The Death of the SA302
This is the intro used by HMRC in the August – September 2017 Agent Update prefacing their decision to refuse to provide paper SA302 forms to Accountants in connection with mortgage applications:
“We are aware that a number of agents are still phoning HMRC for a paper copy of their client’s tax calculation and/or their Tax Year Overview. Many agents are telling us they need this because their client’s lender will not accept the self-serve copy printed from their HMRC online account or the commercial software used to file the Self Assessment (SA) return”
The upshot was that HMRC will from 4th September no longer provide paper copy forms SA302 as all the council of mortgage lenders accept the alternative commercial printed schedules.
There is indeed an impressive list of lenders that will accept the alternatives and in fact I don’t know of any mainstream lenders that are not on the list so it isn’t really a problem going forward or is it?
As an accountant who has like many others had to deal with mortgage advisors the problem is not with the lender but with the lenders intermediaries who seem to be working from a different set of rules to the rest of us. They are making the demands for the SA302 and when provided with the commercial alternatives are insisting that the lender will not accept them and we must get an SA302 or our client will not the mortgage. This is usually followed by a call from a by now agitated client upset that they may lose the home of their dreams because WE refuse to get the forms from HMRC that the Mortgage Advisor has told them is only about making a phone call and usually they arrive “next day or we can even ask for a faxed or emailed copy”.
Now of course a fax from HMRC is as scarce as hen’s teeth, as is a fax from anybody these days and as for an emailed copy please don’t get me started. Faced with this and not wanting to get into a protracted argument about who is right we give in and pick up the phone and ask HMRC for the SA302 knowing full well that the documents pulled from our IRIS or TaxCalc or BTC software are acceptable but that’s no good if they are not actually sent to the lender.
So now from 4th September we will have nowhere to go other than to point out to the errant advisor the error of their ways and refuse their requests for the SA302s which in some circumstances could actually lose us a client.
Still I suppose it will make a change from the letter from mortgage advisors asking for copies of our clients latest Tax Assessments and the last 3 years Audited Accounts.
This blog is taken from the ICPA website. Dedicated to supporting and promoting the needs of the general practitioner. You can find us at www.icpa.org.uk or email [email protected] or by phone on 0800-074-2896.