News

The latest breaking news in the industry!

30-09-2020

Acas, CBI and TUC on handling redundancies

Acas, the CBI and the TUC have issued a joint statement to employers on best practice for handling redundancy situations caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The statement recognises that employers may need to make redundancies in order to survive, but it urges them to exhaust all possible alternatives before doing so and to carry out effective consultation with workers and trade unions. The ... read more

30-09-2020

Which way to go?

If your business has managed to negotiate the pandemic thus far without shedding staff you have probably made good use of the furlough scheme. Unfortunately, in recent months the Government’s contribution to furloughed costs has been reducing, and at the end of October the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (loosely referred to as the furlough scheme) is closing down. Last week, the Chancellor ... read more

30-09-2020

New coronavirus-related measures impacting on the employment relationship

The government’s latest advice, as confirmed in the COVID-19 Secure guidelines for different types of workplaces, is that office workers who can work effectively from home should do so over the winter. However, anyone else who cannot work from home should go to their place of work, but employers should consult with their staff to determine who needs to come into the workplace safely taking account ... read more

29-09-2020

Excuse v apology

We have all been in situations where we have received bad service. For example, you place an order in a busy restaurant and notice that folks who had arrived after you were receiving their order before you. Time passes. Still no sign of your dinner. Stretched to its limit, your patience expires, and you call over the waiter who marches over to the kitchen area. There is an exchange between the ... read more

25-09-2020

The new Winter Economy Plan - Summary of Measures

The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has today delivered a statement to the House of Commons outlining plans to help protect jobs across the UK whilst the country faces a resurgence of coronavirus and a winter of uncertainty. The Chancellor was facing mounting pressure to reveal future changes as many of the schemes and reliefs previously announced are coming to an end including the furlough scheme at the ... read more

24-09-2020

Venues required to record contact details

It has become a requirement for premises and venues across England to have a system in place to record contact details of their customers, visitors and staff. This move is intended to help trace people should a venue be linked to a coronavirus outbreak. The government has said that further guidance and, where necessary, regulations will be published specifying the settings affected by the ... read more

24-09-2020

Changes to duty free shopping

The government has published the new rules for duty free and tax free shopping that will come into effect from 1 January 2021. The changes are wide ranging. For anyone who smokes or drinks there will be no duty charged on alcohol or tobacco products from January 2021. This will apply irrespective of whether you are travelling to an EU or non-EU country. The new rules will apply to British ports, ... read more

24-09-2020

Claiming tax relief for work related expenses

Employees who need to buy equipment to use as part of their employment may be able to claim tax relief based on the cost of the equipment acquired. In most cases you can claim tax relief on the full cost of this type of equipment as it usually qualifies for a type of Capital Allowance called annual investment allowance. Any tax relief would be reduced if the employer provides a contribution ... read more

24-09-2020

Removing your home address from the public register

Company directors and other eligible people such as company secretaries, people with significant control (PSC) and LLP members can apply to remove their personal addresses from the UK’s official company register on Companies House. Company directors and others are still required to provide an alternative correspondence address if they are appointed to a live company. If they are no longer ... read more

24-09-2020

Companies in partnership

A Partnership is a relatively simple way for two or more legal persons to set up and run a business together with a view to profit. Partnerships can take many forms. Legal persons other than individuals can also be partners in a partnership. For example, companies may form partnerships with other legal persons including individuals, other companies and trustees. For tax purposes, a ‘company ... read more

24-09-2020

Definition of a potentially exempt transfer

The majority of gifts made during a person's life are not subject to tax at the time of the gift. These lifetime transfers are known as 'potentially exempt transfers' or 'PETs'. These gifts or transfers achieve their potential of becoming exempt from Inheritance Tax if the taxpayer survives for more than seven years after making the gift. There is a tapered relief available if the donor dies ... read more

24-09-2020

When the cash basis is not available to a property business

The cash basis scheme helps landlords, sole traders and other unincorporated businesses to benefit from a simpler way of managing their financial affairs. The scheme is not open to limited companies and limited liability partnerships. The entry threshold for the cash basis scheme is £150,000 and qualifying businesses can stay in the scheme until their business turnover reaches £300,000. Since ... read more

23-09-2020

Mothballing your business assets

Mothballing as used in a business sense is usually defined as to stop using a piece of equipment or process, and then storing and preserving mothballed assets for later use. Many business owners are now faced with marshalling their resources in this way. There is a temptation to sell off assets that are under-utilised due to the present COVID disruption. If assets are readily converted into cash ... read more

23-09-2020

Where is the silver lining?

It is really difficult to maintain a sense of equilibrium and optimism in these difficult times. Even if you can embrace the notion that everything changes, and they do, the present restrictions on our daily business and home lives seem all consuming and never ending. Where is the silver lining, the light at the end of the tunnel? An effective vaccine would help as would additional treatments ... read more

23-09-2020

Tax Diary October/November 2020

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

17-09-2020

Free domestic abuse advice line for employers

A new advice line for employers who are supporting employees experiencing or at risk of domestic abuse has been launched by domestic abuse charity Hestia. The Everyone’s Business Advice Line, which is being funded by the Home Office, will be a point of contact for employers, advising them on how to approach disclosures of domestic abuse by their employees, particularly in light of coronavirus ... read more

17-09-2020

Coronavirus testing guidance for employers

The government has published detailed new guidance for employers on the regulations and legal obligations relating to running internal workplace coronavirus (COVID-19) testing programmes, i.e. those which are outside of the NHS Test and Trace service. The guidance covers: legislation, regulations and best practice surrounding the testing process, including compliance with the GDPR selecting ... read more

17-09-2020

Furlough Scheme changes September 2020

As our readers will no doubt be aware, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) is closing on 31 October 2020. The scheme moved to a more flexible working arrangement from 1 July 2020 to allow employees to resume part-time working and to begin to ease employers away from their reliance on the scheme. These changes continued with effect from 1 September when government support for the scheme ... read more

17-09-2020

Companies with a 31 December year end

For companies with taxable profits of up to £1.5 million the payment of any Corporation Tax is due 9 months and 1 day after the end of your accounting period. The accounting period is usually the financial year of your business but can be different especially in the first year of business. This deadline means that companies with the popular year end date of 31 December 2019 should have paid any ... read more

17-09-2020

Working from home tax claim

If you do not receive compensation from your employer you can still claim tax relief for some expenses that result from home working. HMRC will usually allow you to claim tax relief if you use your own money for things that you must buy for your job and you only use these items for work. You must make a claim within 4 years of the end of the tax year that you spent the money. For example, if you ... read more

17-09-2020

Video-witnessed wills

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has confirmed that video witnessed wills in England and Wales will be made legal during the coronavirus pandemic. The change in law to introduce this measure is due to come into force later this month - the reforms will be backdated to 31 January 2020 - the date of the first confirmed coronavirus case in the UK. This means that any will witnessed by video technology ... read more

17-09-2020

VAT on compensation payments

HMRC has published a new Revenue and Customs Brief on the VAT treatment of early termination fees and similar compensation payments following recent judgments of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). HMRC has said that this will impact anyone who charges their customers to withdraw from agreements to supply goods or services. Previous HMRC guidance said when customers are charged to ... read more

17-09-2020

Relief for self-employed trading losses

There are a number of tax reliefs available for self-employed taxpayers that make a loss carrying on their trade, profession or vocation (collectively referred to as a ‘trade’) and for their share of trading loss for any partnerships they are involved with. For the 2020-21 tax year, trade losses can be relieved in a number of ways. This includes the following: By using the loss to reduce ... read more

17-09-2020

Carry Corporation Tax losses back

Corporation Tax relief may be available where your 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 accounting period. Where the amount of a trading loss exceeds the profits of the same accounting period, the company may claim to carry back the excess against ... read more

17-09-2020

The private pensions’ annual allowance

The annual allowance for tax relief on pensions has been fixed at £40,000 since 6 April 2014. The annual allowance is further reduced for high earners. Since 6 April 2020, the tapered annual allowance increased from £150,000 to £240,000. This means that anyone with income below £240,000 is no longer affected by the tapered annual allowance rules. Those earning over £240,000 will begin to see ... read more

15-09-2020

Green Homes Grants

A reminder that home owners and landlords can now access funding to help pay for the cost of energy saving improvements. In a recent press release the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy said: Homeowners and landlords can, since Friday 28 August, see for themselves how the government’s new Green Homes Grant scheme can help make their homes warmer and more energy ... read more

14-09-2020

Cars – it’s all online

If you have access to the internet there are a bewildering number of online resources that you can access to help you manage recurring tasks. This week we have listed a number of these with links to the relevant website pages. Book a theory test - https://www.gov.uk/book-theory-test Get vehicle information from DVLA - https://www.gov.uk/get-vehicle-information-from-dvla Tell DVLA if you have ... read more

10-09-2020

New grants for businesses affected by local lockdowns

New grant support was announced 9 September that offers businesses in areas subject to a local lockdown a measure of financial support. In a news story posted to the GOV.UK website HM Treasury said: Businesses in England required to close due to local lockdowns or targeted restrictions will now be able to receive grants worth up to £1,500 every three weeks, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Steve ... read more

09-09-2020

English plastic bag charge to double

The single-use carrier bag charge came into effect in England on 5 October 2015. This introduced a minimum charge of 5p on single-use carrier bags supplied by large shops (with over 250 employees) in England. Since then single-use carrier bags are no longer given away free when buying goods from large shops. Shoppers who bring their own bags or use thicker, reusable ‘bags for life’ do not need to ... read more

09-09-2020

Kickstart program opens in Wales

Under the new £2 billion Kickstart scheme, employers will be able to offer young people on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment, state-subsidised work placements for six months. The Kickstart scheme is available to qualifying 16 - 24 year olds in England, Scotland and Wales. Commenting on the launch of the scheme in Wales, the Secretary of State for Wales, Simon Hart, said: We ... read more

09-09-2020

Companies House has new bank account

Companies House has announced that they have new bank details effective from 1 September 2020. This is due to a Companies House change in status from a trading fund to a central government organisation. This has necessitated the introduction of a different type of bank account which come under the Government Banking scheme. Any letters Companies House sends from 1 September 2020 will include the ... read more

09-09-2020

Fast-tracking passport applications

Due to coronavirus disruption, it is currently taking up to six weeks to renew or replace a passport online. It can take even longer if you apply by post or if applying for a first adult passport. Passport offices and the premium and fast track services are currently closed. However, you may be able to get a passport urgently to travel for compassionate reasons or work, or to prove your identity. ... read more

09-09-2020

Time to Pay

Back in March 2020, as the coronavirus pandemic was just starting the government announced new emergency measures to help those businesses and self-employed people affected by COVID-19 through the Time To Pay service. A dedicated COVID-19 helpline opened on 11 March 2020 and remains available via webchat and phone. HMRC has made up to 2,000 experienced call handlers available to support businesses ... read more

09-09-2020

Taxation of grants

A wide variety of grants or subsidies are available to businesses and can be received in addition to the ordinary business income. It is important to identify these and to establish whether they are capital or revenue in nature so that they are dealt with correctly for tax purposes. Amounts received towards revenue expenditure, such as staff costs, are normally trading receipts and should be ... read more

09-09-2020

Nominating a principal private residence

There is usually no Capital Gains Tax (CGT) due on a property which has been used solely as the main family residence. Conversely, an investment property which has never been used as a private residence will not qualify for relief. This relief from CGT is commonly known as private residence relief. There are a number of issues taxpayers that own more than one home should be aware. An individual, ... read more

09-09-2020

VAT – partial exemption defined

A business that incurs expenditure on taxable and exempt business activities is partially exempt for VAT purposes. This means that the business is required to make an apportionment between the activities using a 'partial exemption method' in order to calculate how much input tax is recoverable. HMRC’s guidance explains that as a VAT-registered business, you can recover the VAT on your purchases ... read more

08-09-2020

Refunds – guidance or law?

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) recently published further detail on its views on the law in relation to cancellations and refunds during the pandemic. It remains their view that a consumer will generally be entitled to a refund when they have paid money in advance for services or goods that cannot be provided because of the coronavirus pandemic. Given the evolving situation, the CMA ... read more

08-09-2020

Witnessing wills remotely

A statutory instrument will be issued September 2020 that will legitimise the witnessing of wills by video conferencing methods. This extension to the witness process will apply from 31 January 2020 for two years. The new law will amend the Wills Act 1837 to stipulate that where wills must be signed in the ‘presence’ of at least two witnesses, their presence can be either physical or virtual. An ... read more

02-09-2020

Government legal department numbers open to fraud

The Government Legal Departments (GLD) is warning that its general enquiry number (020 7210 8500) and switchboard number (020 7210 3000) are being used by fraudsters to try and extract money from members of the public. In most of the reported cases, the fraudsters claim they are calling from the GLD or HMRC, with the GLD enquiry line number showing in the caller ID. The callers are usually very ... read more

02-09-2020

Lost your tax reference number?

Your unique taxpayer reference (UTR) is the primary identifier for tax purposes. The number is also sometimes known as your taxpayer number or tax reference number and should be used whenever you contact HMRC or when you file your tax returns. The UTR is a unique 10 digit code. You automatically receive a UTR when you set yourself up to file Self-Assessment tax returns or form a limited ... read more

02-09-2020

Tax and divorce

When a couple is in the process of becoming separated or divorced it is unlikely that they are thinking about the tax implications of doing so. However, it is important that the tax consequences of the break-up are properly considered. Whilst Income Tax does not automatically cause an issue for separating couples, as it is an individually assessed tax, there are other taxes that need to be ... read more

02-09-2020

Kickstart scheme officially launched

The new £2 billion Kickstart scheme that was announced as part of the Summer Economic update by the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak was officially launched by the government on 2 September 2020. The scheme is intended to create hundreds of thousands of high-quality 6-month work placements aimed at those aged 16 to 24. It is hoped the scheme will help young people into work and spur Britain’s economic ... read more

02-09-2020

Changes to VAT partial exemption

HMRC has updated its guidance on the VAT partial exemption treatment relevant to businesses who supply goods by way of hire purchase agreements. A policy paper entitled Revenue and Customs Brief 8 (2020): change to partial exemption VAT treatment was first published on 10 June 2020 and updated on 20 August 2020. The policy paper was released following the Court of Justice of the European Union ... read more

02-09-2020

New payments for people self-isolating

The government has announced the launch of a new trial scheme that will pay people on low incomes who need to self-isolate and are unable to work from home. The trial will start in Blackburn, Darwen, Pendle, and Oldham to ensure the process works. The trial scheme started on Tuesday, 1 September 2020. The scheme is then expected to be rolled out in other areas of England with high coronavirus ... read more

02-09-2020

Changes to EMI working time arrangements

Temporary changes to EMI working time arrangements will ensure that individuals who are furloughed or who have their working hours reduced below the current statutory working time requirement for EMI as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19) will retain the tax advantages of the scheme. These changes will apply for a limited period and will have effect from 19 March 2020 until 5 April 2021. The use ... read more

02-09-2020

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

02-09-2020

Property income split for couples

As a general rule, the fall-back position for couples who live together with their spouse or civil partners is that property income - where the property is owned in joint names - is divided 50:50. 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 are ... read more

02-09-2020

Vehicles parked on pavements

An ongoing issue for motorists is the need to have two tyres on the pavement to avoid unduly restricting road space for wider vehicles and emergency services in narrow streets. Unfortunately, this can have knock on effects for parents with buggies or disabled vehicles that need to use these pavement areas. To address these issues the Government has launched a consultation. In their recent press ... read more

01-09-2020

Travel to EU after 1 January 2021

A reminder, if one was needed, is that we seem to be heading for a no-deal Brexit from 1 January 2021. One of the issues we will all have to confront is the raft of regulation that we will need to observe from this date if travelling to the EU and certain affiliated territories. The latest advice on the GOV.UK website says: Travel to the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein will ... read more

27-08-2020

Access to Work scheme extended to working from home

The government has announced that disabled workers who are working from home during the coronavirus pandemic can now benefit from financial support following an extension to the Access to Work scheme. Workers can now apply to the Access to Work Scheme for grant funding if they are disabled and need support to work from home because of coronavirus. The grant can help pay for special equipment ... read more

27-08-2020

Redundancy factsheets for employers and employees

The government has published further information on redundancy, one for employers and one for employees. The fact sheet for employers provides guidance on the support and information available to them from the government’s free “Rapid Response Service (RRS)”. It advises employers to get in touch as soon as employees are at risk of redundancy, as it can provide a tailored package of ... read more

27-08-2020

Tax Diary September/October 2020

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

26-08-2020

Teenagers to get access to Child Trust Funds

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 will begin turning 18 from 1 September 2020. HMRC has confirmed that millions of teenagers are set to benefit as their accounts mature. ... read more

26-08-2020

Did you benefit from the Eat Out campaign?

The Eat Out to Help Out scheme to encourage the struggling restaurant sector was announced as part of the Chancellor’s Summer Economic announcements. The scheme was designed to help restaurants recover from the effects of the lockdown and has been a great success. The scheme was launched on 3 August 2020 and was available every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. The last day you can benefit from the ... read more

26-08-2020

Taking a vehicle out of the UK?

The length of time you intend to export your car from the UK will determine declarations that you will need to make to the UK authorities and to overseas customs. It will also play an important role in determining the documentation that will be required both in the UK and on arrival at the overseas destination. If you are taking your vehicle out of the UK for more than 12 months, it will be ... read more

26-08-2020

Eviction ban extended by 4 weeks

The government has announced a further four-week extension to the eviction ban for tenants affected by the Coronavirus pandemic. This means that landlords in England and Wales will be banned from evicting tenants until at least 20 September 2020. This takes the total ban to 6 months. The government has also announced plans to give tenants greater protection from eviction over the winter by ... read more

26-08-2020

Agent update August 2020

HMRC has released the latest bi-monthly issue of the 'Agent Update' publication which includes summaries of recent changes and updates that have been announced. The document, that is aimed at taxation and accountancy practitioners, includes links to more detailed information on each of the topics covered. The topics covered in the latest edition include the following: COVID-19. A reminder ... read more

26-08-2020

Property not let at commercial rates

There are special rules that apply when a property is let at less than a commercial rate or is not let on commercial terms. These rules also apply if a property is occupied rent free or at less than a commercial rate, for example, a property is occupied by a family member at a reduced or nil rent. In these circumstances, HMRC can take the view that unless the landlord charges a full market rent ... read more

26-08-2020

Support clients with grant aid 

At the end of July, the government announced £20m of new grant funding was to be allocated to Growth Hubs, specifically to help smaller businesses that have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic to access much needed professional support. These grants will provide businesses between £1,000 and £5,000 to help them access or adapt new technology and other equipment as well as to pay for ... read more

26-08-2020

Settlement legislation

The settlement rules are intended to prevent an individual from gaining a tax advantage by entering into arrangements which divert his or her income to another person who is liable at a lower rate of tax or is not liable to Income Tax. Where a settlor has retained an interest in a property, the income arising is treated as the settlor’s income for all tax purposes. A settlor can be said to have ... read more

26-08-2020

Problems booking a driving test?

The driving test online booking service reopened on Friday 21 August and then crashed due to the unexpected demand for places. By 8pm that evening the site had been visited seven million times. In a recent announcement the Drivers and Vehicles Standards Agency (DVSA) said: Coronavirus has severely impacted our business as usual operations, including by stopping driving tests in March. Since then ... read more

25-08-2020

COVID measures - tougher fines announced

The Home Office has announced tougher measures targeting the most serious breaches of social distancing restrictions. In most cases they will be effective from Friday 28 August 2020. In their announcement issued 23 August, the Home Office said: Those facilitating or organising illegal raves, unlicensed music events, or any other unlawful gathering of 30 people or more may face a £10,000 fine - ... read more

20-08-2020

Making staff redundanct - form HR1

The government has published an updated version of form HR1. Where an employer is proposing to make 20 or more redundancies at one establishment within a period of 90 days or less, they must give advance notification of those potential redundancies to the Secretary of State using form HR1. In practice, the form is returned by email to the Redundancy Payments Service. It must be returned at least ... read more

20-08-2020

New SSP regulations confirm increased minimum self-isolation period

Public Health England (PHE) has updated its guidance to increase the minimum self-isolation period for those with symptoms of coronavirus from seven to ten days, starting from when symptoms first begin. In addition, those who test positive for coronavirus but who are not experiencing symptoms must stay at home for at least ten days starting from the day the positive test was taken, and if they ... read more

19-08-2020

Banks stand up to be counted

The fifth publication has been released ranking the service quality league table of personal and business current account providers. For personal and small business customers, the survey is designed to show clearly how the quality of services compares across different dimensions, such as service quality, online and mobile offerings, overdrafts, in-branch experience and, for small business ... read more

19-08-2020

Using your own vehicle for work?

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

19-08-2020

Green Homes Grant Scheme

One of the measures announced by the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak in his Summer Economic update on 8 July 2020 was the launch of the new £2 billion Green Homes Grant scheme. From September 2020, home owners and landlords in England will be able to apply for a grant to make their home more energy efficient. The Green Homes Grant will cover at least two-thirds of the cost up to £5,000 per household. For ... read more

19-08-2020

Myths and Student Loans

Student Loans are part of the government’s financial support package for students in higher education in the UK. They are available to help students meet their expenses while they are studying. The Student Loans Company (SLC) is a non-profit making government-owned organisation that administers loans and grants to students in universities and colleges in the UK. As many students have started ... read more

19-08-2020

Applications open for second round of self-employed scheme

The second round of the Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) opened for applications on Monday 17th August. The second and final grant covers the quarter to 31 August 2020. The second grant will provide up to £6,570 for the quarter (£2,190 per month) paid in a single instalment. These figures are based on 70% of eligible earnings (previous quarter 80%). Claims for the first grant have now ... read more

19-08-2020

Implementation of the loan charge

HMRC has published further guidance on the implementation of the loan charge and has made clear there will be no special settlement terms. This follows an independent review earlier this year into whether the loan charge was an appropriate way of dealing with loans schemes (also known as disguised remuneration tax avoidance schemes) that have been used by some employers and individuals in order ... read more

19-08-2020

Companies House resumes strike-off process

Companies House has confirmed that the temporary measure to suspend compulsory strike-off action will be lifted from 10 October 2020. The temporary measure to pause compulsory strike-offs started in April 2020 in response to the coronavirus pandemic. When a company is struck off, the company's legal existence is removed from the Companies House register. The strike-off can be voluntary or ... read more

19-08-2020

Connected persons CGT and other taxes

The definition of a connected person for tax purposes can be complex and varies depending on the circumstances. A statutory definition of “connected persons” for tax purposes is set out in Section 839 of the Income and Corporation Taxes Act (ICTA) 1988. The general situation in Section 839(2) of ICTA 1988 states: "A person is connected with an individual if that person is the ... read more

18-08-2020

Greening of Scotch Whisky

Needless to say, the greening does not refer to the colour of whisky. The Green agenda has received endorsement from Scotland’s world famous distilleries who are aiming to cut their emissions by almost half a million tons of CO2 every year. The achievement has been facilitated by the new Green Distilling Fund announced in the March 2020 budget. Greening distillery operations in Scotland and ... read more

12-08-2020

Lockdown – be ready for the unexpected

One of the more insidious effects of the coronavirus outbreak is its unpredictability. Businesses need to plan. To achieve this there needs to be an underlying, stable economic platform. Lockdown - whether locally or nationally applied - removes the certainty required to achieve planned results. For example, the recent attempts to relax distancing rules and allow hospitality businesses (pubs, ... read more

12-08-2020

Want to start your own business?

One of the consequences of recession, such as the present downturn in activity caused by the Coronavirus outbreak, is the likelihood that many will face redundancy as employers try to manage the process. In the past, this shake out process seems to reawaken dreams of not placing all your income eggs in one basket and instead, dusting-off those long-desired plans to run your own business. There ... read more

11-08-2020

Tax and company cars

Most employers and employees are aware of the additional costs of providing company cars and the tax implications they create. However, for many employees the lure of having a company car means that this remains a very popular option. There are some circumstances where it can be possible to offer employees car benefits that are exempt from tax. These include: Cars available for business ... read more

11-08-2020

Why use the VAT Cash Accounting Scheme

Under standard VAT accounting, you pay VAT on your sales regardless of whether your customer has paid you. Under the Cash Accounting Scheme, VAT does not need to be paid over until your customer has paid your invoice. Your business can enter this scheme provided your estimated VAT taxable turnover for the next VAT year is not more than £1.35 million. You can continue to use the scheme until the ... read more

11-08-2020

Tax consequences if income exceeds £100,000

If your income is expected to exceed £100,000 for the first time, we would like to remind you of the effect this can have on your personal allowance and marginal tax rate. If you earn over £100,000 in any tax year your personal allowance is gradually reduced by £1 for every £2 of adjusted net income over £100,000 irrespective of age. This means that any taxable receipt that takes your income over ... read more

11-08-2020

Reporting gains on residential property

The Capital Gains Tax (CGT) reporting and payment date for UK residents that sell certain residential property changed from 6 April 2020. This change meant that any CGT due on the sale of a residential property needs to be reported and a payment on account of any CGT due made within 30 days of the completion of the transaction. In practice, this change will only apply to the sale of a residential ... read more

11-08-2020

Calculating Adjusted Net Income

Calculating the adjusted net income amount is necessary if any of the following apply: A taxpayer is liable to an income-related reduction to the personal allowance when their adjusted net income is over £100,000 (regardless of their date of birth); A taxpayer that is liable to the high income child benefit charge where they have an adjusted net income above £50,000. In order to work out ... read more

11-08-2020

Reminder of who can claim SEISS

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) was extended for a second and final three-month period from 1 June to 31 August 2020. The maximum grant available for the three-months is £6,570 (Previous quarter £7,500) paid in a single instalment. The application process for the SEISS extension will open from 17 August. Claims for the first quarter (1 March - 31 May 2020) closed on 13 July ... read more

11-08-2020

Why make voluntary NIC contributions

In many circumstances it can be beneficial for taxpayers to make voluntary Class 2 National Insurance Contributions (NICs) to increase their entitlement to benefits, including the State or New State Pension if they are self-employed. Taxpayers might want to consider making voluntary NICs because: They are close to State Pension age and do not have enough qualifying years to get the full State ... read more

11-08-2020

HMRC credit card fees

New credit card fees for paying HMRC are to be introduced from 1 November 2020. These changes will mean that HMRC will be able to charge anyone using a business debit card a fee for making certain payments. The fee for using a business debit card from 1 November 2020 is difficult to calculate but is essentially comprised of three elements. These are the merchant acquirer fee, the interchange fee ... read more

06-08-2020

Job Retention Bonus policy paper published

The government has published further guidance on how the forthcoming Job Retention Bonus Scheme will operate. The scheme will enable eligible employers to claim £1,000 for each eligible employee in respect of whom they have previously made a valid claim under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and who remains in continuous employment until at least 31 January 2021 following the closure of ... read more

05-08-2020

£50m extra funding for Customs Intermediary Grant Scheme

Over the past few months, HMRC has unveiled a package of measures to accelerate the growth of the UK's customs intermediary sector. These announcements included £50 million of new funding to support businesses with recruitment, training and supplying IT equipment to handle customs declarations as the transition period comes to an end on 31 December 2020. The application process for the £50 ... read more

05-08-2020

£20m in new grants for small businesses

£20 million worth of new government grants have been released to help small and medium sized businesses across England recover from the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic. These grants will provide businesses between £1,000 and £5,000 to help them access new technology and other equipment as well as professional, legal, financial or other advice. Commenting on the announcement, the minister for ... read more

05-08-2020

Advice for early years sector

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) launched a COVID-19 taskforce back in March 2020 to identify any commercial practices that adversely affect consumers and to consider appropriate responses to help businesses comply with the law and protect consumers' rights. One of the areas where the CMA received reports of unfair practices concerned the early years sector (nurseries and childcare ... read more

05-08-2020

Renewing your MOT

Vehicle owners with a MOT expiry date between 30 March 2020 and 31 July 2020 were given a 6 month extension. This measure was designed to help motorists as the Coronavirus pandemic began to take hold. Mandatory MOT tests for car, motorcycle and van owners in England, Scotland and Wales were reintroduced from 1 August 2020. This means that any driver whose vehicle is due for an MOT test from 1 ... read more

05-08-2020

Government u-turn on lockdown changes

Lockdown changes - in England - that were due to come into effect on 1 August 2020, have been delayed until at least 15 August. The last-minute announcement by the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, followed worries of a rise in COVID cases and means that casinos, bowling alleys and ice skating rinks will remain closed in England for the time being. The government has also paused pilot schemes to ... read more

05-08-2020

State Aid rules relaxed for CBILS loans

The government has announced that more small businesses will benefit from the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS). Under the scheme, borrowers can apply for up to £5 million in finance in the form of loans, overdrafts, invoice finance, and/or asset finance. The government will guarantee lenders 80% of the loan value, as well as covering the first 12 months of interest payments ... read more

05-08-2020

Intellectual Property Office service update

The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has ended its 'interrupted days' provisions and is now working to its usual deadlines. The IPO introduced extended deadlines, known as interrupted days, on 24 March 2020 as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak. An 'interrupted day' is defined as a day in which the normal course of business at the IPO is not possible. This meant that most deadlines for ... read more

05-08-2020

More support for film and other creative industries

A new £500 million scheme to kickstart film and television production struggling to secure insurance for COVID-related costs has been launched. This scheme will help TV and film productions that have been halted or delayed by a lack of insurance to get back up and running. The funding will be available to all productions made by companies where at least half of the production budget is spent in ... read more

05-08-2020

Breaking even

There are businesses that have benefitted from the current COVID disruption. Particularly, those that can deliver goods and services online. There are far more that have not benefitted. Before COVID-19 reared its disruptive head businesses were exhorted to make profits. This was the way most firms created surplus cash-flow and value in their businesses. Since the initial, national lock-down - ... read more

03-08-2020

Beyond furlough

Unless the Chancellor comes up with replacement funding for the furlough scheme, and there is no sign that this will happen, those businesses that have maintained their workforce by furloughing staff will face difficult choices when the present Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme closes down at the end of October. Do we keep staff on in the hope that business will improve? Or is this so unlikely ... read more

30-07-2020

Changes to tax treatment of termination payments

The government has published draft clauses for insertion into a new Finance Bill 2020-21, to be introduced into Parliament in the Autumn. These include changes which will affect employers who make termination payments. The part of a termination payment which is treated as being a payment in respect of the employee’s notice period and subject to income tax and NICs is called the ... read more

30-07-2020

New redundancy protections for furloughed employees

The government has unveiled an important new law that will protect furloughed workers who are made redundant. This will ensure that any employee who was furloughed under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) will receive their full basic statutory redundancy entitlement. This amount will be based on their normal wages, rather than the reduced furlough rate. The legislation came into effect ... read more

29-07-2020

£50 bike repair voucher scheme launched

The government has launched a new scheme - open to anyone in England - with a bike in need of repair. The Fix your Bike Voucher Scheme is a new initiative that has been championed by the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, to help fix old bikes by offering a £50 bike repair voucher towards the total cost of repairs needed. The scheme hopes to provide an alternative to using public transport, reduce ... read more

29-07-2020

How elastic is demand for your products?

Many will remember the empty shelves in supermarkets when lock-down commenced March 2020. In particular, the absence of toilet rolls… Compare this with supplies of TVs and other luxury goods where there was no noticeable absence of supply. These examples point to a basic economic theory; that a product with few substitutes (toilet rolls) and where demand is constant, is inelastic. Products ... read more

28-07-2020

Business rates review

The government has confirmed that the next business rates revaluation in England will be postponed until April 2023. The government has previously announced that the revaluation that was due in 2021 would be delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic but no date had been announced. The revaluation in April 2023 will be based on property values on 1 April 2021. The new revaluation date means that ... read more

28-07-2020

Beware £5,000 company fine

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. The confirmation statement was introduced in June 2016 and replaced the annual return. You could be subject to a fine of up to £5,000 for failing ... read more

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