Letter to Financial Secretary raises concerns about quarterly reporting

13 January 2016

The Treasury Committee has written to David Gauke, Financial Secretary to voice the concerns of small businesses over the proposal that will require most businesses to file tax returns quarterly instead of annually, starting from 2018.

We reported news earlier in the month that more than 100,000 small firms have signed a petition demanding HMRC to rethink their proposal. The volume of signatures means that Parliament is now expected to debate the subject and the letter to the Financial Secretary has now set the ball rolling.

The letter from the Treasury Committee raises the concern that very little detail has been given about the proposal and asks that assurance be given that:

  • businesses will not be compelled to pay tax sooner than now
  • businesses will not be required to provide quarterly updates requiring more burdensome record keeping than now
  • adequate arrangements will be made for those businesses who do not use computers; and
  • all the details including the associated penalty regime will be subject to full consultation prior to any decisions.

A response has not yet been published by David Gauke; we will watch with interest and provide an update in due course.