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Goodbye annual tax return – hello quarterly tax returns

A guest post from Margaret Cain: 

Through my work with a client who develops accountancy software, I’ve become aware of HMRC’s Making Tax Digital strategy.

Don’t doze off at the back. This is important.

Did you know that in the near future self-employed people (and some landlords) earning more than £10,000 a year will have to submit four tax returns a year to HMRC?
That’s one every quarter, not just annually as at present.

Tax payers will have to submit their tax return data electronically. HMRC isremoving any free software tools it provides at present and is hoping software vendors will make alternative free tools available (yes, all terribly well thought out, isn’t it).

This whole initiative is a well-kept secret outside the accountancy profession. So, while some aspects, such as the very low £10,000 threshold are still being hotly debated, be aware it is happening from April 2018.

Larger busiimagenesses will come on-board at a later date, typically 2020. HMRC is picking on self-employed people first as, supposedly, our affairs are the most straightforward.

Try telling that to a busy self-employed woman sorting out her books on a Sunday evening!

Your accountant, if you have one (and many self-employed people don’t) should be up to speed on the latest developments, and this helpful BBC podcast has more details:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08byfhs

By Margaret Cain, M squared Corporate Communications
Business writer Margaret Cain works with clients across the UK and Europe, helping them to get their message heard in a noisy world.

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