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

HMRC topical issue reminders

  • The Scottish rate of income tax applies from April 2016:

    • Your clients will need to pay this if they lived in Scotland for most of the tax year.

    • It’s important that client address details with HMRC are up to date.

    • See Scottish Income Tax

  • Restriction of interest relief for residential landlords will be phased in from April 2017.  See Restricting mortgage interest relief

  • Expenses and benefits:

    • The deadline for submitting P11D, P9D and P11D(B) for tax year 2015/16 was 6 July 2016.

    • If no expenses or benefits were paid during the tax year you have to either submit a nil return or complete the 2015/16 ‘Employer – No return of Class 1A’ form.

    • See P11D forms

  • When a business stops employing people they need to tell HMRC immediately: see Employer Bulletin 62.

  • Two new VAT Briefs are highlighted:

    • Brief 13 (2016): VAT, the liability treatment of a dwelling formed from more than one building.  This sets out a change in policy in this area: see VAT & multiple building dwellings: HMRC policy change

    • Brief 14 (2016): VAT, Deduction of VAT on pensions fund management costs following Court of Justice of the European Union decision in PPG.  This announces a 12-month extension to the transitional period which was due to end on 31 December 2016.

  • Some current disclosure campaigns are highlighted:

  • Minor amends to other VAT guides are highlighted, including:

    • VAT Notice 704: VAT retail exports

    • VAT Notice 704/1: tax free shopping in the UK

    • VAT Notice 723A: refunds of VAT in the European Community for EC and non-EC businesses.

    • VAT Notice 725: the single market.

    • VAT Notice 741A: place of supply of services

HMRC PAYE and payroll reminders

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

  • Auto enrolment:

    • It is now time for clients to go through re-enrolment.

    • The Pensions Regulator provides more information, including updated guidance and a new essential guide on re-enrolment for employers.

    • See Auto enrolment: workplace pensions

  • State pension top up:

    • This lets state pension recipients boost retirement income by up to £25 a week.

    • Applications close 5 April 2017.

  • Employment intermediaries

    • HMRC are running a campaign for employment intermediaries who supply workers to third parties and PAYE is not operated to help them understand their reporting obligations.

    • Penalties are now being issued automatically when returns are received late.

    •  See Agency Workers: employment intermediaries rules.

  • Disguised remuneration: if you want to get transitional relief on investment growth you must register to settle with HMRC by 31 October 2016.  See Disguised remuneration: changes from 2016 onwards

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.

  • 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.

  • Complain to HMRC.  An online form is now available to make complaints about Self Assessment and PAYE Income Tax.

  • Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) for businesses based outside the UK: details about registrations have been updated.

  • Where’s my reply? This service provides an estimated date that HMRC will respond to queries.

  • Want to volunteer? HMRC are looking for agents to help with their digital services research.

  • Email alerts for employers. Agents should 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.

  • Statutory payments calculator: this should not be used when a mistimed payment has occurred in the relevant period.

  • Business Tax Account: changes to Corporation Tax paper form.  HMRC will now no longer issue:

    • Certain non-statutory forms where these are available online.

    • Company copies of certain non-statutory forms where these are sent to an agent.

    • Agent copies of certain statutory forms where the agent and registered office address are the same.

    • Paper versions of guidance notes with CT forms.

Consultation responses 

The update lists the following open consultations, all of which are due to close in October or November this year:

The update also lists recent HMRC responses to past consultations:

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