News

The latest breaking news in the industry!

23-05-2024

Changes to Companies House Fees

There have been a number of significant changes in Companies House fees. These changes took effect on 1 May 2024. The last significant change in fees occurred in April 2016. The new 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 ... read more

23-05-2024

Tax credits reminder

We would like to remind our readers that HMRC is currently sending the annual tax credit renewal packs to 730,000 tax credit claimants. HMRC is encouraging recipients to renew their tax credits claim online. HMRC started writing to taxpayers on 2 May 2024 and expects all packs to be with recipients by the 19 June 2024. Renewal packs with a black stripe across the front page are automatically ... read more

23-05-2024

Reporting expenses and benefits to HMRC

The deadline for submitting the 2023-24 forms P11D, P11D(b) and P9D is 6 July 2024. These forms can be submitted using commercial software or via HMRC’s PAYE online service. HMRC no longer accepts paper P11D and P11D(b) forms. Employees must also be provided with a copy of the information relating to them on these forms by the same date. P11D forms are used to provide information to HMRC on all ... read more

23-05-2024

VAT reverse charge for builders

There are special VAT reverse charge rules for certain building contractors and sub-contractors. The rules, which came into effect on 1 March 2021, makes the supply of most construction services between construction or building businesses subject to the domestic reverse charge. The reverse charge only applies to supplies of specified construction services to other businesses in the construction ... read more

23-05-2024

Tax when transferring assets during divorce

When a couple is separating or is divorced it is unlikely that they are thinking about the tax implications of their actions. However, apart from the emotional stress, there are also tax issues that can have significant implications. The Capital Gains Tax (CGT) rules that apply during separation and divorce changed for disposals that occur on or after 6 April 2023. These changes extended the ... read more

23-05-2024

View your annual tax summary

The Annual Tax Summary is a document provided by HMRC that shows details of 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; and a breakdown of how the UK government spends your taxes - ... read more

20-05-2024

Universal Credit changes

Universal Credit claimants working less than half of a full-time week will have to look to increase their hours but will be able to benefit from extra work coach support. These changes will see 400,000 Universal Credit claimants receive more help to progress in work. The changes come as the PM announces once in a generation welfare reforms to help people find work, boost their earnings, and grow ... read more

20-05-2024

Childcare funding for under 9-month-olds

In a recent press release the Department for Education confirmed that parents of children from 9 months old can now apply to access government-funded childcare from September 2024, as England’s largest ever childcare expansion continues. From 12 May 2024, eligible working parents of children who will be 9 months old by 31 August can apply to access 15 hours of funded childcare a week - set to ... read more

16-05-2024

Employing staff for the first time?

There are a number of rules and regulations that you must be aware of when you employ staff for the first time. HMRC’s guidance sets out some important issues to be aware of when becoming an employer. Decide how much to pay someone - you must pay your employee at least the National Minimum Wage. Check if someone has the legal right to work in the UK. You may have to do other employment checks ... read more

16-05-2024

Register an overseas company

An overseas company must register with Companies House if they want to set up a place of business in the UK. This would mean that the overseas company has a physical presence in the UK through which it carries on business. If an overseas company does not have a physical presence in the UK, they are not usually required to register with Companies House. For example, an independent agent who ... read more

16-05-2024

Beneficial tax-exempt loans

An employee can obtain a benefit when provided with an employment-related cheap or interest-free loan. The benefit is the difference between the interest the employee pays, if any, and the commercial rate the employee would have to pay on a loan obtained elsewhere. These types of loans are referred to as beneficial loans. There are a number of scenarios where beneficial loans are exempt, and ... read more

16-05-2024

Closing a limited company

There are a number of reasons why you may need to close your limited company. This could be because the company structure no longer suits your needs, your business is no longer active, or the company is insolvent. You will usually need the agreement of all the company’s directors and shareholders to close down a company. The method for closing down a limited company depends on whether it is ... read more

16-05-2024

Check a VAT number

The Check a UK VAT number service is available at: www.gov.uk/check-uk-vat-number. This service allows users to check: if a UK VAT registration number is valid; and the name and address of the registered business. The service also allows UK taxpayers to obtain a certificate to prove that they checked that a VAT registration number was valid at a given time and date. This is especially ... read more

16-05-2024

Deferring National Insurance payments

Employees with more than one job may be able to defer or delay paying Class 1 National Insurance in certain circumstances. This deferment can be considered when any of the following apply: You pay Class 1 National Insurance with more than one employer. You earn £967 or more per week from one job over the tax year. You earn £1,209 or more per week from 2 jobs over the tax year. This ... read more

13-05-2024

Customs declaration deadline

A reminder that businesses must submit all export declarations through the Customs Declaration Service (CDS) by 4 June. Businesses exporting goods have less than one month left to move across to the CDS, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) announced today. Export declarations must be submitted through CDS from 4 June this year, when it replaces the Customs Handling Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) ... read more

13-05-2024

Company names – new regulations

A recent post by Companies House confirmed that they are now using new powers to challenge the registration of certain company names. Extracts from their recent blog post is reproduced below: “New powers to challenge company names These new measures build on existing controls on company names. Names cannot be the same as or too similar to an existing name, and certain terms are ... read more

09-05-2024

Time to renew tax credits

HMRC is currently sending the annual tax credit renewal packs to the 730,000 tax credit claimants and is encouraging recipients to renew their tax credits claim online. HMRC started writing to taxpayers on 2 May and expects all packs to be with recipients by the 19 June 2024. Renewal packs with a black stripe across the front page are automatically renewed. However, taxpayers must inform HMRC of ... read more

09-05-2024

Act now to claim dormant funds

The Ministry of Justice has published an urgent warning for anyone with unclaimed dormant funds held by the Courts Funds Office (CFO). Recent changes in legislation have changed the rules for individuals or entities with dormant funds held by the CFO. The new rules come into effect from 1 June 2024 and mean that any account that has been held dormant within the CFO for 30 years or more will be ... read more

09-05-2024

Check if HMRC contact is genuine

HMRC’s published guidance titled ‘Check genuine HMRC contact that uses more than one communication method’ has been updated. The list is intended to help taxpayers check if recent contacts purporting to be from HMRC are actually a scam. The guidance contains a list of emails, phone calls, letters and text messages recently issued by HMRC that are genuine. The list can be useful to help taxpayers ... read more

09-05-2024

How to claim R&D expenditure credit

In the Autumn Statement last year, it was announced that the existing R&D Expenditure Credit and Small and Medium Enterprise Scheme would be merged from April 2024. The merged scheme R&D expenditure credit (RDEC) and enhanced R&D intensive support (ERIS) became effective for accounting periods beginning on or after 1 April 2024. The expenditure rules for both are the same, but the ... read more

09-05-2024

Do you need to register for Economic Crime Levy?

The Economic Crime Levy is a levy that applies to businesses that are already regulated for anti-money laundering purposes. Your business must register if your UK revenue is £10.2 million or more in a financial year and: Your business is already regulated by HMRC for anti-money laundering purposes. Your business is regulated by a professional body for anti-money laundering purposes. The ... read more

09-05-2024

Lifetime transfers and liability to IHT

There are special rules concerning the liability to IHT of a transfer made during a lifetime. For example, most 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 IHT if the taxpayer survives for more than seven ... read more

07-05-2024

Tax Diary June/July 2024

1 June 2024 - Due date for corporation tax due for the year ended 31 August 2023. 19 June 2024 - PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 June 2024. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 June 2024). 19 June 2024 - Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly return for the month ended 5 June 2024. 19 June 2024 - CIS tax deducted for the month ended 5 June 2024 is payable by ... read more

07-05-2024

Cyber protection laws introduced

New consumer protections against hacking and cyber-attacks came into force at the end of April 2024. All internet connected smart devices will be required by law to meet minimum-security standards. Manufacturers will be legally required to protect consumers from hackers and cyber criminals from accessing devices with internet or network connectivity - from smartphones to games consoles and ... read more

07-05-2024

New Companies House powers

The recently introduced Economic Crime and Transparency Act has gifted Companies House a range of new powers aimed at reducing exploitation by corporate entities to pursue illegal enterprise. The aim of the new reforms are: Introducing identity verification for all new and existing registered company directors, People with Significant Control, and those delivering documents to the Registrar. ... read more

02-05-2024

VAT boost to charitable donations

The government is looking to introduce a new relief that would provide a VAT boost to charitable donations. The new VAT relief would be designed to encourage businesses to donate everyday items to charities without creating a VAT liability. A 12-week consultation on the proposed changes will be launched before 23 July 2024. Under the current rules, firms do not pay VAT on any goods they donate ... read more

02-05-2024

New tips guidance published

New rules that stop employers from withholding tips from people working in the hospitality, leisure and services sectors are a step closer following the publication of a new Code of Practice on tipping. The Employment (Allocation of Tips) Act 2023 colloquially known as the Tipping Act received Royal Assent on 2 May 2023. However, the measures in the Act do not come into force until all the ... read more

02-05-2024

Self-employed tax basis period reform

The self-employed tax basis period reform has changed the way trading income is allocated to tax years. Under the reforms, the tax basis period has changed from a ‘current year basis’ to a ‘tax year basis’. This means that all sole trader and partnership businesses must now report their profits on a tax year basis, beginning with the self-assessment return due by 31 January 2025 (covering the tax ... read more

02-05-2024

Directors who are liable for unpaid tax

HMRC has the power to make directors personally liable for paying the tax debts of companies they have been involved in under certain limited circumstances. This can also apply to certain other individuals associated with a company. A joint and several liability notice tells the recipient that they are personally responsible, along with the company and anyone else issued with a notice, to pay the ... read more

02-05-2024

Business rates relief in England

Business rates are a tax on non-domestic premises, including most commercial properties such as shops, offices, pubs, warehouses and factories. The money raised through business rates is used to help fund local services like the police, fire and rescue services. Business rates are generally calculated by multiplying the rateable value of commercial premises by the business rates multiplier before ... read more

02-05-2024

Hiring customs agents

Customs declarations can be difficult and time consuming to complete. Businesses can make their own custom's declarations; however, this is complex and requires specialist skills and software. Most businesses use a specialist such as a customs agent, broker, freight forwarder or fast parcel operator to submit import and export customs declarations on their behalf. HMRC publishes a regularly ... read more

30-04-2024

Free management course for SMEs

The government has launched the new Help to Grow: Management Essentials course; a short online course with practical tips and resources for small business leaders. It is based on the 12-week Help to Grow: Management Course and is suited for leaders of newer or smaller SMEs, or those who are looking to explore the principles of business growth and management before taking the next step and ... read more

30-04-2024

Post Office Offences Bill to be extended

The Government has tabled amendments to expand the territorial extent of the Post Office Offences Bill. Convictions resulting from the Post Office Horizon scandal in Northern Ireland will now be within scope. This blanket exoneration will automatically quash convictions brought about by the scandal, including 26 in Northern Ireland, clearing the names of many people who have had their lives ... read more

25-04-2024

Childcare Account chores

HMRC’s Childcare account can be used to claim free childcare (if eligible) or pay for Tax-Free Childcare. HMRC’s sign in page for the account states that in order ‘…to keep getting free childcare or Tax-Free Childcare, you must sign in every 3 months and confirm your details are up to date’. There are various eligibility rules that must be met to claim free childcare via the Childcare Account. As ... read more

25-04-2024

Do’s and don’ts for Standard Visitors to the UK

There is useful guidance published on GOV.UK that explains the do’s and don’ts for Standard Visitors to the UK. Visitors to the UK who are classed as a ‘Standard Visitor’ are allowed in the UK for tourism, business, study (courses up to 6 months) and other permitted activities. Permitted activities include the following: for tourism, for example on a holiday or vacation; to see your family or ... read more

25-04-2024

Bikes for employees

The Cycle to Work scheme allows employers to provide bicycles and cyclists’ safety equipment to employees as a tax-free benefit. The scheme must be offered to all employees and the bike must be used mainly for qualifying journeys i.e., between home and work. However, private use of the bike is also allowed. Where the scheme conditions are satisfied employees can benefit from a significant tax and ... read more

25-04-2024

Tax-free home sales

In general, there is no Capital Gains Tax (CGT) liability created when a property used as the main family residence is sold. An investment property which has never been used as a home will not qualify. This relief from CGT is commonly known as private residence relief. Taxpayers are entitled to full relief from CGT when all of the following conditions are met: The family home has been the ... read more

25-04-2024

Transferring unused nil rate band for IHT

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 allowance increased to the present maximum level of £175,000 from 6 April 2020. The allowance is available to the deceased person’s children or ... read more

25-04-2024

Checking your National Insurance records

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

24-04-2024

Tipping boost

The government’s Tipping Act is a step closer to coming into force, as the Code of Practice is published and laid before Parliament. The new Code of Practice will protect the tips of more than 2 million workers giving them a fair share of the tips received by a company. Millions of UK workers are set to take home an estimated £200 million more of their hard-earned cash, as landmark legislation on ... read more

24-04-2024

Smart energy

In a recent press release, the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero confirmed that consumers are set to benefit from cheaper and more convenient energy deals as part of new measures to create a smart, flexible electricity system to help save money on bills. They said: “New proposals set out in a recent consultation will introduce minimum requirements for cyber security and grid ... read more

18-04-2024

Payrolling employee expenses and benefits

Employers can register on a voluntary basis (before the start of the tax year) to report and account for tax on certain benefits and expenses via the RTI system. This is known as payrolling and removes the requirement to complete a P11D for the selected benefits at the tax year end. The deadline for submitting the 2023-24 forms P11D, P11D(b) and P9D is 6 July 2024. These forms can be submitted ... read more

18-04-2024

Changes to Scottish Income Tax rates 2024-25

A reminder of the changes to Scottish Income Tax rates for the 2024-25 tax year. It was announced as part of the Scottish Budget measures that a new tax band called the advanced rate band will apply a 45% tax rate on annual income between £75,000 and £125,140 and would come into effect from 6 April 2024. In addition, 1p was added to the top rate of tax and the starter and basic rate bands were ... read more

18-04-2024

Taxable employment benefits from April 2026

From April 2026, the government will mandate the reporting and paying of Income Tax and Class 1A National Insurance Contributions on benefits in kind via payroll software. This represents a significant change to the current system and should reduce the administrative requirements and simplify the tax system for both employers and employees. This means that the 2025-26 tax year will be the last ... read more

18-04-2024

View and prove your immigration status

A UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) account can be used by eligible users to view and prove their immigration status online. This may be required to provide proof of your status to employers or higher education providers. The service can also be used to update personal details or to check what rights you have in the UK, for example the right to work, rent or claim benefits. You will have a UKVI if ... read more

18-04-2024

Post Transaction Valuation Checks

A Post Transaction Valuation Check (PTVC) can be requested from HMRC for an individual to work out a capital gains tax liability or for companies to calculate corporation tax liability on chargeable gains. The request for a PTVC should be made using the CG34 form. HMRC’s guidance says the form must be completed and sent to the address on the form at least three months before the relevant tax ... read more

18-04-2024

Class 4 NICs who is liable?

Most self-employed people are required to pay Class 4 National Insurance contributions (NICs) if their profits are £12,570 or more a year. Class 4 NIC rates for the tax year 2024-25 are 6% (2023-24: 9%) for chargeable profits between £12,570 and £50,270 plus 2% on any profits over £50,270. A number of categories of people are exempt from paying Class 4 NICs, these include: People under the ... read more

18-04-2024

Tax Diary May/June 2024

1 May 2024 - Due date for corporation tax due for the year ended 30 July 2023. 19 May 2024 - PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 May 2024. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 May 2024). 19 May 2024 - Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly return for the month ended 5 May 2024. 19 May 2024 - CIS tax deducted for the month ended 5 May 2023 is payable by today. 31 ... read more

16-04-2024

COVID Bounce Back abuse

The Insolvency Service has recently published information confirming that a total of 831 company directors were banned in 2023-24 for Covid support scheme abuse, up more than 80% on the previous year, and that the average length of director disqualification for Covid misconduct in 2023-24 was almost 10 years. The Covid Bounce Back Loan Scheme was introduced at the start of the pandemic in 2020. ... read more

16-04-2024

Settling energy disputes

Business owners that are in dispute with their energy suppliers will be interested in the free support on offer from the Energy Ombudsman. In a recent press release the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero confirmed the following: “Businesses will get free support to resolve issues with their energy contracts, as part of government and Ofgem changes to tackle cowboy practices like ... read more

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