The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has called on the Treasury to delay the implementation of Making Tax Digital (MTD) for VAT until 2020.
The demand follows the recommendation by a House of Lords committee to delay the programme by at least one year, saying the costs to small businesses of the programme will be far more than HMRC’s impact assessment.
MTD is changing the way retailers submit their VAT return from April 2019, requiring them to keep their VAT records digitally and use software to submit returns. The policy reforms aim to reduce the tax gap and help businesses have a more accurate overview of their tax affairs.
ACS is calling for this change to be delayed by a year until 2020 to allow businesses more time to prepare for the reforms and MTD for other taxes to be delayed until 2022.
James Lowman, chief executive, of the ACS, said: “We support the view of the Economic Affairs Committee that the government should delay the implementation of Making Tax Digital for another 12 months to give retailers more time to prepare for the change. HMRC have not allocated enough time to learn from their pilot programme and awareness amongst small business owners is low.”