Recent HMRC meetings, 21 December 2020

Dec 21, 2020

This Institute regularly engages with HMRC on matters of interest for our members. In recent months the focus of meetings has been on the various COVID-19 supports, preparations for EU transition and the forthcoming self-assessment deadline. The Institute continues to lobby for a three-month automatic suspension of late filing penalties. Set out below are some key messages from recent meetings.

Virtual Communications Group

“Will those who didn’t claim SEISS 1 & 2 have problems claiming SEISS 3 due to Irish passport issues?   

A: Government Gateway (GG) and HMRC do not accept a Republic of Ireland passport (ROI) as a form of identification. We appreciate some Northern Ireland customers may have chosen to use a ROI, rather than a UK passport.

However, Northern Ireland Driving licenses are now accepted by Government Gateway in the identity verification system which require two forms of identification (ID). These include the following:

  • UK Passport
  • UK driving licence (DVLA issued)
  • NI driving licence (DVA issued)
  • Credit reference agency data – information held on a customer’s credit file

Therefore, new Northern Ireland customers claiming SEISS, can use their Northern Ireland Driving license as a form of ID. However, if they do not hold a UK Passport, they will need to provide a credit reference agency check as a second form of ID. 

If they do not have two forms of ID and/or a credit record and are unable to verify their identity, they will still be able to claim by calling us on our Covid-19 Helpline 0800 024 1222.

Customers who have already verified their identity under SEISS 1/2 do not need to be re-verified, and will get straight into the SEISS claims service with their existing credentials. Customers who need to re-set their GG password will need to provide the two forms of ID described above.”

  • The Time to Pay (“TTP”) portal for enhanced TTP for self-assessment tax debt will remain open for 60 days, however late payment penalties are incurred after 30 days. HMRC are examining this and will update the guidance in due course;
  • When signing up for enhanced TTP the relevant liability needs to be known. What happens if the self-assessment return is filed late? HMRC has advised that filing late does not rule out TTP however the number of instalments may be shorter.Outside of 60 days HMRC can be contacted to negotiate but penalties will have been incurred;
  • Is evidence needed for anyone who deferred their second payment on account for 2019/20? HMRC advised that evidence is not needed at this point;
  • In October, two different Making Tax Digital compliance letters were issued.The second letter went to people who could submit an online declaration stating they were below the VAT threshold or sign up to MTD if above. Is there a mismatch?Agents did not see the letters and there were concerns they could be a scam. HMRC has advised that agents will be involved in advance in future comms of this nature;
  • The scope of the second letters was based on businesses who had not submitted a full year of returns meaning that HMRC were unable to determine whether the business was mandated to sign up to MTD VAT;
  • A consultation on design of MTD for Corporation Tax (“CT”) service launched on 12 November and is open until 5 March 2021;
  • Virtual stakeholder events will be held throughout the consultation period. In the new year an online survey version of the consultation will be launched - this will summarise parts of the consultation and ask questions on the summary.The survey will run for 16 weeks;
  • The group felt it would be better if an idea of the ITSA outcomes and feedback were available before considering the MTD CT design.HMRC agreed to take this point away but had no solution at the current time.

HMRC has also made available to us via the Wealthy External Forum a number of briefings relevant to taxpayers and their agents who are under the auspices of the Wealthy Team in HMRC.