01 Jun 2020

In further COVID-19 related news HMRC has announced a further extention to their time limit for notifying them of an intension to opt to tax land or buildings for VAT purposes.  Details of the announcement can be found here on HMRC’s guidance page. 

Generally, tax payers are required to notify HMRC of their intention to opt to tax within 30 days of decision having been made. In light of COVID-19, HMRC had already extended the notification period to 90 days for any decision made between the 15 February and 31 May.  With that date approaching and the UK social distancing policies remaining largely unchanged, HMRC has extended the 90 days notification deadline to periods until 30 June 2020.  HMRC has also said that this date will be kept under review, allowing for the possibility that these temporary measures may be extended further. 

Members should be mindful that these measures are temporary, and therefore should be monitored particularly when the extension comes to an end at which point the time limit will revert to the original 30 day notification window.    

In addition to the extension, HMRC, similar to other areas of tax and reporting, has relaxed some of the rules around requiring wet signatures.  E-signatures will be permitted, but must be supplemented with evidence demonstrating that the person(s) signing the declaration has the authority to make the election. 

Electronic copies of the notifications can be sent to HMRC at optiontotaxnationalunit@hmrc.gov.uk.


Anshita Joshi

Anshita Joshi

Tax Advisor, AREF

Anshita Joshi is the Tax Advisor at AREF and is responsible for developing and leading AREF’s tax agenda on issues relating to corporate and fund tax matters including VAT and withholding taxes. Anshita has over 15 years of experience in dealing with investment management tax matters, having previously at PwC as a Senior Manager in the asset management tax team.