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HMRC intends to name employers claiming JSS grants

The National Audit Office’s October 23 report on the coronavirus employment support schemes, together with new HMRC guidance, confirmed what HM Treasury disclosed earlier this month:

“HMRC intends to publish the names of employers claiming the new JSS scheme and to notify employees through their personal tax accounts when an employer has claimed JSS.” – @NAOorguk at, confirmed by @HMRCgovuk at:

.@NAOorguk on #CJRS and #SEISS:”The scale of total fraud and error is likely to be considerable, particularly for CJRS, but HMRC will not know the actual levels until the end of 2021 at the earliest.”

.@NAOorguk on exclusions: “People were excluded from the schemes either because of ministerial decisions about how to target the schemes, or because HMRC did not have data needed to properly guard against the risk of fraud…”

.@hmtreasury and @HMRCgovuk should “consider how to ensure that reliable data covering as many people as possible can be used to determine eligibility so that fewer people suffering loss of income are excluded from future similar schemes”.

Originally tweeted by Andrew Goodall (@agoodall4) on 23rd Oct 2020.

UK Treasury rejects call to evaluate pension tax reliefs

Now is not the right time for a formal evaluation of pension tax reliefs, the UK government said in response to a report calling for a “step change” in the administration and understanding of reliefs.

HM Revenue & Customs does not understand the impact of “any of the largest tax reliefs, including reliefs on pensions which were forecast to cost £38 billion in 2018-19″, the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee said in July. The government “has not made any assessment of whether that huge cost actually encourages saving for retirement or reduces dependence on state retirement benefits, or whether it just enables those already saving comfortably to save more”, the committee argued.

There are “vast amounts of tax forgone” through reliefs, Mel Stride, Treasury Committee chair and Conservative member of Parliament, said in July, as he launched an inquiry into “tax after coronavirus”. But the committee has said it will consider the role of reliefs in rebuilding the economy after COVID-19. The inquiry has invited written evidence by December 7.

My news story for Tax Notes (paywall) published on September 29 is reproduced here, with permission.

Tolley’s Tax Digest: Tax compliance update

Tolley published in August my fourth tax compliance update since 2016. This 42-page digest draws together and summarises recent tax compliance-related legislation and guidance, and includes:

  • summaries of the key compliance-related draft clauses for Finance Bill 2021 and the government’s proposed reform of tax administration;
  • details of the new regime for taxation and recovery of coronavirus support payments, and an overview of the legal framework for the support schemes; and
  • the current status of more than 20 tax compliance-related consultations, including those announced on ‘L-day’ in July.