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What do you want to ask HMRC?

HMRC representatives will be answering your questions at this year’s AccountingWEB Live Expo.

Didn't find your answer?

This 1-2 December, HMRC will be discussing the latest on Making Tax Digital at the AccountingWEB Live Expo in Coventry. Jim Harra will be taking centre stage on day two, while the director and deputy director of the tax transformation project will speak at multiple sessions across the two-day event. These workshops are designed to update you on the latest guidance and help you prepare for MTD. 

As a profession, what would you like to ask the directors? What would you like to hear from HMRC?

This is your opportunity to ask the directors the questions that matter, and to get the answers you’ve been looking for. Let us know your burning questions in the comments below.

Grab your ticket now via our free registration page here.

Replies (23)

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By Justin Bryant
07th Oct 2021 14:57

Does anyone at HMRC read Aweb Anyanswers and if not why not and if so, do they ignore the comments?

Thanks (1)
By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
07th Oct 2021 15:18

1. are you going to listen to the ICAEW and suspend 30 day report and pay until the huge issues in it are fixed?
2. When are you going to hire some staff? Covid had highlighted the cronic understaffing levels, which then causes huge backlogs and firefighting. It also dramatically increases the number of calls to HMRC when it take 3 or 4 contacts rather than one to fix anything so its hugely unproductive for everyone.
3. When will the Class 2 problems be addresses WRT the tax return data being overridden by the NI data, rather than using this data to correct the NI database, or at least generating a query? We are storing up significant issues for tax payers having missing NI records in the future as well as the basic loss of revenue when HMRC routinely remove class 2 NI despite the tax return showing a sole trade is present.
4. When will RTI be properly speced and fixed? This project seems to be largely abandoned now and is still only 'half done'
5. When will the missing basic features for VAT, long promised, be implemented?
6. At what point will the mess with two agent account log ins be resolved? This causes huge amount of practical issues.
7. Why does it still take until October for much data such as employers PAYE to be available to agent tax return software? RTI delivers this monthly, it should be available to agents in April by default. What we get is too slow and incomplete which in turn leads to errors and contact points with HMRC which would be avoided with timely information.
8. Why are we blundering ahead with MTD when all this basic stuff is unresolved?

Having a modern tax system means it works properly for all, and it does not need highly skilled agents to expend huge levels of energy to undertake basic takes.

The level of digitisation is irrelevant, its just a tool to get the job done better. At the moment its used to obfuscate and confuse and generally make a job take longer. See the failure of 30 day report and pay.

Thanks (5)
Replying to ireallyshouldknowthisbut:
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By bernard michael
08th Oct 2021 09:53

ireallyshouldknowthisbut wrote:

1. are you going to listen to the ICAEW and suspend 30 day report and pay until the huge issues in it are fixed?
2. When are you going to hire some staff? Covid had highlighted the cronic understaffing levels, which then causes huge backlogs and firefighting. It also dramatically increases the number of calls to HMRC when it take 3 or 4 contacts rather than one to fix anything so its hugely unproductive for everyone.
3. When will the Class 2 problems be addresses WRT the tax return data being overridden by the NI data, rather than using this data to correct the NI database, or at least generating a query? We are storing up significant issues for tax payers having missing NI records in the future as well as the basic loss of revenue when HMRC routinely remove class 2 NI despite the tax return showing a sole trade is present.
4. When will RTI be properly speced and fixed? This project seems to be largely abandoned now and is still only 'half done'
5. When will the missing basic features for VAT, long promised, be implemented?
6. At what point will the mess with two agent account log ins be resolved? This causes huge amount of practical issues.
7. Why does it still take until October for much data such as employers PAYE to be available to agent tax return software? RTI delivers this monthly, it should be available to agents in April by default. What we get is too slow and incomplete which in turn leads to errors and contact points with HMRC which would be avoided with timely information.
8. Why are we blundering ahead with MTD when all this basic stuff is unresolved?

Having a modern tax system means it works properly for all, and it does not need highly skilled agents to expend huge levels of energy to undertake basic takes.

The level of digitisation is irrelevant, its just a tool to get the job done better. At the moment its used to obfuscate and confuse and generally make a job take longer. See the failure of 30 day report and pay.


9 Why does it take so long to reply to a letter
Thanks (2)
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By Jane Wanless
07th Oct 2021 15:19

What about asking only one question:
Accountants across the UK are concerned that their clients will be unable to meet the requirements of MTD ITSA due to lack of it availability or skills, and/or the costs of complying will exceed any possible benefit, and that having expressed this in consultations, HMRC have not taken the concerns seriously, so please can we ask that HMRC use the remainder of their time here today to take into account the genuine concerns and formulate alternatives that would be more realistic and affordable, and with a more reasonable entry level?
The lack of other questions might make the point that if they’re not going to engage…

Thanks (2)
By SteveHa
07th Oct 2021 15:37

Does HMRC understand what a "customer" is?
I fail to see the relationship between taxpayers and their agents, and HMRC as fitting in with https://dictionary.cambridge.org/thesaurus/articles/a-person-who-buys-so...

Thanks (1)
Replying to SteveHa:
By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
07th Oct 2021 15:42

it would be lovely to be back to "tax agents" and "tax payers"

If I was a customer I would have taken my business elsewhere long ago

Thanks (3)
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By vinylnobbynobbs
07th Oct 2021 15:57

What would you like to hear from HMRC?

We are really really sorry.

Thanks (1)
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By AdamMurphy
07th Oct 2021 16:11

It's sadly a waste of time. HMRC management are no different to politicians.

They will pretend to listen and be sympathetic, give soundbites about how everything is going great and do nothing.

Thanks (3)
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By AdamMurphy
07th Oct 2021 16:13

If I am a customer, where are the alternatives for me to pay my taxes to instead? Otherwise I am referring HMRC to the monopolies commission.

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Jason Croke
By Jason Croke
07th Oct 2021 16:23

Turnaround times for every service line under HMRC's remit.

For VAT, minimum response times are 120 working days for option to tax (that's 7 months), 90 days for registrations, 120 days for non-statutory clearances, all of these with promises to clear the backlog by March 2022.

How can traders be compliant with the VAT laws when they are waiting 7 months for a response?

If the taxpayer is found to be non-compliant as a result of the delays (ie, a transaction is not a transfer of a going concern because the option to tax unit rejects the date the taxpayer has asked to be opted from), this has significant consequences (the property will not have been opted and ToGC not achieved and so VAT due on sale of property plus penalties).

Second question. What was the reasoning behind closing the Non-Established Taxable persons Unit (NETPU, the unit for overseas business registering for VAT), was it wise to close it in December 2020, a few days before Brexit and what would be an inevitable flood of new VAT registrations requests coming in from EU traders?

Thanks (2)
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By Cloudcounter
07th Oct 2021 19:51

What would I like to ask HMRC?

Lots, but nothing that they would give a straight answer to.

Thanks (1)
Replying to Cloudcounter:
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By Eddystone
09th Oct 2021 12:38

Or any answer, for that matter.

Thanks (0)
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By Winnie Wiggleroom
08th Oct 2021 08:31

1. Why can agents not access CIS suffered figures for a client online?
2. Why can agents not access the same VAT information as a client can online?
3. Why can agents not change a tax code online?
4. Why is there no email address for an agent to write to instead of having to call?
5. When will HMRC get rid of the ridiculous two different logins for agents?
6. What is the point of PAYE data being pulled into software through the API when it is totally unreliable (eg H&W earn exactly the same from the same company, one shows up the other doesn't)
7. Why do HMRC routinely ignore loss carry back claims for companies, even when this is reported on the current year CT600 and the previous year CT600 is amended we always have to write to CT to get them to process it.
8. CGT reporting - why are there so many hoops to jump through before we can file for a client when we already have a 64-8 in place?

Thanks (3)
Replying to Winnie Wiggleroom:
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By johnhemming
08th Oct 2021 10:01

Winnie Wiggleroom wrote:

1. Why can agents not access CIS suffered figures for a client online?
8. CGT reporting - why are there so many hoops to jump through before we can file for a client when we already have a 64-8 in place?


These two are likely to be resolved by MTD ITSA. MTD ITSA gives details of CIS impacted income and also enables submissions using the Oauth processes for CGT.
Thanks (1)
Replying to johnhemming:
blue sheep
By Nigel Henshaw
08th Oct 2021 10:24

johnhemming wrote:

Winnie Wiggleroom wrote:

1. Why can agents not access CIS suffered figures for a client online?
8. CGT reporting - why are there so many hoops to jump through before we can file for a client when we already have a 64-8 in place?

These two are likely to be resolved by MTD ITSA. MTD ITSA gives details of CIS impacted income and also enables submissions using the Oauth processes for CGT.

Maybe for IT but not for company sub contract clients

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Replying to NH:
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By johnhemming
08th Oct 2021 10:41

Fair point.

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Lone Wolf
By Lone_Wolf
08th Oct 2021 10:33

I was informed this week by an HMRC advisor that they had not been doing call backs during lockdown, despite them taking details to do so on multiple occasions, basically treating us and our clients like mugs. She couldn't say why, but hoped that they could now things were going back to normal.

A complaint has already been sent to them regarding this, but it would be interesting to hear Jim Harra's explanation for this policy!

Q: Why were HMRC saying they would call agents back during lockdown, yet had a policy of not doing so?

Thanks (2)
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By Hugo Fair
08th Oct 2021 12:05

Do HMRC accept the principle that they should never impose a deadline on a taxpayer that is shorter than the deadline they place upon themselves to respond to a query or action that relates to the taxpayer's specific obligation?

Thanks (4)
Replying to Hugo Fair:
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By Hugo Fair
08th Oct 2021 13:51

Oh and can you send the people who write your GOV.UK pages on a course in English (vocabulary and grammar) - viz. the recent page headed "Check if you're eligible for Making Tax Digital for Income Tax".
Eligible means having the right to do or obtain something (i.e. a choice) ... whereas presumably the author intended to use the word 'liable'?

Thanks (3)
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By Open all hours
10th Oct 2021 09:16

Hope you are right but I think you are wildly optimistic. No one from HMRC will answer any question properly, unless it is a plant. They will talk round it, they will obfuscate, they will patronise, they will confirm how out of touch they are and they will lie.
Blessed is he who expects little for he shall not be disappointed.

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By Hugo Fair
11th Oct 2021 12:12

Can we PLEASE have an official, high-level flow-chart that shows exactly what types of data have to be submitted via which files and in which order?

We don't need the technical detail required by developers, but a comprehensive flow of data sources / submissions & subsequent manipulations / updates & corrections / declarations & sign-offs ... would be a good start!

In essence, for every data item that ends up in a SA return ... where does it enter the 'chain'? And when must it be submitted? And when/how can you amend it prior to sign-off? And how do you update it after 'crystallisation' if/when new info is found?

Thanks (1)
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By Hugo Fair
11th Oct 2021 12:30

Digital Links:

For example, a taxpayer may obtain a CSV file from their Bank and import it into a spreadsheet ... then manipulate this data (because some transactions are personal not business related) ... then give this to their agent who imports it into some book-keeping software and then further manipulates the data (because some items have been posted to the wrong expense category) ... and then gives this to the accountant who imports it into some accounts / tax software and further manipulates the data (because some revenue needs to be deferred/accrued as appropriate) ... before adding further data (necessary for accurate tax computation).

At what point, if any, in these transmigrations of the data has the mandated "MTD Digital Link" been broken?

[Note: I'm aware that data cannot be keyed-in direct to the submission file, so have assumed for this scenario that the accounts/tax software is MTD compliant and so is the source of the eventual submission file.]

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By GHarr497688
12th Oct 2021 13:06

Why do I feel a feeling of dread when I ring HMRC - told you don't have a 64-8 or some other excuse not to talk to me. I didn't feel like this 10 years ago.

Why when I write to you am I completely ignored and have to complain to get an answer to anything.

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