A consultation has been launched by HMRC to change the current basis periods for the self-employed to align with the tax year. Whilst initially only a consultation draft legislation suggests it's inevitable. It does also align with Making Tax Digital (MTD) coming into effect for income tax, which currently only applies to VAT. Way back in my HMRC days I recall the introduction of self-assessment (originally termed simplified assessing!) where it was pointed out the system pushed everyone to have a 31 March/5 April year end. Well here we are, a long time later admittedly but it's happening. The year 2022/23 is to be a transitional year with profits of the usual year end plus "transitional" profits to following 31 March/5 April. All overlap relief is to be used and no further overlap will be created. Inevitably this will involve estimates, which will have to be corrected later at additional cost. Furthermore, those wishing to make pension contributions will face potential difficulties in calculating their annual allowance. The slight silver lining is the any resulting additional profits arise because of the change can be spread over five years up to and including 2027/28. One can only hope tax increases are not announced that will further add to the burden.
It is an apparently reasonable proposal: a change in the basis period rules eliminates overlap relief and makes the eventual transition to Making Tax Digital a little easier.