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A survey carried out by insurance firm Prudential has suggested that over half of self-employed workers would back plans to expand pensions auto-enrolment, or make pension saving compulsory.
According to the survey, 27% of those polled would support the expansion of pensions auto-enrolment to cover the self-employed, and an additional 27% would back compulsory pension saving.
The survey also revealed that 18% of self-employed workers 'do not believe that pensions apply to them', while 20% stated that they find pensions rules 'very confusing'.
Furthermore, 28% of individuals surveyed reported that they will be reliant on the State Pension as their main source of retirement income.
Commenting on the survey, Vince Smith-Hughes, Head of Business Development at Prudential, said: 'It is clear that the self-employed want help in saving for retirement and that the State Pension alone may not be enough for a comfortable retirement.
'We believe it is important that the government works with the self-employed and the pensions industry to ascertain the most suitable option and put appropriate rules in place as soon as practicable.'
HMRC is phasing in its landmark Making Tax Digital (MTD) regime, which will ultimately require taxpayers to move to a fully digital tax system. The first area to be affected by MTD will be VAT with the new rules being implemented from April 2019.
Under the regulations, businesses with taxable turnover above the VAT threshold (currently £85,000) must keep digital records for VAT purposes and provide their VAT return information to HMRC using ‘functional compatible software’. These new regulations take effect for VAT return periods beginning on or after 1 April 2019.
HMRC has published VAT Notice 700/22: Making Tax Digital for VAT. This Notice defines ‘functional compatible software’ and the transaction-level data that needs to be recorded and retained within the software.
Under the new MTD regulations, businesses will have to use ‘functional compatible software’. This means a ‘software program or set of compatible software programs which can connect to HMRC systems via an Application Programming Interface (API)’. This must be capable of:
• keeping records in digital form as specified by the new rules
• preserving digital records in digital form
• creating a VAT return from the digital records held in compatible software and submitting this data to HMRC digitally
• providing HMRC with VAT data on a voluntary basis
• receiving, via the API platform, information from HMRC to ascertain compliance
With less than 100 days until the online self-assessment tax return deadline, HMRC is urging taxpayers to complete their tax returns early, in order to avoid the last-minute rush.
The deadline for submitting your 2017/18 self-assessment tax return online and paying any tax you owe is 31 January 2019. An automatic penalty of £100 will apply if your return is late.
HMRC revealed that more than 11 million taxpayers completed a self-assessment tax return last year, with a total of 10.7 million finalising their returns on time. 758,707 individuals filed their returns on 31 January, the deadline day.
According to HMRC, a record 93% of taxpayers filed their tax returns online. Paper self-assessment tax returns must be filed by 31 October 2018.
Commenting on the matter, Angela MacDonald, Director General for Customer Services at HMRC, said: 'We want to help people get their tax returns right – starting the process early and giving yourself time to gather all the information you need will help avoid the last minute, stressful rush to complete it on time.'