News

The latest breaking news in the industry!

21-06-2018

Tax gap lowered according to HMRC

HMRC has published figures that show the tax gap for the 2016-17 tax year was 5.7%. The tax gap is basically the difference between the amount of tax due and the amount of tax collected by the Exchequer. The gap includes tax that has been avoided in the UK’s black economy, criminal activities and by the use of tax avoidance and evasion schemes. The 5.7% figure is the same as was recorded for ... read more

21-06-2018

M&S lose expensive VAT case

The First-Tier Tribunal recently heard an appeal that considered the correct VAT treatment of a promotional offer by the retailer, Marks and Spencer (M&S). The issue concerned a frequently run promotion referred to as 'Dine In for £10 with Free Wine'. Using this offer, customers could buy 3 items of food (comprising a main course, side dish and dessert) from a specific selection for £10 and ... read more

21-06-2018

Self-assessment second instalment due end of July

Taxpayers that make payments on account should be aware that the second payment on account for 2017-18 is due on or before 31 July 2018. The amount due for payment is usually the same as the first payment on account made on 31 January 2018 in relation to the 2017-18 tax year. These payments are based on 50% of your previous year’s net Income Tax liability. However, if your estimated liability for ... read more

21-06-2018

Is the email really from HMRC?

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. Whilst these messages may appear to be genuine they are very dangerous and clicking on a link within the email can result in personal information being compromised and the possibility of computer viruses being ... read more

21-06-2018

Are you on track to qualify for a full State Pension?

Anyone aged 16 or over and at least 30 days from their State Pension age can request a State Pension statement from the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP). The statement provides an estimate of how much State Pension they can expect to receive when they reach State Pension age. The estimate is based on the applicant's National Insurance Contribution record as it stands on the date the ... read more

21-06-2018

Payment deadlines for VAT Annual Accounting Scheme

The VAT annual accounting scheme is open to most businesses with a turnover of up to £1.35m per year. Businesses that use the scheme are only required to file one VAT return at the end of each year. This can significantly reduce the amount of administration time and the associated cost of preparing and submitting quarterly VAT returns. The scheme has the benefit of allowing a business to make ... read more

21-06-2018

Plumber wins landmark gig economy case

The Supreme Court has upheld the Court of Appeal's decision and confirmed that a plumber who was classed as self-employed was actually a 'worker'. The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal by Pimlico Plumbers and agreed that the employment status of the person in question was that of a worker which conferred basic employment rights including entitlement to the minimum wage, holiday pay and protection ... read more

18-06-2018

Impact on pensions of maternity leave

The Pensions Advisory Service (TPAS) has published a “Maternity Leave Spotlight” outlining the impact on pensions of maternity leave. It also covers what happens when the employee returns to work and the impact of having a baby on the state pension. Although aimed at employees rather than employers, the Spotlight is a useful summary for employers of the law in this area. The Spotlight confirms ... read more

13-06-2018

Dormant assets scheme to be expanded

The government has announced that the dormant asset scheme is to be expanded to include to a wider set of financial assets including stocks, shares, pensions or bonds. The government has appointed four 'industry champions' to expand the dormant assets scheme across these four important financial sectors. The Independent Dormant Assets Commission was set up in March 2016 and was tasked with ... read more

13-06-2018

VAT reverse charge may be coming to the construction sector

HMRC has launched a new consultation inviting comments from interested parties regarding the introduction of new VAT reverse charge legislation for certain construction services. The new legislation will make the supply of construction services between construction or building businesses subject to the domestic reverse charge. This move is part of the government’s measures to combat what is ... read more

13-06-2018

The maternity allowance

The maternity allowance is a financial benefit for pregnant women who are self-employed, who are working but do not qualify for statutory maternity pay (SMP) or who have recently stopped working. The maternity allowance is paid directly by the Department for Work and Pensions for up to 39 weeks for qualifying applicants. An application must be made for the maternity allowance using the Department ... read more

13-06-2018

Claim back pre-registration VAT

There are special rules that determine the recoverability of VAT incurred before a business registers for VAT. This type of VAT is known as pre-registration input VAT. There are different rules for the supply of goods and services and VAT can only be reclaimed if the pre-registration expenses relate to the supply of taxable goods or services by the newly VAT registered business. The time limit ... read more

13-06-2018

When do charities pay or not pay tax?

The tax treatment of charities is complex. Many charities trade either as part of their charitable interests or to raise funds. As a first step, any charity hoping to claim from beneficial tax treatment needs to be recognised as a charity for UK tax purposes by HMRC as well as meeting other criteria. A recognised charity may qualify for a number of tax exemptions and reliefs on income and gains, ... read more

13-06-2018

Companies and capital gains

Capital Gains Tax (CGT) is not payable by limited companies or unincorporated associations when they sell an asset and make a gain. Instead, the gain (proceeds less any allowable costs and reliefs) is subject to Corporation Tax at the applicable rate, currently 19%. There are various allowances and reliefs available that can reduce the amount of Corporation Tax payable. Until 31 December 2017, ... read more

13-06-2018

Don’t forget to renew your tax credit claims

Families and individuals that receive tax credits should ensure that they renew their tax credit claims by 31 July 2018. Claimants who do not renew on-time may have their payments stopped. HMRC has begun sending tax credits renewal packs to tax credit claimants and is encouraging recipients to renew their tax credits claim online. All packs should be with recipients by 26 June 2018. If you ... read more

11-06-2018

World Cup 2018 – Acas guidance

The World Cup 2018 will take place in Russia between Thursday, 14 June and Sunday, 15 July 2018, with 32 national football teams taking part, including England. Football match times in the UK will vary between 1pm and 8pm. Acas has now published new guidance explaining how employers worried about staff productivity should start planning now to reduce the impact the World Cup could have on their ... read more

11-06-2018

Religion and belief discrimination

Acas has published new guidance on religion and belief discrimination in the workplace. The 26-page guidance booklet, entitled “Religion or belief discrimination: key points for the workplace”, primarily offers employers, managers, HR professionals, employees and job applicants a grounding in how to reduce the chance of religion or belief discrimination happening in the workplace, how it might ... read more

06-06-2018

Gifts with strings attached

Most gifts made during a person's lifetime are not subject to tax at the time of the gift. The lifetime transfers are known as 'potentially exempt transfers' or 'PETs'. These 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 ... read more

06-06-2018

Don’t leave assets in a company you dissolve

The final step in bringing a company to a legal end is when the company is dissolved. However, one if the important points to be aware of when doing so is that the dissolved company can no longer trade or otherwise deal with its assets. For example, receive a tax refund. It is the responsibility of the company directors to ensure that all of a company’s assets and liabilities are dealt with before ... read more

06-06-2018

Liability of non-resident companies

Under the current rules non-resident companies with a trading business in the UK are liable to pay UK Corporation Tax on their profits made through a permanent establishment/branch or agency. There are some differences in the taxation of non-resident companies as opposed to resident companies. For example, a non-resident company: is not liable to account for ACT on distributions made before ... read more

06-06-2018

What is the Repayment of Teachers Loan Scheme?

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

06-06-2018

Pensions paid to non-residents

The HMRC Double Taxation Relief Manual sets out the overall principles to be applied in respect of pension income. It states: 'Pensions, other than Government pensions, paid in consideration of past employment to a resident of a country with which the United Kingdom has a double taxation agreement, are normally taxable only in the country of which the pensioner is a resident, but there are ... read more

06-06-2018

VAT Agricultural Flat Rate Scheme

Businesses that use the flat rate scheme pay VAT as a fixed percentage of their VAT inclusive turnover. The VAT agricultural flat rate scheme is a variant of the flat rate scheme specifically designed for farmers and other activities relating to agricultural production (such as horticulture). Farmers cannot join this scheme if the value of their non-farming activities is above the VAT ... read more

04-06-2018

New Time Off for Public Duties Order 2018 due in force from 1 October 2018

The Time Off for Public Duties Order 2018 has been laid before Parliament and will come into force on 1 October 2018. The Order amends section 50 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 so as to grant unpaid time off work to four groups of volunteers in the criminal justice system, who all monitor conditions of those in custody. Currently, employers are not obliged to grant time off work to these ... read more

30-05-2018

Payments in lieu of notice - an update

Since 6 April 2018, employers have been required to pay Income Tax and Class 1 National Insurance Contributions (NICs) on certain parts of termination payments made to employees whether or not these payments are contractual. The element that is liable to taxation is the amount of the termination payment that represents a payment in lieu of notice commonly referred to as 'PILON'. The measure means ... read more

30-05-2018

Claiming tax relief on pension contributions

The annual allowance for tax relief on pensions is £40,000 for the current tax year. There is also a three year carry forward rule that allows taxpayers to carry forward unused annual allowance from the last three tax years if they have made pension savings in those years. Qualifying taxpayers can get tax relief on private pension contributions worth up to 100% of their annual earnings (subject to ... read more

30-05-2018

Is professional gambling a trade?

A thought-provoking question that has been asked by one of our readers is whether professional gambling is a trade or not. The answer to this question might surprise you. According to HMRC and reinforced by a number of court cases the answer is that gambling is not a taxable trade. This answer holds even for a professional gambler who spends a significant amount of time building up their expertise ... read more

30-05-2018

Trustees responsibilities

A trust is an obligation that binds a trustee, an individual or a company, to deal with the assets such as land, money and shares which form part of the trust. The person who puts assets into a trust is known as a settlor and the trust is for the benefit of one or more 'beneficiaries'. The trustees make decisions about how the assets in the trust are to be managed, transferred or held back for ... read more

30-05-2018

Children’s savings and tax

All children in the UK have their own personal annual allowance. However, anti-avoidance laws prevent this allowance being utilised by parents of children aged under 18 with some minimal exceptions. If older children are employed by a parent, then they can receive income paid as wages subject to the usual rules. There are special rules if a parent gifts significant amounts of money to their ... read more

30-05-2018

Holiday entitlement

Almost all full-time workers in the UK are legally entitled to 5.6 weeks' (or 28 days) paid holiday per year. This is known as their statutory leave entitlement or annual leave. Legally, employers can include bank holidays in this total although not all employers do this. Employers are also free to provide additional non statutory holiday entitlement. An employee's actual statutory entitlement ... read more

30-05-2018

Off-payroll working

The rules for individuals providing services to the public sector via an intermediary such as a personal service company (PSC) changed from April 2017. The new rules shift the responsibility for deciding whether the intermediaries’ legislation applies, known as IR35, from the intermediary itself to the public sector receiving the service. The public sector organisation receiving the services is ... read more

29-05-2018

GDPR and Data Protection Act 2018 now in force

The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force on 25 May 2018, along with most of the provisions in a new Data Protection Act 2018 (including those provisions relevant to processing in the employment relationship). The previous Data Protection Act 1998 has now been repealed. The new data protection laws give people more control about how their personal data is used, shared and ... read more

23-05-2018

Beware sting in 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 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. A recent First-Tier Tribunal case highlighted an unusual quirk in ... read more

23-05-2018

Give now pay later – what are the settlement rules?

The settlement rules are intended to prevent an individual from gaining a tax advantage by making arrangements that divert his or her income to another person who may be liable at a lower rate of tax or is not liable to Income Tax. Where a settlor has retained an interest in a property in a settlement the income arising is treated as the settlor’s income for all tax purposes. A settlor can be ... read more

23-05-2018

Company van use – the tax consequences

There are a number of tax consequences to be aware when employees are provided with company vans and fuel. A company van can be defined as a van made available to an employee by reason of their employment. There is usually nothing to report to HMRC if the van is used solely for business journeys, as a pool van or for vans provided as part of a salary sacrifice arrangement. If the van is not exempt ... read more

23-05-2018

CGT base cost uplift on death

Special rules apply to assets when they are passed to a beneficiary after the death of the benefactor. In some cases Inheritance Tax may be due on the transfer. However, there can also be a hidden benefit known as a Capital Gains Tax (CGT) uplift on death (see details of the benefits below). The CGT uplift mostly benefits a surviving spouse or civil partner. In this case, the transfer will be ... read more

23-05-2018

Tax exempt gifts paid out of income

Many taxpayers are aware that there is an annual Inheritance Tax exemption of £3,000 for gifts and this can be carried forward to the following tax year if not used to make a maximum gift of £6,000. You can also give as many gifts of up to £250 per person as you want during the tax year but only if you haven’t used another exemption on the same person. There are also special allowances for gifts ... read more

23-05-2018

Can’t afford to pay your tax bill?

HMRC understands that taxpayers will sometimes experience difficulties with paying their tax bill and stress that taxpayers should make contact with them as soon as they realise that there is a problem. This is good advice as burying your head in the sand will only make matters worse. Taxpayers should contact the Business Payment Support Service (BPSS) for practical advice and guidance. The BPSS ... read more

23-05-2018

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 there is no taxable profit and no Class 1A National Insurance on reimbursed travel expenses where ... read more

17-05-2018

Tax Diary June/July 2018

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

16-05-2018

Responding to a County Court claim

It is important that any correspondence received from the County Court is dealt with promptly. This should include taking proper legal advice when appropriate. Usually, a creditor asks the County Court to make a county court judgment (CCJ) against a person who is refusing to pay their bill. The CCJ rules apply to court orders in England and Wales. There are different court system process in ... read more

16-05-2018

When might you be due a tax refund?

HMRC has issued helpful guidance that explains when you might be due a tax refund and how to make a claim. According to HMRC you may be able to claim a refund if you: are employed and had too much tax taken from your pay; have stopped work; sent a tax return and paid too much tax; have paid too much tax on pension payments; bought a life annuity. You may also qualify for tax rebates if ... read more

16-05-2018

NMW and LW enforcement measures

A new press release has revealed that in 2017-18, HMRC investigators identified £15.6 million in back pay that is owed to over 200,000 of the UK’s lowest paid workers. This was an increase from £10.9 million for over 98,000 workers in the previous year. The launch of an online complaints service in January 2017 is thought to have been partially responsible for the increase as HMRC encourages ... read more

16-05-2018

More warnings to beware of bogus tax refund scams

Fraudsters are taking advantage of taxpayers who may be due a tax refund following the end of the 2017-18 tax year. HMRC is currently processing tax refunds, but the fraudsters are trying to get one step ahead. They do this by sending out scam emails and SMS-messages claiming to be from HMRC. Usually the messages include a click-through link to a replica of the HMRC website where the fraudsters ... read more

16-05-2018

Pay and expenses for volunteers

There are many rewarding opportunities for volunteering available across the UK. It is a popular misconception that only young people volunteer, however, people of all ages volunteer for numerous roles in a wide range of charitable and other sectors. There is no official minimum or maximum age for volunteering. However, the following points should be taken into account: Certain organisations’ ... read more

16-05-2018

Can a builder charge 5% VAT for their services?

Whilst the majority of businesses charge VAT at the standard rate of 20% there are a number of different VAT rates and exemptions that businesses should be aware. There are actually three separate VAT rates, the standard rate of 20%, the reduced rate of 5% and a zero rate. The reduced rate of VAT applies to the supply of certain goods and services. In this article we will look at situations when ... read more

14-05-2018

Pensions Regulator to seize assets

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has announced that employers who refuse to pay workplace pension fines could have their assets seized to pay their debts. TPR can issue fines to employers who fail to meet their automatic enrolment duties and can secure court orders if the debts are not then paid. TPR is to now appoint High Court Enforcement Officers (HCEOs) to enforce court orders in England and ... read more

09-05-2018

Advance assurance for R&D tax claims

Advance assurance for small companies that claim Research and Development (R&D) tax relief was introduced in November 2015. This measure makes it easier for small businesses investing in research and development to claim tax relief. Advance assurance is available to companies who haven’t claimed R&D before, have an annual turnover of less than £2million and less than 50 employees. R&D ... read more

09-05-2018

Are you making money from a hobby?

The 'badges of trade' tests whilst not conclusive are used by HMRC to help determine whether an activity is a proper economic / business activity or merely a money-making side line to a hobby. However, there is a point where careful consideration needs to be given to deciding whether your hobby has in fact become a taxable trading activity. It is clear from the significant amount of case law on ... read more

09-05-2018

When do you pay tax on lodger’s rents?

The rent-a-room scheme is a set of special rules designed to help homeowners who rent-a-room in their home within certain limits to pay no tax on the lodger’s rents. The limit increased to a generous £7,500 from 6 April 2016 and remains unchanged for 2018-19. The relief applies to the letting of furnished accommodation and was traditionally used when one bedroom in a home was rented out to a ... read more

09-05-2018

Progress made towards one-day cheque clearance

A new system that allows UK banks and building societies to scan cheques and clear them digitally rather than using the paper cheque for clearing is expected to be introduced from October 2018. The Image Clearing System (ICS) for cheques will cut down the clearing times from up to six days to just one day. The changes will facilitate more banks offering their customers the opportunity to pay in ... read more

09-05-2018

Child Benefit claw-back

The High Income Child Benefit charge came into force in January 2013 and applies to taxpayers whose income exceeds £50,000 in a tax year and who are in receipt of child benefit. The charge claws back the financial benefit of receiving child benefit either by reducing or removing the benefit entirely. If you or your partner have exceeded the £50,000 threshold during the last tax year (2017-18) ... read more

09-05-2018

Employers can claim back VAT from mileage claims

HMRC operates a simplification measure that allows businesses to claim back VAT from mileage claims using a standardised scale charge to value fuel costs for private use. The scale charge is a fixed amount based on a vehicles CO2 rating. Most businesses, particularly small and medium sized businesses, which do not keep detailed mileage records covering all journeys, use the road fuel scale ... read more

09-05-2018

Stamp duty land tax for first time buyers

New figures published by the government have revealed that 69,000 first-time home buyers have benefited from the recent changes to the Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) rules. Under rules that came into effect on 22 November 2017, SDLT has been abolished for first time buyers making a purchase of up to £300,000. The figures covered the period from the introduction of the relief on 22 November 2017 ... read more

02-05-2018

Bid to tackle online VAT fraud

HMRC is continuing to pressure online marketplaces marketplace (such as eBay or Amazon) to tackle online VAT fraud. Online marketplaces are already accountable for VAT fraud committed by online sellers on their platforms. These measures, known as joint and several liability (JSL) for marketplaces were extended earlier this year to help ensure that all businesses selling goods in the UK follow the ... read more

02-05-2018

Scottish Limited Partnership reforms

The government has announced a new crackdown to close loopholes that have been exploited by those using Scottish Limited Partnerships (SLPs). SLPs and Limited Partnerships (LPs) are used by many legitimate businesses particularly those in the private equity and pensions industry to invest more than £30 billion a year in the UK. SLPs and LPs are business entities created by two or more partners ... read more

02-05-2018

New laws to protect home address

New laws have come into effect (from 26 April 2018) to help tackle the problem of identity fraud and personal harm for company directors. The new laws, which were introduced into parliament on 22 February 2018, allow company directors and others such as secretaries, people with significant control (PSC) and LLP members, to remove their personal addresses from the UK’s official company register on ... read more

02-05-2018

Enterprise zones – new maps published

Enterprise zones were first launched in 2011 and are specific geographic areas that provide various tax breaks and Government support. Businesses that set-up in enterprise zones can benefit from up to a 100% business rate discount worth up to £275,000 over a five-year period or 100% enhanced capital allowances (ECA) tax relief for qualifying investments in plant and machinery. A new set of maps ... read more

02-05-2018

More support for non-parental carers

The government has announced that Universal Credit and Child Tax Credit support is to be extended to families who look after children who might otherwise be in the care of the local authority. Under the current guidelines, support in the form of Universal Credit and Child Tax Credit is available for a maximum of 2 children in a household unless certain limited exceptions apply. The Secretary of ... read more

02-05-2018

When you can or cannot change your company year-end

There are special rules in place 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 usually set by reference to the date the company was incorporated. Under certain limited circumstances it is possible to make a change to the year end. However, you can only change the date for the current or preceding ... read more

25-04-2018

Should you pay tax on money or goods you inherit?

The surprising answer to this question is usually no. This is because inheritance tax (IHT) is usually levied on a person’s estate when they die and can also be payable during a person’s lifetime on certain trusts and gifts. If you are the heir to all or part of the deceased estate, you should not be liable to pay tax on the inheritance. Any IHT due, will normally be paid out of the deceased’s ... read more

25-04-2018

How to claim or stop 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 using either HMRC’s Basic PAYE Tools or using other commercial payroll software packages. Once you have claimed the employment allowance, the claim will continue annually unless you stop ... read more

25-04-2018

Which car benefits are exempt from tax?

The tax benefits of driving a company car have been steadily reduced over many years. Most employers and employees are aware of the additional costs of providing company cars and the tax implications they create. However, for many employees the lure of having a company car means that this remains a very popular option. There are some circumstances where it can be possible to offer employees car ... read more

25-04-2018

Late filing of self-assessment tax returns

Taxpayers that have not yet filed their 2016-17 self-assessment returns, will have already been charged an automatic £100 penalty for late submission. The penalty applied from 1 February 2018 even if no tax was due or the tax due was paid on time. HMRC has estimated that almost 750,000 taxpayers missed the 31 January 2018 deadline for submitting their tax returns. Taxpayers who were meant to file ... read more

25-04-2018

Tax when your company gives to a charity

There are special rules in place when a limited company gives to charity. This can include, corporation tax relief for qualifying donations made to registered charities or community amateur sports clubs (CASC) as well as capital allowances for giving away equipment that has been used by your company. However, the rules are different if the company is given something in return for making a ... read more

25-04-2018

Simplified expenses for the self-employed

There are some simplified arrangements available to the self employed, and to some partnerships for claiming 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. Simplified flat rates can be used for working from home, and for the ... read more

25-04-2018

Work covered by the CIS scheme

The Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) is a set of special rules for tax and national insurance for those working in the construction industry. Businesses in the construction industry are known as 'contractors' and 'subcontractors'. Under the scheme, contractors deduct money from a subcontractor’s payments and pass it to HMRC. Contractors are defined as those who pay subcontractors, for ... read more

25-04-2018

Small amounts of property and trading income

There are two separate £1,000 tax allowances for property and trading income that have been available to taxpayers since April 2017. The £1,000 exemptions from tax apply to: Taxpayers who make up to £1,000 income from self-employment, casual services or hiring personal equipment. This is known as the trading allowance. The first £1,000 of miscellaneous income for income from property. For ... read more

24-04-2018

New lawful basis interactive guidance tool

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has announced that it has produced a lawful basis interactive guidance tool to assist businesses in determining, which lawful basis is appropriate for their data processing activities. The tool requires businesses to answer a set of questions and it then provides an indicative rating for each lawful basis, i.e. whether each lawful basis is or is not an ... read more

19-04-2018

Tax Diary May/June 2018

1 May 2018 - Due date for corporation tax due for the year ended 30 July 2017. 19 May 2018 - PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 May 2018. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 May 2018) 19 May 2018 - Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly return for the month ended 5 May 2018. 19 May 2018 - CIS tax deducted for the month ended 5 May 2018 is payable by today. 31 May ... read more

18-04-2018

Renewing tax credit claims

Families and individuals that receive tax credits should ensure that they renew their tax credit claims by 31 July 2018. Claimants who do not renew on-time may have their payments stopped. HMRC has started to send tax credits renewal packs to tax credit claimants and is encouraging recipients to renew their tax credits claim online. All packs should be with recipients by the end of June. A ... read more

18-04-2018

How much does Class 4 NIC cost?

There are currently two types of national insurance contributions (NICs) payable by most self-employed people. These are known as: Class 2 NICs, and Class 4 NICs. Class 2 NICs are paid by all self-employed taxpayers unless they qualify for the small earnings exception or other exemptions which remove the necessity to pay NICs. Class 2 NICs are payable at a flat weekly rate of £2.95 for the ... read more

18-04-2018

Claiming for job related expenses

Employees who use their own money to buy things they need for their job, can sometimes claim tax relief for the associated costs. It is usually only possible to claim tax relief for the cost of items used solely for work. There is no tax relief available if your employer refunds any costs in full. In addition, you cannot claim tax relief if your employer has provided you with a suitable item, ... read more

18-04-2018

Don’t forget to handout P60s

The deadline for employers to provide employees with a copy of their P60 form is by 31 May 2018. A P60 must be given to all employees that were on the payroll on the last day of the tax year – 5 April 2018. The P60 is a statement issued to employees after the end of each tax year that shows a summary of their pay and deductions for the previous tax year. Employers can provide the P60 form on ... read more

18-04-2018

What is a PET?

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'. These gifts or transfers achieve their potential of becoming exempt if the taxpayer survives for more than seven years after making the gift. If the taxpayer dies within 3 years of making the gift, then the inheritance tax position ... read more

18-04-2018

Non-resident landlord’s scheme

The Non-resident landlord (NRL) scheme is a special scheme for the UK rental income of non-resident landlords. This includes companies or trustees whose 'usual place of abode' is outside the UK. HMRC classifies a person living abroad for 6 months or more per year, as a non-resident landlord. Interestingly, this is the case even if the person is a UK resident for tax purposes. Generally, basic ... read more

18-04-2018

Let property disclosure campaign

Landlords that receive letting income should notify HMRC by 5 October after the end of the tax year for which you start to receive that income. So, for the 2017-18 tax year that has just ended, HMRC needs to be notified by 5 October 2018 of any letting income. The Let property campaign, provides landlords who have undeclared income from residential property lettings in the UK or abroad with an ... read more

11-04-2018

EMIs lose tax clearance under state aid

HMRC's recently published, and usually routine, Employment related securities bulletin contains an important announcement on the future of EMI share options. It transpires that the EU state aid approval for the EMI share options scheme expired on 6 April 2018, and the government has yet to obtain a renewal agreement from the EU. HMRC’s bulletin was only published on 4 April 2018 and therefore ... read more

11-04-2018

Reminder to submit details for Benefits in Kind

Employers are reminded that the deadline for submitting the 2017-18 forms P11D, P11D(b) and P9D is 6 July 2018. P11D forms are used to provide information to HMRC on all Benefits in Kind (BiKs), including those under the Optional Remuneration Arrangements (OpRAs) unless the employer has registered to payroll benefits. This is known as payrolling and removes the requirement to complete a P11D for ... read more

11-04-2018

Treatment of termination payments

With effect from 6 April 2018, employers will need to pay income tax and Class 1 national insurance contributions (NICs) on certain parts of termination payments made to employees whether or not these payments are contractual. The element that is liable to taxation is the amount of the termination payment that represents a payment in lieu of notice, commonly referred to as 'PILON'. The measure ... read more

11-04-2018

Court rules on online filing penalties

The Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) is a set of special rules for tax and national insurance (NI) for those working in the construction industry. Businesses in the construction industry are known as 'contractors' and 'subcontractors'. The scheme applies mainly to contractors and subcontractors involved in construction. A recent First-Tier Tribunal decision examined a case, where a limited ... read more

11-04-2018

Sugar tax takes the sweetness out of soft drinks

The new Soft Drinks Industry Levy came into effect with the start of the new tax year on 6 April 2018. The Levy commonly known as the 'sugar tax', has been put into effect to help combat the excess use of sugar especially by children. Since the introduction of the sugar tax, many soft drink manufacturers have already reformulated their recipes to reduce the amount of sugar in soft drinks. Over ... read more

11-04-2018

Extra tax relief for married over 80s

The Married Couple's Allowance (MCA) is available to elderly married couples or those in a civil partnership, where at least one member of the couple were born before 6 April 1935 (i.e. at least 83 years old). The allowance provides for tax relief by deducting 10% of the allowance from the amount of tax due on taxable income. The MCA can reduce a tax bill to zero but cannot result in a refund of ... read more

11-04-2018

What plant purchases qualify for a tax allowance?

Most day to day business expenses can be deducted from business income when calculating your taxable profits. However, the rules are different for 'capital’ expenditure'. Capital allowances is the term used to describe the allowances which allow businesses to secure tax relief for certain capital expenditure. There are different rules that apply depending on the type of capital expenditure, and ... read more

09-04-2018

Access to Work grants increase by £15,000

Following new measures introduced in Parliament, from 1 April 2018 disabled workers can now benefit from a £15,000 rise in Access to Work grants to assist them at work. Such workers can now claim up to £57,200 annually to help pay for the additional support that they may need in the workplace, which is over £15,000 more than the previous cap of £42,100. The Access to Work scheme is a ... read more

04-04-2018

What is your Principal private residence?

As a general rule, there should be no capital gains tax (CGT) to be paid on a property which has been used solely as the main family residence (referred to by HMRC as one’s principal private residence). Conversely, an investment property which has never been used as a private residence will not qualify for relief. However, there is a significant amount of HMRC guidance and case law in this area ... read more

04-04-2018

The GDPR is coming

There are now just 3 weeks to go until the new data protection regulations become law on 25 May 2018. The new provisions known as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) represent a step change in data protection regulation, that will impose much stricter controls over the way that businesses collect, store and manage the personal data of customers, suppliers, staff and other contacts. For ... read more

04-04-2018

Changed circumstances, change your Will

We have published articles before discussing the importance of making a will and ensuring that your assets are divided amongst your beneficiaries in the way best suited to your personal wishes. One of the most important reasons for doing so, is to ensure that you do not die intestate (without a will) where the intestacy rules will decide how your estate is distributed. HMRC’s guidance on making ... read more

04-04-2018

Overseas online VAT abuse

The new Fulfilment House Due Diligence Scheme (FHDDS) opened for online applications on 1 April 2018. The FHDDS is part of a package of measure to combat the abuse of VAT rules by online traders based outside the European Union. Fulfilment houses that store any goods imported from outside the EU on behalf of others, need to apply for approval from HMRC. These businesses will be required to ... read more

04-04-2018

What is the settlement legislation?

The settlements legislation is contained in s.624 ITTOIA 2005. The legislation seeks to ensure that where a settlor has retained an interest in property, in a settlement, that the income arising is treated as the settlor’s income for tax purposes. A settlor can be said to have retained an interest if the property or income may be applied for the benefit of the settlor, a spouse or civil partner. ... read more

04-04-2018

Online access to personal tax account

HMRC has issued an update of what can be dealt with by accessing and using a personal tax account (PTA). The PTA works like an online bank account to allow taxpayers to review all their details in real time. HMRC has confirmed that the following services are currently available on the PTA: check your income tax estimate and tax code; fill in, send and view a personal tax return; claim a tax ... read more

03-04-2018

Presidential Guidance published on uprated Vento bands

The President of the Employment Tribunals (England and Wales) and the President of the Employment Tribunals (Scotland), have issued updated joint presidential guidance in relation to the so-called “Vento bands” for compensation for injury to feelings, and psychiatric injury in discrimination claims brought under the Equality Act 2010. The Vento bands are being uprated to take account of ... read more

28-03-2018

Getting ready for Customs Declaration Service

The Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) is a computerised service that records the movement of goods by land, air and sea. The system allows importers, exporters and freight forwarders to complete customs information electronically, and automatically checks for entry errors. However, the CHIEF system is over 25 years old and has struggled to cope with complex reporting ... read more

28-03-2018

When you can reclaim VAT on a car purchase?

There are complex VAT rules that determine the amount of VAT that can be recovered when purchasing a new car. In most cases, when a business purchases a car they can’t reclaim the VAT incurred. The exception to this rule is if the new car is used solely for business use. This rule has been the subject of much case law over the years but it has generally been established that to qualify for VAT ... read more

28-03-2018

Childcare voucher scheme extended

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

28-03-2018

What's in a name?

We recently discussed updated Companies House guidance that provides advice on checking which names are acceptable to Companies House when naming a company. HMRC also published guidance for choosing a company name when setting up a private limited company. There are different rules for sole traders and business partnerships. HMRC suggests that some of the important points to consider when ... read more

28-03-2018

Buy-back of company shares

When a company makes a purchase of its own shares, any excess paid over the amount of capital originally subscribed for the shares is usually treated as a distribution. 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 without making a distribution. In order to do this a ... read more

26-03-2018

Employment law changes taking effect in April 2018

The following key changes to employment law will come into force in April 2018: The National Minimum Wage (Amendment) Regulations 2018 will increase the national minimum wage (NMW) and national living wage (NLW) rates from 1 April 2018. The NLW for workers aged 25 or over will increase to £7.83 per hour, the NMW standard rate for workers aged 21 to 24 will increase to £7.38 per hour, the NMW ... read more

21-03-2018

Ken Dodd has the last laugh

The recent death of the comedian, Sir Ken Dodd, aged 90, would not usually be the topic of one of our weekly articles. However, the comedian managed to have one last laugh by marrying his partner of 40 years just days before his death. By doing this it is estimated his estate has avoided a tax bill of almost £2 million. This last-minute marriage serves as a useful reminder that marital status ... read more

21-03-2018

Self-catering and holiday let business rates

One important aspect of a self-catering or holiday let business that should not be overlooked, is whether or not the owner of a holiday let is liable to pay business rates. Business rates are charged on non-domestic properties and help councils and local authorities to fund local services. The business rates are charged in place of council tax and may be less than the council tax bill. Qualifying ... read more

Download our new app