Small firms petition against quarterly reporting
More than 100,000 small business owners and self-employed workers have signalled their opposition to a Government proposal that would force them to file tax returns on a quarterly rather than an annual basis. An online petition created by small business owner Paul Johnson on the Government’s own portal has now passed 100,000 signatures, the point at which Parliament is expected to debate the issue. According to the Telegraph, complying with the new rules would cost small companies and individuals between 20% and 150% more in accountants" fees. However, a spokesman for HMRC claimed that the impact of the change had been over-exaggerated. They stated: “Quarterly updates will not involve all the complexity of a full tax return. The updates will be generated from existing digital business records. In most cases, little or no further entry of information will be needed.” The Government is spending £1.3bn on the digital overhaul of HMRC to allow “light-touch” reporting to take place, but accountancy firms have warned that compliance costs could rise. The Forum of Private Business has calculated that micro businesses will spend an extra £600 a year in accounting fees, hitting £1,600, while companies that employ staff will see their costs rise by £500 to £3,400.
Source: The Daily Telegraph (05/01/2016)