How AAT is working with HMRC to ensure Making Tax Digital is effective and efficient

In August HMRC finally published a series of consultation papers on Making Tax Digital (MTD).

MTD is a £1.3 billion investment intended to transform the tax system in the UK, making it more effective, more efficient and facilitating paying the right tax at the right time.

It’s clearly in the interests of employers, employees, tax professionals and government to have a simpler and more aligned payment system for tax, one which operates closer to real time and one that better reflects modern society.

AAT therefore shares the government’s ambition for the UK to have the most digitally advanced tax system in the world although the timescale for achieving this is now very challenging.

The consultation papers cover a wide range of issues, from making better use of information to an overview for small businesses, the self-employed and landlords.

We are keen to ensure that AAT’s responses fully reflect member’s views and with this in mind we held two focus groups on the subject last month. An HMRC representative was present at each focus group too.

These groups stimulated lively debate from AAT licensed accountants and whilst there was broad agreement on a number of issues, there was disagreement on others!

This largely replicated the results of our member survey on MTD. For example, a clear majority of survey respondents thought the government proposal for no maximum entry limit into the cash basis for eligible businesses was sensible but an equally clear majority felt that the £10,000 income exemption for MTD was unacceptable. In fact less than 5% of members thought the £10,000 limit acceptable. To put this into a perspective, a higher number (7%) felt there should be no exemption at all.

The survey results and the focus group meeting outcomes have already greatly helped inform our consultation responses as will a final AAT/HMRC roundtable due to be held on the 13th October 2016.

In short, members can be assured that their voice is being heard.

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Please click here to find out more about AAT’s public policy work.

Phil Hall is AAT's Head of Public Affairs and Public Policy.

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