March 25th, 2021.

Millions of self-employed and small businesses face having to pay income and corporate tax bills much earlier, as the Treasury seeks to fill its £31bn tax gap.

The £31bn is the money HMRC should be collecting but falls through the gaps in the current tax system. And small businesses, including freelancers, are the worst miscreants for this, accounting for £13.4bn of this tax gap.

As part of a raft of 30 consultations and updates, the Treasury has proposed bringing forward the payment of income tax self-assessment and corporation tax for small companies. The Treasury suggested accelerating all tax payments after 2024 to fulfil its “vision [for] a tax system that works closer to real time”.

The consultation suggested using the rollout of the requirements on digital filing of tax returns under Making Tax Digital over the next two years to use up-to-date data to “bring the calculation and payment of tax closer to the point where the income or profit arises”.

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