Commenting on the Government's announcement today that the introduction of Making Tax Digital is to be delayed and apply initially only to those with turnover above the VAT threshold and for all others by 2020 at the earliest, Jonathan Riley, Head of Tax at Grant Thornton UK LLP, said: "Whilst it is pleasing that the government has listened and reflected on those with concerns over the pace of making digital our tax regime, it does not augur well for the pace of more fundamental reform of our voluminous tax regime. What all tax stakeholders need is a brave approach to reducing complexity, one that boosts transparency and in turn improves trust in and compliance with our tax system."
Commenting further on the announced delay to the publication of the Finance Bill to the Autumn, Riley added: "This delay leaves uncertainty in the minds of taxpayers and their advisors. Changes announced in the last Budget will be brought back to Parliament, but in the meantime no one will know for sure what the impact of those measures will be. With continued uncertainty around Brexit negotiations, corporates in particular need to plan with clarity and stability in mind. Finally, given measures announced in the Spring were said to have raised over £3bn of tax this year and £16bn over this parliament, it is interesting to think about how that money could be used on essential public services necessary for a vibrant economy."