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Highlights from the broader tax news for the week ending 7 March 2024, including: commencement arrangements for the new merged scheme for R&D tax relief; the roll-out of one government login; and updated guidance from HMRC on when and how it will contact taxpayers.

Start date confirmed for merged R&D tax relief

Regulations have been made confirming that the new merged scheme for research and development (R&D) tax relief applies for accounting periods beginning on or after 1 April 2024 (the appointed date). The appointed date is also relevant for the purposes of determining the accounting period for which a company is entitled to the higher rate of payable tax credit for R&D-intensive SMEs. For a summary of the changes to R&D tax relief, see this TAXline article.

One government login

One government login, the replacement for the government gateway, started to be slowly rolled out to HMRC services from 29 February 2024. It will initially be tested on individuals setting up new sign-in credentials, and existing government gateway users may be prompted to use one government login when undertaking certain transactions. One government login is currently available only to individuals. It will be rolled out to agent and organisation government gateway credentials later.

One government login offers more identity verification options than the government gateway including a fall-back option of proving identity in person at a post office.

Updated guidance on genuine HMRC contact

HMRC has updated its guidance on when and how it will contact taxpayers to include: Help to save research conducted by Ipsos UK; requests for feedback on HMRC’s temporary customer compliance manager service; research by NatCen into businesses’ views on uncertain tax treatment; and contact with members of the One-to-Many Compliance Advisory Board. The guidance is intended to help taxpayers decide if a suspicious email, phone call, text or letter could be a scam.

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