Technical News


HMRC has seen that fraudsters are taking advantage of COVID-19 to offer spurious financial support and tax refunds. They text, email or phone taxpayers offering the bogus refund or aid, or threaten them with arrest if they don’t immediately pay fictitious tax owed. These scams often target the elderly and vulnerable.  

Revenue Scotland, the Scottish tax authority responsible for Land and Buildings Transaction Tax and Scottish Landfill Tax, has made a number of alterations to its operations in response to the developing COVID-19 pandemic.

HMRC have published new guidance on exceptional circumstances for the purposes of the Statutory Residence Test and Coronavirus (COVID-19).

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.

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.