News

The latest breaking news in the industry!

04-03-2024

Pension fund reforms

The Chancellor announced pension fund reforms as a further step in the government’s plan to boost British business and increase returns for savers. This includes requirements for Defined Contribution (DC) pension funds to publicly disclosure their level of investment in the UK. Under the plans: By 2027 DC pension funds across the market will disclose their levels of investment in British ... read more

04-03-2024

Companies House rolls-out new powers

The first measures under the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act 2023 (ECCT Act) came into force on Monday 4 March 2024. Changes introduced include: greater powers to query information and request supporting evidence; stronger checks on company names; new rules for registered office addresses (all companies must have an appropriate address at all times - they will not be able to ... read more

29-02-2024

Update on the tax status of Double Cab Pick Ups

HMRC had published an update, on 12 February 2024, on the tax status of Double Cab Pick Ups (DCPUs), following a 2020 Court of Appeal judgment. The update announced that effective from 1 July 2024, DCPUs with a payload of one tonne or more would be treated as cars rather than goods vehicles for both capital allowances and benefit-in-kind purposes. Surprisingly, this decision has been reversed and ... read more

29-02-2024

Companies House filing fees increase

Companies House has announced that some of their fees will be changing from 1 May 2024. The last change in fees was April 2016. The fees have been calculated on a ‘cost recovery’ basis meaning that the fees are calculated based on what it costs to provide the services in question. Companies House state that they do not make a profit on their fees. As The Economic Crime and Corporate ... read more

29-02-2024

Contractors and CIS

The Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) is a set of special rules for tax and National Insurance for those working in the construction industry. Businesses in the construction industry are known as 'contractors' and 'subcontractors' and should be aware of the tax implications of the scheme. Under the scheme, contractors are required to deduct money from a subcontractor’s payments and pass it to ... read more

29-02-2024

Advise HMRC if company is dormant

If a company has stopped trading and has no other income, then the company is usually classed as dormant for Corporation Tax purposes. A company is usually dormant for Corporation Tax if it: has stopped trading and has no other income, for example investments; is a new limited company that hasn’t started trading; is an unincorporated association or club owing less than £100 Corporation Tax; ... read more

29-02-2024

Appeals against tax penalties

It is not unusual for taxpayers to find themselves in a position where they disagree with a tax decision issued by HMRC. There are a number of different options open to taxpayers seeking to use the review and appeals process. Note, that there is a separate procedure to be followed by taxpayers that make a complaint about HMRC for issues such as unreasonable delays, mistakes and poor treatment by ... read more

29-02-2024

Holiday Lets averaging election

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

28-02-2024

Crack down on ‘fire and rehire’ practices

The Government has announced action to tackle the use of controversial 'fire and rehire' practices. In a press release issued 19 February 2024 they said: “Action against unscrupulous employers to tackle the use of controversial ‘fire and rehire’ practices will be rolled out by the Government today [19 February]. Dismissal and re-engagement, also known as ‘fire and rehire’, refers to when ... read more

28-02-2024

A new champion for small businesses appointed

An experienced entrepreneur has taken up a key role to promote the needs of small businesses to government and ensure suppliers seize the benefits of the Procurement Act. Shirley Cooper OBE, former chair and president of the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply, met Parliamentary Secretary Alex Burghart for the first time as Crown Representative for small businesses earlier this month. ... read more

22-02-2024

Beware fake tax rebate offers

HMRC continues to warn of the ever-present problem of fraudulent phishing emails, suspicious phone calls and texts. These unwanted emails, phone calls and texts are being sent from around the world as HMRC and other agencies continue to combat the problem. These messages aim to obtain taxpayers personal and or financial information such as passwords, credit card or bank account details. The ... read more

22-02-2024

Cost of living final payment 2023-24

The Cost of Living support package has been designed to help over 8 million households in receipt of means tested benefits. The details of Cost of Living Payments due in the 2023-24 tax year were published in 2023 and have recently been updated with details of the final payment. Eligible recipients will receive up to 3 Cost of Living Payments of £301, £300 and £299 during the course of the ... read more

22-02-2024

Are you self-employed?

Self-employed taxpayers should notify HMRC as soon as practicable when they begin working for themselves. HMRC must be officially notified by 5 October following the end of the tax year so that a self-assessment return can be issued on time and to avoid any unnecessary penalties. HMRC’s guidance says that you are probably self-employed if you: run your business for yourself and take ... read more

22-02-2024

Types of limited companies

A limited company is a company ‘limited by shares’ or ‘limited by guarantee’. Limited by shares This is the most common limited company structure. A limited by shares company is a separate legal entity owned by its shareholders and managed by its directors. In smaller limited companies, shareholders and directors are the same persons. Directors are employed by their company; they are not ... read more

22-02-2024

Entitlement to Business asset disposal relief

Business Asset Disposal Relief (BADR) 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 sellers can benefit from a 10% tax charge on exit from their business if BADR is available. When the relief is available Capital Gains Tax (CGT) of 10% is payable in place of the standard rate. There are a number ... read more

22-02-2024

Letting part of your home

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

20-02-2024

Top-line, bottom-line?

Most small business owners are happy, from a financial point of view, if sales are in line with expectations. And there are obvious grounds for this conclusion, after all, if sales dry up there are no funds feeding into cashflow. Unfortunately, top-line sales are just one aspect of a business that measure bottom-line profitability. To keep an eye on profitability traders must also monitor costs, ... read more

20-02-2024

Importing or exporting for the first time?

If you are considering selling or buying to or from companies based outside the UK, you may well be overawed by the plethora of regulation you are required to be familiar. As a first step, you could make use of the GOV.UK website and access HMRC’s “digital assistant”. You could use this to find out about: getting an EORI number importing your personal belongings looking up ... read more

15-02-2024

A reminder that NLW and NMW rates are increasing

A reminder for our readers that the National Living Wage (NLW) and the National Minimum Wage (NMW) rates will increase with effect from 1 April 2024. The increase will see the NLW rate increased to £11.44 per hour, an increase of over £1 over the current rate of £10.42. This means the annual earnings of a full-time worker on the NLW will see an increase of up to £1,800 next year. It was also ... read more

15-02-2024

Checking Furnished Holiday Let property occupancy

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

15-02-2024

Eligibility for the VAT Flat Rate Scheme

The VAT Flat Rate scheme is open to VAT registered businesses that expect their taxable turnover in the next 12 months to be no more than £150,000, excluding VAT. The annual taxable turnover limit is the total of everything that a business sells during the year that is not VAT exempt. Under the scheme rules, businesses pay VAT as a fixed percentage of their VAT inclusive turnover. The actual ... read more

15-02-2024

Tax on inherited private pensions

Private pensions can be an efficient way to pass on wealth, but it is important to consider what, if any, tax will be payable on a private pension you inherit. The person who died will usually have nominated you by telling their pension provider that you should inherit any monies left in their pension pot. If the nominated person can’t be found or has since died, the pension provider may make ... read more

15-02-2024

What is Class 1A NIC?

Class 1A NICs are paid by employers in respect of most benefits in kind provided to employees such as a company car. Class 1A NICs are also due on charge on termination awards above a £30,000 threshold that have not already been subjected to Class 1 NICs deductions. There’s no employee contribution payable for Class 1A NICs. Class 1A NICs are due in respect of most benefits provided ... read more

15-02-2024

Autumn Finance Bill 2023 update

The government published the Autumn Finance Bill 2023 on 29 November 2023. The Bill is officially known as Finance Bill 2023-24. The Bill contains the legislation for many of the tax measures announced in the recent Autumn Statement. The Bill has now completed its passage through the House of Commons and the 1st reading at the House of Lords. This stage signals the start of the Bill's journey ... read more

14-02-2024

The Valuation Office Agency tackles holiday lets

The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) is writing to some owners of self-catering holiday lets that are assessed for business rates. They are doing this because they need further information about the income and expenditure of these properties. Last year, the VOA wrote to most self-catering holiday let owners in England and Wales to ask them to provide letting information about their property. This ... read more

14-02-2024

Full-time and part-time contracts

As an employer, the tax and employment responsibilities you have for your staff will depend on the type of contract you give them and their employment status. Contract types include: full-time and part-time contracts fixed-term contracts agency staff freelancers, consultants, contractors zero-hours contracts There are also special rules for employing family members, young people and ... read more

09-02-2024

Tax Diary March/April 2024

1 March 2024 - Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 31 May 2023. 2 March 2024 - Self-Assessment tax for 2022-23 paid after this date will incur a 5% surcharge unless liabilities are cleared by 1 April 2024, or an agreement has been reached with HMRC under their time to pay facility by the same date. 19 March 2024 - PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 March 2024 (If you ... read more

08-02-2024

Alcohol duty freeze takes effect

As part of the Autumn Statement measures the Chancellor announced that the duty rates on beer, cider, wine and spirits would be frozen at the current rates until 1 August 2024. This change took effect from 1 February 2024 and will last for 6 months. The alcohol duty freeze will mean that more than 38,000 pubs will benefit. Not increasing alcohol duty in line with inflation will create an ... read more

08-02-2024

Record number of taxpayers file on time

HMRC has confirmed that more than 11.5 million people submitted their 2022-23 self-assessment tax returns by the 31 January deadline. This included over 778,000 taxpayers who left their filing until the final day and almost 33,000 that filed in the last hour (between 23:00 and 23:59) before the deadline! Whilst this was the highest ever number of filings, there are still an estimated 600,000 ... read more

08-02-2024

Reporting employee changes to HMRC

There are rules that businesses must follow when they are reporting employee changes. These changes must be sent to HMRC using a Full Payment Submission (FPS). The FPS is a submission that is required every time you pay your employees and must be submitted on or before the usual date you pay your employees. The information provided on an FPS helps HMRC ensure that they have the up-to-date ... read more

08-02-2024

Landlords - claiming maintenance and repairs costs

Landlords are able to claim for allowable expenses as a deduction from their rental income when calculating taxable rental profits to declare to HMRC. The expenses must relate wholly and exclusively for the purposes of renting out the property. There is also a range of other types of expenses that can be claimed as a deduction when paid for by the landlord. This includes general maintenance and ... read more

08-02-2024

Should you pay tax on selling goods online?

HMRC has published new guidance for taxpayers that regularly sell goods or services through an online marketplace. The guidance makes it clear that this activity could be treated as a ‘trade’ for UK tax purposes. If this is the case taxpayers may need to pay tax on income they earn from buying and selling goods as a trade or business using online marketplaces such as eBay. If taxpayers are just ... read more

08-02-2024

Using your own vehicles for work-related journeys

If you are an employee and use your own money to buy things you need for your job you can sometimes claim tax relief for the associated costs. Usually, it is only possible to claim tax relief for the cost of items used solely for your work. You may also be able to claim tax relief for using your own vehicle, be it a car, van, motorcycle or bike. As a general rule, there is no tax relief for ... read more

06-02-2024

Government promotes electric vehicles

The government department active in the promotion of electric vehicles has published guidance regarding the costs, charging issues and infrastructure. We have extracted a few comments and reproduced them in this post. Buying an electric vehicle While a new electric vehicle (EV) costs more to buy up front, today most drivers in the UK (around 80%) will buy their cars on the used market. Industry ... read more

06-02-2024

Does your business offer customs services?

If your business does offer customs services, did you know that HMRC could offer you a free listing on their published lists. HMRC do not vet, approve or recommend individual firms. Information is simply provided to HMRC by customs agents and fast parcel operators and listed as presented. However, many businesses that need the services of an agent to manage their customs requirements, will ... read more

01-02-2024

Time to Pay your tax

Businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC’s Time to Pay service. Any tax, duty, penalties or surcharges that you cannot afford to pay can be included. An online payment plan for self-assessment tax bills can be used to set up instalment arrangements for paying tax ... read more

01-02-2024

Penalties if you missed the filing deadline

Have you missed the 31 January 2024 filing deadline for your 2022-23 self-assessment return? If you have missed the filing deadline, then you will be charged a £100 fixed penalty if your return is up to 3 months late, regardless of whether you owed tax or not. If you do not file before 1 May 2024 then you will face additional daily penalties of £10 per day, up to a maximum of £900 unless you have ... read more

01-02-2024

File early to have self-assessment tax coded out

The coding out threshold may entitle you to have tax underpayments collected via your tax code when you are in employment or in receipt of a company pension. Instead of paying off debts in a lump sum, money is collected in equal monthly instalments over the tax year. If you want to benefit from this opportunity to pay tax due on 31 January through your tax code, then you need to file early. The ... read more

01-02-2024

Joining or leaving the VAT Cash Accounting Scheme

The VAT Cash Accounting Scheme can offer useful benefits to small businesses. Under standard VAT accounting, VAT is payable on sales whether or not the customer has paid and can lead to claims for Bad Debt Relief. By using the VAT Cash Accounting Scheme no VAT needs to be paid over to HMRC until the customer has paid for his goods / services. Using the scheme, if the customer does not pay, then ... read more

01-02-2024

Capital sums derived from assets

HMRC’s guidance is clear that where a capital sum is derived from an asset, the relevant legislation treats the owner as having made a disposal for capital gains purposes. The legislation contained in s22 TCGA92 states that there is: “…..a disposal of assets by their owner where any capital sum is derived from assets notwithstanding that no asset is acquired by the person paying the ... read more

01-02-2024

Do you need to tell HMRC about additional income?

There is an online tool that allows taxpayers to check if they need to notify HMRC about additional income. The online tool can be found at www.gov.uk/check-additional-income-tax. This could include money earned from sources such as: selling things, for example at car boot sales or auctions, or online; doing casual jobs such as gardening, food delivery or babysitting; charging other people ... read more

29-01-2024

Changes at Companies House

Companies House have issued an update on their first implementation of changes brought about by The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act. We have copied in the relevant comments made in a recent blog post. Companies House are aiming to introduce the first set of changes on 4 March 2024. The introduction of these changes needs secondary legislation and so this date is still dependent on ... read more

29-01-2024

Does your business have a March year end date?

Leaving aside tax planning issues all businesses should be considering business planning opportunities if they presently have an accounting year end date of 31 March 2024. For example: Do directors need to review year end bonuses or final dividends? Have capital expenditure budgets been considered? Should large investments in acquisition of new assets be completed before or after 31 March? ... read more

25-01-2024

Correcting payroll mistakes

Employers generally use payroll software or other payroll services to record employees pay, deductions and National Insurance contributions on or before each payday. They also need to consider other deductions such as pension contributions and student loan payments. These payments are reported to HMRC in real time using a Full Payment Submission (FPS). This submission contains all relevant ... read more

25-01-2024

Reporting company car changes

There is a requirement to notify HMRC if you make any company cars available for private use by company directors or employees. The definition of ‘Private use’ includes employees’ journeys between home and work unless they are travelling to a temporary place of work. HMRC’s guidance states that you need to send a P46 (Car) form to HMRC if you: provide company cars to your employees stop ... read more

25-01-2024

Do you need to register for self-assessment?

There are a number of reasons why you might need to complete a self-assessment tax return. This includes if you are self-employed, a company director, have an annual income over £150,000 and / or have income from savings, investment or property. The £100,000 self-assessment threshold changed for taxpayers taxed through PAYE only. The limit increased from £100,000 to £150,000 with effect from 6 ... read more

25-01-2024

Assets made available to an employee

Assets such as computers, televisions and bicycles that are made available to employees can create certain tax, National Insurance and reporting obligations. There is no requirement to report anything to HMRC if the asset is office equipment only used for business use. Assets that are made available as part of a salary sacrifice arrangement will usually need to be reported to HMRC. If the assets ... read more

25-01-2024

VAT – option to tax property

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 as subject to VAT can have many benefits. ... read more

25-01-2024

Tax and working from home

Employees who are working from home may be able to claim tax relief for bills they pay that are work related. Employers may reimburse employees for the additional household expenses incurred through regularly working at home. The relief covers expenses such as business telephone calls or additional heating and lighting costs. Expenses that cover both private and business use (such as broadband) ... read more

22-01-2024

Government launches new WhatsApp channel

The Government has launched a new account on WhatsApp Channels, allowing members of the public to subscribe to receive important updates to their phones. As a trusted, verified account the UK Government channel will focus on reiterating important information which is relevant directly to the public in areas like updating on public services, news updates that affect a large part of the population ... read more

22-01-2024

Government steps to secure UK supply chains

Industry leaders have welcomed the Government’s new Critical Imports and Supply Chain Strategy, safeguarding UK supplies of critical goods such as medicines, minerals and semiconductors. In a press release issued 17 January 2024, The Department for Business and Trade said: “More than 100 top UK firms, including pharmaceutical and manufacturing leaders and business representative bodies ... read more

18-01-2024

Bed and breakfast share sales

The term bed and breakfasting (sale and repurchase) of shares refers to transactions where shares are sold and bought back the next morning. This used to have Capital Gains Tax (CGT) benefits by crystallising a gain or a loss but is no longer tax effective over such a short period. The change to the rule happened in 1998 when new legislation introduced special share matching rules. Under these ... read more

18-01-2024

Full expensing of capital purchases

A reminder to readers that the full expensing 100% first-year capital allowance for qualifying plant and machinery assets came into effect last April. To qualify for full expensing, expenditure must be incurred on the provision of “main rate” plant or machinery. Full expensing is only available to companies subject to Corporation Tax. Plant and machinery that may qualify for full ... read more

18-01-2024

Year end payroll reporting

It is not that long until the current 2023-24 tax year comes to an end and there are a number of year end payroll chores that must be completed. This includes sending a final PAYE submission for the tax year. The last Full Payment Submission (FPS) needs to be submitted no later than the last payday for your employees of the 2023-24 tax year. It is also important that employers remember to provide ... read more

18-01-2024

Reminder to claim the Marriage Allowance

The marriage allowance applies to married couples and those in a civil partnership where a spouse or civil partner does not pay tax or does not pay tax above the basic rate threshold for Income Tax (i.e., one of the couples must currently earn less than the £12,570 personal allowance for 2023-24). The allowance works by permitting the lower earning partner to transfer up to £1,260 of their ... read more

18-01-2024

IHT gifts – 7 year limit

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 7-years after making the gift. If the taxpayer dies within 3-years of making the gift, then the inheritance tax position is as ... read more

18-01-2024

Using the VAT Flat Rate Scheme

The VAT Flat Rate scheme allows businesses to pay VAT as a fixed percentage of their VAT inclusive turnover. The actual percentage used depends on the type of business. The scheme has been designed to simplify the 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 ... read more

16-01-2024

A reminder to protect your business capital

The beginning of a new year is an opportune time to undertake basic business planning. One aspect that needs continuous management is to protect your business capital. The downturn in global trade continues to be affected by the war in Ukraine, the situation in the Middle East and now the disruption to movement of goods in the Red Sea. This is compounded by persistent inflation, high interest ... read more

11-01-2024

Less than one month to tax return filing deadline

A new press release from HMRC has highlighted that 49,317 taxpayers took the time to file their tax returns online over the New Year holiday. It is estimated that over 6.5 million taxpayers have already filed their tax returns for 2022-23. This leaves almost 5.7 million taxpayers that are yet to file. The deadline for submitting a 2022-23 self-assessment tax returns online is 31 January 2024. You ... read more

11-01-2024

VAT on period products scrapped

Before Brexit, the UK was unable to zero rate VAT on women’s sanitary products under EU rules and the items were subject to 5% VAT. Following the end of the transition period the UK was no longer bound by the EU VAT Directive which mandated a minimum 5% rate of VAT on all sanitary products, and the VAT charge, known as the ‘tampon tax’, was abolished with effect from 1 January 2021. The ... read more

11-01-2024

National Insurance and tax after State Pension Age

If you have reached the State Pension age and continue to work, in most cases, you no longer need to pay National Insurance Contributions (NICs). At State Pension age, the requirement to pay Class 1 and Class 2 NICs ceases. However, you will remain liable to pay any NICs due to be paid to you before reaching the State Pension age. If you continue working, you need to provide your employer with ... read more

11-01-2024

Business Asset Disposal Relief

Business Asset Disposal Relief (BADR) is available on the sale of a business, disposal of shares in a trading company or an individual’s interest in a trading partnership. Where this relief is available sellers can benefit from a 10% tax charge on exit from their business. When the relief if available Capital Gains Tax (CGT) of 10% is payable in place of the standard rate. There are a number of ... read more

11-01-2024

Beware higher rate tax on dividends

Readers are reminded that if the dividends they draw from their company, when added to their other income, exceeds the basic rate Income Tax Band, then much higher rates of dividend tax will apply. The tax rates for dividends received (in excess of the current £1,000 dividend tax allowance) are as follows: 8.75% for basic rate taxpayers 33.75% for higher rate taxpayers 39.35% for additional ... read more

11-01-2024

New tax credits for film, TV and game makers

A number of reforms to tax reliefs for the creative sectors came into effect from 1 January 2024. Under the reformed system, a children’s TV production, animated TV production or film with £1 million of qualifying expenditure will receive an additional £42,500 in relief. A high-end TV production, film production or video game will receive £5,000 in relief. The uplift in relief for animation has ... read more

11-01-2024

Tax Diary February/March 2024

1 February 2024 - Due date for Corporation Tax payable for the year ended 30 April 2023. 19 February 2024 - PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 February 2024. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 February 2024) 19 February 2024 - Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly return for the month ended 5 February 2024. 19 February 2024 - CIS tax deducted for the month ended ... read more

09-01-2024

Setting up a payment plan with HMRC

The 31st of January is a key date for those of us who are registered for self-assessment. There are three deadlines: The closing date to file your 2022-23 tax return without incurring an initial £100 late filing penalty. The date by which any balance of tax, NIC, or student loan payback needs to be made for 2022-23. Due date for making the first payment on account for 2023-24. What to do if ... read more

09-01-2024

Using your vehicle for work related journeys

If you use your car or other vehicle to undertake business journeys on behalf of your employer, and your employer does not: Fully reimburse you for the business use, or Reimburses you but at a lower rate per mile than the approved HMRC rates (see below). Then you may be able to make a claim to HMRC and reduce your overall tax bill. HMRC’s notes on this topic are reproduced below: Vehicles ... read more

04-01-2024

Do you need to register for VAT in 2024?

The taxable turnover threshold that determines whether businesses should be registered for VAT is currently £85,000. The taxable turnover threshold that determines whether businesses can apply for deregistration is £83,000. Businesses are required to register for VAT if they meet either of the following two conditions: at the end of any month, the value of the taxable supplies made in the past ... read more

04-01-2024

Utilise your 2023-24 IHT reliefs

We wanted to remind you of the Inheritance Tax (IHT) implications of making cash gifts during the current 2023-24 tax year that will end on 5 April 2024. You can give away up to £3,000 worth of gifts each tax year. This is known as your annual exemption. Any unused part of the annual exemption can be carried forward, but only for one year. So, if you did not make any cash gifts in 2022-23, you ... read more

04-01-2024

What happens if your income exceeds £100K 2023-24?

If you earn over £100,000 in any tax year your personal allowance is gradually reduced by £1 for every £2 of adjusted net income over £100,000 irrespective of age. This means that any taxable receipt that takes your income over £100,000 will result in a reduction in personal tax allowances. Accordingly, your personal Income Tax allowance would be reduced to zero if your adjusted net income is ... read more

04-01-2024

Spring Budget 2024

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt has confirmed that the next UK Budget will take place on Wednesday, 6 March 2024. This will be the Chancellor’s second Budget and will include the government's tax and spending plans as well as new growth and borrowing forecasts. Various pundits are suggesting that selecting a Budget date in early March leaves the possibility of a general election as ... read more

04-01-2024

Flat Rate Scheme annual review

If using the VAT Flat Rate scheme, businesses pay VAT as a fixed percentage of their VAT inclusive turnover. The actual percentage used depends on the type of business. The scheme has been designed to simplify the way a business accounts for VAT and reduce the administration costs of complying with the VAT legislation. The scheme is open to businesses that expect their annual taxable turnover in ... read more

04-01-2024

Scottish Budget 2024-25

Scotland’s Deputy First Minister and Finance Secretary, Shona Robison delivered her first Budget statement to the Scottish parliament on 19 December 2023. The Finance Secretary said that the ‘Managing the cumulative impacts of the UK Government’s disastrous Autumn Statement, high inflation and ongoing economic damage from Brexit means we have had to make difficult choices and prioritise support ... read more

04-01-2024

Welsh Budget 2024-25

The Welsh draft Budget for 2024-25 was published on 19 December 2023. The Budget sets out the Welsh government’s revenue and capital spending proposals, including detailed portfolio spending plans. There have been no changes announced to the Welsh rates of Income Tax (WRIT) which will continue to be set at 10p for 2024-25. This means that the rates of Income Tax paid by Welsh taxpayers will ... read more

02-01-2024

Claiming relief for work related expenses

If your employer has reimbursed you in full for any work related expenses you will obviously be unable to make a claim for tax relief for those same expenses. But if you have only received part of your expenses or none at all, then you can make a claim to HMRC. In a recent press release on this topic HMRC said: “Every penny counts at Christmas and employees eligible to claim a tax refund ... read more

02-01-2024

Be wary of rogue business rates agents

The government Valuation Office Agency have issued the following warning to business owners who may have received unprompted approaches by an agent offering to negotiate a reduction in their business rates bill. The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) is urging businesses to protect themselves from rogue business rates agents. New rateable values for business properties came into effect in April 2023. ... read more

20-12-2023

Helpline delays at HMRC

HMRC’s self-assessment (SA) helpline will focus on priority queries from 11 December until 31 January. Whilst the helpline is focusing on priority calls in the run-up to the filing deadline, other enquiries will be directed to HMRC’s online digital services, including online guidance, digital assistant and webchat. This move has been in place over the busy period running up to the ... read more

20-12-2023

Obtaining the HMRC mobile app

HMRC’s free tax app is available to download from the App Store for iOS and from the Google Play Store for Android. The latest version of the app includes some updated functionality to update your name, save your National Insurance number to your digital wallet and to obtain help from HMRC's digital assistant. The APP can be used to see: your tax code and National Insurance number your income ... read more

20-12-2023

HMRC awards £5.5m in grant funding

HMRC’s has awarded twelve voluntary and community sector organisations a share of £5.5 million in funding to help customers with their tax affairs. The £5.5 million funding pot applies over a three-year programme from April 2024 to March 2027 (£1.835 million per year), to help fund Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) organisations. These organisations can then in turn help taxpayers who need ... read more

20-12-2023

Employing staff for first time

There are a multitude of rules and regulations that you must be aware of when you start employing staff for the first time. HMRC’s guidance sets out some important issues to be aware of when becoming an employer. Decide how much to pay someone - you must pay your employee at least the National Minimum Wage. Check if someone has the legal right to work in the UK. You may have to do other ... read more

20-12-2023

Tax consequences of loans to employees

An employee can obtain a benefit when provided with an employment-related cheap or interest-free loan. The benefit is the difference between the interest the employee pays, if any, and the commercial rate the employee would have to pay on a loan obtained elsewhere. These types of loans are referred to as beneficial loans. There are a number of scenarios where beneficial loans are exempt and ... read more

20-12-2023

Tax and duties on goods sent from abroad

There are special rules to ensure that goods sent from abroad are taxed appropriately and to ensure that UK businesses supplying goods in the UK - for example by having to compete with VAT free imports - are not disadvantaged. This includes goods that are new or used and purchased online, purchased abroad and shipped to the UK and goods received as gifts. This means that to receive your goods you ... read more

19-12-2023

Season’s greetings and a prosperous 2024

As Christmas arrives the week before the calendar year-end, many of us will enjoy a week’s shut down and have time to relax and enjoy the break with our family and friends. The break also gives us time to consider our plans, personal and business, for the coming year. Readers of this post who have not seriously considered their finances would be well advised to dust off their laptops and ... read more

19-12-2023

Investment v costs

There are two ways to consider the effects or benefits of business and personal expenditure. The payment of rates or utility costs are an essential part of our daily expenditure, but it would be difficult to view them as an investment. Whereas the cost of building a new online sales platform for your business may open up the prospect to win additional sales for your business or additional income ... read more

14-12-2023

Help to pay your tax this month

If you are having trouble paying your tax on time you may be eligible to receive support from HMRC by applying for an instalment payment plan. An online payment plan for self-assessment tax bills can be used to set up arrangements for paying tax liabilities of up to £30,000. The large majority of taxpayers, who are due to make payments on 31 January 2024, could qualify to implement a Time to Pay ... read more

14-12-2023

Tax exempt accommodation costs

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

14-12-2023

Rent-a-room relief

The rent-a-room scheme is a set of special rules designed to help homeowners who rent-a-room in their home. If you are using this scheme, you should ensure that rents received from lodgers during the current tax year do no exceed £7,500. The tax exemption is automatic if you earn less than £7,500 and there are no specific tax reporting requirements. If required, homeowners can opt out of the ... read more

14-12-2023

Employees on full-time and part-time contracts

When a new employee is added to the payroll it is the employer's responsibility to ensure they meet the employee's rights and deduct the correct amount of tax from their salary. HMRC’s guidance lists the following requirements that an employer must meet for employees on full-time and part-time contracts: a written statement of employment or contract; the statutory minimum level of paid ... read more

14-12-2023

Changes to NIC from January 2024

A reminder that the main rate of Class 1 Employee National Insurance contributions (NIC) will be reduced from 6 January 2024. This change will see Class 1 NICs reduced by 2% from 12% to 10% in a change set to benefit some 27 million employees. This reduction will only apply to annual earnings between £12,570 and £50,270, meaning that the maximum saving is £754 a year. The average worker bringing ... read more

14-12-2023

CGT exempt allowance halving from April 2024

The annual exempt amount applicable to Capital Gains Tax (CGT) is to be halved from April 2024. This means that the exempt amount will be reduced from £6,000 currently, to £3,000 from April 2024. The exempt amount was as high as £12,300 2022-23. Any taxpayers with small gains should consider the benefits of crystalising these gains before 6 April 2024 to fully use the £6,000 allowance for ... read more

14-12-2023

Tax Diary January/February 2024

1 January 2024 - Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 31 March 2023. 19 January 2024 - PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 January 2024. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 January 2024). 19 January 2024 - Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly return for the month ended 5 January 2024. 19 January 2024 - CIS tax deducted for the month ended 5 January ... read more

11-12-2023

Planning changes to boost solar rollout

Homes and businesses will be able to install rooftop solar panels more easily, under new rules that were recently announced. Changes to permitted development rights rules will mean more homeowners and businesses will be able to install solar panels on their roofs without going through the planning system. Currently those who have to go through the planning system are having to wait over eight ... read more

11-12-2023

What data do organisations hold about you?

If you are concerned that an organisation is holding personal information you have a legal right to ask for a copy of the information that they hold about you. If it is a public organisation, write to their Data Protection Officer (DPO). Their details should be on the organisation’s privacy notice. If the organisation has no DPO, or you do not know who to write to, address your letter to the ... read more

07-12-2023

Pensioner Cost of Living Payment

The Cost of Living support package has been designed to help over 8 million households in receipt of mean tested benefits. The details for Cost of Living Payments due in the 2023-24 tax year were published earlier this year and have recently been updated. Eligible recipients will receive up to three Cost of Living Payments of £301, £300 and £299 during the course of the current tax-year. This ... read more

07-12-2023

Pension Credit deadline

Pension Credits can provide extra income to those over State Pension age and on a low income. The credits were first introduced in 2003 to keep retired people out of poverty. Pension Credit can top up: your weekly income to £201.05 if you are single; or your joint weekly income to £306.85 if you have a partner. If your income is higher, you might still be eligible for Pension Credit if you ... read more

07-12-2023

Help to Save scheme

The Help to Save scheme is intended to help those on low incomes to boost their savings. Eligible users of the scheme can save between £1 and £50 every calendar month and receive a 50% government bonus. The 50% bonus is payable at the end of the second and fourth years and is based on how much account holders have saved. The bonus is paid directly into the account holder’s chosen bank ... read more

07-12-2023

More time to file company accounts

The normal filing deadline for filing the accounts of a private limited company is nine months after the company’s financial year end. Known as the accounting reference date. For example, many companies have a year-end date of 31 March and are therefore required to file their accounts by the following 31 December. For public companies, the time limit is 6 months from the year end. There are ... read more

07-12-2023

Autumn Finance Bill 2023 published

The government published the Autumn Finance Bill 2023 on 29 November 2023. The Bill is officially known as Finance Bill 2023-24. The Bill contains the legislation for many of the tax measures announced in the recent Autumn Statement. The Autumn Finance Bill will likely be followed by the main Spring Finance Bill 2024 which will be published after the Spring Budget and will cover any remaining tax ... read more

07-12-2023

Working from home tax relief

Employees who working from home may be able to claim tax relief for some of the bills they pay that are related to your work. Employers may reimburse employees for the additional household expenses incurred if regularly working at home. The relief covers expenses such as business telephone calls or heating and lighting costs for the home-based workspace. Expenses that are for covering private and ... read more

05-12-2023

Company accounts filing – don’t be late…

It’s the directors’ responsibility to file their company’s accounts, and make sure they’re filed on time. It’s important to understand your role and how late filing could affect your company. Missing your filing deadline could affect your credit score or access to finance. It can affect how others view your company and whether they want to do business with you. There are also financial penalties ... read more