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WGGB welcomes Making Tax Digital U-turn

WGGB has welcomed the Government’s decision to drop its controversial Making Tax Digital reforms.

The proposals, which included quarterly data submissions and covered all businesses with a turnover of more than £10,000, including freelances, were previously branded a “bureaucratic nightmare” by the actors union Equity.

WGGB has been urging its members to lobby their MPs on the issue.

Entertainment union BECTU also raised concerns about the reforms, calling for the sector to be exempted from requirements due to the nature of the work.

Accountants had estimated that the impact on the average self-employed person in the industry could be £1,250 per year, based on the costs of software and tax administration.

But now the Making Tax Digital reforms, which were due to come in from April 2018, have been dropped from the Government’s Finance Bill 2017.

Ellie Peers, WGGB Acting General Secretary, gave a cautious welcome to the news, saying: “Alongside our sister unions, WGGB has been raising concerns about Making Tax Digital with MPs and Lords. If implemented, the proposals would have affected a significant proportion of our members (those earning over £10,000) who would have had to find further resources to meet the additional costs of new software, increased accountancy fees and the additional risk of penalties for late submissions.

“However, the Government has not stated whether this is a permanent deferral or whether it will rear its ugly head again after the General Election in a second Finance Bill. Until the Government makes a complete U-turn and drops the proposal altogether, WGGB will continue to work with our sister unions to lobby against Making Tax Digital.”

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