News

The latest breaking news in the industry!

20-08-2019

National Insurance if you work abroad

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

20-08-2019

Tax if you work abroad

If you are leaving the UK to work abroad for at least one year (or permanently), there is a requirement to notify HMRC. This is done using a P85 form which should be completed and submitted to HMRC. You will also be required to submit a Self-Assessment tax return if you usually complete one, for example, if you are self-employed. The completion of the P85 form will also ensure you can claim any ... read more

20-08-2019

When can you increase your rental income?

The ability to increase the rent on private rentals is driven by the tenancy agreement. This is an agreement between the landlord and the tenant. The agreement can be written down or oral. The tenancy can either be: fixed-term (running for a set period of time) periodic (running on a week-by-week or month-by-month basis) The type of tenancy agreement dictates when you can consider ... read more

20-08-2019

PAYE late filing penalties

There are late filing penalties in place for employers that don’t report payroll information on time. The size of the late filing penalties depends on the number of employees within the PAYE scheme. Number of employees Monthly filing penalty per PAYE scheme 1 to 9 £100 10 to 49 £200 50 to 249 £300 250 or ... read more

20-08-2019

When are scholarships taxable as benefits?

The holder of a scholarship is exempt from a charge to Income Tax on income from a scholarship when receiving full-time education at a university, college, school or other educational establishment. Please note, that the provision of a scholarship to a member of the family or household (usually a son or daughter) of a director or employee by reason of the employment of that director or employee, ... read more

20-08-2019

Taxation of miscellaneous income

There are special rules, known as the miscellaneous income sweep-up provisions, that seek to charge tax on certain income. This unusual provision, which is broad in scope, catches certain income that would not otherwise be charged under specific provisions to Income Tax or Corporation Tax. Amongst the types of income covered are: payment for a service where it was agreed that the service would ... read more

20-08-2019

The meaning of goodwill

Goodwill is a term we hear about often, but interestingly, is rarely mentioned in legislation. In fact, the term 'goodwill' is not defined for the purposes of the Capital Gains legislation in TCGA 1992. Most definitions of goodwill are derived from case law. You could describe goodwill as the 'extra' value attributed to a business over and above a valuation of its tangible ... read more

14-08-2019

What you can do with your pension pot

Pension Wise is a free government service that was launched in 2015 to help provide individuals with general pension advice. However, the service does not answer specific questions relating to your pension. The main advice the service provides is generic and covers what you can do with your pension pot, the different pension types, how they work and what’s tax-free and what’s not. The ... read more

14-08-2019

When you can claim back VAT on purchase of a car

There are complex VAT rules that determine the amount of VAT that can be recovered when purchasing a new car. The usual rule is that when you purchase a car for your business then no VAT can be reclaimed. The main exception to this rule is when 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 ... read more

14-08-2019

Child Benefit charge if income exceeds £50,000

The High Income Child Benefit charge (HICBC) applies to a parent whose income exceeds £50,000 in a tax year and who is in receipt of Child Benefit. If both parents have an income that exceeds £50,000, the charge will apply to the highest income earner. The charge claws back the financial benefit of receiving Child Benefit either by reducing or removing the benefit entirely. If you or ... read more

14-08-2019

VAT and insurance claims

Insurance transactions are generally VAT exempt. However, there are many issues that can arise concerning the VAT liability of certain insurance transactions. One of these issues concerns the VAT treatment of insurance claims. Insurers are unable to recover VAT incurred in obtaining replacement goods or having repairs carried out for a policy holder. This supply is treated as being made to the ... read more

14-08-2019

When are Class 1A NICs due

Class 1A NICs are paid by employers in respect of most benefits in kind provided to employees, for example, the use of a company car. There are no Class 1A employee contributions payable. Class 1A NICs are due in respect of most benefits provided to: directors and certain other persons in controlling positions, employees, members of the family or households of the above. Where a benefit is ... read more

14-08-2019

How do you calculate adjusted net income?

To calculate adjusted net income, you will need to look at a taxpayer’s total taxable income, before personal allowances, and then deduct any trading losses, gift aid donations, gross pension contributions and pension contributions where the pension provider has already provided tax relief at the basic rate. Calculating the adjusted net income amount is necessary if any of the following ... read more

08-08-2019

Pregnant women and new parents to get enhanced redundancy protections

The government has published its response to its January 2019 consultation on “pregnancy and maternity discrimination: extending redundancy protection for women and new parents” and has confirmed that it will now take action to address such discrimination. As the law currently stands, employees who are placed at risk of redundancy when they are absent on maternity, adoption or shared ... read more

07-08-2019

Lowest paid to be eligible for sick pay

A new consultation launched jointly by the Department for Work and Pensions and the Department of Health and Social Care, is seeking views on different ways in which both the Government and employers can take action to reduce ill health-related job loss. The consultation is examining a number of specific proposals including: Reforming Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) so that it is better enforced, ... read more

07-08-2019

Visiting EU after 31 October 2019

Although we have a new Prime Minister, it would seem that so far nothing has changed to bring us any closer to a Brexit resolution. In fact, it appears that a no-deal Brexit is becoming more likely as we approach the 31 October deadline. HMRC has published guidance on visiting the EU after 31 October 2019. They have said that there will be significant changes to the rules for EU travel if there ... read more

07-08-2019

Last chance to join the Help to Buy ISA scheme

The Help to Buy ISA scheme will close to new savers after 30 November 2019. This leaves less than 4 months to open an account before the product is due to be withdrawn by the Government. Once opened, account holders can continue to save in their ISA account until 30 November 2029 when accounts will close to additional contributions. Bonuses can be claimed until 1 December 2030. The scheme allows ... read more

07-08-2019

Clients exporting to EU if a no-deal Brexit

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, any UK business that exports goods to the EU will be responsible for making customs declarations (as is the case for businesses currently exporting goods outside the EU). If you have clients that trade with the EU, you should check that they have a UK Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number. If they have not applied, it is important ... read more

07-08-2019

Working after State Pension age

There are many taxpayers that have reached the State Pension age and continue to work. It should be noted that the requirement to pay any employee or self-employed National Insurance Contributions (NICs) ceases once a taxpayer reaches the State Pension age, subject to the following clarification. Taxpayers remain liable to pay any NICs that were due to be paid on earnings before they reached the ... read more

07-08-2019

Inheritance Tax and domicile

Domicile is a general legal concept which in basic terms is taken to mean the country where you permanently belong. However, determining domicile status can be complex. HMRC guidance states that domicile cannot be defined precisely, but the concept rests on various basic principles. Although domicile can change, there is generally a presumption in favour of the continuation of an existing ... read more

31-07-2019

NIC Act 2019 receives Royal Assent

The National Insurance Contributions (Termination Awards and Sporting Testimonials) Bill has received Royal Assent, to become the National Insurance Contributions (Termination Awards and Sporting Testimonials) Act 2019. The Act aligns the employer NICs treatment of termination awards in excess of £30,000, received in connection with the termination of an individual’s employment, with ... read more

30-07-2019

Duty free limits if you are travelling abroad

Here is a reminder for our readers of their duty and tax free allowances if travelling abroad this summer. Travelling to an EU country Where tobacco or alcohol is brought in from another EU country, no duties or tax will be payable as long as you can demonstrate that the goods are for your own use, and that you paid the relevant taxes and duties on the purchase. However, HMRC provide the ... read more

30-07-2019

Payments on account system glitch

The due date for making your second payment on account for 2018-19, was the 31 July 2019. The amount that was due for payment is usually the same as that for your first payment on account made on or before 31 January 2019. If you are late making a payment on account, you will likely be required to pay interest and penalties. Issues with HMRC’s handling of payments on account have been ... read more

30-07-2019

VAT for business if there’s a no-deal exit from the EU

With the new Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, appearing to take an increasingly hard line the chances of Britain leaving the EU without any working agreement, known as a 'no deal' Brexit, are looking increasing likely and certainly cannot be ignored. If the UK leaves the EU on 31 October 2019, without a deal, there would be immediate changes to the procedures that apply to businesses ... read more

30-07-2019

Keeping records if self-employed

If you are self-employed as a sole trader or as a partner in a business partnership, then you must keep suitable business records as well as separate personal records of your income. For tax purposes, the business records must be held for at least 5 years from the 31 January submission deadline for the relevant tax year. For example, for the 2017-18 tax year where online filing was due by 31 ... read more

30-07-2019

How to claim a personal tax refund

HMRC’s annual reconciliation of PAYE for the tax year 2018-19 is well under way. HMRC use salary and pension information to calculate if you have paid the correct amount of tax. The calculation is usually generated automatically by HMRC’s computer systems on what is known as a P800 form. If you are due a tax refund for 2018-19, you should receive a P800 by the end of September. If you ... read more

30-07-2019

VAT accounting after prices are changed

New rules that make changes to the issuing of credit notes under certain circumstances, will come into effect from 1 September 2019. The changes have been put in place to target certain businesses who seek to create a tax advantage, by making VAT adjustments for reductions in price without refunding their customers. The change will ensure that customers benefit from reductions in the price paid ... read more

30-07-2019

Changes to Structures and Buildings Allowance

The new Structures and Buildings Allowance (SBA), allows for tax relief on qualifying capital expenditure on new non-residential structures and buildings. The relief applies to the qualifying costs of building and renovating commercial structures. The relief was introduced with effect from 29 October 2018 and applies where all contracts for the physical construction works are entered into on or ... read more

30-07-2019

Earlier payment dates for Capital Gains Tax

Currently, the due date for paying any Capital Gains Tax (CGT) owed to HMRC is the 31 January, following the end of the tax year in which a Capital Gain was made. This deadline will change for UK residents from April 2020. Clients should be advised that this change will mean that any CGT due on the sale of a residential property will need to be reported earlier than is current the case. In ... read more

30-07-2019

Changes at HM Treasury

Within hours of entering 10 Downing Street for the first time as Prime Minister, Boris Johnson had filled most of the senior cabinet roles by undertaking a major overhaul of cabinet members. After three years in the job, the previous Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond resigned his position to the outgoing Prime Minister, Theresa May, rather than face the sack. He has been replaced in the ... read more

25-07-2019

The Pensions Regulator launches new re-enrolment tool

Every three years, employers must put certain eligible workers who have left their automatic enrolment workplace pension scheme back into it. This is called re-enrolment. Employers must also complete and submit a re-declaration of compliance to tell The Pensions Regulator (TPR) how they have met their re-enrolment duties, even if they do not have any workers to re-enrol. This re-declaration ... read more

25-07-2019

Tax Diary August/September 2019

1 August 2019 - Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 31 October 2018. 19 August 2019 - PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 August 2019. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 August 2019) 19 August 2019 - Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly return for the month ended 5 August 2019. 19 August 2019 - CIS tax deducted for the month ended 5 August 2019 ... read more

22-07-2019

Tax free gifts to spouse or charity

As our readers are most likely aware there is usually no Capital Gains Tax (CGT) due on the transfer of assets between husbands and wives and civil partners. However, there is still a deemed disposal that has taken place for CGT purposes effectively at no gain or loss on the date of the transfer. When the asset ultimately comes to be sold, the gain or loss will be calculated using the date and ... read more

22-07-2019

Employing family, young people and volunteers

When a new employee is added to the payroll it is the employers' responsibility to ensure they meet the employees’ rights and deduct the correct amount of tax from their salary. This includes any employees who are family members. HMRC’s guidance is clear that if you hire family members you must: avoid special treatment in terms of pay, promotion and working conditions make ... read more

22-07-2019

Applying to register a trade mark

The process of registering a trade mark can be very complex, and careful due diligence must be undertaken to decide what exactly is being trade marked and in which jurisdictions. It is possible to make a UK only trade mark application or a European Union wide application. The process for applying in other jurisdictions is based on local rules and would need to be considered on a case by case ... read more

22-07-2019

Treatment of fees for nominee directors

A nominee director is someone who acts as a non-executive director on the board of a company. This person is normally appointed to act on behalf of another person or company and is effectively their representative on the board. For example, a shareholder, creditor or interest group. There can be conflicts of interest that arise for someone in this position. Where a director of Company A is ... read more

22-07-2019

What are zero-hour contracts?

The use of zero-hour contracts has become widespread in many sectors including the food service, retail, healthcare and leisure sectors. For employers, zero-hour contracts offer many advantages, for example, that the employer does not have to guarantee any hours of work and can offer workers changeable working hours at short notice. The workers may or may not be required to accept any work that ... read more

22-07-2019

Who is eligible to use the cash basis?

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. The scheme allows qualifying businesses to use the cash basis when recording income and expenditure. However, some smaller businesses are more suited to using the case basis ... read more

22-07-2019

Research and Development tax reliefs

There are two schemes for claiming relief for R&D expenditure. The schemes are known as the Small or Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) Scheme for smaller companies, and the Research and Development Expenditure Credit (RDEC) scheme for large companies. Large companies can currently claim a 12% RDEC also known as an 'above the line tax credit' for qualifying expenditure. The 12% rate ... read more

22-07-2019

Students working summer jobs

We would like to remind any students that work part time, for example in a summer job, that they are entitled to claim back any tax overpaid. Students (and other temporary workers) are not required to pay any Income Tax if their earnings are below the tax-free personal allowance, currently £12,500. However, employers are required to calculate the amount of tax you need to pay on the basis ... read more

22-07-2019

Holiday entitlement

As the summer holiday season is upon us, we thought that it would be useful to remind employees of their annual holiday entitlement. Almost all full-time workers in the UK are legally entitled to 5.6 weeks' (or 28 days) paid holiday per year. This is known as statutory leave entitlement or annual leave. Legally, employers can include bank holidays as part of statutory leave, although not all ... read more

18-07-2019

ICO issues notices of intention to fine BA and Marriott

Following an extensive investigation, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has announced that it has issued a notice of its intention to fine British Airways (BA) £183.39 million for infringements of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). If imposed, the fine will be a record amount in the UK for breach of data protection laws. The infringements relate to an incident in ... read more

17-07-2019

Reminder to sign up for Making Tax Digital before August

VAT registered businesses with a turnover above the VAT threshold, need to be ready to keep digital records for VAT purposes using Making Tax Digital (MTD). This means that businesses must keep their records digitally (for VAT purposes only) and provide their VAT return information to HMRC through MTD functional compatible software. Many of the 1.2 million businesses affected by the MTD rules, ... read more

17-07-2019

Will you have to repay Child Benefit for 2018-19?

The High Income Child Benefit charge applies to taxpayers whose income exceeds £50,000 in a tax year and who are in receipt of Child Benefit. The charge claws back the financial benefit of receiving Child Benefit either by reducing or removing the benefit entirely. If you or your partner have exceeded the £50,000 threshold for the first time during the last tax year (2018-19) then you ... read more

17-07-2019

Be wary of 60% Income Tax charge

For high earning taxpayers the 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 income over £100,000 will result in a reduction in personal tax allowances. Your adjusted net income is your total taxable income before any personal allowances, less certain tax ... read more

17-07-2019

Tax simplification for self-employed

The Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) was established in July 2010 to provide advice to the Chancellor on simplifying the UK tax system. The OTS has recently published a new document setting out the scope of a project looking at simplifying tax reporting and payment arrangements for the self-employed and for landlords of private residential property. The OTS will initially: Aim to secure the ... read more

17-07-2019

Rules for off-payroll working from April 2020

The rules for individuals providing services to the public sector via an intermediary such as a Personal Service Company (PSC) changed from April 2017. The new rules shifted the responsibility for deciding whether the intermediaries’ legislation applies, known as IR35, from the intermediary itself to the public sector receiving the service. In the Autumn Budget 2017 the government announced ... read more

17-07-2019

Corporate Capital Loss Restriction

Under current rules up to 100% of chargeable gains can be set against carried-forward capital losses. For accounting periods ending on or after 1 April 2020, large companies and unincorporated associations who accrue chargeable capital gains will only be able to offset up to 50% of those gains using carried-forward allowable (capital) losses. The measure is subject to anti-avoidance rules that ... read more

17-07-2019

Draft legislation for Finance Bill 2019-20

The Government has published the draft legislation for Finance Bill 2019-20, along with accompanying explanatory notes, tax information and impact notes, responses to consultations and other supporting documents. The Bill will contain the legislation for some of the tax measures that were announced by the Government at Autumn Budget 2018 many of which have since been the subject of further ... read more

17-07-2019

Reminder to renew your tax credit claim

Families and individuals that receive tax credits should ensure that they renew their tax credit claims by 31 July 2019. Claimants who do not renew on-time may have their payments stopped. HMRC has sent tax credits renewal packs to tax credit claimants and is encouraging recipients to renew their tax credits claim online. All renewal packs should have been received by the end of June. A renewal ... read more

10-07-2019

Home to work travel that may be allowed

Whilst there is usually no tax relief for ordinary commuting - home to work - there are a number of exceptions. The term 'ordinary commuting' is defined to mean travel between a permanent workplace and home, or any other place that is not a workplace. Case law has established the principle that travelling between your home and a permanent workplace is not a travel expense related to the ... read more

10-07-2019

Its still possible to claim 100% tax allowance for electric vehicles

First Year Allowances (FYA’s) are available for expenditure on new unused electric vehicles and other cars within the threshold for low CO2 emissions. Businesses can claim FYA of 100% in the year they purchase qualifying low emissions or electrically propelled cars. These measures were put in place to help encourage the use of low emission and zero emission vehicles. The FYA’s for ... read more

10-07-2019

When you can’t reclaim VAT

For most fully taxable businesses, VAT can be reclaimed on goods and services used in the business. This means that businesses must consider where there is any personal or private use of goods or services purchased for the business as the business can only reclaim the business proportion of the VAT. For example, VAT is recoverable on all the costs of mobile phones provided to employees where no ... read more

10-07-2019

Disposal of goodwill – capital or income

The First-Tier Tribunal (FTT), in the case of Villar v Revenue and Customs examined whether the disposal of goodwill was capital or income in nature. The taxpayer in this case was a renowned orthopaedic surgeon specialising in hip arthroscopic procedures. The taxpayer sold his business in return for a payment of £1m, this payment was treated as capital in nature and a claim was made for ... read more

10-07-2019

OpRA’s defined

The Optional Remuneration Arrangements (OpRA) legislation was introduced with effect from 6 April 2017. The legislation counters the tax and NIC advantages of benefits where an employee gives up the right to an amount of earnings in return for a benefit. This includes flexible benefit packages with a cash option, cash allowances and salary sacrifice. The taxable value is now the higher of the ... read more

10-07-2019

Loss buying restrictions

Under qualifying circumstances, Corporation Tax (CT) relief is available where your company makes a trading loss. The trading loss can be used by offsetting the loss against other gains or profits of your business in the same or previous accounting period. The loss can also be set against future qualifying trading income. However, there are restrictions on ‘loss-buying’. This ... read more

10-07-2019

Changes to the Employment Allowance

It was announced as part of the Autumn Budget 2018 measures that access to the Employment Allowance was to be restricted. From 6 April 2020, the £3,000 NIC Employment Allowance will only be available to employers with employer NIC liabilities of under £100,000 in the previous tax year. Connected employers will have their contributions aggregated for this purpose. The draft legislation ... read more

09-07-2019

New guidance on cookies published

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has published new guidance on the use of cookies and similar technologies, as well as an associated blog. The guidance looks at cookies and similar technologies in detail and it is relevant to any organisations operating online services such as websites or mobile apps. It covers: What cookies and similar technologies are What the rules are on ... read more

01-07-2019

New cyber security guidance published

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has published guidance to help small to medium sized organisations prepare their response to, and plan their recovery from, a cyber incident. The “Small Business Guide: Response & Recovery” has been produced by the NCSC in response to questions raised by SMEs following the earlier publication of its “Cyber Security: Small Business ... read more

01-07-2019

Reducing penalties for late disclosure of income

You can use the Digital Disclosure Service (DDS), if you need to make a voluntary disclosure of income or other taxable events that have not previously been reported to HMRC. Other current HMRC campaigns that facilitate disclosure by taxpayers, include the Card Transaction Programme - a disclosure opportunity for businesses that accept card payments and have not paid the right amount of tax due ... read more

01-07-2019

Advising HMRC of changes in your personal details

If your personal details change, you may be required to notify HMRC as this can affect your entitlement to certain tax breaks and or benefits. For example, you need to tell HMRC if: you get married or form a civil partnership you divorce, separate or stop living with your husband, wife or partner You can tell HMRC online if you are paid a salary or pension through PAYE. The sooner you tell ... read more

01-07-2019

Tax payment time again

If you make Self-Assessment payments on account, you will no doubt be aware that the second instalment for 2018-19 is due on 31 July 2019. The amount due for payment is usually the same as the first payment on account made on 31 January 2019. These payments are based on 50% of your previous year’s net Income Tax liability. If your taxable profits have increased there is no requirement to ... read more

01-07-2019

How HMRC measure the profits of different trades

There is a section of HMRC’s manuals that deals specifically with how you can view the rules for measuring profits of specific trades. The list includes over 50 different trades as diverse as actors, athletes, barristers, bookmakers, motor dealers, care providers, doctors and dentists, financial traders, marine pilots, missionaries, pawnbrokers and subcontractors. The index can be accessed ... read more

01-07-2019

HMRC security deposits

The security deposit legislation was extended to both Corporation Tax and Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) deductions from April 2019. The security deposit regime allows HMRC to obtain security from high-risk businesses for the protection of revenue where there is a serious risk that taxes owed will not be paid. HMRC’s security deposit powers previously applied to VAT, PAYE and National ... read more

01-07-2019

House of Commons summer recess

The House of Commons summer recess has been confirmed after parliament voted 223 to 25 in favour of the move. This means that the House will rise on Thursday 25 July and return on Tuesday 3 September. The timing of this five-week break whilst the Brexit issue continues to dominate the headlines has been criticised by many on different sides of the political divide. The next leader of the ... read more

01-07-2019

Tax-Free childcare in the school holidays

As the school holidays fast approach, many parents face having to organise extra school holiday childcare over the summer months. HMRC is reminding parents that the Tax-Free Childcare (TFC) scheme can help if you have children aged 0-11 years old. The TFC scheme helps support working families with their childcare costs and can be used to pay for regulated holiday clubs during the school holidays. ... read more

01-07-2019

Checking business rates relief entitlement

Business rates are a tax on non-domestic premises, including most commercial properties such as shops, offices, pubs, warehouses and factories. The money raised through business rates is used to help fund local services like the police, fire and rescue services. Business rates are generally calculated by multiplying the rateable value of commercial premises by the business rates multiplier before ... read more

01-07-2019

VAT default surcharge appeal dismissed

HMRC imposes a VAT default surcharge on businesses that submit late VAT returns. VAT registered businesses are required by law to submit their return and make sure that payment of the VAT due has cleared to HMRC’s bank account by the due date. The normal deadline for submission of a VAT return and making payment is one calendar month and seven days after the end of the relevant VAT ... read more

27-06-2019

Tax Diary July/August 2019

1 July 2019 - Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 30 September 2018. 6 July 2019 - Complete and submit forms P11D return of benefits and expenses and P11D(b) return of Class 1A NICs. 19 July 2019 - Pay Class 1A NICs (by the 22 July 2019 if paid electronically). 19 July 2019 - PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 July 2019. (If you pay your tax electronically the due ... read more

26-06-2019

How ISAs work

An ISA is a tax exempt savings account available to UK residents. 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 Tax. Eligible holdings include cash ISAs, stocks and shares ISAs and innovative finance (including peer-to-peer loans) ISAs. There is no minimum period for which an ISA must be ... read more

26-06-2019

Who should register for self assessment?

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

26-06-2019

Claiming Entrepreneurs’ Relief when selling your business

Entrepreneurs' Relief (ER) can be a valuable relief when selling your business, your shares in a trading company or your interest in a trading partnership. Where ER is available Capital Gains Tax (CGT) of 10% is payable in place of the standard rate. CGT on the disposal of chargeable assets is usually chargeable at 20%. There are a number of qualifying conditions that must be met in order to ... read more

26-06-2019

Disguised remuneration schemes

Loans schemes also known as disguised remuneration tax avoidance schemes have been used by some employers and individuals in order to try and avoid paying Income Tax and National Insurance Contributions (NICs). This is usually done by utilising a loan or other payment from a third-party which is unlikely to be repaid. HMRC has never approved these schemes and has always said they will not be ... read more

26-06-2019

Update on Structures and Buildings Allowance

One of the Autumn Budget 2018 measures was the introduction of a new structures and buildings allowance (SBA). The SBA allows for tax relief on qualifying capital expenditure on new non-residential structures and buildings. The relief will therefore apply to the costs of building new commercial structures. The relief was introduced with effect from 29 October 2018 and applies where all contracts ... read more

26-06-2019

HMRC employment status service

HMRC’s employment status service can be used to help ascertain if a worker should be classified as employed or self-employed for tax purposes in both the private and public sector. The service provides HMRC’s view as to whether IR35 legislation applies to a particular engagement and whether a worker should pay tax through PAYE as well as helping to determine if the off-payroll working ... read more

26-06-2019

Rent-a-room scheme

The rent-a-room scheme is a set of special rules designed to help homeowners who rent-a-room in their home. The current tax-free threshold of £7,500 per year has been in place since 6 April 2016. The relief only applies to the letting of furnished accommodation and is used when one bedroom is rented out in a furnished house to a lodger. The relief is being applied more widely as more people ... read more

20-06-2019

2020 May bank holiday will be moved to mark 75th anniversary of VE Day

The government has announced that the date of next year’s early May bank holiday is to move from Monday, 4 May to Friday, 8 May to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day. This is only the second time ever that the early May bank holiday has been moved – the first was in 1995 to mark the 50th anniversary of VE Day. There will be commemorative events taking place across the country over the three-day ... read more

18-06-2019

Gifts with strings attached

The majority of 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 from Inheritance Tax if the taxpayer survives for more than seven years after making the gift. There is a tapered relief available if ... read more

18-06-2019

The tax consequences of social events

The cost of a staff party or other annual entertainment is generally allowed as a deduction for tax purposes. If you meet the various criteria outlined below there is no requirement to report anything to HMRC or pay tax and National Insurance. There will also be no taxable benefit charged to employees. An annual Christmas party or other annual event offered to staff generally, is not taxable on ... read more

18-06-2019

Selling the family heirlooms

There are special rules concerning the payment of Capital Gains Tax (CGT) on the sale of personal possessions also known as 'chattels'. Personal possessions are generally defined as possessions with a predictable useful life of 50 years or less and are exempt from CGT up to a value of £6,000. Personal possessions include items like jewellery, paintings, antiques and coins and ... read more

18-06-2019

When does ATED apply?

The Annual Tax on Enveloped Dwellings (ATED) came into effect from 1 April 2013. The tax applies to certain Non-Natural Persons (NNPs) that own interests in dwellings valued at more than £500,000. These provisions affect most companies, partnerships with company members and collective investment schemes. There is no ATED or ATED-related Capital Gains Tax payable if an individual owns a ... read more

18-06-2019

VAT and disaggregation

The artificial separation of businesses is where two or more businesses are split, and each 'separate' entity operates below the VAT registration threshold (currently £85,000). This is known as disaggregation. HMRC has legal powers to direct that businesses that have been artificially separated to avoid VAT be treated as a single entity for VAT purposes. The underlying legislation ... read more

18-06-2019

HMRC’s complaint handling process

Taxpayers may find themselves in a position where they need to make a complaint to HMRC. Complaints can relate to many different issues such as unreasonable delays, mistakes and poor treatment by HMRC’s staff. Note, there is a separate procedure to be followed by taxpayers that disagree with a decision of HMRC. In such cases the review and appeals process should be followed. HMRC operates a ... read more

12-06-2019

HMRC cancels penalties charged to 6,000 families

The High Income Child Benefit Charge (HICBC) was introduced in January 2013 and applies a charge to taxpayers whose income exceeds £50,000 in a tax year and who are in receipt of child benefit. The charge claws back the financial benefit of receiving child benefit either by reducing or removing the benefit entirely. HMRC has been reviewing a significant number of cases where a failure to notify ... read more

12-06-2019

Free television licences scrapped for over-75s

The TV licence fee has not been payable by those aged 75 or over since 2001. During 2015, the government reached an agreement with the BBC as part of the last charter renewal that it will take on the cost of free television licences for over-75s by 31 May 2020 as part of the fee settlement. The BBC estimated that the change would have reduced their licence fee income by around £745m a year, a ... read more

11-06-2019

Genuine HMRC messages

HMRC has issued an updated version of their online guidance on Genuine HMRC contact and recognising phishing emails and texts. The guidance provides a current list of genuine messages from HMRC. This includes email messages, text messages and telephone contacts from HMRC. The latest updates on the list includes confirmation that HMRC is contacting some taxpayers by email who opened a Tax-Free ... read more

11-06-2019

Free information about companies

A surprising amount of free information about companies is available from Companies House. This is in line with the government’s commitment to free data and ensures that all publicly available digital data held on the UK register of companies is accessible free of charge. These records provide access to over 170 million digital records on companies and directors. They include: company ... read more

11-06-2019

Employer owned property and sub-letting

In some industries, employers provide accommodation to employees because this is required by the nature of the job. There are no tax charges in respect of the provision of living accommodation where it is necessary for the proper performance of the employee’s duties that he or she should reside in the accommodation, or the accommodation is provided for the better performance of the ... read more

11-06-2019

Cashback schemes and tax

Statement of Practice 4/97 sets out HMRC’s views on the correct treatment for tax purposes of commission, cashbacks and discounts. Cashbacks are taken to mean lump sums received by a customer as an inducement for entering into a transaction for the purchase of goods, investments or services and received as a direct consequence of having entered into that transaction. In general, an ordinary ... read more

11-06-2019

VAT reverse charge construction industry

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

11-06-2019

On your e-bike

The Cycling Minister, Michael Ellis, has announced a number of changes to the Cycle to Work scheme in an announcement that was timed to coincide with Bike week. Bike week is an annual celebration to showcase cycling across the UK and runs from 8 – 16 June. The Cycle to Work scheme was introduced almost 20 years ago to help promote the use of healthy ways to commute to work using an ... read more

11-06-2019

HMRC blocks phone fraudsters

Fraudsters have been blocked from using HMRC’s most used helpline numbers after the introduction of new defensive controls. These fraudsters had been able to make calls to taxpayers across the UK which appeared to be coming from HMRC by mimicking helpline numbers. These fraudsters are usually operating as part of large criminal gangs with deep pockets and cutting-edge technological to target ... read more

04-06-2019

Working past retirement age

There are many taxpayers who have reached the State Pension age and continue to work. In most cases they no longer need to pay any National Insurance Contributions (NICs). At State Pension age, the requirement to pay Class 1 and Class 2 NICs on employed or self-employed earnings ceases. However, you will remain liable to pay any NICs that were due to be paid on earnings before you reached the ... read more

04-06-2019

Working from home allowance

If you are self-employed and running a business from your home, there are simplified arrangements available for claiming a fixed rate deduction for certain expenses where there is a mix of business and private use. The simplified expenses rules are not available to limited companies or business partnerships involving a limited company. The use of the flat rate expenses for business work carried ... read more

04-06-2019

Working tax credits you could claim

The Working Tax Credit (WTC) is designed to help taxpayers on low incomes by providing top-up payments and includes those who do not have children. There are extra amounts available for qualifying childcare expenses and working households in which someone has a disability. The basic amount of WTC is £1,960 a year and is always included for qualifying applicants. There are also payments that ... read more

04-06-2019

New crackdown on funeral plans

The government has announced new plans to crackdown on high pressure and bullying tactics to sell pre paid funeral plans. These tactics are often used to target those who are old and vulnerable and unaware exactly what they are buying. In some cases, the funeral plans are sold with misleading promises and to maximise the salesperson's commission. Demand for funeral plans has grown ... read more

04-06-2019

What records must a VAT trader keep?

There are distinct rules that VAT registered businesses must follow when keeping VAT records. This includes keeping proper business and accounting records, a separate VAT account as well as copies of all VAT invoices received and issued. There is no requirement to issue a VAT invoice for retail supplies to unregistered businesses unless requested by the customer. A simplified VAT invoice can be ... read more

04-06-2019

IHT and foreign property

If a permanent home (domicile) is in the UK then any foreign situated property owned at date of death will be chargeable to Inheritance Tax. The site of an asset is usually the place where the asset in question is considered to be located for legal purposes. The site of immovable property is the place or country where the property is situated. Certain assets are excluded from the charge to ... read more

04-06-2019

Non-resident company liability to Corporation Tax

Under the current rules non-resident companies with a trading business in the UK are liable to pay UK Corporation Tax on their profits made through a permanent establishment/branch or agency. This includes trading income and any income from property or rights used by, or held by or for, the permanent establishment/branch or agency (except dividends or other distributions received from companies ... read more

04-06-2019

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

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