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Tax return threat to small agencies will be debated by MPs this month

The prospect of quarterly tax returns being imposed on some businesses - including small estate agencies and other small firms servicing our industry - is to be debated by MPs following the success of an online petition.

Between Christmas and New Year, Estate Agent Today reported that as part of the so-called ‘digital revolution’ at HM Revenue & Customs, small businesses and the self-employed would be expected to file their tax returns online from 2020 using free apps on smartphones or via the HMRC website.

One report just after the Chancellor announced the idea in his Autumn Statement in November suggested that the government could raise £600m more tax annually than is the case now, because accounts would be monitored more closely.

An online petition against the proposal quickly gained support, and this week went over the 100,000 signature threshold that triggers a parliamentary debate.

Signatories were emailed by the government on Wednesday to be told that a debate would now be held on January 25.

Debates of this kind are not always held in the chamber of the Commons, and are instead often held in smaller committee rooms - but they do indicate that a large number of people have expressed their concern about the issue.

A former residential chair of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, Jeremy Leaf - who operates an agency in north London - was amongst those tweeting links to the petition when it was seeking supporters.

  • Terence Dicks

    Do we really expect the Political Class is likely to listen to the hoi polloi??


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