HMRC’s decision to consult further with interested parties before moving to more frequent payment of tax for small businesses has been welcomed by the Association of Taxation Technicians (ATT).
The tax office’s confirmation comes on top of an earlier government consultation on bringing payment under Income Tax Self-Assessment (ITSA), and Corporation Tax (CT) for small companies, closer to the point where the income or profit arises.
Burden on small business must be recognised
Jon Stride, Co-Chair of the ATT’s Technical Steering Group, said: “We have long-held concerns that any compulsory move to more frequent tax payments could have a negative impact on the cash flow and administrative burdens of small businesses.
“This would be particularly unwelcome at a time when many such businesses are still feeling the effects of the pandemic. We welcome the Government’s confirmation that they will not make any such changes within this Parliament.
“We are also pleased to see a commitment to engage further with stakeholders to explore how a voluntary system for more timely tax payments might operate, and look forward to working with HMRC on this.”
HMRC urged to improve Budget Payment Plan
The ATT had also previously encouraged HMRC to better promote its largely unknown and unused Budget Payment Plans before embarking on any wholesale change to the timing of tax payments.
Stride added: “We welcome the sensible decision to make improvements to the Budget Payment Plan, including raising its prominence online and increasing payment flexibility. But we recommend that HMRC also explore expanding this offering so that it is available to small companies as well as individuals.”