Digital marketplaces to report sellers’ incomes from 2023


HMRC has published a consultation that outlines plans to implement reporting rules for digital platforms first put forward by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

In February 2020, the OECD consulted on proposed rules setting out how digital platforms should collect information about the income of sellers and report it to tax authorities.

Under the new rules, websites and applications based in the UK will be required to report sellers’ income arising in the previous calendar year to HMRC. The reporting deadline will be 31 January of the year following the calendar year.

HMRC stated that the new rules will improve international co-operation in regard to the exchange of information for tax purposes. They will also allow HMRC to access data from platforms based outside the UK quickly and efficiently, which should encourage compliance and increase the visibility of transactions.

The rules will also help taxpayers to get their tax right and will assist HMRC in detecting and tackling tax non-compliance.

HMRC’s consultation will close on 22 October 2021.

Internet links: GOV.UK

HMRC outlines changes to late payment penalty regime


HMRC has published a policy paper outlining the forthcoming changes to the penalties for late payment and interest harmonisation for taxpayers.

The government intends to reform sanctions for late submission and late payments to make them ‘fairer and more consistent across taxes’. Initially the changes will apply to VAT and Income Tax Self Assessment (ITSA).  

The changes will see interest charges and repayment interest harmonised to bring VAT in line with other tax regimes, including ITSA.

Under the new regime, there are two late payment penalties that may apply: a first penalty and then an additional or second penalty, with an annualised penalty rate. All taxpayers, regardless of the tax regime, have a legal obligation to pay their tax by the due date for that tax. The taxpayer will not incur a penalty if the outstanding tax is paid within the first 15 days after the due date. If tax remains unpaid after day 15, the taxpayer incurs the first penalty.

This penalty is set at 2% of the tax outstanding after day 15.

If any of the tax is still unpaid after day 30 the penalty will be calculated at 2% of the tax outstanding after day 15 plus 2% of the tax outstanding after day 30. If tax remains unpaid on day 31 the taxpayer will begin to incur an additional penalty on the tax remaining outstanding. This will accrue at 4% per annum.

HMRC will offer taxpayers the option of requesting a Time To Pay arrangement which will enable a taxpayer to stop a penalty from accruing by approaching HMRC and agreeing a schedule for paying their outstanding tax.

For VAT taxpayers, the reforms take effect from VAT periods starting on or after 1 April 2022. The changes will take effect for taxpayers in ITSA from accounting periods beginning on or after 6 April 2023 for those with business or property income over £10,000 per year (that is, taxpayers who are required to submit digital quarterly updates through Making Tax Digital for ITSA).

For all other ITSA taxpayers, the reforms will take effect from accounting periods beginning on or after 6 April 2024.

Internet link: GOV.UK

Increase in public trust in charities


Public trust in charities has reached its highest level since 2014, according to research published by the Charity Commission.

An independent study showed that people’s trust in charities scored an average of 6.4 out of 10, up from 6.2 a year ago and significantly higher than the low of 5.5 recorded in 2018. The highest figure to date is 6.7 out of 10, recorded in 2014.

The Commission said the uplift may be linked in part to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and charities’ visible role in responding to the national crisis, notably in areas such as food poverty and support for NHS workers and other key workers.

Helen Stephenson, Chief Executive of the Charity Commission, said:

‘It is vital that we learn the right lessons from this research. The pandemic has been a momentous event in our collective experience, with charities proving their value time and again.

‘But it has not changed people’s fundamental expectations of charity. More than ever, people need evidence that charities are not ends in themselves, but vehicles for making the world a better place, both through what they achieve, and the values they live along the way.’

Internet link: Public trust in charities 2021: web version

Pension scams average losses now over £50,000


According to the latest figures from Action Fraud the average loss from pension scams has reached £50,949 this year.

That is more than double the typical figure of £23, 689 reported last year.

Action Fraud said the losses in each case ranged from less than £1,000 to as much as £500,000, and the real figures could be higher as many scams go unreported.

Mark Steward, the Executive Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight at the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), said:

‘Fraudsters will seek out every opportunity to exploit innocent people, no matter how much they have saved.

‘Check the status of a firm before making a financial decision about your pension by visiting the FCA register. Make sure you only get advice from a firm authorised by the FCA to provide advice, before making any changes to your pension arrangements.’

The FCA highlighted five common warning signs:

  • Being offered a free pension review out of the blue
  • Being offered guaranteed higher returns
  • Being offered help to release cash from your pension, even though you are under 55
  • High-pressure sales tactics – scammers may try to pressure you with ‘time-limited offers’ or send a courier to your door to wait while you sign documents
  • Unusual investments which tend to be unregulated and high-risk.

More information on how to avoid pension scams is available from the FCA at https://www.fca.org.uk/scamsmart/how-avoid-pension-scams

Internet link: FCA news

Data reveals 1.9 million workers remain on furlough


The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) is being wound down on 30 September 2021 and data published by HMRC has revealed that 1.9 million workers remain on furlough.

The data showed that the number of employees furloughed on the CJRS fell by 590,000 during June. The total number of furloughed workers is 1.9 million.

The data also revealed that younger workers have been leaving furlough most quickly, whilst one in ten workers aged 65 or over were on furlough.

For guidance on claiming CJRS visit: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wages-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

Internet link: GOV.UK CJRS statistics

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