It's here. The government released "Making tax digital" today. In his foreword, David Gauke outlined the following objectives: "By 2020, HMRC will have moved to a fully digital tax system where:
- bureaucratic form-filling is eradicated — taxpayers should never have to tell HMRC information it already knows;
- unnecessary time delays are eliminated — the tax system operates much more closely to ‘real time’, keeping everyone up to date and removing the risk of missed deadlines, unnecessary penalties, debts arising and errors in the system being carried forward from one year to the next; and
- taxpayers have access to digital accounts — with the information HMRC needs automatically uploaded, bringing an end to the tax return."
Notable from first glance, for me at least, is HMRC's indication that payment dates are to be brought forward: "The government is consulting on options to simplify the payment of taxes, including whether to align payment dates and bring them closer to the point when profits arise."
Going into this consultation at this time of year also seems a little obtuse.
What's your take?