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Making Tax Digital pilot up and running

With six months to go until the first stage of HMRC’s Making Tax Digital is introduced, the tax office has rolled out its first test pilot.

HMRC has invited more than half a million business owners with ‘straightforward’ accounts to road-test the new model.

At the end of October, a further 100,000 business owners will be able to apply for entry onto the pilot. However, companies which trade with European Union State members, charities, and businesses which pay VAT on account are among those businesses who remain excluded from the pilot.

Following the pilot’s introduction, Brian Palmer, tax policy expert at the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT), urged small business owners to sign-up as soon as possible.


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“If your business is in a position to do it makes total sense to engage with the pilot as soon as possible. That way, you can get fully involved with the opportunity to test the system in full, and train up all affected employees and clients where needed. In addition, you’ll be in a position to let HMRC know of any remaining teething problems prior to the role out.

“If your business isn’t ready to join the pilot, I’d strongly advise that you start planning immediately to ensure the business can join well ahead of next April.

“Of the 150 or so providers who have said they will provide MTD-compliant software, over 70 have already had their solutions recognised on HMRC’s website. If you think it wise to test the system in full before next April and your provider is ready, there’s little point in waiting, you might as enrol to join the pilot straight away.”

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