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ICAEW technical round-up: September 2023

Author: ICAEW Insights

Published: 27 Sep 2023

This month’s top stories include HMRC’s new online overlap relief form; changes to agent authorisation for VAT; and the self assessment registration deadline approaches.

Need to know

Overlap relief information online service available: The new online overlap relief form will allow unincorporated businesses and their agents to request the information HMRC holds on the available overlap relief that must be claimed in the 2023/24 transition year.

Agent authorisation for VAT is changing: HMRC will remove the functionality that allows agent authorisations for VAT to be copied across to the agent services account. VAT authorisations already copied across are unaffected. It will still be possible to copy authorisations for MTD ITSA.

HMRC changes central assessment process for late VAT returns: Central assessments may no longer be cancelled immediately upon submission of the late return.

Agents should expect even longer waiting times on the ADL: HMRC is to formally remove the 10-minute average waiting time standard on the agent dedicated line (ADL). Calls to the ADL on individual PAYE matters may be routed to a separate team.

Self assessment registration deadline approaches: Taxpayers who need to submit a tax return for the tax year to 5 April 2023 should register for self assessment (SA) by 5 October 2023. Individuals who no longer need to file a tax return should also contact HMRC to have their notice to file withdrawn.

Should you be paying national insurance while working abroad?: HMRC has launched a new tool for people to check whether they should be paying national insurance contributions (NIC) while they are working abroad.

How will the EU carbon border adjustment mechanism affect UK businesses?: The EU’s carbon border adjustment mechanism enters its transitional phase on 1 October 2023, meaning that UK businesses exporting to the EU must prepare for the changes.

Opportunity to pause settlement of open off-payroll working compliance checks: HMRC adopts a pragmatic approach of offering deemed employers the ability to pause settlement pending a potential change in legislation.

ABAB survey explores tax administration burdens on business: The annual survey by the Administrative Burdens Advisory Board (ABAB) received a record number of responses. Burdens on business remain a significant concern and continue to increase.

HMRC announces phased approach to CDS export migration: Most businesses will now have until 30 March 2024 to migrate from the customs handling of import and export freight (CHIEF) system.

Action required by those holding certificates of tax deposit: Certificates need to be used by 23 November 2023. The value on HMRC’s books is £89m.

Member help sheets and guidance

ICAEW responds to draft Finance Bill 2023-24 provisions: The Tax Faculty provided input on measures relating to the proposed merged R&D tax credit scheme, tougher measures for promoters of tax avoidance, changes to data HMRC collects from customers, and abolishing the pensions lifetime allowance.

ICAEW welcomes HMRC proposals to modernise Terminal Markets Order: The Terminal Markets Order needs updating, but ICAEW questions why the proposed simplification doesn’t go further.

ICAEW comments on the future of customs declarations: ICAEW welcomes the exercise to simplify customs declarations, but cautions against changes with unintended consequences.

Tackling non-compliance in the umbrella company market: ICAEW suggests that the off payroll working problem, which has led to the increase in the use of umbrella companies by employment intermediaries, could be resolved by eliminating opportunities for arbitrage that arise from rates of tax and NIC being different depending on employment status for tax.

Investment zones and freeports – similarities and differences: Investment zones were refocused at the Spring Budget 2023. They are intended to grow the economy by focusing on places with significant unmet productivity potential and building on their existing strengths. How do they compare to freeports?

UK’s Border Target Operating Model published: The government has set out how controls applicable at the border will be simplified and digitised.


ICAEW responds to consultation on a voluntary standard for customs intermediaries: ICAEW is broadly supportive of a voluntary standard, but stressed that the interaction with current standards needs to be considered.

ICAEW comments on opportunities and barriers to decarbonising UK energy production: In its response to a consultation on the UK’s oil and gas fiscal regime, ICAEW stressed the dangers of overreliance on oil and gas to meet current and future energy demand and highlighted the opportunities that can be created from investment in low carbon technology.

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