Weekly tax brief | 11 October 2022

Why is HMRC chasing taxpayers for liabilities they’ve already paid?
Miruna Constantin
Thousands of taxpayers nationally are being chased by HMRC’s debt management team for tax payments they’ve made weeks before the deadlines. The issue seems to mainly be around the July payments on account which taxpayers have paid by cheque, weeks in advance of the deadline. While HMRC cash in the cheques shortly after they have been posted, they send the money to a holding account which they then fail to allocate to each individual account.

How is HMRC looking at unexpected time spent in the UK during Covid-19?
David Field 
With 2020/21 UK self-assessment tax returns now filed and processed, HMRC’s focus has shifted towards the contents of those submissions, and in particular the number of days declared by individuals as physically spent in the UK as a result of the pandemic. It seems clear that HMRC has seen enough evidence to suggest that individual taxpayers have perhaps misunderstood or misinterpreted the ‘exceptional circumstances’ rule, and they intend to communicate more widely with taxpayers as a result.

Rachel Reeves says that abolishing non-dom status will raise £3.2bn but these figures may need to be double checked
Rachel de Souza and Andrew Robins 
Labour’s shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves is banking on the abolition of the non-dom remittance basis to pay for increased numbers of doctors and nurses as well as breakfast clubs for all primary school children, relying on figures taken from a report from Warwick University. But even a brief review of the figures calls them into question.

‘Generic pandemic excuses’ not good enough for First Tier Tribunal
Sian Marsden  
The coronavirus pandemic has caused significant disruption to peoples’ lives, both emotionally and financially. HMRC has provided support to taxpayers to help cope with the impact of the pandemic, including allowing extra time to settle tax liabilities, file tax returns and submit appeals. However, to cite coronavirus as a reasonable excuse for not complying with a tax obligation, a taxpayer must show how the pandemic negatively impacted on them meeting their obligation. This was the case in a recent First Tier Tribunal hearing where the judge found that the ‘generic pandemic excuse’ cited was not a legitimate reason for a late appeal.

Related services