Highlights from the broader tax news for the week ending 29 November 2023, including: HMRC’s compliance professional standards; VAT group registration delays; advisory fuel rates; and changes to HMRC’s Apprenticeship Levy Manual.

HMRC webinars on compliance and professional standards

HMRC is holding webinars to explain its compliance professional standards. The hour long webinars will take place at the following times and will be recorded so they are available to view at any time.

  • 8 December 2023 – 13:45
  • 15 December 2023 – 15:45

VAT group registration delays

HMRC has found a solution to provide the correct effective date of registration (EDR) for taxpayers that have been affected by VAT grouping registration delays. A process has now been identified that will provide the correct EDR and resolve any related issues.

HMRC will be contacting those affected directly to communicate next steps within the next two weeks. HMRC has a list of impacted taxpayers to contact. If your clients are not contacted in the next two weeks but you believe that they have been affected, please contact Ed Saltmarsh, who can let HMRC know so that it can investigate this.

This should only apply for cases where the issues were caused by HMRC delays and does not apply more widely.

Advisory fuel rates

HMRC has published its fourth quarterly advisory fuel rates for 2023. The rates are only for employees using a company car. The rates can be used when employers are reimbursing employees for business travel in their company cars or the employer needs the employee to pay for fuel used for private travel.

From 1 December 2023:

  • the rate for full electric vehicles reduces by 1p to 9p per mile;
  • the rate for petrol engines 1400cc or smaller increases by 1p to 14p per mile;
  • the rate for petrol engines over 2000cc increases by 1p to 26p per mile;
  • the rate for LPG engines over 2000cc reduces by 1p to 18p per mile;
  • all diesel rates increase by 1p.

All other rates remain unchanged from the previous quarter.

Employers can use previous rates for up to one month after the date the new rates apply.

Changes to the Apprenticeship Levy Manual

In July 2023, HMRC corrected its manual page ALM07000 – Pay bill: what counts as pay bill. The guidance now reflects the legislation, which says that the pay bill is based on the total amount of earnings on which an employer is liable to pay class 1 secondary national insurance contributions. This includes earnings below the secondary threshold, even when the total earnings for the employee in that pay period do not exceed the secondary threshold.

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