MTD timetable “unrealistic and unattainable,” study reveals

The Government’s timetable for Making Tax Digital (MTD) is “unrealistic and unattainable,” according to a new study.

The comments come from a survey of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) and financial sector professionals, carried out by a UK recruitment website.

In the survey, 69 per cent of respondents said that they supported the MTD project – but 76 per cent stressed that they thought HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) was too ambitious with its timescales.

Time and again, the Revenue has insisted that all UK tax will be ‘100 per cent digital by 2020’ – yet the majority of SMEs have suggested that a revised deadline of 2025/26 would be more “realistic”.

SMEs and professionals working alongside owner-managed businesses have suggested that Britain’s businesses need more time to set up and implement MTD software, train staff and eliminate any potential transition issues to ensure a smooth process.

These concerns were echoed by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) in recent weeks.

Mike Cherry, policy director at the FSB, said that a revised deadline of 2025 would “enable businesses to latch on to [anything] that does not work after being properly tested”.

He added that for many small businesses, the game-changing MTD project was “creating a perfect storm”.