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Digital records will soon be compulsory
The government will require unincorporated businesses with income of £10,000 per year or more that don’t currently use software to keep financial records, soon to do so. Companies will have to use digital record keeping no matter what the level of their income. For example, the new regime will include landlords who receive rents, etc. of more than £10,000 per year.
The government will provide free apps to help businesses. However, these won’t be sufficiently comprehensive for some and therefore you may have to purchase commercial software. This can be relatively cheap, less than £100 per year for a small business, but using software isn’t as simple as keeping manual records. Most require a working knowledge of double-entry accounting, which may mean having to pay a bookkeeper instead of doing it yourself.
Although the deadline given is “by 2020”, the government also says that some businesses will need to comply with digital record keeping by April 2018. It doesn’t say which!
Our advice would be that, if you keep records manually, you should start planning for the change now. Look for suitable software and someone who knows, or can learn, how to use it.
If you are in any doubt about your position in relation to this issue, please talk to your usual Thomas Croft contact as soon as possible.