Agent Update: issue 85 – GOV.UK

Dee Yonker

This month’s content Technical updates and reminders Developments and changes to legislation and allowances relating to UK tax including: Coronavirus (COVID-19) articles giving information on: UK Transition: Tax: Making Tax Digital: HMRC agent services: Details of live consultations and links to responses, changes to HMRC service and guidance, including: Agent […]

This month’s content

Technical updates and reminders

Developments and changes to legislation and allowances relating to UK tax including:

Coronavirus (COVID-19) articles giving information on:

UK Transition:

Tax:

Making Tax Digital:

HMRC agent services:

Details of live consultations and links to responses, changes to HMRC service and guidance, including:

Agent forum and engagement

Latest updates from the partnership between HMRC and the main agent representative bodies. Including:

Technical Updates and Reminders

COVID-19

Find updated guidance for employers, businesses and employees, and more information on financial support for business.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The deadline for Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) claims for periods in June 2021 is Wednesday 14 July 2021. If you submit claims for clients, you can help them to understand how to use furlough flexibly and their employer obligations.

You can claim before, during or after your client’s payroll is processed. It’s best to encourage your clients to provide the exact number of hours their employees will work, so you do not need to amend the claim later.

Remind your clients that they must pay the associated employee tax and National Insurance contributions to HMRC. This is a condition of applying for the grant, so not doing so will mean they’ll need to repay the whole of the CJRS grant and they may not be able to claim for future CJRS grants.

Changes to CJRS grants from July 2021

The UK Government will continue to pay 80% of furloughed employees’ usual wages for the hours not worked, up to a cap of £2,500 per month, to the end of June 2021.

In July 2021, CJRS grants will cover 70% of employees’ usual wages for the hours not worked, up to a cap of £2,187.50. In August 2021 and September 2021, this will then reduce to 60% of employees’ usual wages up to a cap of £1,875.

Employers will need to pay the 10% difference in July 2021 (20% in August 2021 and September 2021), so that they can continue to pay their furloughed employees at least 80% of their usual wages for the hours they do not work during this time, up to a cap of £2,500 per month.

To help you and your clients plan ahead for all future claim periods, the CJRS calculator is available to help you work out how much you can claim.

Use our updated CJRS template to make claiming easier    

We’ve updated our process for bulk claims to make it easier to add your clients’ details.

You can now use a template if employers are claiming for between 16-99 employees, and another if they are claiming for 100 or more employees. If you or your clients already use our previous 100 or more template, you will not need to download a new version and third-party software incorporating this will still work. You must enter all of the information in the right format before uploading the completed template so that their claim is processed quickly and successfully.

We’ve updated the process to help employers get their claim right first time and provide all the information needed to make sure their claims are not delayed or stopped. For example, if employers cannot provide a National Insurance number for an employee, you can now select a reason for this.

If you or your clients make a mistake, the template will highlight it to help you put it right before the claim is submitted. Mistakes that will be highlighted include:

  • details input in the wrong format
  • given incorrect details
  • duplicated or not given required information

Remind your clients not to change the format of the template before they submit it, as that will not be accepted by our system.

You and your clients can find everything you’ll need to make a claim on GOV.UK, including our updated templates, a useful calculator and guidance on the information you need to provide and in what format, to make sure a claim is accepted.

Further support

You and your clients can sign up to receive regular email updates from HMRC, to keep up to date with the latest information on our COVID-19 schemes. You can simply register and add the subscription topics you’re interested in.

Many agents have also benefitted from our webinars which offer information on the CJRS, other government support and how it applies to your clients.

Further support on COVID-19 schemes

You and your clients can sign up to receive regular email updates from HMRC, to keep up to date with the latest information on our COVID-19 schemes. You can simply register and add the subscription topics you’re interested in.

Many agents have also benefitted from our webinars which offer information on the CJRS, other government support and how it applies to your clients.

Relaunch of Agent Dedicated Line and service developments

HMRC’s work has been at the centre of the government’s response to COVID-19. Whether that’s by administering the support schemes, changing our operational approach or through more than 80 other policy changes.

Providing this support has been resource intensive and this has had implications for our day-to-day operations. We have strived to maintain our levels of customer service but acknowledge that we have not been able to offer the level of service that we would like, particularly on the Agent Dedicated Line.

Relaunch of Agent Dedicated Line

We are pleased that we are now able to trial a relaunch of the Agent Dedicated Line. To help us provide priority access for agents, we are expecting agents to use digital services where these are available and to get information from clients where this is possible.

We are trialling a prioritised support service (Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm on 0300 200 3311) from the 14 June 2021 and we expect calls to this line to be answered within 10 minutes. It will help us to maintain the service if agents spread calls throughout the day rather than phoning as soon as the helpline opens. We’ll keep your representative bodies informed about how we perform against this target.

We want to remind you of the following digital services.

Progress chasing – our ‘Where’s My Reply? for tax agents – tells you when you will get a reply on PAYE and SA returns and correspondence and we have recently done some work to make it more reliable. We are currently looking to add other taxes and will tell you as soon as we have done so. You can contact the helpline if the expected reply date has passed.

Report a phishing email, phone call or scam text.

Report a death.

Request an SA302 (for mortgage applications).

Your clients can get information on their pay and tax and employment histories in their personal tax account. We are working on developing services to allow agents to access this information.

Where you can get the information you need from your client, that’s what we expect you to do.

Where there are digital services, we expect you to use them. We will not be offering phone support for these services, other than when you need support to get you back online.

Service developments

We will continue to develop more digital services for agents, with a view to materially reducing your need to phone us.

Examples of some that we are currently working on are:

Forms processing. We are looking at ways to process claims more efficiently. We’re working with our IT colleagues on how we can use scanning technology to help us improve the processing of R40 (PPI interest taxed at source) and other high demand forms.

Agent authorisation processes. Longer term, we are looking at ways to streamline agent client authorisation processes while retaining security and General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) requirements, developing smoother access to client information.

Agent Income Record Viewer. HMRC has developed an Agent Income Record Viewer service, which provides agents with their client’s pay and tax details, employment history and tax code details. It involves a digital handshake which needs to be completed by your client, this is to protect your client’s security and comply with our GDPR obligations.

This tool is still in private beta testing and so is limited to a small number of agents but we can now extend the service to a further 200 agents. If you would like to be part of this trial, contact Denise Beat at [email protected] We hope to be able to extend this service to all agents in the future.

Thank you for patience during the pandemic. We will continue to develop these services and keep you updated.

UK Transition

Reminder of changes to the Merchandise in Baggage exports process from July 2021

This is a reminder that from 1 July 2021, there will be changes to how your clients export commercial goods out of Great Britain(England, Wales and Scotland) in their accompanied baggage or small vehicle (also known as Merchandise in Baggage).

When a full export declaration is submitted, the goods will be automatically ‘arrived’. This means traders will no longer need to present their goods to a Border Force officer at airports or ports of departure with red channels. Ports without red channels will no longer require completion of a C1601 for the National Clearance Hub (NCH) to arrive the goods.

This change only applies to CHIEF users. The process for traders on the Customs Declaration Service will remain the same for the time being, however these changes will be made for Customs Declaration Service at a later date.

You must submit a full export declaration before you leave Great Britain if your goods:

  • have a value of more than £1,500
  • weigh more than 1,000kg
  • are restricted goods
  • are alcohol, tobacco or fuel (excise goods)
  • need a licence (controlled goods)
  • are being put into a customs special procedure

If you do not need to make a full declaration, you can make an online declaration in the 5 days before you leave with your goods. You can also add goods to a declaration you’ve already made as long as all the goods combined do not exceed the total value of £1,500, weigh less than 1000 kilograms and are not controlled goods.

If you want to know more about the rules for Merchandise in Baggage, you can watch our new video and read our travellers’ communications pack. For more information, read the full Taking commercial goods out of Great Britain in your baggage guidance.

Share these with your clients if they would like to find out more about carrying commercial goods in accompanied luggage or a small motor vehicle.

Postponed VAT accounting – cash flow help for VAT registered importers

Postponed VAT accounting was introduced in January 2021 to allow UK VAT registered importers to account for and recover import VAT on the same VAT return, subject to the normal rules on input tax deduction.

Postponed VAT accounting is available permanently and we expect most businesses will choose to use it, because it provides significant cash flow benefits compared to the alternative of paying the import VAT when the goods are imported. In certain circumstances, for example when importers delay their declarations, they must use postponed VAT accounting.

In this article we outline the steps importers should take. We highlight how to avoid common pitfalls, so that whoever completes their VAT returns and customs declarations does so correctly.

Information to share with others

You might want to share this information with clients and colleagues and see what help they need with the following tasks.

Steps an importer must follow:

  1. Consider getting someone to do declarations for you, such as a customs agent, freight forwarder or fast parcel operator.

  2. Find out when you are able to use postponed VAT accounting and when you must do so.

  3. Find out how to account for import VAT on the customs declaration and complete your VAT Return to account for import VAT.

  4. Talk to your tax adviser or anyone who helps you maintain your VAT records and complete your VAT return.

  5. Access the Customs declaration service to get your postponed import VAT statements that you need to complete your VAT return. Even if someone does all the VAT return work for you, they will not be able to access your postponed import VAT statements. You will have to access statements yourself and send them on.

How importers can avoid pitfalls

Make sure you use postponed VAT accounting when it’s compulsory. You must use postponed VAT accounting if you import non-controlled goods from the EU to GB between 1 January 2021 and 31 December 2021 and use delayed declarations, or use the simplified customs declaration process (if authorised) and make a declaration in your own records.
Do not miss out on the cashflow advantage. Using postponed VAT accounting provides significant cash flow benefits compared to paying the import VAT when the goods are imported.

Take care when selecting how to account for import VAT on the customs declaration. It cannot be changed once the declaration has been submitted.

If someone else is doing the customs declarations for you, make sure they know you want to use postponed VAT accounting. If anyone, such as a freight forwarder, customs agent, broker or fast parcel operator acts on your behalf, keep a written record of what is agreed.

Make sure you have the information you need to get access to Customs Declaration Service to view your statements. You will need:

  • the Government Gateway user ID and password connected to the EORI number for the business or subsidiary making the Customs declarations – if you cannot remember your Government Gateway credentials you can get help at HMRC services: sign in or register
  • your Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) – you can find a lost UTR number
  • National Insurance number (if you’re an individual or sole trader)
  • the address and postcode that match the details held by HMRC or a business address, which must match Companies House
  • the date you started your business

Check you have entered the details correctly before submitting. Take a screen grab of any error messages you receive.

Do not leave it too late. Make sure you get access to Customs Declaration Service to view and download the statements in time to complete your VAT return. You’ll only be able to access a statement for 6 months from the date it is published, so you must download and keep a copy of each statement in your records. The statements that were produced at the start of 2021 will not be available for much longer.

Check your statements. In the same way that you would check your bank statements, you should compare the entries on your statements to your other import records. Make sure that you recognise all the entries and they appear as you expect.

Check you are using the correct statements. There were some problems with the production of January 2021 and February 2021 statements. There is guidance on how to complete your VAT return if you have problems with your monthly statements. If you take reasonable care to follow the guidance but make an error completing your VAT return, there will be no penalty.

If you have made a mistake put it right as soon as you can.

General preparations

Remember that postponed VAT accounting is just one aspect of importing goods that your clients need to know about.
Even if they chose to delay sending HMRC full information about their goods by up to 175 days, there are other actions, in addition to accounting for import VAT on their VAT return, they need to take before the deadline. They should check the guidance and find out how to delay declarations.

We will continue to provide guidance and support to help businesses, including information on GOV.UK, live webinars and through fortnightly emails, including this recent email focusing on postponed VAT accounting.

If you know of a business who would find these the emails helpful, suggest they register to get these updates directly to their inbox.

Help your clients identify customs authorisations

We have created an online tool to help businesses check which customs authorisations they might be eligible for. Applying for authorisations could make the process of declaring goods quicker, simpler or even less costly. For example, a business importing goods temporarily for manufacturing or repair purposes may not need to pay duty on these. Do share this or use it yourself if you are thinking of applying for an authorisation.

Tax

Paying Class 1A National Insurance contributions on payrolled benefits in kind – Generic Notification Systems (GNS) message

HMRC is reminding employers that they need to pay Class 1A National Insurance contributions and complete a P11d(b) by 6 July 2021 if they have taxed benefits in kind through the payroll.

In early June 2021 HMRC will issue a Generic Notification System (GNS) message via the RTI payroll system to contact employers where we hold data that suggests they are taxing benefits through payroll. This message is to remind employers that a P11d(b) must be completed to account for any Class 1A National Insurance contributions due on these benefits.

Class 1A National Insurance contributions are payable by employers on nearly all benefits taxed through the payroll. Guidance on payrolling benefits in kind is available.

Guidance is available on completing form P11d(b).

There is further information on how to view your GNS messages.

Advise any relevant customers of the action they need to take

National Insurance holiday for the employers of veterans – update

Employers are now eligible for a zero-rate of Secondary Class 1 National Insurance contributions on the earnings of veterans. Employers must continue to pay National Insurance contributions as normal until April 2022, at which point, employers will be able to claim back any National Insurance contributions that would otherwise have been relieved.

More information about National Insurance contributions relief for employers who hire veterans.

Reporting Pay as you earn (PAYE) in real time

HMRC have published an article in the June 2021 Employer Bulletin advising employers of the continuation of the risk-based approach to charging penalties. It also provides information on reporting your payroll information accurately and on time.

Extended loss carry back – claims information for companies

The extended loss carry back measure announced at Budget enables companies to make claims to carry back losses for a further 2 years than current rules allow. This temporary extension applies for losses arising in accounting periods ending between 1 April 2020 and 31 March 2022.

A guidance note setting out further information on extended loss carry back for businesses is available.

Claims for the extended relief cannot be made until the Finance Bill receives Royal Assent. This is expected to occur around the 10 June 2021. Any claims, received before Royal Assent will not be processed and claimant companies will be asked to re-submit their claims in July 2021.

Claims Process after Royal Assent

Claims that exceed the de minimis of £200,000 must be made in a company tax return. Box 45 (claim or relief affecting an earlier period) on the CT600 should be completed and details of the carry back claims included in the computations that accompany the CT600 and accounts.

There is no need to submit amended returns for the earlier periods to which the extended relief applies as the claims will be treated as amendments to those returns. Amended returns for these periods will be rejected for online submission as, in most cases, they will be out of time for amendment.

Claims below the de minimis limit of £200,000 may be made outside of the company tax return. HMRC will shortly provide an update on the preferred method for claim submission, which will look to get these claims processed as quickly and efficiently as possible.

VAT Reverse charge on construction and building services

VAT-registered construction businesses should note that this reverse charge, which was explained in a Revenue and Customs Brief issued in June 2020 came in on 1 March 2021.

In January 2021, a letter was sent to every VAT-registered construction business. This followed letters previously sent out in February 2020 and September 2020, advising them to check if they’re liable for the reverse charge. If they’re liable, they need to apply these rules going forward.

Find more information on the scope and operation of the reverse charge.

The key aspects are:

  • it applies to standard and reduced-rated supplies of building and construction services made to VAT registered businesses, who in turn also make onward supplies of those building and construction services
  • the contractor is responsible for paying the output VAT due rather than the sub-contractor, and can continue to reclaim this amount as input tax
  • the scope of supplies affected is closely aligned to the supplies required to be reported under the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS), but does not include supplies of staff or workers for use by the customer
  • the legislation introduces the concept of ‘end users’ and ‘intermediary suppliers’

This covers businesses or groups of associated businesses that do not make supplies of building and construction services to third parties and, as such, are excluded from the scope of the reverse charge if they receive such supplies. Examples include:

  • landlords
  • tenants
  • property developers
  • public bodies who are deemed contractors for CIS purposes

In order to be treated as end users and intermediary suppliers, the customer needs to notify the supplier in writing. This can be done by correspondence or as part of terms and conditions. There is more detail in the technical guidance.

We’ve been running webinars for businesses and they can register now. If there are no dates available, a webinar recording can be viewed.

Find more information on the Construction Industry Scheme.

Off-payroll working rules

The off-payroll working rules changed on 6 April 2021.

If your clients are medium and large sized organisations who engage contractors through their own limited company or other intermediary, they should now be operating the rules. Agencies of any size who supply contractors in this way also have responsibilities.

We want to share with you changes to our help and support available, and best practice to help your clients comply with the rules. Share this with any clients who may find it useful.

Help and Support

We have new support available for those who are affected by the changes to the rules.

A new flow chart for client organisations to help you understand if the rules apply to you.

A live Q and A session with technical advisors on 23 June 2021 for clients, agents and contractors, where you can get your questions on the rules answered. Registration links available via HMRC’s LinkedIn.

A webchat on off-payroll if you want to talk to us directly.

For those who have decided to reconsider how they offer contractors roles, we have published new guidance on working through an umbrella company which you can share with any contractors who may find it useful.

We are working to identify any sectors who may benefit from further support and will be delivering additional workshops for the construction sector, which will be advertised through stakeholders. If the sector you work in could benefit from additional support on the changes to the rules then get in touch by emailing [email protected]

You can continue to use all our other guidance, as well as our free, digital Check Employment Status for Tax (CEST) tool to help with employment status decisions. The CEST Landing Page has recently been updated to reflect the changes to the off-payroll working rules that took effect on 6 April 2021, improve customer journeys and signpost customers to specific guidance to help them use CEST effectively. The tool itself and the decision it gives has not changed.

Our programme of live webinars on the general rules, status decisions, when the rules apply, fee-payers and international issues has now ended, but you can continue to access recordings of all 6 webinars on our help and support page.

Best practice

Medium and large sized client organisations may find the following on best practice helpful in complying with the rules. Agencies of any size will also find some of this best practice useful.

Consider how the changes affect your organisation

Some organisations have found it helpful to form an internal working group to consider the rules and review their procedures.

Upskill those responsible for making decisions: you may want to implement a central decision-making process, and you need to make sure decision makers have the training they need, and all relevant departments are included in the decision process.

Review current workforce: Many organisations are using digital tools to help them with employment status decisions. You can use HMRC’s Check Employment Status for Tax (CEST) tool or another tool to make employment status decisions.

Talk to your contractors: you should provide a status determination statement to your contractors if they are inside the rules, as well as the agency you engage with. Agencies should also pass status determination statements onto the next agency they engage with. You may also wish to share a status determination statement if a contractor is outside the rules, and you should talk to your contractors about your processes as well as your decisions.

Operate PAYE where appropriate

For all engagements inside the rules PAYE needs to be operated by the agency who pays the contractors limited company or other intermediaries’ fees or, if there are no agencies in the supply chain, the client needs to operate PAYE.

Use the Real Time Information (RTI) flag if an engagement is inside the off-payroll working rules, and you are responsible for deducting Income Tax and National Insurance contributions on payments to the contractor’s intermediary, you must use the ‘off-payroll worker subject to the rules’ indicator in RTI. The name of this indicator may be reflected differently in your payroll software.

Have a clear process in place for disagreements: we know some organisations have done this by creating an internal team to make sure disagreements are handled in a fair and consistent way.

There is a legal requirement to maintain an audit trail.

Use the resources and guidance available on off-payroll working guidance.

Rates of Stamp Duty Land Tax for non-UK residents

From 1 April 2021, new rates of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) have applied to purchases of residential property in England and Northern Ireland made by non-UK residents. The new rates are 2% above those payable by UK residents.

Following stakeholder feedback, 2 errors in the underlying legislation have been identified. As a result, on 17 May 2021 the government laid 3 amendments to the Finance Bill 2021-22 correcting those errors:

  • the first 2 amendments correct an error in how the non-UK control test applies in relation to de minimis interests when determining whether a UK resident company is liable to pay the surcharge
  • the third amendment provides for UK resident corporate trustee purchasers to be exempt from the close company and non-UK control tests

The amendments can be found on pages 73 and 74 with explanatory notes.

What to do if your client is affected.

Those customers who have not yet submitted a SDLT return may do so based on the amendments having effect from 1 April 2021.

Those customers who have already submitted their return based on the original legislation may amend that return and obtain a repayment of any tax overpaid, but must wait until the Finance Bill receives Royal Assent to do so.

Details of how to amend a land transaction return.

For more information on the rates of Stamp Duty Land Tax for non-UK residents and the SDLT residency tests.

Making Tax Digital

Digitising a customer’s P800 or PA302

We are changing the way we send some products to our customers. From May 2021, personal tax account users who have opted for paperless preference will now receive their P800 or PA302 digitally through their personal tax account.

This change does not affect agents, who will continue to receive paper copies.

Security update – extra login security step for some businesses and organisations

We’re making Multi Factor Authentication (sometimes known as 2-Step Verification) a requirement for all businesses and organisations using Government Gateway to access HMRC services online.

We have been gradually adding this extra step for businesses and organisations that do not already have it from 15 June 2021.

This change will not affect how you access our agent services.

You can find out more by visiting the HMRC working with tax agents blog.

Making Tax Digital for Income Tax Self Assessment

Making Tax Digital for Income Tax Self Assessment is being piloted right now and the Making Tax Digital Programme continues to make changes, based on user feedback, to further improve our digital services for agents.

Here are a couple that are coming that we would like to tell you about.

1. New clients – asking for authorisation and sign up your client to Making Tax Digital for Income Tax Self Assessment (delivery Summer 21)

Agents will be able to use their agent services account to ask for a client authorisation for Making Tax Digital for Income Tax before signing up the client. This was not possible for Making Tax Digital VAT, but we have acted on your feedback.

This will make it easier for agents who have new clients needing authorisation for Making Tax Digital Income Tax Self Assessment. Agents will be able to use their agent services account to complete the authorisation and then proceed to signing up the client to Making Tax Digital without delay.

If agents also need authorisation for the existing Self Assessment service, they can still use the Self Assessment for Agents online service and copy the relationship across to Making Tax Digital using their agent services account.

2. Agent services account – we are making it easier for clients with a SA UTR to accept an agent authorisation request online for Making Tax Digital Income Tax (delivery Summer 21)

We are removing the need for clients to be registered for Self Assessment online services before they can access the Making Tax Digital Income Tax Self Assessment authorisation request online and accept it. Clients will be able to use their Gateway ID they use for their personal tax account.

For clients who do not normally engage online with HMRC, we are changing the service to allow them to create a new Gateway ID and complete Identity Verification to enable them to accept the agent authorisation request. The new Gateway ID will allow those clients access to their personal tax account, should they want to.

3. Agent services account – change to Homepage

There is a change on the homepage based on user research to improve clarity as to what the agent service account is used for, and what it is not used for.

Based on user research there is new content in an advisory format to make it clearer to agents what agents services account is not for.

4. Agent services account – we have added functionality to the Manage Account facility

We have also completed a piece of work to add a new section in the Manage Account service in response to agent feedback. Here agents will be able to view the details they used during subscription to their agent service account.

The new section to view account details will be added on the Manage Account tab which administrators can access from the agent services account homepage.

The account details page will show the details an agent submitted during subscription for their agent services account.

5. Agent viewer for Making Tax Digital for Income Tax Self Assessment new viewer and access to content being deployed

In response to agent feedback we have developed the content on the Agent viewer within the agent services account with regards to clients’ Income Tax details.

This is a new service and is available to agents who have clients who have signed up to Making Tax Digital Income Tax Self Assessment. This will enable agents to view their Income Tax Self Assessment clients’ tax calculation, obligations and payments.

When you start signing up your clients to Making Tax Digital Income Tax Self Assessment you will be able to use the new Making Tax Digital Income Tax services we are building to enable you to manage your client’s tax account online. We will continue to improve the design and add more services.

Agents who take part in the Making Tax Digital Income Tax Self Assessment pilot will be able to use this new service.

6. Making Tax Digital Income Tax Self Assessment – pilot

We are running a pilot for Making Tax Digital Income Tax Self Assessment to work with software developers, agents and their clients to test the service and help identify and resolve any issues ahead of mandation in April 2023.

We are always happy to have more people join the pilot.

As a reminder of the eligibility to join the pilot, in addition to having digital records and compatible software, more information can be found at Follow the rules for Making Tax Digital for Income Tax.

If any of your clients would be interested in joining the pilot, which is run jointly by HMRC, software developers, agent and client then the best route is to have a discussion with software supplier who will put things in motion.

Customers on the pilot are assured that their submissions will be fully supported throughout the process. In the unlikely event that any glitches are encountered these will be resolved by all parties involved with no detriment to the client.

HMRC Agent Services

Feedback on our manuals

We welcome your help in improving the content of our manuals published on GOV.UK. There are a variety of ways in which you can feedback on how helpful you have found the content of our manuals.

Let us know if a page was helpful

You can quickly and easily let us know if the content of a page was helpful by clicking either ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ to the question ‘Is this page useful?’. The question is situated below the main content of any manual page on the left-hand side.

You can answer anonymously and doing so really helps HMRC to understand what guidance is working as intended and what needs their attention. If you answer ‘No’ you also get the option to provide your email address so you can be sent a generic survey about GOV.UK.

This goes way beyond HMRC’s manuals – you can provide this sort of feedback on almost all GOV.UK pages.

Again, below the main content of the page, but on the right-hand side there is text stating, ‘Report a problem with this page’. Following that link lets you tell us what you were trying to do on the page and what issues you encountered.

We monitor this anonymous feedback closely and subject matter experts make changes to the manuals to fix errors and improve clarity. Again, you can provide feedback in this way for almost all pages on GOV.UK and we use these comments to improve our other guidance too.

Provide feedback and get a reply if you want one

You can use the ‘Contact’ link at the very bottom of any page, then the link to the ‘GOV.UK form’ to provide more detailed feedback.

Detailed technical queries are directed to HMRC subject matter experts for analysis and to provide a response if you’ve asked for one and provided your contact details.

You can do this for other pages on GOV.UK too.

Plastic Packaging Tax: call for research participants

Our research is actively taking place for The Plastic Packaging Tax service, with the tax taking effect from April 2022. We are looking to meet with tax agents in exchange for an incentive of £60 per session. The aim is to gain input on the usability of our service in areas such as registration and returns. From research our understanding is that some clients may use tax agents to support them in advance of the tax going live, or once it has.

We would be grateful for engagement with tax agent professionals. The research team can be reached at [email protected]

Trust Registration Service (TRS)

Taxable trusts

If you registered a taxable trust before 4 May 2021, the next time you access it you will need to:

  • tell us if the trust is an express trust or not
  • declare that the trust pays tax or has previously done so

Once you have given us the above information, you will need to sign out of the service before you can update any additional information about the trust.

This information will be part of the usual registration process for all trusts registered after 4 May 2021.

TRS technical manual published

We have now published the Trust Registration Service manual. This manual aims to provide detailed, technical information, building on the overview guidance Trust Registration extension – an overview and within the service. This manual may be of interest to trustees, agents, personal representatives and organisations classed as ‘Relevant Persons’ under the Money Laundering Regulations.

The manual contains information on a number of areas such as registration requirements, information required to register and data retention obligations. Additional material on subjects including deadlines, penalties and third-party information sharing will be added to the manual in due course.

The Trust Registration Service manual

Proof of registration

It is now possible to download a PDF from the service to demonstrate proof of registration, however providing proof of registration for the purposes of due diligence checks is not legally required until March 2022.  

Non-taxable trusts  

We are continuing to allow non-taxable trusts to register their trust details on an invited basis. 
If you have a non-taxable trust and are willing to participate in this development phase, contact [email protected]  

All requests will be logged, and we will be in contact regarding an invitation.  

Changing a non-taxable trust to a taxable trust

We will soon be starting to allow non-taxable trusts that have registered as part of the development phase, to update TRS if they become taxable.

We ask that you and your members do not contact the HMRC Trusts helpline about non-taxable trusts as this part of the service are still in development. 

Changes to the ‘claim a trust’ process

We have listened to your feedback and will soon be making changes to the claim a trust process. There will no longer be a requirement for the trust to be claimed by the client to authorise an agent to make changes to the trust details. The client will still need to create a Government Gateway Organisation Credential to authorise the agent before an agent can make changes to the trust details.

Agent Talking Points

All agents will be aware of our popular agent talking points webinars, for which most agents receive regular Monday morning updates.

Let us know if there are any subjects that you would like us to cover.

We are, of course, unable to give 100% assurance that these will be develop into a full Talking Points webinar.

However, we would very much welcome any of your suggestions.

Send your requests or ideas to [email protected] Note that this is not a correspondence mailbox for customer or general queries, and we will not be able to deal with non-Talking Point related queries.

Tax Administration Framework Review

In July 2020, the Government published its 10-year strategy for the tax system (Building a trusted, modern tax administration system) – this committed to publishing a call for evidence on the Tax Administration Framework. The call for evidence was published on 23 March 2021.

This call for evidence is the first step in designing a tax administration system fit for all the challenges and opportunities of the modern era, including the flexibility and capacity to respond in future national crises.

It explores, at a high level, how the framework could be reformed to improve the ways in which people experience the tax system, and build and maintain trust between HMRC and taxpayers. It seeks to generate discussion on:

  • making the process of entering and exiting the tax system (registering and de-registering) simpler and more consistent across taxes
  • using the opportunities from a digital, real-time tax system to simplify the calculation and assessment of tax liabilities
  • greater use of information and data sources (including from third-parties) to reduce errors and enhance transparency
  • reducing variation in the different obligations, processes and timelines for paying tax to HMRC (and for HMRC making repayments)
  • opportunities for updating taxpayer safeguards and sanctions to fit with a digital tax system and promote fairness and trust

The call for evidence considers different aspects of the tax administration framework. Respondents should not feel that they have to respond to all of the questions in this document. HMRC also welcomes partial responses, focused on the individual aspects of the framework that are most relevant to the respondent.

We look forward to working collaboratively with agents as this Review develops. Any questions, queries or response to the Call for Evidence should be sent to [email protected] by 13 July 2021.

Join like-minded subject matter expert businesses benefiting from the Peer Networks Programme

Peer Networks is a free peer-to-peer networking programme for subject matter expert leaders that are keen to develop their organisation for future success.

Join almost 5,000 businesses that have joined the Peer Networks programme to create real solutions to challenges they have faced because of COVID-19.

The Peer Networks programme is being delivered locally through Growth Hubs across England, who are creating diverse networks of business leaders to discuss common business challenges from finance and HR, to sales and marketing.

Business leaders will be able to discuss their individual challenges, reflect on valuable feedback from their peers, and identify practical solutions to improve their productivity.

The programme is available to any subject matter expert business based in England that has:

  • operated for at least 1 year
  • at least 5 employees
  • a turnover of at least £100,000

Expert facilitators will provide business leaders with the opportunity to create a trusted support network that works for them, helping to build and strengthen the business and improve its performance.
Participants will also receive 1:1 support tailored to individual needs.
To find out more, go to: https://www.peernetworks.co.uk/

Paying HMRC

There are several ways to pay HMRC. You can do this by:

  • Direct Debit
  • Faster Payment
  • Bac’s
  • CHAPs
  • personal debit card
  • corporate credit and debit card

Payments made by corporate credit card incur a surcharge which goes direct to merchant acquirers, card schemes and card providers. This will also apply to corporate debit cards from 1 November 2020. You may want to consider another payment method if you do not wish to incur this surcharge.

Customers experiencing difficulties should contact HMRC as soon as possible.

If you know anyone who pays HMRC, particularly by corporate credit or debit card, you may want to direct them to this advice. More information about paying HMRC is available on GOV.UK Pay employers’ PAYE.

Support for customers who need extra help

We have principles of support for customers who need extra help. These set out our commitment to support customers according to their needs, and underpin the HMRC Charter.

Find out how to get help and what extra support is available.

Consultations

Check the status of tax policy consultations

Find out about ongoing and closed tax policy consultations.

Check the status of tax policy consultations.

This file is in an OpenDocument format.

HMRC have 19 agent toolkits available for you to download and use. They have been designed to address the most common errors seen from previous years. They include checklists of the key issues to consider and links to HMRC technical guidance and manuals.

The complete catalogue of toolkits has been updated to assist you with completion of:

By identifying the most common errors this may prompt a conversation between you and your clients to make sure submissions are correct.

Agent Blog

There is a regular Tax agent blog, highlighting the work HMRC do with tax agents, advisers and professional bodies.

We cover topics such as:

  • agent specific news and updates
  • consultations
  • HMRC’s agent strategy

You can subscribe here to receive a notification when a new blog is posted.

Complain to HMRC

To make a complaint to HMRC on behalf of your client, you must be appointed as their Tax Advisor.

Employers need to register for email alerts.

As the department becomes more digital, it’s more apparent that the days of paper mailings are numbered. It’s important for agents to encourage employers to register to receive email alerts. This will make sure they’re updated with the latest coding changes and important information.

Find out when you can expect to get a reply from HMRC to a query or request you have made. There is also a dedicated service for tax agents to:

  • register you as an agent to use HMRC Online Services
  • process an application for authority to act on behalf of a client
  • amend your agent details

Manuals

Recent Manual updates

You can check the latest updates to HMRC manuals or subscribe to automatic notification of changes. You can also suggest improvements for pages of our manuals by using the feedback options in the page footer.

Residence, Domicile and Remittance Basis manual

The domicile chapter within the Residence, Domicile and Remittance Basis manual now includes the changes applicable from the introduction of deemed domicile.

Online

Trusts and Estates newsletters

HMRC regularly publishes a Trusts and Estates newsletter. The newsletter contains the latest news, updates and guidance on Inheritance Tax and trusts.

Future online services downtime

Information is available on any downtime that may affect the availability of HMRC’s online services.

Online security – stay safe online

HMRC continuously monitors systems and customer records to guard against fraudulent activity, providing regular updates on scams we are aware of.

If you have any concerns regarding the authenticity of any emails received from HMRC, see the online security pages for agents.

Phishing emails and bogus contact – HMRC examples

A new type of phishing scam regarding ‘Tax Returns’, which is being circulated in high volumes.

Online training material and useful resources for tax agents and advisers

HMRC videos on YouTube, online learning modules, and live and pre-recorded webinars are available for tax agents and advisers. They give you with free help, learning and support on topical subjects.

Publications

Spotlights

Check for new additions.

Employer Bulletin

The latest edition of Employer Bulletin is now available. It contains topical and useful information about PAYE processes and procedures.

Employers must register to receive email alerts to be informed when it’s available on the website.

National Insurance Services to Pensions Industry – countdown bulletins

Countdown Bulletin 53 has been added to this collection.

Pension schemes newsletter

This Pension schemes newsletter is published by HMRC’s Pension schemes services to update stakeholders on the latest news for pension schemes.

Revenue and Customs briefs

Revenue and Customs briefs announcing changes in policy and set out the legal background to an issue. They generally have a short lifespan, as announced changes are incorporated into permanent guidance and the brief is then removed.

Agent Forum and Engagement

Agent forum update  

The Agent Forum is a platform where agents raise potential widespread issues and ask questions about HMRC’s systems and processes which may have significant impacts to the agent community.  Agents can highlight issues they are experiencing and share this with members on the forum. Posts must conform to Forum Terms and Conditions and should be concise and focus on evidence supporting an issue exists rather than extended comment or opinion. 

 Issues escalated by the Issues Overview Group:

Agent Dedicated Line (ADL)  

Meetings between HMRC and Professional Bodies to discuss the ADL were held on 2 March 2021 and 27 April 2021. HMRC committed to a number of further actions to improve digital alternatives and to consider options to strengthen assistance to agents with a further meeting being held 8 June 2021.

UK Property Reporting Service

The Issues Overview Group have provided HMRC with evidence of potential issues with the UK Property Reporting System. A meeting to review these concerns is scheduled in June 2021.

Working Together Contact information for Professional and Representative Bodies

AAT

ACCA Jason Piper

AIA David Potts

ATT Jon Stride

CIMA

CIOT Technical

CIPP Lora Murphy

CPAA Alison Hale

IAB

ICAEW Caroline Miskin

ICAS Tax Team

ICB Jacquie Mount

ICPA Tony Margaritelli

IFA Anne Davis

VATPG Ruth Corkin

If you’re not a member of a professional body, contact the Agent Engagement mailbox.

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