Important wins for APSCo in HMRC intermediary consultation response
Commenting on the finalised reporting and record keeping requirements for intermediaries, Samantha Hurley, Head of External Relations & Compliance says:
“I welcome the fact that, following our strong response to HMRC on behalf of our members, it has listened and reduced reporting requirements for intermediaries. Of particular concern to APSCo was the intended requirement for our members to collate sensitive personal data and information (such as date of birth and gender), which had the potential to give rise to discrimination claims.
“HMRC has acknowledged this and, as a result, made a number of changes to the reporting requirements, which remove the need to report worker title, hours worked, passport number, National Identity Card Number and, where a National Insurance number is provided, the need to report date of birth and gender. While we do not underestimate the difficulties our members may encounter getting NI numbers from personal service company contractors, we believe it to be far better than the original proposal. It is, however, vital that intermediaries are aware that these changes do not remove the need for careful consideration surrounding the data security of information coming into, and being stored, by their business.”
Samantha Hurley says that HMRC also appears to have taken on board APSCo’s concerns regarding the level of duplication of information requiring reporting and the length of time that a nil return was needed after a contractor had finished working for an intermediary that featured in the draft legislation.
“HMRC’s original proposal meant that recruitment firms would have to report on information already reported on the RTI returns of intermediaries further down the supply chain that employed the workers. HMRC has taken note and subsequently reduced the scope of reporting so that although it will require details of employed workers (not the recruitment firm’s employed workers), i.e. umbrella workers, it will only require the intermediary to report on payments for those contractors it has engaged where PAYE has not been operated including those engaged through offshore intermediaries.”
“Regarding the length of time that a nil return is required after a contractor has ceased working for an intermediary, HMRC has listened to our view that this seems extremely unfair and subsequently reduced it from three years to one year. However, it is important to take note that there will still be a penalty regime in place for incorrect returns.
“While these changes are not all that we may have hoped for, we appreciate that HMRC has made significant changes – something we believe is a reasonable compromise and will benefit our members”.