Tax professionals issue
warning about move to quarterly Tax reporting
THE Low Incomes Tax Reform Group (LITRG)
cautions that compelling small businesses to submit information digitally
will result in previously compliant individuals, who find themselves unable
to satisfy their new obligations, becoming involuntarily non-compliant.
This follows the news that a Parliamentary Petition calling on the
Government to scrap plans to make small businesses and self employed
individuals report their Tax data quarterly, through their digital Tax accounts, has gathered more than 106,000 signatures in its
1st 3 weeks.
The number means that Parliament must now debate it.
LITRG is worried that the smallest businesses run by non-computer literate
owners or those who do not keep sophisticated Tax records may face sanctions
from HMRC because they will be unable to meet the new quarterly obligations.
Those most at risk of failing to meet the requirements include older and
disabled people and those living in remote areas.
Anthony Thomas, LITRG Chairman, said:-
"The Government's approach is
simplistic and betrays a worrying ignorance of how most businesses actually
Companies which do not already use record keeping software, or are using
software that will be incompatible with HMRC's digital accounts, will have
to spend a great deal of time transposing their business records onto new
systems to satisfy HMRC; time spent in an activity of little or no value to
them or their customers.
It is very harsh that the smallest businesses with the lowest profit margins
may be required to undertake significant investment and training in computer
technology simply in order to comply with HMRC's reporting requirements, and
for no other purpose.
Instead of mandating, HMRC should develop software that is so much more
convenient and easier to operate than any alternative. Then people will
naturally choose to use it, as is already the case with online
self assessment filing. That approach we would fully support.
Alternative methods of reporting must be realistic; requiring a pensioner
business owner to use a smartphone, if they cannot use a computer would not
be a sensible alternative. It is surely right that people should have the
choice about methods they use to submit their Tax information? Forcing
people to do what they cannot do will only create hard cases, and hard cases
make bad law."
LITRG warns that it is 'inevitable' that compulsory quarterly
reporting will lead to compulsory quarterly Tax payments, which will cause
yet more problems for the smallest businesses.
Anthony Thomas said:- "We are keen to hear further details when the
Government issues its promised consultation. It is essential that the
circumstances and capability of the smallest enterprises are taken into
account when devising the new policy, and that nobody is forced to do
something they cannot."
do you think about this idea by HMRC? Will it add extra problems to your
business and the way you work? Please email us your thoughts to our
Council's Equality Objectives
LIVERPOOL City Council is asking
for views on its plans to make the City a fairer place to live. The aims of
the Equality Objectives are to promote fairness and equality, celebrate
diversity, stop discrimination and promote good relations between
In asking for views, the Council hopes to understand public opinion on the
draft objectives, which will be in effect from 2016-2020.
The draft objectives, striving to make Liverpool a:- 'strong, diverse
City built on fairness' are:-
► Listen, involve and respond to local communities.
► Strengthen our knowledge and understanding of our communities.
► Consultative and accountable leadership making fair and transparent.
► A fair and inclusive employer.
► Good quality accessible services, buildings and public spaces.
Councillor Nathalie Nicholas, Assistant Cabinet member for fairness, social
inclusion and equalities, said:- "The City Council has made progress
in recent years in becoming more representative of Liverpool and working
with communities to make sure their voices are heard and they are well
An independent study last year found that the leadership team at the City
Council is now the most ethno-culturally diverse among big cities. In
addition, we support a number of festivals which promote diversity and the
Stop Hate helpline.
Through the planning process we now require house builders to make new homes
more accessible and easier to adapt for older and disabled people.
We have a corporate access group that considers new buildings and
developments in order to take account of the whole population.
We hold all our public meetings in venues that are accessible to disabled
people and have a palantypist to assist people who are hard of hearing at
all full City Council meetings.
But we know there are some communities in the City that are not having their
voices heard, or could be better supported, and that we must do more to make
the Council's workforce more representative of the City they represent. That
is why this consultation is so important."
The consultation is taking place until 10 February 2016 and can be found