The Country, Land and Business Association (CLA) has voiced concerns that rural business owners, such as South West caravan and holiday park vendors, are likely to face complications under the Government’s plans for Making Tax Digital (MTD).
The comments, which come in response to an HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) consultation which closed on 7 November, suggest that the rural economy could be “thrown into chaos” under the steadfast proposals, which insist that all tax systems in the UK will be 100 per cent digital by 2020.
CLA President, Ross Murray, suggested that the Government ought to tackle the issue of internet connectivity in rural communities prior to ‘forcing’ taxpayers and businesses to submit tax information online.
“We support new technology which aims to make life simpler for businesses but the Government must look at the whole picture before MTD,” he said.
“Rollout of superfast rural broadband has been too slow and the Government’s Universal Service Obligation (USO) of 10Mbps by 2020 is not guaranteed to be met.
“Current broadband technology in the UK means download speeds are faster than upload speeds, so the Government must reassure businesses they will not be unfairly penalised as a result of poor connectivity when trying to complete and submit tax information online.”
“It is crucial in view of previous Government digital systems failures such as the RPA that HMRC should reflect on the lessons learned from that project to avoid a serious breakdown in the system which would cause yet more chaos for the rural economy.”
At Milsted Langdon, our tax specialists are highly experienced in helping caravan and holiday parks maximise their profitability and minimise their tax burden. We can also offer support with online accounting systems such as Xero to aid a smooth transition toward Making Tax Digital compliance. For more information on how we can help you, please contact us.