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Overlap relief online form delayed until 11 September


HMRC has pushed back the launch date of the online form for submitting requests for overlap relief from 29 August to 11 September. 

28th Aug 2023
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The online form designed to allow taxpayers to request details about overlap relief has been delayed due to HMRC needing more time to “make some refinements to the service”. 

So instead of the form launching as expected on 29 August, it will now be available from 11 September. 

Currently, if sole traders, partners or agents wish to obtain overlap information from HMRC, they need to call or write a letter, which can take time for HMRC to process. However the online form would make it easier for taxpayers to submit requests. 

An HMRC spokesman told AccountingWEB: “The form will be launched on to provide an easier way for businesses and agents to submit requests for details about a business’s overlap relief.

“Pre-launch testing of the form has highlighted the need for some further refinements, so the launch has been rescheduled for 11 September 2023.”

Preparation for the basis period reform

The overlap relief is part of preparing HMRC’s reform to the basis period, which means taxpayers not aligned to the tax year will have to move to the new tax year basis from 2024/25 and will have to find details of their overlap relief.

In a recent Agent Update, HMRC explained that the overlap relief information can only be provided if these figures are recorded in HMRC systems. 

In circumstances where HMRC is unable to provide the figures, such as if the information was not submitted in tax returns, the tax department said it may be possible to provide historic figures instead.

Unincorporated businesses and agents waiting until 11 September to request the information HMRC holds on the overlap relief will need to have the following information: 

  • customer name
  • unique taxpayer reference (UTR) 
  • name or description of business
  • business address
  • whether the business is a sole trader or part of a partnership
  • if the business is part of a partnership 
  • the partnership’s UTR
  • date of commencement of the self-employed business or partnership
  • the most recent period start date and the end date used to report its profit and loss 
  • if applicable, the year(s) the accounting period changed.

Not an unexpected delay

The launch date of the form shifting to September didn’t come as a surprise to Rebecca Cave, AccountingWEB’s consulting tax editor, who had said previously that 29 August sounded like a speculative date. “The delay to the form to request overlap relief details was as much of a surprise as the death of Prigozhin in a plane crash this week.”

She added, “In many cases, only the HMRC files will hold the details of the doubly taxed profits, which could date back as far as 1996/97. Tax agents need those overlap figures to calculate the assessable profits for 2023/24, which is transition year before the full switch to the tax year basis on 6 April 2024.”

Replies (7)

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By Hugo Fair
28th Aug 2023 11:52

I'm sure that a fortnight's delay is regarded by HMRC as meeting the target (after all it's only in the other direction that evident lassitude results in penalties) but - and this is NOT a suggestion let alone advice - a thought occurs to my tame evil-minded neuron (that I keep in order to outguess what the great unwashed may do) ...

1. There is (or will be) an online form via which details about overlap relief can be requested;
2. however HMRC will not always be able to provide the figures (for a variety of reasons).

So ... if you complete the online form you'll get to find out whether or not HMRC hold the figures - and, if not, feel 'safe' to make up your own figures (the ones you wish you had available)?

Thanks (3)
By Open all hours
28th Aug 2023 16:57

Another administrative triumph.
Aren’t they just wonderful?

Thanks (1)
By Peter613
28th Aug 2023 21:02

If a business started before 96/97 when the prior year basis was abolished wouldn't the overlap go back even further ?

Thanks (0)
Replying to Peter613:
By possep
29th Aug 2023 07:39

No. As you have stated the basis of assessment changed in 1996/97. The transitional overlap relief was only then created and it was calculated on the pre 06/04/97 part of the 1996/97 profits pre CA's.

Thanks (1)
Replying to possep:
By possep
29th Aug 2023 08:15

Edit - I mean pre 06/04/97 part of the 1997/98 assessment.

Thanks (0)
By bendybod
29th Aug 2023 10:12

And we're surprised because.....?

Thanks (0)
By cyrynpen
29th Aug 2023 10:30

When the whole basis period was formally announced we took a decision to write to HMRC to ask for the overlap details. After receiving a couple of letters HMRC phoned us to ask why we were asking for the details and would this be something other agents would be after as well.

Baffles me why HMRC didn't think that agents/taxpayers would want access to these details.

Thanks (2)