Tax & admin ยท 14 December 2015

Self-employed workers may struggle most with new tax return demand

The government’s plan will require small business workers to submit digital tax reports four times a year by 2020

The UK’s community of self-employed workers and small business owners will struggle to meet the new tax return demands set out by the government, the Federation of Small Businesses has warned.

The plan, set out by the chancellor George Osborne in this year’s Autumn Statement, will require small businesses to submit digital tax reports four times a year by 2020, as opposed to current rules which require companies to submit tax returns annually.

In a statement released by the FSB, national chairman of the organisation, John Allan, said: ?While the FSB supports HMRC’s digital transformation, members are deeply concerned with the move to enforce compulsory online quarterly reporting of their tax submissions.?

The FSB fears that the additional administrative pressure may negatively impact small business output, and has called on the government to properly consult with the small business community about the benefits to the new system.

?The UK’s self-employed will particularly struggle with this change. The push towards digital must be introduced alongside tax simplification, with business able to choose the best tax reporting process appropriate to them,? added Allan.

?We want to see proper consultation with business groups and professional bodies, a clear statement of benefits to the business community and a package of support to help offset this new burden on business.?

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Fred Heritage was previously deputy editor at Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and international relations from the University of Kent and an MA in international conflict from Kings College London.