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More businesses helped with filing online tax returns

With just three days until the deadline for paper tax returns for the 2015-16 financial year, new figures show that nine-in-ten tax returns are now submitted online, with the days of the paper return increasingly numbered.

Statistics from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) found that only 11 per cent of 2015 tax returns were submitted on paper; accounting for just 1.14 million of the 10.39 million tax returns filed with HMRC.

April 2018 is the current proposed deadline for paper based returns to be phased out as part of the Government’s Making Tax Digital proposals. These plans also include phasing out the tax return altogether by 2020, with businesses then required to keep digital financial records and update HMRC on a quarterly basis online.

According to recent research conducted by FreeAgent, almost half (45 per cent) of survey respondents believe Making Tax Digital will make their life easier, while only 20 per cent said they felt digital tax would make things harder for them.

Ed Molyneux, CEO and co-founder, FreeAgent, said: “Making Tax Digital is undoubtedly one of the biggest changes made to the UK tax system for a generation and will start to impact businesses from as early as 2018.

“This research, however, highlights that many micro-businesses still need more information about how tax digitisation will actually work.

“Contrary to some beliefs, businesses will not need to file a tax return every three months in future.

“Instead, businesses will need to send summary data to HMRC about their business each quarter, or more often if the business prefers.”

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