HMRC have issued their Agent Update for December 2015: we have summarised the key content for you.

 Self-assessment reminders and payslips

  • HMRC will not issue payslips to taxpayers who file Returns in January.
    • Clients who intend to make payments using the payslip should therefore file their return by 31 December 2015.
    • Payment options for those filing in January will be by debit or credit card, or via online or telephone banking.
  • HMRC will not be issuing paper self-assessment reminders.
  • Editorial comment: you can make yourself a payslip here instead:

Personal Tax Accounts

HMRC allows taxpayers to see a limited amount of the digital information it holds about them via a new Personal Tax Account (PTA).

  • A PTA is currently available for non-business self-assessment taxpayers.
  • Self-employed taxpayers and those who make VAT or Corporation Tax payments will be able to access personal tax accounts in future but these are not currently available.
  • The accounts are not intended for use by agents; if agents do attempt to use these accounts it will create security issues.
  • Employers have their version a dashboard.

Taxpayers can

  • Choose to receive electronic rather than paper communications from HMRC
  • View and update their address details
  • Access a range of forms which they can complete and submit online
  • View and amend estimates of their income tax liabilities
  • Notify HMRC about changes to employment benefits

Class 2 National Insurance

  • Class 2 contributions will not be included on the 2014/15 self-assessment Tax Returns: they will be included for the first time on the 2015/16 Return.
  • Direct Debits for Class 2 voluntary contributions were not collected in September.  Collections resumed in October and payment requests for the missed September payment have been issued.


Capital gains tax for non-resident individuals

  • Disposals of UK property by non-UK residents must be reported to HMRC within 30 days of conveyance even if the individual is registered for self-assessment.
  • Payment of tax due must also be made within 30 days, but can be delayed until the normal time limits if the individual is already registered for self-assessment.
  • See CGT non-residents and UK residential property for more information


HMRC service reminders

The Agent Update includes reminders of the following:

  • Where’s my reply? This service provides an estimated date that HMRC will respond to queries.
  • Agent Account Managers. This team will liaise with HMRC and agents regarding client issues when normal channels break down.
  • Agent Online Self Serve (AOSS).  HMRC are looking for feedback from agents on the prototype screens for the new agent landing page.  Advisers who are not testing the new service can still provide feedback on these screens.
  • Future online downtime.  HMRC provide information about planned downtime which will affect the availability of online services.


Claiming Marriage Allowance

  • The Marriage allowance enables couples to save up to £212 by transferring £1,060 of unused personal allowance for 2015/16 from one spouse to the other.
  • Application can be made through the self-assessment process or by a separate claim online.
  • See Transferable married couples allowance for more information.


Student Loans

Clients who are making Income Contingent Repayments to student loans should tick box 1 on page TR5 of the self-assessment Tax Return to avoid processing delays.


Let property campaign is still open!

HMRC’s let property campaign encourages landlords of UK or overseas residential property to disclose any undeclared income and make good any underpaid tax. It opened in Autumn 2013 and it was originally planned to last just 18 months.

  • Landlords who make use of this disclosure opportunity will benefit from reduced penalty rates.
  • Taxpayers should notify HMRC of their intention to make a disclosure under the campaign and then have three months to make that disclosure.


Alcohol Wholesaler Registration Scheme (AWRS)


National Living Wage

  • From April 2016 the new National Living Wage will be £7.20 for workers aged 25 and older.
  • National Minimum Wage rates will continue to apply to workers under 25.  The current hourly rates, applicable from 1 October 2015 are
    • £6.70 for workers aged 21 and over
    • £5.30 for workers aged 21 and over starting a new job with a new employer and doing accredited training
    • £5.30 for workers aged between 18 and 21
    • £3.87 for workers aged 16 and 17
    • £3.30 for apprentices under 19, or 19 and over in the first year of apprenticeship.


Other content

In addition to the above, the update contains its usual mix of briefing notices, toolkits, consultations and responses, and an update on Working Together

A link to the published Update can be found here or accessed via HMRC's website