News

The latest breaking news in the industry!

01-04-2020

Tax Diary April/May 2020

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

01-04-2020

Converting assets into cash in the bank

During and after any period when economic activity is depressed, companies that survive the process are those that manage their cashflow effectively. A number of businesses will be in the fortunate position of heading into the current COVID-19 crisis with adequate cash reserves to see them through, many others will not. In both cases, minimising expenditure and maximising cash inflows should be ... read more

01-04-2020

Deferring VAT and tax payments

As part of the government’s response to assist businesses during the COVID-19 crisis is the offer to defer VAT and self-assessment tax and NIC payments. VAT HMRC will not enforce payment of VAT liabilities that fall due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020. For most VAT registered firms, this will boost cashflow as one quarter's VAT payment will not be made. SELF-ASSESSMENT TAX AND ... read more

31-03-2020

National Minimum Wage compliance in relation to pay advances and loans

The government has issued a bulletin providing advice for employers regarding compliance with the National Minimum Wage (NMW) framework, particularly with regard to the effect under that framework of pay advances and loans to workers, in the context of the coronavirus pandemic. The bulletin sets out how the practice of an employer making such pay advances or loans sits with continuing compliance ... read more

27-03-2020

Self-Employed Income Support Scheme

The long-awaited statement from the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak regarding COVID-19 support for the self-employed has been announced. The Chancellor said that the scheme will benefit some 95% of people whose main income source is derived from self-employment. A list of the scheme features as announced, and published, are as follows: Those that qualify will receive a cash grant from HMRC based on ... read more

26-03-2020

Coronavirus: government launches online “isolation notes” service

Employees who are unable to work for more than seven days because of coronavirus (COVID-19) can now obtain an “isolation note” through a new online service. The new isolation note, which can be used by employees as evidence of their coronavirus-related absence from work (either because they have symptoms or they live with someone who has symptoms) and so cannot work, is a temporary ... read more

26-03-2020

Acas publishes updated coronavirus resources

Acas has published updated guidance for employers and employees on the coronavirus (COVID-19). The guidance now covers: social distancing and vulnerable people self-isolation and sick pay what to do if the employer needs to close the workplace what to do if an employee needs time off work to look after someone what to do if someone has coronavirus symptoms at work good practice steps for ... read more

25-03-2020

Television licence fees for over-75s

In a joint statement from the BBC and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport it has been announced that the changes introducing television licence charges for the over-75s has been delayed. These changes had been due to come into effect from 1 June 2020 but have now been delayed until at least 1 August 2020 due to COVID-19. Sir David Clementi, Chairman of the BBC, said: 'The ... read more

25-03-2020

Companies House deadlines and Coronavirus

There are automatic late filing penalties which are designed to encourage companies to file their accounts and reports on time. All companies, private and public, large or small, trading or non-trading must send their accounts to Companies House. Companies House is advising businesses to take appropriate measures to file on time. If, immediately before the filing deadline, it becomes apparent ... read more

25-03-2020

Sick pay if you are unable to work

The government has announced a number of funding and support measures to help those affected by the COVID-19 virus outbreak. A significant number of the measures are designed to help provide financial support at this most difficult time. One of the main measures announced relates to the provision of sick pay. You are entitled to receive £94.25 per week Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if ... read more

25-03-2020

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

If you have been 'furloughed' then the new Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme may be able to help. If you are furloughed it essentially means that your employer has given you a temporary leave of absence or a type of sabbatical to help cope with the economic turmoil resulting from COVID-19. If you are on furlough, then you should be at home and not working. However, you remain technically ... read more

25-03-2020

COVID-19 and claiming benefits

The government has announced that certain benefits will be increased as part of the package of measures to help households affected by COVID-19. This will see the standard rate of Universal Credit and Tax Credits increased by £20 a week (£1,040 per year) for one year from 6 April 2020. It has earlier been announced as part of the Budget measures that the self-employed are to be ... read more

25-03-2020

Business rates and grants - regional variations

We have written about the changes to business rates for businesses in England due to COVID-19. There is also a Retail and Hospitality Grant Scheme that provides businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with a cash grant of up to £25,000 per property as well as a one-off Small Business Grant of up to £10,000 to support small businesses that already pay little or no ... read more

25-03-2020

The importance of credit control

Most business owners are rightly focussed on sales. If sales dry up business costs will quickly result in losses; and losses will eventually burn through your assets until insolvency rears its ugly head. In the current “lock-down” environment there is a temptation to ease back on collecting cash from customers if you offer credit in order to maintain sales. And, of course, your ... read more

25-03-2020

Please read our emails and news updates

The current “lock-down” to slow down the Coronavirus epidemic is a sensible medical response, but a potential disaster for small businesses desperately trying to keep their businesses open and operational. Since the 10 March, we have had a formal budget and at least two major “mini-budget” announcements bringing forward schemes to assist individuals and firms to cope with ... read more

25-03-2020

Further details on Hardship Fund published

The launch of a new £500 million Hardship Fund in England was announced at Spring Budget 2020 by the Chancellor. On 24 March 2020, the Local Government Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP confirmed the Hardship Fund will provide council tax relief to vulnerable people and households to help those affected most by Coronavirus. This means that the money will go to local authorities in England ... read more

25-03-2020

Paper tax returns

HMRC has announced that taxpayers still using paper returns will no longer routinely do so. This is part of the efforts to encourage the use of online services and reduce the unnecessary use of paper. Last year, HMRC automatically sent out more than 500,000 blank paper tax returns, while more than 10.4 million taxpayers filed their returns online. This means that approximately 6% of taxpayers ... read more

25-03-2020

Tax-Free Childcare scheme

The Tax-Free Childcare Scheme (TFCS) is open to all eligible families with children under 12. It was announced as part of the Budget measures that a service improvement will be made to ensure the TFCS is compatible with school payment agents. This will allow parents of up to 500,000 school-aged children across the UK to access the TFCS and use it towards the cost of their wraparound childcare ... read more

25-03-2020

COVID-19 - new ministerial structures

The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson has set up four new ministerial structures to coordinate, prioritise and respond to the Coronavirus pandemic. The new implementation committees will focus on health, public sector preparedness, economy and international response. This new structure is in addition to the regular UK COBR meetings to take strategic decisions and review overall progress in the ... read more

25-03-2020

Tax relief for pension contributions

The decision of the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak to increase the tapered annual allowance thresholds in the Budget earlier this month will have been welcomed by many high earners. From 6 April 2020, the tapered annual allowance will increase from £150,000 to £240,000. The annual allowance for tax relief on pensions will remain at £40,000 for 2020-21. This means that anyone with ... read more

24-03-2020

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

The Chancellor announced at Spring Budget 2020 that a new Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) would be launched to help support smaller businesses, with turnover of up to £45m, across the UK. Since that announcement, the Chancellor has added features and benefits to the scheme including increased loan support and interest free periods. It has also been confirmed by ... read more

21-03-2020

COVID-19 Business Support Update - 20 March 2020

On Friday, the Chancellor went significantly further than in the history of this great county, with a series of unprecedented announcements in the Government’s support of businesses, employees and individuals. The range of measures for UK businesses is significant and now includes the following: a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme deferring VAT and Income Tax payments a Statutory Sick ... read more

21-03-2020

COVID-19 Business Support Update: Regional Variations Scotland - 20 March 2020

The following guidance is reproduced from the mygov.scot website Help with non-domestic rates in Scotland during coronavirus (COVID-19) Last updated: 20 March 2020 To help owners of non-domestic properties, including businesses, deal with the impact of COVID-19, the Scottish Government has made changes to non-domestic rates (business rates) for 2020-21. The Scottish Government has introduced ... read more

21-03-2020

COVID-19 Business Support Update: Regional Variations Wales - 20 March 2020

The following guidance is reproduced from the businesswales.gov website The Welsh Government has announced a package of support worth £1.4bn for small businesses to help them during the coronavirus outbreak. Retail, leisure and hospitality businesses with a rateable value of £51,000 or less will receive 100% business rates. Expanding on this support a new package providing in ... read more

21-03-2020

COVID-19 Business Support Update: Regional Variations Northern Ireland - 20 March 2020

The following guidance is reproduced from the GOV.UK website General guidance for employers The UK Government has published extensive guidance for employers, including details on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and what to do if someone is suspected or confirmed to have the virus. UK Government support for businesses The UK Government has set out a package of measures to protect public ... read more

18-03-2020

The Latest Measures to Support SME’s

The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, outlined a raft of further measures last night to support the UK’s ailing businesses, those affected by the forbidding COVID-19 outbreak. The list that follows summarises his announcements in the order they were announced: The Treasury are making available £330bn of loan guarantees. These guarantees will underpin government backed bank loans on ... read more

18-03-2020

Sick benefit support for the self-employed

In the Budget, the Chancellor set out a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, individuals and businesses through the economic disruption caused by COVID-19. One of these measures was to offer the self-employed the opportunity to access a claim for Universal Credit or Contributory Employment and Support Allowance. This is important as the self-employed are ... read more

18-03-2020

Hardship Fund

The huge monetary and fiscal stimulus measures announced by the government and the Bank of England has seen amongst other measures interest rates lowered by 0.5% and a significant package of targeted measures to help support those affected. One of these measures was the launch of a new £500 million Hardship Fund to help support economically vulnerable people and households. The details on ... read more

18-03-2020

Reclaiming Statutory Sick Pay

Concerns continue to grow regarding absences from work during the Coronavirus pandemic. Virus counter-measures requires a significant number of employees having to self-isolate if they are feeling sick or who have returned from other affected areas worldwide. To help support small and medium sized businesses, the government has announced that these employers will be able to reclaim Statutory Sick ... read more

18-03-2020

Business Interruption Loan Scheme

The government announced as part of the Spring Budget 2020, that a new Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme will be launched. Since the Budget changes have been made to the scheme increasing the benefits provided. The scheme will be delivered by the British Business Bank to support the continued provision of finance to UK businesses during the Covid-19 outbreak. The British Business Bank ... read more

18-03-2020

Time to pay your tax

HMRC has launched new emergency measures to help those businesses and self-employed people affected by COVID-19 through the Time to Pay service. These arrangements are agreed on a case-by-case basis and are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities. The new dedicated COVID-19 helpline opened on 11 March 2020 and offers advice and support. If you are unable to pay some or all the tax ... read more

18-03-2020

IR35 rules change delayed

The Chief Secretary of the Treasury, Steve Barclay, made an unexpected announcement to parliament on the night of 17 March 2020. The announcement confirmed that the government are postponing the roll-out of IR35 measures to the private sector that would have affected the tax status of many incorporated contractors across the UK. This a welcome change as it will defer much disruption in this ... read more

18-03-2020

Enterprise zones capital allowances

Enterprise zones were first launched in 2011 and are specific geographic areas that provide various tax breaks and government support. Businesses that set-up in enterprise zones can benefit from up to 100% first year capital allowances for qualifying investments in plant and machinery. This benefit was expected to have ended on 31 March 2020. However, the government announced at Spring Budget ... read more

18-03-2020

Junior ISAs

Junior ISAs were introduced to encourage parents to save money for their children and to provide an alternative to the Child Trust Funds (CTF) that were only available to children born after 31 August 2002 and before 3 January 2011. It is possible to transfer CTF funds to a Junior ISA. Junior ISAs were made available in November 2011 after CTFs were phased out. However, unlike the CTF accounts, ... read more

18-03-2020

Business rates relief and grant funding update

It seems from the latest guidance published by Public Health England and Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy that local authorities will be responsible for administering the special COVID-19 business rate relief and grant funding measures recently announced by government. It is understood that the administration of the business rates relief and grant payments will be given ... read more

12-03-2020

Spring 2020 Budget Summary

In the face of Brexit uncertainties and the recent Coronavirus outbreak the new Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, was faced with falling economic indicators, the need to boost NHS services and was consequently limited in his options to spend on plans to improve business confidence and fund infrastructure projects. Interestingly, there were a number of measures that will directly benefit those affected by ... read more

12-03-2020

Spring Budget 2020 - Entrepreneurs' Relief

The Chancellor confirmed that a review into the effectiveness of Entrepreneurs' Relief has now been completed. Where this relief is available Capital Gains Tax of 10% is payable in place of the standard rate. The Chancellor had many representations saying that the relief is ineffective and expensive and should be abolished. In fact, the Chancellor confirmed that three quarters of the relief ... read more

12-03-2020

Spring Budget 2020 - VAT

It has been confirmed that the taxable turnover threshold, that determines whether businesses should be registered for VAT, will be frozen at £85,000 until 31 March 2022. The taxable turnover threshold that determines whether businesses can apply for deregistration will also be frozen at the current rate of £83,000 for the same time period. Businesses are required to register for VAT ... read more

12-03-2020

Spring Budget 2020 – Corporation Tax

The Corporation Tax main rate will remain at 19% from 1 April 2020. The main rate had been expected to reduce to 17%. However, this reduction was always in doubt after the Conservative election manifesto promised to reverse this announcement. It has also been confirmed that the Corporation Tax main rate will remain at 19% for the following financial year beginning 1 April 2021. The Chancellor in ... read more

12-03-2020

Spring Budget 2020 – Capital Gains Tax

The annual exemption for individuals is currently £12,000. From 6 April 2020, this will increase to £12,300. A husband and wife each have a separate exemption. Same-sex couples who acquire a legal status as civil partners are treated in the same way as married couples for CGT purposes. The annual exempt amount is increased annually to keep pace with inflation in-line with rises in the ... read more

12-03-2020

Spring Budget 2020 – Employment Allowance

In the Budget speech, the Chancellor confirmed that the government would honour its promise to increase the Employment Allowance by a third to £4,000 from April. This represents a tax boost for almost 500,000 small businesses who can claim an increased reduction on their NIC liabilities or even reduce their bills to zero. It had previously been announced that access to the Employment ... read more

12-03-2020

Spring Budget 2020 – National Insurance

The new Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has confirmed a Conservative manifesto promise to increase the National Insurance contributions (NIC) thresholds to £9,500. Plans to meet the manifesto pledge were first confirmed by Mr Sunak's predecessor Sajid Javid earlier this year. The increase by more than 10% over the current year’s figure of £8,632 will apply to both the employed and ... read more

12-03-2020

Spring Budget 2020 – Income Tax Rates & Allowances

As expected, it has been confirmed that the 2020-21 personal allowance will be maintained at £12,500 and the basic rate limit at £37,500. As a result, the higher rate threshold will also remain at £50,000 from April 2020. The basic rate limit applies to non-savings and non-dividend income in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and to savings and dividend income in the ... read more

12-03-2020

Spring Budget 2020 - Research and Development Expenditure Credit

It has been confirmed by the Chancellor that the Research and Development Expenditure Credit (RDEC) is to be increased from 12% to 13% on 1 April 2020. The RDEC allows companies to claim an enhanced Corporation Tax deduction or payable credit on qualifying R&D costs. The RDEC replaced the large company scheme that was withdrawn in April 2016. This will help large companies to claim more ... read more

12-03-2020

Spring Budget 2020 - Structures and Buildings Allowances

The Structures and Buildings Allowances (SBA) facilitates 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, at an annual rate of 2% on a straight-line basis (over 50 years). As part of the Budget ... read more

12-03-2020

Spring Budget 2020 - First year allowances for business cars

The government has confirmed that the period for which the 100% first year allowances (FYAs) are available is to be extended from April 2021 to April 2025. In tandem with this announcement, there is also a significant reduction in the CO2 emission thresholds which are used to determine the rate of capital allowances available for business cars. This means that the 100% writing down allowance ... read more

12-03-2020

Spring Budget 2020 - Non-UK resident property companies

Following an announcement at Autumn Statement 2016, and subsequent consultations, the government moved forward with plans to charge Corporation Tax to non-UK resident companies with property income. Currently, these companies are chargeable to Income Tax and not UK Corporation Tax. This measure will come into effect from 6 April 2020 when any non-UK resident companies that carries on a UK ... read more

12-03-2020

Spring Budget 2020 - Company cars and vans

Where employees are provided with fuel for their own private use by their employers, the car fuel benefit charge is applied. The fuel benefit charge is determined by reference to the CO2 rating of the car, applied to a fixed amount. HMRC has confirmed that the car fuel benefit charge, fixed amount, will increase in 2020-21 to £24,500 (from £24,100). The fuel benefit charge is not ... read more

05-03-2020

Off-payroll working rules

The government has now published its response to the review into the implementation of changes to the off-payroll working rules (IR35) for the private sector. Following the conclusion of this review, the government has confirmed that the changes will still take effect as planned from 6 April 2020, but there will be a package of measures designed to support the roll-out of the changes. Under the ... read more

05-03-2020

Guidance for employers and businesses on the coronavirus

Public Health England has published new guidance specifically for employers and businesses on the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. The government says that the new guidance will assist employers and businesses in providing advice to staff on: the novel coronavirus, COVID-19 how to help prevent spread of all respiratory infections, including COVID-19 what to do if someone with suspected or ... read more

04-03-2020

Residential property sales from April 2020

We have included updates in our newsfeed earlier this year that sales of residential property subject to Capital Gains Tax (CGT) – from 6 April 2020 - will need to be reported and paid to HMRC within 30 days of completing the sale. Here’s the type of property sales that HMRC say will be affected: a property that you have not used as your main home; a holiday home; a property ... read more

04-03-2020

Tax scheme promoter defeated

The First-Tier Tribunal (FTT) has recently published its decision in a long running case that focused on tax planning arrangements. This important decision represents a significant win for HMRC against a tax avoidance promoter in a case that has been before the FTT since June 2018. The firm in question launched and promoted an arrangement known as the Alchemy scheme. The FTT was clear that this ... read more

04-03-2020

Help to Save scheme

The Help to Save scheme can assist those on low incomes to boost their savings. The scheme was launched in September 2018 and new figures just published by HMRC have revealed that over 163,000 people have signed up depositing more than £53 million. The scheme is open to working people who receive tax credits or universal credit and with a minimum earned income equivalent to 16 hours per ... read more

04-03-2020

Tax treatment when transferring income streams

Special rules apply to transfers of income streams. The rules make it clear that the sale of an income stream - designed to turn economic income into a return that is treated by tax law as capital - is unlikely to work. For example, shareholders could sell the right to receive a large company dividend in exchange for an amount almost equal to the dividend, without selling the shares. Legislative ... read more

04-03-2020

Savings, dividends and total income

Savings income and dividends are taxed at the recipients' highest tax rate. The relevant legislation in ITA07/S16 sets out the following rules. If a person has savings income but no dividend income, the savings income is treated as the highest part of their total income. If a person has dividend income but no savings income, the dividend income is treated as the highest part of their ... read more

04-03-2020

Zero-rating supplies of building materials

The VAT treatment of land and property is one of the most complex areas of the VAT legislation. Under certain situations, supplies of building materials can be zero-rated or reduced-rated at 5% for VAT. For the supplies of building materials to be zero-rated or reduced-rated, all of the following conditions must be met: the goods must be 'building materials' they must be supplied ... read more

04-03-2020

Tax codes for employees

The P9X form is used to notify employers of tax codes to use for employees. The form confirms expectations that the basic personal allowance for the tax year starting 6 April 2020 will remain at £12,500. The emergency tax code will remain at 1250L. The threshold (starting point) for PAYE will be £240 per week (£1,042 per month). The basic rate limit is also expected to remain at ... read more

04-03-2020

VAT - option to tax

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

27-02-2020

Coronavirus advice

Acas has published new guidance for employers and employees on the coronavirus. The guidance covers: what to do if employees do not want to go to work sick pay what to do if employers need to close the workplace other steps for employers to take. ... read more

26-02-2020

Tax Diary March/April 2020

1 March 2020 - Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 31 May 2019. 2 March 2020 – Self assessment tax for 2019/19 paid after this date will incur a 5% surcharge. 19 March 2020 - PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 March 2020. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 March 2020) 19 March 2020 - Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly return for the month ... read more

26-02-2020

Last chance for pensions relief?

There has been much press speculation that the Government is considering cutting higher rate tax relief for pension contributions in the March Budget. However, many Tory MPs are said to be up in arms at such a move and have been trying to quash such a reduction. There are also concerns that such a complex change to pensions relief could come into effect with very little advance warning. If you ... read more

26-02-2020

10% reduction in Inheritance Tax rate

If your total assets exceed £325,000 then the excess will usually be subject to Inheritance Tax (IHT) at 40% when you die. A reduced rate of IHT of 36% applies where 10% or more of a deceased’s net estate is left to qualifying charities or Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CASCs). The net value of an estate is the total value of its assets (gross value) after deducting the ... read more

26-02-2020

VAT-free shopping

There is a special VAT refund scheme called the VAT Retail Export Scheme or Tax-Free Shopping that allows individuals not resident in the EU to obtain a VAT refund on goods bought in the UK and taken out of the EU. The scheme does not apply to services, for example hotel bills. The scheme can be used to reclaim VAT on purchases from participating shops. It is important to note that not all ... read more

26-02-2020

New £20 note launched

The new £20 note entered into circulation on 20 February 2020 and features the image of the artist JMW Turner. It will take a few weeks for the notes to become commonplace across the country. The new £20 note includes a number of new security features including two windows and a two-colour foil, making it very difficult to counterfeit. The new £20 note joins the current £5 ... read more

26-02-2020

P9 Notice of Coding form

The P9 Notice of Coding form is used to notify employers of the tax codes to use for employees. HMRC has begun to send email notifications to employers advising that the coding for the tax year starting 6 April 2020 can be viewed online. The emails are being sent up until 10 March 2020. HMRC has also advised that the paper P9 coding notices should arrive with employers on or around 21 March ... read more

26-02-2020

Property rental income and bad debt

In most cases, property rental income must be brought into account in the year in which the income was earned, even if the invoice has not yet been paid. However, a deduction is allowed in respect of bad & doubtful debts. These are debts which are either clearly irrecoverable (a bad debt) or a doubtful debt to the extent it is estimated to be irrecoverable. The deduction allowable for a ... read more

26-02-2020

VAT – the concept of business

The VAT system is policed by HMRC and there are penalties for breaches of the legislation. There are four conditions that must be satisfied in order for an activity to be within the scope of UK VAT. These conditions are that the activity: Is a supply of goods or services That the supply takes place in the UK Is made by a taxable person Is made in the course or furtherance of any business ... read more

26-02-2020

Meaning of goodwill for CGT purposes

Goodwill is a subject 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. At its simplest you could describe goodwill as the 'extra' value of a business over and above its tangible assets. In the ... read more

26-02-2020

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

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

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