Tax & admin · 5 January 2016

Petition against quarterly tax reporting gains 100, 000 signatures

quarterly tax reporting
As well asinspiring 100, 000 individuals to pledge their disapproval, the proposed changes have come under fire from accountants.
A petition urging the government to reconsider proposals on how often firms have to update HMRC has attracted enough support to be debated in parliament.

The measures, announced by George Osborne in his 2015 Autumn Statement, will require small businesses and sole traders to provide information to HMRC every three months, replacing the current annual reporting deadline. The government proposed in November to put the policy in place by 2020, by which time all individuals will have their own online account with HMRC.

It was unveiled as part of the chancellor’s plan to build one of the most digitally advanced tax administrations in the world, and the government reacted to the online petition by defending its merits.

many taxpayers have told HMRC that they want more certainty over their tax bill, and don’t want to wait until the end of the year, or even longer, before knowing where they stand with their taxes, said a spokesperson.

updating HMRC through software or apps will deliver a light-touch process, much less burdensome and time-consuming than it is today. These reforms will not mean that businesses have to provide the equivalent of four tax returns every year. they added.

But some members of the UK200Group of independent accountancy and law firms have criticised the plans, estimating that they could cost micro businesses as much as 600 per year in additional accounting costs.

Jonathan Russell, a partner at ReesRussell, said: The government has illustrated again its lack of understanding of accounting and small businesses.


 
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Hannah Wilkinson is a reporter for Business Advice. She studied economics and management at Oxford University and prior to joining Business Advice wrote for Kensington and Chelsea Today about business and economics as well as running a tutoring company.

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