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'Common sense' to exempt small businesses from tax update requirement

Published 15/08/2016

Small businesses will get an exemption
Small businesses will get an exemption

More than one million small businesses are to be exempt from controversial new requirements to update HM Revenue and Customs every three months on their tax affairs, the Government has announced.

HMRC said the decision not to push ahead with quarterly reporting and digital record keeping for the smallest businesses and landlords followed "months of constructive engagement" with the sector.

Around 1.3 million businesses, landlords and self-employed individuals are expected to benefit from the changes to the scheme originally set out by then chancellor George Osborne in last year's spring Budget.

Andrew Tyrie, the chairman of the Commons Treasury Committee which had raised concerns about the plan, welcomed the concessions but warned they probably did not go far enough.

"Exempting those small firms and the self-employed whose primary income from a business is below £10,000 is welcome. It's also common sense," he said.

"They should have been given this exemption in the first place. Still, those businesses above the threshold will still be left with what could be a heavy administrative burden."

Treasury Minister Jane Ellison said: "This new system will make the UK's tax administration more efficient and straightforward, and will offer businesses greater clarity when it comes to paying their tax bills."

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