06 March 2024

Some small updates regarding HMRC funding and initiatives from the Spring Budget 2024:

Simplification of tax administration and tackling the tax gap

The government’s financing plans for 2024-25 are set out in ‘Debt Management Report 2024-25’. The long-term debt management objective is to minimise the cost of meeting the government’s financial needs.

£140 million will be invested by the government to improve HMRC’s ability to manage tax debts. The aim is to expand HMRC’s debt management capacity, supporting individual and business taxpayers out of debt quicker and to collect due taxes.

Investment in HMRC Digital Services

The government aims to remove confusion for Income Tax Self-Assessment (SA) customers by simplifying HMRC’s digital services, supporting SA taxpayers by introducing a Time to Pay Arrangement from September 2025, allowing customers to pay in arrears or in instalments in advance via a budget plan.

Suite of Simplification Metrics

In order to measure the progress of the tax simplification initiative, the government will set out metrics that will be created using the responses from HMRC’s annual customer service survey, a survey that is completed by customers after using HMRC’s telephony or digital services. The metrics will include HMRC’s estimated change in net cost to businesses, to meet tax obligations from tax measures.

Raising standards in the tax advice market: strengthening the regulatory framework and improving registration

A consultation is set to be published on options to strengthen the regulatory framework in the tax advice market, and the requirement of tax advisers to register with HMRC if they need to interact with HMRC on a client’s behalf. The government also intend to explore making it quicker and easier for tax advisers to register with HMRC.

HMRC guidance on retraining tax deductibility

HMRC has published new guidance for sole traders and the self-employed on tax deductibility of training costs. The guidance outlines that for allowable costs when calculating taxable profits, include updating skills, keeping up with technological advances and changes in industry practices.

Tackling non-compliance in the Umbrella Company Market

The government aims to protect workers employed by umbrella companies, ensuring fair and genuine competition in the market while preventing tax revenue losses through non-compliance. They will provide an update on the latest consultation on tackling non-compliance in the Tax Administration and Maintenance Day on 18 April. New guidance will be provided to support workers and businesses who use umbrella companies.

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