Technical News

 


This update provides some background to and information about HMRC’s letters and some guidance to help members decide the most appropriate way to respond if a client receives one of the letters.

HMRC's performance targets are set out in their single departmental plan, updated on 1 October 2019. These include a number of customer-orientated measures such as call handling times and post turnaround. These measures are reported by HMRC on a monthly and quarterly basis.

We have updated the checklist of penalties applying to tax avoidance and offshore tax evasion and non-compliance.

The Scottish Government are circulating letters from the Cabinet Secretary for Finance Ms Forbes – they set out the upcoming changes to non-domestic rates in Scotland.

To help with the completion of self-assessment tax returns, many agents will use software that can download PAYE-related information that HMRC already holds about their clients. While this can be very helpful, the present ‘phase 1’ system does have flaws and we receive a lot of feedback each year from members frustrated about what information they receive in this manner.

Last September HMRC expanded the range of performance and management information they publish to include 14 new metrics, including around debt management, customs and customer experience.

In July 2019, the Financial Secretary to the Treasury (FST) committed HMRC to undertaking an evaluation of the implementation of their additional statutory powers introduced since 2012 against the same powers and safeguards principles which underpinned the 2005-2012 powers review. In order to obtain external input, HMRC set up the Powers and Customer Safeguards Implementation Evaluation Forum on which CIOT is represented and which had its inaugural meeting at the end of October 2019.

HMRC has provided us with an update in relation to its digital services.

HMRC has provided comments on the Q&As on the extension of IHT to overseas property representing UK residential property interests.

Ipsos MORI are looking for agents to participate in research as part of the review into the implementation of HMRC’s Powers and Safeguards which is currently underway