Weekly tax brief | 3 November 2020

Loan charge refunds – what’s so special about the Budget 2020 date?
Sian King
Following the review and changes to HMRC’s loan charge policy, taxpayers who are due a refund should now have received correspondence to let them know. However, while some taxpayers are celebrating, others appear to be adversely treated by the loan charge refund rules.

Brexit: will you need a bank guarantee to defer customs charges in 2021?
Sarah Halsted
Businesses that will import goods from the EU from 1 January 2021 and wish to pay their customs charges on account have now been invited by HMRC to apply for a duty deferment account. Do you need one, how do you get one, and what are the costs? 

Is HMRC set for a lockdown penalty windfall?
Chris Etherington
As England braces for its second lockdown period, HMRC may be set for a windfall in penalties as the disruption caused by Covid-19 makes it harder for taxpayers to complete their returns and establish the correct amount of tax to pay.

Is this the right time for HMRC to issue nudge letters?
Sarah Saunders
HMRC has a long record of issuing ‘nudge’ letters to taxpayers, implying that there may be errors in their returns. Several different letters have been issued recently but, given the pressures put on agents, taxpayers and HMRC by lockdown and Brexit, is this the best use of its resources and time?