HMRC publish a range of manuals designed for their own staff to use. Their recent publication of an updated version of the Tobacco Products Manufacturing Machinery Licensing Scheme made me have a look at all of their guidance, picking out the ones that are most relevant for UK payroll professionals.

*Updated 25 September 2018*

HMRC have just published their Welsh Taxpayer Technical Guidance and I have updated this article to reflect that.

Before I detail the useful manuals and links to them, it is worthwhile pointing out a few disclaimers about the guidance, published by HMRC itself:

  • Information contained in the manuals is HMRC’s interpretation of legislation
  • HMRC ‘use their own reasoning, based on their training and experience’ – that may not be the same as the training or experience in the real payroll world
  • Although, in general, HMRC will stand by their guidance, even if it turns out to be inaccurate or incorrect

Please do read the disclaimer with the above link that is titled ‘When you can rely on information or advice provided by HM Revenue and Customs’.

It is useful to know that all of HMRC’s internal manuals are published on the Gov.UK Website in an A – Z manner. Some of them may not be relevant at all to the payroll world – for example the Beer Guidance Manual which is for HMRC staff to ‘understand beer’. Others are a relevant and useful source of guidance:

  • Appeals, reviews and tribunals Guidance (an interesting read about the two-tier tax tribunal system)
  • Apprenticeship Levy Manual (particularly interesting and informative when it comes to sharing the £15,000 Levy Allowance and mergers, acquisitions, start-ups and cessations)
  • Collection of Student Loans Manual (a fascinating and in-depth read)
  • Compliance Operational Guidance (COG) Manual (HMRC’s guidance to staff on processes and procedures for carrying out compliance checks)
  • Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) Reform Manual (great coverage of CIS which was changed in 2007 so not too sure why it is still referred to as a reform)
  • Debt Management and Banking (DMB) Manual (the DMB holds and updates HMRC’s other systems with payments information, so this is interesting)
  • Decisions and Appeals for National Insurance and Statutory Payments guidance (for NICs, employment status and statutory payment decisions and appeals)
  • Double Taxation Relief Manual (details what double taxation relief is and the countries with which the UK has an agreement)
  • Employee Tax Advantaged Share Scheme Manual (for information about SAYE, SIPs, CSOPs and EMIs)
  • Employment Income Manual (the EIM) (a must-read for anyone that wants an interpretation of the Income Tax (Earnings and Pensions) Act 2003 which is one of payroll’s main pieces of legislation regarding earnings and Benefits-in-Kind)
  • Employment Related Securities Manual (regarding the tax and NICs treatment of shares and options)
  • Employment Status Manual (all about tax and NICs depending on employment status, including agency workers and the off-payroll rules)
  • Enquiry Manual (all about HMRC and the tax enquiries that they do and can make)
  • International Manual (more about double taxation relief and international tax issues)
  • MLR1 Penalties Guidance (regarding the penalties for money laundering and terrorist financing, as per the 2017 Regulations)
  • National Insurance Manual (the NIM) (a fascinating and in-depth look at all things NICs)
  • National Minimum Wage Manual (another fascinating read, this time about the National Minimum Wage and compliance)
  • PAYE Manual (all things about operating PAYE with a nice glossary of all of the forms we come into contact with on a day-to-day basis)
  • PAYE Settlement Agreements Manual (all things PSA and information about what HMRC considers ‘minor’, ‘irregular’ and ‘impracticable’)
  • Pensions Tax Manual (about the taxation of registered pension schemes, including the mechanisms for tax relief)
  • Residence, Domicile and Remittance Basis Manual (how HMRC determine UK tax liability with reference to residence, domicile and remittance of funds)
  • Scottish Taxpayer Technical Guidance (who is and isn’t a Scottish Taxpayer)
  • Securities Guidance (a look at the complicated world of the taxation of securities)
  • Statutory Payments Manual (HMRC’s interpretation of statutory payments. Not comprehensive or always accurate with regards to entitlement to leave)
  • Welsh Taxpayer Technical Guidance (who is and isn’t a Welsh Taxpayer)

Yes, I know that there is something called information overload – nevertheless it’s good to have this free guidance pointed out……………

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