HMRC have issued their Agent Update for June 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:
- VAT Flat Rate Scheme
- HMRC have updated VAT Notice 733: Flat Rate Scheme for small businesses.
- The notice now reflects recent tribunal decisions that business should use ordinary English when choosing their trade category.
- This will be of particular benefit to consultants who are not management consultants, and engineers who are not structural engineers.
- See HMRC update guidance on selecting a Flat Rate Scheme percentage.
- Business Tax account
- Allows small and mid-sized businesses to see their current tax position.
- Businesses can view their accounts for Corporation tax, PAYE, VAT and Self Assessment.
- Details of filing and payment deadlines are also available.
- Securing online services
- HMRC have introduced an optional two-step verification (2SV) for those enrolled in Self Assessment, which includes an extra layer of security requiring a mobile phone.
- HMRC are warning of a telephone scam involving recorded messages leaving the name Heather Grey and the telephone number 0203 129 5553.
- The update includes a link to guidance: how to recognise genuine contact from HMRC which also explains how to tell when an email is phishing or bogus.
- Alcohol Wholesaler registration scheme
- Any business selling alcohol to other businesses prior to 1 April 2016 should have registered with the scheme by 31 March 2016.
- Any business beginning to sell alcohol to other businesses from 1 April 2016 onwards should apply 45 days before their planned start date.
- HMRC advises that business who have applied for the scheme should not be concerned if they have not heard anything yet.
- See Alcohol Wholesaler Registration Scheme.
- Tax Credits
- HMRC are asking people to renew their tax credits claims online and early before the 31 July deadline.
- Claims can be renewed using the online Personal Tax Account.
- Renewal packs should be received by the end of June.
HMRC PAYE and payroll reminders
The update includes reminders and links to HMRC guidance on the following issues:
- Apprenticeship levy
- Reporting end of year expenses and benefits for 2015-16
- RTI late filing penalties for 2016/17, in particular the continuation of the three-days grace period.
- See HMRC: Employer Bulletin June 2016.
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, with a dedicated service for tax agents.
- Email alerts for employers. HMRC are asking agents to encourage employers 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.
There have been no consultation responses issued by HMRC since the last agent update.
This update lists the following open consultations which are due to close in July and August:
- Off-payroll working in the public sector: reform of the intermediaries legislation
- Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme
- A new corporate offence of failure to prevent the criminal facilitation of tax evasion
- Reforms to corporation tax loss relief
- Tax deductibility of corporate interest expense
- Employee share schemes: NIC elections
- Part surrenders and part assignments of life insurance policies
- Tax Avoidance disclosure regimes for VAT and IHT
- Double tax treaty passport scheme
- Landfill tax
- Transfer pricing
This update also lists 18 topics for consultation for issue later this year, including
- Making Tax Digital
- Property held through offshore structures – Inheritance Tax
- Penalty for participating in VAT fraud
- Offshore evasion: requirement to correct
- Simplifying the process for applying for and agreeing PAYE settlement agreements
- Proposals to align the dates by which an employee has to make good the cost of their BIK to reduce their tax liability
- Proposals to clarify the tax treatment of partnerships in particular circumstances
In addition to the above, the update contains its usual mix of briefing notices and toolkits, and an update on Working Together
A link to the published Update can be found here or accessed via HMRC's website www.gov.uk.