There have been a number of responses to HMRC’s consultation about the Making Tax Digital (MTD) programme. Among these, the Association of Taxation Technicians (ATT) has raised concerns about the ongoing cost of MTD for smaller businesses, along with the need to keep digital data secure.

Yvette Nunn, ATT’s Technical Steering Group’s co-chair, pointed out that smaller businesses would have to bear the cost of reporting quarterly profits. Many such companies will use their phones and laptops to submit their returns, but she wondered how many would give any thought about how to keep their data safe. “Many businesses are not sufficiently cyber-savvy” said Nunn, and could therefore be targets for cybercrime and fraud.

She considered that if owners of small businesses are expected to engage digitally with HMRC, and this is expected to be mandatory from 2018, then HMRC should take responsibility for ensuring that taxpayers have sufficient information about cyber security.

Nunn’s response to the consultation document also asked what advantages MTD brings for taxpayers who fully meet their tax obligations with manual record keeping systems.