Changes to notifying an option to tax land and buildings during COVID-19
To help businesses during coronavirus COVID-19 HMRC has made temporary changes to the time limit and process for opting to tax (OTT) land and buildings.
When notifying HMRC of a decision to OTT land and buildings, you are normally required to notify HMRC within 30 days by either printing and posting the notification, signed by an authorised person within the business or by emailing a scanned copy of the signed notification.
HMRC have recognised that social distancing in response to coronavirus has made these rules challenging to follow and accordingly have temporarily changed the rules to help businesses and agents.
What are the changes?
The time limit has been temporarily extended to 90 days from the date the decision to OTT was made. This applies to decisions made between 15 February and 31 October 2020.
If you are notifying an option as a business you can submit the form with an electronic signature but HMRC will need evidence that the signature is from a person authorised to make the option on behalf of the business.
If you are an agent notifying HMRC that your customer has made a decision to OTT and you submit the form with an electronic signature, you need to send proof that the signature is from a person authorised to make the option on behalf of the business and that authority has been granted to you by the business to use the electronic signature.
HMRC website gives more guidance about what forms of evidence/proof is required to demonstrate these authorites.
The information was correct at time of publishing but may now be out of date.