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

HMRC topical issue reminders

  • VAT TOGC and groups
    • In June HMRC published Brief 11 (2016) amending their position following the Upper Tribunal decision in Intelligent Managed Services.
    • HMRC will now accept that there is a TOGC if a business is transferred to a company in a VAT group where:
      • The company intends to use the transferred assets to supply the same kind of services to other group members, and
      • Those other group members use the services to make supplies outside the group.
    • See TOGC and groups
  • Avoidance schemes:
    • HMRC’s spotlights series describes specific tax avoidance schemes and things to watch out for.
    • In this update they highlight Spotlight 31 “change of date for withdrawal of transitional relief on investment growth” and Spotlight 32 “Managed Service Company legislation, tax avoidance scheme involving unpaid PAYE and Class 1 National Insurance contributions”.
    • See Anti-avoidance: HMRC’s spotlights
  • Minor amends to other VAT guides are highlighted, including:
    • VAT Notice 700/01: should I be registered for VAT?
    • VAT Notice 700/11: cancelling your registration
    • VAT Notice 700/56: insolvency
    • VAT Notice 708: buildings and construction.


HMRC PAYE and payroll reminders

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

  • Auto enrolment:
    • The Pensions Regulator encourages employers to use their online Duties Checker to work out if they have anyone to enrol.
    • From April this year employers who don’t have anyone to enrol can bring their staging date forward and declare their compliance at the same time.
    • See Auto enrolment: workplace pensions.
  • Employment intermediaries:
    • Since April 2015 Employment Intermediaries have been required to make quarterly reports when they supply workers without operating PAYE.
    • From 5 August 2016 penalties will be issued automatically when returns are received late.
    • See Agency Workers: employment intermediaries rules.
HMRC service reminders
  • 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.
  • Agent Account Managers (AAMs). A UK wide team of AAMs will liaise with HMRC and agents regarding client issues when normal channels break down.
  • Complain to HMRC.  An online form is now available to make complaints about Self Assessment and PAYE Income Tax.
  • Where’s my reply? This service provides an estimated date that HMRC will respond to queries.
  • New bank account details for customers who use International Bank Account Number (IBAN).
  • 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 
The previous update included a full list of open consultations and further consultations planned for this year.  See HMRC: Agent Update June 2016
Other content
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