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

HMRC topical issue reminders

  • HMRC will stop accepting personal credit card payments from 13 January 2018.
  • HMRC have launched a dedicated tax support service for growing mid-sized businesses.
  • HMRC have started to move towards the Simple Assessment system, which should see many come out of the Self-Assessment Tax Return system.


  • Businesses that store imported goods from outside the EU on behalf of others will need to know about the new Fulfilment House Due Diligence Scheme:
    • This applies from 1 April 2018.
    • The fulfilment house will need to be approved by HMRC.
    • There are penalties for late applications.
    • From 1 April 2019, the fulfilment house will have to carry out due diligence checks on overseas customers.
    • This does not affect those that only receive goods from inside the EU.
  • HMRC have highlighted its guidance on UK GAAP, in particular the changes to UK GAAP and the new standards, including FRS 105, FRS 101 and FRS 102.
  • HMRC have included two new spotlights in this update:

Tax and duty fraud

Corporation Tax

  • It has mandatory since 2011 for most companies to file Corporation Tax returns online using XBRL.
  • HMRC have advised that many returns are still not in the correct format.
  • From 1 November 2017, any returns with accounts or computations that are not in iXBRL format will be rejected, unless special exceptions or dispensations apply.
  • HMRC have asked that information that is already included in the iXBRL submission is not duplicated in a pdf attachment or covering letter as this will slow down processing of the return.
  • See Companies: filing & payment deadlines


  • 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.
  • Student loan thresholds are increasing from 6 April 2018:
    • Plan 1 loans threshold will rise to £18,330 from £17,775.
    • Plan 2 loans will rise to £25,000 from £21,000.


Business Tax Account (BTA)

  • HMRC have started to roll out the BTA.
  • The Apprenticeship Levy will be added to the BTA this month.


  • Reimbursed employee expenses can be claimed as part of R&D claims.
  • Those that have not made these claims due to an HMRC note in 2014, can made an amended claim by 31 January 2018.
  • Visit our new R&D Zone.

Simple Assessment


  • The VAT Retail Export Scheme (RES) which allows non-EU visitors to recover VAT on goods they buy in the UK and take home will be made into a digital system.
  • VAT Notices that have been updated:
    • 48: Extra Statutory Concessions
    • 700: the VAT guide
    • 700/14: video cassette films – rental and part-exchange
    • 700/50: default surcharge
    • 701/8: postage stamps and philatelic supplies
    • 701/22: tools for manufacture of goods for export
    • 703: export of goods from the UK
    • 709/6: travel agents and tour operators
    • 714: zero rating young children’s clothing and footwear


The current consultations are:


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

  • Changes to how you pay HMRC:
  • Other recent publications
  • 2016-17 Self-Assessment Tax Calculator updates:
    • HMRC’s in-year fix for the 2016-17 software calculator is due on Monday 23 October.
    • This will correct Exclusions 48-56 and 58-59, covering the majority of cases that were affected and couldn’t file their returns online.
    • They have also issued workarounds for Exclusion 60, where there are capital disposals resulting in no gain and no loss, involving £0.01 entries in various boxes.
    • See Software specification error affects 2016/17 Self-Assessment
  • A new support service has launched for mid-sized businesses.
  • Cyber Security:
    • 2 step verification is in the process of being introduced for businesses accessing online services.
  • Trust Registration Service (TRS) for Agents
    • Agents who need to register trusts with the TRS will need to create an Agent Services Account which will also enable access to MTD for business services as they are released.
    • TRS is now available for agents.
  • 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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