Making Tax Digital: 1/7 Start here

September 21, 2016

This is the first of seven posts I plan to make over the next couple of weeks on the subject of “Making Tax Digital”.  There are detailed proposals out for consultation till the beginning of November and which you can find from this landing page on gov.uk.  There is also an introductory video and an invitation to sign up for a “webinar”, a seminar conducted over the internet with some clever software.  You might also have seen my preliminary thoughts in this blog entry.

Why am I adding to all this verbiage with blog entries?  Because I don’t think anyone with an actual business to run will have time to read all this stuff, and I think it’s important.  So I’m going to try and summarise what the issues are, and how businesses can best respond.


Mandation?  HMRC wants to “mandate” the proposals, make them compulsory, in other words you are going to have to start keeping digital records under pain of penalties.  But HMRC is using this technocratic, stick-seven-consultation-documents-on-a-website-and-expect-that-means-people-know-about-it, method of letting people know.  Surely small businesses are too busy running a business to read this stuff and are unlikely to know it’s there to be looked at in the first place.  The small business community is represented in HMRC circles by a Digital Advisory Group and by ABAB, the Administrative Burdens Advisory Board, and – no disrespect to the volunteers on those groups who do a lot of unpaid work on behalf of small businesses everywhere – have most small business owners even heard of their existence?

Watch this space!

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