Lords to scrutinise Making Tax Digital proposals

The House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee has set up a Finance Bill sub-committee (FBSC) to inquire into the draft Finance Bill 2017, examining proposals to Making Tax Digital (MTD) that will apply to individuals, businesses and landlords

The FSBC will concentrate its inquiry on the proposals for the next stages of the MTD regime, which are expected to be published this month, and is inviting written evidence particularly from affected small businesses and landlords.

The FSBS plans to: ‘consider whether the measures proposed in the draft Bill contribute to the modernisation, simplification and efficiency of the tax system and well as their impact on the compliance burden and other costs borne by taxpayers, particularly smaller businesses and private landlords.’

The main areas of interest are:

  • the evidence underlying the case for the Making Tax Digital proposals and their suggested impact;
  • the evidence base for mandatory digital reporting. In particular the potential impact on the ‘tax gap’ and for HMRC resources;
  • the scope of the exemptions and measures to help the digitally excluded;
  • the robustness of the proposed timetable from the perspective of each of the groups affected, including the software industry, different taxpayer groups (such as small businesses and landlords), intermediaries and HMRC;
  • the adequacy of the proposed measures to simplify the calculation of taxable profits and basis periods and the timing of their introduction; and
  • the consequential revisions to the penalty regime

Written evidence on the background and general issues should reach the Committee by 3 February 2017. Written evidence on the draft clauses should reach the Committee by 15 February 2017.

The FSBC’s report is expected to be published by the end of March 2017.

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