Small firms petition against HMRC on quarterly reporting

06 January 2016

More than 100,000 small firms have signed a petition demanding HMRC to rethink their proposal requiring most businesses to file tax returns quarterly instead of annually via digital tax accounts.

The petition was started on 16 December 2015 on the Government’s own portal and has now received over 100,000 signatures, the point at which Parliament is expected to debate the subject.

The Spending Review and Autumn Statement 2015 announced the commitment to invest £1.3 million to transform HMRC into one of the most digitally advanced tax administrations in the world which will see most businesses, self-employed people and landlords being required to keep track of their tax affairs digitally and update HMRC, at least quarterly, via their digital tax account.

This is hoped to reduce errors currently encountered through record keeping and give individuals and businesses a more convenient real-time view of their tax affairs, providing them with greater certainty about the tax they owe.

The proposal is not to apply to individuals in employment, or pensioners, unless they have secondary incomes of more than £10,000 per year.

Further information on the transformation plans of the tax system are to be published in 2016 with consultation on the full details.