No quarterly tax returns for UK SMEs, says UK200Group

With many SMEs worried about proposed reforms to tax laws that could see them having to update HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) fare more regularly than the current once a year, accounting body UK200Group has declared that this won't mean quarterly tax returns.

Andrew Jackson, senior partner at UK200Group member firm Fiander Tovell, emphasised "that the new rules that are being protested about have not yet been written."

Red tape

Accountancy Age reported that with many commentators openly discussing the extra burden businesses might face under the new digital HMRC system, SMEs are worried about an increase in red tape if the new rules were to come into force.

Small business owner Paul Johnson had even started an online petition against the proposed changes, and The Forum of Private Business predicted a quarterly filing regime could cost SMEs around £600 more in extra accountancy fees.

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An HMRC spokesperson has already released a statement explaining that under the new rules, tax updates will be generated throughout the year based on ‘existing digital business records.'

"Making Tax Digital will not mean ‘four tax returns a year'. Quarterly updates will largely be a matter of checking data generated from record keeping software or apps and clicking ‘send'," HRMC said.

The statement continued, “Updating HMRC through software or apps will deliver a light-touch process, much less burdensome and time-consuming than it is today.”

HMRC has claimed that mistakes made in tax returns cost the Treasury £6.5bn each year and confirmed that quarterly updates will be introduced for some UK taxpayers by 2018.

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