Agent Update 55: latest news for tax agents from HMRC

New toolkits, a reminder about auto-enrolment, an update on Working Together, and more


HMRC has published the latest edition of Agent Update, the bi-monthly round-up of information for tax agents.


In Agent Update 55 HMRC has identified the top articles as:


  • HMRC agent toolkits including the recently updated business profits and VAT toolkits
  • An update from the Pension Regulator including a duties checker which allows employers to check whether they have employees who need to be auto-enrolled into a pension scheme
  • A reminder that the minority of taxpayers who use an international bank account number (IBAN) when paying HMRC need to use the correct BIC and IBAN codes following HMRC moving its bank account to Barclays.


Members may also be interested in:


HMRC’s response to National Audit Office criticisms of customer service. This topic has been covered in tax faculty news items, see HMRC latest performance statistics for post and phone handling


Examples of phishing emails and bogus contact. A number of new examples have been added. There is a reminder of a current telephone scam stating that HMRC is bring a lawsuit against the individual.


Guidance for Employment Intermediaries including a reminder that from 5 August penalties for late returns will be issued automatically.


An update on Working Together

The next Digital Working Together meeting is on 7 September and is open to all agents – see our recent news item for details of how to sign up to receive an invitation


Forthcoming HMRC Talking Points webinars for agents will cover changes to the online agent authorisation service, HMRC communications with agents in a digital age, advanced assurance for research and development, income from property and HMRC agent services.


HMRC acknowledges on page 12 of the update that the online services helpdesk is receiving a high volume of calls. The Tax Faculty has received a number of reports of difficulties with getting through to this specific line. WebChat is suggested as an alternative but may not be suitable if there is a specific online service issue to be resolved.


There is also a reminder of the extension of 2 step verification for taxpayers logging in to HMRC online services.