April 2009 marks the month that will make effective several changes in the powers of Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs. These changes will include increased freedom for HMRC to investigate individuals and contractors, as well as businesses. There will also be changes to several tax laws.
Experts, who stress the importance of the taxpayer understanding the eventual implications of such changes, consider that the increased authority of HMRC to investigate people potentially in violation of the tax rules is a very significant change. Simon Wilks, tax partner at the firm Big Four, told Witan Jardine: “No one can afford to stick their head in the sand and think that these changes won’t impact them.”
In addition to these changes several new amendments become effective during the first week of April. These are intended to improve how consumers and businesses work with the governing body. A new two-tier system of tax tribunals will replace General Commissioners and Special Commissioners, as well as the VAT and Duties Tribunal. This set of tax rules will be applied across PAYE, VAT, income tax, capital gains tax and corporation tax; effective from April 1st.
From April 6th all employee starter and leaver notifications, as well as other pensions notifications, will have to be filed online by employers with 50 or more employees. HMRC permanent secretary for tax, Dave Hartnett, told Money Marketing, “These initiatives will provide businesses with more consistency, certainty and faster on-line processing of key documents.”