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HM Revenue & Customs drops insistence that all company directors must submit tax returns

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has dropped its insistence that all company directors must submit tax returns following a series of tribunal rulings.

For several years, HMRC has advised in its guidance on the gov.uk website that company directors should register for Self-Assessment and this has also been part of online tools designed to help individuals determine whether they need to submit a tax return.

However, the requirement is not enshrined in law and has been repeatedly contradicted by tribunal rulings.

HMRC now says directors are not required to file Self-Assessment tax returns if they have been taxed under PAYE and do not need to pay tax on other income.

However, if HMRC issues a notice to file a Self-Assessment tax return, a director must do so, unless a request to HMRC to withdraw the notice is accepted. HMRC is not obliged to withdraw the notice, even if there is no tax to pay.

Guidance on the gov.uk website has now been updated to reflect HMRC’s new position.

Link: HMRC changes guidance for directors’ returns

Latest News

New figures show that a quarter of estates paying Inheritance Tax (IHT) are investigated by HMRC

The response to a Freedom of Information (FoI) request has revealed that as many as one in four estates that are liable for IHT are investigated each year.

In 2018-19, more than 5,500 investigations were launched by HMRC into the approximately 22,000 estates that had to pay the tax.

Despite the introduction of the Residence Nil Rate Band (RNRB) effectively increasing the IHT threshold when a main residence is left to a direct descendent, the number of investigations has increased by 7.8 per cent since 2017.

The figures came within weeks of the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) unveiling proposals to simplify IHT, which is widely regarded as overly complicated and difficult to understand.

Link: One in four estates that pay inheritance tax investigated by HMRC

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