HMRC publishes Agent Update 83

21 April 2021

The latest Agent Update issue has been published by HMRC. The Update is aimed at tax agents and advisers with the purpose of providing them with the latest news and guidance that may impact them.

The Update includes articles relating to:

  • Technical updates and reminders
  • UK transition
  • Tax
  • PAYE
  • Making Tax Digital
  • HMRC Agent Services
  • Consultations
  • Tax Agent Toolkits
  • Various Contact Details
  • Updates to Manuals
  • Online Updates
  • Spotlights
  • Agent forum and engagement

A couple of the information pieces are included below, but you are encouraged to read the Agent Update in full here.

The Brexit Support Fund

The Brexit Support Fund allows small and medium-sized enterprise traders to access practical support, which includes training for new customs, rules of origin and VAT processes. The Fund is made up of £20 million and is currently open for applications. The aim of the Fund is to assist smaller businesses with amendments to trade rules set up with the European Union (EU).

Smaller businesses are able to apply for grants of up to £2,000 to assist them in adapting to new customs and tax rules when trading with the EU. Those businesses that trade solely with the EU, who may be new to the processes of importing and exporting, are advised to make an application for the grants.

More information, along with details of how to apply, can be found online.

Employer use of National Insurance category M

HMRC intends to raise awareness of the National Insurance (NI) contribution category M, to ensure that employees begin to apply the category to employee records correctly.

As of April 2021, Generic Notification Service (GNS) messages will be sent to employers if data suggests that they need to check the NI contribution category M for their employees. These messages will be sent via the Real Time Information (RTI) portal and it is hoped that this will prompt employers to carry out additional checks, making any corrections that need to be made.

The category M was introduced in 2015 to 2016, and provides for a reduction on the amount of employer’s Class 1 secondary NI contributions for any employees who are below the age of 21. Further guidance on this is available online. When employees reach the age of 21, the NI contributions category can no longer be applied to them, and their employers will be required to assign a new NI contribution category.


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