The Government have recently announced a 10-year strategy to build a modern tax administration systems and as part of this they have begun a consultation period which lasts until 13 July 2021. This will involve a “call for evidence” approach which focuses on the benefits and challenges of the current tax payment system with a view to reducing the gap between when income/profits increase and income tax or corporation tax is paid.
As with any new scheme there will be some issues to overcome. For example, how do you consider payments that are made under the income self-assessment heading or corporation tax for small companies, as these do not fall under the quarterly tax instalments?
How it currently stands
As it currently stands any self-employed taxpayer who has just started trading will have up to 22 months to pay their first tax bill. For an established trader, payment will typically be made twice a year and a balancing payment on any outstanding liability.
If we look at corporation tax there is also a delay between making profit and when a corporation payment is due. Payment is due in 1 instalment no later than 9 months after a company’s accounting period.
The need for change
The current situation brings with it a range of issues, having a large liability to pay at a specific time of the year can cause problems, especially when a tax bill comes out higher than what was expected. Changing this to a more regular payment based on the end of year reports could provide more accurate figures and greater control.
The HMRC are focussed on trying to improve how they receive funds, especially considering that 34% of their outstanding debts are for income tax and corporation tax.
What are the plans?
Consideration is being given to whether payments should be on either a monthly or a quarterly basis. As it stands HMRC are exploring all options.
Tax payments could be calculated in the year, developed as a result of up-to-date information and with projections on annual liability. Alternatively, tax payments could be based around the previous year’s tax liabilities. Finally, it could be based on estimations of the taxpayer’s liability for the operating year.
Of course, all ideas are on the table at the moment. The focus is to develop ideas that can be given careful consideration before a framework for moving forward can be finalised. HMRC also recognises that plans might need to be different for specific industries or taxpayer types.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss your tax liabilities please call us on 01173 700 079 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.