Get quacking on your self-assessment

Jan 13, 2020

HMRC are advising taxpayers not to let the forthcoming self-assessment deadline for 2018/19, which is on Friday 31 January 2020, peck away at them. With the deadline looming, HMRC has also issued a special agent update self-assessment edition.

HMRC have also issued a reminder to taxpayers subject to the annual allowance charge that this must be included on their self-assessment return.

As you prepare your clients’ 2018-19 Self Assessment (SA) returns, you may want to take a look at some agent toolkits that have been specially tailored to support you in this area. They have been designed to address the most common errors seen from previous years and include checklists of the key issues to consider and links to HMRC technical guidance and manuals.

By identifying the most common errors, this may prompt a conversation between you and your clients to ensure submissions are correct. Why not take a look at the following toolkits to help you minimise errors on the SA tax return?

The below update has also been provided by HMRC in respect of their previous “nudge” letters to encourage recipients and their agents who are preparing their 2018/19 tax returns to check that they are correctly reporting both Excess Reporting Income (“ERI”) and Offshore Income Gains from their offshore fund investments. HMRC are also asking recipients to consider returns already submitted for 2018/19 and earlier years.

“Update from HMRC specialist

Managers of offshore reporting funds are already required by Regulation 92 SI 2009/3001 to make available to investors the amount of ERI. This is often done as a per unit figure from which the investor/agent has to calculate their amount and generally is published on a website rather then sent to the agent, which would of course require the investor to know where to look and to calculate their share are work out which year it relates to. Again, this is something that should be made known to them, but in some instances where the investment is through an intermediary the intermediary may not pass the relevant information on to the investor (the fund will not know who the beneficial owner is). 

I think it is likely that is where the problems usually lie, however it would not be possible for the fund to give that information directly to the investor as they would be unlikely to know who they are.  I think it is reasonable to expect those who invest in offshore funds to ensure they make themselves aware of the tax consequences of doing so, and to seek advice if necessary. 

They can check if the fund is a reporting fund here  If it is, the investor or their adviser must ensure that they obtain the necessary information, which might mean they have to ask the intermediary but usually I think the ERI information will be publicly available.

HMRC have published guidance on the treatment of UK taxpayers invested in offshore funds here”