Making Tax Digital – tell us your views

By ICAS Tax Team

19 January 2016

ICAS is seeking the views of members on HMRC’s plans to create digital services

The government published its plans for Making Tax Digital just before Christmas, setting out the vision of an HMRC that “will have moved to a fully digital tax system”.

It openly states that “during this Parliament, HMRC will make fundamental changes to the way the tax system works”.  It is therefore likely that in the next five years, we will see the biggest change to the country’s tax system since the introduction of Self-Assessment over twenty years ago.

The ICAS Tax and Practice support teams are establishing a panel of interested members who can input to our work, most of which is expected to be conducted on a virtual basis via email and /or phone conferences . Please contact Carol Ferguson if you would like to be a part of this panel.

It is important that any changes are well thought through, practical, and in the public interest.  ICAS will be voicing any concerns, and suggested approaches to the challenges and opportunities, under three headings:

  1. ICAS and its Members.
  2. HMRC – policy and direction.
  3. Public impact.

Initial views are that ICAS supports the overall objectives of Making Tax Digital, and that the four ‘foundations’ noted below are laudable goals:

  1. Tax simplified - Taxpayers should not have to give HMRC information that it already has.
  2. Tax in one place - By 2020, taxpayers will be able to see their complete financial picture in their digital account.
  3. Making tax digital for businesses - Businesses should not have to wait until the end of the tax year or even longer before knowing how much tax they should pay.
  4. Making tax digital for individual taxpayers - Individual taxpayers will interact with HMRC digitally, and at any time to suit them.

Charlotte Barbour CA, Director of taxation with ICAS, said: "While applauding the target, we have significant reservations about the timescale and approach. These concerns are mainly centred around quarterly reporting; the impact on agents and taxpayers; and the role and resourcing of HMRC.

“The more members give us their views, the stronger our input to HMRC can be. We look forward to hearing from you."


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