Finance Bill 2017 – Lords to scrutinse digital taxation for small businesses

23 January 2017

The House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee has set up a Sub-Committee to inquire into the draft Finance Bill 2017.

The Sub-Committee will examine the proposals to Make Tax Digital that will apply to small businesses and residential landlords. These clauses are part of the Government’s plan to ‘make tax digital’ by 2020 for both individuals and businesses. The Government has announced that they will require businesses and private landlords to submit information quarterly to HMRC.

The draft clauses are expected to be published in late January and will provide the detailed operation of this scheme.

The Sub-Committee is inviting written evidence on the policy and the draft clauses. The Sub-Committee is particularly keen to hear from affected small business and landlords. Areas it is particularly interested to hear evidence on are:

  • Evidence underlying the case for the Making Tax Digital proposals and their suggested impact.
  • Evidence base for mandatory digital reporting, in particular the potential impact on the ‘tax gap’ and for HMRC resources.
  • Scope of the exemptions and measures to help the digitally excluded.
  • Robustness of the proposed timetable from the perspective of each of the groups affected, including the software industry, different taxpayer groups (such as small businesses and landlords), intermediaries and HMRC.
  • Adequacy of the proposed measures to simplify the calculation of taxable profits and basis periods and the timing of their introduction.
    • Consequential revisions to the penalty regime.

Written evidence should be submitted online using the written submission form available at This page also provides guidance on submitting evidence.

Written evidence on the background and general issues (points 1 and 2) should reach the Sub-Committee by 3 February 2017.

Written evidence on the draft clauses (points 3 – 6) should reach the Sub-Committee by 15 February 2017. 

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