HMRC have issued the Agent Update for October/November 2020. We have summarised the key content for you with links to our detailed guidance on the topics covered.

The following items have also been included in Employer Bulletin October 2020, rather than duplicate these we have linked to those updates where appropriate.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)

Job Retention Bonus (JRB)

Deferred July 2020 Self Assessment Payment on Account

Self Assessment additional support

The limit for HMRC’s online payment plan service has been increased to £30,000 for Self Assessment customers.

See COVID 19: Deferring Income Tax payments

SA paper statements

Does your client have employees working from home because of COVID-19?

See Employer Bulletin October 2020

See COVID-19: Working from home

The effect of furloughing staff on claims for R&D Tax Relief, RDEC, LRR and the Creative Industry Reliefs

HMRC guidance on staffing costs for Research and Development Tax Relief, Research and Development Expenditure Credit, Land Remediation Relief and the Creative Industry Reliefs has recently been updated to cover furloughed staff.

That updated guidance can be found in the following HMRC manuals:

See Research & Development

See Creative Industries Tax Reliefs: At a glance

Corporate Criminal Offences: More than just a legislative tool and why you should care

See Employer Bulletin October 2020

See Corporate Criminal Offence: failure to prevent tax evasion

See Criminal investigations into UK tax evasion

Capital Gains Tax (CGT) payment for property disposal

The new digital service which went live on 6 April 2020 enabling people to report and pay CGT for property disposals has been further enhanced:

See CGT: Reporting, How to report CGT?

Update on Top Slicing Relief (TSR) on life insurance policy gains

HMRC is working to ensure all affected customers from 2018-19 onwards receive the Top Slicing Relief that they are entitled to.

HMRC state that:

HMRC estimate that 2,000 will enjoy these changes.

HMRC will be running TSR Talking Points webinars during October and November.

See Top Slicing Relief: Important update

See Investment bonds: A tax guide

Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) additional 2% charge for non-UK residents

See SDLT: Non-residents’ extra surcharge

DAC 6 reporting rules

Disguised remuneration loan charge

See Employer Bulletin October 2020

See Disguised remuneration loan charge (subscriber guide)

New General Anti-Abuse Rule advisory panel opinion published

See Employer Bulletin October 2020

See Spotlight 56: Disguised remuneration

VAT reverse charge on building and construction services delayed introduction

HMRC will be running a series of webinars for businesses and Talking Points webinars for agents.

See CIS: Construction Industry reverse charge

Applications are open for £50m customs grant scheme

See Employer Bulletin October 2020

UK Transition: Changes for the self-employed going to work in or from the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland from 1 January 2021

If you have self-employed clients who work in the EU, EEA or Switzerland, or they are from one of these countries and working in the UK you should read the following.

There is a transition period until 31 December 2020 during which the current rules on social security coordination are continuing.

Starting self-employment in the EU, EEA or Switzerland before 1 January 2021

The current European social security coordination rules will be used to work out which country’s social security scheme self-employed people will have to pay contributions to.

Applying for a Portable Document A1 (PDA1) or E101 Certificate for a period that starts before 1 January 2021

Provisions in the Withdrawal Agreement and related agreements with the EFTA countries and Switzerland ensure that the current EU social security coordination rules will continue to apply after 31 December 2020 to certain individuals, whether a future relationship agreement between the UK and the EU on social security coordination is agreed or not.

Starting self-employment in the EU, EEA or Switzerland after 1 January 2021

Applying for a PDA1or E101 Certificate for a period that starts after 1 January 2021

Self-employed people should continue to apply to HMRC for PDA1s and E101s if they are starting work after 31 December 2020 in a situation involving the UK and one or more of the EEA countries and Switzerland. For example, a self-employed person normally working in the UK who will temporarily work in France.

Self-employed individuals from the EU, EEA and Switzerland working in the UK

If a self-employed individual is from the EU, EEA or Switzerland and starts working in the UK before 1 January 2021 and they have a PDA1 which shows they are subject to an EU, EEA country or Swiss legislation, they will not have to pay UK National Insurance for the period stated on the PDA1 even if it ends after 31 December 2020, so long as their situation remains unchanged.

UK’s future relationship with the EU

Right to work in the EU, EEA and Switzerland from 1 January 2021

For periods after 31 December 2020, individuals should check the immigration rules in the country that they will be working in especially if they are a frontier worker.

The UK’s social security agreement with the Republic of Ireland

The UK has reached a reciprocal agreement with Ireland which ensures that social security coordination continues after 31 December 2020 when considering moves by UK or Irish nationals between the UK and Ireland. The UK and Ireland have ensured that social security coordination continues on the same terms that are currently in place.

Reporting Pay As You Earn (PAYE) in real-time

See Employer Bulletin October 2020

See RTI: Real-Time Information for PAYE

Student and Postgraduate Loans thresholds and rates from 6 April 2021 and refunds

See Employer Bulletin October 2020

Off-Payroll Working Rules (IR35)

See Employer Bulletin October 2020

See Off-Payroll Working: PSCs & Private Sector Engagers

Mid-sized Business (MSB) Construction sector looking for your views

Self Assessment peak reminder campaign

Agent Online Self-Serve (AOSS)

Are you aware of HMRC’s Business Tax Account?

Changes to HMRC’s opening hours

Statutory Residence Test, clarifications due to Coronavirus Q&A

HMRC have published a series of questions and answers which explain the position about Coronavirus and the effect on individuals who rely on the Statutory Residence Test (SRT) to work out their residence status.

See SRT: Statutory Residence Test

See COVID-19: Statutory Residence Test

Customer Protection

Government support to improve small business leadership and problem-solving skills

Paying HMRC

Government support for businesses

Government has recently launched a new Business Support campaign. This brings a range of business advice and support into one place, from help with finance and business planning, to export advice. For more information, visit

Tax Agent Toolkits

The complete catalogue of HMRC toolkits has been updated to assist with completion of:

Contact & HMRC service

Other recent publications


Employer Bulletins

Trust and Estates newsletters

National Insurance Services to Pensions Industry: countdown bulletins

Pension schemes newsletters

Revenue and Customs briefs

Agent Forum: Working to support the agent community

Make sure to stay on top of your workplace pension responsibilities and avoid legal action

See Employer Bulletin October 2020

See Auto-enrolment: Workplace pensions (subscriber guide) 

External link

Agent Update October/November 2020