In a post on the gov.uk website this month the Treasury have observed that 65% of senior decision makers confess to losing or not keeping receipts.
Senior Decision Makers in finance and accounting admit to not being the best at keeping receipts, as 65% confess to having lost them, according to a new YouGov poll out today.
The poll run by YouGov for HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) also found that 92% of senior decision makers personally bank online, almost two thirds (62%) support all tax accounts being digitalised and one in four (25%) working in a small business are spending over 10 hours a week on administrative tasks.
They then followed these comments with details of the current drift towards digitisation of tax records. They said:
HMRC is inviting businesses to reduce time spent on paperwork and join its digital revolution by testing the new Making Tax Digital service for submitting VAT returns.
Most businesses above the VAT threshold will need to keep their records digitally and submit their VAT return using compatible software when Making Tax Digital is introduced for periods starting on or after 1 April 2019.
In practice, the vast majority of businesses won’t need to send their first Making Tax Digital return until August at the earliest, but if they aren’t already keeping their records digitally, they will need to start doing so. HMRC are encouraging more businesses to get involved early by getting software and starting to test the service now.
What is not so clear is the link between the two? Are we to suppose that once tuned into the Making Tax Digital initiative it is no longer necessary to keep receipts? Hardly…
If the stats are correct, two-thirds of decision makers are not keeping receipts, and we assume that they are not being penalised by employers or HMRC?
Certainly, we will save a few trees if receipts are abandoned in favour of electronic records: the entries on online bank statements or credit card accounts. The interesting part is that if the present plans to digitise all business records are adopted, instead a piece of paper attached to an expense claim, evidence of payment will be an electronic record. Let’s hope that digital security can keep pace with these changes as it’s not only HMRC that may take an interest.