News

Tax

In an unexpected move, last week HMRC announced that it is opening up a new process which, on application and acceptance by HMRC, will allow some businesses longer to meet the digital links requirement under Making Tax Digital for VAT, once the one year soft landing period from the original mandation date for MTD ends (either from 1 April 2020 or 1 October 2020). HMRC have also updated the relevant VAT notice. “For periods starting on or after 1 April 2019, most VAT-registered businesses with turnover above the threshold have been required to keep their records digitally and send their VAT returns to HMRC direct from the underlying data in those digital records.  In recognition of the fact that some businesses would need more time to digitise the links between their internal systems to fully meet the requirements of Making Tax Digital (MTD), we allowed a 1 year ‘soft-landing’ period from their original mandation date for these digital links to be in place.   Today we opened the process for customers to apply for additional time, if needed, to put digital links in place in order to comply with the requirements of MTD. This additional time will be provided for businesses with complex or legacy IT systems, who are unable to comply with MTD digital links requirements by the end of the initial soft-landing period. Businesses need to ensure that by the end of their soft-landing period their systems are digitally linked where any data is transferred or exchanged. Through our engagement with stakeholders we are aware that some businesses, with complex or legacy IT systems, may require a longer period to put digital links in place across their MTD software to meet their legal MTD for VAT requirements. Therefore, we have opened a process for customers to apply for additional time. The criteria for making an application and how to apply are set out in the VAT Notice 700/22, section 4.2.1.3 - www.gov.uk/government/publications/vat-notice-70022-making-tax-digital-for-vat.  Applications must be received by HMRC by the end of a business’ soft-landing period.” END OF HMRC COMMUNICATION

Oct 21, 2019
Tax

HMRC has advised that scheduled maintenance is taking place to the Making Tax Digital (“MTD”) VAT service from Saturday 21 September at 16:00 until Monday 23 September at 16:00, during which time the MTD service for VAT will be closed. During this period, taxpayers and their agents will be unable to: Sign up for Making Tax Digital for VAT, Create an Agent services account (although all other Agent services will be available), Submit VAT returns, View previous submissions and payment details, Set up new or cancel and amend existing direct debits, Review and update any business details, Access the Business Tax Account to view or change details.   Further details can be found on the VAT and ITSA service availability pages:   VAT - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/making-tax-digital-for-vat-service-availability-and-issues/making-tax-digital-for-vat-service-availability-and-issues ITSA - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/use-software-to-send-income-tax-updates-service-availability-and-issues/use-software-to-send-income-tax-updates-service-availability-and-issues

Sep 16, 2019
Tax UK

HMRC recently sent the below update on Making Tax Digital (“MTD”) which sets out its approach to enforcing compliance in the first year of MTD. Update from HMRC “The government has confirmed a light touch approach to penalties in the first year of implementation of MTD VAT. Where businesses are doing their best to comply, no filing or record keeping penalties will be issued.  The department’s main priority is to support taxpayers to transition to MTD smoothly, so it will not penalise businesses, instead we will send them a letter encouraging them to join without further delay [where businesses failed to sign up in time for their first MTD filing deadline].  We are trialling two different approaches based on compliance and behavioral insight. For each approach, there are two versions of the letter – one includes a disclaimer for businesses where the information we hold suggests their taxable turnover may be below the VAT registration threshold.    Following feedback on the letter issued to monthly filers, we have amended the letter to make the disclaimer more prominent – it is now at the outset.  Sanctions will remain possible in cases of deliberate non-compliance, and in order to safeguard VAT revenue.”  

Sep 09, 2019
Tax UK

HMRC have asked us to share their latest update on Making Tax Digital. Click ‘Read More’ to see this. The latest Making Tax Digital Agent Update has also been published. “On 7 August we reached a significant milestone in the rollout of MTD, with the first quarterly filing deadline for VAT.  This therefore seems like a good moment to update you on how the new service is progressing and to thank you for the important role you have played in getting us to this point. We have been encouraged by the numbers who have signed up and submitted their VAT returns through MTD. There are now nearly one million businesses in the service who have made over 900,000 VAT submissions. As at 7 August 370,000 (76%) VAT registered businesses above the threshold in stagger 1 had signed up.  This is in line with our expectations, particularly given the public commitment we made up front to taking a light touch approach to digital record keeping and filing penalties during the first year. Our focus during this period has been to support businesses moving to MTD to get it right, not to unnecessarily penalise businesses who are doing their best to make the transition. We are now writing to the businesses who did not sign up to encourage them to join as soon as possible and expect numbers to increase significantly in the coming weeks as a result. We took this approach with monthly filers, whose first return through MTD was due by 7 June. 89% (40,000) of that group have now joined the service.  We are also continuing to see non-mandated customers joining on a voluntary basis and sign ups from businesses in stagger 2 (179,000) and stagger 3 (124,000) are accelerating in advance of their first submission deadlines on 7 September and 7 October respectively. In the period leading up to the stagger 1 filing deadline on 7 August the service performed well, handling high volumes of traffic.  Over 60,000 submissions were filed per day at peak times and 19 businesses even filed their returns in the minute before midnight. Businesses and agents also rose to the challenge. We understand that in getting to a position where they felt comfortable submitting their first returns under MTD many have invested significant time and effort to research and prepare. We would like to thank all of those who worked so hard to make this a smooth transition for the majority of businesses. Those who have now switched to digital record keeping and signed up and submitted their first return have taken the biggest step in the MTD for VAT journey. Once businesses are set up and get used to a new way of doing things, they’ll be better placed to take full advantage of the benefits that the move to digital brings. We know that being able to get support through the VAT helpline is very important for customers. That’s why we deployed additional staff to the helpline in late July in anticipation of a peak in demand in advance of the 7 August deadline, helping deliver an average wait during that week of five minutes. The helpline achieved an average wait time of less than five minutes for the whole month of June and for most of July, with the exception of two weeks in July (commencing 1 and 29 July in the build up to peak weeks) when average wait times rose to around seven minutes before returning to normal levels. Whilst we are pleased with the progress we have made it is important to acknowledge that a small proportion of customers experienced issues when trying to meet their obligations and I am sorry for the frustration and worry this may have caused.  We will continue to improve the service so that in future every customer is able to experience the smooth process that was enjoyed by the majority. Over the coming return deadlines we will continue to monitor progress in the roll out of the VAT service and take stock of the lessons learned when considering the future direction of MTD.” END OF HMRC UPDATE

Sep 02, 2019
Tax UK

Forthcoming online HMRC webinars are listed. HMRC ask that you register at least five minutes before the relevant webinar is due to start.   Making Tax Digital – your Agent Services Account: Choose a date and time New VAT reverse charge for construction services: Tuesday 10 September – 10am to 11am Income from property Part 1: Thursday 12 September – 10am to 11am Income from property Part 2: Thursday 12 September – midday to 1pm Off-payrolling working rules from April 2020: Friday 20 September  – 2pm to 3pm New VAT reverse charge for construction services: Monday 30 September – midday to 1pm If you have any questions for HMRC’s subject experts more than 24 hours prior to the meeting, please send them to team.agentengagement@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk, including the title of the meeting in the ‘Subject’ line of your email. Any questions that arise after this time should be submitted during the live meeting. These interactive meetings run on the ‘GoToWebinar’ platform. The organiser will run through how to ask questions on the day. Upcoming meetings are set out. Missed recent Talking Points events? If you weren’t able to join HMRC on some of the latest Talking Points webinars then this is your opportunity to catch up. Some may only be available for a short period of time – so make sure you don’t miss out. The following webinar recordings are currently available: New VAT reverse charge for construction services: Register and view Making Tax Digital - Your Agent Services Account: Register and view Stamp Duty Land Tax – Higher Rates for Additional Dwellings – Back to Basics: Register and view Capital Allowances and Vehicles: Register and view

Sep 02, 2019
Tax UK

7 August 2019 was the first quarterly return deadline for businesses required to report VAT under Making Tax Digital (“MTD”). We’d like to hear about the MTD experiences of agents and businesses. Contact Leontia Doran to share your views. HMRC have also advised that maintenance will be taking place to the MTD VAT service from 4 pm on Saturday 17 August to 4 pm on Monday 19 August. During this period, the following services will not be available: Sign up for MTD Sign clients up for MTD Submit returns View previous submissions and payment details Set up new or cancel and amend existing direct debits Review and update any business or client details The payments service will not be available during the downtime but will be open on Monday 20 August.

Aug 12, 2019
Tax UK

Readers are reminded that the first quarterly filing deadline under Making Tax Digital is tomorrow 7 August 2019. The deadline to sign up and file under MTD for the quarter ending 30 June 2019 has now passed. Most VAT-registered businesses with a taxable turnover above £85,000 now need to submit their VAT returns using Making Tax Digital compatible software. HMRC can help you get ready with this live webinar and short videos.

Aug 06, 2019
Tax

HMRC’s live webinar explains the changes and which businesses are affected by MTD. Guidance includes how to sign up, digital record keeping, software and submitting VAT returns directly from your digital records. You can ask questions using the on-screen text box. Choose your date and time. HMRC’s YouTube channel also has useful videos on ‘How to sign up for Making Tax Digital – VAT’ and ‘Digital record keeping for VAT’

Aug 06, 2019
Tax

HMRC have advised that it is taking longer than usual to send confirmation emails to customers signing up for Making Tax Digital (MTD) – but no action is needed. HMRC are advising that those affected should not try to sign up again or attempt to submit a return until the confirmation email has been received, which should be within a few days.   Read the note from HMRC. “We are aware that we are taking longer than usual to send confirmation e-mails to customers signing up to Making Tax Digital. We are contacting those affected to advise them that there is a short delay in finalising their sign up and that they should expect to receive their confirmation in the next few days if they haven’t already.  In the meantime there is no need for them to take any action and they should not try to sign up again or attempt to submit a return until the confirmation email has been received.”  END OF UPDATE By 7 August, UK businesses required to use MTD for VAT from 1 April 2019 will be due to submit their first quarterly VAT return under MTD for the quarter ended 30 June 2019.

Jul 29, 2019
Tax UK

In just over two weeks, UK businesses required to use Making Tax Digital (“MTD”) for VAT from 1 April 2019 will be due to submit their first quarterly VAT return under MTD for the quarter ended 30 June 2019. The deadline for this is 7 August 2019. There are also now just four days left to make sure you sign up in time for MTD for VAT. HMRC have also published a blog post setting out what needs to be done before 7 August. It is important that businesses sign up for MTD at the right time. Readers are reminded that businesses which must submit VAT returns under the MTD for VAT rules must sign up to the service. This sign-up can be done by the business itself or its agent. If a business is not already signed up, it must wait at least 24 hours after submitting its final non-MTD VAT return before signing up. If payment of VAT is made by direct debit, businesses should allow five working days after the submission deadline for the final non-MTD for VAT return before signing up. Where payment is made by direct debit, the business must sign up at least 7 working days before the first MTD for VAT return is filed. This means that businesses due to sign up and submit their quarter ended 30 June 2019 return in accordance with MTD for VAT and who pay by direct debit should sign up by this coming Friday 26 July 2019 at the latest. However businesses are being advised not to wait until the last minute to sign up in order to avoid issues with registration and new systems which can happen the first time a business is faced with a change of this type. Businesses must also decide on a suitable software package to use. Businesses should also ensure that they receive email confirmation from HMRC that they have signed up before they file their first MTD for VAT return; HMRC are advising that this can take up to 72 hours to arrive. HMRC have also provided details of what some error messages relevant to MTD mean:- 403 (Client_Agent not authorised): the agent has missed a step in the agent journey or used the wrong credentials.  This will usually mean that HMRC’s systems do not recognise that: there is an authorised agent/client relationship the agent has set up an agent services account the business has fully signed up to MTD; or  incorrect credentials have been used when authorising the MTD software    403 (Forbidden): user is trying to submit a return for a period which is not yet closed.    404 (not found): user is trying to call back information for non MTD periods. This can be received when:  The request has been made before the business is fully migrated to MTD;  The request is for an obligation period that pre dates the business joining MTD;  Business is trying to submit a return to replace a paid Central Assessment on ETMP (the new VAT database). An error is returned because ETMP can’t process as no back end design in place; or  The request is asking to view liabilities or payments for a period that is not within MTD (e.g. the business may not yet have submitted a return so no liability has been generated).    500 (internal server error): user has not waited the 72 hours for their record to migrate to MTD (refers to the time that needs to elapse between signing up to MTD and filing the first return; HMRC advises also waiting until the email confirming successful sign up has been received).    8508 (InvalidTraderVRN): user has either tried to submit a return via the old XML route or it’s a genuinely invalid VRN

Jul 22, 2019

HMRC have contacted us about some recent changes to the Agent Services Account (ASA). The ASA allows agents to act on behalf of their clients for Making Tax Digital. The changes are as follows: You are now able to track the status of authorisation requests made in the last 30 days – this is where an agent has used the new digital authorisation route from ASA to authorise a new client. In response to user feedback, HMRC have renamed the ‘link your clients’ step to ‘copy your clients’. GOV.UK has been updated to reflect this – HMRC have also revised the ASA step by step guide to show this change. HMRC has delivered new functionality that shows agents the number of client authorisations that they have copied over from HMRC online services. HMRC will continue to iterate the service in response to feedback.

Jul 15, 2019
Tax UK

In what will be a busy month for businesses signing up to Making Tax Digital (“MTD”) for VAT for the first time, HMRC have contacted us to advise that later this week it will be undertaking some scheduled maintenance to the MTD VAT service. As a result, the service will be temporarily closed from Saturday 13 July from 7.30pm to 8.30pm and Sunday 14 July from midnight to 2.00am. During these periods, taxpayers and agents may experience some intermittent disruptions to both the VAT and income tax self-assessment services. HMRC are advising that if you experience any problems please try again after the scheduled maintenance is due to finish. HMRC also have advised that the vast majority of taxpayers that have signed up (or have been signed up by an agent) to MTD are now able to view their VAT Certificate in their Business Tax Account (HMRC online services). The functionality for agents to access this information will be delivered in August, in the meantime they should call the VAT helpline to request the information. The functionality for a small number of taxpayers with non-standard accounting periods will be delivered later this year; date is to be confirmed.

Jul 08, 2019
Tax RoI

In his regular column in the Sunday Business Post, Brian Keegan, Director of Advocacy & Voice looks at economic lessons from Hong Kong and wonders is it sometimes best that government simply does nothing.   Cróna Clohisey spoke to Northern Sound last Thursday about how small businesses can take some straightforward steps now to prepare for Brexit. The NI Tax Committee and Chartered Accountants Ulster Society issued a press release last week calling for businesses to act now on Making Tax Digital for VAT. This was covered briefly on Downtown Radio and Cool FM News.

Jul 08, 2019
Tax

Listed below are forthcoming online HMRC events.  HMRC ask that you register at least five minutes before a digital meeting is due to start.   If you have any questions for HMRC’s subject experts more than 24 hours prior to the meeting, please send them to team.agentengagement@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk, including the title of the meeting in the ‘Subject’ line of your email. Any questions that arise after this time should be submitted during the live meeting. These interactive meetings run on the ‘GoToWebinar’ platform. The organiser will run through how to ask questions on the day. Upcoming meetings are set out. Negligible value claims & share loss relief: Thursday 11 July – midday to 1pm The disguised remuneration loan charge – reporting requirements and compliance: Friday 12 July – midday to 1pm Making Tax Digital – your Agent Services Account: and signing clients up to Making Tax Digital: Monday 15 July – 10am to 11pm, Monday 15 July – 2pm to 3pm, Thursday 25 July – 10am to 11am and Thursday 25 July – 2pm to 3pm Capital allowances and vehicles: Friday 18 July – midday to 1pm Stamp duty land tax – higher rates for additional dwellings – back to basics: Tuesday 23 July – midday to 1pm Missed recent Talking Points events? Then this is your opportunity to catch up. HMRC have selected some recently recorded webinars which are available at a time to suit you. Some may only be available for a short period of time – so make sure you don’t miss out. Expenses and benefits – employee travel: Register and view Making Tax Digital – your Agent Services Account: Register and view Capital allowances - plant & machinery: Register and view Trade losses: Register and view

Jul 08, 2019
Tax UK

In just over a month’s time, UK businesses mandated to use Making Tax Digital (“MTD”) for VAT from 1 April 2019 will be due to submit their first quarterly VAT return under MTD for the quarter ended 30 June 2019. The deadline for this is 7 August 2019. It is important that businesses sign up for MTD at the right time. Readers are reminded that businesses which must submit VAT returns under the MTD for VAT rules must sign up to the service. This sign-up can be done by the business itself or its agent. If a business is not already signed up, it must wait at least 24 hours after submitting its final non-MTD VAT return before signing up. If payment of VAT is made by direct debit, businesses should allow five working days after the submission deadline for the final non-MTD for VAT return before signing up. Where payment is made by direct debit the business must sign up at least 7 working days before the first MTD for VAT return is filed. This means that businesses due to sign up and submit their quarter ended 30 June 2019 return in accordance with MTD for VAT and who pay by direct debit should sign up by Friday 26 July 2019 at the latest. However businesses are being advised not to wait until the last minute to sign up in order to avoid issues with registration and new systems which can happen the first time a business is faced with a change of this type. Businesses must also decide on a suitable software package to use. Businesses should also ensure that they receive email confirmation from HMRC that they have signed up before they file their first MTD for VAT return; HMRC are advising that this can take up to 72 hours to arrive. MTD for VAT is now available to all VAT registered traders except those that use the VAT GIANT (Government Information and NHS Trust) service. GIANT users are currently required to submit additional information with their VAT return. Due to an ongoing review by the government into VAT simplification in the public sector, HMRC is further extending the deferral period for GIANT users beyond the October 2019 date that currently applies. HMRC will be in touch again regarding this. HMRC has also been in touch regarding notification of change to the agent services account creation process. It has been a requirement since 2009 for accounting service providers to register for Anti Money Laundering Supervision (AMLS). Agents are asked to enter their AMLS details when they create an Agent Services Account (ASA), which allows them act for their clients under MTD. To ensure that all agents are able to create an ASA and to sign their clients up in good time to meet their MTD obligation in good time, HMRC has changed the journey to allow the creation of an ASA on the basis of a pending AMLS application. However if the agent’s application is refused agent services access will be withdrawn. Agents should only sign businesses up using their agent credentials, not those of the businesses.  Please note that only those acting as paid agents should create an ASA to file on behalf of clients. The following publications relevant to MTD have also been updated:- Making Tax Digital for Business - stakeholder communications pack Sign up for Making Tax Digital for VAT Keep digital records for Making Tax Digital for VAT Create an agent services account Check when a business must follow the rules for Making Tax Digital for VAT Making Tax Digital  

Jul 01, 2019
Tax UK

Listed at this link are forthcoming online HMRC events.  HMRC ask that you register at least five minutes before a digital meeting is due to start.   If you have any questions for HMRC’s subject experts more than 24 hours prior to the meeting, please send them to team.agentengagement@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk, including the title of the meeting in the ‘Subject’ line of your email. Any questions that arise after this time should be submitted during the live meeting. These interactive meetings run on the ‘GoToWebinar’ platform. The organiser will run through how to ask questions on the day. Upcoming meetings are set out. PAYE Expenses & Benefits (P11D): Wednesday 26 June – midday to 1pm An overview of the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS): Thursday 27th June – 2pm to 3pm Basis Periods: Friday 28 June – 2pm to 3pm Negligible Value Claims & Share Loss Relief:Thursday 11 July – midday to 1pm The Disguised Remuneration Loan Charge – reporting requirements and compliance: Friday 12 July – midday to 1pm Making Tax Digital – your Agent Services Account: Monday 15 July – 10am to 11pm and Monday 15 July – 2pm to 3pm Capital Allowances and Vehicles: Friday 18 July – midday to 1pm  

Jun 24, 2019
Tax

HMRC are carrying out scheduled maintenance later this week to their Making Tax Digital (“MTD”) service; the maintenance is scheduled for after 7 June when businesses which are monthly VAT filers are due to file their first VAT return under MTD for VAT for the month of April 2019. As a result of the scheduled maintenance, taxpayers will be unable to use the MTD VAT and income tax services at the following times: From 11.30pm on Saturday 8 June to 10.30am on Sunday 9 June; and From 11.30pm on Saturday 15 June to 10.30am on Sunday 16 June.  During these periods, taxpayers will be unable to: Sign up for Making Tax Digital Create an Agent services account (although all other Agent services will be available) Submit returns View previous submissions and payment details Set up new or cancel and amend existing direct debits Review and update any business details.  A further period of scheduled maintenance for the MTD VAT service will take place on 17 June. From 9am to 5pm (at the latest) taxpayers will be unable to submit VAT returns through MTD software or view return information through their online services account or software. All other elements of the MTD services will be available during this period, including the ability to sign-up to the service. The payments service will not be available during the Sunday downtime’s but will be open on Monday 17 June.  Readers are reminded that businesses which must submit VAT returns under the MTD for VAT rules must sign up to the service. This sign-up can be done by the business itself or its agent. If a business is not already signed up, it must wait at least 24 hours after submitting its final non-MTD VAT return before signing up. If payment of VAT is made by direct debit, businesses should allow five working days after the submission deadline for the final non-MTD for VAT return before signing up. Where payment is made by direct debit the business must sign up at least 7 working days before the first MTD for VAT return is filed. This means that businesses due to sign up and submit their quarter ended 30 June 2019 return in accordance with MTD for VAT who pay by direct debit should sign up by Friday 26 July 2019 at the latest. Businesses should also ensure that they receive email confirmation from HMRC that they have signed up before they file their first MTD for VAT return; HMRC are advising that this can take up to 72 hours to arrive. HMRC have also updated the guidance on who can join the MTD for income tax pilot. In addition, several MTD for VAT documents have been updated. Individuals can now sign up to MTD for income tax if: They are a sole trader with income from one business, they rent out a UK property or both; Their self-assessment tax returns and payments are up to date; and They are UK resident for tax purposes Currently, individuals won’t be able to take part if they need to report: income from any other sources; any other payments that are taxable or that you claim tax relief on Anyone signing up to the MTD for income tax pilot must have an MTD for income tax software product. At present the HMRC list of software products only four providers. The following MTS guidance and publications have been recently updated:- Making Tax Digital for VAT as a business: step by step Making Tax Digital for VAT as an agent: step by step VAT Notice 700/22 Manage your client's details for Making Tax Digital for VAT

Jun 04, 2019
Tax UK

Read the latest update from HMRC which includes up to date information on Making Tax Digital and cyber security.

May 27, 2019
Tax UK

Take a look at forthcoming online HMRC events.  HMRC ask that you register at least five minutes before a digital meeting is due to start.   If you have any questions for HMRC’s subject experts more than 24 hours prior to the meeting, please send them to team.agentengagement@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk, including the title of the meeting in the ‘Subject’ line of your email. Any questions that arise after this time should be submitted during the live meeting. These interactive meetings run on the ‘GoToWebinar’ platform. The organiser will run through how to ask questions on the day. Upcoming meetings are set out. Expenses & benefits – Trivial benefits: Wednesday 29 May – 10am to 11am Expenses & Benefits – Social functions & parties: Mo‌nd‌ay 3 J‌un‌e – 1‌1am to 1‌1.45am Making Tax Digital – your Agent Services Account: Thursday 6 June – 10am to 11am, Thursday 6 June – midday to 1pm, Monday 10 June – midday to 1pm and Tuesday 11 June – 1pm to 2pm Missed recent Talking Points webinars? Here’s a selection of some recently recorded webinars to help you catch up. The HMRC complaints process: Register and view An Introduction to Research and Development Tax Relief: Register and view Making Tax Digital – your Agent Services Account: Register and view Cryptoassets (also known as cryptocurrencies) and HMRC: Register and view Capital Allowances Plant & Machinery: Register and view An Intermediate Guide to the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS): Register and view These interactive webinars were run on the ‘GoToWebinar’ platform and the information was correct at the time they were originally broadcast.

May 27, 2019
Tax UK

HMRC have updated several toolkits and published a plethora of forms and helpsheets relevant to the new tax year 2019/20 (available on GOV.UK). The updated toolkits are as follows:- Trusts and estates toolkit Expenses and benefits from employment toolkit Capital Gains Tax for land and buildings toolkit Capital Gains Tax for shares toolkit Capital Gains Tax for trusts and estates supplementary toolkit National Insurance contributions and statutory payments toolkit  

Apr 29, 2019