HMRC have issued their Agent Update for June / July 2017. We have summarised the key content for you with links to our detailed guidance on the topics covered.

HMRC topical issue reminders

  • HMRC has produced a webinar for employers with advice and support on reporting payroll information on time. See RTI: Real Time Information for PAYE.
  • Ensure your client’s address details are up to date with HMRC, particularly if they are living in Scotland for most of the tax year. See Scottish Income Tax.


  • Apprenticeship levy commenced on 6 April 2017: 
    • 0.5% levy is payable for those with a paybill of more than £3million.
    • Where it applies reports must be made through RTI by 14 days after the end of each tax month.
    • Once you start reporting your levy, you must continue to do so until the end of the tax year, even if your pay bill reduces mid-year and you no longer have any levy to pay.
    • You can see the amount due in your Business Tax Account, by accessing the Electronic PAYE (EPAYE) viewer.
    • You can use the online apprenticeship service to manage the setup of apprenticeships funding.
    • Up to 90% of apprenticeship training for non-levy paying employers is payable by the government.
    • For employers with fewer than 50 employees, up to 100% will be paid by the government.
    • See Apprenticeship Levy (employers' briefing).


  • Taxpayers have until September 2018 to use the Worldwide Disclosure Facility to bring their offshore tax affairs up to date.  Failure to do so may lead to tougher penalties and civil or criminal investigation.
  • HMRC continue to advertise that they are working to tackle tax avoidance and provide links to their guidance on tax avoidance schemes. See When the tax inspector calls… for our index on this area.

HMRC PAYE and payroll reminders

PAYE coding

  • HMRC have been 'rigorously testing’ their new PAYE coding system in advance of going live, as a result it is being delayed until the end of the summer. If it works as planned, the new system will use real time information (RTI submissions) to make automatic adjustments to PAYE tax codes during the year. 



  • Minimum employer pension contributions are going up on 6 April 2018 tp 2% pf staff’s pay, with employee contributions increasing to 3%.

Offpayroll working and intermediaries


  • New childcare schemes began on 21 April for children under 4 and for disabled children under 17:
    • For every £8 paid into the special account, the government will top it up by an additional £2, up to a maximum of £2,000 per child per year.
    • The childcare voucher scheme is open to new entrants until April 2018 and will remain open for those already using the scheme.
    • The government have provided a dedicated website with guidance and a childcare calculator.
    • If an employee wants to change from the voucher scheme to the tax-free childcare scheme they must provide the employer with a Childcare Account Notice (CAN).
    • The CAN must be provided to the employer within 90 days of opening the CAN.
    • If employers make payments direct to a parent’s childcare account, it must be treated as a normal salary payment, i.e. the amount that goes into the account is net of PAYE and NIC.
    • See Childcare and childcare vouchers.


  • VAT Notices that have been updated:
    • VAT notes 2017 issue 1, commenting on Alcohol Wholesalers, overseas businesses selling goods online, Machine Games Duty and the Raw Tobacco Approval Scheme
    • 700/56: insolvency, which contains information for insolvency practitioners
    • 701/30: education and vocational training, which explains the VAT treatment on education
    • 702: imports, explaining how imported goods are treated for VAT.


Due to the recent general election and the time of year, there were no new consultations or responses referred to in this update.

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.  To make a complaint against HMRC on behalf of your client you must be appointed as their tax advisor.
  • 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.
  • Where’s my reply? This service provides an estimated date that HMRC will respond to queries.
  • 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.

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


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