Campaigns Finance and Taxation Reform

Digital tax rollout to start next year

Sally Walmsley
Written by Sally Walmsley

The Government’s Making Tax Digital proposals – requiring landlords to report quarterly to HMRC – will go ahead as planned in April 2018.

The outcome of a consultation into the plans was revealed this week, when it was announced a pilot programme will start in April.

HMRC has, however, said it will review the planned exemption threshold of £10,000. A final figure is expected to be detailed in the Finance Bill in July.

The cost to buy-to-let landlords who are entering the first tranche of quarterly reporting, is estimated at £280, according to the Government – a figure which includes software and training costs.

Landlords can use the cash basis if they are reporting annual income under £150,000 – excluding the largest unincorporated property businesses, which will continue to use the accruals method.

The pilot will involve 300 taxpayers who will be affected by the changes and are already signed up to test the system.

According to the Government 3,000 people responded to the digital tax consultation, with the majority showing ‘overwhelming support’ for the digitisation of tax reporting.

A further consultation is now being launched regarding penalties. The Government says penalties for late submissions will not be enforced during a 12 month launch period and will be asking interested parties for input this spring.

In its response to the plans the RLA warned the Government was rushing through changes and was concerned about the impact and landlords without the necessary technology to report digitally.

However the Government says the new system will help businesses steer clear of errors – reducing the £8 billion a year cost to the public purse and give them a clearer view of their tax position as they go through the year.

Jim Harra, HMRC’s director general for customer strategy and tax design said: “Making Tax Digital will help businesses to get their tax right first time; it will help reduce the likelihood of errors, lower the chance of unwelcome compliance checks and give them greater certainty that they are getting things right.”

To read the findings of the consultation and the Government’s proposals regarding Making Tax Digital click here.

About the author

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley is the Communications Manager for the RLA and award-winning Editor of RPI magazine. With 16 years’ experience writing for regional and national newspapers and magazines she is responsible for producing articles for our Campaigns and News Centre, the weekly E-News newsletter and editorial content for our media partners.

She issues press releases promoting the work of the RLA and its policies and campaigns to the regional and national media and works alongside the marketing team on the association’s social media channels to build support for the RLA and its work.


  • Does this mean we will pay tax quarterly
    And of corse claim any alouable expenses
    Will I no longer need my account to do my books regarding my income from my property’s

  • I have a mix of tenancies, weekly, calendar monthly and for my student properties linked to the four university terms within each year ie 2 of 14 weeks, 1 of 13 weeks and 1 of 10 weeks paid in advance.

    The current annual system works perfectly well for me with the January and July payments on account with balancing each January. I see this causing extra hassle and expense for me without any benefit. I pay my taxes, they certainly won’t get any more out of me whatever the accounting period. If they get some of the free – riding tax evaders into the net as a result, will I pay less? No – but I will be paying much more come 2020 when Section 24 interest rate changes are fully in force.

    It’s all stick and no carrot as far as landlords are concerned these days.

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