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Agent authorisation re SEISS grants

Self-employed individuals (including partnerships) who have overclaimed the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) must pay back the overpayment to HMRC. The rules for repayment state that you must tell HMRC if you were not eligible to have claimed the grant. There can also be penalties for not informing HMRC.

However, there are complications with the agent authorisation process for SEISS grants. HMRC’s existing process – the 64-8 agent authorisation – was not designed to cover the support provided in response to coronavirus, such as SEISS grants. In addition, the usual taxpayer confidentiality rules apply. For this reason, additional authorisation is required.

HMRC’s advice to agents states as follows, if you plan to contact us regarding your client’s SEISS grants, please speak to them and make sure relevant consent is in place where necessary and allow time for required authorisation to be processed by us.

The fifth and final SEISS grant was available for the period between 1 May 2021 and 30 September 2021. Therefore, the last date for making a claim was 30 September 2021.

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Reminder to look out for tax credit renewal packs



HMRC is currently sending the annual tax credit renewal packs to some 2.1 million tax credit claimants and is encouraging recipients to renew their tax credits claim online. HMRC started writing to taxpayers at the end of April and expects all packs to be with recipients by 27 May 2022.

A renewal is required if the pack has a red line across the first page and it says, ‘reply now’. Families and individuals that receive tax credits should ensure that they renew their tax credit claims by 31 July 2022. Claimants who do not renew on-time may have their payments stopped. Around 630,000 taxpayers are expected to receive these packs and can renew their tax credits via GOV.UK or on HMRC’s app.

If the renewal pack has a black line across the front page and says, ‘check now’ then you will need to check your details are correct. Taxpayers need to notify HMRC where there have been changes to the family size, childcare costs, number of hours worked and salary. Details of previous year’s income also need to be completed on the form to allow HMRC to check if the correct tax credits have been paid. Claimants must also inform HMRC of any changes in circumstances not already reported during the year such as new working hours, different childcare costs or changes in pay.

Taxpayers are not required to report any temporary falls in their working hours as a result of coronavirus. They will be treated as if they are working their normal hours until the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme closes.

Universal credit is expected to fully replace tax credits, and other legacy benefits (including Income-Related Employment and Support Allowance, Income-Based Jobseeker’s Allowance) by the end of 2024. HMRC restarted their managed migration process on 9 May 2022. This process was paused during the pandemic. This means that claimants will gradually be notified when required to move to Universal Credit. This process is due to be completed by 2024. Claimants can also elect to move from tax credits to Universal Credit if they would be financially better off. An independent benefits calculator can be used to check.

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Free company information

A significant amount of information about companies can be obtained from Companies House. Companies House is responsible for incorporating and dissolving limited companies, examining and storing company information and making company information available to the public.

Much of this information is available at no cost. This is in line with the government’s commitment to free data and means that all publicly available digital data held on the UK register of companies is accessible free of charge. These records provide access to over 170 million digital records on companies and directors.

This includes:

– company information, for example, registered address and date of incorporation
– current and resigned officers
– document images
– mortgage charge data
– previous company names
– insolvency information


There is also a service called WebCHeck that allows you to view a company’s filing history, purchase copies of document images, and select company reports for a nominal fee. You can also monitor a company and receive email alerts of any new documents filed at Companies House. This can also be a valuable facility to check on filings made for your own company(ies).

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Tax benefits of switching to electric cars

There are many benefits to encouraging electric cars, including lower running costs, the environmental advantages and reduced noise pollution. There are also tax benefits to promote the purchase of electric vehicles.

We have listed some of these benefits below.

The benefit-in-kind (BIK) due on company cars can be significantly reduced. For example, most electric vehicles will incur a BIK rate of only 2% in 2022-23. Compare this with the benefit charge for a gas-guzzler pumping out 160 g/km or more CO2, which would be based on 37% of the list price when new. This means that company car drivers who switch to electric cars should see their tax bills significantly reduced. This also benefits employers who may see a significant decrease in Class 1A National Insurance charges.

Businesses purchasing electric cars can expect to recover more of their investment in direct tax relief. For example, businesses can write off 100% of the cost of an electric vehicle against the profits of the year of purchase, and there are no restrictions on the car’s value. However, the car must be new and unused to qualify for the 100% relief.

Companies can also benefit from the super-deduction, which offers a 130% first-year allowance on qualifying electric charging points for cars and vans. To be eligible for the relief, the company must use the charging point in their own business. This relief is available until 31 March 2023.

The road tax, or Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) rates for all fully electric vehicles, have been reduced to £0 until 2025. In addition, there are reduced VED rates for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs).

There is no benefit-in-kind charge for the private use of a company van if the private mileage is insignificant. There is no benefit-in-kind charge if the van is an electric vehicle, even if the private mileage is significant.

There are also other benefits, including an EV charge-point grant that provides funding of up to 75% towards the cost of installing electric vehicle smart charge-points, up to a maximum of £350 (including VAT) per household/eligible vehicle. Electric cars are also exempt from the London congestion charge when applying for a Cleaner Vehicle Discount.

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Builders – when you may not have to charge VAT

VAT for most work on houses and flats by builders and similar trades, like plumbers, plasterers and carpenters, is charged at the standard rate of 20%. However, there are a number of exceptions where special VAT rules apply and a reduced or zero rate of VAT may apply.

A builder may not have to charge VAT (zero-rated) on some types of work if it meets certain conditions, including:

– building a new house or flat
– work for disabled people in their home


A builder may be able to charge the reduced rate of 5% for some types of work if it meets certain conditions, including:

– installing energy-saving products and certain work for people over 60
– converting a building into a house or flats or from one residential use to another
– renovating an empty house or flat
– home improvements to a domestic property on the Isle of Man


There are also special VAT rules for work on certain types of buildings that are not houses or flats, including approved alterations and substantial reconstructions to protected buildings and converting a non-residential building into a house or communal residential building for a housing association.

In addition, there are certain other types of communal residential building that builders do not have to charge VAT. These include children’s homes, residential care homes, hospices and student accommodation.

In all cases, it is the supplier’s responsibility to charge VAT correctly and to ensure they hold proper evidence to support the fact that a customer is eligible for a supply at the reduced or zero VAT rate.

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