Other news in brief

Other news in brief

A round up of other news this week.


Despite the inability to conduct face-to-face mediations in recent months, HMRC have continued to promote Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) as a key method for resolving tax disputes. HMRC have conducted a large number of virtual mediations which have continued to produce a high rate of successful resolutions with positive feedback from taxpayers. HMRC are looking to expand the scope of ADR and have updated their guidance and the ADR factsheet to include a set of principles committing applicants to fully participate in the ADR process. If you are interested in learning more about the ADR process please speak to your usual KPMG in the UK contact.

The Fifth Money Laundering Directive (5MLD) extends the scope of the Trust Registration Service (TRS) requirement to many non-tax paying trusts that are currently excluded. On the basis that the Government originally planned to open the extended TRS system in spring 2021, the original deadline for existing trusts to register on the TRS was March 2022. However, the extended TRS system is not now expected to be open until summer 2021. HMRC have indicated that in order to provide enough time to register, trustees and agents will have about 12 months from date extended TRS system is available to use, thereby delaying the deadline to approximately summer 2022. HMRC will provide further updates and clarifications in due course.

The drive to increase the reporting to tax authorities in the digital world continues at pace within the EU, first platform providers (DAC7) and this month’s launch of a consultation on e-money and crypto assets (DAC8). The OECD are not far behind, but recent working groups seem to be focused on crypto-currencies and assets and indeed a consultation from HMRC may appear this year on this subject. Although this is EU legislation it could impact UK platform operators to the extent the sellers on the Platform are in the EU or the UK platform is used to rent property that is located in an EU member state. An obvious challenge is enforcement; but it is noteworthy that the OECD published Model Rules for Reporting by Platform Operators with respect to Sellers in the Sharing and Gig Economy in 2020 so this could arrive in UK legislation in the next few years.

HMRC have announced that the return and payment deadlines for the Appendix 7A and 7B National Insurance Contributions settlement returns; Appendix 4: Short Term Business Visitors Arrangement report and Appendix 8: PAYE special arrangement for short term business visitors, special payroll arrangements have been extended to 30 June 2021, due to the difficulties created by COVID-19.

Our Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Q&A document for employers has been updated to reflect recent developments.

HM Treasury has announced plans for a new business rates relief fund of £1.5 billion for businesses in England that have been affected by COVID-19, but have not been able to benefit from the existing £16 billion business rates relief for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses due to being outside of these sectors. The fund will be distributed according to which sectors have suffered most economically, rather than on the basis of decreases in property values. The Government has further announced that it will be legislating to rule out COVID-19 related ‘material change of circumstance’ (MCC) appeals on the basis that as COVID-19 has caused a market-wide economic change it can only be properly considered at general rates revaluations.

The OECD is hosting two Awareness Events for ICAP, the International Compliance Assurance Programme. ICAP is a voluntary co-ordinated programme for risk assessment and transfer pricing assurance of large multinational enterprise (MNE) groups. The Awareness Events are on 30 March 2021 at 09:00 (CEST) and repeated on 1 April 2021 at 17:00 (CEST). ICAP will now run in full following two pilot programmes and the Awareness Events will include speakers from MNEs who participated in the pilots, as well as tax administrations. The OECD has asked representatives of interested MNEs to register for the event which best suits the local time zone by e-mailing ICAP@oecd.org.

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