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Highlights from the broader tax news for the week ending 5 April 2023, including: tax on state pension arrears; self assessment forms on gov.uk; and the 12-month look back for plastic packaging tax.

State retirement pension arrears

Since August 2020, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has been paying arrears of state retirement pension to individuals who have been underpaid. This work will continue until December 2024.

HMRC is now starting to check whether tax is due by self assessment taxpayers who have received a payment of arrears. HMRC will only collect income tax for 2023/24 and the previous four tax years. Taxpayers who died before the DWP paid the arrears will not be charged tax.

This work is being done by a dedicated team in HMRC and letters will be issued from 11 April 2023. A copy of the letter will be issued to authorised agents.

Self assessment forms to remain available on gov.uk

Following representations by ICAEW and other stakeholders HMRC has agreed that self assessment forms, including the 2022/23 versions, will remain available on gov.uk. The forms are needed for reference purposes and form part of the guidance.

HMRC is going ahead with writing to 135,000 taxpayers to encourage them to file online. If they do need to file on paper, taxpayers should phone HMRC to request a paper form. The gov.uk guidance will make it clear that forms should not be downloaded and submitted.

Returns need to be filed on paper where there is an online filing exclusion or an in-year return is being filed for a deceased client. Agents with commercial self assessment software may be able to prepare returns using their software and print and submit them.

Plastic packaging tax: 12-month look back

HMRC has updated its plastic packaging tax guidance to reflect the fact that it has been 12 months since the tax was first introduced. For the purposes of the look-back test for registration, you must now look back 12 months from the last day of the month, to check how much finished plastic packaging components you manufactured and imported, instead of looking back to 1 April 2022.

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