Changing priorities – analysing HMRC’s delays to digital tax initiatives

22 May 2018

On 30 April 2018, HMRC shared a statement about how it is prioritising change in the department.

This acknowledges the challenges in:

  • exiting the EU; and
  • the ambition to become the world’s most digitally advanced tax authority.

While some of the finer details are still being worked out, the upshot is that, to achieve the above, some other work needs to be shifted down the priority list.

Delayed projects

Plans to introduce further digital services for individuals – DELAYED

There will be ‘halted progress’ on Simple Assessment and real-time tax code changes.

Additional services in this area will only be added where they reduce phone or post contact, or otherwise deliver ‘significant savings’.

Digitalisation of services affecting fewer individuals – DELAYED

This includes inheritance tax payments, tax-advantaged Venture Capital Schemes applications and PAYE Settlement Agreements.

Online service for new tax credit claims – DELAYED

Efforts will instead be focussed on improving the Tax-Free Childcare system.

Creation of the single digital account for all business customers – ‘HAPPENING AT A SLOWER PACE’

The creation of single digital accounts remains an aim of the department, and HMRC stresses it will not impact the delivery of Making Tax Digital (MTD).

Still ongoing

Voluntary MTD for Business pilot scheme for income tax – STILL AVAILABLE

This trial will continue to be available for any sole trader wishing to make quarterly updates to HMRC.

Mandatory MTD for VAT – STILL ‘ON TRACK’

For those VAT-registered businesses (corporate and non-corporate) with a turnover in excess of the £85,000 VAT registration threshold, HMRC states that it is still on track to mandate digital record keeping and VAT submissions for all VAT periods commencing on or after 1 April 2019.

In addition, the government has repeated that, as confirmed last July, it will not mandate any further MTD for Business changes before 2020, at the earliest.

As ever, Practice Track Online stays up-to-date in regard to the latest MTD developments and news. Our MTD factsheet contains a comprehensive overview of the key issues and new requirements under the initiative. For more information, or to place an order, please email

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