On 20 January, the Government launched the second in a series of initiatives designed to help businesses level up and ‘build back better’ from the pandemic.
The Help to Grow: Digital scheme will support small businesses to take advantage of the advancements in digital technology.
With Making Tax Digital for VAT (MTDfV) becoming mandatory for all VAT-registered businesses as of April 2022, and with digital links expected to be in place for the first MTD VAT return, this financial backing could make a world of difference to those concerned about the cost of implementing software.
Longer term, MTD will also extend to Income Tax and Corporation Tax, meaning many self-employed individuals and landlords, as well as many more businesses, will be required to comply with the rules. The Help to Grow: Digital scheme is something that can help them to work towards and achieve compliance.
The Government hopes that the initiative will address the fact that some smaller businesses are being held back by an incapacity to explore the benefits that digitisation can bring, often through no fault of their own.
It follows the success of the Help to Grow: Management scheme, which has been running since June 2021 and offers business leaders training in leadership and management.
Eligible businesses will be entitled to receive one financial discount towards the purchase of an approved digital accounting or CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software, up to a maximum of £5,000 for the first 12 months.
It is anticipated that other software product categories will soon be available with discount.
A business from any sector will be deemed eligible if the following conditions are met:
- UK-based and registered with Companies House
- between 5 and 249 employees
- have been actively trading for over 12 months, and have an incorporation date of at least 365 days prior to application
- be purchasing the approved software in question for the first time
A list of the approved providers taking part in the scheme, as well as a helpful software comparison tool, can be found at GOV.UK.