The introduction of HMRC’s new Making Tax Digital drive may be delayed until 2019 for most businesses, the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Jane Ellison MP, has stated.
The announcement comes in response to critics’ concerns over HMRC’s ‘short’ timetable for implementing the new scheme.
Delaying the initiative will give larger businesses more time to prepare and adjust, the Secretary announced in a speech at the HMRC Annual Conference.
The Government has confirmed that the exemption from quarterly returns applying to individuals with secondary incomes of less than £10,000 a year (from self-employment or property) will now be extended to all unincorporated businesses and landlords with annual incomes below £10,000.
Ms Ellison stated that the Government aims to provide businesses and individuals alike with the ‘kind of digital services they expect in the 21st century’.
She commented: ‘It’s just not right that our tax service should lag behind – stuck in an age of paperwork, letters and phone calls.
‘That’s why we want HMRC to offer all our customers a top quality, fully digital service alongside its existing services.’
HMRC recently released six consultation documents outlining plans for its Making Tax Digital strategy, and how businesses and individuals will transition to the online filing system.
The consultation period runs until 7 November.