The government has announced that it is putting back plans to change the rules on digital tax returns.

Mel Stride MP, financial secretary to Treasury, confirmed that the Government will delay plans for the roll out of its Making Tax Digital tax reforms by one year to 2019.

Under the new timetable:

• only businesses with a turnover above the VAT threshold (currently £85,000) will have to keep digital records and only for VAT purposes;

• they will only need to do so from 2019;

• businesses will not be asked to keep digital records, or to update HMRC quarterly, for other taxes until at least 2020.

James Lowman, chief executive of the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS), said: “We welcome that the government has listened to the concerns of local shops across the country and delayed the implementation of the reforms. All our evidence suggested that the cost and administrative burden of Making Tax Digital had not been fully assessed and prepared for.

“The delay will give the government more time to pilot the reforms and business more time to prepare for the changes. We are committed to working with the government on the Making Tax Digital proposals with the new timetable in place.”