News

The latest breaking news in the industry!

21-01-2021

Government help for people in debt

New government proposals have been published that look at further extending debt solutions to help more people suffering from problem debts. The proposals specifically look at increasing the financial eligibility criteria for debt relief orders (DROs), helping more people deal with financial difficulties to get a fresh start. A DRO is a special way of dealing with debts aimed at those with ... read more

21-01-2021

Online tax payment plans

New figures published by HMRC have revealed that some 25,000 taxpayers have set up an online payment plan to manage their tax liabilities spreading payments of £69 million for up to 12 monthly instalments. This follows an increase in the limit for making an online payment plan to £30,000 (previously £10,000) that took effect from 1 October 2020. Taxpayers with outstanding tax liabilities may be ... read more

21-01-2021

Tax when you sell shares

Capital Gains Tax (CGT) is normally charged at a simple flat rate of 20% when you sell shares unless they are in a CGT free wrapper such as an ISA or pension. If you only pay basic rate tax and make a small capital gain you may only be subject to a reduced rate of 10%. Once the total of your taxable income and gains exceeds the higher rate threshold, the excess will be subject to 20% CGT. There ... read more

21-01-2021

Tax returns filing deadline is fast approaching

The approaching deadline for submitting 2019-20 Self-Assessment tax returns online is 23:59 on Sunday, 31 January 2021. The filing deadline is not just the final date for submission of your Self-Assessment tax return but also an important date for payment off tax due to HMRC. This includes the payment of any balance of Self-Assessment liability for the 2019-20 plus the first payment on account due ... read more

21-01-2021

Simplified expenses motor vehicles

There are simplified arrangements in place for the self-employed (and some partnerships) to claim a fixed rate deduction for certain expenses where there is a mix of business and private use. The simplified expenses regime is not available to limited companies or business partnerships involving a limited company. The fixed rate deduction can be used instead of working out the actual costs of ... read more

21-01-2021

Striking companies from Companies 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 getting it 'struck off' the Companies Register, but only if it: hasn't traded or sold off any stock in the last 3 months. For example, ... read more

21-01-2021

Basics of CGT Rollover Relief

Business Asset Rollover Relief is a valuable relief that allows you to defer payment of CGT on gains made when you sell or dispose of certain assets and use all or part of the proceeds to buy new assets. The relief means that the tax on the gain of the old asset is postponed. The amount of the gain is effectively rolled over into the cost of the new asset and any CGT liability is deferred until ... read more

19-01-2021

Government tackles late payment to small firms

The Government has announced an overhaul of the Prompt Payment Code (PPC). Under the new reforms, companies that have signed up to the PPC will be obliged to pay small businesses within 30 days - half the time outlined in the current Code. Despite almost 3,000 companies signing the Code, poor payment practices are still rife, with many payments delayed well beyond the current 60-day target ... read more

18-01-2021

Rights to regenerate

We will soon have the rights to turn derelict buildings into homes and community assets. In a recent press release the Ministry of Housing said: The public will be able to convert vacant plots of land and derelict buildings into new homes or community spaces, under plans announced 16 January 2021 by the Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick MP. The ‘Right to Regenerate’ proposals would make it ... read more

14-01-2021

Rogue employers named and shamed for failing to pay minimum wage

139 employers, including some of the UK’s biggest household names, have been named and shamed in a government press release for failing to pay £6.7 million to over 95,000 workers in breach of the national minimum wage (NMW) legislation. This is the first time in over two years that the government has named and shamed employers for failing to pay the NMW, as the naming and shaming scheme was ... read more

14-01-2021

CJRS guidance on who can be furloughed

HMRC’s guidance on which employees can be placed on furlough using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been updated. The scheme will continue until at least 30 April 2021. The updated guidance includes new information about employees who are unable to work because they have caring responsibilities resulting from coronavirus (COVID-19). This guidance confirms that employers may furlough ... read more

14-01-2021

VAT Reverse charge for construction sector

A further reminder that new VAT rules for building contractors and sub-contractors will come into effect from 1 March 2021. The new rules were originally expected to commence from 1 October 2019, but an initial 12 month delay was announced. The start date was then delayed for a further 5 months until 1 March 2021 due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The new rules will make the supply of ... read more

14-01-2021

Have you paid your Data Protection Fee?

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) is the independent regulatory office in charge of upholding information rights in the interest of the public. Under the Data Protection Act 2018, all organisations that process personal information must register with the ICO. By law, every organisation or sole trader who processes personal information needs to pay a data protection fee to the ICO, ... read more

14-01-2021

Tax and duties for goods sent from abroad

Following the end of the Brexit transition period new rules regarding tax and duty apply to goods sent to the UK from the EU. These changes are to ensure that goods from EU and non-EU countries are treated in the same way and that UK businesses are not disadvantaged by competition from VAT free imports. For goods sold directly to customers in the UK from overseas with a value of £135 or less ... read more

14-01-2021

New IPO search facility

The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) is the official UK government body responsible for intellectual property (IP) rights including patents, designs, trademarks and copyright. The IPO has launched a new service that allows users to search for the goods and services they intend to use their trade mark on before they apply. Intellectual Property Offices worldwide use a trade mark classification ... read more

14-01-2021

IHT Main Residence Nil Rate Band

The Inheritance Tax residence nil-rate band (RNRB) is a transferable allowance for married couples and civil partners (per person) when their main residence is passed down to a direct descendent such as children or grandchildren after their death. The RNRB came into effect on 6 April 2017 and was introduced in stages. The allowance increased to the present maximum level of £175,000 from 6 April ... read more

14-01-2021

Tax on an inherited private pension

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

12-01-2021

Testing for international arrivals

Passengers arriving from all international destinations will be required to present a negative COVID-19 test result before departing for England to help protect against new strains of coronavirus circulating internationally. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced that inbound passengers arriving by boat, plane or train will have to take a test up to 72 hours before departing the country ... read more

12-01-2021

Apply for the new Global Health Insurance Card

UK residents can now apply for the new UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). Under Britain’s new agreement with the EU, UK residents’ rights to emergency and medically necessary healthcare will continue when travelling in the EU. This includes medically necessary treatment for a pre-existing or chronic condition. Current European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC) are valid as long as they are in ... read more

07-01-2021

Did you file your tax return on Christmas Day?

A new press release by HMRC has highlighted that 2,700 taxpayers took the time to file their tax return online on Christmas Day with a further 8,500 taxpayers completing their tax returns on Boxing Day. In total, 31,400 Self-Assessment returns were filed between 24 and 26 December. Although this was a Christmas like no other, the number of submissions was actually slightly down on Christmas 2019. ... read more

07-01-2021

Looking for a customs agent?

The Brexit transition period has come to an end and a new customs border has been created between the UK and EU. If you are moving goods to or from the UK then you need to ensure that you have all the correct procedures in place. One of the most important areas that businesses must consider is how to make customs declarations. Customs declarations can be difficult and time consuming to complete. ... read more

07-01-2021

Tax returns filing deadline at the end of this month

The 31 January 2021 tax return filing deadline is not just the final date for submission of your Self-Assessment tax return but also an important date for payment of tax due to HMRC. This includes the payment of any balance of Self-Assessment liability for the 2019-20 plus the first payment on account due for the current 2020-21 tax year. The 31 January 2021 is also the payment date for any CGT ... read more

07-01-2021

Time to pay arrangements

One of the measures announced by HMRC at the start of the coronavirus pandemic was the introduction of emergency measures to help those affected by COVID-19 using the existing Time to Pay service. Businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through this service. There is an option to set ... read more

07-01-2021

No VAT on women’s sanitary products

The UK was unable to zero rate VAT on women’s sanitary products under EU rules and the items were subject to 5% VAT. Following the end of the transition period the UK is no longer bound by the EU VAT Directive which mandates a minimum 5% rate of VAT on all sanitary products. The VAT charge on sanitary products became widely known as the 'Tampon Tax' has therefore been abolished from 1 January ... read more

07-01-2021

Repaying furlough grants if overclaimed

Any business that has overclaimed a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) grant must pay back the overpayment to HMRC. The rules outlined below for paying HMRC back an overclaim also applies to businesses that would like to make a voluntary repayment because they do not want or need the CJRS grant. The CJRS is currently due to continue until 30 April 2021. Any overpayments can be corrected in ... read more

07-01-2021

Income Tax charge to recover CJRS overclaims

Employers should notify HMRC if they have received a CJRS payment to which they are not entitled and pay back any amounts of CJRS grants claimed in error. By paying back any amounts they were not entitled to, employers can avoid any tax liability for overclaimed CJRS grants. Failure to do so within the stated notification period will be treated as deliberate and concealed conduct. This can result ... read more

05-01-2021

Lock-down 3 – business considerations

It’s official. We are in lock-down 3 in England, Scotland following suit and the other regions expected to enforce similar restrictions. It is evident that any freeing impact of the vaccine roll-outs will not have sufficient impact before February at the earliest, and more likely, later in the year. What now for businesses directly affected by these measures, predominantly the hospitality and ... read more

05-01-2021

Time to revisit solvency

If you have managed to retain profits in your business this fat-on-the-bone will help to see you through loss making periods as we endeavour to emerge from COVID disruption, hopefully, later this year. How long these reserves may last depends on how effectively you manage the process. If you are impacted by COVID disruption, you will need to ensure that you avail yourself of any Government ... read more

05-01-2021

£4.6 billion lockdown grants announced

Following a rapid rise in COVID infections, from today 5th January 2021, England has been placed into a new lockdown. Following this the Chancellor has announced £4.6 billion of new lockdown grants to help support businesses forced to close. The lockdown in England is expected to last until March with a review not due to take place until the February half-term. There are also similar lockdowns ... read more

04-01-2021

Help to Save bonuses

The Help to Save scheme was launched by the government in September 2018 to help those on low incomes to boost their savings. Under the scheme, those eligible could save between £1 and £50 every calendar month and receive a 50% government bonus. The 50% bonus is payable at the end of the second and fourth years and is based on how much account holders have saved. The first bonus payment has now ... read more

04-01-2021

Child Trust Fund court fees waived

Children born after 31 August 2002 and before 3 January 2011 were entitled to a Child Trust Fund (CTF) account provided they met the necessary conditions. These funds were long term saving accounts for newly born children. The first of these children who qualified began turning 18 years of age from 1 September 2020. For most young adults, the process is straightforward. However, if a young person ... read more

04-01-2021

Internal Market Bill becomes law

The UK Internal Market Act 2020 received Royal Assent on 17 December 2020 and came into force on 1 January 2021 following the end of the Brexit transition period. The new Act ensures that businesses can continue to trade seamlessly across all four parts of the UK as the EU’s internal market rules have come to an end. The UK Internal Market Act 2020 establishes 2 principles (the Market Access ... read more

04-01-2021

Outcome of EU trade negotiations

... read more

04-01-2021

R&D tax relief for SMEs

There are two schemes for claiming R&D tax relief - the Small or Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) Scheme and the R&D Expenditure Credit (RDEC) Scheme for large companies. The SME scheme offers more generous reliefs to qualifying companies. The amount of R&D tax relief available depends on the total qualifying spend on R&D activities. A company is defined as an SME if staff headcount ... read more

03-01-2021

More Red-Tape

True to predictions, Boris Johnson and his team achieved a trade deal with the EU to operate from 1 January 2021, and although there are generally no tariffs to pay on the movement of goods back and forth, this is far from free movement of goods. Importers from and exporters to the EU will now need to deal with a raft of additional customs documentation. Firms affected who do not have the ... read more

03-01-2021

Happy New Year

There really hasn’t been much to feel merry about during the recent holiday period. Lock-down and the need to socially distance has kept many of us under virtual house arrest. Thankfully, the recent announcement that the Oxford vaccine has been cleared for use offers some hope that by Easter or early summer we may be able to return to pre-COVID conditions. Can you imagine walking into a crowded ... read more

21-12-2020

New regulations to exempt payments made to employees for coronavirus antigen tests from NICs

The Social Security Contributions (Disregarded Payments) (Coronavirus) (No. 2) Regulations 2020 will come into force on 25 January 2021 to provide that payments made by employers to employees to cover or reimburse the costs of coronavirus (COVID-19) antigen tests are to be disregarded for NICs purposes, and so there will be no NICs liability for either the employer or the employee. The Government ... read more

20-12-2020

Tax Diary January/February 2021

1 January 2021 - Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 31 March 2020. 19 January 2021 - PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 January 2021. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 January 2021) 19 January 2021 - Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly return for the month ended 5 January 2021. 19 January 2021 - CIS tax deducted for the month ended 5 January ... read more

17-12-2020

Too good to be true?

Right now, any reference to a return to 2019 trading conditions seems to echo the title of this short article, too good to be true. Common sense tells us that we are unlikely to emerge largely, COVID-free until the end of 2021 and additionally, many traders and consumers are apprehensive of the coming EU exit. Never-the-less, we would be wise to be on the lookout for signs of optimism. In a ... read more

17-12-2020

Sharing costs

Independence is a cultivated concern. We all want to be self-sufficient. In a business environment this might manifest as having a separate Wi-Fi source even though it may be possible to share Wi-Fi with a number of business neighbours and divide the cost between you? There will always be what-ifs to this type of co-operative effort but if the cost sharing made a joint contribution to cost ... read more

17-12-2020

Furlough extended to end April 2021

During an announcement to Parliament today, 17 December 2020, the Chancellor confirmed the following: An extension of the furlough scheme until the end of April 2021, The date for Budget 2021 has been fixed as 3 March 2021, and Businesses will have until the end of March 2021 to apply for Government backed, Bounce-Back and other loan schemes. In a following press release it was ... read more

17-12-2020

SMP, SAP, SSP, ShPP, SPBP and SSP to rise from April 2021

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), statutory parental bereavement pay (SPBP) and statutory sick pay (SSP) for tax year 2021/22 are to be as follows: the standard weekly rates of SMP, SAP, SPP, ShPP and SPBP will ... read more

17-12-2020

Accounting for import VAT on your VAT return

From 1 January 2021, businesses will be able to account for import VAT on imports into Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) from EU and non-EU countries. Businesses in Northern Ireland will be able to use the postponed VAT accounting for goods imported from outside the UK and EU. The normal rules setting out what VAT can be reclaimed as input tax will apply. HMRC’s guidance on the new ... read more

17-12-2020

Are you ready to make customs declarations?

HMRC has written to VAT registered businesses across the country to remind them to be prepared for new trading rules with the EU from 1 January 2021 after the Brexit transition period comes to an end. Time is running short and without having all of the correct procedures and agreements in place it will be almost impossible to trade with the EU from 1 January 2021, technically from 11pm GMT on 31 ... read more

17-12-2020

Tax-free gifts for Christmas

After a very difficult 2020, the traditional Christmas break is almost with us. If you are an employer and looking to give your employees a small token of appreciation for Christmas, then your best option is probably to give them a gift. In order to ensure that this is not a taxable gift, it is important to that the trivial benefits in kind (BiK) rules apply. There is no tax to pay on trivial ... read more

17-12-2020

Consultations to crack down on fraud announced

The government has unveiled three new consultations to help combat fraud by reforming the UK’s register of company information. This follows an announcement earlier this year that Companies House will be reformed to clamp-down on fraud and money laundering, with directors unable to be appointed until their identity has been verified. One of the consultations will seek views on how the new ... read more

17-12-2020

Export finance for smaller businesses

UK Export Finance (UKEF) is the export credit agency and a ministerial department of the UK government. The UKEF helps UK companies by providing insurance to exporters and guarantees to banks to share the risks of providing export finance. In addition, it can make loans to overseas buyers of goods and services from the UK that can protect UK exporters facing delayed payments or transit ... read more

17-12-2020

What is Tangible Moveable Property?

A chattel is a legal term that defines an article which is a tangible moveable property. A tangible object is one that you can touch. The asset has to be a physical asset such as household furniture, paintings, antiques, items of crockery and china, plate and silverware, motor cars, lorries, motorcycles and items of plant and machinery not permanently fixed to a building. There is no specific ... read more

17-12-2020

UK VAT claims by non-EU businesses

There are special rules for businesses established outside the EU submitting a claim for VAT incurred on goods or services bought in the UK. The exact rules of what VAT is refundable can be complex. There are also a number of conditions which must be met in order for a claim to qualify. The deadline for the submission of a refund request for expenses incurred in the UK by non-EU businesses during ... read more

17-12-2020

Deadlines for paying deferred VAT

The coronavirus VAT payment holiday gave businesses the chance to defer the payment of any VAT liabilities between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020. The option for businesses to defer their VAT payments ended on 30 June 2020. There are two options available for repaying this VAT. The first option is to pay the deferred VAT in full on or before 31 March 2021. No interest or penalties will accrue ... read more

10-12-2020

Do you owe CGT on the sale of a residential property?

HMRC has issued a press release to remind taxpayers that have sold a residential property, which was not their main home, during the 2019-20 tax year that the payment date for any Capital Gains Tax (CGT) owed is 31 January 2021. Due to the impact of Coronavirus, there are options available to defer payments due on 31 January 2021 and pay by instalments over 12 months. This includes a self-serve ... read more

10-12-2020

VAT on delivery charges

The process for working out the VAT treatment of delivery charges can be quite complex. We have listed below some of the main issues to bear in mind when deciding whether or not VAT needs to be applied. No charge for delivery. HMRC’s guidance is clear that if delivery is free, or the cost is built into the normal sales price, VAT is accounted for on the value of the goods based on the ... read more

10-12-2020

Could the Trader Support Service help your business?

The new Trader Support Service has been designed to help businesses moving goods under the Northern Ireland Protocol from 1 January 2021, after the Brexit transition period comes to an end. There will be changes in moving goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland whether or not a Free Trade Deal is reached. If your business is moving goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland or ... read more

10-12-2020

New Christmas grant for pubs

The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has announced an additional one-off £1,000 Christmas grant for wet-led pubs in tiers 2 and 3 who will miss out on much needed business during the busy Christmas period. A wet-led pub is a bar which doesn’t serve food and relies almost entirely on the sale of drinks for its business. This means that most wet-led pubs will be closed for the festive period. The ... read more

10-12-2020

HMRC crackdown on avoidance schemes

HMRC and the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) have come together to jointly target misleading marketing by promoters of tax avoidance schemes. HMRC and the ASA can jointly issue an Enforcement Notice to companies irresponsibly advertising tax arrangement schemes in a bid to clamp down on those breaking the rules. The ASA is clear that advertisers are required to ensure that their marketing ... read more

10-12-2020

Correcting errors on VAT returns

Where an error on a past VAT return is uncovered, businesses have a duty to correct the error as soon as possible. As a general rule, any necessary adjustment can be made on a current VAT return. However, in order to be able to do so, there are three important conditions that must be met: The error must be below the reporting threshold. The error must not have been deliberate. The error can ... read more

10-12-2020

SDLT change for mixed use buildings

HMRC’s published guidance on the application of the 3% higher rate of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) has been updated. The higher rates of SDLT were introduced on 1 April 2016 and apply to purchases of additional residential property such as buy to let and second homes. At the time the new higher rates were introduced, HMRC confirmed that where there was a purchase of mixed use buildings consisting ... read more

10-12-2020

Employing domestic staff

When you employ someone to work in your home it is your responsibility to meet the employee's rights and deduct the correct amount of tax from their salary. This can include employees such as a nanny, housekeeper, gardener or carer. The rules are different if the person is self-employed or paid through an agency. If you employ anyone they must: have an employment contract be given ... read more

08-12-2020

Double entry demystified

Most business owners will know the difference between a profit statement and a balance sheet. Both are created from a process known as double-entry bookkeeping. If asked to consider two aspects of a £50 purchase from a stationery store, most would say that their cash reserves have dropped by £50 and the store’s cash reserves had increased by the same amount. This is true, but double entry ... read more

07-12-2020

Beware requests from bogus charities

It has been estimated that almost £350,000 of charitable donations last year ended up in the pockets of criminals. Government recently issued advice to reduce this activity. They said: The vast majority of fundraising appeals and collections are genuine, however criminals can set up fake charities, or even impersonate well-known charitable organisations, to deceive victims. Action Fraud has ... read more

03-12-2020

HMRC’s Annual Tax Summary

The Annual Tax Summary is a document provided by HMRC that provides details on the tax you pay and how this is used by government. The Annual Tax Summary shows: your taxable income from all sources that HMRC knew about at the time that it was prepared the rates used to calculate your Income Tax and National Insurance contributions a breakdown of how the UK government spends your taxes - this ... read more

03-12-2020

Pay January tax by instalments

The deadline for submitting your 2019-20 Self-Assessment tax returns online is 31 January 2021. You should also be aware that payment of any tax due should also be made by this date. This includes the payment of any balance of Self-Assessment liability for the 2019-20 plus the first payment on account due for the current 2020-21 tax year. You may also need to pay the second payment on account for ... read more

03-12-2020

Confirmation of Minimum Wage increases 2021

The Chancellor used the recent Spending Review to confirm that increased National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage rates will come into effect on 1 April 2021. From 1 April 2021, the National Living Wage will increase by 19p to £8.91. This represents an increase of 2.2%. The National Living Wage currently applies to those aged 25 and over but from next April will be extended to 23 and 24 ... read more

03-12-2020

EU exit - did you read this letter?

The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Alok Sharma has written a letter to businesses in the professional services sector. The letter (available in English and Welsh) provides tailored advice on what key actions businesses must take after the transition period ends on 31 December 2020. The UK government confirmed earlier this year that it would neither accept nor ... read more

03-12-2020

Deadlines for paying deferred VAT

The coronavirus VAT payment holiday gave businesses the chance to defer the payment of any VAT liabilities between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020. The option for businesses to defer their VAT payments ended on 30 June 2020. There are two options available for repaying this VAT. The first option is to pay the deferred VAT in full on or before 31 March 2021. No interest or penalties will accrue on ... read more

03-12-2020

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

03-12-2020

Treasury directive re third SEISS grant

HM Treasury has published a further Treasury Direction made under the Coronavirus Act 2020, ss. 71 and 76, which modifies and extends the effect of the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS).The Direction mainly deals with the expansion of the SEISS from 1 November 2020 to 29 January 2021, officially referred to as the SEISS Grant Extension 3 (SEISS 3). The self-employed will receive 80% ... read more

03-12-2020

Accounting and Reporting standards from 1 January 2021

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) have jointly published a letter to the accounting and audit sectors setting out the UK’s legal framework for accounting and corporate reporting at the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020. The information in the letter is particularly relevant for UK incorporated companies, ... read more

03-12-2020

Recent case re late filing appeal

The First-tier Tribunal (FTT) has dismissed a taxpayer’s appeal for having a reasonable excuse. The taxpayer applied out of time for permission to appeal against penalties imposed by HMRC. The appeal was in relation to late payment penalties imposed on the taxpayer for failing to submit annual Self-Assessment returns on time for the tax years 2010-11 and 2012-13. The taxpayer also appealed against ... read more

02-12-2020

Supply chains, a predictive approach for 2021

One of the more positive aspects - perhaps the only positive aspect - of COVID disruption has been the movement away from fixed systems to more flexible systems to cope with the changing demands of lock-down. Who would have predicted a year ago that many of us would grow accustomed to working from home plus having to deal with economic and medical challenges in our attempts to stay financially ... read more

02-12-2020

Coping with the new EU reality

It is apparent that our final exit from the EU, 1 January 2021, will disrupt the movement of goods, back and forth, while transport links and customs authorities adjust to the new reality. Hopefully, readers that are directly affected - with customers or suppliers in the EU - will already be aware of the customs red tape that they will need to comply with in the new year. If not, we suggest you ... read more

26-11-2020

Tax Diary December 2020/January 2021

1 December 2020 - Due date for Corporation Tax payable for the year ended 28 February 2020. 19 December 2020 - PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 December 2020. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 December 2020) 19 December 2020 - Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly return for the month ended 5 December 2020. 19 December 2020 - CIS tax deducted for the month ... read more

26-11-2020

Reasonable excuses for making a late furlough claim

HMRC’s guidance on making claims through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme was updated on 19 November 2020. The updated guidance now includes various examples of what is meant by a ‘reasonable excuse’ for employers that submit furlough claims after the stated deadline. Claims for the periods from 1 July 2020 to 31 October 2020 must be submitted no later than 30 November 2020. From 1 November ... read more

26-11-2020

Beware tax deadline scammers

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 more than 846,000 reports about suspicious HMRC contact. A number of these scams purport to tell taxpayers they are due a tax rebate or tax refund from HMRC and ask for bank or credit card details in order to ... read more

26-11-2020

Register for Northern Ireland Trader Support Service

The Northern Ireland Trader Support Service was launched on 28 September 2020 to support businesses moving goods under the Northern Ireland Protocol from 1 January 2021 after the Brexit transition period comes to an end. There will be changes in moving goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland whether or not a Free Trade Deal is reached. These changes will affect those moving goods between ... read more

26-11-2020

MTD for Corporation Tax consultation

HMRC has issued a new consultation to examine how the principles established for Making Tax Digital (MTD) could be implemented for those entities within the charge to Corporation Tax. The consultation is open for comment until 5 March 2021. The regime MTD started in April 2019 for VAT purposes only. MTD for Income Tax is expected to be introduced from 6 April 2023. The consultation provides some ... read more

26-11-2020

Proposed changes to CIS abuse rules

The Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) is a set of special rules for tax and National Insurance for those working in the construction industry. It was announced at Spring Budget 2020 that a consultation on measures to tackle abuse of the CIS would be launched. Following the consultation and further meetings with those working in the sector four new changes to prevent CIS abuse are set to come ... read more

26-11-2020

Deciding length of CJRS claim period

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) commonly known as the furlough scheme was due to come to an end on 31 October 2020 but has now been extended until 31 March 2021. Effective from 1 November 2020, employees will receive up to 80% of their salary for hours not worked. There will be a review date of the CJRS in January 2021, which may see employers taking on an increased financial ... read more

26-11-2020

Spending Review 2021/22

The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak delivered the government's spending plans for the coming year to Parliament on 25 November 2020. The Spending Review usually covers 3 to 4 years but given the many unknowns as a result of the pandemic the review will only cover the period from April 2021 to April 2022. The Chancellor said his immediate priority was to protect people’s lives and livelihoods as the ... read more

25-11-2020

Why compound interest is important

Many of us are building a pension fund, a portfolio of shares or deposits with our bank or building society. Most of these investment options reward us for our participation by offering income (usually in the form of interest or dividends) or by demonstrating capital growth (share prices increasing). Accordingly, there are three components to our investments: the capital sum we invest, any ... read more

19-11-2020

Immigration Act receives Royal Assent

The Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Act 2020 received Royal Assent on 11 November 2020. This is the legislation which will end the free movement of persons under retained EU law in the UK at 11pm on 31 December 2020. It will also repeal other retained EU law relating to immigration. A new points-based immigration system will apply to EU (including EEA and Swiss) ... read more

19-11-2020

Email to replace Companies House postal reminders

Companies House has issued a press release to remind all companies to sign up for email reminders for annual accounts and confirmation statement. Companies House has now stopped sending reminders by post and has sent a final reminder letter to all companies currently receiving paper reminders. The letter explains why Companies House has stopped the paper service. For example, that research has ... read more

19-11-2020

Claiming the Self-Employed Income Support for first time?

The Government has confirmed that the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant extension will apply for 6 months from 1 November 2020. It will be possible to claim the SEISS grant extension even if no previous claim had been made under the scheme once the eligibility criteria are met. The self-employed will receive 80% of qualifying average trading profits for the first claim under the ... read more

19-11-2020

Bounce Back loans still available

The Bounce Back Loans scheme was launched in May 2020 to provide financial support to businesses across the UK that are losing revenue and seeing their cashflow disrupted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The scheme allows small businesses to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 and access the cash in most cases within 24 hours of approval. The scheme was launched for an initial period of 6 ... read more

19-11-2020

£1 million Annual Investment Allowance extended

In a welcome move, the government has announced that the temporary Annual Investment Allowance (AIA) cap will be extended for a further 12 months until 1 January 2022. The government says that this move is intended to boost confidence as companies look to weather the pandemic and plan for the future. This should also encourage investment on qualifying plant and machinery over the next 12 ... read more

19-11-2020

Benefit conditions – annual parties and events

Now is usually the time that businesses are planning Christmas parties for staff as well as possibly for partners/spouses, clients and prospective clients. Of course, with the continued pandemic and various lockdowns Christmas is looking pretty much cancelled this year. However, we have set out the benefit conditions for annual parties and events so that we can take advantage of tax exemptions in ... read more

19-11-2020

Benefit conditions – Trivial benefits

The trivial benefits in kind (BiK) exemption applies to small non-cash benefits like a bottle of wine or a bouquet of flowers given to employees or any other benefit in kind classed as 'trivial' that falls within the exemption. Although the benefit is defined as ‘trivial’, employers should remember that this offers a great opportunity to give small rewards and incentives to employees. The main ... read more

19-11-2020

Businesses within the scope of VAT in the UK

The VAT system is policed by HMRC who can and do levy 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 ... read more

19-11-2020

HM Treasury instructions re CJRS

An updated Treasury Direction under sections 71 and 76 of the Coronavirus Act 2020 concerning the extended Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) was published on 12 November 2020. The CJRS was due to come to an end on 31 October 2020 but has now been extended until 31 March 2021. Effective 1 November 2020, employees will receive up to 80% of their salary for hours not worked. Any government ... read more

19-11-2020

Scottish Budget 2021

Scotland’s Finance Secretary, Kate Forbes, has announced that the Scottish Government’s Budget will be published for 2021-22 on 28 January 2021. The date has been selected in order to allow the Scottish Government time to prepare for the new tax year. This is the second time that Scotland has held a Budget before the rest of the UK. The announcement follows the UK Government’s decision to ... read more

18-11-2020

Do you need a customs agent?

If your business acquires goods or sells goods to the EU, and you have no import/export trade with non-EU countries you probably have no experience of dealing with the raft of red tape involved in clearing goods through customs and settling any duties or VAT payable. Affected businesses will need to abide by the new regulatory situation from 1 January 2021. Only a matter of weeks from now. They ... read more

18-11-2020

Those who shout loudest

Many of the business disruption grants that have become available in the last few weeks are being distributed by local authorities. They include support for: Businesses obliged to close due to local or national lockdown and Businesses that have been severely affected by local or national restrictions but are still trading. Central government is funding these grants but responsibility for ... read more

12-11-2020

Coding out debts deadline

The coding threshold entitles tax payers to have tax underpayments collected via a tax code, provided they are in employment or in receipt of a UK-based pension. The coding applies to certain debts such as Self-Assessment liabilities, tax credit overpayments and outstanding Class 2 NIC contributions. Instead of paying off debts in a lump sum, money is collected in equal monthly instalments over ... read more

12-11-2020

Protection for landlords and tenants

The government guidance for landlords and tenants as a result of the coronavirus pandemic has been updated. The Coronavirus Act 2020 provides protection to social and private tenants by delaying when landlords can start proceedings to evict tenants. To give tenants greater protection from eviction, landlords are required to provide tenants with 6 months’ notice period before they can start ... read more

12-11-2020

Further support for mortgage borrowers

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has announced new proposals to ensure that lenders provide tailored support to mortgage borrowers who continue to face payment difficulties due to the COVID-19 crisis. This follows the additional government measures announced over recent weeks to control the spread of coronavirus. Payment holidays to support mortgage borrowers who are experiencing payment ... read more

12-11-2020

Holiday entitlements if furloughed

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) commonly known as the furlough scheme is open to all UK employers and will now run until 31 March 2021. From 1 November 2020, employees will receive up to 80% of their salary for hours not worked with a review date in January. One common question concerns holiday pay entitlement if furloughed. Employees will accrue holiday entitlement while they are ... read more

12-11-2020

Business Asset Disposal Relief

Business Asset Disposal Relief used to be known as Entrepreneurs’ Relief before 6 April 2020. The relief was renamed in Finance Act 2020. The name change does not affect the operation of the relief. Business Asset Disposal Relief applies to the sale of a business, shares in a trading company or an individual’s interest in a trading partnership. Where this relief is available CGT of 10% is payable ... read more

12-11-2020

VAT – transfer of business as going concern

The transfer of a business as a going concern (TOGC) rules concern the VAT liability on the sale of a business. Normally the sale of the assets of a VAT registered or VAT registerable business will be subject to VAT at the appropriate rate. Where the sale of a business includes assets and meets certain conditions the sale will be categorised as a TOGC. A TOGC is defined as 'neither a supply of ... read more

12-11-2020

Company trading losses

Corporation Tax relief may be available where a company or organisation makes a trading loss. The loss may be used to claim relief from Corporation Tax by offsetting the loss against other gains or profits of the business in the same or previous accounting period. The loss can also be set against future qualifying trading income. Any claim for trading losses forms part of the Company Tax Return. ... read more

11-11-2020

New Furlough Scheme guidance published

The detailed Furlough Scheme rules were updated 10 November 2020. To use the extended scheme - to 31 March 2021 - the steps that are required are: Check if you can claim Check which employees you can put on furlough Steps to take before calculating your claim Calculate how much you should claim Claim for your employees’ wages online Report a payment in PAYE real time information ... read more

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