25 May 2023

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) published its issue 108 Agent Update for tax agents and advisers. The update provides information on technical updates and reminders, tax, Making Tax Digital (MTD) and agent services.

Some of the key highlights are:


Employment related securities (ERS)

  • the deadline for filing annual ERS returns is 6 July 2023
  • returns, including nil returns, must be submitted for every scheme that has been registered
  • if a scheme has been registered in error, or it is no longer required, the employer must ensure they cease the scheme. Once a scheme is ceased, an annual return must still be submitted for the tax year in which the final event date falls
  • agents will not be able to cease a scheme on behalf of an employer
  • any liability for penalties for late returns, or errors legally remains with the employer.

Tax Administration and Maintenance Day (TAMD)

A number of technical tax policy proposals were set out, that build on measures announced at Spring Budget with particular focus on:

  • simplifying and modernising the UK’s tax system
  • supporting HMRC’s efforts to maintain downward pressure on the tax gap.

Read all publications and announcements related to TAMD here.

Tax Administration Framework Review (TAFR)

The government has published two documents as part of the wider TAFR. The publications are open for 12 weeks and will close on 20 July 2023.

Self-assessment threshold change

  • from tax year 2023/24 onwards, the self-assessment threshold for customers taxed through PAYE only, will change from £100,000 to £150,000
  • check whether a return needs to be submitted here.

Marriage allowance

Income tax self-assessment

  • under the new rules, from April 2024, businesses will be taxed on profits for the tax year and not, as now, the profits for the accounting year ending in a tax year
  • only taxpayers with an accounting date other than 31 March or 5 April are affected by this reform
  • ahead of further guidance being published on GOV.UK, information on basis period reform is provided in the Business Income Manual. Information is also available in a GOV.UK news article on basis period reform.

HMRC agent services

Repayment agent registration

  • the government will now require paid agents to register with HMRC via the agent services account (ASA) to continue to submit claims for income tax repayments. Starting from 2‌‌‌ ‌‌May 2023, a three-month window will be given to register
  • agents that are already registered on the ASA do not need to re-register
  • check if an ASA is needed here.

Employer direct debits

  • a recurring direct debit for employer PAYE needs to be done at least six working days before the payment due date of 22nd of the month
  • interest being charged may be noticeable if the online account is accessed between the 23rd and the date the payment is taken, but this will be reversed once the payment is processed
  • agents cannot set up a direct debit or a time to pay arrangement on a clients behalf.

Continuing to support customers to interact digitally

  • HMRC will continue running the SMS service and expand it to more helplines and queries as part of a larger trial. The SMS service directs routine helpline calls to online services
  • from 4 May customers calling HMRC about routine queries which could be answered online will be given the option to either receive a link via text message or remain on the phone.

Agent forum and engagement

Coding allowances for working from home

  • check eligibility to claim tax allowance here
  • customers in self-assessment who may have claimed a working from home allowance alongside other allowances are advised to check continuing eligibility to ensure the tax code is correct and avoid future underpayments of tax. Find out more about checking income tax in the current year here.

Agent forum etiquette

  • agents are asked to ensure that posts on the agent forum refer to or provide evidence of potential systemic issues.

Other areas also covered in the issue are:

  • research and development (R&D) tax relief reform
  • plastic packaging tax monthly update
  • loan relationship unallowable purpose rule — updated guidance
  • changes to the HMRC VAT online account from 15 May
  • advance valuation ruling service (AVRS)
  • support for customers who need extra help
  • tax agent toolkits
  • contact
  • manuals
  • online
  • publications
  • agent forum and engagement.

Keep an eye out for our reporting on the next edition due on 14 June 2023.

Information provided in this news article may be subject to change. Please make note of the date of publication to ensure that you are viewing up to date information.