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Highlights from the broader tax news for the week ending 9 November 2022, including: the latest ABAB survey report; reporting COVID-19 payments; customs valuation guidance; the HMRC app; and the VAT treatment of parking in country parks.

Tell ABAB survey

After a pause in 2021 due to the pandemic, the Administrative Burdens Advisory Board (ABAB) has published the results of its 2022 annual survey of taxpayers and agents. ABAB received more than 3,000 responses, a third from agents and two-thirds from businesses. The survey covered six themes:

  • Making Tax Digital (MTD): ABAB observed that the majority are finding no significant cost or time savings from MTD VAT and a significant minority are finding it more costly and/or time-consuming. In relation to MTD ITSA, ABAB noted that most businesses are aware of the change to some extent, although more publicity is needed and HMRC helplines may need to be ready for greater demand.
  • COVID schemesABAB noted that HMRC handled the online information and processes around COVID well, but those who needed to contact HMRC felt poorly served.
  • Customs: importing and exporting: ABAB highlighted a lack of awareness of the new requirements, though recognised that the participants may not be affected.
  • HMRC forms: Participants highlighted the needs for forms to be standardised, use clearer language and for the whole process, including submission, to be online.
  • Communications with HMRC: ABAB highlights that all communication channels need to be supported and that webchat and telephone helplines need more resources.
  • Changes to legislative / administrative burdens: ABAB observed that businesses are not feeling any let-up in the increase in regulatory burden, with a large minority feeling that the customer experience had worsened over the last year.

COVID-19 payments

HMRC is reminding self assessment taxpayers that COVID-19 payments must be declared on their tax returns for the 2021/22 year. Payments received under the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) are taxable, so payments received between 6 April 2021 and 5 April 2022 will need to be included on an individual’s tax return. Certain other COVID-19 support schemes are also taxable (such as those made to the self-employed, partnerships or businesses). Taxpayers should check whether these also need to be reported. The deadline for online submission of 2021/22 tax returns is 31 January 2023.

HMRC publishes guidance on customs valuation

HMRC has published a collection of guidance on working out the customs value of imported goods.

The collection includes guidance on:

  • valuation methods;
  • valuing different types of goods;
  • delivery costs
  • working out the value of import VAT;
  • rates of exchange; and
  • different types of charges and fees.

The purpose of the collection is to bring together in one place all the relevant information on customs valuation.

HMRC releases a new app for mobile devices

The HMRC app, available on iOS and Android, allows access to an individual’s tax account using their existing Government Gateway user credentials, along with setting up an additional passcode. Individuals can use the app to check their tax code and national insurance number, see how much they have been paid through PAYE, see an estimate of their tax payable for the year, view communications from HMRC and track tax credits and child benefit. Self assessment taxpayers can check how much tax is due to HMRC under self assessment and make self assessment payments through the app.

HMRC updates guidance on VAT treatment of parking in country parks

An update to HMRC’s internal manual for VAT as it applies to local authorities states that where a local authority provides car parking in a country park that it is responsible for managing, the service may either be standard rated or outside the scope of VAT, depending on the powers under which the car parking is provided.

HMRC now accepts that car parking charges will fall outside the scope of VAT where they are:

HMRC considers that any other car parking charges in country parks are not made under a special legal regime. These charges are therefore business activities taxable at the standard rate of VAT.

Local authorities may need to consider correcting their VAT position for overpaid or underpaid output tax.


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