Skip to content

Entrepreneurs Panel

Michael Oliver
Julie Meyer
Debbie Pierce
Jennie Johnson
Brian Hay
Richard O'Sullivan
David Pollock
Charlie Mullins
Steve Purdham
Tony Caldeira
Jeremy Roberts
Laura Tenison

Watchdog slams Government plan for quarterly digital tax returns

Government plans to force small firms to submit quarterly digital tax returns will be more burdensome than current arrangements and will increase record keeping and compliance costs, an independent watchdog has said.

The Administrative Burdens Advisory Board, which has oversight over HMRC, said it has "significant concerns" over the plans, adding "compulsory digital record keeping and quarterly online updates is not an approach we can endorse".

It expressed "reservations around the current capability of software being able to deliver HMRC's vision" as well as the appetite among small firms to use what is currently an untested digital tax returns platform.

The ABAB also said it was "surprised and disappointed" that the Government decided to announce the policy without consultation as part of the Autumn Statement - "particularly that given our close engagement and relationship with HMRC we were not informed of the intentions earlier".

Mike Cherry, national chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: "The writing is on the wall as more and more small businesses are making clear their concerns about this poorly thought out plan.

"Forcing small firms to pay for expensive digital accounting software so they must submit extra tax returns is not going to help anyone. It will simply add to the cost of doing business in the UK. These proposals will also substantially increase administrative burdens - particularly for the smallest businesses.

"When every independent body and expert is lining up to tell you to stop, slowdown and think again, it might be time to take a breather and listen to their concerns."

  • Kathryn Parsons, co-founder of Decoded, started with little more than faith and determination, but four years later it’s grown into a global business. Ahead of her appearance at Accelerate 2015 in...

  • Author, writer and marketer Ryan Holiday on how entrepreneurs need to interpret failure.

  • Sue Vizard, business coach and author of Jump Start: The Start-up Book for Your Dream Business, looks at some of the questions solo entrepreneurs should ask themselves.

  • Ian Wright, founder and chief executive of, is bringing together SMEs and NEDs - without the hefty recruitment fees.

  • Former professional golfer turned entrepreneur Colin Stevens has had a busy 18 months. The Better Bathrooms founder has increased turnover at the firm, secured a multi-million pound investment and...

Five Minutes With

Reputation is everything when it comes to running a successful business, according to Sacha Lord-Marchionne and Sam Kandel, founders of the Warehouse Project (WHP), a series of club nights featuring DJs from all over the world, which was launched back in 2006.

After travelling the world in a corporate role, Mike Wheeler decided that he had had enough of living out of a suitcase and so got a job running a small family business.