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Digital tax returns delayed for many self-employed

Self-employed businesses earning below the VAT threshold have an extra year before being required to make tax returns online, a Leicestershire accountancy firm has said.

Chris Hutton, partner with Charnwood Accountants in Mountsorrel, said the move comes “after pressure from business owners, professional advisors and the Treasury Select Committee.”

Those groups were worried about the speed with which Government’s Making Tax Digital (MTD) scheme was being introduced.

The first quarterly updates to be submitted by the self-employed and property landlords had been due in July 2018.

But Chris said Chancellor Phillip Hammond  has announced there will be a one year deferral in the start date, to 2019, for self-employed businesses and property landlords with gross income below the VAT registration limit.

He said another way of delaying the start of MTD would be to change the year end of your business.

The latest Finance Bill specifies that MTD will apply to accounting periods starting on or after April 6, 2018.

Chris said: “This means, if you currently prepare accounts to April 30, the first quarterly update to be submitted to HMRC will be for the period to July 31, 2018.

“However if you changed the accounting date of your business to March 31, then the first quarterly update would be for the period from  April 1 to June 30, 2019.”

He urged business to seek the advice of a qualified professional to identify the best way to proceed in changing the accounting date.