The tax man is urging landlords to keep better financial records with the help of apps on their mobile phones.
A list of several providers offering mostly free apps for a range of mobile operating systems, like Android, Windows and Apple is on the HM revenue and Customs website.
The apps are for any small business that is not VAT registered – although some of the providers offer other software for larger businesses that are VAT registered.
The aim is to for landlords to keep more detailed and timely records of their business income and outgoings.
David Gauke, Exchequer Secretary, said: “These apps help take forward our commitment to tax transparency in a very direct and practical way. They can help SMEs feel more confident about their record-keeping and provide a direct link to the business’s finances, freeing up time which can be better spent on the day-to-day running of the business.”
HMRC is expanding business financial record checking and inspectors can fine landlords up to £3,000 for failing to keep accounts.
The move is part of a shift in tax investigation that lets HMRC visit businesses before tax returns are submitted to look at paperwork rather than querying errors once a return is submitted.
This plugs a catch-22 loophole that often prevented tax inspectors querying tax due if a landlord had not submitted a tax return.
Naomi Ferguson, Director Business Customer and Strategy, HMRC, said: “More and more small businesses use smart phones as part of their business. These apps will provide the opportunity to keep track of records on the go, wherever business people are. Record-keeping is often an add-on to day-to-day running of small businesses and the apps will hopefully help to make it an integral part of the business.
“We are really excited to see the arrival of the record-keeping mobile apps. The consultation with the software industry has been a positive process and has led to a number of high quality apps being available. We welcomed the opportunity to work with them to help customers with their record-keeping responsibilities and access our guidance.”