News

The latest breaking news in the industry!

18-10-2018

Anti-money laundering rules

The Money Laundering Regulations (MLR) are designed to protect the UK financial system and put in place certain controls to prevent businesses being used for money laundering by criminals and terrorists. Many businesses are monitored by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) or certain professional bodies. However, businesses that HMRC is responsible for supervising should be aware of the ... read more

18-10-2018

New style £50 note to be introduced

In a joint statement issued by HM Treasury and the Bank of England it had been confirmed that the £50 note is to continue to be part of the UK currency. The new £50 note will be designed and printed on polymer, a thin flexible plastic that includes a number of important new security features. Polymer notes are cleaner, safer and stronger than existing paper notes. We have already witnessed the ... read more

18-10-2018

Tax to pay if you exceed the annual pensions allowance

The annual allowance for tax relief on pensions has been fixed at the current level of £40,000 since 6 April 2014. The previous allowance was £50,000 and prior to 6 April 2011, the annual allowance was as high as £255,000. The annual allowance is further reduced for high earners. Those with income in excess of £150,000 will usually have their allowance tapered. For every complete £2 their income ... read more

18-10-2018

Son’s failed investment in father’s company

A recent Upper Tribunal case examined whether a sole trader operating a skip hire business was entitled to Income Tax relief on irrecoverable loans made to a company. The company was owned by the sole trader’s father. HMRC had rejected the claim for Income Tax relief on the basis that the loans were capital investments and were not wholly and exclusively laid out for the purposes of trade. The ... read more

18-10-2018

Electing not to have Incorporation Relief

If a taxpayer owns a business as a sole trader or in partnership, a capital gain will be deemed to arise if the business is converted into a company by reference to the market value of the business assets including goodwill. This may give rise to a chargeable gain based broadly on the difference between the market value of the assets and their original cost. A number of options exist in such ... read more

18-10-2018

Tapering of residence nil rate band

The Inheritance Tax main residence nil-rate band (RNRB) came into effect on 6 April 2017. The RNRB is a transferable allowance for married couples and civil partners (per person) when their main residence is passed down to a direct descendent, such as children or grandchildren, after their death. The RNRB is on top of the existing £325,000 Inheritance Tax nil-rate band (NRB) threshold. The RNRB ... read more

18-10-2018

Finance (No.3) Bill and the Budget

The Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Mel Stride has confirmed that the government will publish Finance (No.3) Bill on Wednesday, 7 November 2018. The Bill is so named as it is the third Finance Bill in the current special two-year session of Parliament. The Bill will contain the legislation for many of the tax measures announced by the government. The Bill is colloquially known as Finance Bill ... read more

18-10-2018

MTD for VAT pilot extended

The introduction of Making Tax Digital (MTD) for VAT is fast approaching. From April 2019, some 1 million businesses with a turnover above the VAT threshold (currently £85,000) will have to keep their records digitally (for VAT purposes only) and provide their VAT return information to HMRC through MTD compatible software. An initial private beta pilot of MTD for VAT was launched in April this ... read more

15-10-2018

Data protection self-assessment checklist launched for small business owners

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has launched a self-assessment checklist to help small business owners and sole traders to assess their compliance with the GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018. The ICO’s interactive online checklist asks users to answer a series of eight questions by giving either a “yes”, “no” or “in part” answer. At each stage, the user can first click to view more ... read more

11-10-2018

Company director imprisoned

A director of a company that manufactured security systems has been found guilty of two counts of fraudulent trading and one count of fraudulently removing property in anticipation of winding up. He was sentenced to two years in prison after defrauding his creditors to the tune of £600,000. The man has also been banned from directly or indirectly becoming involved, without the permission of the ... read more

11-10-2018

The end of late payments by large organisations?

The government has been trying to combat the widespread issue of large businesses abusing their position by making late payments to small businesses. This initiative has included the launch of the voluntary Prompt Payment Code (PPC) in April 2017 where over 2,000 signatories have committed to the fair and equal treatment of payments to suppliers including to smaller businesses. The PPC and other ... read more

11-10-2018

Importing from non-EU countries

There are special rules for businesses that import goods from non-EU countries. Whilst most smaller businesses importing goods will use a courier or freight forwarder it is still important to be aware of the duties and VAT implications. Businesses importing goods must be able to distinguish between importing goods from outside the EU or within the EU. Intra-EU movements of goods that are imported ... read more

11-10-2018

Self-assessment filing deadline

The 2017-18 tax return deadline for taxpayers using a paper self-assessment return is 31 October 2018. Late submission of a self-assessment return will become liable to a £100 late filing penalty. The penalty usually applies even if there is no liability or if any tax due is paid in full by 31 January 2019. There are many advantages to filing online that include an extra three months (until 31 ... read more

11-10-2018

VAT - option to tax

There are special VAT rules that allow businesses to standard rate the supply of most non-residential and commercial land and buildings (known as the option to tax). This means that subsequent supplies by the person making the option to tax will be subject to VAT at the standard rate. The ability to convert the treatment of VAT exempt land and buildings to taxable can have many benefits. The main ... read more

11-10-2018

Companies and trading losses

Corporation Tax relief may be available when a company or organisation makes a trading loss. The loss may be used to claim relief from Corporation Tax by offset against other gains or profits of the business in the same or previous accounting period. The loss can also be set against future qualifying trading income. Any claim for trading losses forms part of the company tax return. The trading ... read more

11-10-2018

The Digital Disclosure Service

HMRC has used targeted campaigns to recover underpaid taxes and penalties from specific sectors and industries where significant underpayment of tax has been identified. The use of these campaigns is part of the government’s continued moves to tackle tax evasion, avoidance and fraud. Current campaigns include the Card Transaction Programme, a disclosure opportunity for businesses that accept ... read more

11-10-2018

Genuine messages from HMRC

HMRC has issued an updated version of their online guidance on Genuine HMRC contact and recognising phishing emails and texts. The guidance provides a current list of genuine messages from HMRC. This includes email messages, text messages and telephone contacts from HMRC. HMRC is currently carrying out compliance checks for midsized businesses, charities and public bodies by way of a compliance ... read more

03-10-2018

Charity filing deadline approaching

The Charity Commission has warned charities that the deadline for submitting the 2017 annual return is fast approaching. The deadline for charities with a standard 12-month accounting period is 31 October 2018. According to the Charity Commission, there are many charities that have yet to file their annual return. Not filing on time means that the charity will be in default, and this information ... read more

03-10-2018

When do you pay Income Tax?

Income Tax, unsurprisingly, is a tax on income. To be more specific, it is a tax on the income of individuals and non-incorporated businesses. However, there are some types of income where no Income Tax is payable. We have summarised below some of the main income type that are and are not liable to Income Tax. In most circumstances, taxpayers will not be required to pay tax on all their income, ... read more

03-10-2018

What are National Insurance credits?

National Insurance credits can help qualifying applicants to fill gaps in their National Insurance record. This can assist taxpayers to build up the amount of qualifying years of National Insurance contributions which can increase the amount of benefits a person is entitled to, such as the State Pension. For example, National Insurance credits may be available to: those looking for work, who ... read more

03-10-2018

Gift Aid donations for food and drink

The Gift Aid scheme is available to all UK taxpayers. The charity or Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CASC) concerned can take a taxpayer’s donation and provided all the qualifying conditions are met, can reclaim the basic rate tax allowing an extra 25p on every £1 donated to charity. HMRC has published a press release to remind fundraisers that they can boost donations by an extra 25%, if they ... read more

03-10-2018

Class 3 NICs

Class 3 National Insurance Contributions (NICs) are a voluntary contribution paid by those wishing to fill gaps in their NICs contribution record and can be used by taxpayers who have not made sufficient compulsory contributions or are not liable to pay any other class of National Insurance contributions. Essentially, Class 3 contributions can be used to secure certain state benefits, and more ... read more

03-10-2018

Limitations of trivial benefit claims

Under HMRC’s rules, there is no tax to pay on trivial benefits in kind (BiK) provided to employees where all of the following apply: the benefit is not cash or a cash-voucher; and costs £50 or less; and is not provided as part of a salary sacrifice or other contractual arrangement; and is not provided in recognition of services performed by the employee as part of their employment, or in ... read more

03-10-2018

Eligibility to claim Entrepreneurs’ Relief

Entrepreneurs' relief applies to the sale of a business, shares in a trading company or an individual’s interest in a trading partnership. Where this relief is available Capital Gains Tax (CGT) of 10% is payable in place of the standard rate. CGT on the disposal of chargeable assets is usually chargeable at 20%. There are a number of qualifying conditions that must be met in order to qualify for ... read more

03-10-2018

Ways to liquidate a limited company

There are a number of reasons why a limited company may be no longer required and can be shut down. This may be because the limited company structure: no longer suits the needs of its owners, the business is no longer active, or the company is insolvent. The agreement of all the company’s directors and shareholders to close down the company will be required. The method for winding up or ... read more

03-10-2018

High penalties for offshore tax evasion

There are higher penalties for taxpayers evading Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax relating to offshore matters. HMRC’s compliance check notice entitled Higher penalties for offshore matters, has recently been updated to include details about penalties under the Requirement to Correct (RTC) legislation. The RTC rules apply to any person with undeclared UK Income Tax, Capital Gains Tax and/or ... read more

26-09-2018

Alert for VAT registered traders

The deadline for businesses with a turnover above the VAT threshold to keep digital records and provide regular digital updates to HMRC for VAT purposes using Making Tax Digital (MTD) is fast approaching. From 1 April 2019, businesses with a turnover above the VAT threshold (currently £85,000) will be required to keep their records digitally (initially for VAT purposes only). For VAT accounting ... read more

26-09-2018

Late night taxis for employees

There is no specific requirement for employers to provide employees with transport home. Nevertheless, an employer has a duty of care to their employees, which means that they should take all steps that are reasonably possible to ensure their health, safety and wellbeing. Ensuring that an employee gets home safely during unsocial working hours could fall within the employers 'duty of care'. ... read more

26-09-2018

Do capital gains affect tax credit claims?

There are special income eligibility rules for making tax credit claims. The amount and type of income you (and your partner for a joint claim) have will affect how much tax credits you might get. There is a common misconception that the only figure that needs to be provided to HMRC when applying for / renewing a tax credit claim is employment income. However, any taxable income from savings and ... read more

26-09-2018

Taxpayer wins appeal against filing penalties

The First-Tier Tribunal (FTT) recently heard a taxpayers appeal against penalties imposed for the late filing of his self assessment return in respect of the 2014-15 tax year. The taxpayer had income from five separate employments during the tax year in question. The total income from all these employments meant that a small proportion of his income was chargeable at the higher rate tax band, but ... read more

26-09-2018

Employer pension contributions

Employer contributions to any type of pension arrangement in a registered pension scheme are always paid gross. Tax relief is given by deducting the gross amount of the contributions from an employer’s taxable profits before Corporation Tax is calculated. Employers’ contributions can normally be treated as a deduction for the accounting period in which the contribution is paid by the employer. ... read more

26-09-2018

Benefits provided by someone other than their employer

Benefits provided to an employee by someone other than the employer (often known as 'third party benefits') are taxable on the employee if they are provided by reason of their employment. For example, if you work at a car dealership and receive an award from a ‘third party’ car manufacturer. HMRC’s guidance cites case law on this issue. One of the cases quoted surmises that 'by reason of the ... read more

26-09-2018

Date announced for Autumn Budget 2018

The Chancellor has announced that the Autumn Budget 2018 will be held on Monday, 29 October 2018. The announcement was made on the GOV.UK website. The Treasury said the Budget will set out the government’s plan to build a stronger, more prosperous economy, building on the recent Spring Statement and last year’s Budget. Earlier this month the Chancellor had stated before the House of Lords ... read more

20-09-2018

Tax Diary October/November 2018

1 October 2018 - Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 31 December 2017. 19 October 2018 - PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 October 2018. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 October 2018.) 19 October 2018 - Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly return for the month ended 5 October 2018. 19 October 2018 - CIS tax deducted for the month ended 5 ... read more

18-09-2018

Budget date remains to be confirmed

The Chancellor Philip Hammond, has stated before the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee, that he is not yet in a position to announce a date for the Autumn Budget 2018 saying it was 'difficult to fix'. Last year, the Chancellor had used his annual meeting before the Economic Affairs Committee to announce the Budget date. Now the Chancellor has said he is unable to fix a date at this time ... read more

18-09-2018

Help-to-Save scheme launched

The new Help to Save scheme for people on low incomes was officially opened with effect from 12 September 2018 following an 8-month trial. The new scheme allows those in work entitled to Working Tax Credit, and in receipt of Working Tax Credits or Child Tax Credits to save up to £50 a month for two years and receive a 50% government bonus. The scheme is also open to UK residents who are claiming ... read more

18-09-2018

CGT record keeping

The annual Capital Gains Tax (CGT) exemption for individuals is £11,700 for 2018-19. A husband and wife each benefit from a separate exemption. Same-sex couples who acquire a legal status as civil partners are treated in the same way as married couples for CGT purposes. CGT is normally charged at a simple flat rate of 20% and this applies to most chargeable gains made by individuals. If ... read more

18-09-2018

Childcare and compensation claims

The Tax-Free Childcare Scheme (TFCS) helps support working families with their childcare costs. The scheme provides for a government top-up on parental contributions. For every 80p in the £1 contributed by parents, an additional 20p or 20% is funded by Government up to a maximum total of £10,000 per child per year. This gives parents an annual savings of up to £2,000 per child (and up to £4,000 ... read more

18-09-2018

Spotless but not tax deductible

The First-Tier Tribunal (FTT) recently heard three joined appeals that concerned the availability of tax relief for employee expenses. In each of the cases the expense claims related to the costs incurred cleaning and sanitising working clothes together with the cost of toiletries for personal hygiene. The FTT collectively referred to these costs as cleaning expenses. All three taxpayers were ... read more

18-09-2018

Stamp duty and leasehold property

Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is payable whether you buy a freehold property, a new or existing leasehold property or a shared ownership property. SDLT has been replaced in Scotland by the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax and in Wales by the Land Transaction Tax. The amount of SDLT you pay when you buy a leasehold property, depends on whether it’s an existing lease (an assigned lease) or a new ... read more

18-09-2018

Accommodation expenses and benefits

There are special rules for the provision of living accommodation to employees under certain circumstances. In most cases, employees will pay tax on any living accommodation provided by an employer unless they qualify for an exception. However, where an employee qualifies for an exception, there is no tax to pay on the provision of living accommodation. The definition of living accommodation ... read more

18-09-2018

Paper Self-Assessment return deadline

The 2017-18 tax return deadline for taxpayers who continue to submit paper Self-Assessment returns, is 31 October 2018. Late submission of a Self-Assessment return will become liable to a £100 late filing penalty. The penalty usually applies even if there is no liability or if any tax due is paid in full by 31 January 2019. We would recommend that anyone still submitting paper tax returns, ... read more

13-09-2018

Self-employed Class 2 NIC changes cancelled

In a surprise move, the government has announced that, following a lengthy consultation, the planned abolition of Class 2 National Insurance Contributions (NIC) will not take place in the current parliament. The announcement was made in a written statement by Robert Jenrick MP, the Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury on 6 September 2018. The withdrawal of Class 2 NICs was originally due to take ... read more

13-09-2018

Receipts to cover certain expenses to be abolished?

A new measure to remove the requirement for employers to check receipts for expense claims made by employees using the HMRC benchmark scale rates or overseas scale rates is to be introduced. The change will be included in the Finance Bill 2018-19. The benchmark scale rates can be used by employers to reimburse staff for subsistence expenses when they are travelling on business away from their ... read more

13-09-2018

How to tell if a tax office email is fraudulent

HMRC continues to warn taxpayers to be aware of email phishing scams. Phishing emails are used by fraudsters to access recipients' valuable personal details, such as usernames and passwords. Fake email messages can appear to be genuine but clicking on a link from within the email can result in personal information being compromised and the possibility of computer viruses affecting your computer or ... read more

13-09-2018

CGT Rollover Relief

Capital Gains Tax (CGT) Rollover Relief is a valuable relief that allows for a delay in the payment of CGT on gains when you sell or dispose of certain assets and use all or part of the proceeds to buy new assets. The relief means that the tax on the gain of the old asset is postponed. The amount of the gain is effectively rolled over into the cost of the new asset and any CGT liability is ... read more

13-09-2018

Telephone advice a reasonable excuse

The First-tier Tribunal (FTT) recently heard an appeal against late filing penalties imposed on both partnership and individual self-assessment returns for 2010-11 and 2011-12. There were also appeals made in respect of the years 2005-6 to 2009-10 but the FTT noted these were made outside the statutory time limits and accordingly, the Appellants applied for leave to appeal out of time. This ... read more

13-09-2018

Tax on rental profits

A taxpayer, Miss Akan, appealed to the First Tier Tribunal (FTT) against assessments in relation to Income Tax, Capital Gains Tax and penalties relating to income arising from, and from her disposal of, 15 Binnie House, London SE1. The underlying facts in this case are complex. Miss Akan grew up at 15 Binnie House, a third floor flat where her mother was a tenant of the local council. When her ... read more

05-09-2018

Advice for importers if 'no deal' Brexit

The UK is set to leave the EU on 29 March 2019 and as things currently stand, it would seem that we are no closer to reaching a negotiated withdrawal agreement. The chances of Britain leaving the EU without any working agreement, known as a 'no deal' Brexit is in some ways looking increasing likely, and certainly cannot be ignored. The government remains confident that a deal will be reached but ... read more

05-09-2018

Advice for exporters if 'no deal' Brexit

We have already examined matters that must be addressed by those importing goods to the UK if there is a 'no deal' Brexit (See previous articles). In this article we will look at the impact this would have on UK businesses exporting goods to the EU, currently known as intra-EU dispatches. A no-deal Brexit would see tariffs imposed on goods that the UK sends to the EU. It is also important to ... read more

05-09-2018

Make a claim on an estate

There are special intestacy rules that govern how assets are divided if you die without making a will. If this happens your assets are passed on to family members in accordance with a set legal formula. This can result in a distribution of assets that would not be in keeping with your final wishes, and can be especially problematic for cohabitees (a couple who live together but are not married and ... read more

05-09-2018

Take care when making VAT reclaims

The Court of Appeal recently heard a taxpayer's appeal against a decision of the Upper Tribunal to recover an amount of overpaid VAT. The claim related to historic VAT claims colloquially known as Fleming claims. Until March 2009, there existed an important opportunity to make claims dating back as far as the introduction of VAT in 1973 without being capped. The last major deadline concerned ... read more

05-09-2018

Update on Bank Referral Scheme

The government’s Bank Referral Scheme was launched in November 2016. The scheme, created by the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015, is designed to help improve SME access to finance and competition in the SME lending market. The bank referral scheme imposes a statutory duty on nine of the UK’s biggest banks to pass on the details of small businesses, who have been unsuccessful in ... read more

05-09-2018

Student loan refunds

Student Loans are part of the government's financial support package for students in higher education in the UK. They are available to help students meet their expenses while they are studying, and it is HMRC’s responsibility to collect repayments where the borrower is working in the UK. The Student Loans Company (SLC) is directly responsible for collecting the loans of borrowers outside the UK ... read more

05-09-2018

Students working summer jobs

We would like to remind any students that had a summer, job that they may be entitled to claim back any tax overpaid. Students (and other temporary workers) are not required to pay any income tax if their earnings are below the tax-free personal allowance. When preparing payroll calculations, employers are required to calculate the amount of tax you need to pay on the basis that you would be ... read more

05-09-2018

Lost your national insurance number?

Taxpayers who have lost or forgotten their national insurance number should first try and locate the number on paperwork such as their tax return, payslip or P60. Taxpayers with access to their personal tax account can also login to view or print a letter with their national insurance number. If the national insurance number cannot be located, a request can be submitted in writing to HMRC using ... read more

03-09-2018

Change in national minimum wage penalties in a TUPE transfer situation

HMRC has advised that it has changed its approach to charging financial penalties when enforcing the National Minimum Wage (NMW) where there has been a transfer of employees from one employer to another under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE). Since 2 July 2018, where there has been a TUPE transfer of employees, all NMW liabilities, including the full ... read more

29-08-2018

Capital Gains after divorce or separation

When spouses or civil partners are living together they are both treated as separate individuals for Capital Gains Tax (CGT) purposes. However, assets can be transferred between them free of CGT. This means that when a couple are together there is no CGT payable on assets gifted or sold to their spouse or civil partner. There are different CGT rules that apply to a married couple that are ... read more

29-08-2018

Allowable costs for property businesses

Costs that can be deducted by individuals that have a property rental business, depend on the type of property that is being rented out. There are three main categories of property business that need to be considered. Residential properties This is by far the most common type of investment property held by individuals. Tax relief can be claimed on allowable expenses incurred in the day-to-day ... read more

29-08-2018

What is Mileage Allowance relief?

Employees who use their own car at work can under certain circumstances be paid a tax-free allowance by their employers when using their own car, van, motorcycle or bike for work purposes. This is known either as Mileage Allowance Relief or a Mileage Allowance Payment. It is important to note that this tax-free allowance, does not include journeys to and from work but is relevant to employees who ... read more

29-08-2018

IHT Disclosure of Tax Avoidance Schemes from April 2018

The Disclosure of Tax Avoidance Schemes (DOTAS) legislation, targets taxpayers who implement listed tax avoidance schemes as well as the promoters of tax avoidance schemes. New regulations came into force on 1 April 2018 that extended the scope of the IHT hallmark to make it more comprehensive. HMRC has been careful to listen to concerned practitioners to ensure the new hallmark is appropriately ... read more

29-08-2018

Venture Capital Schemes advance assurance

There are four tax-advantaged Venture Capital Schemes currently available: The Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) The Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs) and The Social Investment Tax relief (SITR) There are a significant number of qualifying conditions that must be met by companies looking to use any of these schemes. One of the more popular services ... read more

29-08-2018

Funeral Expenses Payment

Paying for a funeral can be expensive, and research shows that the average funeral arranged using a funeral director costs over £4,000. The Funeral Expenses Payment or Funeral Payment is a government scheme for people on low incomes, and receiving certain benefits to help them pay for a funeral. If you receive a Funeral Expenses Payment to help pay funeral costs (usually for a close relative ... read more

29-08-2018

Updating the PSC register

The register of People with Significant Control (PSC register) came into effect on 6 April 2016. The PSC register is used to identify and record the people who exert significant control over UK companies, often known as beneficial owners. A PSC is anyone in a company or LLP who meets one or more of the conditions listed in the legislation. This is someone who: Owns, directly or indirectly more ... read more

29-08-2018

Claiming the employment allowance

The employment allowance of £3,000 per year, is available to most businesses and charities to be offset against their employers Class 1 NIC bill. The allowance can be claimed as part of the normal payroll process. An employer can claim less than the maximum if this will cover their total Class 1 NIC bill. Eligible employers that have not yet done so can still claim for the current tax year (as ... read more

29-08-2018

PAYE late filing penalties

There are late filing penalties in place for employers that don’t report payroll information on time. The size of the late filing penalties depends on the number of employees within the PAYE scheme. Number of employees Monthly filing penalty per PAYE scheme 1 to 9 £100 10 to 49 £200 50 to 249 £300 250 or more £400 Payments that are over 3 months late can be subject to an ... read more

29-08-2018

New advisory fuel rates published

Advisory fuel rates are intended to reflect actual average fuel costs and are updated quarterly. The rates can be used by employers who reimburse employees for business travel in their company cars or where employees are required to repay the cost of fuel used for private travel. HMRC accepts that there is no taxable profit and no Class 1A National Insurance on reimbursed travel expenses where ... read more

22-08-2018

Boosting recycling with tax system

Over 162,000 responses were received to a call for evidence launched by HM Treasury on how changes to the tax system could help curb plastic waste. This was the largest ever response to a call for evidence in the Treasury’s history, and included responses not just from members of the public but also from representatives of 222 diverse organisations. Accordingly, the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, ... read more

22-08-2018

How to earn more at the basic rate of tax

Donations made to charity over the course of a tax year can add up and taxpayers should ensure that they keep a proper record of all donations and note them on their tax return. The Gift Aid scheme is available to all UK taxpayers. The recipient charity can claim an extra 25p worth of tax relief on every pound donated provided all the qualifying conditions of the scheme are met. If you pay Income ... read more

22-08-2018

Are you eligible for CGT Entrepreneurs’ Relief?

Entrepreneurs' Relief applies to the sale of a business, shares in a trading company or an individual’s interest in a trading partnership. Where this relief is available, CGT of 10% is payable in place of the standard rate. There are a number of qualifying conditions that must be met in order to qualify for the relief. When the relief was first introduced, there was a lifetime limit of £1 ... read more

22-08-2018

How to close down a company by striking off

There are a limited range of circumstances when a company can request to be removed from the register (known as being struck off). For example, a voluntary strike off can be requested by a dormant or non-trading company. A limited company can be closed down by getting it 'struck off' the Companies Register, but only if it: hasn't traded or sold off any stock in the last 3 months. For example, ... read more

22-08-2018

What are the different ways to dismiss staff?

Many employers rightly have concerns about the process of dismissing an employee. Whilst there are many laws to be aware of, there are some important basic rules to observe. It is also important that employers consider the reasons that can be used to dismiss an employee and that a proper procedure for doing so is followed. There are different types of dismissal: Fair dismissal. An employer ... read more

22-08-2018

HMRC Alternative Dispute Resolution

The Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) process uses independent HMRC facilitators to help resolve disputes between HMRC and taxpayers. The person leading the ADR will act as a neutral, third party mediator will not have been involved in the initial dispute between HMRC and taxpayers. The use of the ADR aims to find a fair and quick outcome for both parties, helping to reduce costs and avoid a ... read more

22-08-2018

Help to Buy: ISA scheme

The Help to Buy: ISA scheme launched in December 2015 and allows savers to claim a government bonus of 25% on monthly savings of up to £200 towards their first home. The bonus translates to: an extra £50 added to every £200 saved up to a maximum governmental contribution of £3,000 on £12,000 worth of savings. New figures have revealed that since the scheme was launched (until the end of March ... read more

14-08-2018

Tax Diary August/September 2018

1 September 2018 - Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 30 November 2017. 19 September 2018 - PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 September 2018. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 September 2018) 19 September 2018 - Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly return for the month ended 5 September 2018. 19 September 2018 - CIS tax deducted for the month ... read more

14-08-2018

Limited liability for sole traders?

The Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) has updated its papers on the possibility of launching a Sole Enterprise Protected Assets (SEPA) business model for sole traders. SEPA status would allow sole traders to retain the simplicity of sole trader status but at the same time offer liability protection for a sole trader's primary residence and possibly the individual’s pension fund. SEPA would not ... read more

14-08-2018

Time to declare offshore assets?

HMRC has published a press release to remind taxpayers that the 30 September 2018 deadline to come forward and declare any foreign income or profits on offshore assets is fast approaching. This is the date set out in the Requirement to Correct (RTC) legislation that was introduced by the Finance (No.2) Act 2017. Taxpayers making a disclosure will then have a further 90 days to make the full ... read more

14-08-2018

VAT on transfer of business as a going concern

The transfer of a business as a going concern (TOGC) rules consider the VAT liability on the sale of a business. Normally, the sale of the assets of a VAT registered or VAT registerable business will be subject to VAT at the appropriate rate. Where the sale of a business includes assets and meets certain conditions, the sale will be categorised as a TOGC. A TOGC is defined as 'neither a supply ... read more

14-08-2018

Duty free limits for travellers

Here is a reminder for travellers of their duty and tax free allowances whilst travelling this summer. Travelling to an EU country Where tobacco or alcohol is brought in from another EU country, no duties or tax will be payable as long as you can demonstrate that the goods are for your own use and that you paid the relevant taxes and duties on the purchase. However, HMRC provides the following ... read more

14-08-2018

New counter-fraud squad

A new Government Counter Fraud Profession (GCFP) is to be launched on 9th October to help fight fraud in the public sector. The size of the challenge is immense with fraud in the public sector estimated to be between £31 billion and £49 billion. The GCFP will create a new community of counter fraud specialists across government, with benefits for both individuals and organisations. Over 1,800 ... read more

14-08-2018

Intellectual property scam

The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) is warning taxpayers of a new intellectual property (IP) scam, where taxpayers receive unsolicited invitations from companies offering services to help them protect their IP in return for a fee. These usually relate to private organisations offering official-sounding trade mark renewal services or misleading offers to enter trade marks on private ... read more

14-08-2018

The Cycle to Work scheme and National Minimum Wage

There are special rules involving bicycles usually referred to as 'Cycle to Work' arrangements. The Cycle to Work scheme was introduced in 1999 to help promote the use of healthy ways to commute to work. The scheme allows employers to provide (technically loan) bicycles and cyclists’ safety equipment to employees as a tax-free benefit. Where the scheme conditions are satisfied, employees can ... read more

14-08-2018

HMRC interest rates

Following the recent increase in the Bank of England base rate to 0.75%, HMRC has announced changes to the rates of interest they charge. The new rates of interest charged on underpaid quarterly instalment payments of 1.75% (was 1.50%), took effect on 13 August 2018. The interest rate for all other non-quarterly instalment payments applied to the main taxes and duties that HMRC currently ... read more

14-08-2018

Corporation Tax computations

The Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) provides independent advice to the government on simplifying the UK tax system, with the object of reducing compliance burdens on both businesses and individual taxpayers. The OTS operates on a permanent, statutory footing and seeks to draw together expertise from across the tax and legal professions, the business community and other interested parties. A ... read more

13-08-2018

Employers have published gender pay gap data

Under new gender pay gap regulations that came into force in April 2017, all employers with over 250 employees are required to report their gender pay gap data. The Government Equalities Office (GEO) has now announced that 100% of UK employers identified as being in scope of the regulations (because they have over 250 employees), have published their gender pay gap data, amounting to 10,000 ... read more

07-08-2018

32.5% Corporation Tax on overdrawn directors’ loans

HMRC defines a director's loan as money taken from your company (by you or other close family members) that isn’t: a salary, dividend or expense repayment and money you’ve previously paid into or loaned the company An overdrawn director's loan account is created when a director effectively 'borrows' company money. A record of these loans must be kept in a director's loan account (DLA). ... read more

07-08-2018

Tax free health benefits

There is no requirement for employers to pay tax and National Insurance on certain health benefits covered by tax concessions or exemptions. For example, there is no requirement to report employees’ medical or dental treatment or insurance if they are a part of a salary sacrifice arrangement. In addition, the following health benefits can be provided tax free: A maximum of one ... read more

07-08-2018

Gifting share in home

Most gifts made during a person's life are not subject to tax at the time of the gift. These lifetime transfers are known as 'potentially exempt transfers' or 'PETs'. The gifts or transfers achieve their potential of becoming exempt from Inheritance Tax if the taxpayer survives for more than seven years after making the gift. There is a tapered relief available if the donor dies between three and ... read more

07-08-2018

What is overpayment relief?

Overpayment relief was introduced from 1 April 2010 and replaced error or mistake relief for Income Tax, Capital Gains Tax (CGT) and Corporation Tax. Overpayment relief allows taxpayers to recover overpaid Income Tax, CGT, Class 4 NIC, Corporation Tax, overpaid bank payroll tax or to reduce an excessive assessment. According to the HMRC, the rules for overpayment relief are intended to: give ... read more

07-08-2018

VAT – goods on sale or return

There are special VAT rules that must be followed when you sell goods on a sale or return basis. Goods sold on a sale or return basis (sometimes known as 'on approval') are goods that are effectively supplied to a customer free of charge and the supplier is only paid when the product has been sold. If the product remains unsold then it can be returned to the supplier without any charge. This type ... read more

07-08-2018

Fixtures and fitting on transfer of ownership

The tax treatment of the sale of fixtures and fittings included in the sale or purchase of a commercial building changed from April 2014. From that date, the buyer of a building that contains fixtures can only claim plant and machinery allowances (PMA) if the expenditure on the fixtures is pooled before the sale. The seller and buyer must also either: formally agree a value for fixtures within ... read more

07-08-2018

Childcare voucher scheme issues

The Tax-Free Childcare Scheme (TFCS) was launched in April 2017 and opened to all remaining eligible families with children under 12 on 14 February 2018. The new scheme allows working parents to receive a government top-up on their contributions. For every 80p in the £1 contributed by parents an additional 20p or 20% will be funded by Government up to a maximum total of £10,000 per child per ... read more

07-08-2018

Emails and letters from HMRC

HMRC continues to warn taxpayers about email phishing scams. Phishing emails are used by fraudsters to access recipients’ valuable personal details, such as usernames and passwords. Whilst these messages may appear to be genuine they are very dangerous and clicking on a link from within the email can result in personal information being compromised and the possibility of computer viruses affecting ... read more

01-08-2018

Football agent scores £1.2m own goal

A former football agent, Jerome Anderson, who looked after over 200 players during his career including Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp, has lost his £1.2m tax avoidance case with HMRC. The football agent's tax appeal was recently heard at the Upper Tribunal who upheld the decision of the First Tier Tribunal and disallowed the relief for losses incurred by a football academy run by the ... read more

01-08-2018

Correcting errors on your VAT return

Where an error on a past VAT return is uncovered taxpayers have a duty to correct the error as soon as possible. HMRC can also charge penalties and interest if an error is due to careless or dishonest behaviour. As a general rule, you can use a current VAT return to make any necessary adjustment. However, in order to do so, there are three important conditions that must be met: The error must ... read more

01-08-2018

Selling your UK home if you live abroad

There are special reporting requirements and the possibility of a tax bill when you sell your home in the UK and you live abroad. A Capital Gains Tax (CGT) charge on the sale of UK residential property by non-UK residents was introduced in April 2015. Only the amount of the overall gain relating to the period after 5 April 2015 is chargeable to tax. In certain circumstances private residence ... read more

01-08-2018

Capital Gains Tax: company takeovers

When a company takes over another company it may issue its own shares and/or securities in payment or part payment for the shares it’s buying. This is sometimes described as a share reorganisation. Where certain conditions are met, when the old shares are exchanged for new shares, no capital gain will occur until the new shares are sold. For Capital Gains Tax (CGT) purposes the sale or disposal ... read more

01-08-2018

What to do if you disagree with HMRC

There are a number of options open to taxpayers who disagree with a tax decision issued by HMRC. As a first step it is usually possible to make an appeal against a tax decision. There is normally a 30-day deadline for making an appeal so time is of the essence. HMRC will then carry out a review, usually by using HMRC officers that were not involved in the original decision. A response to an appeal ... read more

01-08-2018

What are the maximum weekly working hours?

There are working time limits that state the legal maximum weekly working hours that a person has to work should not exceed 48 hours a week on average. The maximum hours for under 18’s is fixed at no more than 8 hours a day or 40 hours a week. The average working hours are calculated over a 17-week period and includes overtime. This means that an employee may work more than 48 hours in some weeks ... read more

25-07-2018

A round up of some non-taxable payments and benefits

Although the government is continually clamping down on non-taxable payment and benefits for employees, there remains an eclectic list of expenses that are tax exempt. Some of the non-taxable benefits include the following: Annual parties. An annual Christmas party or other annual event offered to staff generally is not taxable on those attending, provided that the average cost per head of ... read more

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