Making Tax Digital removed from the 2017 Finance Bill

Plans to force millions of landlords, self-employed people and small businesses to file up to five tax returns online every year have been put on hold ahead of the general election.

Legislation to implement the government’s Making Tax Digital (MTD) initiative has been removed from the Finance Bill 2017 ahead of the debate on the bill in the House of Commons today.

During yesterdays Finance Bill committee stage debate the Government deleted 72 out of 135 clauses and 18 out of 29 schedules. The residual Bill has been estimated to be roughly 140 pages in length compared to the previous 762 pages, a reduction of more than 80 per cent by volume.

Experts say that its exclusion from the Finance Bill might mean it’s delayed by a year, but it might also be an opportunity for the Government to leave the idea to gather dust for rather longer.

MTD is not planned to come into effect until April 2018, and following the announcement of the general election on 8 June 2017, this provided an opportunity to withdraw these clauses and Schedule from the Finance Bill.

It is unclear at this stage if this is a temporary deferral pending a second finance bill after the election or whether it will be more permanent.

We will keep you updated once we hear more, in the meantime if you want to know what you can do to prepare for Making Tax Digital (once it does come in) get in touch with our Tax team on 0161 249 5040.