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Highlights from the broader tax news for the week ending 17 May 2023, including: LBTT Green Freeports relief; SA exclusions and special cases; amendments to plastic packaging tax regulations; HMRC’s employment related securities bulletin; making child benefit claims online; and changes to the check when you can expect a reply from HMRC service.

ICAEW's response to consultation on Green Freeports relief for land and buildings transactions tax

In ICAEW REP 40/23, ICAEW requested that the Scottish government considers whether the proposed time limits will deliver the incentive for the planned five-year period and also responded to selected specific questions where it considers the draft legislation could be improved.

Exclusions and special cases for self assessment

HMRC has released a first version of technical specifications for exclusions and special cases for self assessment tax returns for the 2022/23 tax year. Individuals who fall within these categories may not be able to file online and may need to include a claim for reasonable excuse if paper filing after 31 October.

Most individuals will not be preparing their tax returns for some months. However, those with property disposals at the end of the 2022/23 tax year may use the opportunity to file within 60 days of completion, bypassing the requirement to file a separate capital gains tax for property return.

HMRC proposes amendment to plastic packaging tax regulations

HMRC has published a consultation seeking views on draft legislation amending the Plastic Packaging Tax (General) Regulations 2022, SI 2022/117. The proposed change requires businesses to separately claim a tax credit for tax arising in the same accounting period from tax credits where the tax arose in a previous accounting period. Businesses are already instructed to act in this way in guidance that has the force of law. The amendment aims to ensure the legislation aligns with the guidance and the online system for claiming tax credits. Views on the draft regulations should be emailed to indirecttaxdesign.team@hmrc.gov.uk by 22 May 2023.

Key reminders from HMRC's employment related securities bulletin

Employment related securities bulletin 50 (May 2023) contains a reminder of changes from 6 April 2023 to restrictions in enterprise management incentives (EMI) options agreements and working time declarations. It also contains reminders about the 6 July 2023 filing deadline for end of year returns, late filing penalties and the reduction in the dividend allowance from 6 April 2023 and 6 April 2024.

Child benefit claims can be made online

It is now possible to make a claim for child benefit online. An online claim may be made 48 hours after a child’s birth has been registered, or when a child goes to live with a parent. HMRC has said that online claims should result in faster processing than paper claims, with payments reaching parents in as little as three days.

HMRC has also confirmed that in the coming weeks it will be possible to make a claim for child benefit via the HMRC app.

Claimants can also view recent child benefit payments, proof of their claim, and update their bank details instantly via the online service and the app.

Where's my reply?

HMRC has updated Check when you can expect a reply from HMRC. You can now use the tool to check when you should receive a reply to certain requests about employers’ PAYE and national insurance matters such as registering a PAYE scheme or claiming a construction industry scheme refund. This tool and/or HMRC’s service dashboard should be consulted for the expected response date before progress chasing.

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