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

HMRC topical issue reminders

  • Links to key Autumn Budget 2017 announcements are included in the update.
  • The Fulfilment House Due Diligence Scheme will open for online applications from 1 April 2018
  • All online ATED returns must be filed using the new ATED digital service from 1 April 2018.

Autumn Budget 2017

Disguised remuneration

Fulfilment House Due Diligence Scheme

  • From 1 April 2018, online applications for the Scheme open.
  • UK businesses storing goods imported from outside the EU will need to apply for approval by HMRC if those goods are offered for sale by 30 June 2018, and carry out checks and keep records from 1 April 2019.
  • See HMRC’s guidance and the EUs other proposed VAT Legislation affecting cross border supplies of goods and services.

HMRC Spotlights and disclosure opportunities

Corporation Tax

  • HMRC have made changes to protect Corporation Tax Unique Tax Reference Numbers by masking the first 5 numerals in email communications.

Income Tax

  • In this issue HMRC have highlighted the changes to how termination payments will be taxed.
  • From April 2018, all PILONs will be taxable and the foreign service relief will be removed.
  • From April 2019, employers NIC will be chargeable on ex-gratia termination payments exceeding £30,000.
  • See Termination, redundancy and leaving payments.


  • From 21 December 2017, the Disclosure of Tax Avoidance Scheme (DOTAS) rules will apply to the Apprenticeship Levy.
  • If you register a business with a start date on or after 6 April, and you tell HMRC in the previous tax year, HMRC will not be to start processing the request until after 5 April.
  • Taxpayers are reminded to keep contact details up to date to ensure all Student Loan notices are received without delay, and that online notices should be checked for SL1 and SL2 notices.


  • The number of unpaid pension contributions increased from 653 in the quarter to 30 June 2017 to 753 for the two months to August 2017. The Pensions Regulator is warning employers to ensure they contribute to the pension scheme each month.
  • See Auto-enrolment: workplace pensions (subscriber guide).


  • HMRC have been writing to taxpayers in relation to savings income advising them that they may be liable to pay income tax if the interest exceeds the Personal Savings Allowance.
  • Legislation has been introduced to allow Marriage Allowance claims to be made on behalf of a deceased person. They can be backdated up to four years.
  • From 1 April 2018, all online ATED returns must be filed using a new digital service. The new service must be registered for.
  • HMRC have revised their property webinar to support landlords and advise them about the Let Property Campaign.

VAT Notices

The following VAT Notices have been updated:


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.
  • HMRC have published a new parent communication toolkit to provide information to parents about 30 hours free childcare and Tax-Free Childcare. See Tax-free childcare.
  • 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

  • HMRC are reminding customers that they changed their banking supplier to Barclays in 2016 and that the right bank details and payslips must be used to ensure the payments are not rejected.
  • Other recent publications:
  • Credit reference agencies are now able to apply to HMRC for authorisation to receive non-financial VAT registration information to help with assessing credit worthiness and anti-fraud checking.
  • The Trust Registration Service (TRS) is up and running and can now be accessed by agents. The deadline for existing trusts is 31 January 2018, though HMRC have confirmed no penalties will be issued until after 5 March 2018. HMRC has issued more details about how to register for an agent services account which can be accessed here.
  • 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 full Agent Update can be found here or accessed via HMRC’s website,


Wouldn’t it be great and think how much TIME it would SAVE you if someone:

  • READ all the latest tax news, case decisions, new legislation and articles in tax and then summarised them for you?
  • Only alerted you to things that are RELEVANT to you?

How about if that someone also:

  • Updated those summaries in REAL TIME for you
  • ADDED examples, planning points, toolkits and calculators, and
  • Linked all that information together and also provided you with CPD?

Thousands of firms of accountants and advisers are already using as their primary TAX resource.

At a cost of just £1 per day, it’s a no brainer: FREE up your MIND and your TIME (and your wallet).

And...we run our Virtual Tax Partner support service, if you need assistance with a particular query or technical issue.