In the final part of this series, Rutton Viccajee explains the headlines from the Autumn Statement 2016. This section focuses on the proposed changes to HMRC administration in the future. If you would like to know more about what the Chancellor has said (and Rutton’s analysis of why he said it), then read on…
Making tax digital
For me, this is the big one:
This was in the previous budget, and it’s not going to be good news for landlords or sole traders.
The broad idea is that all of them will have to file quarterly figures from April 2018 using special software (and not spreadsheets, or many common accounting programs like Sage Line 50).
Consultation has now ended, so watch this space: but any climb-down is highly unlikely.
HMRC are determined to pursue this, because they think that quarterly (and therefore more concurrent) accounting means more accurate records and figures.
It is hard to follow this logic, and there is a serious risk this new measure will cause a lot of time, cost and heartache for every sole trader and landlord.
Ask your accountant for help or solutions to this. Certainly, we will be offering our clients cloud-based software which will help solve this problem. Most existing software or bookkeeping will not.
From 2017, the next Autumn statement will be the Budget, and the following Spring will have a ‘spring forecast’ (which might, of course, tweak the Autumn Budget).
Well, that’s confusing. Far from promoting ‘certainty and simplicity’ as billed, the Spring statement will, apparently ‘make fiscal changes’ to the Autumn Budget if the Government feel like it.
If they wanted to simplify, they would have just cancelled the Autumn statement. But Chancellors just can’t resist grandstanding twice a year, and not once, and repeating last year’s good news, and hiding the bad.
Vote for me! I’ll simplify it all!