News

The latest breaking news in the industry!

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 7 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

21-03-2018

HMRC tackling online VAT fraud

Under new rules that came into force on 15 March 2018, HMRC has enhanced powers to make online marketplaces accountable for VAT fraud committed by online sellers on their platforms. These measures are correctly referred to as joint and several liability (JSL) for marketplaces. The rules previously applied to overseas retailers that supplied goods already in the UK at the point of sale, to UK ... read more

21-03-2018

VAT option to tax land and buildings

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

21-03-2018

Directors beware National Living Wage complications

From 1 April 2018, the National Living Wage (NLW) will increase by 33p to £7.83. This represents an increase of 4.4%. The NLW is the minimum hourly rate that must be paid to those aged 25 or over. For the 21 to 24 year old’s, the hourly rate of the National Minimum Wage will increase to £7.38 (a rise of 33p). An interesting question to consider is whether or not company directors need to be ... read more

21-03-2018

Marriage allowance still time to apply

The marriage allowance is available to married couples and those in a civil partnership, where a spouse or civil partner doesn’t pay tax or doesn’t pay tax above the basic rate threshold for income tax. The lower earning partner can transfer up to £1,150 (increasing to £1,190 in 2018-19) of their personal tax-free allowance to a spouse or civil partner. The marriage allowance can only be used ... read more

21-03-2018

Finance Bill receives Royal Assent

The Finance Bill 2017-18 officially known as Finance (No.2) Bill 2017-19, received Royal Assent on 15 March 2018 following agreement by both Houses. The Bill is now an Act of Parliament to be called the Finance Act 2018. The Act contains the legislation for many of the tax measures that were announced by the Government at Autumn Budget 2017. Finance Act 2018, introduces a number of diverse ... read more

20-03-2018

Tax Diary April/May 2018

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

18-03-2018

Childcare voucher scheme deadline extended

The government has announced that the employer-operated childcare voucher scheme will remain open to new entrants for a further six months, i.e. until October 2018. The childcare voucher scheme, also called employer-supported childcare (ESC), was due to close from 6 April 2018 and be replaced by the government-backed childcare payments scheme, also called tax-free childcare (TFC). The government ... read more

14-03-2018

Information Commissioner’s Office publishes introduction to the Data Protection Bill

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has published a 77-page introduction to the Data Protection Bill, to help businesses navigate their way around the Bill and focus on the areas that are most relevant to them. Assuming it receives Royal Assent and becomes the Data Protection Act 2018, the Bill is expected to come into force on 25 May 2018, i.e. on the same date as the EU General Data ... read more

14-03-2018

Tax avoidance scheme scuppered by HMRC

A tax avoidance scheme used by businesses that sought to avoid paying tax and National Insurance on company directors’ bonuses was the subject of a recent Upper Tribunal hearing. HMRC challenged the validity of tax claims by two companies firstly at the First-Tier Tribunal and then at the Upper Tribunal. The two cases were heard together as the underlying appeals raised similar issues and were ... read more

14-03-2018

New offshore tax penalties

New legislation that comes into effect from 1 October 2018 will see higher penalties for anyone with undeclared offshore assets. HMRC has published a news release urging taxpayers with undeclared offshore assets to become compliant and warning taxpayers that they will prosecute the most serious cases of tax evasion. These new penalties are part of HMRC’s plans to target overseas tax avoidance. ... read more

14-03-2018

ISAs transfer of benefits upon death

New rules were introduced in April 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 spouse or ... read more

14-03-2018

Tax break to help black cabs turn green

The government has confirmed that a new tax allowance for electric taxis will come into effect from April 2018, a year earlier than had been expected. The new exemption will be worth £1,550 for anyone purchasing a new zero emission black cab. In addition, zero emission taxis worth over £40,000 will no longer have to pay the Vehicle Excise Duty charge from this April. It is hoped that these ... read more

14-03-2018

Inflation proofing corporate gains ceased December 2017

As part of the Autumn Budget measures, the Chancellor announced that the indexation allowance for corporate chargeable gains would cease on 31 December 2017. The indexation allowance allowed companies to compensate for the effects of inflation and claim tax relief when calculating any chargeable gains. The monthly indexation allowance was frozen from 1 January 2018. This means that the ... read more

14-03-2018

Claiming legal and financial costs

The self-employed are often concerned as to whether an expense is allowable for tax purposes. As a general rule, the self-employed can deduct running costs of the business when working out their taxable profit as long as the expenses are classed as 'allowable expenses'. In this article, we briefly look at the rules for claiming expenses relating to claiming legal and financial costs. HMRC ... read more

13-03-2018

Spring Statement 2018

As you would expect, the Spring Statement delivered by the Chancellor Philip Hammond, to Parliament on 13 March 2018, was peppered with party political jibes no doubt intended to lift the spirits of his own party and dismay the opposition parties. There was very little “promised” in terms of new tax or other strategic items that we are used to in a Budget speech; we will need to wait until autumn ... read more

07-03-2018

Company fined £297,845 for paying VAT one day late

We have often warned our readers of the importance of submitting and paying VAT returns in a timely manner. In a recent article we wrote that it is imperative that VAT returns are submitted and paid on time as a delay of even one day can have significant consequences in the future. Unfortunately, there is a company that does not appear to have taken heed of our warning. A recent First-Tier ... read more

07-03-2018

Property owners lose 50% of higher rate tax relief on finance costs

Under new rules that came into effect from April 2017 the tax relief on mortgage costs for residential landlords is being gradually restricted to the basic rate of tax. Many landlords of residential properties that used to benefit from full tax relief on finance charges, such as mortgage interest now face higher tax bills. These changes will start to hit even harder when the amount of higher rate ... read more

07-03-2018

Benefits that lose tax-free status from April 2018

The tax and NIC advantages of certain benefits provided as part of a salary sacrifice arrangement changed from 6 April 2017. When the changes were introduced it was confirmed that all arrangements in place before April 2017 will be protected for up to a year. This means that current contracts that remained under the pre-2017 rules will now fall under the new rules from April 2018. The new rules ... read more

07-03-2018

Wales takes over taxes starting from April 2018

The Welsh tax devolution will begin next month when Wales, the Welsh Government and the National Assembly for Wales, become responsible for some of the taxes paid in Wales for the first time in over 800 years. From April 2018, Wales will introduce the new Welsh Land Transaction Tax (LTT) which will replace the UK Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) as well as the new Landfill Disposals Tax (LDT) which will ... read more

07-03-2018

Tax-free trivial benefits

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 anticipation of such ... read more

07-03-2018

What are off-payroll working rules?

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 rules, known as off-payroll working 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 will also ... read more

27-02-2018

New protection for company directors

The government has announced the introduction of new laws 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, will allow company directors to remove their personal addresses from the UK’s official company register on Companies House. The new laws are expected to come into force by the end of ... read more

27-02-2018

Payments made to son not a wage

A recent First-Tier Tribunal case examined whether a father's payment of wages to his son was an allowable expense. We learn that the appellant in this case made a number of payments to his son whilst he was studying at university. HMRC questioned the validity of the appellants tax return and argued that any amounts paid by the appellant to his son must have been incurred wholly and exclusively ... read more

27-02-2018

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

27-02-2018

Still time to top up your ISA

Now that the infamous 31 January deadline has passed it is time to start thinking about the current tax year and maximise any available tax reliefs by 5 April 2018. The ISA limit currently allows for taxpayers to invest up to £20,000 per year. Whilst the amount invested in an ISA does not benefit from tax relief the income and gains are free from most taxes including Income Tax and Capital Gains ... read more

27-02-2018

Tax-free allowances for Capital Gains Tax

The annual exemption for Capital Gains Tax (CGT) in the current tax year is £11,300. This exemption allows taxpayers who dispose of chargeable assets such as property, stocks and shares of up to this amount, to make a tax-free gains during 2017-18. A husband and wife both benefit from their own exempt amount. Same-sex couples who acquire a legal status as civil partners are treated in the same ... read more

27-02-2018

Claiming for cost of equipment used at work

Employees who need to buy substantial equipment to use as part of their employment may be able to claim tax relief. In most cases you can claim tax relief on the full cost of this type of equipment as it would be eligible for a type of capital allowance called an annual investment allowance. Any tax relief would be reduced if the employer provides a contribution towards buying the item. The way ... read more

21-02-2018

HMRC’s requirement to correct

The new requirement to correct (RTC) legislation was introduced by the Finance (No.2) Act 2017. The legislation created a new statutory obligation for taxpayers with undeclared UK tax liabilities that involve offshore matters to disclose any relevant information to HMRC by 30 September 2018. The RTC applies to any person with undeclared UK income tax, capital gains tax and/or inheritance tax ... read more

21-02-2018

More on inheritance tax shakeup

The Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) provides advice to the Chancellor on simplifying the UK tax system. In a letter dated 19 January 2018 the Chancellor Philip Hammond wrote to the OTS to request a review of inheritance tax (IHT) regime and asking to hear any proposals for simplification. The Chancellor was particularly interested in focusing on the technical and administrative issues within ... read more

21-02-2018

Living abroad and selling UK home?

A capital gains tax (CGT) charge on the sale of UK residential property by non-UK residents was introduced in April 2015. Only the amount of the overall gain relating to the period after 5 April 2015 is chargeable to tax. In certain circumstances private residence relief may apply where a property is the owner’s only or main residence. For example, you don’t usually pay any tax for any tax years ... read more

21-02-2018

What is reasonable care?

HMRC expects that taxpayers take ‘reasonable care’ over their tax affairs and do everything reasonably within their power to ensure that tax returns and other relevant documents are accurate. There is no legal definition of reasonable care from a taxation standpoint and HMRC will take your individual circumstances into account when considering whether you’ve taken reasonable care. HMRC generally ... read more

21-02-2018

Beware capital allowance claw-back when you sell an asset

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

21-02-2018

Dormant company obligations

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

19-02-2018

Campaign to promote shared parental leave

In its “Good Work” response to the 2017 Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices, the government stated that, as part of its commitment to raising awareness of employment rights, it was to instigate a campaign to encourage more working parents to take shared parental leave (SPL) in their baby’s first year. That campaign, called “Share the joy”, has now been launched. Its intention is to improve ... read more

19-02-2018

Tax Diary March/April 2018

1 March 2018 - Due date for corporation tax due for the year ended 31 May 2017. 2 March 2018 – Self assessment tax for 2016/17 paid after this date will incur a 5% surcharge. 19 March 2018 - PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 March 2018. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 March 2018) 19 March 2018 - Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly return for the month ended ... read more

14-02-2018

Appealing to a tax tribunal

There are a number of different options open to taxpayers that disagree with a tax decision issued by HMRC. The first step is to make an appeal to HMRC against the tax decision. If taxpayers do not agree with HMRC’s appeals review, there are further options available which include making an appeal to a tax tribunal or using the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) process. The ADR seeks to offer ... read more

14-02-2018

Does a charity pay tax?

The tax treatment of charities can be very complex. As a first step any charity hoping to benefit from any beneficial 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, and on profits for some activities. For example, charities don’t pay tax on ... read more

14-02-2018

Pay and paternity leave

When your partner gives birth or when you adopt a child or have a baby by surrogate, you may be entitled to 1 or 2 weeks paternity leave and paternity pay. You are also entitled to take a small amount of unpaid time off work before the baby is born to accompany your partner (or the surrogate mother) to 2 antenatal (or adoption) appointments. You can take up to two weeks of paternity leave which ... read more

14-02-2018

What to do if you have stopped work

HMRC issues some helpful guidance that covers what you need to do if you stopped work. The guidance covers the main reasons that you might have stopped work such as being made redundant or leaving your job. If you have been made redundant then you may have overpaid tax as a result of your redundancy payment. HMRC may in some cases refund you any overpaid tax before the end of the appropriate tax ... read more

14-02-2018

Can you change a Will after death?

One might expect that the answer to this question would be a definitive no. However, under certain circumstances a will can actually be changed after death. This is done by using what is known as a Deed of Variation. Any changes to the will must be done within two years from the date of death. However, beneficiaries who would be left worse off by the change must give their agreement before any ... read more

14-02-2018

How to get proof of employment history

A special employment history request can be submitted by taxpayers for those needing to make a claim for compensation. The form is usually used for claims relating to industrial injuries, road traffic accidents, medical negligence and hardship. HMRC will only accept requests that are made using the Employment history team: claimant’s evidence of employers form. The form is available on the GOV.UK ... read more

14-02-2018

Tax-Free Childcare available now

The Tax-Free Childcare Scheme (TFCS) was launched in April 2017 to the first tranche of working parents. The scheme was initially made available to working parents of children aged under 4 on 31 August 2017. On 15 January 2018, the scheme was extended to parents whose youngest child is under 9. The scheme was opened to all remaining eligible families with children under 12 on 14 February 2018. ... read more

12-02-2018

Draft regulations to increase the national minimum wage published

The draft National Minimum Wage (Amendment) Regulations 2018 have been laid before Parliament and are due to come into force on 1 April 2018. The regulations will increase the various rates of the national minimum wage (NMW) and national living wage (NLW) as follows: the NLW rate for workers aged 25 and over will rise from £7.50 to £7.83 per hour the NMW standard rate for workers aged 21 to 24 ... read more

07-02-2018

10.7m tax payers filed before the deadline

HMRC has issued a press release detailing the number of online filings made for the 2016-17 self assessment returns. The use of the online service continues to grow year on year. In this year a total of over 9.9 million online filings were made by the 31 January 2018 deadline. A further 770,000 tax returns were submitted using paper returns. This means that 93.5% of returns (10.7 million filings) ... read more

07-02-2018

Income from selling services online

Many taxpayers supplement their income by selling services online. This is often known as the 'sharing economy' or the 'peer-to-peer economy' and usually involves taxpayers renting out something they are not using such as their house (using websites such as AirBNB), car, car parking space or other personal equipment. It can also involve taxpayers finding customers using specialist websites or ... read more

07-02-2018

Delaying tax with rollover relief

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

07-02-2018

Text message scammers stopped by HMRC

HMRC has published a news release to explain how they are working to stop taxpayers receiving fraudulent text messages from reaching their phones. Scammers have been found to be using text message or SMS phishing scams to contact taxpayers. These scams have been increasing as fraudulent text messages can appear more legitimate than fraudulent emails. Research has found that people are 9 times ... read more

07-02-2018

Paying NIC if you go abroad

If you move abroad it can be advantageous to continue paying UK National Insurance Contributions (NICs) in order to preserve your entitlement to the State Pension and other benefits. If you are working in the European Economic Area the rules depend on your situation. The EEA includes all EU countries as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. The same rules apply in Switzerland. The rules are ... read more

07-02-2018

Tax consequences of importing vehicle into the UK

The Notification of Vehicle Arrivals (NOVA) is an online notification system for vehicles entering the country for permanent use on UK roads. There is a separate process for personal imports from outside the EU and for the temporary importations of a motor vehicle. Under the system anyone who brings a vehicle into the UK is required to notify HMRC within 14 days and any VAT due will have to be ... read more

05-02-2018

Retailers encouraged to employ more disabled workers

The Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work has launched a new campaign to encourage more retail employers to sign up to its trailblazing “Disability Confident” employer scheme, to increase the number of disabled people in the workforce. The government aims to see one million more disabled people in work by 2027. Around 123,000 vacancies currently exist in the retail and wholesale sector, ... read more

05-02-2018

DBS updates identity checking guidelines

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) has introduced new identity checking guidelines for standard and enhanced disclosure checks. The new guidelines have been running in parallel with the previous guidelines since October 2017. However, the previous guidelines have now ceased to apply, and employers must use the new version. The change is being introduced so that the DBS’s identity checking ... read more

31-01-2018

A reminder to consider a carry back of charitable contributions

Donations to charity over the course of a tax year can add up and taxpayers must ensure they keep a proper record of all donations to record them on their tax return. Donations that are made through the Gift Aid scheme allow for the recipient charity to claim 25p worth of tax relief on every pound donated. Higher rate and additional rate taxpayers are eligible to claim relief on the difference ... read more

31-01-2018

Nominating a home for tax purposes

As a general rule there is no CGT payable on the disposal of a property which has been used as the main family residence. Conversely, an investment property which has never been used will not qualify for relief. This relief from CGT is commonly known as private residence relief (PRR). It is increasingly common for taxpayers to own more than one home and there are a number of issues that home ... read more

31-01-2018

Reasonable excuse for late filing of your tax return

Taxpayers that have not yet filed their 2016-17 self-assessment returns will have been charged an automatic £100 penalty for late submission. The penalty applies from 1 February 2018 even if no tax was due or the tax due was paid on time. In some cases, it can be possible to appeal against any penalty on the grounds of having a good reason for sending in a late return. However, taxpayers must ... read more

31-01-2018

Did you file before the deadline?

HMRC revealed that, as of 24 January 2018, there remained over 3 million taxpayers who had not yet submitted their 2016-17 self-assessment returns. This left a lot of people with a lot of work to do in the final week before the submission deadline. Any taxpayers who missed the filing deadline will receive a £100 fixed penalty if their return is up to 3 months late, regardless of whether they owed ... read more

31-01-2018

Seconding employees to a charity

There are special rules in place when a limited company gives to a charity. This can include Corporation Tax relief for certain donations made to registered charities or community amateur sports club (CASC) as well as capital allowances for giving away equipment that has been used by your company. There are also special rules if your company temporarily transfers an employee to work for a ... read more

31-01-2018

Claiming tax relief for uniforms, work clothing and tools

Employees who use their own uniforms, work clothing and tools for work can sometimes claim tax relief for the associated costs. It is possible to claim for the cost of repairing or replacing small tools you need to do your job as an employee (for example, scissors or an electric drill), or cleaning, repairing or replacing specialist clothing (for example, a uniform or safety boots). However, an ... read more

29-01-2018

Businesses urged to prepare for stronger data protection laws

Following the publication of new government research which shows that fewer than half of businesses are aware of forthcoming new data protection laws, the government has urged businesses to act to make sure the personal data they hold is secure and that they are fully prepared for the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the new Data Protection Act 2018. According to the new ... read more

24-01-2018

Support for Carillion subcontractors

HMRC has published a press release following the financial collapse of Carillion. Given the current uncertainty for subcontractors, HMRC understands that some businesses will be experiencing problems paying their tax bill. HMRC is reminding affected taxpayers that the Business Payment Support Service (BPSS), is available to help provide practical advice and guidance. The BPSS was first launched ... read more

24-01-2018

Aliens, vertigo and other excuses

A recent press release by HMRC revealed some of the oddest excuses for submitting a late tax return. The excuses ranged from the sublime to the ridiculous and included: I couldn’t file my return on time as my wife has been seeing aliens and won’t let me enter the house. I’ve been far too busy touring the country with my one-man play. My ex-wife left my tax return upstairs, but I suffer from ... read more

24-01-2018

Why the cash basis may not suit your business

The cash basis scheme helps many sole traders and other unincorporated businesses benefit from a simpler way of managing their financial affairs. The scheme is not open to limited companies and limited liability partnerships. It allows qualifying businesses to use the cash basis when recording income and expenditure. However, some small businesses are more suited to using the cash basis than ... read more

24-01-2018

Sign up for email alerts from Companies House

A new email alerts service has been launched by Companies House. The new alert service covers a range of subscription topics and should not be confused with the email reminder service, which advises when accounts and confirmation statement are due for filing. If you are interested in receiving email reminders about your accounts and confirmation statement, you need to sign up using the Companies ... read more

24-01-2018

Fish and chip shop directors banned

A recent investigation by the Insolvency Service has seen two married restaurant directors disqualified for a total of 5 years each. The Directors of Gambino Fish Ltd trading as Quality Fish, were the subject of an in-depth investigation by HMRC. The investigation found that the directors caused or allowed the company to submit inaccurate statutory VAT returns. The company had failed to record ... read more

24-01-2018

Claiming for use of office and related costs

The self-employed are often concerned regarding expenses they can claim. In this article, we will briefly look at the rules for claiming expenses relating to office, property and equipment. You cannot claim for any non-business use of premises, phones or other office equipment. As a general rule, you can claim for items you’d normally use for less than 2 years as allowable expenses such as ... read more

23-01-2018

Tax Diary February/March 2018

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

22-01-2018

New DBS basic disclosure service goes live

From 17 January 2018, individuals who need to obtain a basic disclosure check for a job in England and Wales should apply to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), not to Disclosure Scotland. The DBS now provides the service for England and Wales. Individuals who wish to apply for their own basic check can use the new online service provided by the DBS. Individuals who need a basic ... read more

22-01-2018

Statutory payment rates for tax year 2018/19 confirmed

Following the written ministerial statement published in November 2017 announcing 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 2018/19, the government has now published the draft Social Security Benefits Up-rating Order 2018 which confirms the ... read more

18-01-2018

A reminder of ways you can pay tax due

Last week we confirmed that as from 13 January 2018, HMRC will not accept personal credit cards for payment of tax or penalties. We have listed below the payment options you still have available to you: Electronic payment. HMRC’s preferred method of payment is by electronic bank transfer using Faster Payments, CHAPS or BACS. In order to make a payment electronically you will need your ... read more

18-01-2018

Buying a rental property?

The removal of the 10% wear and tear allowance that allowed landlords to reduce the tax they paid on furnished property lets (after the end of the 2015-16 tax year) was a significant loss for many landlords. The 10% deduction was available to landlords regardless of whether furnishings in their property were replaced or not. The wear and tear allowance was replaced by the replacement of domestic ... read more

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