BUSINESSES across the region are being advised to take advantage of new technology in adopting a new tax system.

New research compiled by Volterra and Intuit Quickbooks suggests that early adoption and integration of the new Making Tax Digital system could lead to a £57 billion pay-out for SMEs across the country over the next five years.

According to the report, entitled The Productivity Payout: UK Small Businesses and the Digital Economy, says that Making Tax Digital, the digitisation of VAT in April 2019 will immediately catalyse an annual benefit of £500m in the West Midlands and £6.9bn nationally. Over the next five years SMEs could see net gains of £46bn in turnover and growth for the UK economy.

Chris Evans, VP and UK Country Manager at Intuit QuickBooks said: “Now is the time for small businesses in the West Midlands to embrace digital with unabated optimism.

"Today’s report highlights that a digital-led approach will be transformational for small businesses, who are the backbone of the UK economy.

“For those businesses, the transition to digital will not be without stumbling blocks. However, it presents a huge opportunity to streamline operations, drive efficiencies and simplify tax.

"It will enhance cashflow management and allow them to get paid faster and access capital to grow, powering prosperity across the UK.”

Andrew Chamberlain, Deputy Director of Policy and External Affairs at the Association of Independent Professionals and Self Employed said: “This report sets out a clear and positive view on the benefits that digitisation can bring, not just to self-employed businesses, but to the economy as a whole.

"But there are challenges too. The roll-out of Making Tax Digital must be carefully handled to ensure businesses can transition to digital systems over a sensible time frame and with considerable support from both government and industry.”