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Highlights from the broader tax news for the week ending 15 March 2023, including: Finance Bill; holiday pay calculations; HMRC interim Adjudicator; ESS disclosures; VAT guidance for overseas sellers; CDS cash account help; and NAO report on child trust funds.

Finance Bill

The government has announced that the Spring Finance Bill 2023 will be published on 23 March.

Holiday pay calculations

The Tax Faculty has responded in ICAEW REP 22/23 to proposals from BEIS to change the way in which holiday entitlement is calculated for part-year and irregular hours workers in Great Britain. The faculty highlights that employers and software developers will need sufficient lead time and that guidance should make it clear that the changes apply only in Great Britain, not Northern Ireland.

HMRC interim adjudicator

Paul Douglas has been appointed as HMRC’s interim Adjudicator. He replaced Helen Megarry on 13 March 2023. The Adjudicator’s Office investigates complaints about HMRC and the Valuation Office Agency. Read more.

Electronic sales suppression disclosures due by 9 April

HMRC has reminded recipients of its Stakeholder Digest that businesses have until 9 April to voluntarily disclose use of electronic sales suppression (ESS) to evade paying taxes. The disclosure can be made by using this disclosure form.

By making a disclosure before the deadline, those deliberately misusing their till system could see their financial penalties reduced. Fines for possessing ESS tools can be up to £50,000 if the tool is not removed or ceased to be used.

Selling goods using an online marketplace or direct to customers in the UK

Overseas sellers making taxable sales in the UK, either through an online marketplace or directly to customers, must register and account for UK VAT. HMRC has published a collection of guidance to help businesses operating in this way to find out whether they need to pay VAT. The new guidance consolidates and updates previous guidance in this area. It is also available in simplified Chinese.

Get help with your Customs Declaration Service cash account

Businesses that need help with using a cash account for Customs Declaration Service declarations can now contact HMRC by calling 0300 322 7064 and selecting option 1. Alternatively, businesses can email customsaccountingrepayments@hmrc.gov.uk with ‘Use a cash account for Customs Declaration Service declarations’ in the subject line.

National Audit Office publishes report into child trust funds

HMRC set up 1.7m child trust funds (CTFs), tax-free saving accounts for the benefit of children born between 2002 and 2011, after parents did not do so within the required 12-month time period using vouchers sent to them by HMRC. Overall, 6.3m CTF accounts were created. These accounts can be accessed once the child turns 18.

A new National Audit Office report reveals that around 45% of CTFs maturing remain unclaimed as of April 2021, with value of £394m locked in these accounts. HMRC is running a communications drive during 2023 to make sure beneficiaries are aware of and are able to claim their CTF.

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