HMRC have issued their Agent Update for April 2016: we have summarised the key content for you with links to our detailed guidance on the topics covered.

HMRC topical issue reminders

The Agent update includes reminders and links to HMRC guidance on the following issues:

  • Expenses exemption:
    • From April 2016 dispensations cease to exist.
    • An exemption for reimbursement of qualifying expenses is introduced instead enabling employers to pay employee expenses without deducting PAYE or NIC.
    • See exemption for paid and reimbursed expenses.
  • Avoidance schemes:
    • HMRC’s spotlight’s series describes specific tax avoidance schemes and things to watch out for.
    • In this update they highlight Spotlight 29: Misleading claims made by tax avoidance scheme providers.
    • HMRC also refer agents to their guidance “Ten things about contractor loan schemes” which is the subject of Spotlight 26.
    • See Anti-avoidance: HMRC’s spotlights.
  • VAT MOSS payments:
    • HMRC has changed its bank account for making a VAT Mini One Stop Shop payment.
    • The new details for business in the UK are sort code 08 32 00, account number 12001047, account name HMRC VAT ON E.
    • See Place of supply: Mini One Stop Shop (MOSS).
  • Agent Services:
    • Agent Online Self Serve (AOSS) has been renamed Agent Services (AS).  Its four priorities are:
    • On-boarding: enabling agents to access clients’ Personal Tax Accounts and Business Tax accounts
    • Subscription: enabling HMRC to collect data about tax agencies
    • Authorisation: enhancing the existing online agent authorisation service
    • Inbound Secure Messaging: understanding what agents want to send to HMRC and exploring digital solutions.


HMRC PAYE and payroll reminders

The update includes reminders and links to HMRC guidance on the following issues:

  • Employers’ NIC allowance
    • A limited company whose director is the only employee is no longer eligible to claim the allowance.
    • Companies affected need to stop their claim using an Employer payment summary (EPS).
    • See Employers’ NIC allowance.
  • Micro employers
    • The two year on-or-before reporting relaxation for employers with fewer than 10 employees ended on 5 April 2016.
    • All employers must now report their PAYE information on or before each payday unless there is a genuine reason for reporting late.
  • Auto enrolment payment increases
    • The date that payments increase has been aligned with the tax year.
    • Payments will now increase from 2% to 5% in April 2018 (instead of October 2017).
    • Payments will now increase from 5% to 8% in April 2019 (instead of October 2018).
    • Employer staging dates are not affected.
    • See Auto enrolment: workplace pensions.


HMRC service reminders

The Agent Update includes reminders of the following:

  • HMRC working with Tax Agents Blog.  This provides another channel to communicate about consultations, news and updates, and the rollout of new digital services for agents.
  • HMRC twitter account Twitter@HMRCgovuk.
  • Agent Account Managers (AAMs). A UK wide team of AAMs will liaise with HMRC and agents regarding client issues when normal channels break down.
  • Where’s my reply? This service provides an estimated date that HMRC will respond to queries.
  • Email alerts for employers.  HMRC are encouraging agents to register for email alerts to be notified about coding changes and information published on Government Web pages.
  • Future online downtime.  HMRC provide information about planned downtime which will affect the availability of online services.
  • Staying safe online.  HMRC provides details and updates of scams that they are aware of together with information to help identify genuine and bogus contact.


Consultation responses 

HMRC have responded to the following consultations:


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