News

The latest breaking news in the industry!

19-10-2017

Bereavement leave for parents who lose a child

The Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Bill has been published by the government. Although the Bill is a Private Members’ Bill, it has the full support of the government and therefore the Bill and its explanatory notes have been prepared by the government with the consent of the relevant MP. It is due to have its second reading in the House of Commons on 20 October 2017. The Bill provides a ... read more

18-10-2017

Managing staff experiencing mental ill health

Acas has launched new guidance to help employers manage staff who are experiencing mental health issues. The new guidance aims to help managers develop the right skills to support employees as well as to create a culture of well-being in the workplace. It includes advice on: spotting the signs of mental ill health talking to a team member that may be experiencing mental ill health supporting ... read more

18-10-2017

Is it a car or a van?

The First-Tier Tribunal recently heard three appeals that examined whether vehicles supplied to employees were vans or cars. The main appellant in this case was Coca-Cola European Partners GB Ltd (Coca-Cola) who supplied vehicles to a number of their employees. Until 1997, Coca-Cola’s technicians had used estate cars but the amount of equipment that the employees needed would no longer fit in an ... read more

18-10-2017

Non-residents selling UK home

A capital gains tax (CGT) charge on the sale of UK residential property by non-UK residents was introduced in April 2015. A UK non-resident that sells UK residential property needs to deliver a non-resident capital gains tax (NRCGT) return within 30 days of selling a relevant property. When such a sale is made a NRCGT return must be submitted to HMRC within 30 days of the conveyance of the ... read more

18-10-2017

Overdrawn director’s loan account

An overdrawn director's loan account is created when a director (or other close family members) ‘borrows’ money from their company. Many companies, particularly 'close' private companies, pay for personal expenses of directors using company funds. Where these payments do not form part of a director’s remuneration they are usually posted to the director’s loan account (DLA). The DLA can represent ... read more

18-10-2017

HMRC to stop accepting personal credit cards

HMRC has confirmed that they will no longer accept payments with a personal credit card from 13 January 2018. This includes payments for income tax, PAYE, VAT and many other taxes. This is due to the implementation of the EU second Payment Services Directive (PSDII). This legislation makes a number of reforms to the way payments by debit and credit cards, direct debit, credit transfers, standing ... read more

18-10-2017

Inactive companies and Corporation Tax

There are a number of scenarios where HMRC would consider a company or organisation to be inactive for Corporation Tax (CT) purposes. This is a different categorisation to a 'dormant' company and usually happens when a company has not commenced trading. A company, whilst not yet active for CT purposes, can still carry out activities (known as ‘pre-trading activities’) or incur costs (known as ... read more

18-10-2017

What is a 'K' tax code?

The letters in an employee’s tax code signify their entitlement (or not) to the annual tax free personal allowance. The tax codes are updated annually, or when an employee's circumstances change, and help employers work out how much tax to deduct from an employee’s pay packet. The basic personal allowance for the tax year starting 6 April 2017 is £11,500 and the tax code for an employee ... read more

11-10-2017

Do you pay tax on assets or cash you inherit?

As a general rule, inheritance tax (IHT) is collected from a person’s estate when they die and can also be payable during a person’s lifetime on certain trusts and gifts. There is normally no tax to be paid if the value of the estate is below the IHT nil rate threshold of £325,000. There is also a new IHT main residence nil-rate band (RNRB) that was introduced in April 2017. The RNRB will ... read more

11-10-2017

Tax implications on divorce or separation

When a couple is separating or divorced it is unlikely that they are thinking about the tax implications. However, as the dust begins to settle it is important that the tax consequences of the break-up are given proper consideration. Whilst income tax does not automatically cause an issue for separating couples, as it is an individually assessed tax, there are other taxes that should be ... read more

11-10-2017

Land Registry property alert service

HM Land Registry's property alert service is a free (for up to 10 registered properties) service to help protect property from fraud. The counter-fraud security measure was introduced by the Land Registry to monitor registered properties, where there is a concern that it might be subject to a fraudulent sale or mortgage. The property alert service can be used to monitor any property in England ... read more

11-10-2017

Check your National Insurance record online

HMRC offers an online service to check your National Insurance record online. In order to use the service, you will need to have a Government Gateway account. If you don’t have an account, you can apply to set one up online. By signing in to the 'Check your National Insurance record' service you will also activate your personal tax account. The personal tax account can be used to complete a ... read more

11-10-2017

Employing someone to work in your home

When you employ someone to work in your home, it is your responsibility to meet their employee's rights and deduct the correct amount of tax from their salary. This can include domestic staff such as a nanny, housekeeper, gardener or carer. The rules are different if the person is self-employed or paid through an agency. If you employ anyone they must: have an employment contract be given ... read more

11-10-2017

Capital allowances when you sell an asset

Capital allowances is the term used to describe the tax relief businesses can claim on certain capital expenditure and thereby reduce the amount of their taxable profits. Most ‘capital’ items, such as equipment, vehicles, machinery etc, last for a reasonably long time and the tax rules do not allow you to automatically deduct the full cost of such items in one go. There are different rules that ... read more

04-10-2017

Christmas party and other social events

In a recent newsletter we looked at the tax implications of giving Christmas gifts to your staff and the complications that can arise. In this newsletter, we will take a look at the tax breaks available for staff Christmas party or similar annual events. In general, the cost of a staff party or other annual entertainment is allowed as a deduction for tax purposes. However, there are some ... read more

04-10-2017

Landlords’ finance charges restrictions

The government’s move to restrict the tax relief landlords receive on finance charges started to take effect from April this year. This is the first year that finance charges are being restricted. The tax relief on mortgage costs used to buy investment properties is gradually being restricted to the basic rate of tax. Landlords of residential properties had benefited from potential higher rate tax ... read more

04-10-2017

Self-Assessment e-filing deadline

As existing Self-Assessment tax filers will be aware, the deadline for online submission of your 2016-17 Self-Assessment tax return is 31 January 2018. This is also the date that the payment is due for the balance of any Self-Assessment liability for 2016-17, and the due date for any payment on account due for the current 2017-18 tax year. There are penalties for late Self-Assessment returns ... read more

04-10-2017

Benefits and limitations of the VAT Flat Rate Scheme

The VAT Flat Rate scheme (FRS) has been designed to simplify the way a business accounts for VAT, and in so doing, reduces the administration costs of complying with the VAT legislation. Using the FRS, you simply pay VAT as a fixed percentage of your VAT inclusive turnover. The actual percentage you use depends on your type of business. The amount of VAT you pay on your business expenses becomes ... read more

04-10-2017

Self-employed - claim rate per mile for use of car

There are simplified arrangements in place for the self-employed (and some partnerships) to claim a fixed rate deduction for certain expenses where there is a mix of business and private use. The simplified expenses regime is not available to limited companies or business partnerships involving a limited company. The simplified expenses include a flat rate per mile claim for use of a car. The ... read more

04-10-2017

Tax on foreign income

Income Tax is generally payable on taxable income received by individuals in the UK, including earnings from employment, earnings from self-employment, pensions income, interest on most savings, dividend income, rental income and trust income. However, if you are resident in the UK you will also need to pay UK Income Tax on your foreign income, such as: wages if you work abroad foreign ... read more

28-09-2017

How to make the most of tax losses

There are a number of tax reliefs available for self-employed taxpayers that make a loss carrying on their trade, profession or vocation (collectively referred to as a ‘trade’) and for their share of partnership losses. For the 2016-17 tax year, trade losses can be relieved in a number of ways. These include: By using the loss to reduce income for the year ended 5 April 2017 and / or 5 April ... read more

28-09-2017

How to pay self-assessment tax by adjusting your tax code

One of the less well-known ways of paying your self-assessment tax bill is to do so through your tax code. This can only be done where all the following apply: you owe a self-assessment balancing payment of less than £3,000; you are an employee or receive a company pension; you have for the 2016-17 tax year submitted a paper tax return by the 31 October 2017 or an online tax return by 30 ... read more

28-09-2017

Expenses and benefits: Christmas gifts

It is established practice that Christmas presents paid in cash to employees are almost invariably taxable as earnings. This view has been upheld by the courts on many occasions and can mean that a gift from a well-intentioned employer is worth less than the giver or the recipient expected. An alternative to a cash gift may be to give staff a seasonal gift such as a turkey or bottle of wine. In ... read more

28-09-2017

VAT returns – correcting mistakes

There are special rules for correcting errors on VAT returns. The relevant rules depend on whether you need to: Amend your VAT records if you discover they contain errors; Correct errors on VAT returns you’ve already sent to HMRC; Claim a refund if you’ve overpaid VAT, or not claimed enough credit on a return. When you find you have made an error or errors in a VAT return that has already ... read more

28-09-2017

CGT annual tax-free allowances

There is an annual Capital Gains Tax (CGT) exemption for individuals (who live in the UK) as well as executors or personal representatives of a deceased person’s estate. The exemption is £11,300 for the 2017-18 tax year. A husband and wife each have a separate exemption. Most trusts have an annual exemption of £5,650. However, where the remittance basis is claimed by a non-UK domiciled individual, ... read more

28-09-2017

What’s included in the charge to Stamp Duty Land Tax?

There have been many changes to the way stamp duty land tax (SDLT) and equivalent regional taxes are charged in recent years. This has included changes to the way in which SDLT is calculated for residential property purchases from 4 December 2014. They include a move away from SDLT being charged on a slab basis - where a single rate applied to the total value of the property acquired - to a ... read more

25-09-2017

Tax Diary October/November 2017

1 October 2017 - Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 31 December 2016. 19 October 2017 - PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 October 2017. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 October 2017.) 19 October 2017 - Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly return for the month ended 5 October 2017. 19 October 2017 - CIS tax deducted for the month ended 5 ... read more

21-09-2017

Pension money purchase allowance reduction 2017-18

One of the measures announced in the March 2017 Budget was the reduction in the annual Money Purchase Allowance (MPAA) from £10,000 to £4,000. This measure was subsequently dropped from the pre-election Finance Bill, but as expected, has now been included in the second Finance Bill of 2017 published earlier this month. Once the second Finance Bill receives Royal Assent, this measure will have ... read more

21-09-2017

Tax relief for electric vehicle charging points

In last year’s Autumn Statement, the Chancellor announced a new capital allowance for electric vehicle charging points. Capital allowances is the term used to describe the allowances which allow businesses to secure tax relief for certain capital expenditure. Most 'capital' items, such as computer equipment, vehicles, machinery etc, last for a lengthy period of time and the tax relief rules do not ... read more

21-09-2017

When is a car a van for VAT reclaim purposes?

In most cases a business is unable to reclaim the VAT charged when they purchase a car. However, there are different rules for other types of commercial vehicles and in most cases VAT can be reclaimed when a business purchases a commercial vehicle. For example, vans usually have no rear seats, metal side panels to the rear of the front seats, a load area which is unsuitable for carrying ... read more

21-09-2017

Reimbursing employer for benefits in kind

It has been confirmed that the promised legislation to allow employees to reimburse their employers for benefits provided, and thereby avoiding a tax charge, will be included in the second Finance Bill 2017. These changes will align the dates for reimbursing an employer for benefits-in-kind (referred to in the legislation as ‘making good’). Employees will need to make the reimbursement before ... read more

21-09-2017

Changing your company’s year end

There are special rules which limit the ability to change a company’s year end date. A company’s year end date is also known as its ‘accounting reference date’ and is historically set by reference to the date the company was incorporated. Under certain circumstances it is possible to make a change to the year end. As a general rule, you can only change the year end for the current financial year ... read more

21-09-2017

Closing down a limited company

There are a number of reasons why a limited company may no longer be required and can be shut down. The limited company structure is no longer suitable as: being incorporated is not the best option the business is no longer trading or the company is insolvent. It will usually be necessary to have the agreement of all the company’s directors and shareholders to close down a company. The ... read more

19-09-2017

New Data Protection Bill introduced to Parliament

Following the Statement of Intent published in August 2017, the new Data Protection Bill has now been introduced to Parliament and it had its first reading in the House of Lords on 13 September 2017. The second reading in the House of Lords, which will include a general debate on all aspects of the Bill, is due to take place on 10 October 2017. Once enacted, the Bill will replace the current ... read more

13-09-2017

Date announced for Autumn Budget 2017

The Chancellor has announced that the Autumn Budget 2017 will be held on Wednesday, 22 November 2017. The announcement was made on the GOV.UK website and included a video message from the Chancellor, Philip Hammond. In the video, the Chancellor said that the budget will 'set out our thinking on how to keep the economy strong and resilient and fair. An economy that works for everyone'. This will ... read more

13-09-2017

Reduction in dividend allowance confirmed

Now that the second Finance Bill of 2017 has been published, we finally have confirmation that a number of measures announced earlier this year are to be included on the statute books. These measures were cut from the first Finance Bill of 2017 due to the snap election. These measures includes confirmation that the reduction in the dividend allowance from £5,000 to £2,000 will come in to effect ... read more

13-09-2017

Making Tax Digital

The new timetable for the introduction of Making Tax Digital (MTD) has been confirmed with the publication of the second Finance Bill. The MTD regime was originally due to start from April 2018. However, there were significant concerns that the roll-out of the MTD was moving too fast and a new timetable for the introduction of MTD was announced earlier this summer. The new timetable will allow ... read more

13-09-2017

Card transaction disclosures

HMRC’s Card Transaction Programme is a disclosure opportunity for businesses that accept card payments and have not paid the right amount of tax due. The disclosure opportunity has been widened to also allow businesses that accept cash payments to also use the scheme. The campaign offers the opportunity for affected businesses to bring their affairs up to date and in doing so take advantage of the ... read more

13-09-2017

VAT Annual Accounting scheme

The VAT annual accounting scheme is open to most businesses with a turnover of up to £1.35m per year. The main benefits of the scheme include the requirement to file only one VAT return per year. This can significantly reduce the amount of administration time and the associated cost of preparing and submitting quarterly VAT returns. The scheme is aimed at small businesses. It can either be ... read more

13-09-2017

Paying wages for the first time?

There are a myriad of rules that new businesses must follow when they start employing staff for the first time. A full examination of the rules is beyond the scope of this article however we wanted to point out some important issues to be aware of when taking on staff. This includes ensuring that you register as an employer with HMRC. This must be done before the first payday and this process must ... read more

13-09-2017

Landlord’s Replacement Domestic Items relief

The Wear and Tear allowance that allowed landlords to reduce the tax they paid on furnished property lets was withdrawn at the end of the 2015-16 tax year. The 10% deduction was available to landlords regardless of whether furnishings in their property were replaced or not. The Wear and Tear allowance was replaced by a new relief known as the Replacement Domestic Item relief which commenced ... read more

06-09-2017

New Finance Bill published

Before the summer recess, the government confirmed that a new Finance Bill would be introduced as soon as possible after the summer recess. The House of Commons returned to Westminster on 5 September 2017. The new Finance Bill is expected to legislate for the majority of measures that were included in the pre-election Finance Bill but not included in the Act that was rushed through Parliament ... read more

06-09-2017

Update child benefit and child tax credit details

Taxpayers in receipt of child benefit and child tax credits payments should be aware that HMRC can stop making payments on the 31 August following a child’s 16th Birthday. HMRC has issued a press release reminding parents to inform them if any of their children are aged over 16 and continuing in full-time education or are undertaking an apprenticeship. Where this is the case, the child benefit ... read more

06-09-2017

HMRC accepts changes to R & D claims

HMRC recently announced a deadline for accepting amended claims for Research and Development (R&D) tax credits. This specific opportunity relates to claims to include eligible reimbursed employee expenses as part of qualifying staff costs. Only staffing costs of directors or employees directly and actively engaged in the relevant R&D can be considered. This opportunity only applies to ... read more

06-09-2017

Auto-enrolment penalties sky-rocket

Automatic enrolment for workplace pensions was instigated to encourage employees to start making provision for their retirement with employers also contributing to make a larger pension pot. The timetable for employers to begin enrolling their staff started with the UK’s largest businesses in 2012, followed by medium, and then small and micro companies. By the end of March this year over 7 ... read more

06-09-2017

Self-employed NIC increase

Class 2 National Insurance Contributions (NICs) are currently paid by self-employed taxpayers and members of partnerships if their annual profits exceed £6,025. Class 2 NICs are payable at a flat weekly rate currently, £2.85. Class 2 NICs count towards benefits such as the basic State Pension, the employment and support allowance, maternity allowance and bereavement benefits. In last year’s ... read more

06-09-2017

What are VAT records and how long should you keep them?

There are distinct rules that VAT registered businesses must follow regarding retention of VAT records. Records include: a record of sales and purchases, and a separate VAT account. Generally, a business must keep VAT business records for at least 6 years (or 10 years if they use the VAT MOSS service). By special permission, HMRC may allow you to keep some records for a shorter period. For ... read more

06-09-2017

Tax relief and goodwill

Goodwill is usually defined as the ‘extra’ value attributable to a business over and above its tangible assets. In the vast majority of cases, when a business is sold a significant proportion of the sale price will be for this type of intangible asset: the goodwill of the company. This places a monetary value on the business's reputation and customer relationships, or as HMRC says in their ... read more

05-09-2017

Corporate governance reforms announced

The government has issued its response to its consultation which started in November 2016 on corporate governance reform. Its response document sets out proposals for a “world-leading package” of corporate governance reforms which it now intends to take forward to increase boardroom accountability and enhance the public’s trust in business. The key reforms are: Executive pay – for the first ... read more

30-08-2017

VAT – beware the default surcharge

A default surcharge is a penalty levied on businesses that submit late VAT returns. VAT registered businesses are required by law to submit their returns and make sure that payment of the VAT due has cleared to HMRC’s bank account by the due date. There is no penalty for a first offence, however a business that submits a VAT return late is issued with a surcharge liability notice that begins on ... read more

30-08-2017

Using your car for work and claiming for passengers

Do you use your own car for business purposes? If so, you may be able to claim a tax-free allowance from your employer known as a Mileage Allowance Payment or MAP. The allowance is paid when employers use their own car, van, motorcycle or bike for work purposes. It is important to note that this tax-free allowance is not available for journeys to and from work, but is available to employees who ... read more

30-08-2017

Who are people with significant control?

The register of people with significant control (PSC register) lists individuals who exert significant control over UK companies and came into effect 6 April 2016. 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 than 25% of the company’s shares; Holds, directly or indirectly more ... read more

30-08-2017

When do you qualify for the Additional State Pension?

The Additional State Pension is only available to those who reached the state pension age before 6 April 2016 and are receiving the Old State Pension. The Additional State Pension is an extra amount of money paid on top of the basic Old State Pension. The Old State Pension is designed to provide individuals of state pension age with a basic regular income and is based on National Insurance ... read more

30-08-2017

Tax-Free Childcare Scheme compensation

HMRC has announced the launch of a new compensation scheme for users affected by system issues when trying to register to the new Tax-Free Childcare Scheme (TFCS). The TFCS was launched in April 2017 to the first tranche of working parents. The scheme was initially made available to working parents of children aged under 4 on 31 August 2017. Since the scheme was launched there have been numerous ... read more

30-08-2017

Advisory fuel rates for company cars

The latest advisory fuel rates became effective on 1 September 2017. Fuel rates are reviewed four times a year with changes taking effect on 1 March, 1 June, 1 September and 1 December. You can use the previous rates for up to 1 month from the date the new rates apply. The rates are as follows: Engine size Petrol – amount per mile LPG – amount per mile 1400cc or less ... read more

24-08-2017

Tax Diary September/October 2017

1 September 2017 - Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 30 November 2016. 19 September 2017 - PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 September 2017. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 September 2017) 19 September 2017 - Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly return for the month ended 5 September 2017. 19 September 2017 - CIS tax deducted for the month ... read more

23-08-2017

What is Form 17?

As a general rule, the fall-back position for couples who live together with their spouse or civil partners is that property income held in joint names is divided 50:50. This is regardless of the actual ownership structure. However, where there is unequal ownership and the couple want the income taxed on that basis a notification must be sent to HMRC together with proof that the beneficial ... read more

23-08-2017

Running a business from home?

Anyone running a business from home should check if they need permission to do so: from a mortgage provider or landlord. Your local council may also need to be notified, for example, if you need a licence to run a home-based business. Running a business from home may also create a charge to business rates and might affect property insurance costs. Other business costs you may need to consider ... read more

23-08-2017

Costs that qualify for Research & Development Relief

Small and medium-sized companies can claim R&D tax credits of 230% of qualifying expenditure incurred on or after 1 April 2015. This article lists a summary of costs that can be considered for this relief, broadly, if they contribute directly to seeking an advance in science or technology. They are: Employee costs - staff who are directly engaged in carrying out R&D. Staff providers - ... read more

23-08-2017

Terminal losses for the self-employed

There are a number of different reliefs available to the self-employed or members of a trading partnership that suffer tax losses, and a number of ways these losses can be used. One commonly used relief, is terminal loss relief. This relief is available to businesses that suffer a loss in the last year of trade. Terminal loss relief allows for the carry back of any trading losses that occur in ... read more

23-08-2017

What is the wholly and exclusively rule?

When deciding if an expense is deductible or not for tax purposes it is important to consider if the expenditure was incurred wholly and exclusively for the purposes of your trade or employment. This is a difficult starting point as there is often a fine line dividing what meets the ‘wholly and exclusively’ rule and what does not. In general, HMRC takes a slightly more relaxed view than a strict ... read more

23-08-2017

VAT partial exemption

A business that incurs expenditure on taxable and exempt business activities is termed as partially exempt for VAT purposes. In essence, the business has to make an apportionment between the exempt and chargeable activities using a 'partial exemption method'. This is required in order to calculate how much input tax is recoverable. There are a number of partial exemption methods available. The ... read more

21-08-2017

Record £2 million in back pay identified on lastest list of national minimum wage offenders

Around 230 employers have been named and shamed for underpaying their workers the national minimum wage (NMW) or national living wage (NLW). This is the 12th “naming and shaming” list to have been published and it covers more than 13,000 UK workers and means they will now collectively receive around £2 million in back pay. In addition to paying workers back the money they are owed, employers named ... read more

17-08-2017

When must you register for VAT?

The taxable turnover threshold, that determines whether businesses should be registered for VAT is currently £85,000. Businesses are required to register for VAT if they meet any of the following conditions: At the end of any month, the value of the taxable supplies made in the past 12 months or less has exceeded £85,000. At any time, there are reasonable grounds for believing that the value ... read more

17-08-2017

BPP holdings Supreme Court decision

The Supreme Court has dismissed HMRC’s appeal in a long running case between the BPP Group of companies (who provide professional and academic education) and HMRC. The case initially centred on the VAT liability of supplies of books and education by BPP. BPP had a corporate restructure in 2006 and began to use one company to supply the books (BPP University College of Professional Studies Ltd) and ... read more

17-08-2017

What are overlap profits?

The assessment of self-employed or partnership profits is relatively straight-forward if the accounting date, to which accounts are prepared, falls between 31 March and 5 April. However, year ends that fall outside these dates create overlap profits. Overlap profits can be created in the first 3 years of the business or in any year in which there is a change of basis period and accounting date. ... read more

17-08-2017

Dormant company obligations

If a company has stopped trading and has no other income then HMRC should be informed that it’s dormant for Corporation Tax purposes. HMRC can also send a notification if they think a company is dormant. This notice will state that a company or association is dormant and is not required to pay Corporation Tax or file Company Tax Returns. A company is usually dormant for Corporation Tax if ... read more

17-08-2017

100% write down for qualifying capital expenditure

The Annual Investment Allowance (AIA) limit has changed significantly over the last number of years. However, the limit has been fixed at £200,000 for all qualifying expenditure on or after 1 January 2016. The current £200,000 limit is a generous allowance and will more than cover the annual capital expenditure spend of many small and medium sized businesses. There are transitional rules for ... read more

17-08-2017

Choosing a company name

Companies House guidance sets out the main requirements for incorporating a company in the UK. The guidance entitled Incorporation and Names also provides advice on checking which names are acceptable to Companies House when naming a company. Choosing a company name can be one of the most important considerations for a new business. The name must meet certain legal requirements and at the same ... read more

10-08-2017

What qualifies for 10% 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 Entrepreneurs' Relief is available CGT of 10% is payable rather than the normal main rate of 20%. This can significantly reduce the amount of CGT due. When the relief was first introduced there was a lifetime limit of £1 million for gains. This was ... read more

10-08-2017

How to roll-over capital gains

Business Asset Rollover Relief allows for the deferral of Capital Gains Tax (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 deferred until the new asset is ... read more

10-08-2017

Holiday lets occupancy rules

The furnished holiday let (FHL) rules allow holiday lettings of properties that meet certain conditions to be treated as a trade for tax purposes. In order to qualify as a furnished holiday letting, the following occupancy criteria need to be met: The property must be let on a commercial basis with a view to the realisation of profits. Second homes or properties that are only let occasionally ... read more

10-08-2017

Claiming back VAT on fuel

HMRC offers a number of alternative methods for claiming back VAT on car fuel where there may be a mix of business and private mileage. They fall into a number of broad categories: Standard scale charge - HMRC operates a useful simplification measure that allows businesses to use a standardised scale charge to value fuel costs for private use. The scale charge is a fixed amount based on a ... read more

10-08-2017

VAT capital goods scheme

The VAT Capital Goods Scheme (CGS) adjusts the initial VAT recovery in respect of certain assets over either 5 or 10 year period. The scheme seeks to agree a fair and reasonable attribution of VAT to taxable supplies and non-taxable supplies relating to the use of an asset over its lifetime. In effect, the recovery of VAT input tax following the capital expenditure, is spread out over a number of ... read more

10-08-2017

Carry back charitable contributions

Donations to charities are a recognised way to benefit charities and certain tax payers. To facilitate these advantages, taxpayers must ensure they keep a proper record of all donations to back up claims on their tax return. Donations that are made through the Gift Aid scheme allow for the recipient charity to claim 25p worth of tax relief on every pound donated. Higher rate and additional rate ... read more

02-08-2017

The end of disincorporation relief?

Disincorporation involves the transfer of a business from a private limited company to a sole trader or partnership. Disincorporation relief was introduced from 1 April 2013 and is effectively a form of roll-over or deferral relief. The relief is due to end on 31 March 2018. The relief allows a company to transfer certain types of assets to its shareholders without the company incurring a ... read more

02-08-2017

Landlords, what expenses can you claim?

It is important that landlords are aware of the expenses that can be deducted from their rental income. As a rule, these expenses must be wholly and exclusively for the purposes of renting out the property in question. Since April 2017, tax relief on mortgage costs used to buy investment properties is being gradually restricted to the basic rate of tax. The reduction in the relief for finance ... read more

02-08-2017

VAT – what you cannot reclaim

Most VAT registered businesses are entitled to reclaim the VAT they incur on goods and services used by the business. This is known as input VAT. Some of the common areas where VAT cannot be reclaimed include the following: Goods and services used to make exempt supplies. VAT doesn't apply to everything and there are certain supplies which are specifically not subject to VAT. These are ... read more

02-08-2017

Tax write downs for business cars

Capital allowances allow businesses to secure tax relief for certain capital expenditure. Qualifying expenditure on cars must usually be allocated to one of two general pools of expenditure. Which pool is appropriate depends on the car’s CO2 emissions. Expenditure on cars with CO2 emissions over 130g/km will be dealt with in the special rate pool and will attract a WDA of 8% p.a. Expenditure on ... read more

02-08-2017

Company purchase of own shares

As a general principle, when a company makes a purchase of its own shares, any payment in excess of the amount of capital originally subscribed for the shares is treated as a distribution (taxed as income not a capital gain). However, there are special provisions that enable an unquoted trading company or an unquoted holding company of a trading group to undertake a purchase of its own shares ... read more

02-08-2017

Let property disclosure campaign

HMRC’s Let Property Campaign provides landlords who have undeclared income from residential property lettings in the UK or abroad with an opportunity to regularise their affairs by disclosing any outstanding liabilities whether due to misunderstanding the tax rules or because of deliberate tax evasion. HMRC has recently updated their online guidance Let Property Campaign, providing examples of ... read more

01-08-2017

Supreme Court declares employment tribunal fees unlawful

In R (on the application of Unison) v Lord Chancellor 2017, the Supreme Court has ruled that employment tribunal and Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) fees are unlawful and it has quashed the Employment Tribunals and the Employment Appeal Tribunal Fees Order 2013 with immediate effect. The Supreme Court held that the fees regime was unlawful under both UK and EU law as it prevents access to justice ... read more

28-07-2017

Tax Diary August/September 2017

1 August 2017 - Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 31 October 2016. 19 August 2017 - PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 August 2017. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 August 2017) 19 August 2017 - Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly return for the month ended 5 August 2017. 19 August 2017 - CIS tax deducted for the month ended 5 August 2017 ... read more

27-07-2017

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill published

The government has published the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill 2017-19 and it has had its first reading in the House of Commons. The second reading is scheduled for 9 September 2017, following which it will enter Committee Stage for further debate. Explanatory Notes to the Bill have also been published. The Bill performs four main functions. It: repeals the European Communities Act 1972 on ... read more

26-07-2017

Credit card transaction charges to be banned

The EU second Payment Services Directive (PSDII) was approved by the European Parliament and European Council in December 2015 and seeks to widen the scope of the existing EU Payment Service Directive (PSD) that defines the information that consumers and businesses must receive when making payments. This includes making reforms to the way payments by debit and credit cards, direct debit, credit ... read more

26-07-2017

Directors, beware minimum wage legislation

We have recently considered some of the issues surrounding various tax efficient strategies for paying director shareholders. One aspect of this complex area that we have not yet examined is whether company directors need to be concerned with employment legislation in relation to the minimum wage. At the most basic level, company directors who do not have a contract of employment are defined as ... read more

26-07-2017

The new State Pension

The new State Pension is payable to those that reach the State Pension age on or after 6 April 2016. The full new State Pension is currently £159.55 per week and is payable to eligible women born on or after 6 April 1953 and eligible men born on or after 6 April 1951. Retirees that reached the State Pension age before 6 April 2016 will continue to receive the State Pension (not the New State ... read more

26-07-2017

Who inherits if someone dies without a Will?

The intestacy rules that govern how assets are divided if someone dies without making a will changed from 1 October 2014. The changes do not affect people who die with less than £250,000 in assets but for those that leave more, the changes were significant. For example, prior to 1 October 2014, a surviving spouse or civil partner in a relationship without children would have inherited the first ... read more

26-07-2017

PAYE tax refunds and underpayments

HMRC’s annual reconciliation of PAYE for the tax year 2016-17 is well under way. HMRC uses salary and pension information to calculate if the correct amount of tax has been paid. Where the incorrect amount of tax has been paid, HMRC uses the P800 form to inform taxpayers of any under or over payments. The forms currently being sent show HMRC’s tax calculations in respect of the tax year ending 5 ... read more

26-07-2017

Tax credit renewal final reminder

This coming Monday (31 July) is the last day for families and individuals that receive tax credits to renew their tax credit. As in previous years, there is expected to be a huge last-minute rush and it may be difficult to contact HMRC by phone. Claims can be renewed by post, phone or online. A press release from HMRC released on 24 July highlighted that almost one million renewals were ... read more

26-07-2017

Tax free savings income

The Personal Savings Allowance (PSA) was launched on 6 April 2016. The allowance means that the first £1,000 interest on savings income for basic rate taxpayers is tax-free. For higher-rate taxpayers the PSA is £500. Anyone earning over £150,000 does not benefit from the new PSA. In addition, any taxpayers whose total taxable income is less than £17,500 won’t pay tax on any savings income. This ... read more

20-07-2017

New Finance Bill to be published

The government has confirmed that a new Finance Bill will be introduced as soon as possible after the summer recess. The House of Commons returns to Westminster on 5 September 2017. In a joint press release from HMRC and HM Treasury we are told that the new Finance Bill will legislate for all policies that were included in the pre-election Finance Bill but not included in the Act that was rushed ... read more

20-07-2017

Making Tax Digital – common sense prevails

A new timetable for the introduction of Making Tax Digital (MTD) has been announced. The new regime was due to start from April 2018, but was delayed by the snap general election earlier this year. The government now appears to have listened to concerns that the roll-out of the MTD was moving too fast. The original proposals would have required most businesses to upload quarterly figures to HMRC. ... read more

20-07-2017

Class 1 NICs zero rate band

Many director shareholders take a minimum salary and any balance of remuneration as dividends. This tends to reduce National Insurance Contributions (NICs), and in some cases Income Tax. The planning strategy is to pay a salary at a level that qualifies the director for State benefits, including the State Pension, but does not involve payment of any NICs. For 2017/18, the NIC rate is set at 0% for ... read more

20-07-2017

Employed or self-employed?

Working out whether you are an employee or self-employed can be a tricky business and HMRC’s view can sometimes be at odds with status defined under employment law. Clearly, although not always, there are tax and NIC advantages for you and the business that contracts for your services if you are treated as self-employed as opposed to employed. However, you may have more rights - holiday pay for ... read more

20-07-2017

Changes to deemed domicile rules

In July 2015, the then Chancellor George Osborne announced a series of reforms to the non-domicile rules. The new rules were due to come into effect from April 2017, but were removed from the cut-back Finance Bill that was rushed through parliament before the general election. It has now been announced that the necessary legislation to introduce these reforms will be included in the new Finance ... read more

20-07-2017

Gift Aid donations only available to taxpayers

The Gift Aid scheme is available to all UK taxpayers, but in order to sign up to the Gift Aid scheme when you make a donation, you must be paying UK income tax. There are clear advantages for charities if you make your donation in this way. The charity or Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CASC) concerned can take your donation and, provided all the qualifying conditions are met, can reclaim the ... read more

13-07-2017

Rangers EBT kicked into touch

The Supreme Court has ruled in favour of HMRC over a long running tax avoidance case against a former incarnation of Rangers football club (now in liquidation). The case concerned a tax avoidance scheme under which the club paid remuneration to their employees through a complex employee benefit trusts and sub-trusts structure in the hope that the scheme would avoid liability to Income Tax and ... read more

13-07-2017

Future changes to Corporation Tax?

The Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) provides independent advice to the government on simplifying the UK tax system, with the objective 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. ... read more

13-07-2017

Online filing exclusions for 2016-17

HMRC’s list of exclusions from online filing for 2016-17 continues to multiply. The list of exclusions has been updated with the publication of version 4.0 of the document. There are now a total of 32 live exclusions on the list including 5 new additions to the list. Many of these issues exist as HMRC has been unable to update its software to properly deal with all the various combinations ... read more

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