Making Tax Digital for Business: VAT
April 2022 sees the final phase of the introduction of the Making Tax Digital (MTD) for VAT regime. All VAT registered businesses, regardless of turnover, will enter MTD for VAT from their first VAT return period starting on or after 1 April 2022.
Businesses must keep digital records for VAT purposes and provide their VAT return information to HMRC using MTD functional compatible software.
Keeping digital records will not mean businesses are mandated to use digital invoices and receipts but the actual recording of supplies made and received must be digital. It is likely that third party commercial software will be required. Software is not available from HMRC. The use of spreadsheets will be allowed, but they will have to be combined with add-on software to meet HMRC's requirements.
HMRC is looking at a scenario where income tax updates are made quarterly and digitally under the MTD for Income Tax Self Assessment (ITSA) from April 2024.
MTD for Corporation Tax (CT)
The Government is committed to ongoing collaboration with stakeholders on the service design and, following any decision to mandate MTD for CT, will provide sufficient notice ahead of implementation but this will not be mandated before 2026 at the earliest.
Corporation Tax rates
The main rate of CT is 19% for the Financial Year (FY) beginning 1 April 2022. This rate will increase to 25% for the FY beginning on 1 April 2023.
If a company's accounting period straddles more than one FY, the amount of profits for that accounting period must be apportioned to arrive at the tax rate charged.
A small profits rate will be introduced for qualifying companies with no associated companies in the accounting period and profits of £50,000 or less so that they will continue to pay CT at 19%. Companies with profits between £50,000 and £250,000 will pay tax at the main rate reduced by a marginal relief providing a gradual increase in the effective CT rate.
Plant and machinery
A further extension to the temporary increase in the Annual Investment Allowance (AIA) to 31 March 2023 allows 100% tax relief to businesses investing up to £1 million in qualifying expenditure.
The AIA reverts to £200,000 for expenditure incurred on or after 1 April 2023 and special rules apply to accounting periods which straddle these dates.
First Year Allowances (FYA) for companies
For qualifying expenditure which is unused, not second-hand and is incurred on or after 1 April 2021 but before 1 April 2023 a super-deduction of 130% is available where the expenditure would normally qualify for the 18% main rate of writing down allowance or a Special Rate Allowance of 50% for expenditure which would normally attract the 6% special rate of writing down allowance.
For FYAs, what matters is the actual date on which the expenditure is incurred and not the date on which it is treated as incurred.
Businesses incurring expenditure on plant and machinery should carefully consider the timing of their acquisitions to optimise their cashflow. In 2023, not only will the tax relief rules for expenditure on plant and machinery change, but for companies the percentage of CT relief on that expenditure may change as well.
Preventing abuse of the R&D tax relief
From April 2023 a number of changes are proposed to the regimes from both existing schemes of relief which will include the expansion of relief to cloud and data computing.
Claims for relief will have to be made digitally and more detail will be required within the claim. Each claim will need to be endorsed by a named senior officer of the company and companies will need to inform HMRC, in advance, that they plan to make a claim. Claims will also need to include details of any agent who has advised the company on compiling the claim.
A temporary increase in cultural tax reliefs for theatres, orchestras, museums and galleries across the UK will apply until 31 March 2024, increasing the relief organisations can claim as they invest in new productions and exhibitions.
From 1 April 2022 changes will also be introduced to better target the cultural reliefs and ensure that they continue to be safeguarded from abuse.
The Residential Property Developer Tax
The Residential Property Developer (RPDT) will be introduced on the very largest property developers for accounting periods beginning on or after 1 April 2022.
Broadly RPDT is a charge of 4% treated as corporation tax on the profits of the residential property developer over an allowance of £25 million in a 12-month period.