The government has announced that it will now debate the petition "Scrap plans forcing self employed & small business to do 4 tax returns yearly". A debate is required as over 100,000 people have signed.

HMRC's plans to force the self employed to quarterly tax reporting basis have met with strong opposition from taxpayers and accountants and HMRC's chief executive Lin Holmer who backed the plan has just resigned.

The announcement of new digital tax reporting for the majority of small business in the UK was made by the chancellor in his Autumn Statement in November 2015. The idea is part of HMRC's plans to go fully digital.

The key issues are cost for the taxpayer, both in terms of time in extra adminstration and having to both purchase and learn the use of new technology (most of which has not yet even been developed) and poor broadband infratrastructure throughout the uk. 

The Petition: Scrap plans forcing self employed & small business to do 4 tax returns yearly is accessed here: Petitions Parliament.


The more synical amongst us may note that those in the "black economy" are no more likely to report quarterly than they would currently to report annually under self assessment. Further, with mandatory quarterly reporting may also come quarterly tax payment. The ensuing cashflow advantage would be most useful for HMRC: it would mask HMRC's ongoing failure to tackle the tax gap in this area of tax.