A petition backed by over 100 thousand people, including thousands of contractors and freelancers who operate through a Limited Company, has recently been launched. Its aim is to counter act the case that the taxman has made, claiming all small businesses require digital accounts.

Financial secretary to the Treasury, David Gauke, recently published ‘Making Tax Digital‘ with an outline of HMRC’s IT-led “transformation” that is expected to be complete by 2020.

Under these proposed plans, individuals including landlords, the self-employed and small business owners such as contractors and freelancers will be required to keep track of their tax affairs digitally by updating their accounts quarterly or more frequently if they choose to.

Speaking prior to the January 2016 consultation on the accounts, Mr Gauke commented:

“Taxpayers shouldn’t have to give HMRC information that it already has, or should be able to get from elsewhere.”

Furthermore he said:

“Better data means fewer mistakes, fewer delays, and a better outcome for all parties…updating HMRC directly in this way will be secure, light-touch and far less burdensome than the tax returns of today.”

Moreover, Mr Gauke stated that the online accounts actually mark “the end of the tax return,” and updating these at least quarterly will not “feel like doing four tax returns a year.”

Although, these comments have failed to reassure more than 100 thousand people that have backed the petition titled: “Scrap plans forcing self-employed & small business to do four tax returns”.

The petition adds: “Each self-employed individual and small business will have the added burden of additional red tape, accountancy fees and potential for fines. The Conservative’s are not working for small businesses in bringing [sic] such legislation but adding burden.”

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