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Tax news in brief


Published: 29 Mar 2022 Update History

Highlights from the broader tax news for the week ending 30 March 2022, including: a report on HMRC’s management of tax debt; expat refund requests; Gift Aid claims; and authorisation to discuss SEISS grants.

Public Accounts Committee report of HMRC's management of tax debt

On 26 March 2022, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) issued its report on HMRC's management of tax debt. The report contains six conclusions together with related recommendations. The conclusions are:

  • PAC is not satisfied that HMRC has a clear plan to tackle the mountain of tax debt which has built up during the pandemic.
  • HMRC is not being ambitious enough in bringing down down debt levels and securing the resources this will require.
  • Rogue companies are exploiting the pandemic to profit at the expense of taxpayers.
  • HMRC is far behind where it needs to be in making good use of data to manage debt effectively.
  • HMRC is not using all relevant data sources to understand how the pandemic is affecting taxpayer's ability to repay.
  • PAC is concerned that HMRC is not doing enough to identify vulnerable people who need extra support with their debts.

Expat refund requests

HMRC’s Expat Team has reassigned team members to its helpline to assist with an increase in calls to the Expat Helpline for refund requests. However, this may lead to postal delays. HMRC’s Expat team has therefore requested that, as an interim measure, any outstanding refund requests are shared in list format via HMRC’s Shared Workspace. Urgent cases or lists that are too big for Shared Workspace can be emailed to HMRC with the subject title ‘FAO Expat Team – Refund Requests’.


Gift Aid

It is possible for taxpayers to elect that a gift is treated as made in the previous tax year and the deadline for doing this is the normal self assessment filing deadline of 31 January. HMRC has confirmed that where taxpayers were only able to file returns later than the self assessment filing deadline of 31 January 2022, claims for tax relief on donations included in the self assessment return will be allowed if the return was filed on or before 28 February 2022. However, as this is a claim for relief on donations made on or before 31 January, the donation still needs to have been made during the normal time period.

Authorisation to discuss SEISS frants

A post on HMRC’s working with tax agents blog explains why HMRC may require additional consent before discussing a client’s SEISS grants with an agent. The post also sets out the methods for a client to give consent. Read more.

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