Commenting on the announced changes to the Making Tax Digital timetable, Andrew Hubbard, tax consultant at RSM said:
“We welcome the change to the timetable for Making Tax Digital. It became increasingly obvious that the proposed timetable was unrealistic. In the end, HMRC had little choice to postpone given the level of pressure they were under from the Treasury Select Committee and the accountancy bodies, not to mention the genuine alarm being expressed by affected businesses.
‘Bearing in mind the Revenue needs to make sure that the new Customs Declaration Service is up and running before Brexit, the MTD initiative was simply one project too far. Today’s announcement will give HMRC some much needed time to concentrate on building the system successfully, and to make it so attractive that businesses will actively want to sign up.
After 2020, the system will achieve sufficient critical mass that it will be made compulsory. For now though, businesses will have a choice as to the timing. As a result, there will be a lot of accountants and small business owners who will today be breathing a huge sigh of relief.
‘We remain of the view that the core philosophy underlying MTD is the right one to pursue, and that eventually taxpayers, agents and HMRC will see the benefit of digital interaction with the tax system. If the system is as effective as we all hope, individuals and businesses will not need compulsion but will want to adopt it.’