Digital Services Update

Trust Registration Service

The Micro Service is now fully functional:

You can now use the micro service version of the service to register, update details, declare “no change”, or close all types of Trusts and Estates.

Users can access the micro service from the link on the ‘Manage your trust’s details’ page:, or on the ‘Register your client’s estate page: clients-estate.

Decommissioning of iForm:

The original service (iForm) will no longer be available from 23 September 2020. You should therefore conclude any partially completed trust registrations within the original service before that date.

When the iForm service is no longer available, the links to the service on the Gov.UK pages ( and
) will be updated. They will take users directly to the micro service version.

For Estates registration links ( returns/returns-for-someone-who-has-died and the iForm is already updated to take users to the Micro Service for registration and maintenance.

Agent Authorisation:

Work is ongoing with Agent Services to improve guidance about the agent authorisation process and ensure that it is appropriate for all users, not just trustees.

Making Tax Digital

  • There are over 1.4m businesses signed up to MTD as of 24 August and over 7m VAT returns have been succ
    essfully submitted through the service. Overall, 85% of all businesses mandated to join from April 2019 are now signed up to the MTD service. The proportion of non-mandated businesses who have signed up voluntarily is currently at 31%.
  • All HMRC’s onlin
    e services for business customers, including the MTD services for VAT and ITSA, will be closed from the 11 September to 14 September to enable migration of the Enterprise Tax Management platform (ETMP) to cloud- based hosting. This will help HMRC to run more resilient services and enable us to updat
    e services quickly when required. GOV.UK has been updated.
  •  There are a further two Income Tax Self-Assessment (ITSA) webinars scheduled to take place on 13 & 23 September. These webinars provide businesses with an overview and up to date
    information about the Making Tax Digital for ITSA pilot. To date HMRC have reached around 3,000 people and received over 500 questions.

Agent Forum (AF)

As at the end of August 2020 the Forum had 1069 registered subscribers including Professional Bodies, of 1229 users signed up to its predecessor forum. We are separately inviting various customer groups with Capital Gains payment liabilities or Trust registration responsibilities to HMRC; the Law Society and Society for Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEPS) amongst them.

Even though registrations have not reached the levels of its former platform, participation and issues traffic are increasing. We are also stepping up our recruitment of internal HMRC users. Thus far during 20/21 we have dealt with 221 widespread issues, across all Heads of Duty. The new ‘Knowledge Base’ feature is also increasingly popular and carries announcements and real time taxes information.

We continue to support agents and their clients through the COVID-19 crisis and have a live dedicated panel to deal with related issues and publish guidance for all associated schemes including the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS), Job Retention Scheme
(JRS) and Eat Out to Help Out scheme.

We have, in conjunction with our Issues Overview Group (IOG) stakeholder colleagues, put in place procedures to identify high priority widespread issues to be taken forward for resolution with our internal technical specialist and communications partners. This is being monitored by the Agent Forum team and others.

We continue building our internal HMRC Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) capability, formalising recruitment from across HMRC to improve the quality and timeliness of issue resolution responses and to focus on Agent Forum operations.

Performance metrics thus far for 20/21 include over 16000k views, over 3000 posted messages on over 220 current and resolved topics since January 2020, which are all moderated daily with appropriate responses given, as determined by subject matter, related traffic generated, and referrals provided by line of business. We have reviewed our performance metrics to more effectively manage our live ‘aged cases’ portfolio, given we better understand new functionality provided by the MS Dynamics platform. The Digital Customer Support Services (DCSS) Agent Team is staffed by a Service Manager and 2.5 FTE Moderators, who moderate and run the forum.

EU Transition Update

On 31 December 2020, the transition period will end and there will be a guaranteed series of changes and opportunities for which business and the government need to prepare. Many of these changes will be required regardless of the agreement we reach with the European Union on our future trade relationship because the UK will be leaving the single market and customs union and regaining its political and economic independence.

As part of our preparations for the end of the year we have so far published the Border Operating Model, announced a new £50million support package to boost the capacity of the customs intermediary sector, and committed to buildin g new border facilities in Great Britain for carrying out customs checks. We’ve also set out how the Northern Ireland Protocol can be implemented in a way that protects the economy of Northern Ireland and upholds the rights of all its citizens.

The Government is taking a pragmatic and flexible approach to using some of our regained powers as a sovereign nation. By deciding to introduce new border controls in three stages up until 1 July 2021, industry benefits from extra time to adjust to the new procedures. Pragmatism will remain a hallmark of its policy development in the run-up to the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020.

With much more work still to be done, now is the time for businesses and individual citizens to start thinking about the actions they will need to take in order to be best placed for the changes and opportunities ahead.

HMRC Activity

HMRC have established the Trader Support Service (TSS) to support businesses who move goods between Great Britain and N
orthern Ireland, or bring goods into Northern Ireland from outside the UK.

The service is free and will be going live shortly. Interested businesses can sign up to TSS on GOV.UK.

We will be sending a letter to over 70,000 NI Businesses and GB Businesses who trade with NI at the end of this month to promote the service.

On Friday 11 September HMT announced the changes to Passenger Policy outlining that British passengers travelling to EU countries will be able to take advantage of duty-free shopping from January 2021, bringing our approach to the EU in line with the rest of the world.
A summary of the announcement can be found GOV.UK. The government’s full response to the consultation is available here and the Written Ministerial Statement is here.

This week has seen further activity targeted at Traders with letters and emails being issued around new trade arrangements with the EU from 1 January 2021, this activity has been supported by social media activity to increase the reach of the communications.

Additionally we launched a video this week on ‘How can a customs agent or intermediary help me?‘ video.

All our recent videos on importing and exporting can be found here:

In October we will be issuing further letters, emails and other activity to encourage traders to find an intermediary. We would appreciate as much support as possible to amplify this activity, such as sharing further the content we put out.

HMRC continue to engage with stakeholders who we rely on to facilitate elements of the border and trade process, by putting in place their own services and infrastructure to support the full controls model.

We continue to support HM Government’s #Checkchangego campaign and where possible sharing our higher-level messaging through the wider HMG campaign.

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