News

The latest breaking news in the industry!

20-02-2020

Employer toolkit for EU Settlement Scheme published

Following Brexit, the government has published an updated toolkit for employers on how to support their employees who are EU citizens (including EEA and Swiss citizens) to apply to stay in the UK. The content includes print and digital fact sheets, leaflets and posters covering the key areas of the EU Settlement Scheme, i.e. eligibility, the application process, the wide range of support available ... read more

20-02-2020

Change to the off-payroll working rules

As part of a review into changes to the operation of the off-payroll working rules (IR35), HMRC has announced that the changes will only apply to payments made for services provided on or after 6 April 2020. Previously, the rules would have applied to any payments made on or after 6 April 2020, regardless of when the services were carried out. It means businesses will only need to determine ... read more

19-02-2020

Could you claim the marriage allowance?

If you are entitled to the marriage allowance and have not yet applied, you could receive a payment of up to £1,150 from HMRC. HMRC used the occasion of Valentine’s Day to remind couples to make a claim. It is estimated that whilst 1.78 million couples have already claimed the Marriage Allowance, there are still more than 2 million eligible couples that have not made a claim. The ... read more

19-02-2020

Budget date re-confirmed

After a tumultuous few days in politics, it has been confirmed by the new Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak that the Budget will take place as planned on Wednesday 11 March 2020. There has been fevered press speculation that the new Chancellor might delay the Budget date to give him more time to prepare. Rishi Sunak was previously the chief secretary to the Treasury and has had a meteoric ... read more

19-02-2020

Tax if you return to the UK

There are tax implications that you will need to consider if you previously left the UK to live abroad and are now returning to live and work in the UK or are considering such a move. In most cases, if you have returned to live in the UK, you will be classed as resident in the UK and you will be required to pay UK tax on your UK income and gains, and any foreign income and gains. Your exact ... read more

19-02-2020

Rent a room relief 2019-20

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. 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 ... read more

19-02-2020

Student and postgraduate loans

If you have a student loan, have finished your studies and entered the workforce you must begin to make loan repayments from the April after you have finished your studies or when your income begins to exceed the annual threshold. The annual threshold amounts are currently £18,935 for plan 1 and £25,725 for plan 2. The Department for Education has confirmed that the thresholds will ... read more

19-02-2020

PAYE payment dates

This article is a reminder to payroll staff about the electronic PAYE payment dates. The due date for electronic PAYE payments falls on the 22nd of the month and when a payment is made electronically, a payment on the day usually suffices. However, where the due date falls on a non-banking day (weekend or bank holidays), HMRC must have cleared funds by the last bank working day before the 22nd. ... read more

19-02-2020

New bandings for electric vehicles

From 6 April 2020, the car and car fuel benefit calculations are changing with the introduction of 11 new bands for ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs) including a separate zero emissions band. If a car has a CO2 emission figure of 1-50g/km employers will need to provide the car’s zero emission mileage. This is the maximum distance that the car can travel in miles on a single electric ... read more

19-02-2020

IHT tenants in common or joint tenants?

As a general rule, Inheritance Tax (IHT) is collected from a person's estate when they die and can also be payable during a person’s lifetime on certain trusts and gifts. There is normally no tax to be paid if the value of the estate is below the IHT nil rate threshold of £325,000. The remaining amount after deducting the nil rate band, main residence nil-rate band, IHT exemptions ... read more

19-02-2020

A reminder – badges of trade

The 'badges of trade' tests, whilst not conclusive, are used by HMRC to help determine whether an activity is a proper economic / business activity or merely a money-making side-line to a hobby. Eventually, taxpayers may have to decide if their hobby has morphed into a trade - and therefore subject to tax. The badges of trade can be used at this time to help resolve this dilemma. Both ... read more

12-02-2020

Breathing space to help those in debt

HM Treasury has confirmed that the new 'breathing space' scheme to help those with problem debts will become operational next year. The scheme will provide legal protections from creditor action while those affected will receive professional debt advice in order to find an appropriate solution to their debt issues. The breathing space scheme will have a 60-day respite period during which ... read more

12-02-2020

Scottish Income Tax rates announced 2020-21

Public finance minister Kate Forbes delivered her first Budget statement to the Scottish Parliament on 6 February 2020. This followed the shock resignation of finance minister, Derek Mackay. This is the first time that Scotland has held a Budget before the rest of the UK. It was announced as part of the Scottish Budget that there would be no change in Income Tax rates and only a small change in ... read more

12-02-2020

Still time to utilise annual tax-free allowance

We would like to remind our readers that there is still time to use the annual exemption for Capital Gains Tax (CGT). In the current 2019-20 tax year, this amounts to £12,000. This means that there is no CGT to pay on the first £12,000 of gains where you dispose of chargeable assets, such as property or stocks and shares. If you are a married couple or civil partnership, you should ... read more

12-02-2020

Checking your NIC records

HMRC offers an online service to check your National Insurance Contributions (NIC) record online. In order to use the service, you will need to have a Government Gateway account. If you don't have an account, you can apply to set one up online. By signing in to the 'Check your National Insurance record' service you will also activate your personal tax account if you haven’t ... read more

12-02-2020

Review occupancy for Holiday Lets owners

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

12-02-2020

Change to off-payroll working rules

A welcome change to the implementation of the new off-payroll working rules has been announced. The Government has confirmed that the changes that come into effect April 2020 will not be retrospective. This means that the new rules will only apply to payments made for services provided on or after 6 April 2020. This change was in response to representations from many large and medium businesses ... read more

12-02-2020

Gifts to spouse or charity

There is usually no Capital Gains Tax (CGT) to be paid on the transfer of assets to a spouse or civil partner. However, the gift is still treated as a disposal that has taken place for CGT purposes, on a no- gain no-loss basis. When the asset is ultimately sold, the gain or loss will be calculated using the disposal proceeds less the asset cost when first acquired by the original spouse or civil ... read more

05-02-2020

Still time to plan for tax year 2019-20

As the deadline for submitting your 2018-19 tax return has passed, now is a good time to focus on the 2019-20 tax year. It is important to carry out an annual review and ensure that you have planned properly for the current tax year. This includes exploring any tax saving strategies that are available before the current tax year ends on 5 April 2020. A number of readily available saving ... read more

05-02-2020

Changes to NIC from April 2020

The Chancellor, Sajid Javid, has confirmed that a Conservative manifesto promise to increase the National Insurance contributions (NIC) thresholds to £9,500 will apply from April 2020. The increase, by more than 10% over the current year’s figure of £8,632, will apply to both the employed and self-employed. Some 31 million taxpayers will benefit from this change with a typical ... read more

05-02-2020

Farm payments during the transition period

The Chancellor recently announced that the level of funding for direct payments for farmers would continue for 2020 at the same rate as 2019. This has now been confirmed by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA). This will help provide certainty to farmers allowing them to plan for the future, sow their crops and care for their livestock with confidence. The direct ... read more

05-02-2020

Travel to EU during transition period

For the time being, travel between the EU and UK continues as before. This means that if you have any travel plans to the EU during the rest of 2020 you can expect the pre-Brexit withdrawal travel regulations will still apply. However, new rules are likely to apply for travel to Europe from 1 January 2021. This is conditional on the transition period ending on 31 December 2020. This means that ... read more

05-02-2020

Did you miss the Self-Assessment deadline?

Are you among the over 958,000 taxpayers that missed the 31 January 2020 filing deadline for 2018-19 Self-Assessment returns? If you missed the filing deadline you will be charged a £100 fixed penalty if your return is up to 3 months late, whether you owed tax or not for the 2018-19 year. If you do not file and pay before 1 May 2020, you will face far greater penalties. A daily penalty of ... read more

05-02-2020

Points to consider during transition period

Now that the formal Brexit withdrawal agreement is agreed, there will be changes to the rules for living, working, travelling and doing business in the UK and EU. These changes are expected to commence at the end of the transition period, from 1 January 2021. While in the transition, the current rules on trade, travel, and business for the UK and EU will continue to apply. Much is likely to ... read more

05-02-2020

Reminder of important CGT change from April 2020

A major change to the way Capital Gains Tax (CGT) is reported and paid will come into effect from 6 April 2020. Currently, the usual due date for paying any CGT owed to HMRC on property disposals is the 31 January following the end of the tax year in which a capital gain was made. From 6 April 2020, any CGT due on the sale of a residential property by a UK resident will need to be reported and ... read more

05-02-2020

Reviewing clients using VAT Flat Rate Scheme

If you have clients that have been adversely affected by the new 'limited cost trader' test that was introduced on 1 April 2017, you should consider whether it will be more beneficial for them to leave the VAT Flat Rate Scheme (FRS) and revert to using traditional VAT accounting. Businesses can leave the FRS at any time by notifying HMRC. To save any additional complications this is ... read more

30-01-2020

Tax Diary February/March 2020

1 February 2020 - Due date for Corporation Tax payable for the year ended 30 April 2019. 19 February 2020 - PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 February 2020. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 February 2020) 19 February 2020 - Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly return for the month ended 5 February 2020. 19 February 2020 - CIS tax deducted for the month ended ... read more

29-01-2020

New tax deadline for property sales

The 6 April 2020 will see a seismic change in the deadline for UK residents that sell a residential property when Capital Gains Tax (CGT) on the sale is due. Currently, the due date for paying any CGT you owe to HMRC is the 31 January following the end of the tax year in which a capital gain was made. This deadline gave taxpayers between 10 and 22 months to settle their CGT bill. The deadline ... read more

29-01-2020

Reminder to keep company records

A recent County Court case serves as an important reminder to comply with the requirements to preserve and maintain proper company accounting records. The case concerned a fast food takeaway company in Walsall. The sole director of the company was found to have failed to submit adequate accounting records to the tax authorities. This resulted in his disqualification from acting as a director for 7 ... read more

29-01-2020

Brexit coin issued

The Government has announced that a new 50 pence coin entered into circulation on 31 January to mark the UK’s departure from the European Union. The new coin, which was unveiled by the Chancellor, Sajid Javid, who is also the Master of the Mint bears the inscription "peace, prosperity and friendship with all nations" as well as the Brexit date of 31 January 2020. Commenting after ... read more

29-01-2020

Importing from EU after 31 January 2020

HMRC has published a useful list to help businesses be prepared to import goods from the EU to the UK after the 31 January 2020 Brexit date. In the short-term there will be a transition period during which all rules remain the same. The Government expects to have a trade deal in place with the EU by the end of the year. The six points of action listed below are likely to be relevant once a trade ... read more

29-01-2020

Exporting goods to EU after 31 January 2020

In tandem with the list for importing goods, HMRC has published a useful list to help businesses be prepared to export goods from the UK to the EU after the 31 January 2020 Brexit date. In the short-term there will be a transition period during which all rules remain the same. The Government expects to have a trade deal in place with the EU by the end of the year. The seven points of action ... read more

29-01-2020

Transporting goods out of the UK by road to or through the EU

HMRC has published a useful list to help businesses transport goods commercially when driving from the UK to or through Europe. In the short-term there will be a transition period during which all rules remain the same. The Government expects to have a trade deal in place with the EU by the end of the year. The six points of action listed below are likely to be relevant once a trade deal with the ... read more

23-01-2020

New guidance on sexual harassment and harassment at work

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has published new technical guidance on sexual harassment and harassment at work. It replaces previous guidance published in December 2017. The new guidance explains employers’ legal responsibilities and the practical steps they should take to prevent and respond to harassment and victimisation at work. It also provides advice for workers to ... read more

22-01-2020

Don’t be taken in by this scam

The Insolvency Service has warned that fraudsters have been contacting investors in insolvent schemes claiming to be from the Official Receiver’s office or to have been appointed by the Official Receiver to help recover funds for a fee. These contacts are fraudulent. The Insolvency Service provides services to those affected by financial distress or failure. Insolvency occurs when ... read more

22-01-2020

Disclosing VAT errors

Where an error on a past VAT return is uncovered, you have a duty to correct the error as soon as possible. As a general rule, you can use your current VAT return to make any necessary adjustment. However, there are three important conditions that must be met: The error must be below the reporting threshold. The error must not be deliberate. The error can only relate to an accounting period ... read more

22-01-2020

Ways that HMRC can collect overdue tax

If you are unable to pay your tax bill or need time to pay then it is in your best interest to contact HMRC as soon as possible. For example, you can apply to HMRC to make a payment plan and seek to agree a way forward. This can be done through the Payment Support Service (PSS). If the payment of overdue tax is unresolved, HMRC can take enforcement action to secure the money they are owed. HMRC ... read more

22-01-2020

HMRC publish strange late filing excuses?

A recent press release by HMRC has revealed some of the oddest excuses for submitting a late tax return, that have been made during the past 10 years. The excuses ranged from the sublime to the ridiculous and included: My mother-in-law is a witch and put a curse on me. I was up a mountain in Wales and couldn’t find a post box or get an internet signal. My dog ate the post … ... read more

22-01-2020

Relief for CGT losses

Usually, if you sell an asset for less than you paid for it you would make a capital loss. As a general rule, if the asset would have been liable to CGT if a gain had resulted when sold, then the loss should be an allowable deduction. The exact treatment of losses depends on whether they are: losses of the same year of assessment as the gains, losses of earlier years of assessment, losses ... read more

22-01-2020

When is a Will revoked?

We have previously covered the importance of making a Will and ensuring that assets are divided amongst beneficiaries in the way best suited to personal circumstances. One of the most important reasons for doing so is to ensure that individuals do not die intestate (without a Will). This avoids estates being distributed in accordance with fixed criteria instead of the deceased person's ... read more

22-01-2020

Scottish 2020 Budget

Derek Mackay, Scotland’s finance secretary has announced that the Scottish Government’s Budget will be published for 2020-21 on 6 February 2020. The date has been selected in order to allow the Scottish Government time to prepare for the new tax year. This is the first time that Scotland has held a Budget before the rest of the UK. The delay in the UK Budget until 11 March had left ... read more

22-01-2020

New taskforce to target waste criminals

A new taskforce has been launched to tackle serious and organised waste crime, such as dumping hazardous materials on private land and falsely labelling waste so it can be exported abroad to unsuspecting countries. This will be the first time that law enforcement agencies, environmental regulators, HMRC and the National Crime Agency have worked together to help stamp out waste crime as part of ... read more

16-01-2020

Statutory maternity, adoption, paternity, shared parental and sick pay to rise from April 2020

According to proposals set out in a government policy paper, the revised 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 2020/21 are to be as follows: the standard weekly rates of SMP, SAP, SPP and ShPP will increase from £148.68 to £151.20 (or 90% of ... read more

15-01-2020

Tax allowances you can claim for business cars

Capital Allowances allow your business to secure tax relief for certain capital expenditure. Qualifying expenditure on cars must usually be allocated to one of two general pools of expenditure. Which pool is appropriate depends on the car’s CO2 emissions. Expenditure on cars with CO2 emissions over 110g/km will be dealt with in the special rate pool and attract a writing down allowance ... read more

15-01-2020

On your bike – tax free cycling

There are special rules involving bicycles for work use, usually referred to as 'Cycle to Work' arrangements. 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 environmentally friendly mode of transport. The scheme allows employers to provide bicycles and cyclists’ safety equipment to employees as a ... read more

15-01-2020

Public transport costs and tax

There are certain tax rules that it is important to consider if you pay for the public transport costs of your employees. The provision of public transport costs includes season tickets provided for employees, season ticket costs reimbursed to employees, loans made to employees to buy season tickets and contributions to subsidised or free public bus transport. If you are contributing to ... read more

15-01-2020

Money laundering and terrorist financing

The money laundering rules are designed to protect the UK financial system and put in place certain controls to prevent businesses being used for money laundering by criminals and terrorists. The money laundering and terrorist financing (amendment) regulations 2019 (MLRs) came into force on 10 January 2020. This updates the existing regulations to incorporate international standards set by the ... read more

15-01-2020

What qualifies for First Year Allowances?

Businesses can claim a 100% first-year allowance (FYA) on the purchase of certain qualifying Plant and Machinery (P&M). The cash-flow benefit of accelerated tax relief is designed to encourage businesses to invest in capital items which help reduce their carbon footprint by being energy and water efficient. The list of qualifying items includes expenditure on new unused electric vehicles and ... read more

15-01-2020

VAT - what is a limited cost trader?

The VAT Flat Rate Scheme (FRS) 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 turnover in the next 12 months to be no more than £150,000. The limited cost trader test, introduced in April 2017, can increase the VAT flat ... read more

15-01-2020

Close down a company by striking it off the register

There are a limited range of circumstances when a company can request to be removed from the register (known as being struck off). For example, a voluntary strike-off can be requested by a dormant or non-trading company. A limited company can be closed down by using this striking-off process, but only if it: hasn't traded or sold off any stock in the last 3 months. For example, a company ... read more

08-01-2020

Did you file your tax return on Christmas Day?

A new press release by HMRC has highlighted the fact that 3,003 taxpayers took the time to file their tax return online on Christmas Day with a further 9,254 taxpayers completing their tax returns on Boxing Day. More than 11 million taxpayers are expected to complete a 2018-19 Self-Assessment tax return this year, on or before 31 January 2020. HMRC’s Director General for Customer Services, ... read more

08-01-2020

Last reminder for parents with income in excess of £50,000

Parents could be liable for the High Income Child Benefit tax charge if either partner's income exceeds £50,000 and you are in receipt of child benefit. The charge effectively 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 ... read more

08-01-2020

Don’t forget to pay tax on or before 31 January 2020

The 31 January 2020 is not just the final date for submission of your Self-Assessment tax return for 2018-19 but is also an important date for payment of tax due. This is the final payment deadline for any remaining tax due for the 2018-19 tax year. In addition, the 31 January 2020 is the payment date for any Capital Gains Tax due in relation to the 2018-19 tax year and the due date for the first ... read more

08-01-2020

Carry forward unused pension tax allowance

The annual allowance for tax relief on pensions is currently set at £40,000. The annual allowance is further reduced for high earners. If your income is in excess of £150,000 you will usually have your allowance tapered. This works by reducing your annual allowance by £1 for every £2 your income exceeds £150,000 up to a maximum reduction of £30,000 if your ... read more

08-01-2020

Budget date announced

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sajid Javid has announced that he is planning to hold his first Budget on Wednesday, 11 March 2020. This announcement follows a turbulent period in Parliament that saw the Autumn 2019 Budget pencilled in for 6 November 2019 and then cancelled as Brexit was delayed. The Budget traditionally took place in the spring but was moved a few years ago to the autumn. It ... read more

08-01-2020

Big changes following loan charge review

The Government has revealed that a number of important changes will be made to the loan charge following the independent review of the disguised remuneration loan charge policy and its implementation by Sir Amyas Morse and his team. The review examined whether the loan charge is an appropriate way of dealing with loans schemes (also known as disguised remuneration tax avoidance schemes) that have ... read more

08-01-2020

New funding for farmers announced

Over the Christmas and New Year break, the Chancellor announced that nearly £3 billion of funding is to be put in place to help support farmers once the UK leaves the EU. This cash injection will maintain the level of funding for direct payments to farmers at the same rate as 2019 and supplement the remaining EU funding that farmers will receive for development projects until 2023 at the ... read more

08-01-2020

Getting clients ready for Brexit

HMRC has published a useful list to help businesses be prepared to import goods from the EU to the UK as we count down to the 31 January 2020 Brexit date. We are then likely to see a fixed transition period until 31 December 2020 by the end of which the Government expects to have a trade deal in place with the EU. The six points of action listed are relevant if there is a no-deal Brexit but are ... read more

08-01-2020

CGT – Gift Hold-Over Relief

Gift Hold-Over Relief is a relief that defers Capital Gains Tax (CGT) when assets are given away (including certain shares) or sold for less than they’re worth to the buyer. The relief means that any gain on the asset is 'Held-Over' until the recipient of the gift sells or disposes of the item. The person gifting a qualifying asset is not subject to CGT on the gift. However, CGT may ... read more

02-01-2020

Annual increases to the National Minimum Wage

The government has accepted the recommendations of the Low Pay Commission in full and has announced that it will increase the National Living Wage (NLW) and National Minimum Wage (NMW) rates from 1 April 2020 as follows: the NLW rate for workers aged 25 and over will increase from £8.21 to £8.72 per hour – this represents a pay rise of 6.2% and is the biggest increase ever to ... read more

02-01-2020

Tax Diary January/February 2020

1 January 2020 - Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 31 March 2019. 19 January 2020 - PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 January 2020. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 January 2020) 19 January 2020 - Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly return for the month ended 5 January 2020. 19 January 2020 - CIS tax deducted for the month ended 5 January ... read more

28-12-2019

Penalties for late filing of Self-Assessment tax returns

The 31 January is not just the final date for submission of your Self-Assessment tax return but also an important date for paying tax. It is the final payment deadline for any remaining tax due for the 2018-19 tax year and any payment on account due for 2019-20. If you miss the filing deadline then you will be charged a £100 fixed penalty if your return is up to 3 months late, regardless of ... read more

28-12-2019

Take advantage of the Annual Investment Allowance

The Annual Investment Allowance (AIA) allows business owners to claim the total amount of qualifying expenditure on plant and machinery, up to certain limits. This deduction reduces profits subject to tax. The AIA can be claimed by an individual, partnership or company carrying on a trade, profession or vocation, a UK non-residential property business or a furnished holiday let business. Please ... read more

28-12-2019

Top up your pension pots

You can claim tax relief for your private pension contributions. The current annual allowance for tax relief on pensions is £40,000. Remember, that there is now just 3 months left in the current tax year in which to maximise the amount of tax relief you can claim by topping up your pension pot. There is a three-year carry forward rule that allows you to carry forward previous years ... read more

28-12-2019

Exemptions from CGT

Capital Gains Tax (CGT) is a tax on the profit made on the disposal of an asset that has increased in value. Whilst most taxpayers are aware of their annual tax-free allowance (currently £12,000) and the exemption for the, qualifying, sale of the family home - there are other items that are exempt from CGT. These include: your car personal possessions worth up to £6,000 each, such ... read more

28-12-2019

What is reasonable care

The inaccuracy penalty system is intended to make penalties simpler to understand and more consistent across many taxes. HMRC has the power to significantly reduce the amount of penalties due. The largest reductions are for unprompted disclosures (as against prompted disclosures). The penalties also vary depending on the taxpayers’ behaviour. HMRC has 4 levels of behaviour ranging from ... read more

28-12-2019

Basis periods and change of accounting date

HMRC’s guidance lists the following useful examples about a change of accounting date: If your accounting date in 2016 to 2017 is more than 12 months after the end of the basis period for 2015 to 2016, your basis period is the period between the end of the basis period for 2015 to 2016 and the new accounting date. For example, your basis period for 2015 to 2016 ended on 31 May 2015, and ... read more

28-12-2019

Paying wages to connected persons

The definition of a connected person for tax purposes includes certain relatives, trustees, partners and companies. A person is connected with an individual if that person is the individual’s spouse or civil partner a relative of the individual the spouse or civil partner of a relative of the individual a relative of the individual’s spouse or civil partner the spouse or civil ... read more

18-12-2019

Advice from Government when buying children's presents

As the election upheavals are now completed, the government has issued a timely news release to help people shop safely for children's presents this Christmas. The Office for Product Safety & Standards (OPSS) is a part of the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and has partnered with Santa, Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, Chartered Trading Standards ... read more

18-12-2019

Government alert for charities

The Charity Commission is the non-ministerial department responsible for registering and regulating charities in England and Wales, to ensure that the public can support charities with confidence. The Commission has published an alert after receiving several reports from charities, who have been targeted by fraudsters impersonating members of staff, specifically attempting to change employees' ... read more

18-12-2019

Cash gifts this Christmas

We thought it would be useful to remind our readers of the IHT implications of making cash gifts this Christmas. 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 didn’t make any cash gifts in 2018-19, you could gift up to £6,000 ... read more

18-12-2019

Could you claim a Christmas tax bonus?

If you are entitled to the marriage allowance and have not yet applied, then you could receive a well-timed Christmas bonus of up to £1,150 from HMRC. The marriage allowance is available to qualifying married couples and those in a civil partnership where a spouse or civil partner is a non-taxpayer i.e. has an income below their personal allowance (currently £12,500). The marriage ... read more

18-12-2019

Duty free limits if you are travelling abroad

Here is a reminder of your duty and tax free allowances if travelling abroad this Christmas. 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 following guidelines ... read more

18-12-2019

When VAT should not be charged

When a VAT registered business issues an invoice to their customer, they must seek to ensure that they charge the correct rate of VAT. Whilst most businesses in the UK charge VAT at the standard rate of 20%, there are a number of different VAT rates and exemptions to be aware of. These include the reduced VAT rate of 5% and the positive zero rate (0%). There are two other categories that the ... read more

18-12-2019

Overview of foreign income taxation

Income Tax is generally payable on taxable income received by individuals including earnings from employment, earnings from self-employment, pensions income, interest on most savings, dividend income, rental income and trust income. The tax rules for foreign income can be very complex. However, as a general rule if you are resident in the UK you need to pay UK Income Tax on your foreign income, ... read more

18-12-2019

Giving away a home before death

The majority of gifts made during a person's life, including gifting away a home, 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 ... read more

11-12-2019

PAYE payment dates

We would like to remind employers about the electronic PAYE payment dates. The due date for electronic PAYE payments falls on the 22nd of the month and when a payment is made electronically; a payment on the day usually suffices. However, where the due date falls on a non-banking day (weekend or bank holidays) HMRC must have cleared funds by the last bank working day before the 22nd. This advice ... read more

11-12-2019

Capital Gains Tax reliefs for businesses

If you are in business as a self-employed sole trader or as part of a partnership, then you will be liable to pay Capital Gains Tax (CGT) if you make a profit selling all or part of a business asset. CGT is normally charged at a flat rate of 20%. However, there are various reliefs available that can reduce the amount of CGT you are required to pay. We have listed below the main CGT tax reliefs ... read more

11-12-2019

Basic Income Tax reliefs

As we are now almost three-quarters of the way through yet another tax year it can be useful to consider the benefits of basic Income Tax reliefs. This will help ensure that your tax liability is no higher than necessary. We have listed some of the main reliefs below: Pension contributions - Tax relief for contributions to pension schemes is given at your highest marginal rate of Income Tax. ... read more

11-12-2019

Basic Corporation Tax reliefs

There are a significant number of reliefs that can reduce the amount of Corporation Tax your company needs to pay on profits made. Your company can also claim Capital Allowances for assets such as equipment, machinery and cars bought to use in your business. The basic Corporation Tax reliefs include the following: Research and Development tax reliefs - There are two schemes for claiming relief ... read more

11-12-2019

VAT Flat Rate Scheme capital expenditure

The VAT Flat Rate scheme (FRS) has been designed to simplify the way a business accounts for VAT and accordingly, reducing the administration costs of complying with the VAT legislation. VAT is calculated under the FRS by applying a flat rate percentage to the flat rate turnover. The flat rate percentage varies from 4% to 16.5%. There are special rules that apply to expenditure on capital assets ... read more

11-12-2019

Inheritance Tax Agricultural Property Relief

There are a number of reliefs available that can reduce liability to IHT. The most relevant for farmers is the Agricultural Property Relief (APR). Relief is available at a rate of 100% or 50% depending on who farms the land and how long the land has been owned. The APR can be claimed on assets including: farming land or pasture that is used to grow crops or to rear animals ... read more

11-12-2019

When National Insurance Credits can be claimed

National Insurance credits can help qualifying applicants to fill gaps in their National Insurance record. This can assist taxpayers to build up the amount of qualifying years of National Insurance contributions and thus increase the amount of benefits a person is entitled to receive, for example, the State Pension. National Insurance credits are available in certain situations where people are ... read more

11-12-2019

X-factor Charity single

The Government will waive the VAT equivalent on the sales of this year’s X Factor Celebrity Christmas Charity single. All proceeds from the sale of the single are going to two children’s charities; Together for Short Lives and Shooting Star Children’s Hospices. Both charities provide support for the families of children with life-limiting illnesses. The donation will be the ... read more

05-12-2019

Awareness of data protection fee campaign

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has launched a campaign aimed at contacting all registered UK companies to remind them of their legal responsibility to pay a data protection fee. The campaign marks the start of an extensive programme by the ICO to make sure the data protection fee is paid by all those who are required to pay it. Under the Data Protection Act 2018, organisations ... read more

05-12-2019

Updated calculator on calculating holiday entitlement

The Government has published a revised holiday entitlement calculator, intended as a temporary replacement while the original calculator “undergoes maintenance”, to enable workers to calculate the minimum statutory annual leave they should receive based on their time in employment. The calculator is accompanied by online guidance for employers on how to calculate statutory holiday ... read more

04-12-2019

Shared parental leave entitlements

The shared parental leave and pay rules offer working parents’ far greater choice as to how they share the care of their child and take time off work during the first year of their child’s life. The rules apply equally for children that have been adopted. There are various work and pay criteria that must be met in order to be eligible and the parents must share responsibility for the ... read more

04-12-2019

Child Benefit tax charge

The High Income Child Benefit tax charge could apply to you or your partner if either of your individual taxable earnings exceeds £50,000 and you are in receipt of child benefit. The charge effectively claws back the financial benefit of receiving child benefit either by reducing or removing the benefit entirely. If you or your partner are likely to have exceeded the £50,000 threshold ... read more

04-12-2019

Loss of tax personal allowance

If your income is expected to exceed £100,000 for the first time, we would like to remind you of the effects this can have on your personal allowance and marginal tax rate. 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 ... read more

04-12-2019

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

04-12-2019

Accounting periods if company has two or more trades

A tax accounting period for Corporation Tax purposes cannot exceed a 12 month period. If company accounts cover less than 12 months then the accounting period will normally end on the same day, and thus will be shorter than 12 months. This can happen if the company stops trading or shortens its company’s year-end: also known as its accounting reference date. There is an interesting anomaly ... read more

04-12-2019

Income excluded from property business

HMRC publishes a list of income streams that are excluded from a UK property businesses' taxable income. The list includes fishing concerns, hotels and guest houses, tied premises, caravan sites, lodgers and tenants in your own home, extra services to tenants and letting surplus trade accommodation. In most cases the income from these activities will be taxed as income of a trade and not as ... read more

04-12-2019

When Inheritance Tax applies to pensions

Inheritance Tax (IHT) is levied on a person’s estate when they die and can also be payable during a person’s lifetime on certain trusts and gifts. The rate of Inheritance Tax payable is 40% on death and 20% on lifetime gifts. There is a nil-rate band, currently £325,000 below which no Inheritance Tax is payable. A pension is normally free of IHT and unlike many other investments ... read more

28-11-2019

Tax Diary December 2019/January 2020

1 December 2019 - Due date for Corporation Tax payable for the year ended 28 February 2019. 19 December 2019 - PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 December 2019. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 December 2019) 19 December 2019 - Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly return for the month ended 5 December 2019. 19 December 2019 - CIS tax deducted for the month ... read more

27-11-2019

Affected by the recent floods?

The Government has put a number of emergency flood measures in place to help those affected by the recent devastating floods. This includes 100% council tax and business rates relief and emergency funding from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Affected taxpayers should also contact the Business Payment Support Service (BPSS) if they cannot make tax payments on time. The ... read more

27-11-2019

Avoiding tax scams

Fraudsters are continuing to target taxpayers with scam emails in advance of the 31 January deadline for submission of Self-Assessment returns. In fact, over the last year, HMRC received nearly 900,000 reports about suspicious HMRC contacts. A number of these scams purport to tell taxpayers they are due a rebate / refund of tax from HMRC and ask for bank or credit card details in order to send ... read more

27-11-2019

Using your own vehicle for work?

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. It is usually 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 you own vehicle, be it a car, van, motorcycle or bike. As a general rule, there is no tax relief for ... read more

27-11-2019

Basic tax considerations if you come to work in the UK

If you come to live in the UK there are basic tax considerations that you will need to observe. Most importantly, you will be required to pay tax on your income (in excess of any allowances) if you come to live in the UK. Income includes; wages, benefits, your pension and savings interest. If you’re employed your employer will deduct Income Tax from your wages. Otherwise, you will likely be ... read more

27-11-2019

Gifts Hold-Over Relief

Gift Hold-Over Relief is effectively a deferral of Capital Gains Tax (CGT) when assets are given away (including certain shares) or sold for less than they’re worth to help the buyer. The relief means that any gain on the asset is 'Held-Over' until the recipient of the gift sells or disposes of them. The person gifting a qualifying asset is not subject to CGT on the gift. However, ... read more

27-11-2019

Life policies and Inheritance Tax

A life policy is a contract with an insurance company. In exchange for premium payments the insurance company provides a lump-sum payment to beneficiaries if the policy holder dies during the terms of their policy. There are various types of life policies available. The main types are 'term', typically covering a set period of time or 'whole of life', meaning that they are active ... read more

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