This week’s COVID-19 tidbits, 29 June 2020

Jun 29, 2020

HMRC and the UK Government continue to publish updates on COVID-19 related issues. When using a form or publication going forward or contacting HMRC, check you are using the most recent version or up to date way of contact which may have changed due to the pandemic. 

  • Following a written ministerial statement by the Financial Secretary to the Treasury and as a result of the pandemic's impact on the housing market, HMRC has updated its guidance on the exceptional circumstances for claiming an SDLT refund outside of the normal time limits. This will allow homeowners to apply for a refund of the higher rate of SDLT even if their previous home was not sold within the three-year time limit, where that period came to an end on or after 1 January 2020;
  • HMRC has announced that the first reporting deadlines in the UK which implement the EU mandatory disclosure rules (DAC 6), and which were due to come into force on 1 July 2020 are being deferred by six months due to COVID-19;
  • Report Stage and the third reading in the House of Commons of Finance Bill 2020 is scheduled to take place later this week. The Government has published a number of amendments introducing new clauses in response to COVID-19 which are expected to be passed at Report Stage;
  • HMRC has recommenced compliance activity in respect of Making Tax Digital (MTD) for VAT. Letters are being sent to business who have not yet filed using MTD. HMRC’s approach is to encourage compliance rather than imposing penalties however this is likely to change in the future;
  • HMRC has begun the process of PAYE reconciliations for 2019/20 with repayment cases generally taking priority;
  • In the most recent Trusts and Estates newsletter, HMRC confirms that response times on its trusts helpline have increased as staff have been redeployed. A temporary dedicated mailbox has therefore been set up to arrange a call back; and
  • Revenue and Customs Brief 9 (2020): delayed VAT repayments to overseas businesses informs overseas businesses about the current delay in processing and refunding VAT claims submitted under the Overseas Refund Scheme.