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

HMRC topical issue reminders

  • HMRC suggest that agents remind clients that receive more than €500,000 of state aid, that some details of their business will be published.
  • The new Trusts Registration Service is up and running.



  • HMRC have reiterated that agents should ensure clients’ 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.
  • HMRC intends to move forwards with PAYE Settlement Agreement (PSA) simplifications. Following consultation and responses received, HMRC plan to:
    • Provide an online service for PSA submissions and payments
    • Remover the need for annual upfront agreements
    • Improve and clarify the PSA guidance
    • See PAYE Settlement Agreements  
  • Interestingly, there was no mention of the revised 24th August 2017 deadline for Employment Related Securities annual returns. See Employment related securities: reporting issues.
  • The Transcash service for paying HMRC at the Post Office will be withdrawn from December 2017.


Venture Capital Schemes

Claiming tax relief under EIS, SEIS and SITR

  • Individuals can only claim relief under these schemes if the company has issued a compliance certificate and has been authorised to issue it by HMRC.
  • The individual must then meet their own conditions to be able to claim.
  • Provisional claims are not allowed, the investment must have been made and the certificate received before a claim is made.
  • See our SEIS & EIS index  
  • See Social Investment Tax Relief

Digital services

  • Work on making submission and claims procedures for EIS, SEIS and SITR is ongoing.
  • An invitation only, beta version, is available for companies looking to get EIS, SEIS or VCT advance assurance.
  • The EIS1 and SEIS1 will be available for online submission later in the year, with functionality for agents to submit applications on behalf clients following after.

Incorporation top tips

  • Over 644,000 company incorporations took place in the last financial year.
  • 99% were online, 8% of these were rejected. 53% of the paper applications were rejected.
  • For common errors and steps for incorporation see How to form a company 

Publication of information about tax reliefs that are state aids


  • Agents are still reporting that some lenders will not accept the self-serve copy of the SA302 printed from HMRC online accounts or commercial software.
  • HMRC have published a list of lenders who accept the self-serve copies and have been working with the Council of Mortgage lenders and commercial software companies to increase acceptance.
  • From 4 September 2017 HMRC will no longer issue paper SA302s direct to agents.
  • See SA302: mortgage applications.

New Trusts Registration Services (TRS)

  • The online registration system is now operational, replacing the 41G paper form which was withdrawn at the end of April 2017.
  • Agents will be able to register Trusts for clients by October 2017.
  • By early 2018 agents and trustees will be able to make variations to Trusts online.
  • Those using an agent are asked to delay notifying HMRC until the agency service is operational.
  • New Trusts with tax obligations must register by 5 October 2017.
  • Existing Trusts must provide additional information by 31 January 2018.


VAT Notices that have been updated:

  • 700/45: how to correct VAT errors and make adjustments or claims
  • 700/58: treatment of VAT repayment returns and supplements
  • 701/49: finance
  • 702/7: import VAT relief for goods supplied onward to another country in the EC.

Anti-money laundering supervision (AMLS)

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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • 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.
  • HMRC have advised that there are problems with the Statutory Payment Calculators which are being worked on.
  • 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

  • Self-Assessment Individual Exclusions
    • HMRC have acknowledged that their software does not produce the most beneficial calculation in all cases.
    • HMRC will make changes to their 2016/17 software and will implement this in October 2017.
    • HMRC are also asking software providers to update their software too.
    • HMRC will cancel any late filing penalty if a paper return is submitted after 31 October 2017 and before 31 January 2018, and a reasonable excuse claim is submitted along with details of the applicable exclusion.
    • See Software specification error affects 2016/17 Self Assessment  
  • HMRC will launch a new IHT online service for executors to deal with estates online and apply for probate. This will replace the IHT205 process.
  • In addition to the above, the update contains its usual mix of briefing notices and toolkits, and an update on Working Together as well as details of HMRC’s upcoming ‘Talking Points’ for agents.

A link to the published Update can be found here or accessed via HMRC's website


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