Sammy Welcomes Government Change Of Heart For Increased Tax Returns For Small Businesses
Sammy, the DUP Treasury spokesman at Westminster has welcomed the decision by the Chancellor of the Exchequer to remove the requirement for small businesses to make quarterly tax returns from April next year. Under the “Making tax Digital” decision announced in the Budget last year any business with an income of £10000 plus was going to be required to submit quarterly tax returns on line as well as their annual tax return.
The work and expense which this would have required would have been crippling for many small businesses and it was an issue which I had raised three times during debates in the House of Commons without getting any positive response. As part of our discussions with the government over its future programme I had raised the issue again pointing out that the additional red tape, demands on the administration of business and extra expense of producing four sets of accounts seemed to go against the Conservative Party claim to be the friends of small businesses.
The Minister had promised that the issue would be looked at again and I am pleased that he has now kept that promise and announced that only businesses with a turnover above the VAT threshold of £85000 will be required to keep digital records only for VAT purposes. The requirement will not start until April 2019. Quarterly returns will not be required until at least 2020 and for the smallest businesses this will be on a voluntary basis. This will give businesses and landlords at least two years to adapt and will also give HMRC time to test its computer systems for receiving returns.
While the £1bn secured as part of the deal which the DUP struck with the government is of immense importance to the Northern Ireland economy influence on issues such as this which can have a huge impact on business costs and workload is important too. Being at the heart of government we will continue to exercise our influence over a wide range of issues for the benefit of people not just in Northern Ireland but across the United Kingdom