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Professional bodies urge MTD rethink

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The CIOT and ATT have urged Nigel Huddleston, incoming FST, to use the 22 November 2023 Autumn Statement to launch a review of Making Tax Digital for income tax self-assessment (MTD for ITSA) and consult on its future direction and delivery, bringing in a full assessment of the impacts and benefits of MTD (highlighted as key issues in the National Audit Office report Progress with Making Tax Digital).

In a robust letter, the professional bodies say that adoption of the proposals in current form would likely lead to ‘a further deterioration in HMRC’s already poor service levels, especially if MTD is launched before it is fit for purpose’. They add that 70% of those who responded to the organisations’ summer 2023 survey considered the revised April 2026 start date ‘unrealistic’, while 95% were ‘not confident about HMRC’s ability to oversee the introduction of MTD for ITSA’.

In conclusion, the bodies ask for a pause and rethink of the project: ‘We recognise that significant time and money has been invested in MTD, and we are not suggesting that the project is abandoned. However, considering the lack of tangible progress since your predecessor’s announcement last December, we would urge you to openly consult on how MTD should be progressed and to gather and consider the opinions of those affected; something which hasn’t been done for over seven years, and indeed has not been undertaken properly at all.’

It is also worth noting that the regulations which implement MTD for ITSA (SI 2021/1076) have so far not been amended, meaning that – officially – the 6 April 2024 start date remains on the statute book. Tax Journal understands that HMRC plans to amend the regulations before then and will perhaps also take the opportunity to reflect other changes (or indeed replace the 2021 regulations completely).

Issue: 1641
Categories: News