HMRC “apps” initiative welcomed

Published on 4 May 2012

HMRC have been working in conjunction with software providers to provide "apps" (applications on smartphones) which enable small businesses to keep their records more easily. LITRG welcomes such "educational" initiatives which can show HMRC in a far more favourable light than some of their compliance campaigns aimed at the same businesses.

HMRC have recently been setting out the kind of records that they would like small businesses to keep to support their profit statements for tax purposes. Anything which helps such businesses perform better in what is often the most boring part of their activity, the keeping of records, is to be welcomed.

This useful joint initiative between HMRC and BASDA (the trade body for software developers) will enable small businesses (those with annual sales of below £77,000) to record their income and expenses while on the move. The apps can also provide an estimate of the businesses’ tax liability.

The result of this joint effort is a range of apps for smartphones and some software which can also be used on ordinary computers. The apps are mostly free to download. HMRC list the applications on their website, but do not endorse or confirm the suitability of the products and neither does LITRG.

Apps can be useful tools for some businesses to keep up to date with their bookkeeping. However, it is important not to rely solely on their tax estimation calculations as there are many other factors which could affect a business’ tax charge; for example, capital allowances and expenses which are disallowable for tax purposes (such as customer entertaining).

(04-05-2012)

Contact – Claire Thackaberry (please use form at http://www.litrg.org.uk/ContactUs)