PUBLICATION of a House of Lords committee’s report, which criticises the planned roll-out of the Government’s Making Tax Digital programme, has been welcomed by tax associations,

writes Kevin Scott.

The government claims that Making Tax Digital will make it easier for millions of small business and the self-employed to keep their tax affairs in order – at its heart is a requirement to keep digital records and file quarterly tax returns.

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The Association of Taxation Technicians (ATT), the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) and the Low Incomes Tax Reform Group (LITRG), said the report should act as a catalyst to hold up the scheme.

The report from the House of Lords select committee on economic affairs said the roll-out is being rushed. It recommended a number of amendments and called for a delay until 2020.

In last month’s Budget the Chancellor delayed the implementation by one year.

Yvette Nunn, co-chairwoman of ATT’s technical steering group, said: “The report should give the Government the impetus to tap on the brakes on this juggernaut, to allow more time for full end-to-end testing, piloting and evaluation to avoid unnecessary logistical and financial risks for both HMRC and businesses.”

There are fears the scheme will cost businesses more than the £280, Her Majesties Revenue & Customs (HMRC) said.

Adrian Rudd, chairman of the joint CIOT and ATT digitalisation and agent strategy group, said the timetable was challenging. He added: “A delay would enable the diverse nature of businesses affected to be addressed and a little more consideration of how agents and accountants can support them.”