The pilot scheme for Making Tax Digital (MTD) for income tax is now open for self-employed workers and landlords. The scheme becomes mandatory for accounting periods commencing on or after 6 April 2023, so those who join now will get ahead of the game.
The first phase of MTD for income tax will be mandatory if your taxable turnover from self-employment or income from property is above £10,000. If you want to be one of the early adopters in the pilot scheme, there are various conditions that you will need to meet.
Who can join?
You can only join if you are a sole trader with income from just one business, a landlord renting out UK property, or both. If you need to report income from other sources, such as employment, pensions, or capital gains, then you cannot currently join. The other conditions should not be a problem for most:
• UK resident;
• registered for self assessment, and
• up to date with tax returns and payments.
Your accountant can sign you up if you make a request.
To join the pilot, you will need to use software that is compatible with MTD for income tax. Be warned that only five fully compatible products covering both self-employment and property are currently listed by HMRC, although this includes two with free versions.
You’ll need to keep digital records of all your business income and expenses, starting from the beginning of the accounting period you sign up for, and send updates to HMRC. At the end of the period, you will submit a final declaration instead of a self-assessment tax return.
If you’re already using software to keep records, you should almost certainly wait for your provider to update their product to be compatible with MTD for income tax rather than switching providers just to join the pilot scheme. HMRC’s list of software compatible with MTD for income tax can be found here.