After significant protests and pressure from business, professional bodies and MPs, the government has accepted that the scope and pace of reforms should be delayed.
VAT records must be kept digitally from April 2019, but the wider rollout of digital quarterly reporting for sole traders and small businesses will not begin until at least 2020. Whether it will be mandatory from then will be reassessed at a later date.
Mel Stride, the minister in charge of Making Tax Digital, said in a statement “We have listened very carefully to their concerns and are making changes so that we can bring the tax system into the digital age in a way that is right for all businesses.”
This decision will provide some relief for small businesses worried about an increased “red tape” burden. However, MTD will be available on a voluntary basis. Some businesses may find it useful to be able to keep track of their tax liabilities and update their records more regularly instead of taking on one large task each year.