Worst of all possible worldsDecember 6, 2016
You will no doubt remember the six (seven, if you include the summary) consultations on the ambitious “Making Tax Digital” proposals, which closed on 7 November. At the Autumn Statement there was nothing in the actual speech, but, buried deep in the documentation, there was a statement that the government would be issuing a consultation response in January.
This sounded hopeful, because – if MTD is to be mandatory from 2017 or 18 – then the legislation needs to go into the 2017 Finance Bill and the draft clauses for that were published today, 5th December.
But look what it says here, in OLD (The Overview of Legislation in Draft) at the end of paragraph 6.1:
To ensure that the views of respondents to the consultations are fully considered, the government will publish its response to all 6 consultations, together with draft Finance Bill 2017 legislation in January 2017. [my emphasis]
So not only is there an absurdly short timescale for the government to consider the multiple responses it is “pleased” to have received on MTD, but it plans to bring forward the legislation, or at least some legislation, anyway, except it will be out a month later than all the rest, shortening the time available for that to be scrutinised.
Poor show all round, I say.