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HMRC has released the latest bi-monthly issue of the 'Agent Update' publication which includes summaries of recent changes and updates that have been announced. The document, which is aimed at taxation and accountancy practitioners, includes links to more detailed information on each of the topics covered.

The topics covered in the latest edition include the following:

  • COVID-19. A reminder that the government portal listing all the various financial support measures for businesses during coronavirus is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/financial-support-for-businesses-during-coronavirus-covid-19.
  • Off-payroll working rules. Confirmation that the government have postponed the roll-out of off-payroll working rules to the private sector until 6 April 2021. This deferral was announced in response to COVID-19, to help businesses and individuals deal with the economic impacts of the pandemic and the government remains committed to introducing this policy.
  • Independent Loan Charge Review. A number of important changes have been made to the loan charge following the independent loan charge review. This will result in some people being due a refund of voluntary restitution. HMRC will not be able to process any refunds until the Finance Bill has received Royal Assent, expected in summer 2020 although subject to delay due to the impact of COVID-19.
  • Construction Industry Scheme. A reminder of filing dates and an update on tax refunds following the end of the tax year. Repayments can be requested online, but refunds cannot be processed until 24 April and it can take 40 working days for repayments to be made.
  • Official Rate of Interest for the 2020-21 tax year. From 6 April 2020, the official rate of interest was reduced to 2.25% (from 2.5%). This interest rate is used to calculate the Income Tax charge on the benefit of employment related loans and the taxable benefit of some employer-provided living accommodation.
  • Links to new Revenue & Customs Briefs.