HMRC pauses on digital tax plans


HMRC seems to be putting its flagship “making tax digital” (MTD) project on hold. Instead, it’s all hands on deck at the Brit tax authority to handle its customs IT replacement system post-Brexit.

In an update on the Customs Declaration Service (CDS) IT programme, Jon Thompson, chief exec of HMRC, said the department has proposed a number of projects which should stop – or not start – and a number which should be stretched out over a longer time scale. He said the department will give a full update “in due course.” While some have suggested the project may be scrapped entirely it’s worth remembering that MTD is seen as an effective tool in closing the VAT tax gap, which is something like £13bn. So while a delay seems inevitable it is highly unlikely to be canned outright.