for advice on digital tax reporting for your business.

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Wilson Wright is a dynamic, central London firm of accountancy professionals who act for a diverse range of UK and international clients drawn from a plethora of professions and industries.
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