HomeMTDFresh concerns over MTD roll-out for Self Assessment taxpayers

Fresh concerns over MTD roll-out for Self Assessment taxpayers

Further concerns have been raised about HMRC’s Making Tax Digital (MTD) for Income Tax initiative, due to be implemented for self-employed people in 2024, after the tax authority revealed it had just nine people taking part in the pilot.

HMRC confirmed the figure to the Financial Times after a Freedom of Information request by accountancy firm Saffery Champness showed a sharp fall in volunteers testing the new software since the trial began three years ago.

The article reveals that the number of volunteers taking part in the pilot project has fallen from 900 people in 2018-19 to just nine, who are currently participating.

‘Stark’ numbers are a cause for concern

This has sparked fears over how well-tested the initiative will be.

Zena Hanks, a partner at Saffery Champness, described the numbers as “stark” and warned that there may be problems when the system does goes live if the number of people who have tested it was too small to be representative.

She said: “I worry what we will have in the end will be an amazing system for nine people.”

One in three self-assessed taxpayers will be affected

Under the incoming system, around a third of taxpayers who are self-assessed and have either income from a business or property exceeding £10,000 a year will be required to keep digital records of their earnings and expenses.

These will be filed to HMRC quarterly, using third-party software, rather than submitting an annual tax return.

HMRC ‘always planned’ to keep numbers low

In response to the findings, HMRC told the FT that it deliberately kept the initial numbers in the testing pilot low. This was in order to “provide additional support to the first customers in the service before testing at scale.”

The tax authority added that it planned to open up the trial to more people from this April, which is two years ahead of the MTD for Income Tax launch.

Sign up to receive the latest news

    Related News