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Under the Government’s Making Tax Digital strategy, most businesses will be required to keep track of their tax affairs digitally...
Moving to a digital age
Under the Government’s Making Tax Digital strategy, most businesses will be required to keep track of their tax affairs digitally and to update HMRC at least quarterly. To comply with your requirements in the new digital age, you will need to keep digital tax records and record and categorise your receipts and expenses. Apps and software will be available for these purposes. It will be essential that you update your records on an on-going basis so that you are able to provide the information to HMRC on time for each quarterly update.
If you are an unincorporated business or landlord with an annual turnover below £10,000 you will be exempt from the digital tax obligations.
Cash basis for larger traders
If your turnover is below the VAT registration threshold (currently £83,000) you can opt to prepare your accounts using the cash basis (money in and money out) rather than using the more usual accruals basis. The opportunity to use the cash basis is to be extended to larger unincorporated business as part of the proposals for moving to a digital tax world. Speak to your adviser to discuss whether a move to the cash basis is for you.
Cash basis for landlords
The opportunity to use the cash basis is to be extended to some landlords in order to simplify the tax rules under Making Tax Digital. If you are an individual business, or a partnership where all the partners are individuals, you count as an unincorporated property business and you will be able to opt to use the cash basis. Speak to your adviser to find out what is involved and if this is likely to be for you.
Pay as you go
Once Making Tax Digital is up and running, taxpayers will be able to make voluntary payments on account of their tax liabilities throughout the year. This may help you in managing your cashflow and ensuring that you are able to meet your tax liabilities on time.
Getting ready for Making Tax Digital
Although you will not need to start providing HMRC with digital updates until April 2018, it is not too early to start planning for the transition to a digital tax world. It is advisable to discuss with your tax adviser sooner rather than later what Making Tax Digital will mean for you and what changes you need to make to your existing processes to ensure that you will be able to comply with your digital reporting requirements.