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Tax news in brief


Published: 01 Sep 2021 Update History

Highlights from the broader tax news week ending 1 September, which includes: new guidance for prospective operators of freeports, confirmation of a fix in the self assessment API, information for reclaiming overpaid VAT on games machines and the latest advisory fuel rates published.

Fix for self assessment API bug

On 31 August, HMRC confirmed that an error which had been identified in the API that pre-populates self-employment income support scheme (SEISS) figures in commercial self assessment software had been resolved. The error had resulted with the figures for SEISS grants being inflated by a factor of 100. Read the updated tax news story: “Latest SEISS guidance and updates from HMRC”.

New guidance on operating freeports

HMRC has published two new pieces of guidance for those wanting to operate a customs site (also known as a free zone) in one of the UK’s new freeports. The first outlines the responsibilities of operators of freeport customs sites, giving examples of the conditions that might be included in the site’s designation order, as well as detailing the security that for which the operator is responsible. The second piece of guidance outlines how to apply to be a freeport customs site operator. It explains what information is required for the application form and how to download the form. It also confirms that HMRC will start to process applications from 9 September. ICAEW’s Tax Faculty hosted a webinar on the incentives, benefits, risks and pitfalls for businesses operating in Freeports on 12 August, the recording can now be watched on demand.

Reclaiming overpaid VAT on gaming machines

In Revenue & Customs Brief 12 (2021), HMRC has set out the procedure for businesses with appeals stood behind the case of The Rank Group PLC & 2016 G1 Ltd [2021] UKFTT 241 (TC) to reclaim overpaid VAT for the period from 6 December 2005 to 31 January 2013 (the law changed from 1 February 2013). New claims cannot be made at this stage. Read more.

Latest advisory fuel rates published

HMRC has published the third quarterly advisory fuel rates for 2021. The rates are used by organisations in calculating reimbursements for fuel costs and business travel in company cars. From 1 September, rates for petrol and diesel engines have been increased across the board, while the rates for LPG have fallen. Petrol and diesel rates have increased by 1 penny with the exception of diesel engines larger than 2000cc which has increased to 15p up from 13p. LPG rates have fallen by 1 penny for engines smaller than 2000cc, and by 2p to 12p for engines larger than 2000cc. Employers can use previous rates for up to one month after the date the new rates apply.

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