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HMRC making improvements to its digital services

HMRC making improvements to its digital services

We have all been there – the HMRC government gateway can be at the best of times – challenging, so it’s good news that HMRC is making improvements to its digital services.

So, here’s the lowdown on what you need to know:

Employer PAYE: recurring direct debit functionality

HMRC is developing functionality to allow employers to set up a recurring direct debit to pay PAYE and national insurance liabilities. The current system allows only a single payment to be made by direct debit.

There will be a new link in business tax accounts to “Set up a Direct Debit” from around mid-September. Once this has been set up, the link will change to “Manage your Direct Debit”.

Employers will be able to view, change or cancel the direct debit online.

Agents cannot set up direct debits on behalf of clients, as banking rules require direct debits to be set up by a signatory to the bank account.

Employer PAYE liabilities and payments agent viewer

HMRC has been extending the service that gives agents access to employer PAYE accounts on a rolling basis.

HMRC expects to remove current restrictions and allow all agents with PAYE online for agents’ enrolment to access the service soon.

PAYE settlement agreements digital service

HMRC has redesigned the PSA1 form and introduced an electronic submission route.

HMRC is encouraging all employers and agents to submit PSA1 forms online. The digital PSA1 allows employers to submit one form for all employees.

Controlling staff access to the ASA

The agent services account (ASA) currently gives all staff within a practice access to all client records and tax services – if they have the ASA sign-in details and know the right client identifiers.

HMRC is developing ‘granular permissions’ functionality in the ASA that will allow agents to control which staff members can access which client records.

The new functionality is primarily aimed at small to medium sized agents, with up to 1,000 staff. To prepare for the release of this functionality, firms should ensure that they have an administrator role set up in their ASA. Only administrators will have access to this new feature, in the “Manage Account” section on the ASA home page.

Administrators will be able to create access groups and add selected clients and team members to them. Searches by client name, tax reference and tax service will be possible.

HMRC has been testing this new feature with agents and feedback has been positive. The new functionality will be released to a small number of agents before being rolled out fully.

The Tax Faculty welcomes the new functionality. After years of requests, it means that a proper client list will be available in the ASA.

Updates to the VAT registration service from 1 August

HMRC has developed a new VAT registration service (VRS). It has been used by more than 37,000 traders to register their own business.

The new service will be switched on for agents on 1 August 2022. The old VAT registration service will be closed from that date.

Government Gateway

HMRC has added Great Britain (England, Scotland, and Wales) driving licenses as an additional option for confirming identity when using HMRC online services.

To discuss any of the above, or for help with your accounts or bookkeeping, don’t hesitate to contact us here at The Hollies Bookkeeping Services in Shropshire.

Photo by Tara Winstead.