By AAT Comment HMRC updates HMRC Update – Voluntary and Community Sector Grant Funding Programme, Plastic Packaging Tax 28 Jul 2023 Tobacco Track and Trace, Child Benefit, removal of income tax assignment, Voluntary and Community Sector Grant Funding Programme and Plastic Packaging Tax. Help parents receive all the Child Benefit payments they’re entitled to by 31 August To carry on claiming Child Benefit, parents and carers of teens staying in full-time education or training need to let HMRC know. Parents and carers with children aged 16 and 17 can quickly and easily extend their Child Benefit online or in the HMRC app. They will see changes applied to their Child Benefit claim immediately by viewing their proof of entitlement. Customers with children aged 18 or over who are also staying in approved education or training can still advise us on this online i-form, and changes will be applied automatically. This is just one of the ways HMRC is improving its digital services to make things simpler and quicker for customers. Customers can also see recent Child Benefit payments, proof of their claim, and update their bank and address details instantly online or in the HMRC app, without needing to call or send any forms via post. Please remind your clients with children over 16 to take action to continue claiming Child Benefit by 31 August. If they don’t, their payments will automatically stop. New Tobacco Track and Trace regulation and penalties New regulations which provide stronger sanctions for businesses or individuals who deal with illicit tobacco and contravene the requirements of the Tobacco Products (Traceability and Security Features) Regulations 2019 have come into effect. From 20 July 2023, failure to comply with the requirements of the Tobacco Track and Trace (TT&T) regulations in the UK may result in the issue of financial penalties, seizure of certain tobacco products found at non-compliant premises and the exclusion of retailers from the TT&T registration system. Potential breaches may be investigated by Trading Standards and referred to HMRC for issue of sanctions. Further information about tobacco track and trace penalties is available on GOV.UK. Removal of assignment process Spring Budget 2023 included measures to void assignments of income tax and the vast majority of agents have progressively moved from assignments to nominations for third-party repayment requests. Any assignment of an income tax repayment received on or after 20 July 2023 will not be accepted as a nomination. In such cases HMRC will repay the taxpayer directly where there is no valid nomination present. Further information about raising standards in tax advice is available on GOV.UK. Applications open for the Voluntary and Community Sector Grant Funding Programme HMRC have secured £5.5 million for 2024 to 2027 to fund voluntary and community sector organisations to help them provide advice and support for customers who need extra help with their tax affairs. This is the twelfth funding round in the Grant Funding programme, building on over a decade of partner support worth over £20 million. Successful applicants will also help customers to reform or build a relationship with HMRC that enables them to engage directly with us in the future. Organisations can apply from 24 July to 21 August, with successful applicants announced in October 2023. Live Q&A sessions will also be held during the application window. Details about HMRC Grant Funding application guidance is available on GOV.UK. HMRC Stakeholder digest change Thank you to those who participated in HMRC’s recent survey, which asked for your views on the HMRC digest content you receive. Over the last couple of months, HMRC has reviewed your feedback, and is making some changes so that its email content stays helpful but is easier to use going forward. Starting in this issue it is introducing some changes to the structure of its digests, and will also be bringing together a slightly different mix of articles to focus more on issues that stakeholders are raising in forums and correspondence. HMRC is also changing the frequency of the digests to monthly, which will take effect in the following edition and aims to reduce pressure on inboxes. It will continue to provide you with timely updates following key announcements and fiscal events separately. Open Consultations Plastic Packaging Tax – chemical recycling and adoption of mass balance approach On 18 July 2023, the government published a consultation about allowing a mass balance approach for calculating the recycled content in packaging made from chemically recycled plastic waste for the purposes of the Plastic Packaging Tax (PPT). This will be open for responses until 10 October 2023. The consultation also considers the exemption from the tax for the immediate packaging of human medicines, and the use of pre-consumer waste as recycled material. Share your views about the Plastic Packaging Tax chemical recycling and adoption of mass balance approach consultation by 10 October 2023 on GOV.UK. Tackling non-compliance in the umbrella company market consultation – open until 29 August Businesses have until 29 August 2023 to share their views on government proposals to protect workers from non-compliant umbrella companies. Following concerns raised by industry and employees, the government is consulting on potential measures to regulate the umbrella company market. The consultation also seeks views on measures to tackle non-compliance in the sector, including mandatory due diligence. Your input could help to protect workers from surprise future tax bills, while supporting businesses and growth in the economy. You can read more and find out how to respond on the tackling non-compliance in the umbrella market consultation on GOV.UK. AAT Comment offers news and opinion on the world of business and finance from the Association of Accounting Technicians.