News

The latest breaking news in the industry!

11-04-2024

Accessing the HMRC mobile APP

HMRC’s free tax app is available to download from the App Store for iOS and from the Google Play Store for Android. The latest version of the app includes updated functionality. The app can be used to see: your tax code and National Insurance number; your income and benefits; your income from work in the previous 5 years; how much you will receive in tax credits and when they will be ... read more

11-04-2024

Using the starter PAYE checklist

Employers that take on a new employee need to work out which tax code and starter declaration to use in their payroll software. Incorrect tax codes can lead to a new employee paying more tax than is due. Employers will require certain information from their new employee in order to ensure that the correct tax code and starter declaration information is entered on the payroll software. In most ... read more

11-04-2024

HMRC continues to target till fraud

HMRC has, for many years, looked to target businesses that deliberately undertake electronic sales suppression (ESS). ESS happens where a business deliberately manipulates its electronic sales records in order to hide or reduce the value of individual transactions. This type of fraud is hard to spot as it tries to reduce the recorded turnover of the business and the corresponding tax liabilities ... read more

11-04-2024

Termination payment clearance process

The tax treatment of termination payments has changed significantly over recent years. The changes have aligned the rules for tax and secondary National Insurance contributions (employer (NICs)) by making an employer liable to pay NICs on termination payments they make to their employees. HMRC has announced that it is aligning its approach to providing advance assurance on certain termination ... read more

11-04-2024

VAT retail schemes

VAT retail schemes are a special set of schemes used by retail businesses to account for VAT. The schemes are used by businesses that sell a significant amount of low value and/or small quantity items to the public with different VAT liabilities. The use of the schemes can save businesses a significant amount of time in calculating the amount of VAT due to HMRC on each sale. In many ... read more

11-04-2024

Paying VAT on goods from EU to Northern Ireland

There are special procedures for moving goods in and out of Northern Ireland. Under the Northern Ireland Protocol, all Northern Ireland businesses continue to have access to the whole UK market. There is specific guidance published by HMRC that should be followed for goods that are received into Northern Ireland from a supplier in the EU. If you are registered for VAT in the UK and receive ... read more

09-04-2024

New employment protections

New legislation, including three Government backed cross party Acts, came into force from 6 April 2024. Pregnant women and new parents will now receive special treatment in a redundancy situation, as a suite of new laws are introduced - delivering the Government’s plan to support families and back hardworking Brits. New laws will protect workers by strengthening existing redundancy protections ... read more

09-04-2024

What do we mean by profit?

When most business owners refer to business profits, they are likely to mean the difference between sales and costs, and more concisely, that sales exceed costs. However, the word “profits” can prove to be a moveable feast as HMRC, banks and traders will likely have a different interpretation. For example, do costs include: intangible overheads like depreciation; the write-off of ... read more

05-04-2024

To register or not to register

In the recent Spring Budget, the VAT registration threshold was raised to £90,000 (previously £85,000) which means that smaller businesses that did not want to register for VAT, now have an additional £5,000 of turnover they can make each year without needing to register for VAT. Obviously, if you sell goods or services to other businesses, and they are likely to be registered for VAT, if you are ... read more

05-04-2024

Measures to support household budgets from 1 April

In a recent press release the government confirmed the following policies to support household incomes from 1 April 2024. The National Living Wage has officially risen from £10.42 an hour to £11.44. This marks a £1,800 annual boost to full-time workers’ pay packets. This means nobody over 21 will earn less than two-thirds of the average hourly wage increase - putting more money in the pockets ... read more

04-04-2024

More about emergency tax codes

The letters in an employee’s tax code signify their entitlement (or not) to the annual tax free personal allowance. The tax codes are updated annually and help employer’s work out how much tax to deduct from an employee’s pay packet. The basic personal allowance for the tax year starting 6 April 2024 is £12,570 and the tax code for an employee entitled to the standard tax-free Personal Allowance ... read more

04-04-2024

Claim tax relief on pension contributions

You can usually claim tax relief on private pension contributions worth up to 100% of your annual earnings, subject to the overriding limits. Tax relief is paid on pension contributions at the highest rate of income tax paid. This means that if you are: A basic rate taxpayer, you get 20% pension tax relief. A higher rate taxpayer, you can claim 40% pension tax relief. An additional rate ... read more

04-04-2024

Claim tax relief if working from home

If you are an employee who is working from home, you may be able to claim tax relief for part of your household bills that are related to your work. If your expenses or allowances are not paid by your employer, you can claim tax relief directly from HMRC. You can claim tax relief if you have to work from home, for example because: your job requires you to live far away from your office; ... read more

04-04-2024

Restarting a dormant or non-trading company

HMRC must be informed when a non-trading or dormant company starts trading and becomes active for Corporation Tax purposes. Companies can use HMRC Online Services to supply the relevant information. When a company has previously traded and then stops it would normally be considered as dormant. A company can stay dormant indefinitely, however, there are costs associated with doing this and ... read more

04-04-2024

Online check how to import or export goods

HMRC has a useful online tool to help UK business owners check how to import or export goods. This online tool can be used by businesses, the self-employed and agents acting on behalf of a business. Using the online tool you can obtain information on: the commodity codes (reference numbers) you need to classify goods for import and export declarations; paying the right VAT and duties for your ... read more

04-04-2024

Tax-free mileage expenses

If you use your own vehicle for business journeys you may be able to claim a tax-free allowance from your employer known as a Mileage Allowance Payment or MAP. The allowance is paid when employees use their own car, van, motorcycle or bike for work purposes. It is important to note that this tax-free allowance is not available for journeys to and from work but is available where employees use ... read more

27-03-2024

HMRC helpline changes on hold

HMRC has been forced into an embarrassing climbdown on plans to close the Self-Assessment, VAT and PAYE helplines from early April until September this year. HMRC has now confirmed that these helpline changes have been abandoned following feedback from many concerned stakeholders, including MPs, accountants and members of the public. This means that the helplines will remain open as usual for the ... read more

27-03-2024

Assistance with debt management

Earlier this month, saw the 10th anniversary of the StepChange Debt Charity’s annual Debt Awareness Week. This is designed to shine a spotlight on the causes of problem debt. The focus on this year's campaign is looking at the main barriers to getting debt advice. This includes understanding that many people can take too long to get the help they need because they: Don’t understand what debt ... read more

27-03-2024

What are the off-payroll working rules?

The rules for individuals providing services via an intermediary such as a personal service company (PSC) are complex. The rules apply if the worker who provides services to a client through their own intermediary would have been an employee if they were providing their services directly to that client. The off-payroll working rules usually shift the responsibility for deciding whether the ... read more

27-03-2024

HMRC to accept service of legal proceedings by email

HMRC has issued an updated ‘news story’ to confirm that, where possible, new legal proceedings and pre-action letters can be served on the department using email instead of post. This measure was originally introduced in April 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The update confirms that this is a permanent change and not just limited to COVID-19 arrangements. New legal proceedings in ... read more

27-03-2024

Rent a Room Scheme – another income stream

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

27-03-2024

Entitlement to carer’s allowance

Carer’s credit is a National Insurance credit that can help carers to fill gaps in their National Insurance record. Carers who don’t qualify for Carer’s Allowance may qualify for Carer’s Credit. This may also help carers increase their State Pension entitlement. The Carer’s Credit is available to qualifying applicants caring for one or more people for at least 20 hours per week. A carer’s income, ... read more

26-03-2024

We are unpaid tax collectors

Clients often refer to the VAT added to supplier invoices as if it were a cost to their business regardless of their VAT position. This is true if you are not registered for VAT, you do not have to add VAT to your sales and you cannot recover any VAT you pay on purchases. Under these circumstances, VAT is a cost. If you are registered for VAT, cash you collect from your customers will include ... read more

26-03-2024

Time to rethink the credit you offer your customers

Most business owners are driven by sales targets and to meet these targets they may be tempted to offer extended payment terms. For example, if your business grants a customer time to pay - say 60 days - after the services or goods supplied have been delivered, effectively, your money stays in their bank account for 60 days. Further, if you have incurred costs regarding a sale, which have to be ... read more

21-03-2024

Tax-free child care

HMRC is reminding parents that they may be eligible for Tax-Free Childcare (TFC) to help pay for school holiday childcare costs. The TFC scheme can help parents of children aged up to 11 years old (17 for those with certain disabilities). The TFC scheme helps support working families with their childcare costs. There are many registered childcare providers including childminders, breakfast and ... read more

21-03-2024

Invest and save tax

The Annual Investment Allowance (AIA) is a generous tax relief that allows for the total amount of qualifying expenditure on plant and machinery to be deducted from your profits before 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. Only partnerships or trusts with ... read more

21-03-2024

Check your National Insurance record

There is an online service available on HMRC to check your National Insurance Contributions (NIC) record online. The service is available at https://www.gov.uk/check-national-insurance-record In order to use this service, you will need to have a Government Gateway account. If you do not have an account, you can apply to set one up online. By signing in to the 'Check your National Insurance ... read more

21-03-2024

Workplace pension responsibilities

Automatic enrolment for workplace pensions has helped many employees make provision for their retirement, with employers and government also contributing to make a larger pension pot. The law states that employers must automatically enrol workers into a workplace pension if they are aged between 22 and State Pension Age, earning more than the minimum earning threshold. The minimum threshold is ... read more

21-03-2024

Declare a beneficial interests in joint property

The usual tax position for couples who live together with their spouse or civil partners is that property income held in joint names is divided 50:50. This is regardless of the actual ownership structure. However, where there is unequal ownership and the couple want the income taxed on that basis a notification must be sent to HMRC together with proof that the beneficial interests in the property ... read more

21-03-2024

What a tax code means

The letters in your tax code signify your entitlement (or not) to the annual tax free personal allowance. The tax codes are updated periodically and help employer’s work out how much tax to deduct from an employee’s pay packet. The basic personal allowance for the current (and next) tax year is £12,570. The corresponding tax code for an employee entitled to the standard tax-free Personal ... read more

19-03-2024

Customs Declaration Service open for business

All businesses can now move their export declarations to the Customs Declaration Service (CDS), HMRC has confirmed. Businesses who have yet to move their export declarations to CDS will have a transition period to move across, until 4 June 2024. After this date, customs declarations cannot be submitted through the Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) service. CDS is replacing ... read more

19-03-2024

Apprenticeships boost

From the start of April 2024, the government will increase the amount of funding that employers who are paying the apprenticeship levy can pass onto other businesses. Apprenticeships can currently be funded by a levy paying employer transferring up to 25% of their unused levy to a different employer. Under the new measures, large employers who pay the apprenticeship levy will be able to transfer ... read more

14-03-2024

Tax Diary April/May 2024

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

14-03-2024

Company confirmation statement changes

As well as filing accounts with Companies House, there is an important requirement to check that the information Companies House has about your company is correct every year. This is facilitated by the filing of an annual company confirmation statement. Companies House can prosecute a company and its officers for failing to file a confirmation statement and the company can be struck off. ... read more

14-03-2024

Still time to register for the Marriage Allowance

There is still time to register for the marriage allowance before the current tax year ends on 5 April 2024. The marriage allowance applies to married couples and those in a civil partnership where a spouse or civil partner does not pay tax or does not pay tax above the basic rate threshold for Income Tax (i.e., one of the couples must currently earn less than the £12,570 personal allowance for ... read more

14-03-2024

Tax on savings interest

If you have taxable income of less than £17,570 in 2023-24 you will have no tax to pay on interest received. This figure is calculated by adding the £5,000 starting rate limit for savings (where 0% of the interest is taxable) to the current £12,570 personal allowance. In addition, there is also a Personal Savings Allowance (PSA). This allowance ensures that for basic-rate taxpayers the first ... read more

14-03-2024

Register of Overseas Entities

The Register of Overseas Entities came into force in the UK on 1 August 2022. The register is held by Companies House and requires overseas entities that own land or property in the UK to declare their beneficial owners and / or managing officers. HMRC has recently published an updated list of the UK-regulated agents who have an agent assurance code and can complete verification checks on ... read more

14-03-2024

Changing a company’s accounting year end

There are special rules which limit the ability to change your company’s accounting year end date. A company’s year end date is also known as its ‘accounting reference date’ and is historically set by reference to the date the company was incorporated. Under certain circumstances it is possible to make a change to the accounting year end and for some businesses this can have trading and / or tax ... read more

14-03-2024

Eligibility for replacement of domestic items relief

The replacement of domestic items relief enables landlords to claim tax relief when they replace movable furniture, furnishings, household appliances and kitchenware in a rental property. The allowance is available based on the cost of domestic items such as free-standing wardrobes, curtains, carpets, televisions, fridges and crockery. In order for relief to be given, four conditions must be ... read more

12-03-2024

Public sector productivity

In a recent announcement by the Treasury, it was announced that plans are afoot to deliver up to £1.8bn of productivity benefits by 2029. The aim is to improve public sector productivity, including releasing police time for more frontline work. The Chancellor is promoting increases in public sector productivity as an alternative to accepting an ever-increasing bill for public services as the ... read more

12-03-2024

Tech companies assist with fuel price transparency

Leaders from top comparison sites, RAC and The AA will be among those meeting the Energy Affordability Minister to help share new fuel price data and keep costs down for motorists. Price comparison sites and map apps will have access to this new data as part of the government’s PumpWatch initiative, which aims to drive down prices at the pumps. The scheme will look to make fuel prices, updated ... read more

07-03-2024

Spring Budget 2024 – NIC changes

As had been widely expected, the Chancellor announced further changes to National Insurance contributions (NIC) rates for employees and the self-employed. There will be a further 2% cut in the main rate of Employee National Insurance from 6 April 2024. This will see Class 1 NICs reduced by 2% from 10% to 8%. This is on top of the earlier reduction, announced as part of the Autumn Statement ... read more

07-03-2024

Spring Budget 2024 - VAT registration threshold changes

The taxable turnover threshold that determines whether businesses should be registered for VAT increased to £90,000 from 1 April 2024. The previous limit was £85,000. The taxable turnover threshold that determines whether businesses can apply for deregistration was also increased from £83,000 to £88,000 on the same date. It had been previously announced that the rates would be frozen until 31 ... read more

07-03-2024

Spring Budget 2024 – High Income Child Benefit Charge

The High Income Child Benefit Charge (HICBC) came into force January 2013 and has applied to taxpayers whose income exceeds £50,000 in a tax year and who are in receipt of child benefit. It was announced as part of the Spring Budget measures that the income threshold at which HICBC starts to be charged will be increased from £50,000 to £60,000 effective from 6 April 2024. The HICBC is charged at ... read more

07-03-2024

Spring Budget 2024 - Alcohol and Tobacco Duty

As part of the Spring Budget measures, the Chancellor announced that the duty rates on beer, cider, wine and spirits would be frozen at the current rates from 1 August 2024 until 1 February 2025. This is an extension to the previous alcohol duty freeze announced in last year’s Autumn Statement that took effect on 1 February 2024 and was scheduled to last for 6 months until 1 August 2024. The ... read more

07-03-2024

Spring Budget 2024 - CGT on disposals of residential property

A higher rate of Capital Gains Tax (CGT) applies to gains on the disposal of residential property if the gain falls into the higher rate band. In the Spring Budget, the Chancellor announced a reduction in the higher rate that exists for residential property from the current rate of 28% to 24% from 6 April 2024. These rates apply to higher rate taxpayers as well as to trustees and personal ... read more

07-03-2024

Spring Budget 2024 – non-dom changes

In a move that may partly have been prompted by seeking to mirror a longstanding policy of the Labour party, the Chancellor has announced that the generous non-dom rules are to be axed. From April 2025, the government plans to abolish the remittance basis of taxation for non-UK domiciled individuals and replace it with a simpler residence-based regime. Individuals who opt into the regime will not ... read more

07-03-2024

Spring Budget 2024 - Fuel Duty rates

In the Spring Budget, the Chancellor extended the fuel duty cut for a further 12 months to help support households and businesses at a time of high oil prices. The Chancellor acknowledged that the rising price of fuel places a huge burden on families and businesses. The government was under considerable pressure from consumer and business groups to try and alleviate the pain of high fuel prices. ... read more

06-03-2024

Budget summary 6 March 2024

As expected, the Chancellor has found wriggle room in his fiscal rules that have allowed him to please his fellow Conservatives by reducing the impact of taxation. Not an unfamiliar tactic for a government in a general election year. The impact of tax changes announced are summarised below. Impact on personal finances Further fall in employee National Insurance contributions (NIC) As expected, ... read more

04-03-2024

Pension fund reforms

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

04-03-2024

Companies House rolls-out new powers

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

29-02-2024

Update on the tax status of Double Cab Pick Ups

HMRC have reversed a previous decision (originally published 12 February 2024) on the tax status of Double Cab Pick Ups (DCPUs), following an earlier 2020 Court of Appeal judgment. The earlier decision, now reversed, had announced that effective from 1 July 2024, DCPUs with a payload of one tonne or more would be treated as cars rather than goods vehicles for both capital allowances and ... read more

29-02-2024

Companies House filing fees increase

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

29-02-2024

Contractors and CIS

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

29-02-2024

Advise HMRC if company is dormant

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

29-02-2024

Appeals against tax penalties

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

29-02-2024

Holiday Lets averaging election

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

28-02-2024

Crack down on ‘fire and rehire’ practices

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

28-02-2024

A new champion for small businesses appointed

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

22-02-2024

Beware fake tax rebate offers

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

22-02-2024

Cost of living final payment 2023-24

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

22-02-2024

Are you self-employed?

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

22-02-2024

Types of limited companies

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

22-02-2024

Entitlement to Business asset disposal relief

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

22-02-2024

Letting part of your home

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

20-02-2024

Top-line, bottom-line?

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

20-02-2024

Importing or exporting for the first time?

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

15-02-2024

A reminder that NLW and NMW rates are increasing

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

15-02-2024

Checking Furnished Holiday Let property occupancy

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

15-02-2024

Eligibility for the VAT Flat Rate Scheme

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

15-02-2024

Tax on inherited private pensions

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

15-02-2024

What is Class 1A NIC?

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

15-02-2024

Autumn Finance Bill 2023 update

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

14-02-2024

The Valuation Office Agency tackles holiday lets

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

14-02-2024

Full-time and part-time contracts

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

09-02-2024

Tax Diary March/April 2024

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

08-02-2024

Alcohol duty freeze takes effect

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

08-02-2024

Record number of taxpayers file on time

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

08-02-2024

Reporting employee changes to HMRC

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

08-02-2024

Landlords - claiming maintenance and repairs costs

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

08-02-2024

Should you pay tax on selling goods online?

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

08-02-2024

Using your own vehicles for work-related journeys

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

06-02-2024

Government promotes electric vehicles

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

06-02-2024

Does your business offer customs services?

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

01-02-2024

Time to Pay your tax

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

01-02-2024

Penalties if you missed the filing deadline

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

01-02-2024

File early to have self-assessment tax coded out

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

01-02-2024

Joining or leaving the VAT Cash Accounting Scheme

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

01-02-2024

Capital sums derived from assets

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

01-02-2024

Do you need to tell HMRC about additional income?

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

29-01-2024

Changes at Companies House

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

29-01-2024

Does your business have a March year end date?

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

25-01-2024

Correcting payroll mistakes

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

25-01-2024

Reporting company car changes

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

25-01-2024

Do you need to register for self-assessment?

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

25-01-2024

Assets made available to an employee

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

25-01-2024

VAT – option to tax property

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

25-01-2024

Tax and working from home

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

22-01-2024

Government launches new WhatsApp channel

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

22-01-2024

Government steps to secure UK supply chains

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