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RTI: HMRC Extends Survey into Difficulties of “On or Before” Reporting to 20 September Print E-mail
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Business Tax
Written by Lee Sharpe   
Tuesday, 10 September 2013 00:00

One of the most difficult issues for employers dealing with the new “Real Time Information” reporting for PAYE is that they are required to make their online returns to HMRC “on or before” payment – in other words, either simultaneously or beforehand.

Employers, agents and professional bodies have long warned that this is all but unworkable for many businesses, particularly those which pay shift workers or casual labour out of normal business hours, such as in the catering and food industries.  Of course HMRC might argue that these are some of scenarios where it would most like to see “on or before” reporting applied.

There are some exclusions from “on or before” reporting such as might apply for casual bar staff – see HMRC Relaxes "On or Before" Reporting Rule in Some Cases - and there is a general “soft landing” phase for smaller businesses with fewer than 50 employees up until April next year RTI: HMRC Extends Relaxation of "On or Before" Reporting for Further 6 Months but many interested parties have expressed concern that the basic requirement is unachievable for too many businesses.

The CIOT has reported that HMRC has announced an extension to their “call for evidence” so that the deadline is now 20 September – employers and agents dealing with RTI are urged to take the survey here.

Non-Statutory Clearance Guidance - Harmonised Regime Print E-mail
Personal Taxes
Written by Lee Sharpe   
Thursday, 15 August 2013 00:00

HM Revenue & Customs has announced that it has harmonised the two regimes for

  • Non-Statutory (Business) tax clearances, and
  • Non-Business tax clearances

into Other Non-Statutory Clearance Guidance - which might lead some to wonder, where is the 'first' Non-Statutory Clearance Guidance, so that this might be 'other' than that?

More importantly, practitioners will be well aware of how useful these clearances can be, and that the clearance teams generally provide a helpful and prompt service. Let's hope that this remains the case.

Parents on Higher Incomes Reminded to Register for Self Assessment Print E-mail
Personal Taxes
Written by HM Revenue & Customs   
Monday, 12 August 2013 00:00

Parents on higher incomes who continued to receive Child Benefit after January 2013 have been reminded that they must register for Self Assessment by 5 October 2013 to avoid any penalties in relation to the High Income Child Benefit Charge.

This month, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will be writing to around two million higher rate taxpayers, including those affected by recent changes to Child Benefit. The letter reminds them that if their income is over £50,000 and they or their partner received Child Benefit in 2012/13, they will need to complete a Self Assessment tax return for the 2012/13 tax year. They must register now with HMRC for Self Assessment if they have not already done so. 

Over 390,000 people with higher incomes have already opted out of receiving Child Benefit.

HMRC’s Chief Executive, Lin Homer, said:

“HMRC is committed to helping people pay the right amount of tax. If you have had certain changes to your income in the last year, including those affected by the changes to Child Benefit, you have until 5 October to register for Self Assessment.”

The High Income Child Benefit Charge came into effect on 7 January 2013. You are liable to pay the tax charge if all of the following statements apply, or applied to you in the 2012/13 tax year:

  • you have an individual income of over £50,000 a year, and
    • either you or your partner received any Child Benefit payments after 7 January 2013, and
    • your income for the tax year is higher than your partner’s.  The partner with the higher income is liable to pay the charge if both partners have income over £50,000. 

People who stopped Child Benefit payments before 7 January 2013 do not need to take any further action.  To check whether the tax charge applies and to register, go to High Income Child Benefit Charge.

If the charge does apply, then you must register for Self Assessment for the 2012/13 tax year by 5 October 2013,so that you can declare the Child Benefit you received, pay the tax charge on time and avoid any penalties.

You might be able to come out of Self Assessment in future years if you (or your partner if they are the Child Benefit recipient) choose to opt out of receiving Child Benefit and avoid incurring the tax charge. Go to High Income Child Benefit Charge if you want to opt out.

More information on whether you need to register for Self Assessment can be found at: Do You Need to Complete a Tax Return?.

Update on Single Compliance Process for Taxpayer Enquiries Print E-mail
Business Tax
Written by Lee Sharpe   
Monday, 12 August 2013 00:00

HM Revenue & Customs has published an update on its findings from the trial of the Single Compliance Process, at Single Compliance Process (SCP) - Briefing Paper for Tax Agents.

We have previously commented on the SCP and would concur with HMRC that, in principle, "cross-cutting" or working all taxes together should be welcome, as it will reduce the risk of businesses and their agents having to answer the same questions for separate enquiries under separate heads of tax.

But it has always frustrated agents that the initial contact under the SCP was with the taxpayer, effectively circumventing the agent. ( HMRC Will Notify Agents of Taxpayer Enquiries Under New Rules ). It seems that this concern has now been addressed, however, since the latest announcement says:

"A specially convened sub-group of the Compliance Reform Forum has been working closely with HMRC to develop and trial a new enquiry process. During the design/trial stages, feedback and concerns were considered and agreement was reached on a revised opening approach under which the agent will be contacted in the first instance."

Agents should therefore be pleased that inspectors should, now, be engaging with them from the outset in relation to enquiries under the new SCP regime.

Time Running Out to Catch Up with Second Property Tax Print E-mail
Personal Taxes
Written by HM Revenue & Customs   
Tuesday, 30 July 2013 00:00

People who have sold properties which are not their main homes, and have not told HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) about any profit, have one month left to make use of the disclosure opportunity.                                          

HMRC’s Property Sales Campaign is aimed at those selling second homes in the UK or abroad where Capital Gains Tax (CGT) should be paid. It includes properties that were rented out and holiday homes.

Taxpayers have until 9 August to tell HMRC about any unpaid tax on such property sales, and until 6 September to pay the tax that they owe. By using the campaign to come forward voluntarily, people will receive the best possible terms, and any penalty will be lower than if HMRC approaches them first.

Marian Wilson, Head of HMRC Campaigns, said:

“Over the last few months we have published articles and written to a lot of people to make them aware of the campaign. As a result, hundreds of people have now come forward. It is not too late for people to contact us.

If you have sold a second home you might not know it could attract Capital Gains Tax. If anyone has done this in the past and is unsure, they should look at HMRC’s website and use our simple decision tree to find out if they might owe CGT. Telling HMRC about your tax liabilities is straightforward, and help, advice and support are available.”

After 6 September, HMRC will take a much closer look at the tax affairs of people who have sold properties other than their main home, but who appear to have paid no CGT. We will use information that we hold about property sales in the UK – and abroad – to identify people who have not paid what they owe. Penalties – or even criminal prosecution – could follow.

People can take advantage of the campaign by:

  • telling HMRC about unpaid tax by 9 August
  • disclosing the details of what they owe
  • paying the tax owed by 6 September.

For more details on the campaign, taxpayers can visit HMRC’s website:

Help is also available from HMRC by calling 0845 601 8819.

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