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HMRC scraps Making Tax Digital fines

HMRC has announced that those companies that failed to register and complete a Making Tax Digital return before the first deadline will not be hit with financial penalties.

It is believed that roughly 120,000 companies that were required to file a return using the new digital system by the 7th August deadline did not do so, which amounts to one out of every four companies in the UK. Had HMRC decided to fine those firms, the amount of money involved would have been in the millions, but it has stated that it recognises that UK companies are preoccupied with preparing for Brexit at the end of October and thus it is waiving the fines.

This decision is in accordance with earlier statements from HMRC that it would not apply harsh punishments to companies trying to adjust to Making Tax Digital.

The department said that it would give the 490,000 firms expected to submit Making Tax Digital for VAT returns by the August deadline every possible support. Self assessment accountants are also a useful source of help to firms in this position.

Jim Harra from HMRC told Small Business that they were happy that close to a million firms did register in time, and added:

“Our ambition is to help businesses moving to MTD to get it right, not to penalise them. HMRC’s decision not to enforce penalties will help businesses transition to MTD without fear of getting it wrong.”

The decision fits with other government moves to make no-deal Brexit preparation as easy as possible for businesses.

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