HMRC publishes Agent Update 82

18 February 2021

The latest Agent Update issue has been published by HMRC, and includes articles that discuss technical updates and reminders relating to Covid-19, the UK transition, tax, PAYE, making tax digital, HMRC agent services, and the agent forum and engagement.

The update is aimed at tax agents and advisers with the purpose of providing them with the latest news and guidance.

A few of the information pieces are included below, but you can read the Agent Update in full here.

Handling client information – Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme claims

There is a reminder within the update that, where Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) claims are being submitted on behalf of multiple clients, it is imperative to ensure that the correct PAYE reference number is used, as HMRC uses this to record claims. In order to keep clients’ data safe, additional care should be taken to check that the details that are entered relate to the correct client and the particular payroll scheme that the claim is being made for.

Businesses can opt in to the VAT deferral new payment scheme from the end of February 2021

Where businesses opted to defer VAT that was due from 20 March 2020 to 30 June 2020, and there are still payments to be made, they will be able to opt into the VAT deferral payment scheme to pay their deferred VAT over a longer period of time.

The scheme is expected to open on 23 February 2021 and will close at the end of June 2021. Where a business opts in, they can opt to make up to a maximum of 11 smaller monthly instalments, with no interest applied.

There is no need for businesses to call HMRC – they simply need to go to VAT deferral for more information, and they can opt in online once when the scheme opens. HMRC confirms that it is unable to provide an agent service for this scheme.

Where businesses are able to pay their deferred VAT by 31 March 2021, they should ensure that they do so. But if they need more help to make payments, they should contact HMRC.

Spotlight 57 – tax avoidance by selling future business revenues to a revenue service trust

HMRC is aware of an arrangement in which a business may enter into an agreement with a trust and purport to have sold the rights to its future revenue to the trust. This is viewed as tax avoidance.

Spotlight 57 details why arrangements of this nature should not be used, and the advice to individuals is to stay away from them. Anybody who is considering using an arrangement of this type should be directed towards the relevant edition of Spotlight, and individuals who are already using this type of scheme should contact HMRC so that they can get help to get out of it as soon as possible.

Further information about tax avoidance is available online, including a list of the warning signs.

A reminder to apply for Marriage Allowance

HMRC is urging agents to remind their clients that they may be eligible for the Marriage Allowance.

The Marriage Allowance allows individuals to transfer 10% of their Personal Allowance (currently £1,250) to their husband, wife or civil partner, where the husband, wife or partner is the higher earner, meaning that a saving of £250 could be made.

In order to be eligible, the individual must be married, or in a civil partnership, and must not pay Income Tax (e.g. if their income is below their Personal Allowance). Additionally, their partner must pay Income Tax at the basic rate, which ordinarily means that their income is between £12,501 and £50,000 (or £43,430 in Scotland).

Individuals may be able to backdate their claims by up to four years, which would currently include any tax year since 5 April 2016 in which the eligibility criteria was met. The deadline for doing this is 5 April 2021.

Further information can be found online, where applications can also be made.


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.