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Highlights from the broader tax news for the week ending 23 November 2023, including: VAT on local authority supplies of sporting services; reclaiming tax paid on loans to participators; income record viewer update; and gift holdover relief claims.

VAT on local authority supplies of sporting services

Following decisions in the local authority cases of Chelmsford, Midlothian and Mid-Ulster, HMRC has published an internal manual page, VATGPB8410, on whether supplies of sporting services by local authorities should be treated as business or non-business activities. The treatment is primarily dependent on whether treating the supplies as non-business, and therefore outside the scope of VAT, creates a significant distortion of competition.

Reclaiming tax paid on loans to participators

Agents can use a new online service to reclaim tax paid by close companies on loans to participators (L2P). The service is available from a new guidance page. Agents should use their agent services account (ASA) credentials when signing in. The service is not available directly from the ASA homepage.

Income record viewer update

HMRC has released a change to the income record viewer service (IRV). The service now provides information on tax codes for the last four tax years, rather than just the current year.

The service is being used by a small proportion of agents. This is likely to be for several reasons:

  • The requirement for client authorisation via a digital handshake (YouTube video).
  • The self assessment pre-population service meets the agent's needs.
  • Concerns over reliability of the data. IRV and elf assessment pre-population data come from two different sources. IRV provides more information and uses PAYE RTI reports as the source. It is generally more reliable than the self assessment pre-population data which is only available once the PAYE record has been reconciled by HMRC's annual process. There have been some reports of inaccuracies in IRV data. In particular, it uses P11D data from the previous tax year until that data superseded by the P11D for the relevant tax year.

Despite these concerns, IRV can be a useful tool for agents who need data on client PAYE source income.

Claims for gift holdover relief

In Agent Update 114, HMRC has confirmed that a pdf version of the original document is acceptable for gift holdover relief.

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