News

The latest breaking news in the industry!

12-12-2018

VAT on property service charges

A new Revenue and Customs Brief (6-2018) entitled VAT exemption for all domestic service charges has recently been published by HMRC. The brief explains changes to the Extra Statutory Concession (ESC) 3.18 VAT: exemption for all domestic service charges may be applied. The ESC was introduced in February 1994 to enable the same VAT treatment on mandatory service charges to a freehold occupant as to ... read more

12-12-2018

Are you ready for VAT filing changes April 2019?

The introduction of Making Tax Digital (MTD) for VAT is fast approaching. From April 2019, some 1 million businesses with a turnover above the VAT threshold (currently £85,000) will have to keep their records digitally (for VAT purposes only), and provide their VAT return information to HMRC through MTD compatible software. The deadlines for sending VAT returns and making payments are not ... read more

12-12-2018

Is your income approaching £100,000?

For high earning taxpayers, the personal allowance is gradually reduced by £1 for every £2 of adjusted net income that exceeds £100,000 irrespective of age. Adjusted net income is total taxable income before any personal allowances, less certain tax reliefs such as trading losses and certain charitable donations and pension contributions. This means that for the current tax year, an adjusted net ... read more

12-12-2018

Qualifying for VAT special schemes

There are three main special VAT schemes available to small businesses. These are the flat rate scheme, the annual accounting scheme, and the cash accounting scheme. The turnover levels for joining and leaving these schemes vary. The flat rate scheme is open to businesses that expect their annual taxable turnover in the next 12 months to be no more than £150,000, excluding VAT. However, ... read more

12-12-2018

When is lettings relief available?

In general, there is no Capital Gains Tax (CGT) on a property which has been used as the main family residence. This relief from CGT is commonly known as 'private residence relief'. However, where all or part of the home has been rented out, the entitlement to relief may be affected. Home owners that let all or part of their house may not benefit from the full private residence relief but can ... read more

12-12-2018

How the £1,000 trading allowance works

There is a £1,000 tax allowances for miscellaneous trading income that has been available to taxpayers since April 2017. This is known as the trading allowance. The income raised from these kinds of ventures is usually supplemental to a taxpayer’s main income, but this is not always the case. The exemption from tax applies to taxpayers who have trading income of up to £1,000 ... read more

11-12-2018

Citizens’ rights in the event of a no deal Brexit

The government has published a policy paper on what might happen to EU citizens in the UK and UK nationals in the EU, in the event of a “no deal” Brexit. The government has confirmed that those EU citizens and their family members who are resident in the UK by 29 March 2019 will have their rights protected, i.e. they will be able to stay and will continue to be able to work, study and access ... read more

05-12-2018

Could you claim expenses and an early tax refund?

HMRC is reminding employees that they may be able to claim a tax rebate if they have incurred certain expenses related to their employment. HMRC’s press release on the matter specifically identifies workers including nurses, hairdressers, construction workers and those in retail and food that have to dip into their own pockets to pay for work-related expenses like car mileage, replacing or ... read more

05-12-2018

X-factor VAT bonus

The Chancellor, Philip Hammond has announced that the government will waive the VAT equivalent on the sales of this year’s X-Factor Christmas Charity single. All proceeds from the sale of the single are going to two children’s charities; Together for Short Lives and Shooting Star Chase Children’s Hospice. Both charities provide support for children with life-limiting illnesses and their ... read more

05-12-2018

Employing someone to work in your home

When you employ someone to work in your home, it is your responsibility to ensure you meet the employee's rights and deduct the correct amount of tax from their salary. This can include employees 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 ... read more

05-12-2018

UK VAT claims by non-EU businesses

The VAT paid in other EU countries is often recoverable by VAT-registered businesses in the UK, who bought goods or services for business use. The amount of VAT that is refundable depends on the other countries' rules for claiming input tax. It is important to note that VAT incurred in foreign countries can never by reclaimed on a domestic UK VAT return. There are special rules for businesses ... read more

05-12-2018

HMRC writes to taxpayers in Wales

HRMC has written to two million taxpayers in Wales concerning the introduction of the Welsh rates of Income Tax (WRIT) from 6 April 2019. The WRIT will be payable on the non-savings and non-dividend income of those defined as Welsh taxpayers and WRIT taxpayers will receive a new tax code, starting with C for Cymru. A proportion of the revenue from the Welsh rates of Income Tax will go to the Welsh ... read more

05-12-2018

Taxation of termination payments

In the 2016 Budget, the government announced that termination payments over £30,000 would be subject to employer National Insurance Contributions (NICs) from April 2018. In the 2017 Budget, the government further announced that this change would be delayed for a year with the changes set to come into force from April 2019. A further delay in the implementation of the new rules has now been ... read more

05-12-2018

Who can or cannot claim the Employment Allowance

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

05-12-2018

When you can utilise overlap relief

The assessment of self-employed or partnerships profits is usually relatively straight-forward if the accounting date, to which accounts are prepared annually, falls between 31 March and 5 April. However, overlap profits can arise where a business year end date is not coterminous with the end of the tax year. Overlap profits can happen in the first 3 years of the business or in any year in which ... read more

03-12-2018

Statutory employee benefit pay to rise from April 2019

In a written ministerial statement, the government has announced the proposed new rates for Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP), Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP), Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP), Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP) and Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for tax year 2019/20. The proposed revised rates are as follows: The standard weekly rates of SMP, SAP, SPP and ShPP will increase from £145.18 ... read more

29-11-2018

Tax Diary December 2018/January 2019

1 December 2018 - Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 29 February 2018. 19 December 2018 - PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 December 2018. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 December 2018) 19 December 2018 - Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly return for the month ended 5 December 2018. 19 December 2018 - CIS tax deducted for the month ended ... read more

28-11-2018

When to report and pay Capital Gains Tax

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

28-11-2018

Inheritance Tax if you live abroad

The Inheritance Tax rules can be difficult to fathom when an expat or another person with connections to the UK living outside the country dies. The liability to Inheritance Tax in the UK depends primarily on the domicile of the deceased. If the deceased is deemed to be domiciled in the UK for tax purposes, they will generally be subject to Inheritance Tax in the UK regardless of where they died. ... read more

28-11-2018

Claim tax relief 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 their work. There is no tax relief available if your employer pays you back in full for an item you have bought for work. In addition, you cannot claim tax relief if your employer has ... read more

28-11-2018

Coding out debts deadline

The coding threshold entitles taxpayers to have tax underpayments collected via their tax code, provided they are in employment or in receipt of a UK-based pension. The coding process applies to certain debts such as Self-Assessment liabilities, tax credit overpayments and outstanding Class 2 NIC contributions. Instead of paying off debts in a lump sum, money is collected in equal monthly ... read more

28-11-2018

Pension automatic enrolment changes

Automatic enrolment for workplace pensions encourages many employees to start making provision for their retirement with employers, and as a bonus, government also contributes to their pension pot. The law states that employers must automatically enrol workers into a workplace pension, if they are aged between 22 and State Pension Age, earn more than the minimum earning threshold (currently ... read more

28-11-2018

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

28-11-2018

VAT - FRS limited cost trader

The VAT Flat Rate Scheme (FRS) has been designed to simplify a way a business accounts for VAT, and in so doing reduce the administration costs of complying with the VAT legislation. The scheme is open to businesses that expect their annual taxable turnover in the next 12 months to be no more than £150,000. In April 2017, HMRC introduced a 'limited cost trader' test that can increase the VAT flat ... read more

28-11-2018

CGT and investment clubs

Investment clubs are loosely defined as a group of people who get together to buy and sell shares on the stock market with a view to making a profit. An investment club does not have any special legal status and usually operates as a kind of informal partnership. These clubs can offer an interesting perspective to investors helping to hone their skills, share risk and benefit from new fonts of ... read more

28-11-2018

Tax on savings interest

In the current tax year, anyone with taxable income of less than £16,850 will have no tax to pay on interest received. This figure is calculated by adding the £5,000 starting rate limit for savings (where 0% of the interest is taxable) to the current £11,850 personal allowance. However, it is important to note that if your total non-savings income exceeds £16,850 then the starting rate limit for ... read more

22-11-2018

Claim £2,500 broadband voucher

The Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme was launched in March this year to help small businesses and local communities connect and gain access to full fibre superfast broadband speeds. The vouchers can be used by small businesses and the local communities surrounding them. The scheme is part of a series of Government initiatives to build nationwide full fibre broadband coverage by 2033. The ... read more

22-11-2018

Options if you are owed money

It can be very difficult for small businesses to know what options are available when their customers owe them money. This can arise when business owners are uncomfortable chasing a debt for fear of upsetting their customer and losing valuable business. The Government has been working to tackle this issue as nearly a quarter of UK businesses report that late payments are a threat to their ... read more

22-11-2018

What is a Personal Tax Account?

Personal Tax Accounts (PTAs) were launched in 2015 and works as an online resource to allow taxpayers to review and update their details in real time. For many routine requests and services using the PTA can avoid having to phone or write to HMRC. Every individual in the UK that pays tax has a PTA, but taxpayers must sign up in order to access and use the service. This can be done using either ... read more

22-11-2018

HMRC promotes tax saving opportunities

To mark the occasion of Talk Money Week, HMRC has published a news release trumpeting five tax saving opportunities. Whilst these tax saving opportunities are routinely available to many taxpayers, it is unusual to see them all listed together. HMRC's list serves as a useful reminder of some simple measures taxpayers can take to legitimately reduce the amount of tax they pay. The tax saving ... read more

22-11-2018

Who must submit a Self Assessment tax return?

There are a number of reasons why a taxpayer needs to complete a Self Assessment return. This includes, if they are self-employed, a company director, have an annual income over £100,000 and / or have income from savings, investment or property. Taxpayers that need to complete a Self Assessment return for the first time, should inform HMRC as soon as possible. The latest date that HMRC should be ... read more

22-11-2018

Capital Gains Tax uplift on death

It is important to understand how Capital Gains Tax (CGT) works when someone dies, and more importantly how this affects the computation of gains and losses by those who have inherited an asset as well as the personal representatives (such as executors and administrators) of an estate. As a general rule, there is no CGT charge upon death. This is often referred to as a CGT uplift on death and ... read more

22-11-2018

HMRC writing to businesses about MTD for VAT

HMRC has begun a letter writing campaign to remind businesses that the way they keep VAT records and submit their VAT returns is changing. The letters are being sent to businesses who will be within the scope of the new Making Tax Digital (MTD) for VAT, which comes into effect from 1 April 2019. A first wave of 20,000 letters was sent earlier this month with a further 180,000 letters sent last ... read more

22-11-2018

VAT relief on building a new home

The VAT DIY Housebuilders scheme is a special scheme, enabling homeowners building a home to benefit from the special VAT rules that allow the qualifying construction costs of new homes and certain conversion works to be zero-rated. The scheme has been designed to effectively put homeowners in a similar position to a property developer. A claim can be made for qualifying building materials on ... read more

15-11-2018

Finance (No.3) Bill published

As expected, the government published Finance (No.3) Bill on Wednesday, 7 November 2018. The Bill is so named as it is the third Finance Bill in the current special two-year session of Parliament. The Bill contains the legislation for many of the tax measures announced by the Government at Autumn Budget 2017 some of which have since been the subject of further consultation. The Bill also includes ... read more

15-11-2018

Directors’ loans – tax consequences for your company

There are tax consequences for both companies and directors relating to the issue of director’s loans. We will examine below some of the implications if a company facilitates loans to a director. A director’s loan comprises not just an actual loan, but can also include other payments made by the company for the personal benefit of a director such as personal expenses paid for on a company credit ... read more

15-11-2018

Directors’ loans - tax consequences for the director

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 ... read more

15-11-2018

ISAs and Inheritance Tax

New rules were introduced by the Government in 2015 that allow for the spouse or civil partner of a deceased ISA saver to benefit from additional ISA benefits. Under the rules, if an ISA saver in a marriage or civil partnership dies, their spouse or civil partner inherits their ISA tax advantages. Surviving spouses are able to save an additional amount in an ISA or ISAs up to the value of their ... read more

15-11-2018

Employment status of football referees

A recent First-Tier Tribunal case examined the complex issue of whether a group of 60 football referees should be classified as employees or self-employed. HMRC argued that the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) was the employer of the group of football referees in question. On this basis, HMRC raised assessments for a total of £583,874.07 relating to Income Tax and National ... read more

15-11-2018

Holiday Let Property and Business Property Relief

Business Property Relief (BPR) is an attractive tax relief for taxpayers with business interests, offering either 50% or 100% relief from Inheritance Tax (IHT) on the value of their business assets if certain conditions are met. The relief can even be used whilst the donor is still alive, and the estate can still get BPR on qualifying assets. An interest in a business or a company will not ... read more

15-11-2018

Foreign currency considerations

There are special rules that must be considered when buying and selling assets in foreign currency. This is sometimes known as a barter transaction. As a general rule when a foreign currency transaction takes place at arm's length, the value of the consideration is the sterling equivalent of the amount paid for the asset at the date of acquisition and / or disposal. HMRC provides the following ... read more

15-11-2018

UK Living Wage rates rise

The Living Wage Foundation (an initiative of Citizens UK) recently announced Living Wage rates for London and the UK at £10.55 an hour and £9 an hour respectively. These Living Wage rates are not statutorily binding but represent an increase of 25p in the UK and 35p in London over the current rates. The new Living Wage rates were announced on the 5 November 2018 and all of the accredited employers ... read more

15-11-2018

SDLT payment deadline to be reduced

Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is a tax that is generally payable on the purchase or transfer of land and property in England and Northern Ireland. It is also payable in respect of certain lease premiums. Higher rates of SDLT were introduced on 1 April 2016 and apply to purchases of additional residential property such as buy to let and second homes. The filing and payment deadline for SDLT is ... read more

13-11-2018

Security guidance on encryption and password

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has published updated security guidance on encryption and on passwords in online services under the GDPR. The GDPR requires data controllers to implement appropriate technical and organisational measures to ensure they process personal data securely. Article 32 of the GDPR includes encryption as an example of an appropriate technical measure. The ... read more

07-11-2018

Child Benefit penalties under review

The High Income Child Benefit Charge (HICBC) came into force in January 2013. It 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. HMRC has confirmed that it is reviewing cases where a failure to notify penalty was ... read more

07-11-2018

VAT reverse charge construction industry

A change to the VAT rules first announced at Budget 2018 will come into effect from 1 October 2019. This change will make the supply of construction services between construction or building businesses subject to the domestic reverse charge. The reverse charge will only apply to supplies of specified construction services to other businesses in the construction sector. This move is part of the ... read more

07-11-2018

Business rates support for the High Street

The Chancellor announced a number of measures to help many failing high streets up and down the country, as they face a real threat to their existence as footfall continues to be impacted. The growing use of online shopping has caused many large retailers to close down or reduce the number of stores they run, especially in smaller towns and villages across the country. One of the measures ... read more

07-11-2018

Entrepreneurs’ relief changes

In the Budget, the Chancellor, Philip Hammond announced two changes to the way Entrepreneurs’ Relief (ER) will operate. ER applies to the sale of a business, shares in a trading company or an individual’s interest in a trading partnership. Where this relief is available Capital Gains Tax (CGT) of 10% is payable in place of the standard rate. CGT on the disposal of chargeable assets is usually ... read more

07-11-2018

Digital Services Tax

One of the more surprising announcements in the recent Budget was the introduction of a new 2% Digital Services Tax (DST) from April 2020. This tax is intended to ensure that the major social media, search engine and online retailers are subject to a 2% tax on revenues generated from the participation of UK users in the use of their services. The DST is expected to raise £1.5 billion from 2020-21 ... read more

07-11-2018

Using software to make Income Tax updates

The introduction of Making Tax Digital (MTD) will fundamentally change the way businesses, the self-employed and landlords interact with HMRC. The new regime will require businesses and individuals to register, file, pay and update their information using a new online tax account. The new regime is due to start in April 2019 for VAT purposes only, when some 1 million businesses with a turnover ... read more

05-11-2018

Tax Diary November/December 2018

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

31-10-2018

Autumn Budget 2018 – Income Tax Rates & Allowances

The Chancellor has confirmed that from 2019-20 the personal allowance will increase to £12,500 (an increase from the current £11,850 allowance) and the basic rate limit to £37,500. As a result, the higher rate threshold will increase to £50,000 from April 2019. These increases deliver on the government’s manifesto commitment to increase the basic personal allowance to £12,500 and the higher rate ... read more

31-10-2018

Autumn Budget 2018 - Minimum wage increases

The Chancellor used his Budget speech to confirm that increased National Minimum Wage (NMW) and National Living Wage (NLW) rates are due to come into effect on 1 April 2019. The NLW first came into effect on 1 April 2016, and is the minimum hourly rate that must be paid to those aged 25 or over. From 1 April 2019 the National Living Wage will increase by 38p to £8.21. This represents an increase ... read more

31-10-2018

Autumn Budget 2018 – Annual Investment Allowance

The Chancellor’s announcement of a temporary five-fold increase in the Annual Investment Allowance (AIA) will be welcomed by many small and medium sized businesses looking to incur significant capital expenditure on plant and machinery. The Annual Investment Allowance (AIA) was permanently set at £200,000 for all qualifying expenditure on or after 1 January 2016. The announcement by the ... read more

31-10-2018

Autumn Budget 2018 – Private Residence Relief

As a general rule, there is no Capital Gains Tax (CGT) on a property which has been used wholly as a main family residence. This relief from CGT is commonly known as Private Residence Relief. Conversely, an investment property that has never been used as a main residence will not qualify. Two changes to the way Private Residence Relief works were announced as part of the Budget measures. The ... read more

31-10-2018

Autumn Budget 2018 - VAT registration and deregistration thresholds

The Chancellor confirmed in his Budget speech that the taxable turnover threshold that determines whether businesses should be registered for VAT, will be frozen at £85,000 for a further 2 years from 1 April 2020 until 31 March 2022. The taxable turnover threshold that determines whether businesses can apply for deregistration will also be frozen at the current rate of £83,000 for the same time ... read more

31-10-2018

Autumn Budget 2018 - Air Passenger Duty

Air Passenger Duty (APD) is a departure tax levied on most air travel. Each geographical band has two rates of Air Passenger Duty, one for standard class and the second for 'other' higher classes of travel (usually premium economy / business / first class). Currently, band A (short-haul) ranges from £13 for a standard class journey and £26 for an 'other' class of travel. The Band B (long-haul) ... read more

31-10-2018

Autumn Budget 2018 - Alcohol and Tobacco Duty

As part of the Budget measures the Chancellor announced that the duty rates on beers, spirits and most ciders will be frozen at the current rates. These measures mean that a bottle of whisky will be £1.54 less and a pint of beer 14p less than if the rates had increased as expected based on the duty escalator. However, the Chancellor did announce an RPI inflationary increase in the duty band for ... read more

31-10-2018

Self assessment deadline reminder

HMRC has published a news release to remind taxpayers that there is now less than 100 days to file their 2017-18 tax return. Last year over 11 million taxpayers completed a 2016-17 self assessment tax return, with 10.7 million of these taxpayers doing so on time. The deadline for submitting 2017-18 self assessment tax returns online is 31 January 2019. Taxpayers should also be aware that payment ... read more

29-10-2018

Autumn Budget statement

Autumn Budget 2018 The Prime Minister announced at the Conservative Party conference that the end of austerity was in sight. Recent tax revenues have exceeded expectations, and although there was an expectation that these declarations and indicators would herald a relaxation of fiscal policy, the Chancellor is mindful of the potential fallout next year when we leave the EU, with or without a ... read more

25-10-2018

Government grants towards home electric charging points

Over the last number of years, the government has announced a raft of measures to encourage the use of cleaner vehicles and drive the growth of the electric car sector. Some of these measures specifically look at making more electric vehicle charging points available at workplaces and homes across the UK. The Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS) is provided by the Office for Low Emission ... read more

25-10-2018

Help to Save scheme

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

25-10-2018

Small Business rate relief

Business rates are charged on most non-domestic premises, including most commercial properties such as shops, offices, pubs, warehouses and factories. Some properties are eligible for discounts from the local council on their business rates. This is called business rates relief. There are a number of reliefs available, including small business rate relief, rural rate relief and charitable rate ... read more

25-10-2018

Repayment of student loans

Students that have finished their studies and entered the workforce, must begin to make loan repayments from the April after they have finished their studies or when their income begins to exceed the annual threshold. The annual threshold amounts for 2019-20 have been confirmed by the Department of Education. The thresholds will increase to £18,935 (2018-19: £18,330) for plan 1 and to £25,725 ... read more

25-10-2018

Enterprise Investment Scheme CGT exemption not available

The Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) is designed to help smaller higher-risk trading companies to raise finance by offering a range of tax reliefs, including Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax (CGT) relief to investors who purchase new shares in those companies. In a recent Upper Tribunal case, a taxpayer appealed against HMRC’s assertion that he was not entitled to a CGT exemption in respect of ... read more

25-10-2018

Seeking clearance from HMRC

Under certain circumstances, taxpayers can apply to HMRC for clearance or approval for a specific transaction. This can help give certainty about how a proposed transaction will be treated. Of course, there are numerous caveats to seeking clearance and the taxpayer must have provided all relevant facts regarding the intended transaction. If any relevant information was not provided, then HMRC’s ... read more

25-10-2018

Tax evasion and the Criminal Finances Act

The Criminal Finances Act provides law enforcement agencies with greater powers to recover the proceeds of crime, tackle money laundering, tax evasion and corruption, and terrorist financing. The Act, which came into force on 30 September 2017, introduced two new criminal offences for corporations: one applying to the evasion of UK taxes and one applying to the evasion of foreign taxes. These ... read more

18-10-2018

Anti-money laundering rules

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

18-10-2018

New style £50 note to be introduced

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

18-10-2018

Tax to pay if you exceed the annual pensions allowance

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

18-10-2018

Son’s failed investment in father’s company

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

18-10-2018

Electing not to have Incorporation Relief

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

18-10-2018

Tapering of residence nil rate band

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

18-10-2018

Finance (No.3) Bill and the Budget

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

18-10-2018

MTD for VAT pilot extended

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

15-10-2018

Data protection self-assessment checklist launched for small business owners

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

11-10-2018

Company director imprisoned

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

11-10-2018

The end of late payments by large organisations?

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

11-10-2018

Importing from non-EU countries

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

11-10-2018

Self-assessment filing deadline

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

11-10-2018

VAT - option to tax

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

11-10-2018

Companies and trading losses

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

11-10-2018

The Digital Disclosure Service

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

11-10-2018

Genuine messages from HMRC

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

03-10-2018

Charity filing deadline approaching

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

03-10-2018

When do you pay Income Tax?

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

03-10-2018

What are National Insurance credits?

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

03-10-2018

Gift Aid donations for food and drink

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

03-10-2018

Class 3 NICs

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

03-10-2018

Limitations of trivial benefit claims

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

03-10-2018

Eligibility to claim Entrepreneurs’ Relief

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

03-10-2018

Ways to liquidate a limited company

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

03-10-2018

High penalties for offshore tax evasion

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

26-09-2018

Alert for VAT registered traders

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

26-09-2018

Late night taxis for employees

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

26-09-2018

Do capital gains affect tax credit claims?

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

26-09-2018

Taxpayer wins appeal against filing penalties

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

26-09-2018

Employer pension contributions

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

26-09-2018

Benefits provided by someone other than their employer

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

26-09-2018

Date announced for Autumn Budget 2018

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

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