Raymond Doherty 7 Jun 2018 09:31am

Brexit to delay Making Tax Digital, report claims

Brexit could cost the Revenue “billions” of pounds by delay a significant number of digital projects

There are 39 such projects that HMRC will have to put on the back burner while it focuses on customs after Brexit. This list of projects has been given to MPs and seen by the Times.

One of the projects in danger of delay is its flagship Making Tax Digital programme, according to the report.

A Revenue spokesperson said, “HMRC has carefully considered the scale and pace of its transformation to ensure that it can deliver work to support EU Exit. We’ve been open with MPs and stakeholders about the impact of these changes. Our ambition to become one of the world’s most digitally-advanced tax authorities remains unchanged.”

HMRC said that MTD will be mandated for VAT for those businesses with income above the VAT threshold from April 2019, as planned. It added that some transformation projects have been reprioritised.

A report earlier this year by the Public Accounts Committee warned HMRC that it has bitten off more than it can chew with its major transformation programme, even without the demands of Brexit.

“What was already a precarious high-wire act is now being battered by the winds of Brexit, with potentially catastrophic consequences,” it said.

Yesterday HMRC chief executive Jon Thompson defended his claims, made earlier this month, that the “max fac” customs system preferred by some members of the cabinet could cost UK businesses between £17bn and £20bn per year.