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Coronavirus: Tax compliance and communicating with HMRC

ICAEW insights, technical guidance and news updates on tax measures affecting UK tax compliance and changes to contacting HMRC during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Estimated tax gap increases to £35bn

HMRC figures released for the pre-pandemic period of 2019/20 show a £2bn increase in the estimated tax gap, largely attributable to an increase in the VAT gap. ICAEW’s Tax Faculty analyses the key data.

HMRC’s performance during an exceptional year

Ahead of its full annual report, HMRC has published performance statistics for 2020/21. ICAEW acknowledges what HMRC has achieved in its response to the pandemic while noting that concerns over performance persist which suggests that there are fundamental problems.

The tax implications of COVID support schemes

As HMRC confirms delays in processing self assessment returns with incorrectly reported SEISS grants, the Tax Faculty has published guidance for all ICAEW members on the tax issues arising from the UK’s coronavirus support schemes.

NIC Bill confirms reliefs for Freeports and broadening of DOTAS

The government has published the National Insurance Contributions Bill, which legislates reliefs for employers of veterans and those operating in Freeports, as well as for the self-employed isolating due to COVID-19. The Bill will also enable upcoming changes to the DOTAS scheme to apply to national insurance avoidance.

ICAEW technical round-up: February 2021

24 February 2021: This month’s top technical stories on ICAEW Insights include updates on self assessment penalties, IR35 changes and a major change to the government’s Kickstart Scheme.

HMRC charts its performance in 2020/21

10 February 2021. HMRC’s quarterly performance statistics for October to December 2020 show that it continues to struggle to provide an adequate level of customer service. Alongside the data HMRC has published a commentary as it did in the last quarter.

Expert support for faculty members on key tax issues of 2021

10 February 2021: Respected tax authority Rebecca Benneyworth has written two new TAXguides offering valuable insights into the key issues facing agents at the start of 2021 and exploring what business structure has the lowest tax burden.

Tax news in brief

Highlights from the broader tax news week ending 3 February, which includes: a restrained Scottish Budget in light of the coronavirus pandemic and HMRC publishes a Brexit edition of its Agent Update with guidance on postponed VAT accounting.

ICAEW technical round-up: January 2021

29 January 2021: This month’s top technical stories on ICAEW Insights include HMRC’s decision to waive late filing penalties for one month, help with common COVID-19 accounting and auditing issues, and a raft of Brexit news and guidance.

HMRC to waive SA late filing penalties for one month

25 January 2021: ICAEW welcomes HMRC’s decision to automatically wave penalties for self assessment tax returns filed late due to the coronavirus pandemic. The move will see no penalties issued for returns filed online up to 28 February 2021.

HMRC stands firm on SA late-filing penalties

19 January 2021: HMRC has rejected calls to reconsider automatically waiving late-filing penalties for self assessment tax returns due on 31 January, but confirmed that deadlines missed due to COVID-19 should not result in having to pay a penalty provided an appeal is made.

Reconsider stance on SA late-filing penalties, urges ICAEW

14 January 2021: ICAEW has called on HMRC to reconsider automatically waiving late-filing penalties for self assessment tax returns due on 31 January, in light of the significant impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on clients, tax agents and HMRC resources.

Options for 31 January self assessment deadline

7 January 2021: As HMRC is resisting calls for an easement on self assessment late filing penalties, ICAEW’s Tax Faculty outlines the options available to taxpayers and agents who will have difficulty filing or paying.

No relaxation of the 31 January SA filing deadline

5 January: In December, HMRC declined calls from professional bodies to relax the self assessment filing deadline but promised to keep the situation under review. Where HMRC issues penalty notices to those who file late, more time will be allowed to appeal and pandemic-related delay on the part of an agent may be accepted as a reasonable excuse.

Tax news in brief

Highlights from the broader tax news week ending 22 December, which includes: guidance from HMRC on disguised remuneration schemes that avoid tax by selling business revenues to trusts, changes to land transaction tax and Royal Assent of the Taxation (Post-transition Period) Bill 2020.

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