As Government plans for digitising tax reporting take shape, a new survey reveals just how unprepared many of the UK’s small businesses are.

The poll has been conducted by the UK 200 Group – representing

independent chartered accountancy and law firms which together service around 150,000 SME clients.

The findings show that the preferred book-keeping methods of small firms in the UK are:

  • 16% use a shoebox for paperwork and just give it to their accountants to sort out;
  • 23% use manual records;
  • 27% use spreadsheets on a computer;
  • 35% use accounting software.

By 2018, small businesses and the self-employed will have to use software to comply with HMRC’s Making Tax Digital project. Only 35% of those polled already use appropriate software, such as Xero. Although they are not yet reporting tax quarterly – as they will have to do by 2018 – the transition should not be too difficult for these businesses.

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