Small business owners overwhelmingly against quarterly tax returns

More than 90 per cent of small business owners are against the introduction of quarterly tax returns.

This is according to new research from Simply Business, which found that just 8 per cent of respondents support the proposed new reporting regime.

The government looks to have returned to its controversial Making Tax Digital (MTD) proposals following last month’s Queen’s Speech.

Revived Finance Bill

The plans had been removed from the Finance Bill in an attempt to get the Bill passed in time for the snap election, but they appear to have been revived for this Parliament.

MTD contains provisions for a new schedule for tax reporting, in which the self-employed and business owners would be required to complete five tax returns a year, rather than the current single annual return.

HMRC maintains that the new process is necessary to streamline tax practices, and insists that it will “not feel like filling out four returns.”

Costly change

But business groups have warned that the costs could be significant, particularly for microbusinesses who may currently not have the accounting software required to comply with HMRC’s proposed new systems.

The Simply Business survey found that 92 per cent of surveyed small business owners rejected the idea of quarterly tax returns.

The Finance Bill is also expected to include some rebalancing of the tax regime for the self-employed, bringing it further in line with those in employment. However, the government’s attempts to increase Class 4 National Insurance Contributions, which sparked an outcry from the small business community, have been specifically excluded from the rewritten Bill.

Read more about what Making Tax Digital means for the self-employed. Do you think it will make life harder for you? Let us know in the comments.

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