Business News England - 04.10.2021

UK Government sets out new timetable for introducing border controls

The UK Government has set out a new timetable for introducing full import controls for goods being imported from the EU to the UK.

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Full customs declarations and controls will be introduced on 1 January 2022 as previously announced, although safety and security declarations will now not be required until 1 July 2022. Under the revised timetable:

  • The requirements for pre-notification of Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) goods, which were due to be introduced on 1 October 2021, will now be introduced on 1 January 2022.
  • The new requirements for Export Health Certificates, which were due to be introduced on 1 October 2021, will now be introduced on 1 July 2022.
  • Phytosanitary Certificates and physical checks on SPS goods at Border Control Posts, due to be introduced on 1 January 2022, will now be introduced on 1 July 2022.
  • Safety and Security declarations on imports will be required as of 1 July 2022 as opposed to 1 January 2022. 

See: Government sets out pragmatic new timetable for introducing border controls - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Are you planning to use a Freeport to import or export your goods?

In the Spring 2021 Budget the Chancellor announced a number of areas to be designated as Freeports. Those areas would have a number of direct and indirect tax advantages for businesses located there.

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Among those advantages is relief from customs duty and the ability to make simplified declarations. HMRC have now published guidance for businesses planning to take advantage of the new procedures.

Freeport customs sites (also known as a ‘free zone’) are secure customs zones where you can import or export goods inside the UK’s land border, but where special import or export rules apply.

If you choose to use a customs site to import or export goods, you may be able to:

  • get relief from duties and import taxes
  • use simplified declarations processes to reduce administrative burdens
  • choose which rate of Customs Duty you use if processing the goods changes their classification

If your goods are purchased in the UK, you will continue to pay duties and import taxes using the normal UK rates.

If you are a business who wants to move goods into or out of a Freeport customs site, you will need to apply to use the Freeport customs special procedure (a single authorisation combined with easier declaration requirements) to import goods that are not controlled.

For more details see: Get your business ready to use a Freeport customs site - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Government Postpone Making Tax Digital for Income Tax to 2024/25

Having listened to stakeholder feedback from businesses and the accounting profession, the government have announced that they will introduce Making Tax Digital (MTD) for Income Tax Self-Assessment (ITSA) a year later than planned, in the tax year beginning in April 2024.

This will give the self-employed and buy to let landlords an extra year to prepare for the digitalisation of Income Tax and also allow HMRC more time for customer testing of the pilot system.

The start date for partnerships to join MTD for ITSA has been put back still further to the tax year beginning in April 2025.

There has been no change to the £10,000 per annum gross income threshold which means that most self-employed traders and buy to let landlords will be mandated to comply with MTD for income tax from April 2024.

See: Businesses get more time to prepare for digital tax changes - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Tell HMRC about an option to tax land and buildings

Form VAT1614A has been updated.

HMRC is creating new versions of their forms that do not depend on Adobe Reader. Whilst this work is in progress the following methods can be used to make sure the form will download or open in Adobe Reader:

  • Whatever browser you use, review your settings to make Adobe Reader the default program for opening PDF documents
  • Windows users should right click on the form link then select ‘Save target as’ or ‘Save link as’
  • Mac users should right click on the form link then select ‘Save linked file as’
  • Save the form - the recommended place is in the documents folder
  • Using Adobe Reader you can open the form

See: Tell HMRC about an option to tax land and buildings - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

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