HMRC have issued their Agent Update for May 2022. We have summarised the key content for you with links to our detailed guidance on the topics covered. 

Technical updates and reminders

 UK transition: Social security coordination with the EU. Covid-19 easement ending

  • HMRC will cease to disregard individuals' work location where solely due to Covid-19 restrictions when considering whether National Insurance Contributions (NICs) are due in the UK. This will have effect from 1 July 2022.
  • If an employer or employee needs proof that UK NICs are due whilst working in the EU, there is guidance available here to assist in applying for a PDA1 certificate.

Reporting rules for digital platforms

  • The government has announced that the new reporting rules will start on 1 January 2024.

See Consultation: Reporting rules for Digital Platforms

Tell HMRC about a new employee

  • When adding a new employee to a payroll system, a P45 should provide the information needed.
  • In the absence of a P45 the online starter checklist can be used.

See PAYE: Starter checklist new employee 2022-23

Disguised remuneration tax avoidance schemes: settlement opportunities

  • HMRC have published a new issue briefing explaining how taxpayers can settle their use of tax avoidance schemes or the loan charge liability.
  • There is also a new Settlement Opportunity for certain remuneration trust schemes. The opportunity is open to individuals and companies until 31 July 2022.

See Disguised remuneration loan charge

HMRC's new powers to tackle electronic sales suppression

  • The new powers and penalties introduced to tackle Electronic Sales Suppression (ESS) have now come into effect.
  • The powers cover the possession, making, supply, and promotion of ESS software and hardware.
  • Penalties can be up to £50,000.
  • If HMRC believes a business has ESS software, there will be a 30-day grace period in which to remove the software and avoid a fine.
  • Any agents or their clients who have been involved in any ESS-related tax fraud activity are asked to contact HMRC and use the Contractual Disclosure Facility.

See Penalties: Electronic Sales Suppression

Student and postgraduate loans

  • Off-Payroll Working: student or postgraduate loans should not be deducted through payroll where the worker is subject to the Off-Payroll Working rules. They should be dealt with through the individual's own Self Assessment return.
  • Start and Stop notifications: there has been an increase in the number of these notifications being returned to HMRC. Upon receipt, the following action should be taken:
    • Start notifications: agents should update the payroll software for the correct loan and plan type. Deductions will start from the next available payday.
    • Stop notifications: agents should cease making the relevant deductions from the next available payday.
    • Once the notification has been actioned, it should be kept for three years. It should not be returned to HMRC.

Changes to Employer Helpline processes

  • Going forward, any calls to the Employer Helpline will only be allowed to proceed if the caller has a PAYE or accounts office reference.
  • If these references are requested they will be sent by post within seven days to the address on record.

A reminder not to use clients' login details

  • HMRC are asking agents not to request their clients' own HMRC login details to help reduce the risk of fraud. Such details should not be shared with anyone, even agents.
  • Access to your client's details can be obtained by asking your client to log on and provide you with the information or by ensuring that you have the right authorisations in place.
  • Agents can call 0300 200 3311 for assistance.

Administrative Burden Advisory Board (ABAB) survey

  • The ABAB is inviting small businesses to share their views on the tax system by completing the Tell ABAB Survey 2022 on GOV.UK.
  • The survey takes five to 10 minutes to complete and is open until 4 May 2022.
  • Results will be published in the Tell ABAB Report on GOV.UK this summer.

 Making Tax Digital (MTD)

  • All VAT registered businesses in the UK now fall within MTD.
  • Digital records must be kept from the beginning of the first MTD accounting period and VAT returns must be filed online using the MTD system. See here for when the first MTD return is due.

See Making Tax Digital: VAT (subscriber guide).

VAT Registration Service (VRS)

  • The new VRS remains on track to launch in the summer.
  • Further details on timelines and actions required will be featured in future Agent Updates.

See Registering for VAT

Changes to HMRC webchat service

  • After pausing some webchat services in January 2022, there is now a webchat service for employers regarding their reporting obligations through the Real-Time Information (RTI) online service.
  • A service for contractors assisting with monthly and annual returns is also returning.
  • For those services that continued, there will be a trial using Digital Assistants (chat bots).

PAYE for agents' online service

  • This service has been expanded in scope and is now open for opt-in for agents with up to 9,600 employer clients.
  • Agents can opt-in via the advert, which can be seen when signing in using HMRC online services.
  • Within the online account, HMRC does not allocate payments. If you believe that payments have been incorrectly allocated, contact HMRC in the usual way.


  • Check the status of tax policy consultations here

See Finance Act 2022: tax update and rolling planner 2022-23

Tax Agent Toolkits

  • HMRC has a number of agent toolkits available for you to download and use here.

Tax Disputes

  • The Alternative Dispute Resolution service involves an impartial HMRC mediator working with all parties to prevent unnecessary litigation.
  • HMRC hope to resolve tax disputes within 120 days; this does not affect your client’s right to appeal or review.

Agent Blog

  • There is a regular Tax agent blog, highlighting the work HMRC do with tax agents, advisers and professional bodies.

Employers need to register for email alerts

  • Agents should encourage employers to register to receive email alerts, so they are aware of the latest coding changes and important information published on the Government webpages.


HMRC online Tax agent forum

  • The agent forum enables agents to raise general queries about HMRC systems or processes impacting day-to-day practice.
  • Agents can join the agent forum by registering and providing their professional body membership reference.

External link

Agent update: issue 96

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