Is January 2016 the last fixed tax submission date?

The government has announced that ‘by early 2016 five million small businesses and ten million individuals will have access to their own digital tax account, and by the end of the next Parliament every individual and small business in the UK will have one. The digital accounts will be simple, secure, personalised to the taxpayer — and accessible through the digital device of their choice.’

The government has also said that it ‘plans to transform the tax system’ and will consult on the details in 2016. The Chancellor has highlighted that most businesses, self-employed people and landlords will be required to keep track of their tax affairs digitally and update HMRC at least quarterly via their digital tax account.

The Chancellor’s stated aim is to ‘transform HMRC into one of the most digitally advanced tax administrations in the world, with access to digital tax accounts for all small businesses and individuals by 2016-17, delivering an additional £1bn of tax revenue by 2020-21 and sustainable efficiencies.’

This is all under the banner of ‘tax simplification for businesses’, yet so far there seems minimal detail on any true tax simplification measures to support businesses and reduce cost. There is little planned to simplify tax measures and reliefs. The measures highlighted seem to suggest more regular quarterly reporting responsibility for businesses and an implied acceleration of tax payments by business to the government.

So, rather than tax simplification for business, the result seems to be that businesses will have one tax reporting date replaced by four tax reporting dates. There is, however, benefit for businesses in being able to access a digital tax account and presumably manage all taxes and correct HMRC errors

Article contributed by ACCA In-Practice