As a method of improving processes and efficiency, HMRC’s aim with their ‘Making Tax Digital’ policy is to go paperless. Gone are the days of filing and keeping paper records – hooray! This blog will discuss how this government policy affects individuals and very small businesses, and what you need to know during this process.
Digital bookkeeping for individuals
Making Tax Digital for individuals is not yet a compulsory scheme for self-employed people and landlords, but there is nothing stopping you from signing up anyway – it is all good practice. It has been previously announced that plans to make Income Tax part of the Making Tax Digital scheme have been pushed back until at least April 2020 – so if you are a self-employed person, you still have time!
For those who want to be ahead of the game, there is an Income Tax pilot scheme. This scheme is aimed at those who are self-employed or rent properties and it lets you keep records digitally and send Income Tax updates to HMRC as opposed to filing a Self Assessment tax return.
This has been introduced to allow individuals to see how much Income Tax they might owe as time goes by. Individuals will have to use relevant and well-suited software to keep their own digital records, and HMRC would expect you to send income and expense summaries every three months.
Online accountancy for individuals
While the Making Tax Digital scheme has been implemented for businesses earning over the VAT threshold and not for individuals, it is worthwhile for the small businesses and the self-employed to acquaint themselves with the upcoming processes and changes. These individuals should take the necessary steps to digitalise their VAT returns to ensure a smooth transition into the digital bookkeeping world, before the widespread implementation.
Due to Brexit throwing a few curveballs into the scenario, HMRC have delayed the Making Tax Digital scheme for individuals, so whilst it is not an immediate worry, it would be worthwhile setting yourself up with the relevant, compliant software to ensure you are ready for this inevitable transition.
Perhaps consider relevant software such as Xero or Sage – both are incredibly helpful and recommended for digitising your tax information.
No need to worry or rush into this, no tax information is required just yet but here at Kirkwood Wilson, we would advise that you take every step possible to familiarise yourself with the upcoming policy changes to ensure that when the time comes, you are fully Making Tax Digital ready!
For more information about our digital accounting services, or for a Making Tax Digital for individuals consultation, contact Kirkwood Wilson today. Call 01704 546 000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.