HMRC update – Child Benefit and NICs

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The latest update from HMRC includes making processes easier and extended deadlines.

Making it easier for customers to view their payments and prove they’re entitled to Child Benefit

HMRC has launched a new digital service enabling parents and carers to prove they have a valid claim to Child Benefit and view their last five Child Benefit payment dates on GOV.UK. Parents and carers often need proof of entitlement to Child Benefit for housing benefit, council tax and other services. Previously, if a customer requested this information from HMRC this would have taken up to ten days to receive but is now immediately available online, so there’s no need to call or wait to receive a letter.

Voluntary National Insurance Contributions – extended deadline

On 7 March 2023, the Government extended the voluntary National Insurance deadline to 31 July 2023. This was announced by a Written Ministerial Statement and is available on GOV.UK.

The extension means that your clients and members now have more time to decide whether to fill any gaps in their National Insurance record dating back to April 2006, to boost their new State Pension.  

HMRC is urging customers to not leave it until the last minute, to make sure they do not miss out. They can check their National Insurance record, via the HMRC app or their Personal Tax Account, and will be able to pay any time before the deadline. 

Eligible customers can also find out how to check their State Pension forecast, decide if making a voluntary National Insurance contribution is worthwhile for them and their pension, and how to make a payment on GOV.UK.

National Careers Week – speed up recruitment with the HMRC App

For National Careers Week, the Government wanted to make applying for a job as quick and easy as possible for those starting their career journeys.

HMRC has now made it easier to instantly view, share and print essential employment information like National Insurance numbers through the HMRC App.

The HMRC App can help save up to 15 days in the recruitment process to help young people start their careers faster. The app can also be used to keep track of income and taxes once their employment begins.

To access this information, they can download the HMRC App for free and/or login or sign up for a Government Gateway account on GOV.UK.

Businesses misusing their till systems have until 9 April to disclose

HMRC has identified businesses throughout the UK that are suspected of using Electronic Sales Suppression (ESS) systems to evade paying tax.

With a month left to voluntarily disclose, ESS users are being urged to do this by 9 April and to pay what they owe or face severe penalties. HMRC will follow up with those that fail to come forward.

If your clients are affected by this, please direct them to the simple disclosure facility on GOV.UK.

By making a disclosure now, those deliberately misusing their till system could see their financial penalties reduced. Fines for possessing ESS tools can be up to £50,000 if the tool is not removed or use doesn’t cease.

Climate Change Levy – check your rates

HMRC is reminding energy-intensive businesses participating in the Climate Change Agreement (CCA) Scheme that Climate Change Levy (CCL) rates, including reduced rates available to those in the CCA Scheme, change on 1 April 2023. 

This change was announced in March Budget 2020 and energy suppliers will need to update their billing systems. CCA participants will also need to make sure they are claiming the correct reduced rates. 

Sectors eligible for a CCA agreement should also make sure they are claiming the correct relief amount.  

Find out more on the Climate Change Levy rates on GOV.UK.

Cat Hall is AAT Content Editor, members and technical .

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