Personal tax account to make Commons debut

Practice correspondent
Sift Media
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The GOV.UK petition demanding that government scrap quarterly reporting under HMRC’s ‘Making tax digital’ strategy has racked up more than 100,000 signatures and is now scheduled for parliamentary debate.

The rules of petitions on GOV.UK dictate that petitions with 100,000 signatories must be debated in parliament. The debate has been scheduled for the 25 January and you’ll be able to watch online at parliamentlive.tv. Those interested in adding to the debate can find their MPs details here.

The original petition strongly criticised ‘Making tax digital’, saying “The conservatives are not working for small businesses in bringing in such legislation but adding burden.”

The response on AccountingWEB to the petition would not have been music to the Conservatives’ ears, either.  “Is it possible for HMRC decision makers to be any further detached from reality? It's frightening!” wrote The Highlander.

“Has anyone actually determined what percentage of business owners in the UK currently uses accounting software or apps to record their transactions? What percentage of these existing users then record their income and expenses correctly without error?”

“There’s no point in getting excited at this latest HMRC initiative - it's doomed to failure,” wrote B.R., “but at least en route it will create a couple of hundred tech billionaires in companies with a retired politician in the chair!”

A lasting concern for many accountants is the fear that the digital agenda will exclude some of their clients. According to the government’s own research, 19% of self-employed with no employees surveyed were classified as ‘digitally excluded’. Digitally excluded is defined as having no use of the internet.

“Please can someone tell me how my mother, who submits paper SA returns before 31 Oct each year, will cope?” wrote DMBAcc. “She has no internet connection and wouldn't know how to turn on a computer leave alone use one. She has no smart phone because of the expense and again wouldn't know what an 'app' was if it hit her squarely in the face.”

Confused by the personal tax account? At the Practice Excellence Conference, Steve Checkley of TaxCalc gave a whistle stop tour of the new tax landscape. Read Checkley’s guide here

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I've received an email this morning asking for input prior to the debate.

Unfortunately, the only vehicle offered is via Twitter. Notwithstanding that I do not have, and have no intention of getting a Twitter account, it strikes me that 140 characters doesn't provide much in the way of input.

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