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Working Together #28

06 September 2007
Categories: News
Highlights from HMRC's latest issue of Working Togther (

HMRC recently published Working Together issue 28. Highlights from this publication follow, but for full details see

Local meetings
With regard to revitalising local Working Together groups, HMRC say that they 'have made good progress in arranging for co-ordinators in local compliance to take responsibility for organising groups across the UK'. In many areas, meetings are planned or have already taken place. In all other locations where local Working Together groups have previously existed, the organisers are in the process of contacting local agent representatives to set up meetings.

No e-mail alerts
HMRC say that they are unable to offer an e-mail alert service announcing new editions of Working Together. They mention that they announce on the 'What's new' page of the HMRC website and on the 'What's new' section of the Working Together pages when a new edition is posted. They suggest further that agents can subscribe to an RSS feed enabling them to find out about recent changes to HMRC's 'What's new' information and guidance manuals.

Improving communication
HMRC's tax agents and advisers team, which includes Working Together, is working to improve communications with tax agents. HMRC want to show that they are listening to agents by:

  • making information and news easier to find;
  • keeping agents updated on what HMRC are doing and not yet doing;
  • providing expert guidance for agents;
  • responding to agents' areas of concern.

To this end, HMRC plan to publish the first edition of an Agent Update at the end of August. This will be a bi-monthly summary of recently-published information on the HMRC website, but is not intended to replace other published information or include every piece of information relating to agents.

Agent priority line
HMRC have transferred calls for central Yorkshire, Lincoln, Nottingham and Derby and South Yorkshire to their contact centre in Peterlee. The 0845 numbers for these offices will be unchanged. However, the agent priority line has changed to 0191 541 8010.

Amendments to tax returns
In response to queries, HMRC have clarified the procedure for taxpayer amendments to tax returns:

'A taxpayer has the right to amend a return within 12 months of the filing date (but this right is suspended if the return is under enquiry).
'The taxpayer amendment may be in the form of a letter, an amended return form, an extra supplementary page or an amended supplementary page. HMRC will normally accept an amendment to a return or self assessment under TMA 1970, s 9(4)(b) whether notified by the taxpayer or by an agent authorised to act on their behalf, but it must be supplied in writing.
'As contact centres use electronic voice recording equipment, a limited amount of types of amendments can be made by telephone. You should check that the contact centre can deal with the type of amendment you want to make, with the adviser.'

LPO forum
Agents who would like to contact the Large Processing Office forum on operational matters, e.g. the experience of taxpayers and their agents who deal with these offices, can do so using the e-mail window facility in the Working together section of the website.

Nil payment notifications
Since 10 July 2007 a new service will enable employers and companies to provide nil payment notifications over the Internet. The employer or company does this by entering the accounts office reference number and payment period, or corporation tax payment reference, in the dedicated PAYE or Corporation Tax pages.

Registering new employers
New employers or their agent have been able to send their details to the employers helpline to register as a new employer by e-mail since 2006.
HMRC have explored the viability of providing agents with a means of registering a number of separate new employer details in one e-mail transaction, but this has not proved possible.
However, recognising that it might be helpful for agents not to have to enter their details on each structured e-mail form each time they register a client as a new employer, HMRC propose to make available to agents a facility for them to register their own name, address and other contact details with the employer helpline. Agents would receive, from the helpline, a unique agent identity code for them to quote on each new employer registration transaction. HMRC envisage that once an agent registers his practice name and contact details, he will receive a code number which he would enter on each SEF when registering a client as an employer. The helpline would use the code to populate the employer record with the agent's contact details. The facility would also enable agents to change their details or to de-register.
Before going any further, HMRC would like to receive agents' views on this proposal. Comments can be sent to the HMRC Working together team, details of which are in the main publication.
Working Together issue 28, August 2007

Categories: News
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