Agent Update 60: latest news for tax agents from HMRC

HMRC has issued Agent Update 60, the latest bi-monthly round up of developments in tax.

The most relevant articles for agents are tucked away on pages 12 and 13 and include:

  • Information on how firms will set up a new Agent Services Account as part of the rollout of MTDfB, including linking existing client lists and authorising of new clients. HMRC is currently testing the process with a very small number of agents. These services are not expected to be generally available until late summer or autumn and the timetable may vary between software providers. Further details will be available in a Talking Points webinar for agents on 9 August 2017 at 12:30 or 14:30
  • Paid agent journeys – details of work that HMRC is doing to understand the ‘existing pain points from the agent perspective’. An initial event with agent representatives was held in March. Email caroline.miskin@icaew.com if you would like to participate in the ongoing work.
  • Self assessment pre-population – details of how agents can use third party software to retrieve a variety of PAYE, National Insurance contributions and marriage allowance data for the purposes of pre-populating SA returns. This is currently in private beta trial.

Other articles of interest include:

Scottish taxpayers

A reminder that HMRC identifies Scottish taxpayers from the address held on their systems which makes it particularly important that address details are updated when taxpayers move to or from Scotland.

Only those who are UK resident can be Scottish taxpayers. Non-residents who have a source of income that could be subject to Scottish rates and bands will need to use a non-Scottish address to avoid being incorrectly identified as a Scottish taxpayer.

Dynamic PAYE coding

HMRC has previously announced that it will be making more use of RTI data to update tax codes. The start date for this change has been delayed from the end of May 2017 to the beginning of July 2017.

The impact will be more tax code changes and fewer over and under payments arising after the end of the tax year. Some taxpayers will have underpayments collected more quickly than under the present system; those who experience hardship should contact HMRC to discuss the possibility of spreading collection of the underpayment. At this stage HMRC will use RTI data only where there is a change which triggers a review of a taxpayer’s codes – changes in income levels such as a bonus payment do not trigger a review of codes.

Working Together

The Working Together section of the update includes details of the next and final meeting on Wednesday 26 July 2017 and the current open issues. ICAEW members who would like to join this Working Together meeting or the HMRC Agent Forum should contact caroline.miskin@icaew.com.

The HMRC Agent Forum is expected to be fully rolled out on its new platform after this meeting – even though this is the final Working Together meeting agents should consider joining to find out more about the Agent Forum which will become the route for agents to raise (and hear about) widespread issues.

The Issues Overview Group which has representatives from the main professional bodies will continue to monitor the issues being raised on the HMRC Agent Forum and press HMRC to take appropriate action.

Collective Investment Schemes Centre customer service – The Collective Investment Schemes Centre has announced the introduction of a new system for submitting applications to join the Reporting Fund Regime and for providing Annual Reports – further details are available in the update.

Your views on Agent Update

Finally, HMRC is still seeking comments on the design, purpose and content of Agent Update and would welcome comments from readers – send them to mailbox.digitalsupport@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk by 14 July 2017.

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