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HM Revenue & Customs has announced that they have reconsidered the withdrawal of agents copies of taxpayer forms, with several forms being reinstated. In September, HMRC decided to stop issuing copies of various forms and notifications to agents of taxpayers, in a bid to cut costs. The Chartered Institute of Taxation expressed concern following this announcement, believing that the move could lead to increased work for taxpayers and their agents as well as HMRC.

Tax professionals have been sent a briefing by HMRC informing them that forms P800 tax calculations, SA250 and SA251 forms will be retained. The latter forms indicate entry and exit from self-assessment. Although agent copies of Notice of Coding forms are not going to be reinstated, taxpayers will have a reminder printed at the bottom of their copy to inform their agents. The savings from the abolishing of these forms may be reinvested in new technology to enable agents to view their clients coding notices online. As online accountancy is popular among many businesses, this move would be beneficial and allow accountants to view tax codes in real time.

The implementation of new technology to enable accountants to view their client’s information online will help further reduce costs for HMRC, with emails being issued to agents rather than costly paper copies. The move would also help accountancy firms to keep their clients informed of required tax obligations such as relevant filing dates, new legislation and payments of tax and National Insurance. Other forms are still being reviewed and agents will be informed as soon as a decision is reached.

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