Digital Tax Delay Is Reprieve For Hard Pressed SME’s Says FSB


The FSB in Northern Ireland welcomes a report from an influential House of Lords committee, which calls for a delay in the launch of the Government’s ‘Making Tax Digital’ programme until 2020.

The cross-party Economic Affairs Finance Bill-Sub Committee has also recommended that the smallest and most vulnerable businesses are exempt from plans to force companies to report on a quarterly basis.

Wilfred Mitchell, FSB Northern Ireland Policy Chairman, said: “FSB Northern Ireland has been meeting regularly with HMRC’s Making Tax Digital Team during their visits to Belfast to highlight regional issues local small businesses face in submitting their tax details online. A lack of reliable, superfast broadband to small businesses in rural areas, in addition to the need for support in digital skills, software and cyber security need to be addressed prior to the launch.

“Today’s cross-party report from the House of Lords backs FSB’s proposals to make the Government’s Making Tax Digital programme work. A delay to 2020 would give hard-pressed businesses time to get their systems ready, and a higher exemption threshold would take out those that are going to be struggling the most with this change. In addition we want to see a more comprehensive Impact Assessment as more details of the scheme become clear.”

The report comes after the Treasury Select Committee warned in January that the programme “could be a disaster” for small firms.