Plans to simplify the way businesses pay tax have been outlined by Financial Secretary to the Treasury, David Gauke.

The Secretary revealed the introduction of digital tax accounts at the Britain, Europe and Tax Competition conference, hosted by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors in London.

The new accounts will herald the end of the tax return, Mr Gauke said. 

They are designed to be synchronised with a small firm’s business software, enabling the company to view an estimated tax bill in real time. Businesses will have the option of setting up regular payments in order to better manage their cash flows. 

Mr Gauke also aims to expand the role and capacity of the Office for Tax Simplification.

“We might not be able to make people enjoy paying tax but at least we can make it simpler,” he said.

John Thompson, chief executive of the Association of Plumbing and Heating Contractors, said: “Many small businesses, especially those with fluctuating cash flows, can struggle to cover their taxation costs year-to-year.

“For this reason, we fully endorse the government’s plans to introduce digital tax accounts, which should help small firms to better manage their cash flows by allowing them to make estimates and schedule in early payments.”