MTD’s introduction has again been postponed, with the new date now two years away in April 2026. HMRC says this latest deferral will give businesses and individuals, accountants and HMRC more time to transfer to the new system.
The Treasury has cited difficult economic conditions for business as one of the main reasons for the delay, adding that implementing the change gradually will help maximise MTD’s benefits. MTD for Income Tax aims to make the process more real-time and less error prone.
Anish Mehta, APARI’s chief product officer and part of HMRC’s MTD team before joining APARI, said HMRC recognised that pushing back MTD would negatively impact on many software developers.
He added: “Our MTD software was the first to gain recognition by HMRC. In our 1:1 conversations with HMRC senior leadership this week, they recognised that APARI is good to go.”
“Despite this move, APARI will continue to work closely with HMRC’s team on the roll out. HMRC is still committed to its 10-year tax administration strategy and didn’t want this delay. MTD is yet another casualty of the current political situation we’re in.”
As well as the two-year wait, there are also changes to when various categories of taxpayer will be caught by MTD. Those with combined business and property turnover of more than £50,000 will be first to have to keep digital records and update HMRC every quarter. One year later, the rules will apply above £30,000 of turnover. For those with turnover below £30,000, a decision on when MTD should apply will be made in the next six months.
Anish said “This means there is now a sliding scale of when groups will be mandated to adopt MTD. Some 740,000 UK taxpayers will switch to MTD in April 2026 while 1.6m people will be covered from April 2027. The millions of taxpayers with turnover between £10,000 and £30,000 are yet to have their fate determined.”
He added that despite this latest news, digitalisation of tax is still the future. “By 2025-26 the Government will have spent almost £900 million on building the MTD system, which is a measure of its commitment to the programme.
January is our annual reminder of how inefficient the current tax return system is. It is the perfect prompt to look at how software and apps can make tax doable. Our tax software is unique as it can be used for MTD or to complete the normal annual tax return for self-assessment.
He concluded: “Taxpayers and accountants now have longer until they’re forced into change by Government, but this delay should not prevent them from pressing ahead.”