After a week of poorly kept secrets and rumours, today saw an official HMRC announcement delaying their flagship project Making Tax Digital. This is important for all self-employed people as it means you won’t need to report your income quarterly to HMRC until after April 2026. The quarterly reporting would be in addition to submitting your annual self-assessment to HMRC, however the exact detail as to how it will work practically is somewhat sketchy.
Key points from today’s announcement by Victoria Atkins, Financial Secretary to the Treasury are:
- A two-year delay until April 2026 for mandatory making tax digital quarterly filing;
- Annual income required for quarterly filing from April 2026 has increased to £50,000;
- Those earning more than £30,000 will be mandated to join the scheme in 2027;
The situation for sole traders earning less than £30,000 will be reviewed to see if making tax digital can be shaped to meet the needs of smaller businesses.
The Making Tax Digital project has been underway for many years, and has been controversial for many reasons including that not everyone has access to digital options, software testing is incomplete, progress is slow and there seems to be a myriad of technical detail still to be ironed out. One such detail is the fact that the quarterly reports submitted to HMRC won’t automatically link to your annual self-assessment! This is surely an obvious point which must be high up on the list to be resolved before making tax digital can be launched.