HMRC formally launches tax toolkits

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After a year of development and testing, HMRC has introduced its range of Self Assessment tax toolkits for agents.

The toolkits highlight the common errors that attract HMRC's attention and the steps that can be taken to reduce those errors. They can also be used to help demonstrate that 'reasonable care' has been taken. They consist of a checklist, explanatory notes and links to further guidance. Whether to use them or not is entirely voluntary, HMRC said.

The first toolkits to be released were:

  • Capital Gains Tax for Trusts and Estates
  • Marginal Small Companies' Relief
  • Capital Allowances for Plant and Machinery
  • Personal and Private Expenditure
  •  Capital Gains Tax for Land and Buildings

The toolkits will be updated to reflect new legislation and HMRC said it planned to develop more.

 

HMRC has been very open about developing the toolkits, which grew out of its compliance reform forum with tax agents. The toolkits have been tested during the past year with group of agents including AccountingWEB.co.uk Tax Editor Rebecca Benneyworth, who

reviewed

the CGT land/property and Personal expenditure programs in November.

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HMRC Toolkits

The above is slightly incorrect in that there are 5 toolkits plus a supplementary toolkit.  The comments above do not mention the main Trust and Estate tool-kit, the CGT for Trusts is supplementary to the main toolkit, if you go the the HMRC website page you can see the list. 

The link for the relevant HMRC page is:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/agents/prereturn-support-agents.htm

 

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HMRC Toolkits

I also took part in the trial of the CGT toolkits and would endorse Rebecca's view that the toolkits will be useful:

(a) In demonstrating that reasonable care has been taken in completing a return, and

(b) As a training aid.

Users should however be aware that in providing links to HMRC guidance the toolkits are (unsuprisingly) promoting HMRC's interpretation of the legislation which as we know is not always necessarily correct.

P.S.  As part of the trial I was interviewed to find out how useful I had found the toolkits, what use I thought I would make of them etc. The firm to whom HMRC had subcontracted the interview task very kindly agreed to pay me £125 for my trouble which was very sporting of them. I was surprised however at the end of the interview to receive the payment in notes in a brown envelope ! 

 

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