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UK’s biggest tech company criticises Making Tax Digital ‘doom-mongering’ and says the right support could propel small businesses growth

Small business accounting expert Sage says it will provide free products and help businesses embrace the digital age to become more competitive

London, 6th April 2017: The UK’s largest tech company has criticised ‘doom-mongering’ around the Government’s Making Tax Digital programme, saying that the program could support growth and productivity in the nation’s small businesses. It has however called on government and industry bodies to provide mentoring, training and products to ensure Britain can compete in the digital age.

In a speech at Sage Summit, one of the largest events for entrepreneurs, Alan Laing, Sage UK’s Managing Director will say: “We have long campaigned to address the red tape and bureaucracy that holds back small businesses and we know that change and technology can sometimes be daunting – but the truth is that if government play this right, it is a huge opportunity.

“We think many of the claims about the costs of set-up and compliance are exaggerated – going as far as doom-mongering in some cases. Many businesses will already be using technology and internet-accessible mobile devices as well as products like Sage that can be easily adapted to comply. And for those that aren’t, digitising will ensure their finances are more accurate, secure and ultimately their businesses more efficient, so they can focus on growth. Similarly, accountants will be able to provide more valuable advisory and support services.”

In April 2018, businesses will move to submitting quarterly tax returns, following a pilot year that begins this month.

Sage will ensure its customers are MTD compliant and has committed to providing free MTD capability for businesses below the VAT-threshold. Sage has also been engaging with HMRC on behalf of its customers and has been publishing guidance, support and training as well as running interactive support for accountants.

Laing will make the comments at Sage Summit UK, where speakers including star of BBC Dragon’s Den, Deborah Meaden, and Founder of SB.tv, Jamal Edwards, will inspire more than 5,000 business builders in London’s Excel arena.

Sage Summit UK is being supported by Diamond sponsors: Microsoft and PwC; Platinum sponsors: Draycir, Kimble Applications and Deloitte and Gold sponsors: Aviva Life Services UK Ltd, Certify, Elavon, humanforce, The People's Pension and Pinnacle.