Self-employed businesses can voluntarily use software to manage their business records digitally and send income tax updates to HMRC, following the opening of its Making Tax Digital (MTD) pilot.
The pilot became available to sole traders with income from one business from 15 March 2018.
This means those who participate in the pilot can also see an estimate of how much tax may be owed as they go, instead of waiting until the end of the tax year.
Starting with this voluntary phase, MTD will be gradually introduced to businesses and taxpayers in the coming years.
From 2019, businesses with annual taxable turnover above the VAT threshold (currently £85,000) will be required to keep digital records for VAT purposes only and submit quarterly reports to HMRC.
By 2020, the scheme is on course to extend to most businesses and taxpayers.
Business owners who choose to manage their records digitally will need to use MTD-compliant software, a list of which can be found on the HMRC website.
However, the list only contains 2 software suppliers at the time of writing, with more suppliers expected to emerge as the pilot scheme progresses.
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