The Autumn Budget 2017

November 23, 2017

Autumn Budget 2017 Prospects for growth, especially for productivity have been downgraded, but the Chancellor was bullish in his forecasts for investment and the Government’s intention to sort out the slow pace of house building in the UK. A few non-tax comments of note were:   • Unemployment at its lowest rate since 1975. • […]

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Are your bank deposits protected

November 21, 2017

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) is the place to go if your bank or other regulated organisation is unable to pay claims against it. For most of us this will mean that our deposits with banks authorised to hold deposits by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) will be […]

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January 2018 and taxes to pay

November 16, 2017

January is the month when individuals and businesses are required to pay tax. If your business is a limited company, and your tax year ends 31 March 2017, any corporation tax due for that year is payable 1 January 2018. Unlike your self-employed counterparts – see below – no payments on account are required for […]

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Child benefit tax trap

November 14, 2017

A family claiming the weekly Child Benefit (currently, £20.70 a week for eldest or only child and £13.70 a week for additional children) may get an unwelcome tax bill if either parents’ income exceeds £50,000 during a tax year. A tax charge was introduced a number of years ago, known as the ‘High Income Child […]

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Abolition of self-employed NIC to be deferred

November 10, 2017

The Low Incomes Tax Reform Group (LITRG) has welcomed a recent announcement by the Government that there will be a one-year delay before the removal of Class 2 National Insurance contributions (NICs) to enable consultation on the impact of its abolition on the self-employed with low incomes. If Class 2 NICs were abolished, those with […]

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Smaller businesses to be drawn into the VAT net

November 9, 2017

The Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) published a report setting out a range of proposals for simplifying VAT. According to the OTS the tax is showing its age. What was meant to be a simple tax has become highly complex and it has not kept pace with changes in society. The most significant issue identified […]

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Clampdown on child maintenance cheats

November 6, 2017

If a parent owes child maintenance, deductions to recover that debt can currently only be made from a bank or building society account held solely by them. Unfortunately, a small minority of parents are cheating their way out of supporting their children by putting their money into a joint account with a partner. New laws […]

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Tax Diary November/December 2017

November 1, 2017

1 November 2017 – Due date for corporation tax due for the year ended 31 January 2017. 19 November 2017 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 November 2017. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 November 2017.) 19 November 2017 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly […]

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Corporation tax payment deadline for March year end companies

November 1, 2017

Many companies have adopted the end of March each year as their accounting year end date. Corporation tax is payable by most smaller companies nine months and one day after the end of their accounts year end. Accordingly, companies that have adopted a 31 March date will need to pay any corporation tax liability for […]

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Carry back charitable donations

November 1, 2017

One of the few remaining options to carry back tax allowable payments to a previous tax year is the facility to set off certain charitable donations made after 5 April 2017, to the tax year 2016-17. Allowable donations have the effect of extending the amount of income you can earn at the basic rate of […]

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Paying self-assessment tax by instalments

November 1, 2017

If you file your 2016-17 self-assessment tax return on or before 30 December 2017, you can elect to spread the repayment of any underpayment of tax for 2016-17 to the tax year 2018-19. This is done by amending your tax code for 2018-19 such that any arrears are repaid by increasing your tax payments each […]

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Room to breathe

October 31, 2017

The government are considering plans to offer people with serious debt issues time to consider their options. They are seeking views to develop a way to provide individuals in debt with up to six weeks free from further interest, charges and enforcement action. This period would give those affected time to act by seeking financial […]

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Could you claim a tax refund

October 26, 2017

If one party to a marriage or civil partnership has earnings below the personal tax allowance (£11,500 for 2017-18) and their spouse does not pay tax at the higher 40% rate, then they should be claiming the Marriage Allowance. For 2017-18 this tax break is worth £230 in cash terms. The allowance was introduced from […]

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Gazumping to become a thing of the past

October 24, 2017

The government seems to be taking steps to streamline the process of buying and selling your home. In particular, they are seeking views on ending the practice known as gazumping: where an offer can be accepted and then disregarded when a higher offer is received. In many countries this is illegal, once an offer is […]

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Not so trivial benefits

October 18, 2017

According to HMRC you don’t have to pay tax or NIC on a benefit provided to an employee if: it costs you £50 or less to provide (or the average cost per employee if a benefit is provided to a group of employees and it is impracticable to work out the exact cost per person) […]

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Are you lending money to your company

October 17, 2017

There is a whole raft of legislation that seeks to penalise directors and shareholders if they borrow money from their company. These regulations include possible benefit in kind charges for the director/shareholder, and additional corporation tax payments of 32.5% for the company. In effect, the tax system discourages directors from using their company as a […]

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Bookkeeping in the cloud

October 13, 2017

Smaller business owners, those with annual turnover below the current VAT registration threshold (£85,000 for 2017-18), will be relieved to know that the impending digitisation of tax by HMRC will not be a requirement when the process starts for business tax from April 2019. You can register on a voluntary basis, but many smaller businesses […]

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Avoid property fraud

October 12, 2017

Since September 2009, HM Land Registry has prevented 254 fraudulent applications being registered. The most common fraud is when someone pretends to be you and mortgages or even sells your property without your knowledge. A simple and cost-effective way to counter this activity is to register with the award-winning Property Alert service. This is managed […]

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Under 18s and tax

October 9, 2017

Children (under 18s) can earn up to £11,500 in the current tax year and pay no income tax. This is the maximum that can be earned during 2017-18 and will include earnings from all sources subject to income tax. The most common are: Income from employment Income from self-employment Bank interest and dividends received – […]

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Tax Diary October/November 2017

October 3, 2017

1 October 2017 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 31 December 2016. 19 October 2017 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 October 2017. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 October 2017.) 19 October 2017 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly […]

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Pay your VAT monthly

October 3, 2017

If you find it difficult to manage quarterly payments to HMRC to settle your VAT, why not consider the VAT Annual Accounting Scheme (AAS). With the AAS you: make nine payments on account towards your annual VAT bill – based on your last returns (or estimated if you’re new to VAT), and submit one VAT […]

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Self-employed tax payments

October 3, 2017

Self-employed persons and other individuals who submit a self-assessment (SA) tax return should bear in mind that there are only three months until the electronic filing and payment deadline for 2016-17, 31 January 2018. If you have not filed the 2016-17 SA return yet, or at the very least crunched the numbers to work out […]

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What are tax-free transfers for Inheritance Tax purposes

October 3, 2017

There are many reliefs for IHT purposes. They include: Business Property Relief – 100% relief for business assets including an interest in a business, a controlling interest comprising unquoted shares including AIM listed shares, and unlisted shares in a private company. Agricultural Property Relief – 100% relief (occasionally 50%) A controlling interest in a listed […]

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Tax legislation

October 3, 2017

Readers may be forgiven for finding the recent rash of announcements by HMRC, regarding possible changes to tax legislation, rather confusing. On 8th September, we were informed that the remaining sections of the March 2017 finance bill, that were deferred due to the May election, were back in circulation and being dealt with by the […]

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Self-employed and using your own car

October 3, 2017

There are two options if you use a car in your self-employed business for business and private purposes. You can buy the car through your business, claim a capital allowance, and write off the costs of running the car as a business expense, and in both instances, you will need to adjust your claims to […]

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What can you do with tax losses

September 28, 2017

Tax losses can arise due to a difficult trading period. They can also be created if you invest in qualifying equipment and you are able to set this cost against your trading profits – if the cost of the assets exceeds your profits you will have a tax loss. There are three ways you can […]

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What is subject to Stamp Duty Land Tax

September 26, 2017

Most of us are aware that we pay Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT), or the regional equivalents, when we buy a property, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. For example, if you give something of value in exchange for land or property, it will also count towards the chargeable consideration and therefore […]

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New Data Protection Bill

September 21, 2017

The Government has published the long-awaited Data Protection Bill that will incorporate most of the provisions set out in the EU General Data Protection Regulation. This will apply from 25 May 2018, and many businesses will need to update their data security arrangements to comply with the new regulations. The Bill will introduce safeguards to […]

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Claiming for employment related expenses

September 19, 2017

If you are employed, and this will include most directors, you can claim for expenses that you have paid for personally, to be set against your income liabilities for the relevant tax year. You must keep records of the amount you have spent and make a claim to HMRC within four years of the end […]

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When is a replacement an improvement

September 14, 2017

We are often asked by landlord clients to clarify the difference between a replacement item of furniture, furnishing, household appliances or kitchen ware, and a purchase that may be considered an improvement. The difference is critical, as from April 2016, the 10% wear and tear allowance was scrapped and the new Domestic Items Relief (DIR) […]

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Tax free dividend squeeze confirmed

September 12, 2017

The government reintroduced the remainder of the March budget last week, it’s the part that was held-over to accommodate the May 2017 general election. It confirms two items that will be of interest to smaller business owners. Firstly, that businesses with turnover below the current VAT registration threshold (£85,000 for 2017-18) will not be required […]

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30 hours free childcare for working parents

September 7, 2017

The Department for Education released the following press release last week regarding the new childcare support offer that commences from 1 September 2017. They said: Parents of three and four-year olds who have registered for a place will join the 15,000 families benefitting in the 12 areas of the country that introduced the offer early. […]

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Tax Diary September/October 2017

September 5, 2017

1 September 2017 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 30 November 2016. 19 September 2017 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 September 2017. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 September 2017) 19 September 2017 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly […]

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Evidence of earning for mortgage purposes

September 5, 2017

If you are a client, and registered to submit a Self Assessment tax return, we can provide you with a statement that you can use as evidence of earnings for mortgage purposes. If you are not a client, there are many ways you can obtain this data direct from employers and other sources. For example, […]

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Claiming back professional subscriptions

September 5, 2017

If your employment requires that you obtain and maintain membership of a professional organisation, you can make a claim to set the cost against your taxable earnings for income tax purposes. As you would expect there are a few hoops you will need to jump through to claim this relief. They are: You must have […]

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VAT bad debt relief

September 5, 2017

If you use standard VAT accounting – pay VAT on sales when invoiced and claim back VAT on purchases when invoiced – you may have availed yourself of the six months claim for bad debt relief on unpaid invoices. This would have allowed you to claw back VAT paid to HMRC on invoices that are […]

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Common misconceptions about tax and letting property

September 5, 2017

HMRC has published a list of popular misconceptions that taxpayers have about letting property. We have listed below a summary of situations where you will need to declare rental earnings to HMRC: If you inherit property and let it out. If you buy a property as an investment and let it out. Divorcing partners, who […]

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Beware self employed contributions trap

September 5, 2017

To qualify for the full, new State Pension you will need to have 35 years of contributions. At present, the self-employed pay Class 2 (a fixed weekly amount of £2.85) and Class 4 contributions (9% of profits between £8,164 and £45,000, and 2% of profits over £45,000), but only the Class 2 payments contribute towards […]

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Self employed taxed on profits not drawings

August 31, 2017

We are often asked by self-employed clients to explain why their tax bills are high in proportion to the amount they withdraw from their business as “wages”. In truth, the self-employed do not take a wage, this would imply that the cost of their “wages” is a deduction for tax purposes, and this is not […]

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Pension scams

August 30, 2017

The government has proposed a wide-ranging ban to prevent pension scams. The consultation listed the sorts of phone conversations that the government intends to fall within the scope of the ban. These included: offers of a ‘free pension review’, or other free financial advice or guidance assessments of the performance of the individual’s current pension […]

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Where is my profit, it is not in the bank

August 23, 2017

This is a question we are regularly asked by clients. Usually, the conversation is triggered when we discuss the end of year accounts. Before we explain why profits are not always represented by cash in the bank, we need to define the term “profits”. Profits are the difference between what you sell and the costs […]

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Rent a room at home tax free

August 22, 2017

On the face of it, the rent-a-room relief is straight forward: if your gross rents from letting are not more than £7,500 in the current tax year, there is nothing you need to do, this income is free of tax; but beware the small print. Gross rents are defined as the rental income you receive […]

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Involving children in your business

August 16, 2017

Whilst it is possible to involve your children in your business, this is a strategy that should be approached with caution. Giving shares in your company to minor children is perfectly possible, but any dividends that you pay to under eighteens will be treated as if the income belonged to the relevant parent. HMRC would […]

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Organising a trading name for your company

August 14, 2017

We are often asked to register a trading name for an existing company. Usually, this is done so an incorporated business can develop a new brand with a name that is different to their existing company name. Unfortunately, there is no formal process that can be employed to do this; no registrar of trading names. […]

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Saving to pay tax

August 10, 2017

If you are employed, or receive a pension from a non-State provider, any tax you should pay is probably deducted before payment under the PAYE rules. Assuming HMRC administer this process correctly, any taxes due should be settled in full. However, the self-employed, those in receipt of significant dividends or bank interest, and retired persons […]

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Dying without a Will, bad idea

August 8, 2017

Many people die without making a Will. In legal terms, this means they die “intestate”. When this happens, the estate must be shared out according to certain rules. Individuals who may benefit under these rules are: Married partners and civil partners at the time of death. This includes separated partners but not divorced partners or […]

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Minimum Wage legislation

August 3, 2017

No-one is going to complain if you pay more than the National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage rates – which ever applies. However, there are matters you will need to consider if you pay less than the appropriate minimum wage rates. The minimum wage legislation applies to workers or employees. It does not apply […]

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Tax Diary August/September 2017

August 2, 2017

1 August 2017 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 31 October 2016. 19 August 2017 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 August 2017. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 August 2017) 19 August 2017 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly […]

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Making Tax Digital E common sense prevails

August 2, 2017

Making Tax Digital (MTD) is the government’s latest attempt to fully digitise the process of collecting data from taxpayers so they can speed up the process of calculating how much tax you owe. Until recently, we were facing radical changes to the tax system to accommodate this objective. Businesses (including landlords) were to be required […]

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Director minimum salary levels 2017-18

August 2, 2017

Many director shareholders take a minimum salary and any balance of remuneration as dividends. This tends to reduce National Insurance Contributions, and in some case Income Tax. The planning strategy is to pay a salary at a level that qualifies the director for State benefits, including the State Pension, but does not involve payment of […]

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Rangers tax scheme kicked into touch

August 2, 2017

There has been a long running tax case rumbling through the lower courts on the use of a device called an Employee Benefit Trust (EBT) by Glasgow Rangers Plc. HMRC have considered the use of the EBT a scheme to avoid PAYE and NIC. The case has now been considered by the Law Lords in […]

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Possible changes to tax rules for companies

August 2, 2017

There is a government department, the Office for Tax Simplification (OTS), that has been charged with investigating ways that the UK’s tax rules can be changed to make them easier to understand and easier to use. The OTS has recently issued a new report on the proposal to simplify the Corporation Tax assessment process for […]

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Uniforms, work clothing and tools

August 2, 2017

It is possible to claim for the cost of repairing or replacing small tools you need to do your job as an employee (for example, scissors or an electric drill), or cleaning, repairing or replacing specialist clothing (for example, a uniform or safety boots). If you need to buy other equipment to use in your […]

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Tax credits renewals deadline 31 July 2017

August 1, 2017

The deadline to renew a claim for tax credits is 31 July 2017. This time last year, HMRC announced that over 400,000 claimants had still not filed their renewals, and as a direct result, had their payments stopped or amended. One week before this year’s deadline, HMRC says that over 900,000 claimants have failed to […]

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Reminders for landlords

July 27, 2017

Making Tax Digital Until a recent announcement, landlords were going to be drawn into the requirement to upload quarterly details about their property businesses to HMRC under the Making Tax Digital obligations. The date that did apply was April 2018 or April 2019 depending on the level of your rental income. We are now told […]

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Excessive credit card charges to be axed

July 25, 2017

The government is unveiling new rules that will mean card-charging in Britain – where people can be charged 20% extra for purchases like a flight just for paying with a credit card – will come to an end in January 2018. ‘Surcharging’ is common practice across the country – with businesses ranging from takeaway apps […]

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Finance Bill No2 2017

July 20, 2017

To accommodate the May 2017 election, the government rolled-over items in the Mach 2017 budget for consideration later this year. HMRC have now confirmed that these “in abeyance” items from the March budget will be reconsidered when parliament reconvenes after the summer recess. Those items deferred that were due to be effective from April 2017, […]

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Making Tax Digital – common sense prevails

July 18, 2017

Making Tax Digital (MTD) is the government’s latest attempt to fully digitise the process of collecting data from taxpayers so they can speed up the process of calculating how much tax you owe. Until last week, we were facing radical changes to the tax system to accommodate this objective. Businesses (including landlords) were to be […]

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Tax payments due 31 July 2017

July 13, 2017

If you are self-employed, or registered for self-assessment, we are approaching “that” time of the year: your second instalment on account for 2016-17, is due for payment at the end of the month, 31 July 2017. Any payment due will be based on your self-assessment liability for the previous tax year (2015-16) so it is […]

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Life in the Cloud

July 12, 2017

There seems to be a trend supporting the movement of our computer software and data to the “cloud”. Not the fluffy white variety, but servers that are based off-site. Even our tax system is pushing us in that direction. If and when the government’s objective to Make Tax Digital is finally realised, each of us […]

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What is tax free these days

July 6, 2017

Surprisingly, there is quite a lot. As long as you are resident in the UK for tax purposes you will probably qualify for the following tax reliefs and allowances for the 2017-18 tax year: The first £11,500 of your personal taxable income is free of income tax, although you will pay 12% NIC on earnings […]

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Tax Diary July/August 2017

July 5, 2017

1 July 2017 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 30 September 2016. 6 July 2017 – Complete and submit forms P11D return of benefits and expenses and P11D(b) return of Class 1A NICs. 19 July 2017 – Pay Class 1A NICs (by the 22 July 2017 if paid electronically). 19 […]

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McLaren racing team lose tax appeal

July 5, 2017

It is a well-established feature of previous judgements that a fine imposed to punish an organisation should not be treated as tax deductible – the tax relief secured would effectively share out the burden of the punishment with the rest of the taxpaying community. Which is why the First Tier Tribunal (FTT) decision, allowing McLaren […]

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Landlords bear the brunt of recent tax changes

July 5, 2017

Recent budgets have done little to improve the financial position of landlords. One change stands out above the rest: the loss of higher rate tax relief on finance charges. Many landlords have concentrated on growing their property portfolios in recent years and, taking advantage of the low interest rates, have borrowed heavily to maximise property […]

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Self-employed combined liability

July 5, 2017

Whether you pay Income Tax or National Insurance, the effect on your cash flow is the same. The payments are a necessary part of our obligation to fund the activities of State, but the self-employed are often surprised that their bi-annual tax payments cover Income Tax and National Insurance. The weekly Class 2 contribution is […]

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Making Tax Digital – are we making progress

July 5, 2017

There is evidence that HMRC’s Making Tax Digital (MTD) implementation team are working with advisors and their clients to beta test the computer systems that will drive the quarterly upload process when it is timed to begin April 2018. For those readers who may have missed our previous updates on this topic, MTD aims to […]

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Sole trader or limited company

July 5, 2017

We are often asked to judge whether it’s better for a business to be run as a sole trader, or incorporated as a limited company. The risk argument is fairly straight forward. If your trade or service provided involves risk, and a risk that it is difficult to fully insure, then the limited company is […]

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Investing in your business is still tax effective

June 29, 2017

If you crunch the numbers, and decide that investing in new technology, a new van, or other equipment will make a positive difference to your bottom line profits, and in a reasonable time-frame, the next question to ask is – what difference will the initial purchase make to your tax bill? As long as the […]

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When do NIC contributions stop

June 27, 2017

You are required to make National Insurance Contributions on your earnings, whether employed or self-employed, until you reach the State Retirement Age. The only exception is if you qualify for exemption from contributions if your salary or business profits are below a certain minimum amount. For 2017-18 these lower limits are: Below £157 a week […]

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Need help joining the digital age

June 22, 2017

Computers are not everyone’s cup of tea. In fact, there are very few of us who can declare with some confidence that we are computer literate. Unfortunately, there does seem to be a drive to increase their effective use in business and the offices of HMRC. Gone are the days when HMRC’s offices were populated […]

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National Insurance exemption

June 20, 2017

Employers, or more specifically, the persons in charge of processing their payroll, are hopefully checking the box to claim the National Insurance Employment Allowance (EA)? The EA reduces the employers’ (secondary) Class 1 NIC bill. If your employers’ NIC charge is normally more than £3,000, then this is as good as £3,000 additional cash in […]

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Making the most of opportunity

June 15, 2017

There are a number of ways that director shareholders of private companies can withdraw funds from their businesses. We have listed below a number of options, the list is not exhaustive, but the points do provide insight into the opportunities that current tax law allows incorporated businesses. Director shareholders can provide themselves with up to […]

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Oh what a night

June 13, 2017

It is fair to conclude that Mrs May’s ambitions suffered a set-back Thursday last week. She is now attempting to manage a minority government, and Brexit apart, there are other outstanding legislative matters that demand her attention. One is the remainder of the Finance Bill 2017, that was placed in abeyance in order to accommodate […]

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Recovery of VAT after deregistration

June 8, 2017

Last week we discussed in this blog, how to recover VAT paid prior to registering for VAT. This week we are going to sketch out the reverse position: how to reclaim VAT after you have deregistered. According to HMRC, you can make a claim for relief from VAT charged to you on certain services (not […]

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The hidden tax on car benefits for employers

June 6, 2017

Businesses that provide employees with taxable benefits: company cars, health insurance and so on, will be aware that a benefit in kind charge is added to the employee’s income and subjected to an income tax charge the same as their salary. Employers will also be aware that the cumulative sum of all the taxable benefits […]

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Tax Diary June/July 2017

June 2, 2017

1 June 2017 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 31 August 2016. 19 June 2017 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 June 2017. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 June 2017.) 19 June 2017 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly […]

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Claim back pre-registration VAT

June 2, 2017

It is possible to reclaim VAT you have paid on any business purchases before you have subsequently registered for VAT. In fact, once you have registered your business for VAT the first thing you should consider is the possibility of reclaiming input tax on purchases of goods and services prior to registration. This article summarises […]

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When does a hobby become a trade

June 2, 2017

An example may illustrate the answer to this question. Harry updates his iPad and decides to sell his old one – he does not use the iPad for his employment or any business, it’s used purely for recreational purposes. He sets up an account on eBay and manages to sell for a reasonable price. Encouraged, […]

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What happens if you can’t pay your tax on time

June 2, 2017

Following on from the previous article, we thought readers might be interested in the consequences if they fail to pay their Self Assessment tax on time. If you are facing cash-flow issues, and cannot see how you can afford to settle part, or all of your tax payment due 31 July 2017, what is the […]

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Tax due next month

June 2, 2017

Are you self-employed? If you are, you may need to make your second payment on account for 2016-17, due date for payment is 31 July 2017. This second payment on account will have been based on 50% of your combined Self Assessment tax and Class 4 NIC liability for 2015-16. Which raises an interesting question. […]

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Are you missing out on a �662 tax rebate

June 1, 2017

Apparently, over 4 million tax payers are eligible to claim the new marriage allowance, but only 2 million have done so. If our math is correct, this add up to £1.3bn in unclaimed tax refunds. The allowance has been available since 6 April 2015 and is worth £212 for 2015-16, £220 for 2016-17 and £230 […]

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Possible bonus when you register for VAT

May 31, 2017

Businesses are required to register for VAT purposes when their annual taxable turnover exceeds £85,000 (this limit applies from 1 April 2017). You will not have to account for VAT on your taxable sales up to the date you are required to register, but interestingly, you may be able to claim back VAT you have […]

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Do you use your car for business purposes

May 25, 2017

Many employees use their own cars to undertake journeys for their employers. In most cases, employers will pay for this. Generally, they will pay a rate per mile. HMRC consider this type of mileage payment as tax exempt as long as the rate per mile paid does not exceed a certain amount. Currently, the tax-free […]

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Changes to taxable benefits from April 2017

May 23, 2017

The good news, the way in which benefits in kind are taxed – company cars, mobile phones, etc. – is unchanged for the tax year just ended, to 5 April 2017. Consequently, you can expect your tax position regarding any benefits you enjoy to be unchanged for 2016-17; as long as the benefits themselves have […]

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Damage limitation

May 17, 2017

The phrase “in-limbo” comes to mind when describing the present outlook for businesses in the UK. What will be the outcome of the June election? What will be the outcome of the withdrawal from the EU? We will all likely be affected. If not directly involved in trade with Europe, we are possibly part of […]

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What is the current tax position when dividends are taken

May 15, 2017

One of the most useful ways for owner directors of small companies to reduce their overall tax and NIC costs is to pay themselves a reduced salary – just enough to maintain their State benefits entitlements – and take any balance of remuneration in the form of tax efficient benefits and dividends. Government has changed […]

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The new Criminal Finances Bill

May 11, 2017

New legislation to increase the powers of law enforcement received Royal Assent 27 April 2017. The Criminal Finances Act 2017 will give law enforcement agencies and partners, further capabilities and powers to recover the proceeds of crime, tackle money laundering, tax evasion and corruption, and combat the financing of terrorism. The act: creates unexplained wealth […]

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Change in accounts filing for small companies

May 10, 2017

Small companies are required to file a copy of their end of year accounts with Companies House. In the past, it has been possible to file abbreviated accounts – basically, a few notes and a Balance Sheet with very little data regarding profitability – for smaller companies this has restricted the amount of financial information […]

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Under 4 year olds now eligible for tax-free childcare

May 5, 2017

The government have issued the following press release regarding the roll-out of the new tax-free childcare scheme: From 21 April 2017, working parents can start applying for two new government childcare schemes launching this year – Tax-Free Childcare which begins immediately and 30 hours free childcare which starts in September. This means that working parents […]

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Finance Bill reduced

May 4, 2017

In order to ensure that the Finance Bill 2017, introduced March 2017, is passed before the impending general election, huge chunks of the original, published bill have been removed. In the national press this has been referred to as a “wash-up”. Significant legislation has been side-lined in the process. For example, the following charging provisions […]

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Tax Diary May/June 2017

May 2, 2017

1 May 2017 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 31 July 2016. 19 May 2017 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 May 2017. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 May 2017) 19 May 2017 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly […]

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What are approved mileage payments

May 2, 2017

Mileage Allowance Payments (MAPs) are the rates used by employers to reimburse employees when they use their own transport for business purposes. The current rates are well-known. They are: Cars and vans – 45p per mile for the first 10,000 miles and 25p thereafter. Motorcycles – 24p per mile Bikes – 20p per mile As […]

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Beneficial loans to employees

May 2, 2017

In many cases, making loans to your employees or their relatives can create an obligation to report a beneficial loan to HMRC. The deemed benefit would be a taxable benefit in kind for the relevant employee, and would increase the employer’s Class 1A NIC bill at the end of the tax year. However, certain loans […]

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All change for driving instructors and learner drivers

May 2, 2017

Driving instructors will have a tough time this year. Many are sole traders and will need to start changing their record keeping to accommodate the challenges of Making Tax Digital, either April 2018 if their turnover is above the VAT registration limit (presently £85,000), or April 2019 if their turnover is below this limit. On […]

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Expenses and benefits for employees

May 2, 2017

Until 2015-16, it was possible to apply for a dispensation to exclude certain expenses and benefits provided to employees from the year end returns to HMRC: primarily the submission of forms P11D. These dispensations ceased to be effective from 6 April 2016. From this date many of the expenses covered by dispensations were exempted from […]

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A note for driving instructor clients E and learner drivers

April 27, 2017

The Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency has released its response to a consultation with the industry to “Improve the car driving test”. In their conclusion they say: “This paper reports the outcome of the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency’s (DVSA) consultation about changes to the car driving test. The consultation was held between 14 July […]

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New accounts filing regulations for smaller companies

April 25, 2017

Companies house recently published the following news story. Changes to UK company law removed the option for small companies to file abbreviated accounts for accounting periods starting on or after 1 January 2016. Small companies If you are a small company, you have 4 options for filing your accounts: 1. Micro-entity accounts You must meet […]

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What are your responsibilities to pay the National Minimum Wage

April 20, 2017

The current state defined wage rates are divided between the National Living Wage (NLW) – this is currently set at £7.50 per hour and only applies to workers aged 25 years and over – and the NMW for workers under 25 years. The NMW hourly rates are currently: Age group 21 to 24 – £7.05 […]

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Tax free capital gains

April 19, 2017

Is there such a thing as a tax-free capital gain? In fact, there is… Every UK resident tax payer is allowed to make tax-free gains of up to £11,300 during the current tax year, 2017-18. Additionally, you can sell personal possessions and make a gain of up to £6,000 without paying capital gains tax (CGT). […]

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Is the State Pension taxable

April 17, 2017

Short answer, yes it is… The State Pension is worth between £6,359.60 (the old version), and £8,296.60 (the new version), and many pensioners may receive additional payments based on additional contributions made in prior years. In both cases, this pension income is treated the same as earned income for income tax purposes. For 2017-18, every […]

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Utilising tax losses

April 11, 2017

We have listed below a few of the ways you can make best use of tax losses. Generally speaking, a tax loss arises when a claim for expenses and other allowances (for example capital allowances for equipment purchases) exceeds the income of the relevant trade. Many losses arise as a direct result of a difficult […]

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Tax Diary April/May 2017

April 6, 2017

1 April 2017 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 30 June 2016. 19 April 2017 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 April 2017. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 April 2017) 19 April 2017 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly […]

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Dividend tax set-back

April 6, 2017

The final matter we want to showcase for this month is the proposed reduction in the dividend allowance from April 2018. At present, shareholders with dividend income below £5,000 will pay no Income Tax on their dividend income. From April 2018, Mr Hammond looks set to reduce this to £2,000. The average dividend yield for […]

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Class 4 NICs

April 6, 2017

The Chancellor announced two increases in Class 4 NI contributions for the self-employed in his budget and in the following week withdrew the increases for the term of the current parliament. His original notion was to start the process of equalising the NI contributions made by the employed and self-employed now that State Benefits, particularly […]

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Simplified cash basis

April 6, 2017

For some time now, unincorporated businesses have been able to submit simplified accounts in order to settle their tax liabilities. The main advantage of using this system is that income and expenditure is based on money received from customers and money paid to suppliers. In other words, the accruals basis, where income and outgoings are […]

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Will the new one pound coin affect your business

April 6, 2017

The new, 12 sided coin became legal tender from 27 March 2017. Businesses that deal in cash transactions, or use equipment that accepts the £1 coin should take note of the following: The 28 March 2017 to 15 October 2017 is nominated as the co-circulation period for the new £1 coin. What this means is: […]

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Working from home

April 5, 2017

Clients often ask if working from home is going to create issues from a tax point of view. There are a number of scenarios to consider. Employers’ obligations to employee homeworkers: Equipment, services and supplies Employers that provide equipment, services and supplies to an employee who works from home, don’t have to report or pay […]

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One week to go

March 30, 2017

Next week sees the end of the 2016-17 tax year. On the 6 April 2017, any action you take to minimise your tax liabilities for 2016-17 will be largely ineffective. So what, if anything, can you still action this week? Capital gains tax (CGT) The amount of tax free gains you can make during 2016-17 […]

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New childcare funding choices

March 28, 2017

The government have launched a new website aimed at parents who may be able to claim for support with childcare costs. The web address is https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk/. How Tax-Free Childcare works Working parents will be able to apply, through the childcare service, to open an online childcare account. For every £8 that families or friends pay […]

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Follow companies for free

March 23, 2017

If you want to keep an eye on documents filed with Companies House for a particular company, you can register for a new service that will do just that at Companies House. The new service is called “Follow” and it allows you to receive email alerts. Follow lets you receive email alerts of company transactions. […]

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Reduction in the dividend allowance

March 21, 2017

Unless there are further political objections, one of the few remaining revenue raising changes in the recent spring budget was the reduction in the £5,000 dividend allowance from April 2018. From this date the allowance will drop to £2,000. This measure will increase the tax charge for investors with significant, quoted share portfolios and the […]

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Making Tax Digital – a step closer

March 16, 2017

Another matter that received some clarification last week was the government’s move to implement MTD for the self-employed from April 2018. When the scope of MTD was first published it was proposed that the self-employed (including unincorporated property businesses) would need to commence the quarterly upload of summarised accounts data, direct to HMRC’s digital accounts, […]

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Self-employed NIC increase

March 14, 2017

Although there was little of substance to Philip Hammond’s budget last week, one particular issue caused some political controversy. It was the proposal to increase the National Insurance contributions for the self-employed from 9% to 11% over a two-year period starting April 2018.   From this date, April 2018, the weekly Class 2 contributions will […]

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Employment boost for older workers

March 10, 2017

A new strategy is calling on employers to boost the number of older workers and ensure they are not writing people off once they reach a certain age, helping to build a country that works for everyone. It’s estimated that by mid-2030s people aged 50 and over will comprise more than half of the UK […]

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Budget Statement 8 March 2017

March 9, 2017

Personal Tax and miscellaneous matters Personal Tax allowance The personal allowances for 2017-18 is £11,500 (2016-17: £11,000). Transferrable allowances The maximum amount of free personal allowance that can be transferred between spouses is increased to £1,150 in 2017-18. Couples can only make a claim if one partner has spare personal tax allowance and the other […]

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The budget crystal ball

March 8, 2017

Today Philip Hammond will present his first budget to parliament; forecasting any changes he may be considering to the UK tax system is perhaps unwise. If he remains committed to austerity, anticipating any potential fall-out from the Brexit process and maintaining (or more likely slowing down) the repayment of national debt, it is difficult to […]

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Marriage Allowance

March 8, 2017

Although the financial impact of this allowance is relatively low, it is surprising that there has not been more uptake of the Marriage Allowance since its inception 6 April 2015. In fact, taxpayers that qualify can still backdate a claim for 2015-16 as well as make a claim for the current tax year, 2016-17. Marriage […]

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Tax Diary March/April 2017

March 1, 2017

1 March 2017 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 31 May 2016. 2 March 2017 – Self Assessment tax for 2015/16 paid after this date will incur a 5% surcharge. 19 March 2017 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 March 2017. (If you pay your tax […]

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The UK is to get its first Small Business Commissioner

March 1, 2017

A search is underway to recruit the UK’s first Small Business Commissioner. The commissioner will be a high profile role supporting small businesses in payment disputes with their larger customers. The Commissioner appointment is an important measure in tackling late payment issues Expected to be based in Birmingham, the Commissioner will be a national champion […]

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Buy to let property owners – time to start planning for tax changes

March 1, 2017

Property business owners, particularly buy-to-let landlords, have been hit with a number of quite dramatic changes in their tax status. One of the most draconian is the gradual disallowance of tax relief for finance payments that starts April 2017.   We have highlighted this issue in past articles posted to this newsletter. In essence, from […]

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Personal tax and National Insurance changes for 2017-18

March 1, 2017

In no particular order changes already announced include: The personal tax allowance will increase to £11,500 and the higher rate threshold will rise to £45,000. The annual ISA limit will increase to £20,000. Both employers and employees will start paying NICs on weekly earnings above £157. The government will legislate for a new Income Tax […]

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Making Tax Digital

March 1, 2017

We have now seen the response of HMRC to representations made by accountants and other interested parties to their Making Tax Digital (MTD) agenda. A reminder that MTD will result in the gradual digitisation of small business (including landlords) reporting to HMRC. The present proposals will oblige smaller businesses to upload quarterly data to HMRC […]

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Tax free pensions advice

February 28, 2017

People planning their retirement will be able to withdraw up to £1,500 from their pension pots tax-free to pay for financial advice, under recent plans unveiled by the government.   The new Pension Advice Allowance, first announced at Autumn Statement 2016, will enable people to withdraw £500 up to three occasions from their pension pots […]

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Buy-to-let and the changing tax landscape

February 27, 2017

Buy-to-let property owners have been singled out in recent budgets for some quite draconian tax changes. One of the most pervasive starts 6 April 2017. From this date, tax relief for the cost of borrowing – predominately interest charges – will be progressively withdrawn and replaced with a basic rate tax credit. Between now and […]

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Lifetime ISAs

February 20, 2017

A reminder that from 6 April 2017 Lifetime ISAs are available as an alternative tax-free investment. The lifetime Individual Savings Account (ISA) is a longer term tax-free account that receives a government bonus. Details published 17 February 2017 are: You can open a lifetime ISA if you are aged 18 or over but under 40. […]

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Duty free limits

February 16, 2017

While we are members of the EU, it continues to be the case that there are no limits to the alcohol and cigarettes you can bring back to the UK. However, if customs officials believe you are bringing back goods to sell them in the UK they will take an interest. According to HMRC you […]

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All is fair, unless you expect HMRC to minimise your tax bill

February 14, 2017

Although HMRC refer to taxpayers as customers, and thereby suggest a degree of customer service, in the real world this rarely extends to offering “customers” pro-active tax advice. Historically, tax collectors are trained to maximise the assessment and collection of tax. Consequently, tax payers should be wary, they should check the tax statements that are […]

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Wholly and exclusively

February 9, 2017

The title of this posting describes an important concept when considering claims for expenditure to reduce our tax bills. By and large, HMRC will accept claims that have been expended wholly and exclusively for the purposes of running a business or fulfilling your employment obligations. But what does this phrase actually mean? Certainly, if you […]

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A step closer to Making Tax Digital

February 8, 2017

We have advised readers in previous postings that HMRC seem to be intent on digitising the upload of small business accounting data from April 2018. From this date, affected self-employed traders (including landlords) will be required to upload details of their trading activities on a quarterly basis. On the 31 January, HMRC responded to the […]

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Are you claiming the costs that you incur on behalf of your employer

February 6, 2017

HMRC have the following advice to offer: “You may be able to claim tax relief if you have to use your own money for travel or things that you must buy for your job. You must have paid tax in the year you spent the money. How much you can claim depends on the rate […]

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Tax Diary February/March 2017

February 1, 2017

1 February 2017 – Due date for corporation tax payable for the year ended 30 April 2016. 19 February 2017 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 February 2017. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 February 2017) 19 February 2017 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly […]

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Beware internet phishers

February 1, 2017

The end of January, self-assessment filing deadline, and the approaching tax year end seem to stimulate fraudulent activity focussing on tax issues. In particular, increasingly convincing attempts are made to get tax payers to part with their personal bank details or other personal information for nefarious purposes. HMRC will never ask for your personal details, […]

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Considering investing in plant or equipment

February 1, 2017

Business owners may be considering their options for investment in new equipment especially if their trading year end is March, as is often the case. There are a number of considerations: Cash flow, can the business afford the cost or fund loan or other financing arrangements? Will the new equipment make a positive impact to […]

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Director disqualified for seven years

February 1, 2017

Directors have a responsibility to maintain, preserve and deliver up records that are adequate to explain the financial position of their company. If they fail to do so, they run the risk of being disqualified from acting as a director. In a recent Insolvency Service investigation, a director was banned for seven years. His transgressions […]

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Storm damage

February 1, 2017

Costs that businesses incur to clean up after the recent storms, that affected the north and east coasts in particular, need to meet the usual qualifying criteria that they are incurred “wholly and exclusively” for business purposes in order to be a legitimate write-off for tax purposes. If the costs are covered by insurance, no […]

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Tax planning options 2016-17

January 31, 2017

There are just two months left before the end of the 2016-17 tax year. Those tax payers who have income from business or property sources, and have not yet considered their tax planning options for 2016-17, should do so as soon as possible. Most tax planning options expire at the end of the tax year. […]

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Gifts and Inheritance Tax reliefs and exemptions

January 26, 2017

There’s usually no Inheritance Tax to pay on small gifts you make out of your normal income, such as Christmas or birthday presents. These are known as ‘exempted gifts’. There’s also no Inheritance Tax to pay on gifts between spouses or civil partners. You can give them as much as you like during your lifetime […]

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New Lifetime ISA available from April 2017

January 24, 2017

The Lifetime ISA will be available for young adults from April 2017 as the Savings (Government Contributions) Bill receives Royal Assent. The Help to Save scheme to help people on low incomes will be available from 2018. The Lifetime ISA, available from 6 April 2017, can be accessed to put towards a first home or […]

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Reminders of significant tax changes from April 2017

January 19, 2017

The first thing you can count on, is that taxation is here to stay. The second thing you can count on is that the tax rules will continue to change to meet the changing needs of our government to recover funds from the economy and restart the cycle of public expenditure that maintain services and […]

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Affected by severe weather or flooding

January 17, 2017

It is unfortunate that HMRC have designated the 31 January as the filing deadline for self-assessment purposes as we are more likely to be adversely affected by extreme weather events at this time of the year. There are not many businesses that can continue to trade if their premises, equipment or stock have been affected […]

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When do you need to register for self-assessment

January 12, 2017

We are fast approaching the end of the 2015-16 tax return filing period – returns for this year should be filed electronically by 31 January 2017. If you are not registered for self-assessment you may be wondering if you should consider registering for 2016-17. We have listed below HMRC’s list of who should be submitting […]

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More funding available to rural businesses

January 10, 2017

£120 million of funding is to be made available to support farmers, grow businesses, and generate thousands of jobs in rural communities. This announcement was made by the Environment Secretary, Andrea Leadsom, earlier this month at the Oxford Farming Conference. Funding to be released will include further support for the following types of project: Rural […]

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Tax return deadline at the end of this month

January 5, 2017

If you are required to file a tax return for 2015-16, and have not yet done so, you have until 31 January 2017 to complete the online filing process before automatic fines and possible penalties will be applied. Readers may be amused by the following excuses made by tax payers who have previously filed late […]

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Tax Diary January/February 2017

January 4, 2017

1 January 2017 – Due date for corporation tax due for the year ended 31 March 2016. 19 January 2017 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 January 2017. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 January 2017) 19 January 2017 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly […]

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Capital gains tax planning 2016-17

January 4, 2017

This is also an appropriate time of the year to consider your CGT position if you have already disposed of (or are considering a disposal) of an asset subject to CGT during 2016-17. Most of our readers will be aware that they can make chargeable gains of up to £11,100 in the tax year 2016-17 […]

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Car fuel advisory rates from 1 December 2016

January 4, 2017

From 1 December 2016, the advisory fuel rates have changed to: 1400cc or less: petrol 11p per mile, LPG 7p per mile 1401-2000cc: petrol 14p per mile, LPG 9p per mile Over 2000cc: petrol 21p per mile, LPG 13p per mile Diesel rates: 1600cc or less: 9p per mile 1601-2000cc: 11p per mile Over 2000cc: […]

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Is your employer still paying for your private fuel

January 4, 2017

It is worth repeating an article we first published March 2016 that highlighted the cash benefit to company car drivers and their employers, of reimbursing the cost of fuel provided for private motoring. The rates have been updated for 2016-17. Since the tax on private fuel provided with company cars is so high, many employers […]

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Three months to go

January 4, 2017

All UK taxpayers may benefit from pausing, taking a deep breath, and considering their planning options as we approach the run-up to yet another tax year end. Individuals The prime areas for consideration are where income levels are threatening to break through into the higher rates of income tax. For 2016-17, these are: If your […]

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Two items on our watch list for 2017

January 4, 2017

Whilst it is never easy to double guess future changes in our tax system there are already changes afoot, some included in past legislation, and some promised by prior announcement. Two items are worthy of a new year’s underline. Firstly, buy to let landlords that have borrowed heavily to build their rental property portfolio should […]

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Do not have a fake Christmas

December 22, 2016

The Intellectual Property Office has issued a video setting out the dangers of buying counterfeit goods this Christmas. They say: Counterfeiting can be defined as the manufacture, importation, distribution and sale of products which falsely carry the trade mark of a genuine brand without permission and for gain or loss to another. Counterfeits can bring […]

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What taxes are payable if you set up in business

December 20, 2016

The answer to this question depends, in the first instance, on the business structure you select. If you run your business as a sole trader, or in partnership with another person, you are deemed to be self-employed. Partnerships also include Limited Liability Partnerships where the partners’ personal assets are protected from business risks. The alternative […]

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The Land Registrys free property alert service

December 15, 2016

This service helps people to detect fraudulent activity on their property by sending them email alerts when there is certain activity on the property being monitored, such as a mortgage being taken out against it. The recipient can then decide whether they think the activity is suspicious and act quickly if so. The alert email […]

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Changes to the VAT Flat Rate Scheme

December 14, 2016

As we have noted in previous blog postings, Philip Hammond announced a significant change to the VAT Flat Rate Scheme (FRS) from 1 April 2017. To join this scheme, businesses need to have turnover excluding VAT of under £150,000. VAT payable to HMRC is based on a fixed percentage of turnover including VAT. The percentage […]

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Carry back gift aid donations

December 12, 2016

For a number of years, it has been possible to make gift aid donations and carry them back to the previous tax year. This is a useful tax planning facility if earnings were higher in the previous year, and in some cases it may mitigate loss of personal allowances and tax at higher rates.   […]

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What is a power of attorney

December 7, 2016

A lasting power of attorney (LPA) is a legal document that lets you (the ‘donor’) appoint one or more people (known as ‘attorneys’) to help you make decisions or to make decisions on your behalf. There are two sorts of LPA. They can cover personal issues (health and welfare) or financial issues (property and financial […]

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Tax Diary December 2016/January 2017

December 5, 2016

1 December 2016 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 29 February 2016. 19 December 2016 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 December 2016. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 December 2016.) 19 December 2016 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly […]

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Changes to NLW and NMW from April 2017

December 5, 2016

From April 2017, the National Living Wage (NLW) for the over 25s is being increased to £7.50 per hour. This is an increase from the current NLW rate set in October 2016 of £7.20 an hour. For the over 25s, this will represent a wage increase of just over 4%. The National Minimum Wage (NMW) […]

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Are you affected by changes to the VAT Flat Rate Scheme (FRS)

December 5, 2016

HMRC is to introduce an additional test that will determine the flat rate percentage used by traders. It would seem that HMRC presently considers the benefits obtained by certain businesses to be excessive and not in accord with the intentions of Parliament. Traders that meet the new definition of a “limited cost trader” will be […]

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Salary sacrifice under the microscope

December 5, 2016

Salary sacrifice is a term applied to benefits taken in place of salary. In many respects these benefits provide employees with higher “take home” value than if the benefits were treated the same as cash income. Mr Hammond is mindful to curb this practice as it is intended that the change will add £1bn a […]

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Autumn budgets from 2018

December 5, 2016

Mr Hammond surprised listeners to his autumn statement speech when he said: This is my first Autumn Statement as Chancellor. After careful consideration, and detailed discussion with the Prime Minister, I have decided that it will also be my last. And then quickly followed with: Mr Speaker I am abolishing the Autumn Statement. No other […]

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Philip Hammonds last Autumn Statement

December 1, 2016

Philip Hammond surprised MPs when he ended his Autumn Statement by saying: This is my first Autumn Statement as Chancellor. After careful consideration, and detailed discussion with the Prime Minister, I have decided that it will also be my last. This was quickly followed by: Mr Speaker I am abolishing the Autumn Statement. No other […]

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Tax changes announced last week

November 29, 2016

Last week, Philip Hammond presented his first Autumn Statement to parliament. In some respects, it was a bit of a damp squid as there were no stand-out revelations. However, there were a few tax changes that are worthy of note: Pension pot reinvestment The over 55s have been making good use of George Osborne’s facility […]

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Autumn Statement wish lists

November 23, 2016

Organisations across the UK have been publicising their wish lists for Philip Hammond’s first autumn statement later this week. Amongst tax practitioners there seems to be a preference for increases in the Inheritance Tax threshold and the merger of income tax and National Insurance. Northern business leaders are keen to see investment in roads and […]

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Buy to let lenders subject to new regulation

November 22, 2016

Just when it looked as if things couldn’t get any worse for prospective buy-to-let investors – in particular the gradual withdrawal of higher rate tax relief for finance charges – the Bank of England’s Financial Policy Committee (FPC) will be granted new powers by the government to help it protect the financial system from future […]

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The season to be merry

November 17, 2016

If you are involved in planning the staff Christmas party for your firm don’t forget to consider the income tax consequences. Here’s a short reminder of the points you should add to your check list. The cost of an annual staff party or similar function is allowed as a deduction for tax purposes. However, the […]

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Making tax digital – nothing to worry about

November 16, 2016

Readers will be relieved to note that their professional advisors and other interested organisations, have recently lobbied HMRC to temper their agenda for making tax digital (MTD). In case you have not heard of MTD, HMRC intend to require businesses with income over a de minimis limit (presently set at £10,000), to upload summary accounting […]

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Annual Investment Allowance (AIA)

November 4, 2016

From 1 January 2016, the AIA was increased to an annual limit of £200,000. Unlike previous changes, this is a permanent increase. The AIA allows businesses to write off 100% of expenditure in qualifying assets and equipment, up to the appropriate limit, against their tax liabilities. In effect, qualifying expenditure is treated as any other […]

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Tax Diary November/December 2016

November 3, 2016

1 November 2016 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 31 January 2016.   19 November 2016 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 November 2016. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 November 2016.)   19 November 2016 – Filing deadline for the […]

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Limits on certain claims for tax relief

November 3, 2016

From 6 April 2013, the total amount of certain Income Tax reliefs that can be used to reduce your total taxable income is limited to £50,000, or 25% of your adjusted total income, if higher. The main reliefs subject to this limit are: trade loss relief against general income and early trade losses relief – […]

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How long do you need to keep tax records

November 3, 2016

The length of time you need to keep tax records depends on the types of income you earn and the types of tax you are paying. A list of time limits is set out below: Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax 1.    If you are not in business One year from the 31 January following […]

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Deferring taxable gains until future sales

November 3, 2016

It may be possible to delay paying Capital Gains Tax (CGT) if you sell a business asset that is subject to a charge to CGT, but you use all or part of the proceeds to buy new business assets. The relief you can claim is called Rollover Relief. This relief means you won’t usually pay […]

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When is a hobby a trade

November 3, 2016

We have received enquiries from a number of clients, concerned that HMRC is going to try and tax them for the small amounts of cash that they make from pursuing hobbies. For example, buying and selling on eBay or setting up stalls at their local drive in markets – car boot sales. If you establish […]

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Good news for Sunderland

November 1, 2016

Prime Minister Teresa May was full of praise for the announcement from Nissan, and its continuing investment in their Sunderland plant, earlier this week. She said: This is fantastic news for the UK. Nissan is at the heart of this country’s strong automotive industry and so I welcome their decision to produce the Qashqai and […]

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Why is 30 December an important filing date

October 27, 2016

If you are obliged to file a self-assessment tax return for 2015-16, and if you have underpaid tax for this year, and if some of your income (including private pension receipts) is taxed under PAYE, then you can apply to have your tax code number adjusted downwards in a future tax year to repay this […]

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10% corporation tax

October 25, 2016

The UK already has plans in place to reduce corporation tax to 17%. Many small businesses will be intrigued by widespread publicity today that discloses the possibility of a reduction in the UK corporation tax rate to 10% if the EU does take a hard line in Brexit negotiations. According to Reuters news agency: The […]

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Business rates revalued

October 20, 2016

From 30 September 2016, anyone in England and Wales that pays business rates go online to check their new draft rateable value. From this they can estimate what their business rates will be from April 2017. It only takes a couple of minutes to click, find and review a rateable value. If a ratepayer thinks […]

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Dividend tax reminder

October 18, 2016

From 6 April 2016, any dividends you receive up to £5,000 are tax-free. Dividends received in excess of this amount will be taxed as follows. If they form part of your: ·         Basic rate tax band – taxed at 7.5% ·         Higher rate tax band – taxed at 32.5% ·         Additional rate – taxed at […]

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Companies House filing deadlines and penalties

October 14, 2016

A reminder that you will have to pay penalties if you don’t file your accounts with Companies House by the appropriate filing deadline. Generally speaking, accounts will need to be filed nine months after a company’s financial year end. The penalties for private limited companies are set out below. The penalties apply after the expiry […]

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Cherie Blair leads failed High Court bid

October 11, 2016

The removal of mortgage interest relief from tax deductibles for the UK’s buy to let landlords is set to begin its remorseless impact on landlord’s cash flow from April 2017. For Steve Bolton and Chris Cooper, this tax change was step too far. They approached Cherie Blair QC, to argue for a judicial review of […]

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Are you paying rates on second homes or empty property

October 6, 2016

You may like to check out the following points. In many cases it would seem that local authorities have overall control over who can, or cannot, claim for reduced rates. Second homes You may pay less Council Tax for a property you own or rent that’s not your main home. Councils can give furnished second […]

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Tax Diary October/November 2016

October 5, 2016

1 October 2016 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 31 December 2015.   19 October 2016 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 October 2016. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 October 2016.)   19 October 2016 – Filing deadline for the […]

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Tax and your home

October 5, 2016

If you use your home for business purposes, rent out parts of your home whilst you are still in residence or if you rent out your home while you are resident elsewhere, you may need to consider the tax consequences. This article covers some of the tax issues that you may need to consider: Use […]

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Claiming back pre-trading costs

October 5, 2016

Generally speaking, any business expenditure that you make up to seven years before you actually start trading, is treated for tax purposes as if it was incurred on the first day of trading. This expenditure includes rent, rates, insurance, wages and other costs that you have had to pay. You can also claim capital allowances […]

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Claiming back pre-registration VAT

October 5, 2016

The good news is you can reclaim VAT added to certain expenditure that was paid out prior to your business registration for VAT. HMRC’s instructions on this issue confirm: There is a time limit for backdating claims for VAT paid before registration. From your date of registration, the time limit is: 4 years for goods […]

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Football agent loses tax appeal

October 5, 2016

In a recent tax case, Jerome Anderson v HMRC, the First-Tier Tribunal denied a football agent relief for trading losses. The judges’ arguments centred on the issue of whether he was carrying on a trade, and if he was, was it on a commercial basis with a view to making profits? There is already legislation […]

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Incorporating a buy to let property business

October 4, 2016

Any buy to let landlord that presently claims a tax deduction for mortgage interest is likely to be adversely affected by changes in the tax rules from April 2017. In previous blogs we have pointed out that from April 2017, finance charges (including mortgage interest) will gradually be disallowed as a deduction when computing a […]

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Lardlords Investors Surgery in Reigate with Martin & Co 5th October 2016

September 29, 2016

Following the success of our recent property evening event with Martin & Co, we are proud to announce that Bourne Accountancy staff be available on hand to answer tax and financial questions at the next evening hosted by Martin & Co on 5th October 2016 from 6pm until 8pm. The event is an evening event […]

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Directors loans – tax implications

September 29, 2016

Lending money to your company If you lend money to your company, the tax effects are as follows: ·         Your company will not pay corporation tax on the money you lend it. ·         If your company pays you interest on the loan, it will need to deduct income tax at 20% from the interest it […]

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HMRCs consultations

September 27, 2016

It is not difficult to gauge the focus of our tax collectors. Since the Brexit vote, 23 June 2016, and the change in government leadership, HMRC have published a number of consultation documents, all issued during August 2016. Prior to the Brexit vote, there were a smattering of consultations, but none issued after 23 May […]

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Directors responsibilities, legal, signs and stationery

September 22, 2016

Legal responsibilities We are often asked to clarify the responsibilities that directors take on when they agree to become directors of limited companies. A summary of directors’ duties published on the GOV.UK website are reproduced below. As a director of a limited company, you must: try to make the company a success, using your skills, […]

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Landlords – George Osbornes legacy

September 20, 2016

George Osborne’s summer budget 2015, and the subsequent Finance (No2) Act 2015, introduced far ranging changes to the income tax relief that can be claimed by individual landlords for finance costs. George believed that property landlords were adding too much inflationary pressure to the UK’s housing stock. To remedy this, he set out to reduce […]

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Autumn statement 23 November 2016

September 16, 2016

Philip Hammond has announced the date for the Autumn Statement: 23 November 2016. In the past, Chancellors have used the occasion to set the scene for the following years’ budgets. This year, Philip Hammond will be disclosing the fiscal direction of the new Conservative government. Are we to have evermore “austerity”, cuts in government expenditure, […]

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Workplace Pensions Seminar in Woldingham

September 14, 2016

Bourne Accountancy is running its Workplace Pensions Seminar in Woldingham next week in association with TaxWise to help local employers understand their new obligations with regards to Workplace Pensions and the staging date. Paul Johnston from Bourne Accountancy will be speaking at the Seminar, including others talking about Auto Enrolment, Pension Reform and Employment Law […]

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Taxman safeguards billions of tax payments

September 14, 2016

The Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Jane Ellison MP, announced last week that HMRC has collected £3 billion up-front from tax avoiders. The move continues the government clampdown on tax avoidance following last month’s announcement that enablers of tax avoidance will face tough new sanctions. The 60,000 accelerated payment notices (APNs) issued since the new […]

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Letting out part of your home

September 9, 2016

There are a number of considerations that home owners will need to consider if they are letting out part of their home. The following points cover some of the more obscure situations that can arise: I’m a tenant. Can I sublet part of the property or take in lodgers? If you are a secure council […]

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City trader conceals assets from his creditors

September 7, 2016

A former City trader has been hit with a £2m-plus confiscation order for concealing assets from his bankruptcy trustee and thus, his creditors. Tahseen Goni, 41, from Luton, has been ordered to pay a confiscation order of £2,084,897.37 and prosecution costs of £118,352.36, following a hearing at Cambridge Crown Court on 28 July 2016. Mr […]

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Tax Diary September/October 2016

September 5, 2016

1 September 2016 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 30 November 2015.   19 September 2016 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 September 2016. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 September 2016)   19 September 2016 – Filing deadline for the […]

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New successes for HMRC in the courts

September 5, 2016

HMRC seem to be making progress in their attempts to discourage, and recover unpaid tax, from participators in tax avoidance schemes. In a recent high profile case, HMRC have recovered more than £434m in unpaid taxes from users of the tax avoidance scheme promoted by the Ingenious Film Partnership. Their scheme tried to use artificial […]

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High Income Child Benefit Charge

September 5, 2016

A reminder, that if either parent’s income exceeds £50,000 this will affect eligibility for Child Benefits. A tax charge, known as the ‘High Income Child Benefit Charge’ (HICBC), is payable if a parent has an individual income over £50,000 and: ·         either parent claims Child Benefit, or ·         someone else gets Child Benefit for a […]

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Government to replace EU funding

September 5, 2016

Thousands of British organisations will receive guarantees over EU funding in a new move by Chancellor Philip Hammond last month. Key projects supporting economic development across the UK will be given the green light, ending uncertainty over their future following the UK’s decision to leave the European Union. Assurances set out by the Treasury include: ·         all […]

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Claiming back VAT on a vehicle purchase

September 5, 2016

Generally speaking, the purchase of any vehicle where there is any element of private use means any reclaim of VAT may be restricted. HMRC’s website offers the following guidance: ·         You may be able to reclaim all the VAT on a new car if you use it only for business. ·         The car must not […]

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Offshore tax evaders to face new sanctions

September 1, 2016

Tax evaders are set to face tough new sanctions under plans detailed by HM Revenue and Customs today. The proposals will mean that those who do not come forward and pay outstanding taxes from offshore investments and accounts, could face even tougher penalties of up to three times the tax they try to evade, and […]

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Child benefit changes

August 31, 2016

If you’re a parent and receiving Child Benefit, you need to inform HM Revenue and Customs of your child’s educational status before 31 August. If you are receiving Child Benefit and Child Tax Credits and your child is 16 , you need to update HM Revenue and Customs of your child’s educational status before 31 […]

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What is Bona Vacantia

August 25, 2016

Bona Vacantia is a Treasury Solicitor’s department that manages unclaimed estates. This includes not only the estates of individuals who die without any heirs, but also the residual assets of limited companies that are liquidated or otherwise wound up. Many small company directors may not know that if they apply to strike off their company […]

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Going digital

August 23, 2016

The government have backed down from their proposal to dump a new raft of compliance activity (red tape) on smaller businesses. In their efforts to digitise each businesses’ records with HMRC it was intended that firms be required to keep their books and records online and update HMRC’s data quarterly.   Having consulted with various […]

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HMRC wins major tax avoidance cases

August 18, 2016

One tax avoidance scheme, by Ingenious Film Partnership, tried to use artificial losses arising from investments in a range of movies, including the blockbusters Avatar, Life of Pi and Die Hard 4. Users of the Ingenious scheme were given the opportunity to settle on similar terms nearly four years ago and now face big bills […]

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Buy to let red tape

August 16, 2016

Beset by a range of potentially, disastrous tax changes (primarily the withdrawal of finance charges as an allowable deduction – reduced instead to a basic rate tax credit), landlords of buy-to let residential accommodation also have to contend with a growing list of red-tape. We have listed below a number of compliance issues that are […]

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We live in interesting times

August 11, 2016

The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee voted on 4 August to reduce their base rate to 0.25%. This is good news for individuals and businesses about to borrow money, as it should mean that the interest rate applied will be lower. Certainly, the interest rates charged by HMRC for late payment of taxes are […]

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Home based travel costs

August 10, 2016

Doctor Samadian works from home and has contracts with a number of private and NHS hospitals. As he has a home-based office, from where he runs and administers his business, he has claimed for the costs of travel as follows: ·         from his home/work base to his various, contracted private hospital clients; ·         from the […]

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Good news for exporters

August 4, 2016

The UK’s 5 major high street banks have signed up to work with the new Department for International Trade to revolutionise the way businesses access international markets. Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, NatWest and Santander are getting behind the government’s drive to populate a new and unique Directory of Exporters. The Directory will link UK companies with […]

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Tax free Childcare

August 3, 2016

This new scheme will be rolled out to parents next year. The scheme will be made available gradually to families, with parents of the youngest children able to apply first. You’ll be able to apply for all your children at the same time, when your youngest child becomes eligible. All eligible parents will be able […]

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Tax Diary August/September 2016

August 2, 2016

1 August 2016 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 31 October 2015. 19 August 2016 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 August 2016. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 August 2016.) 19 August 2016 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly […]

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Where there is a Will

August 2, 2016

If you leave your entire estate to charities, will you be turning in your grave if disinherited relatives mount a challenge to break your last will and testament, and succeed? In a 2015 case heard by the Court of Appeal, a disinherited daughter challenged her deceased mother’s Will. The background to the case is illuminating. […]

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Buy-to-let landlords action required

August 2, 2016

Buy-to-let landlords need to start considering their options, in particular, those who have borrowed heavily in order to build their property portfolio. As we have mentioned previously in this newsletter, from April 2017 deductions for finance charges will be progressively reduced and replaced by a 20% tax credit. This will promote a number of landlords […]

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A new broom

August 2, 2016

Philip Hammond has been appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer as George Osborne returns to the backbenches. Mr Hammond has already confirmed that there will be no emergency budget, and he will be presenting the usual Autumn Statement later in the year and a new Finance Bill March 2017. The immediate impact for UK tax payers […]

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Buy-to-let landlords expenses

July 28, 2016

When you work out your taxable rental profit you can deduct allowable expenses from your rental income. The expenses must be wholly and exclusively for the purposes of renting out the property. This means that if an expense wasn’t incurred for the purpose of your property rental you can’t offset the cost against the rental […]

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Do not forget to pay your tax

July 27, 2016

The 31st July is rapidly approaching. If you are registered for self-assessment, make sure you pay the second instalment for 2015-16, that falls due on this date, unless no payment is due. If you are self-employed, and if you are confident that your profits have fallen in the accounts year to 31 March 2016, compared […]

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Why record business mileage

July 26, 2016

If you are self-employed, either as a sole trader or in partnership, and you use a business vehicle for private purposes, HMRC will seek to disallow any motoring costs, petrol etc., and capital allowances based on the purchase cost of the vehicle, to cover the private use proportion. The only practical way that you can […]

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Interest rates to fall

July 19, 2016

In the immediate fall-out after the Brexit vote it was rumoured that interest rates would fall when the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) met on the 13th July. Following the meeting, Mark Carney announced that interest rates would be held at 0.5%. However, the minutes of the July 13th MPC meeting make it […]

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15% corporation tax

July 13, 2016

George Osborne has floated the idea that the UK could reduce corporation tax to 15% or lower in an attempt to make the UK the place to do business. By making this surprise announcement at the beginning of the month, he will no doubt have in mind the many larger institutions that are reconsidering a […]

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Business as usual

July 12, 2016

The hiatus continues. Both major political parties are locked into leadership issues and until these are resolved it is difficult to see in which direction the UK will take. Apparently, the present government, with its new leadership team, will continue until the next scheduled general election, 7 May 2020. George Osborne’s last budget, March 2016, […]

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Changes to business market place post Brexit

July 6, 2016

While we wait for the politicians to sort themselves out it may be prudent to reflect on the likely changes to the business market place post Brexit. For example: If the sterling exchange rate settles at a lower level the cost of imported goods will rise and our exporters may benefit as their goods and […]

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Tax Diary July/August 2016

July 4, 2016

 1 July 2016 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 30 September 2015.  6 July 2016 – Complete and submit forms P11D return of benefits and expenses and P11D(b) return of Class 1A NICs, and give copies of the information to your employees.  19 July 2016 – Pay Class 1A NICs […]

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Bogus emails and now, bogus phone calls

July 4, 2016

The “phishing” emails sent by nefarious individuals, purporting to be from HMRC, have now been joined by bogus phone calls. We have received information that taxpayers are being called, apparently by HMRC, and advised that they have significant tax bills to pay and the caller encourages the offended taxpayer to settle the bill during the […]

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Transferring ISAs

July 4, 2016

ISA investors may be interested to read the following guidance issued by HMRC regarding the transfer of ISAs from one provider to another. What you can transfer You can transfer a cash ISA to another cash ISA with a different provider. You can do the same with stocks and shares ISAs. You can also transfer […]

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Business expenses you can claim

July 4, 2016

Basically, you can claim for most expenses that are incurred wholly and exclusively for the purposes of a trade. Unfortunately, most of the decision making by HMRC on this topic is guided by tax law, which has been inconsistent. That aside, the following will provide you with guidance in areas where the outcome is reasonably […]

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Sooner or later

July 4, 2016

Is it better to file your Self Assessment tax return as soon as possible after the end of the tax year? You are not obliged to file your tax return for 2015-16, online, before the 31 January 2017. However, if you leave the process of completing your return until close to this date, it will […]

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What is next for Brexit

June 30, 2016

Clients who are concerned by the uncertainty created by the Brexit vote should contact us. There are steps we can all take now that will ease our progress through the transition. Essentially, we need to be financially fit. The areas of our businesses that we should fine tune are: Record keeping. There has never been […]

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Brexit vote wins the day

June 28, 2016

In a decision that has staggered the rest of Europe, the UK has voted to leave the EU. George Osborne emerged today to reassure us all that everything was under control. This, in the face of continuing political hiatus: our prime minister has resigned, almost, and the main opposition party is locked in internal, leadership […]

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Annual return morphs into a confirmation statement

June 23, 2016

The following change in Companies House (CH) filing requirements will apply from the end of June 2016. The following post sets out the changes that will apply: From 30 June 2016, the annual return is being replaced. Instead, you’ll now file a confirmation statement at least once a year. You need to check and confirm […]

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In or out

June 21, 2016

This article was posted three days before the UK decides if it wants to stay or leave the EU. It feels as if everything is on hold pending this result. Government departments are being unusually quiet: no press releases, no announcements, no changes in legislation. It is a well-quoted cliché, but it really does feel […]

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HMRC bogus emails extended to phone calls

June 16, 2016

Many of us have received emails purporting to be from HMRC that urge us to provide personal information in order to receive an outstanding tax refund. Sometimes, these “phishing” communications include veiled threats: send information or you will be pursued for large, outstanding tax liabilities. The perpetrators of the emails want you to respond, the […]

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P11D processing errors and late filing

June 14, 2016

The deadline for filing forms P11D is 6 July 2016. You will be liable to a penalty of £100 per 50 employees for each month or part month your P11D(b) is late. The P11D(b) is the form used to submit your individual P11Ds to HMRC. You’ll also be charged penalties and interest if you’re late […]

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Do you have under-declared property income

June 9, 2016

HMRC have a long running campaign to encourage property owners who receive rental income from property, and who have not declared this income on their tax return, to get their tax affairs in order. The following example, reproduced from HMRC’s website, shows how this can occur.  Beena age 23   • Moved to Leeds to […]

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Cycle to work

June 3, 2016

The following notes set out the general scope of the Cycle to work scheme. This provides a number of tax advantages that employers can use to encourage employees to cycle to work. Who can use the scheme? Employers of all sizes across the public, private and voluntary sectors can implement a tax exempt loan scheme […]

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HMRC ticked off by National Audit Office

June 2, 2016

The National Audit Office (NAO) has published a report criticising HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for periods of poor customer service last year. Responding to the report, Ruth Owen, HMRC’s Director General for Customer Services said: We recognise that early in 2015 we didn’t provide the standard of service that people are entitled to expect […]

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Tax Diary June/July 2016

June 1, 2016

 1 June 2016 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 31 August 2015.  19 June 2016 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 June 2016. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 June 2016.)  19 June 2016 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly […]

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What is a CT61

June 1, 2016

Although most banks and building societies do not have to deduct Income Tax from interest payments they make to depositors from April 2016, the same does not apply to others that pay interest. Consider an owner managed company whose directors had deposited a considerable sum with the company that was credited to a loan account […]

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Stamp Duty increase penalises home buyers

June 1, 2016

There has been much press commentary regarding the extra 3% Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) and the 3% Additional Dwelling Supplement (ADS) – part of the Land and Building Transaction Tax in Scotland – that applies to the purchase of a second residential property by individuals in the UK from 1 April 2016. Home owners […]

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More on the taxation of dividends

June 1, 2016

In the context of this article tax credit does not refer to the child or working tax credits – these are part of the benefits system. Tax credits in this article refer to a deduction made from your overall tax liabilities, usually at a fixed percentage rate of the relevant income. For example, up to […]

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Expanding your Income Tax bands

June 1, 2016

For the tax year 2016-17, most taxpayers are entitled to claim a tax-free personal allowance of £11,000 from their taxable income. The maximum income that can be taxed at the basic rate of 20%, after the personal allowance has been deducted, is £32,000. Accordingly, if your total income is £43,000 or below you will only […]

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State benefits that are taxable

May 26, 2016

Many newly retired pensioners may not be aware that the State Pension they receive is taxable income. Also, the amount paid is not taxed at source. Although a pensioner’s State Pension may be covered by their annual tax-free personal allowance (£11,000 for 2016-17) and therefore potentially no tax would be payable, the situation is more […]

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Small businesses take on more staff

May 24, 2016

According to new government research published recently shows that almost a quarter (24%) of small and medium-sized (SME) employers had more people working for them in 2015 than in 2014. The Small Business Survey 2015 is based on the views of more than 15,000 SMEs. Starting from this year, the survey will track the same […]

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HMRC issues warnings and advice regarding fraudulent emails

May 19, 2016

There is a continuing misuse of emails and SMS messages that purport to be from HMRC asking questions about your tax and encouraging recipients to part with their personal information and bank details. HMRC have recently issued guidance, intended to help taxpayers decide if an email from the tax office is genuine. Here’s what HMRC […]

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UK tax to be simplified

May 17, 2016

The UK has one of the most detailed tax codes in the developed economies. Readers might be amused, bemused, that the so-called Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) has launched a high level strategy consultation that aims to move its tax simplification agenda forwards. The aim is to make our tax system easier to understand and […]

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Two thirds of large UK businesses experience computer hacking

May 12, 2016

Nearly seven out of ten attacks on all firms involved viruses, spyware or malware. Record £1.9bn government investment to protect UK but industry must act to help protect themselves New National Cyber Security Centre will launch in the autumn 2016 Britain’s businesses are being urged to increase protection from cyber criminals after government research into […]

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International tax transparency makes progress

May 10, 2016

Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne hailed the international expansion of a UK-led deal to automatically share information on the ultimate owners of companies as over 20 jurisdictions, including British crown dependencies, overseas territories and EU member states sign up. Gibraltar, Isle of Man and Montserrat are amongst those joining the initiative led by the […]

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Home owners may be caught by stamp duty increase

May 6, 2016

From 1 April 2016, buyers of residential property that is not to be their main residence in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, will be liable for the higher rates of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT). Basically any property subject to the higher rates, that costs more than £40,000, will be charged at the following rates: […]

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Non competition clauses under the microscope

May 5, 2016

Business Secretary, Sajid Javid, has announced plans to look into employment rules that could be stifling British entrepreneurship by preventing employees from starting up their own business after leaving a job. In a move designed to back even more small businesses and entrepreneurs across the country, the government is launching a call for evidence asking […]

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Tax Diary May/June 2016

May 4, 2016

19 May 2016 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 May 2016. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 May 2016)  19 May 2016 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly return for the month ended 5 May 2016.  19 May 2016 – CIS tax deducted for the […]

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Good news for farmers

May 4, 2016

Under new rules, initially announced in the 2015 Budget, farmers will be able to average their profits for Income Tax purposes from two years to five years. This change will help farmers with fluctuating profits better manage risk and level out the impact of tax on their farming profits. For example, they may avoid paying […]

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What was in the Budget

May 4, 2016

Our government have selected their top-ten tax changes that come into effect from 6 April 2016. Just in case you need a refresher they are: 1.The personal allowance will increase to £11,000 and the higher rate threshold will increase to £43,000. 2.The marriage allowance, the tax free amount which people can transfer to their husband, […]

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Lifetime transfers of assets

May 4, 2016

 Married couples and civil partners can gift each other assets and there will be no Inheritance Tax (IHT) charge on the lifetime gift as long as the recipient is domiciled in the UK. However, transfers to others that are not covered by the reliefs listed at the end of this article, are treated as potentially […]

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Retirement age NI bonus

May 4, 2016

 When you reach the State Retirement Age (SRA) you stop paying Class 1 NIC contributions if you are employed, and Class 2 contributions if you are self-employed.  You will still have to pay Class 4 NIC, the most significant self-employed NIC charge, for the entire tax year during which you achieve the SRA. The next […]

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Companies to be liable for employees who facilitate tax cheating

April 28, 2016

The UK will bring forward plans to introduce a criminal offence for corporations who fail to stop their staff facilitating tax evasion, the Prime Minister has announced in a statement to the Commons, ahead of next month’s summit to tackle corruption in all its forms. For the first time, companies will be held criminally liable […]

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Tax credit renewals online

April 26, 2016

 HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is urging people to renew their tax credits claim online and early before the 31 July deadline. When claimants renew their claim, they must tell HMRC about any changes to their circumstances that they haven’t already reported, including changes to working hours, childcare costs or income. Once people receive their […]

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Business investment and the annual investment allowance

April 26, 2016

The AIA allows businesses to write off the full cost of qualifying expenditure and in recent years the amount allowed as a deduction for tax purposes has fluctuated wildly. From January 2016, the annual limit for AIA expenditure has been set at a new permanent limit of £200,000. Accordingly, this is the amount that can […]

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Tax on savings

April 19, 2016

From 6 April 2016, if you’re a basic rate taxpayer you’ll be able to earn up to £1,000 in savings income tax-free. Higher rate taxpayers will be able to earn up to £500. This is called the Personal Savings Allowance. Banks and building societies will no longer deduct tax from the interest they pay you. […]

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The Panama Papers

April 15, 2016

HMRC has responded to the significant leak of information on the activities of individuals and companies that have availed themselves of the offshore advantages of using Panama as a tax haven.  We have reproduced below part of their response: Jennie Granger, Director General of Enforcement and Compliance, HM Revenue and Customs, said: “HMRC is committed […]

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Farmers new tax break

April 14, 2016

From 6 April 2016, farmers trading as sole traders or in partnership will be able to claim for an extended form of the popular “averaging” provisions. Under the new rules, initially announced in the 2015 Budget, farmers will be able to average their profits for Income Tax purposes from the present two years to an […]

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Tax Diary April/May 2016

April 7, 2016

1 April 2016 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 30 June 2015.  19 April 2016 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 April 2016. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 April 2016.)  19 April 2016 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly […]

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Lifetime Individual Savings Account

April 7, 2016

In a further bid to encourage savings for a first property purchase, or retirement, a new ISA is being launched from April 2017 – the Lifetime ISA. It will be available from April 2017 for adults under the age of 40. They will be able to contribute up to £4,000 per year, and receive a […]

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Overdrawn loan accounts

April 7, 2016

Up to 5 April 2016, directors who overdrew their loan accounts in a company ran the risk of an additional 25% Corporation Tax charge if the debt remained outstanding nine months after their company’s trading period end. The tax can be claimed back, but not until there is a repayment of the debt. From a […]

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Capital Gains Tax changes

April 7, 2016

CGT rates have been significantly reduced from April 2016. The rates at which capital gains are taxed depend on where they would fall to be taxed for Income Tax purposes if they were added to income. This would determine whether the gains would fall to be taxed at basic or higher rates, or part and […]

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Stamp Duty increases buy-to-let

April 7, 2016

From 1 April 2016, individuals who purchase additional residential properties, second homes or buy-to-let properties will pay an additional 3 percentage points above the existing SDLT rates. The higher rates are: £0 – £125k: 3% £125k – £250K: 5% £250k – £925k: 8% £925k – £1.5m: 13% Over £1.5m: 15% This will add a considerable […]

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Capital gains tax changes April 2016

April 7, 2016

 One of the surprising announcements in the recent budget was the easing of capital gains tax (CGT) rates.  From April 2016, the new rates published by HMRC are:  Changes to rates.  Legislation will be introduced in Finance Bill 2016 to reduce the rate of CGT charged on most gains accruing to basic rate taxpayers from […]

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Business tax breaks from April 2016

April 5, 2016

 The government have published a list of changes in the impact of taxation, rates and NIC that will apply from April 2016. The list is reproduced below: Businesses will benefit from: lower business rates bills as the doubled Small Business Relief Scheme is extended for another year. This £730 million boost will see over 400,000 […]

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Gift aid donation rules clarified

March 31, 2016

Recent reports in the national media have suggested that HMRC has sought to restrict Gift Aid on donations which are accompanied by a message of support from a donor’s family. According to a recent announcement by HMRC this is absolutely not the case. HMRC’s position as set out in their recent website posting is reproduced […]

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Tax free childcare update

March 29, 2016

HMRC have updated their online “top ten things you should know about the new tax-free childcare scheme”. The notes are reproduced below and they provide parents with and easy read overview of the changes that will start early 2017: 1. You’ll be able to open an online account You’ll be able to open an online […]

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Buy-to let sector suffers another blow in the March budget

March 23, 2016

 The Treasury seems to be committed to wringing the last available drop of tax revenue from the buy-to-let sector.  In the Budget last week the rate of capital gains tax (CGT) was reduced from 6 April 2016. From 28% to 20%  if the gains fell to be taxed as part of the higher rate tax […]

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Budget for business

March 21, 2016

Just in case you were wondering what was in the Budget last week for small businesses, we have reproduced below the comments made by George Osborne and posted to the GOV.UK website: Backing business and creating opportunity This Budget backs business and enterprise to drive up productivity growth and create job opportunities. This Budget continues […]

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Budget Statement 16 March 2016

March 17, 2016

 Personal Tax and miscellaneous matters  Personal Tax allowance  From 2016-17, there will be one Income Tax personal allowance regardless of an individual’s date of birth. For 2016-17 the allowance is set at £11,000, and For 2017-18 at £11,500  Income Tax rate bands  The Chancellor confirmed his intention to remove taxpayers from the higher rate of […]

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Dividend tax increase from 6 April 2016

March 16, 2016

One issue that the director shareholders of small companies will need to get to grips with from April 2016 is the radical change to the taxation of dividends. Up to 5 April 2016, dividends are paid after the deduction of a deemed income tax credit of 10%. So, as long as your dividends are taxed […]

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Aligning national insurance and income tax

March 15, 2016

The Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) has published the findings of a detailed review into bringing the two payroll taxes closer together. Here’s what they have to say: “Bringing National Insurance Contributions (NICs) and income tax closer together would create a simpler and fairer system for businesses and taxpayers, the Office of Tax Simplification announced […]

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Air passenger duty exemption now applies to under 16s

March 14, 2016

Children under 16 will join under 12s in no longer having to pay Air Passenger Duty in economy class. Families planning an Easter break will get a boost today when the cost of their foreign holidays are slashed as children under 16 will join under 12s in being exempt from paying Air Passenger Duty (APD) […]

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Simpler tax system for smaller companies

March 8, 2016

On the 3rd March, the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) unveiled a package of recommendations aimed at making the tax system simpler and easier to use for small companies. The press release says: “These incorporated micro-businesses, employing less than ten people, currently face the same tax system as large companies with hundreds of employees and […]

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Institute for Apprenticeships

March 4, 2016

Just in case you have not been acquainted with this new Institute, and the rather confusing acronym, we have reproduced below the Department of Innovation and Skills fact sheet that explains what it is about… Institute for Apprenticeships: To deliver a genuinely world-class apprenticeship programme in the context of the apprenticeship levy, we will need […]

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Tax Diary March/April 2016

March 2, 2016

 1 March 2016 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 31 May 2015.  2 March 2016 – Self Assessment tax for 2014/15 paid after this date will incur a 5% surcharge.  16 March 2016 – Budget Day…  19 March 2016 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 March […]

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Multi-nationals and sweetheart deals

March 2, 2016

 In an unprecedented move, HMRC have issued a press release regarding the accusation that Google were offered a deal that short changed UK taxpayers. Here’s what they had to say regarding the “sweetheart deal” accusation and the settlement with Google: ‘Sweetheart deal’ HMRC does not do “sweetheart deals”. The National Audit Office has full access […]

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Company car drivers and private fuel

March 2, 2016

Since the tax on private fuel provided with company cars is so high, many employers now have an arrangement whereby they no longer pay for private fuel. In this case, the employee must reimburse the employer for private fuel included in petrol bills paid by the employer. Otherwise, the employee may face a tax charge. […]

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Incorporation v self-employment

March 2, 2016

Prior to 6 April 2016, self employed traders could make overall tax and NIC savings by incorporating their business if their annual income from self-employment exceeded approximately £10,000. The saving generally arose by taking a low salary and the balance as dividends thus avoiding NIC charges. Unfortunately, changes to the tax system from 6 April […]

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Incorporating a property business

March 2, 2016

Since the recent announcement of various changes to the taxation of unincorporated property businesses, there has been renewed interest in incorporation: would it be possible to shelter property income and capital gains inside the lower Corporation Tax regime?  Unfortunately, this apparent quick-fix for property business owners is fraught with dangers for the unwary. For example: […]

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The end of the 20 percent tax credit

March 1, 2016

From 6 April 2016, savers will no longer pay income tax on interest they receive from certain deposit accounts. This is due in large part to the introduction of the Personal Savings Allowance (PSA) on the same date. The PSA is worth £1,000 to basic rate taxpayers and £500 to higher rate taxpayers. So, if […]

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Taxman seizes more than 2 billion pounds from tax avoidance scheme users

February 25, 2016

According to HMRC, over £2 billion has been collected from users of tax avoidance schemes as a result of new government measures to collect disputed tax upfront. New Accelerated Payments notices mean that users of tax avoidance schemes pay disputed tax up-front while their tax-affairs are investigated, instead of waiting until they are concluded. Given […]

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Avoid the car fuel benefit charge

February 23, 2016

  A reminder that it is not too late to avoid the hefty car fuel benefit charge if you drive a company car and your employer pays for your private fuel. Many employers have an arrangement with their company car drivers to obtain reimbursement of any private fuel provided. Usually, the employee must reimburse the […]

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Stamp duty land tax increases 1 April 2016

February 22, 2016

From 1 April 2016, landlords who acquire new property to let as residential accommodation will be required to pay SDLT at significantly higher rates. The increase is also expected to apply to private householders who buy a second home. The new rates will be:     Purchase price banding Current rates New rates from April […]

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The Google enquiry

February 20, 2016

Despite generating substantial profits from sales of online services to individuals and businesses in the UK, Google is perceived to be avoiding tax on these profits in the UK. Press commentary has highlighted the use of off-shore tax vehicles to divert Google’s profits in the UK into lower taxed countries: Ireland and Luxembourg have been […]

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March yearends

February 12, 2016

If your company has a 31 March yearend, you only have a few weeks to consider available planning options that may save you tax for the current financial year 2015-16. There are also a number of practical matters that should be considered. They include: Directors Are there any monies owed to the company by directors? […]

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Business rates revaluation

February 9, 2016

The following announcement was posted to the GOV.UK website 1 February 2016: “The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) is in the process of updating the rateable values of all business properties. This is known as a revaluation. If you register your email details with us now we will email you when the draft rateable values are […]

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Income alerts

February 5, 2016

Earnings over £100,000? If your taxable earnings for 2015-16 are likely to exceed £100,000, perhaps for the first time, now would be a good time to consider your tax planning options before 6 April 2016. For every £1 your income exceeds £100,000 your income tax personal allowance will be reduced by £2. In effect, when […]

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Flood relief

February 3, 2016

The government has published an update of the various grants and support available to individuals and businesses affected by flooding in recent months. The announcement is reproduced below: Government support for homes, businesses, farmers and councils In total the government’s investment in recovery from Storm Eva and Storm Desmond now amounts to nearly £200 million. […]

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Tax Diary February/March 2016

February 1, 2016

 1 February 2016 – Due date for Corporation Tax payable for the year ended 30 April 2015.  19 February 2016 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 February 2016. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 February 2016)  19 February 2016 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly […]

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Tax payments due 31 January 2016

February 1, 2016

As implied in the CGT planning article above, the 31 January 2016 was not only the deadline for filing your Self Assessment return online, it  was also the date when any underpayment of Income Tax, Class 4 NIC and CGT for 2014-15 fell due for payment, together with your first payment on account for 2015-16. […]

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Capital Gains Tax planning

February 1, 2016

Most of our readers will be aware that they can make chargeable gains of up to £11,100 in the tax year 2015-16 and pay no CGT. This exemption cannot be transferred to a future tax year or carried back to a previous tax year if it is not utilised. Many will also remember that it […]

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Right to rent

February 1, 2016

On 1 February 2016, the responsibility for ensuring that tenants have a right to live in the UK was passed from the Home Office to landlords, the so-called right to rent checks. The following guidance pointers were issued by the Home Office:  There are four basic steps. Find out who will live in property Check […]

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Wasted opportunity

January 28, 2016

Most of the UK taxes have exemptions and allowances that apply for each tax year. Many are increased in each year in the March budget. Almost none are transferrable from one tax year to another. If you don’t utilise an allowance, in most cases it is lost forever. This article lists some of the basic […]

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Pensions and tax relief

January 26, 2016

At present, until 5 April 2016, there are opportunities to pay more into your pension fund and still qualify for tax relief. The maximum, for some tax payers, is doubled in 2015-16 from £40,000 to £80,000. This is due to a technical issue that aligns the pension input period with the tax year. It is […]

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What is the current rate of capital gains tax

January 21, 2016

If you sell an asset that is subject to CGT the rate of tax you will pay will be 0%, 18% or 28%. In the current tax year 2015-16, you are allowed to make gains of up to £11,100 tax free. In fact the first £11,100 of all gains are free of tax. If all […]

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Right to rent checks

January 19, 2016

From 1 February 2016 landlords and others involved in the rental of property will need to verify that their tenants have the right to be in the UK. This is a further level of red tape that will need to be considered from next month. The details published by the Home Office are set out […]

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Ways to save money in 2016

January 14, 2016

 HM Treasury have published a number of money saving strategies that are available this year. We have reproduced a number of the ideas below. If you’re saving for a deposit for your first home, you can earn a bonus with the Help to Buy: ISA. If you’re saving to buy your first home, you can […]

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Ways to save money in 2016

January 14, 2016

 HM Treasury have published a number of money saving strategies that are available this year. We have reproduced a number of the ideas below. If you’re saving for a deposit for your first home, you can earn a bonus with the Help to Buy: ISA. If you’re saving to buy your first home, you can […]

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Warning, bogus Council Tax refund scams

January 12, 2016

The Valuation Office Agency has issued the following warning regarding persons or organisations claiming to be able to reduce your council tax band for a fee. “We are aware of a number of Council Tax refund scams that are currently operating around the country. Someone may telephone you, or appear personally at your door, claiming […]

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Review of airside VAT free shopping

January 6, 2016

A review has been launched by George Osborne to make sure shoppers share in the reduction in VAT in future. At present, it seems that retailers, particularly the larger retailers, are pocking the cash benefits and not passing them on to customers. Here’s what a recent announcement on this topic confirmed: The Chancellor, George Osborne, […]

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Tax Diary January/February 2016

January 5, 2016

1 January 2016 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 31 March 2015.  19 January 2016 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 January 2016. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 January 2016.)  19 January 2016 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly […]

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Car fuel advisory rates changes

January 5, 2016

 From 1 December 2015, the advisory fuel rates have changed to: 1400cc or less: petrol 11p per mile, LPG 7p per mile 1401-2000cc: petrol 13p per mile, LPG 9p per mile Over 2000cc: petrol 20p per mile, LPG 13p per mile Diesel rates: 1600cc or less: 9p per mile 1601-2000cc: 11p per mile Over 2000cc: […]

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Other changes proposed

January 5, 2016

The government has also published its intention to change a number of other tax reporting issues. Some of the more impactful for smaller businesses and Self Assessment tax payers are reproduced below: Simple Assessment – legislation will be introduced in Finance Bill 2016 to provide a new power to allow HMRC to make an assessment […]

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Quarterly accounts filing

January 5, 2016

At present smaller businesses are required to file accounts once a year with HMRC when their Self Assessment or Corporation Tax returns are filed. HMRC are now moving towards the provision of a digital account for business owners, a portal that will allow taxpayers to manage their tax affairs online. In the draft notes for […]

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Stamp Duty increase for second home buyers

January 5, 2016

George Osborne and his team seem to have a grudge against landlords and second home owners. From 1 April 2016, Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) payable on the acquisition of residential property – where the property is a second home or a buy-to-let investment – will see a significant increase in the amount of SDLT […]

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Business flood victims support fund

January 4, 2016

Businesses caught up in the devastation of Storm Eva will be able to apply for £6 million of government money to get their doors back open to customers. Read Winter flooding 2015: community support for advice and current information. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills announced the cash pot would be made available for […]

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Tax helpline for those affected by recent flooding

December 17, 2015

Readers affected by the recent floods, particularly in the north-west of England, should take note that HMRC has created a support line. If your business was affected you should call HMRC as they will be sympathetic to requests to extend tax payments while the clean-up operation continues. The helpline will enable anyone affected to get […]

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Draft finance bill clauses published

December 15, 2015

HMRC has issued the following information regarding the publication of draft clauses of the Finance Bill 2016: New draft tax legislation has been published (9 December 2016) to implement policies published at Summer Budget and Autumn Statement 2015. It has also published new tax consultations and responses to policy consultations which took place over the […]

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Training for employees and franchisees

December 11, 2015

Employers who pay for their employees and sub-contractors to attend training courses may be interested in the following directive from HMRC, issued July 2015. The cost of food and accommodation provided for employees attending training courses for the purpose of the trade is not disallowable under the legislation. However, if food and accommodation are provided […]

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National Living Wage

December 8, 2015

HMRC has issued the following information regarding the imminent launch of the NMW 1 April 2016. Firms are advised to take simple steps now as poll reveals 93% of bosses support initiative, with majority believing it will boost productivity and retain staff. Britain’s bosses are urged to take 4 simple steps to be better prepared […]

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Tax Diary December 2015/January 2016

December 7, 2015

 1 December 2015 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 28 February 2015.  19 December 2015 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 December 2015. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 December 2015.)  19 December 2015 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly […]

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Repaying employers for private fuel

December 7, 2015

Company car drivers should be giving consideration to the issues raised in this article if they are provided with fuel for private mileage by their employers. With no repayment to compensate for private fuel provided, employees will suffer a significant car fuel benefit in kind charge. Depending on the type of vehicle you drive the […]

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Help to buy ISAs are available from 1 December 2015

December 7, 2015

The following information is extracted from the Government’s help sheet: New accounts will be available for 4 years, but once you have opened an account there’s no limit on how you long you can save for. Accounts will be available through banks and building societies from Autumn 2015. You can make an initial deposit of […]

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A 30th December 2015 filing deadline

December 7, 2015

One of the more obscure filing deadlines for Self Assessment purposes relates to a claim to have your tax underpaid for a year recovered by an adjustment, an increase, in the PAYE stopped from your salary in a future tax year.  For underpayments year to 5 April 2015, the filing deadline is fast approaching, 30 […]

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Landlords despair

December 7, 2015

On the 8 July 2015, George Osborne announced a number of changes to the taxation of property businesses. Without a doubt the most impactful change is the loss of higher rate tax relief for finance charges, which includes mortgage interest. What he didn’t explain was the not so gentle push of many landlords, who were […]

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Stamp duty land tax change for second home buyers

December 3, 2015

Individuals, who are considering the purchase of a second home, or a buy-to-let property, would be advised to complete their purchase before 1 April 2016. From this date new rates of stamp duty land tax (SDLT) will apply.   In his autumn statement, George Osborne announced the following change:   “Higher rates of Stamp Duty […]

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Reduction in bank deposit protection

December 1, 2015

From January 2016 the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) is changing. Savers have one month left to adjust their bank deposits to the new limits. Here’s the updated information posted to the FSCS website posted 5 July 2015:  “Savers are getting a new deposit guarantee limit from the New Year. The current £85,000 level of […]

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Autumn Statement 25 November 2015

November 26, 2015

Announcements for businesses Support for smaller businesses The Chancellor reported that the UK’s small and medium sized enterprises now employ 15.6 million people, up from 13.7 million in 2010. Over the last two years the number of small businesses employing someone other than the owner has grown by 100,000. The government understands that small businesses […]

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Business tax changes confirmed

November 23, 2015

The Summer Budget changes formally completed their progress through the legislative process and received royal assent on 18 November 2015. We have summarised in this posting the main changes to business tax that are now enacted: Corporation tax rates will be reduced to 19% from 1 April 2017 and 18% from 1 April 2020. A […]

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New tax free child care scheme

November 19, 2015

 A reminder that delays created by legal action to block this new scheme mean that it will not be rolled out until early 2017, a year later than planned. A top ten summary of the benefits of the new scheme are reproduced below: 1. You’ll be able to open an online account You’ll be able […]

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Rent hikes likely as landlords come to grips with tax changes

November 17, 2015

Over the next few years changes announced by George Osborne in the Summer Budget 2015 may have profound effects on the level of rents and the availability of rental accommodation in the UK.  From April 2017, landlords will see an increase in their annual tax bills. The increase may be significant in some cases.  Why […]

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Dividend Tax changes April 2016

November 16, 2015

 It was bound to happen some time… At present there are considerable savings in National Insurance contributions to be made if a minimal amount is paid as salary and any balance of a remuneration package is paid as dividends (particularly for shareholder directors of private limited companies). From April 2016, the NIC status of dividends […]

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Emails from the tax office

November 13, 2015

Generally speaking, HMRC will communicate with you by sending a letter or calling you. It will never ask for personal details by email. Accordingly, you can disregard any emails you receive from HMRC that do ask for personal information, particularly bank details, as they will likely be scams… However, HMRC is starting to send out […]

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Appeal against HMRC penalties

November 6, 2015

 You can appeal to HMRC against a penalty for: Late filing of a return Paying tax after the due date Failing to pay all the tax you owe Unable to demonstrate that you have kept adequate records to underpin your tax returns Filing an incorrect return Your penalty will be cancelled or amended if you […]

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R & D boost for smaller businesses

November 4, 2015

In a major boost for pioneering small businesses, the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, David Gauke, recently launched a new plan outlining how government will make it easier for small businesses investing in research and development to claim tax relief. The two-year plan, which is a response to an HMRC consultation, aims to increase take-up […]

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Tax Diary November/December 2015

November 2, 2015

 1 November 2015 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 31 January 2015.  19 November 2015 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 November 2015. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 November 2015.)  19 November 2015 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly […]

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Business rates

November 2, 2015

There are still reliefs you may be able to claim that will reduce your business rates. The process depends on where you are based: Business rates relief in England You will need to apply for these reliefs at your local council: small business rate relief rural rate relief charitable rate relief enterprise zone relief retail […]

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End of the tax cycle

November 2, 2015

There is barely three months left until the deadline for filing Self Assessment returns for 2014-15 passes. After 31 January 2016 automatic late filing penalties will apply. Unfortunately, on the same date, 31 January 2016, you will need to settle any outstanding tax owed for 2014-15 and make a payment on account for 2015-16. Readers […]

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Less is more

November 2, 2015

In order to increase tax revenues  the Treasury is faced with a conundrum: To increase rates of tax charged and hope that this does not prove to be a disincentive to increase profits and investment, or To decrease rates of tax charged and hope that this proves to be a stimulant to business growth. The […]

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The VW emissions fiasco

November 2, 2015

Many owners of VWs will be peeved that they may have been misled if the recent revelations regarding published CO2 levels are confirmed: they will be driving cars that are not as environmentally friendly as they were led to believe.  VW have admitted that as many as 1.2m of its vehicles sold in the UK […]

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Pension changes

October 29, 2015

 HMRC have recently published an update to issues that affect pension scheme administrators and individuals who contribute to pension funds. Highlights of some of the issues raised are reproduced below: Annual allowance charges for tax year 2014-15 Administrators are reminded that it is really important that scheme members who have exceeded the pension schemes annual […]

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Tax gap narrows

October 27, 2015

The tax gap for 2013-14 was 6.4% of tax due, continuing a long-term downward trend. The tax gap, which is the difference between the amount of tax due and the amount collected, has fallen from 8.4% in 2005-06. This reduction in the percentage tax gap since 2005-06 represents an additional £57 billion in cumulative tax […]

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HMRC chases down tax fraudsters

October 23, 2015

HMRC recently announced that they have brought in an additional £109m in tax revenue in the last six months by pursuing claims against taxpayers who have not declared all their income for tax purposes. The specialist task forces employed to collect this tax are becoming increasingly effective at identifying and tracking down individuals and businesses […]

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Directors responsibilities

October 21, 2015

We are often asked to explain the role a director is required to undertake for an incorporated business. It is wise to take this question seriously as these responsibilities are written into company law – break them at your peril. The government website lists these duties as follows. As a director of a limited company, […]

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HMRC multi-year funding for voluntary sector

October 15, 2015

HMRC are inviting bids from interested charities and will allocate a guaranteed £1.5m per year over the next 3 years to the voluntary and community sector (VCS) to support taxpayers who need extra help understanding and complying with their tax obligations and claiming their entitlements, including those who are currently digitally excluded.  They are looking […]

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Early bird filing

October 13, 2015

Why would you want to file your tax return early? The end of this month, for example, is the deadline for filing a paper version of the 2014-15 self assessment tax returns, and if you file online, the deadline is 31 January 2016. A significant number of taxpayers still file after the deadlines and seem […]

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Creditors have their day in court

October 9, 2015

In a recent insolvency investigation Richard Price and Timothy Porter, both directors of Recruit Investments Limited, which headed up a group of businesses specialising in labour recruitment, have been banned from being company directors for 6 years and 5 years respectively for transferring company assets for no consideration, including Arabian horses and money to one […]

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Safeguarding your business ideas

October 6, 2015

You will have automatic copyright protection for writing and literary works, art, photography, films, TV, music, web content and sound recordings ‘Design right’ automatically protects your design for 10 years after it was first sold or 15 years after it was created – whichever is earliest. You can use it to stop someone copying your […]

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Tax Diary October/November 2015

October 1, 2015

 1 October 2015 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 31 December 2014.  19 October 2015 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 October 2015. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 October 2015.)  19 October 2015 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly […]

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Emerging markets in the EU

October 1, 2015

If you are considering, or already are, selling your products and services in the EU, you may want to read the following recent announcement published on the UK government website. “Emerging Europe offers opportunities for all UK companies ranging from novice to experienced exporters, and across multiple sectors. Emerging Europe is made up of 11 […]

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Advisory fuel rates from 1 September 2015

October 1, 2015

 Changes to these rates from 1 September 2015 are: Petrol: engine size 1400cc or less – 11p per mile Petrol: engine size 1401cc to 2000cc – 14p per mile Petrol: engine size over 2000cc – 21p per mile LPG: engine size 1400cc or less – 7p per mile LPG: engine size 1401cc to 2000cc – […]

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Personal Savings Allowance

October 1, 2015

From April 2016, you won’t have to pay tax on interest received up to £1,000 (if you are a standard rate taxpayer), or £500 if you pay tax at the higher rate. Therefore, to be eligible for this new allowance in 2016-17: Your taxable income needs to be less than £42,700 a year to qualify […]

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Salary v dividends conundrum

October 1, 2015

In the last two editions of this newsletter we have outlined the impact of the changes to the taxation of dividends that will commence 6 April 2016. This month we want to continue to look at this major change as it affects the shareholder directors of private limited companies. For 2015-16 any dividends drawn by […]

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Warning about cyber threat to UK businesses

October 1, 2015

UK businesses were recently warned about the growing risk of cyber attacks as Minister for the Digital Economy, Ed Vaizey, urged businesses across the country to protect themselves by taking up the Government’s Cyber Essentials scheme. Whilst businesses are reaping the benefits of operating online and now earn £1 in every £5 from the Internet, […]

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HMRC considering changes to the way they charge penalties

September 29, 2015

Readers might be interested to know that HMRC have been consulting with various parties, including the accountancy profession, regarding the way in which they charge penalties to taxpayers who don’t meet their filing obligations. We have listed below a number of the conclusions HMRC have reached thus far.  HMRC’s published responses:  We recognise the need […]

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What qualifies as a tax allowable travelling expense

September 24, 2015

HMRC’s opinion on qualifying travel costs is clearly set in their employee travel guide. For instance: The sort of travel that qualifies for tax relief is travel that is ‘on the job’, as distinct from travel ‘to the job’. The most common example is travel between one workplace and another in connection with a single […]

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Shared parental leave

September 22, 2015

 Parents considering shared parental leave may like to consider the following notes.  You may be able to get Shared Parental Leave (SPL) and Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP) if: your baby is due on or after 5 April 2015 you adopt a child on or after 5 April 2015  If you’re eligible for SPL you […]

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VAT late filing and late payment defaults surcharges

September 17, 2015

Readers are reminded that late filing or late payment of VAT returns can result in costly penalties – in VAT speak they are referred to as default surcharges. Each time you default HMRC will send you a Surcharge Liability Notice, or Surcharge Liability Notice Extension. These will warn you that if you default in respect […]

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Tax scheme generates �1bn in tax

September 15, 2015

HMRC has collected £1 billion in tax payments from users of tax avoidance schemes as a result of the government’s new rules to collect disputed tax upfront, the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, David Gauke, announced 13 September 2015. The Government introduced Accelerated Payments last year to radically change the economics of avoidance. Under these […]

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Dividend Allowance, wake up call for shareholder directors

September 14, 2015

HMRC have published the following fact sheet regarding the wide ranging changes to the taxation of dividends from April 2016: From April 2016 the Dividend Tax Credit will be replaced by a new tax-free Dividend Allowance. The Dividend Allowance means that you won’t have to pay tax on the first £5,000 of your dividend income, […]

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Charities, making the most of tax reliefs

September 14, 2015

There are now a number of ways that charities can encourage donations by promoting the various tax schemes available. Over the last five years the government has brought in a range of changes to the tax system to make it simpler for charities to make the most of tax reliefs, so that more money can […]

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Keep your records up to date at Companies House

September 10, 2015

 If you're late telling Companies House about changes to your officer's details, it could come at a cost. Searches of company officers account for 47% of all public searches of our database, but only 53% of companies notify Companies House within the legal timescale when their officer details have changed.  Filing your documentation late can […]

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Self assessment payments on account

September 9, 2015

If you are self-employed (as a sole trader or in partnership) you will normally make two payments on account of your self assessment tax liability at the end of January and July each year. Normally, these payments on account are based on your total self assessment dues for the previous tax year. So, for 2015-16, […]

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Tax Diary September/October 2015

September 1, 2015

 1 September 2015 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 30 November 2014.  19 September 2015 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 September 2015. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 September 2015.)  19 September 2015 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly […]

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Do you own property in the EU

September 1, 2015

If you own property in the EU you may be advised to revisit your Wills and make sure that you are not affected by the automatic succession rules that apply in many countries. For example, in France it is the usual practice to ensure that property is left to children rather than the surviving spouse. […]

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Vehicle Excise Duty changes from April 2017

September 1, 2015

If you are concerned about the annual cost of a VED license you may want to consider your car replacement options before the new VED regime starts April 2017. It will apply to all cars first registered after 1 April 2017. From this date, VED will still be based on CO2 emissions, but the present […]

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Sunday trading review

September 1, 2015

The Government is undertaking a review of the Sunday Trading legislation. The review aims to deal with the concerns of larger high street retailers, who are concerned that they cannot compete effectively with online retailers unless they are open seven days a week at normal opening hours. The Government is consulting on plans to give […]

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More on the dividend tax

September 1, 2015

As we mentioned in last month’s newsletter, from April 2016, the present dividend tax credit of 10% is being abolished and is being replaced with an annual dividend allowance of £5,000. To recap, dividends received in excess of the £5,000 allowance will be taxed at increasing rates according to your highest rate of Income Tax: […]

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Higher rate of film tax relief has been given the go ahead.

August 26, 2015

Britain is set to attract the production of more films like The Theory of Everything, Gravity and Avengers: Age of Ultron after the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne announced a new higher rate of film tax relief has been given the go ahead.   Under the new plans the £1.4 billion film industry will […]

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Benefit in kind changes

August 24, 2015

From 6 April 2016 HMRC are introducing an exemption from paying tax and National Insurance contributions (NICs) on qualifying paid or reimbursed expense payments to employees. This means that where an employee is entitled to claim a fully matching tax deduction (i.e. if they incur a business expense they can claim it back from their […]

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Couple banned from acting as directors

August 20, 2015

Mark and Janet Styler have been disqualified from acting as directors for six years for withdrawing funds from Window & Conservatory Options Limited after they had been told the company was insolvent and could not afford to continue the level of payments to them. The company, which began trading in March 2009, sold and installed […]

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Paid too much or too little tax

August 18, 2015

 HMRC have issued a press release advising tax payers that they are sending out annual statements for the tax year to 5 April 2015. The statements are styled P800 forms and summarise income and allowances for the year and the calculation of tax due and tax paid. If you have over paid tax the statement […]

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HMRC takes back control of IT services

August 13, 2015

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) announced earlier this month that it will bring some existing IT services under its direct control, while it continues to plan the transition to a new IT delivery model following the ending of the Aspire contract in 2017. These changes will ultimately enable HMRC to make savings of up to […]

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HMRC to extend data gathering powers

August 7, 2015

HMRC has had considerable success in using third party data to better target compliance activity and to tackle the hidden economy. A current consultation by HMRC proposes that these data gathering powers be extended in order to combat tax evasion. We have extracted the following comments from the formal consultation document. Many businesses use intermediaries […]

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HMRC roadside fuel testing

August 5, 2015

Treasury Minister Damian Hinds visited Belfast and Newry recently as HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) unveiled new roadside fuel testing equipment to tackle the trade in illicit diesel. The hi-tech equipment has been introduced to allow officers to test vehicles at the roadside for the presence of the new fuel marker, which was introduced into […]

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Tax Diary August/September 2015

August 3, 2015

 1 August 2015 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 31 October 2014.  19 August 2015 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 August 2015. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 August 2015)  19 August 2015 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly […]

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Tapered pensions annual allowance

August 3, 2015

 Legislation in Summer Finance Bill 2015 introduces a tapered reduction in the annual allowance from 6 April 2016, for those with an ‘adjusted income’ of over £150,000. The ‘adjusted income’ definition adds-back any pension contributions, to prevent individuals from avoiding the restriction by exchanging salary for employer contributions. To provide certainty for individuals with lower […]

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Small business changes

August 3, 2015

 Some of the key changes that will impact small businesses in particular are set out below: Taxation of dividend income from April 2016. The present 10% dividend tax credit is being abolished from April 2016. In its place an annual dividend tax allowance of £5,000 is being introduced. Dividends received will be free of further […]

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Landlords

August 3, 2015

 There were a number of measures in the Summer Budget that will impact the taxation of property income. These include: the abolition of the 10% wear and tear allowance (see details below); the restriction of tax relief to the basic rate (20%) for loan interest on funds raised to purchase residential property for letting. This […]

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Home owners and IHT

August 3, 2015

One of the tax issues that the Conservative Party promised to legislate for, a promise they made during the recent election campaign, was the easing of the Inheritance Tax charge for home owners in the UK. The much publicised change was to take family homes of up to £1m out of Inheritance Tax charge completely. […]

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Good news for mobile phone users

August 3, 2015

From June 2017, British visitors to Europe will no longer be charged additional fees for using their mobile phones. This is great news for business people who need to keep in touch with their UK base of operations when travelling in Europe. Ironically, it is the UK that has been a vocal supporter of this […]

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Offshore tax evaders and their advisers will face even tougher sanctions

July 28, 2015

 The new regime to crack down on offshore evaders, which HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will consult on from 16 July, includes: a new criminal offence for offshore evasion – so in the worst cases it’s no longer possible to plead ignorance in an attempt to avoid criminal prosecution a new criminal offence for corporates […]

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The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment

July 23, 2015

The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act has now received Royal Assent and is expected to be implemented to the timescales set out below. The measures that affect companies aim to: reduce red tape whilst increasing the quality of information on the public register enhance transparency and ensure the UK is seen as a trusted […]

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Update for landlords

July 21, 2015

On 17 July 2015 HMRC published a consultation document that outlines the changes to the way tax relief will be given for replacement of furnishings in let residential properties.  The present wear and tear allowance (10% of rents) has a number of inconsistencies: The allowance can be claimed even where the landlord incurs no actual […]

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Top ten things to know about the new Tax-Free Childcare scheme.

July 12, 2015

The government has published more information about the proposed changes to their tax-free childcare scheme.  Here are the top ten things to know about the scheme… 1. You’ll be able to open an online account You’ll be able to open an online account, which you can pay into to cover the cost of childcare with […]

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Get rich quick scheme exposed

July 10, 2015

Four London companies involved in selling “miracle” software guaranteed to make investors money trading on the London Stock Exchange, have been ordered into liquidation in the High Court on grounds of public interest following an investigation by the Insolvency Service. The court heard how Direct Technologies Limited, D Corporation Ltd, Stock Market Charting Programs and […]

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Summer Budget Statement 8 July 2015

July 9, 2015

 Personal Tax and miscellaneous matters  The Tax Lock  The Government are to legislate to set a ceiling for increases to various taxes. This will ensure that they cannot rise above their 2015-16 levels for the duration of the current parliament. The taxes affected are: The main rates of Income Tax. The standard and reduced rates […]

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What can we expected from George Osborne\’s July Budget?

July 8, 2015

There seems be a trend. Most of the key issues that will be disclosed this week seem to have been leaked to the press prior to the actual budget speech. For example: Inheritance tax (IHT): the government will fulfil its election promise and increase the tax free value that couples can leave to their families […]

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Boost for charities

July 7, 2015

The Cabinet Office launched an initiative on the 25 June that will provide grants to increase the sustainability of around 250 organisations working in the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector. The fund, which will be delivered by the Big Lottery Fund, will provide grants that will enable recipients to implement organisational changes and […]

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HMRC softening penalties for employers

July 1, 2015

Following on from our posting last week. HMRC has underlined its commitment to relaxing the issue of penalty notices, this time for employers having problems meeting the online filing of payroll information. Rather than issue late filing penalties automatically when a deadline is missed, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will take a more proportionate approach […]

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Cashing in your pension pot

June 29, 2015

From April 2015, persons aged 55 years or older, with defined contribution personal pension pots, can consider cashing in the value accumulated in their fund. Certainly, anyone considering this course of action should take professional advice from their independent financial advisor.  The following steps are advised by the Pensions Wise website:  Here are some next […]

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Tax Diary July/August 2015

June 26, 2015

 1 July 2015 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 30 September 2014.  6 July 2015 – Complete and submit forms P11D return of benefits and expenses and P11D (b) return of Class 1A NICs.  8 July 2015 – The second Budget Day for this year.  19 July 2015 – Pay […]

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Under and over payments of tax 2014-15

June 26, 2015

HMRC have started the process of sending formal statements to taxpayers who may have under or over paid Income Tax for 2014-15. In a recent press release they said: “We are sending P800s that show an overpayment of tax first, followed by a cheque around a fortnight later. You don’t need to do anything. The […]

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Summer Budget 2015

June 26, 2015

 Next week, Wednesday 8th July, George Osborne will present his first budget of the new parliament.  He has indicated that there will be no hikes in the major taxes: Income Tax, National Insurance, VAT and Corporation Tax. We shall see…  What he will be revealing is how he intends to reduce public expenditure in order […]

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Scottish Rate of Income Tax

June 26, 2015

From April 2016, the Scottish Parliament has devolved powers to set the Scottish Rate of Income Tax (SRIT). Within the last few weeks it has been widely publicised that this may mean a higher rate of Income Tax in Scotland as compared to the Income Tax rates in other parts of the UK.  HMRC have […]

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Business start-ups

June 26, 2015

If you are an old hand at setting up a new business most of the content of this article will be a timely reminder of the issues you need to cover in your project to-do list. For first timers, use this article as a guide to see you through what can prove to be an […]

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HMRC sets out its position on charging penalties

June 17, 2015

Its official, HMRC does not want to charge penalties! HMRC have made the following announcement on their approach to the £100 late filing penalty for people sending in tax returns late: “We want to focus more and more of our resources on investigating major tax avoidance and evasion rather than penalising ordinary people who are […]

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North of England set to become dormitory for wealthy Scots

June 15, 2015

The north of England may become a Scottish executives’ area of choice to live if the Scottish Parliament sets the Scottish income tax at higher rates than the rest of the UK. In effect the north of England could become a dormitory for wealthy families, presently living in Scotland, who for tax reasons, will seek […]

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How to renew tax credits

June 11, 2015

 You usually need to renew your tax credits once a year. You should receive your renewal pack by 30 June. If you haven’t got your pack, call the Tax Credit Helpline. You can’t renew your tax credits until you get your renewal pack. If you claimed tax credits after 6 April, your renewal pack is […]

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Estate and lettings agents at risk of breaking competition law

June 10, 2015

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) recently fined an association of estate and lettings agents, 3 of its members and a newspaper publisher over £735,000 for agreeing to restrict the advertising of fees or discounts in a local newspaper. In light of this case, the CMA has sent warning letters to a number of estate […]

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Childcare support for working parents to double

June 5, 2015

David Cameron announces plans to double free childcare for working parents, with some families set to benefit as early as next year. Parents set to benefit from 30 hours of free childcare, with rollout to start from 2016 – a year earlier than planned. Childcare funding rates to increase, with review promised before summer. New […]

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Over a million more people given the chance to own their own home

June 4, 2015

Communities Secretary Greg Clark is to announce landmark changes to spread home ownership to millions. Government confirmed in first Queen’s Speech measures including a ground-breaking Housing Bill Right to Buy to be extended to 1.3 million housing association tenants Sweeping new measures, including a Right to Build, to also boost house building Communities Secretary Greg […]

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Tax Diary June/July 2015

June 1, 2015

 1 June 2015 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 31 August 2014.  19 June 2015 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 June 2015. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 June 2015.)  19 June 2015 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly […]

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Attempts to defraud a liquidator punished by courts

June 1, 2015

A court order appointing a Provisional Liquidator was made by the High Court in March 2014 against Parkwell Investments Ltd, based in Wilmslow, Cheshire. The order removed the company’s officers and appointed a Provisional Liquidator in their place to protect the company’s remaining assets. The company’s officers then deliberately and knowingly acted in contempt of […]

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Reclaiming VAT input tax prior to registration

June 1, 2015

Once you have registered your business for VAT the first thing you should consider is the possibility of reclaiming input tax on purchases of goods and services prior to registration.  This article summarises the issues you will need to consider for the two categories: goods and services. There’s a time limit for backdating claims for […]

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What is your business staging date

June 1, 2015

Pensions’ automatic enrolment is not going to go away. Businesses have begun to receive notification of their staging date: the date on which pension arrangement under the scheme should be in place.  According to the Pensions Regulator’s commentary on automatic enrolment: “The law on workplace pensions has changed. Every employer with at least one member […]

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The missing clauses

June 1, 2015

In order to process the Finance Bill 2015 through the parliamentary procedures before the recent election, certain clauses were deferred. It is likely that the deferred clauses will be reintroduced in the summer Budget, 8 July 2015.  As announced, George Osborne will present his first Budget of the new parliament 8 July. The clauses that […]

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Clothing giant Next loses tax avoidance case

May 28, 2015

High street retailer Next has been hit with a £22.4m tax bill after a court ruled the firm’s complex tax scheme was artificial tax avoidance. HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) successfully challenged Next Brand Ltd, which is part of the well-known Next group, over its use of a tax avoidance structure known as a rate-booster. […]

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New Business Secretary rolls back red tape

May 27, 2015

Sajid Javid set out his priorities for supporting Britain's small businesses last week. Here’s a summary of what he said: Over the next 5 years, we’ll build on the success of ‘One in, two out’ to put a strict brake on new regulations. For the first time, the actions of regulators will be counted towards […]

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George Osborne – second Budget announced

May 22, 2015

The first Budget of the new parliament is to be delivered by George Osborne on July 8th. Apart from tying up loose ends from the spring Budget the Chancellor will make a number of announcements: His plans for eliminating the UK’s budget deficit and running a surplus by the end of the current parliament. Details […]

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Directors jailed for contempt of court

May 19, 2015

Two Directors and a Company Secretary have been jailed for contempt of court relating to a £7.7m VAT fraud, following an investigation by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). A court order appointing a Provisional Liquidator was made by the High Court in March 2014 against Parkwell Investments Ltd, based in Wilmslow, Cheshire. The order removed […]

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Business investment 2015

May 15, 2015

Is this a good time to invest if you are in business? Actual business investment in the UK fell in the last quarter of 2014. This was largely driven by the reduction of investment in North Sea oil and gas exploration as global energy prices continued to fall. Additionally, smaller businesses may have been waiting […]

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More of the same

May 13, 2015

So now we know. For the next five years we will have a Conservative government, albeit, with a slim majority in the House of Commons. From a tax point of view George Osborne is continuing as Chancellor and we can probably expect more of the same as he struggles to reduce the deficit, repay debt […]

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New business start ups

May 6, 2015

 This posting lists a few (but not necessarily all) of the tax issues you will need to consider when you are planning a new business: Get you business registered with HMRC, failure to do this can lead to penalties. If you are incorporating your business, HMRC generally pick up your business registration via their links […]

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Tax Diary May/June 2015

May 5, 2015

19 May 2015 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 May 2015. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 May 2015.)  19 May 2015 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly return for the month ended 5 May 2015.  19 May 2015 – CIS tax deducted for the […]

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HMRC scores hat-trick

May 5, 2015

HM Revenue and Customs has secured three tribunal wins against tax avoidance schemes, protecting over £260 million in tax. All three rulings uphold earlier judgments in HMRC’s favour at the First-tier Tribunal. The Upper Tribunal dismissed an appeal brought by users of a scheme that sought to create artificial losses by using a combination of […]

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Reclaim VAT from mileage payments

May 5, 2015

If you pay your employees a mileage rate for the business use of their personal vehicles, as long as you do not exceed the approved rates per mile, there is no necessity to report these payments to HMRC and the payment will not be treated as a taxable benefit. Employers and employees may also find […]

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Business and corporate tax changes from 1 April 2015

May 5, 2015

The published list of tax changes that affect primarily businesses are listed below. The Corporation Tax rate has been reduced to 20% The new Diverted Profits Tax has been introduced The bank levy has increased from 0.156% to 0.21% Air Passenger Duty has been restructured – abolishing bands C and D Hospice charities, blood bikes, […]

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Personal tax changes from 6 April 2015

May 5, 2015

 HMRC has kindly published a list of the tax changes that affect individuals from 6th April 2015. We have reproduced the list below. Individuals over the age of 55 have flexible access to their defined contribution pension savings The Income Tax Personal Allowance increases to £10,600 The higher rate Income Tax threshold increases to £42,385 […]

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Annual Investment Allowance

April 30, 2015

The most generous tax allowance presently available to businesses that encourages direct investment in new plant, equipment and commercial vehicles, is the Annual Investment Allowance (AIA). If you buy qualifying assets you can write off the expenditure against your taxable profits in the same accounting period. The present limit to this allowance is generous, £500,000. […]

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Queens Award for Enterprise 2015

April 28, 2015

All of this year’s (2015) winners are UK businesses leading the way in international trade, innovation and sustainable development in a broad range of sectors including car manufacturing, education, software design and fashion. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) unveiled the 141 winners of the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise and 6 individual recipients […]

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A few miscellaneous effects of holding ISAs

April 27, 2015

If you move abroad If you open an Individual Savings Account (ISA) in the UK and then move abroad, you can’t put money into it after you move (unless you’re a Crown employee working overseas or their spouse or civil partner). However, you can keep your ISA open and you’ll still get UK tax relief […]

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Black taxis urged to go green

April 23, 2015

On 26 March 2015 the government announced a new initiative to support taxi owners to convert to lower emission vehicles. The initiative is £45 million to support the rollout of greener taxis. A £20 million fund will be made available to local authorities to support the rollout of ultra-low emission taxis across the UK. The […]

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Emergency tax codes

April 21, 2015

You’re on an emergency tax code if your payslip says your tax code is one of the following: 1060L W1 1060L M1 1060L X Emergency tax codes are temporary. While you’re on an emergency tax code, you pay tax on all your income above the basic Personal Allowance (£10,600 for the 2015 to 2016 tax […]

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The following tax changes came into effect Monday 6 April 2015

April 20, 2015

Following on from our previous blog posting: tax changes that were effective from 1 April 2015 (and that mainly affected Companies), we have included below tax changes that affect individuals from 6 April 2015, the start of the 2015-16 tax year. Individuals over the age of 55 have flexible access to their defined contribution pension […]

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Shared Parental Leave law became effective on 5 April 2015

April 17, 2015

Parents in work can now share responsibility for looking after their newborn or newly adopted child as Shared Parental Leave law becomes effective 5 April 2015. Eligible couples whose child is due on or after Sunday 5 April 2015 can now share up to 50 weeks of leave and 37 weeks of pay in the […]

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The following tax changes came into effect Wednesday 1 April 2015

April 9, 2015

The Corporation Tax rate has been reduced to 20% The new Diverted Profits Tax has been introduced The bank levy has increased from 0.156% to 0.21% Air Passenger Duty has been restructured – abolishing bands C and D Hospice charities, blood bikes, search and rescue, and air ambulance charities will be eligible for VAT refunds […]

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Tax Diary April/May 2015

April 7, 2015

 1 April 2015 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 30 June 2014.  19 April 2015 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 April 2015. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 April 2015.)  19 April 2015 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly […]

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Significant increase in NMW from October 2015

April 7, 2015

The National Minimum Wage rates from 1 October 2015, as recommended by the Low Pay Commission. (LPC) will be: a 20p (3%) increase in the adult rate (from £6.50 to £6.70 per hour) a 17p (3%) increase in the rate for 18 to 20 year olds (from £5.13 to £5.30 per hour) an 8p (2%) […]

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Pension’s flexibility a word of caution

April 7, 2015

The new flexibility, that certain pension pot holders can avail themselves from 6 April 2015, offers more opportunity regarding the funds they have saved. Once you reach minimum pension age, normally 55, you will be able to: leave your pension fund invested, no change;  enter drawdown, thereby taking some of your money whilst leaving the […]

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Savings boost

April 7, 2015

There were a number of changes to promote savings in the Budget. The main changes are set out below: Help to Buy ISA From autumn 2015, a new ISA is being launched that will enable first time buyers to save for their deposit. An initial deposit of £1,000 is allowed with additional monthly savings of […]

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Goodbye tax returns, hello digital accounts

April 7, 2015

In an effort to streamline and simplify the administration of the Self Assessment tax system HMRC is planning to open digital accounts for fifty million taxpayers by 2020. When completed, these taxpayers will no longer be required to submit Self Assessment tax returns to HMRC. Instead, HMRC will gather information from employers, pension providers, banks […]

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Some of the Budget changes March 2015

April 2, 2015

Following last week’s Budget, the government has published the Finance Bill 2015. The bill implements tax changes announced at Budget 2014, Autumn Statement 2014 and Budget 2015. It includes action by the government to support hardworking families keep more of their hard-earned money by: increasing the personal allowance by an extra £400 to £11,000 from […]

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Banks to stop taking tax on interest paid

March 31, 2015

 From 6 April 2015 you won’t have to pay tax on interest received if your total income is less than £15,600. As part of a wider relaxation for savers, the recent Budget pledged to introduce a Personal Savings Allowance (PSA) from 6 April 2016. The main features of the new PSA are: If your taxable […]

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First time buyers savings plan

March 27, 2015

 If you are a first time buyer a new savings scheme introduced in the Budget last week is well worth considering.  Nick named the Help to Buy ISA, the ISA will allow you to save up to £200 a month, and if you fulfil the various conditions set out below, the Government will boost your […]

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Stolen mobile charges to be capped

March 26, 2015

 Major mobile networks have confirmed plans to introduce protection for consumers from huge bills run-up on stolen mobiles following Government action. Under the voluntary agreement, five mobile networks – EE, O2, Three, Virgin Media and Vodafone – will protect around 27 million consumers on pay monthly contracts from being hit with shock bills through no […]

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Pension freedoms to be extended to annuitants

March 23, 2015

The Chancellor has announced that the government will extend its pension freedoms to around 5 million people who have already bought an annuity. From April 2016, the government will remove the restrictions on buying and selling existing annuities to allow pensioners to sell the income they receive from their annuity without unwinding the original annuity […]

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Budget Statement 18 March 2015

March 19, 2015

 Personal Tax and miscellaneous matters  Personal Tax allowance  The personal allowance for those born after 5 April 1948 will be increased to: For 2015-16 – £10,600 For 2016-17 – £10,800 For 2017-18 – £11,000  From 2016-17, there will be one Income Tax personal allowance regardless of an individual’s date of birth.  Income Tax rate bands […]

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Business rates review

March 18, 2015

 The Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, launched the most wide-ranging review of national business rates in a generation this month – paving the way for changes to how businesses across England pay the tax. The review, set to report back by Budget 2016, will examine the structure of the current system which is […]

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The Marriage Allowance

March 17, 2015

From 6 April 2015 married couples (and civil partners) will be able to register for the MA. If your income is less than £10,600 in the 2015 to 2016 tax year, you may be able to reduce your husband, wife or civil partner’s tax by up to £212. The new Marriage Allowance will let you […]

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County Court Judgements and your credit rating

March 16, 2015

County Court Judgements and your credit rating If you get a county court judgment (CCJ) or a high court judgment, it will stay on the Register of Judgments, Orders and Fines for 6 years. For this six year period Banks and loan companies will be aware of the CCJ and will take this into account […]

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Pension changes from next month

March 6, 2015

There are a number of changes to the taxation of pensions from next month. We have copied into this article postings to the GOV.UK website regarding some of the more significant options available from April 2015.  What happens to your pension when you die? Instead of paying the 55% rate of tax when passing on […]

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Payment in 30 days

March 3, 2015

In a recent speech Business Minister, Matthew Hancock, announced that the government-backed Prompt Payment Code will now promote 30-day terms as standard, with a 60-day maximum limit. Unless signatories can prove exceptional circumstances for longer terms, they will be removed from the Code. The change will be rigorously enforced by the new Code Compliance Board, […]

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Tax Diary March/April 2015

March 2, 2015

 1 March 2015 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 31 May 2014.  2 March 2015 – Self Assessment tax for 2013/14 paid after this date will incur a 5% surcharge.  19 March 2015 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 March 2015. (If you pay your tax […]

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Domestic employment arrangements

March 2, 2015

Did you know that if you take on domestic help you may be considered an employer? Anyone who works in a private home is treated as an employee if they only work for one family, except for au pairs. This includes nannies, housekeepers, gardeners and anyone else working for one family. You’re their employer if […]

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When was the last time you reviewed your Will

March 2, 2015

Do you have any idea if your estate will have an inheritance bill when you die? How much will it be? Who will have to pay it?  Planning opportunities arise if: If you have assets that you would like to give away. If you have any interests in a business or company, or own agricultural […]

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What is tax avoidance

March 2, 2015

HMRC has published a list of ten items that serial tax avoiders need to be aware. It’s a reminder as we approach the end of another tax year that overstepping the mark can have serious consequences.  Here’s what HMRC has said: HMRC is serious about stopping avoidance: the Government is taking unprecedented steps to clamp […]

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Last chance to plan for 2014-15

March 2, 2015

As we mentioned in our January 2015 newsletter there are a number of tax planning opportunities that will cease to exist once the clock passes midnight, 5 April 2015. For businesses whose year end coincides with the 5 April 2015 (or 31 March 2015) these opportunities included: The timing of capital purchases: equipment, vehicles and […]

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Year end tax planning 2014-15

February 26, 2015

The 2014-15 tax year finishes midnight, 5 April 2015. There are a number of tax planning opportunities that need to be considered before this date. Only a few weeks to go. If you have not already done so we recommend you speak with your professional advisor without delay. Who should be concerned? Tax year end […]

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Landlords Energy Saving Allowance ends 5 April 2015

February 24, 2015

Landlords can reduce their tax bill by up to £1,500 a year with the Landlord’s Energy Saving Allowance. Unless extended in the forthcoming budget, this scheme is due to end 5 April 2015. What you can claim You can claim Landlord’s Energy Saving Allowance for the costs of buying and installing the following energy-saving products […]

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Gift Hold-over Relief

February 23, 2015

This relief will help you to defer capital gains tax (CGT) when you give away chargeable assets or if you sell something subject to CGT for less than its market value. The relief is called Gift Hold-Over Relief and could be claimed if you give away business assets (including certain shares) or sell them for […]

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Business plans

February 17, 2015

  Why you need a business plan  A business plan is a written document that describes your business. It covers objectives, strategies, sales, marketing and financial forecasts.  A business plan helps you to: clarify your business idea spot potential problems set out your goals measure your progress   You’ll need a business plan if you […]

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New rules to safeguard value for money in workplace pensions

February 12, 2015

From April, people automatically enrolled into a workplace pension will see their charges capped at 0.75%, unless they have chosen a more expensive option. The details are set out in draft regulations laid before Parliament on 4 February 2015. For an average earner currently paying into a fund with a charge of 1.5%, this new […]

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Staff loans for would be tenants

February 11, 2015

Housing Minister Brandon Lewis announced recently government-wide support for a new scheme that will become available to thousands of potential tenants. The minister said he was determined to “create a bigger, better private rented sector”. All of Whitehall has now agreed to offer deposit loans to staff looking to take up new tenancies in the […]

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Business rates revaluation 2017

February 10, 2015

In preparation for the 2017 Revaluation, the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) is sending out forms to ratepayers from January asking for information about their property and business. This is to help the VOA update the rateable values of all business properties which are used by councils to calculate the business rates they pay. If you […]

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Tax Diary February/March 2015

February 3, 2015

1 February 2015 – Due date for Corporation Tax payable for the year ended 30 April 2014.  19 February 2015 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 February 2015. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 February 2015.)  19 February 2015 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly […]

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Snugglebundl wins appeal

February 3, 2015

In a recent case considered by the courts a company that sold a baby lifting blanket appealed a ruling by HMRC that the supply was standard rated for VAT purposes. For the company this placed them at a competitive disadvantage as retail outlets selling the item were required to charge VAT at 20%.   At […]

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Home based businesses and business rates

February 3, 2015

The local property tax you pay, in England and Wales, will be either Council Tax or Non-domestic (business) Rates depending on the type of property. Some properties are part business and part domestic, so you may pay both taxes. Good examples are public houses where the publican lives on the premises or shops where the […]

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What is a reasonable excuse for late filing

February 3, 2015

You may feel aggrieved that you were unable to file your return on time for a perfectly valid reason. If you want to appeal against any penalties charged there is a formal appeals procedure you should follow. In order to convince HMRC to withdraw their penalty notice you will have to convince them that you […]

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Self Assessment late filing penalties

February 3, 2015

The deadline for submitting your Self Assessment tax return for 2013-14 has passed. The online filing date, after which penalties apply, was midnight, 31 January 2015.  Penalties for individuals:  If you failed to make the filing deadline a range of penalties becomes payable, or potentially payable, how much will depend on how quickly you bring […]

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Tax avoiders beware

February 3, 2015

HMRC have published details of a new consultation they are undertaking to tighten the rules that will be applied to tax payers who use avoidance schemes to artificially reduce their tax liabilities. The press release includes the following ten points that persistent tax avoiders should be aware: HMRC is serious about stopping avoidance: the government […]

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Statutory Maternity and Paternity Pay

January 30, 2015

What you can reclaim As an employer, you can usually reclaim 92% of employees’ Statutory Maternity (SMP), Paternity and Adoption Pay. You can reclaim 103% if your business qualifies for Small Employers’ Relief. You get this if you paid less than £45,000 in Class 1 National Insurance in the last complete tax year before the […]

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Women are more likely than men to send in their tax return on time

January 27, 2015

Women are more likely than men to send in their tax return on time, an HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) analysis has revealed. For every 10,000 tax returns received last year by HMRC from men, 394 were after the relevant deadline – 31 October for paper submissions and 31 January for online returns. This compares […]

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Have you utilised your exempt amount for capital gains tax purposes

January 22, 2015

As we are approaching the end of the 2014-15 tax year, individuals who own assets that are subject to capital gains tax (CGT) may be advised to consider the comments made in this article. If you dispose of a chargeable asset between 6 April 2014 and 5 April 2015 you are allowed gains of up […]

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Government launches Pension Wise service

January 20, 2015

Pension wise will offer free and impartial guidance to people on the new pension freedoms which come into effect in April 2015. Pension wise will be a first port of call for consumers, offering free and impartial information and guidance to people with a defined contribution pension approaching retirement. From April 2015, over 300,000 individuals […]

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Top ten excuses for late filing

January 15, 2015

As most self employed persons, certain pensioners and high income earners will be aware their self-assessment tax returns for 2013-14 have to be filed by the end of January 2015 in order to avoid late filing penalties                                    There are also other costs (possible interest and further penalties) if you fail to pay your tax on […]

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Employing staff for the first time

January 13, 2015

 According to the tax office there are six things you need to consider when you are employing staff for the first time. They are: 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 […]

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The New Enterprise Allowance

January 7, 2015

ver 450 new businesses every week have been set up over the last year thanks to a government scheme which helps people on benefits to become their own boss. The New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) helps jobseekers, lone parents and people on sickness benefits with a good idea to set up their own business. New figures […]

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Tax Diary January/February 2015

January 6, 2015

 1 January 2015 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 31 March 2014.  19 January 2015 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 January 2015. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 January 2015.)  19 January 2015 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly […]

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Topping up your State Pension

January 6, 2015

 The Government has indicated that it wants to offer more to existing pensioners and people who reach State Pension age before 6 April 2016 when the single-tier pension is introduced.  To achieve this a new Class 3A voluntary contribution will be available from October 2015 to April 2017.  The Class 3A contribution will allow people […]

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Is your income approaching �100,000

January 6, 2015

 If you estimate that your taxable income for 2014-15 will marginally exceed £100,000, perhaps for the first time, you should consider your options.  If your income does exceed £100,000 then for every £2 that your income exceeds this amount your personal tax allowance will be reduced by £1.  As the basic personal allowance is £10,000 […]

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Work out your tax position sooner rather than later

January 6, 2015

If you are required to file a Self Assessment tax return there are compelling arguments to support the notion that you should calculate your tax position as soon as you can after the 5 April. Don’t forget, it is possible to work out your tax position for 2014-15 and consider your planning options before you […]

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Planning your business year end

January 6, 2015

Most of the tax planning that can be employed to reduce your business tax liabilities need to be considered and implemented prior to your year end date. If you are in business, you should consider at least one planning meeting with your professional advisor before the end of the tax year. This should be a […]

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What are your business and tax online filing obligations

January 5, 2015

We though you would be interested to know what your legal obligations are to file information online.  Limited companies All companies are required to file a corporation tax return together with an electronic copy of the statutory accounts to H M Revenue & Customs. The returns have to be filed online, generally within 12 months […]

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Discount for first time buyers

December 18, 2014

A new scheme offering 100,000 first-time buyers new homes with a 20% discount was announced 15 December 2014. The Prime Minister launched the new scheme that will offer 100,000 first-time buyers new homes with a 20% discount, as part of a major push to help people onto the housing ladder. Aspiring home owners will be […]

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Solicitors Tax Campaign

December 16, 2014

If you work within the legal profession as a solicitor in a partnership or company, or as an individual, this campaign provides an opportunity for you regularise your tax affairs. To take advantage of this opportunity firms will need to: Fill in a notification form by 9 March 2015. Fill in a disclosure form and […]

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New flexible approach to child care announced

December 15, 2014

Parents will gain greater flexibility in how they share the care of their child in the first year after birth as new regulations regarding Shared Parental Leave (SPL) came into force 1 December 2014. The new rules, which apply to couples with babies due or children matched or placed for adoption on or after 5 […]

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New proposals to tackle late payment

December 11, 2014

New proposals obliging large and listed companies to publish detailed information about their payment practices and performance were unveiled 27 November 2014 by the Business Minister Matthew Hancock. The proposed changes will provide robust information making it easier for small businesses to compare the role models with the less reputable. Specifically, the average payment time; […]

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Government names employers who fail to pay the National Minimum Wage

December 10, 2014

Employers who owe their workers thousands of pounds for failing to pay them the National Minimum Wage (NMW) have been named by Business Minister Jo Swinson. On the 27 November 2014, a further 25 employers who failed to pay their workers the National Minimum Wage were named under the revised naming scheme – introduced in […]

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Tax Diary December 2014/January 2015

December 9, 2014

1 December 2014 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 28 February 2014.  19 December 2014 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 December 2014. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 December 2014.)  19 December 2014 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly […]

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Personal tax summaries

December 9, 2014

HMRC have started to distribute personal tax summaries that set out how much tax you have paid and how the revenue collected is spent by government. According to a recent press release: 1.Personal tax summaries show you how your tax is calculated and what it is spent on Personal tax summaries show you how much […]

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Don’t file a paper tax return

December 9, 2014

The online filing deadline for 2013-14 Self Assessment tax returns is 31 January 2015. However, if you are still filing a paper version of the return, the 2013-14 deadline was 31 October 2014.  As the 31 October paper-filing deadline has passed, even if you have no tax to pay, or you eventually pay your tax […]

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Overtime and holiday pay

December 9, 2014

In the past companies have tended to base holiday pay payments on a worker’s basic pay, excluding overtime. In a recent landmark case an Employment Tribunal has ruled that past, non-guaranteed overtime should be included in the calculation of holiday pay.  Here’s what ACAS have to say:  “Non-guaranteed overtime is where there is no obligation […]

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Autumn Statement 3 December 2014

December 4, 2014

Economic indicators Employment Employment is at a record high of 30.8 million, up 1.7 million since the Government came into office, and more than 1 million above its pre-recession peak. Since 2010, employment has increased faster in the UK than in any other G7 country, and the working-age labour market participation rate has risen to […]

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Shake up of UK tax system

December 2, 2014

The Scottish parliament is to take over responsibility for income tax and welfare benefits in the most significant devolution of taxes thus far. Changes to the management of income tax and other taxes, as published by the Smith Commission last week, are listed below. Any reference to a tax being “reserved” means it will be […]

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The value of interim accounts

November 27, 2014

Many business readers of this blog will have their accounting year end set to coincide with the tax year end. For convenience, the end of March. As we approach the end of the calendar year you might want to consider the value of an interim review of your accounts to see what planning strategies are […]

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Update on State Pension changes

November 25, 2014

The government has launched a public information campaign to ensure everyone knows what the State Pension changes mean for them. With just over 500 days to go, Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith and Pensions Minister Steve Webb have recently launched a major new drive to help people understand the historic reforms that will […]

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What is the rush

November 20, 2014

Readers who still need to file their 2014 self-assessment tax return may be asking themselves what’s the rush? After all, the deadline for filing the return is not until 31 January 2015: more than two months away.   In fact there are at least two good reasons why you should attend to your filing obligation […]

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Seven year ban for inadequate accounting records

November 18, 2014

It would seem that errant directors are not only being pursued by HMRC for sloppy accounting procedures. The Insolvency Service is now taking a more active interest. Daniel Mark Holloway, the sole registered director of Holloways Contract Services, based in Romford, Essex, has been disqualified from acting as a company director for 7 years for […]

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Selling personal possessions and capital gains tax

November 13, 2014

There are a number of personal assets that you can sell without a risk that you are creating a CGT liability. They include: your car individual personal possessions worth up to £6,000 each, such as jewellery, paintings or antiques stocks and shares you hold in tax-free investment savings accounts, such as ISAs and PEPs UK […]

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Failure to pay maintenance to affect credit rating

November 11, 2014

From March 2015 (subject to Parliamentary approval), the Child Maintenance Service and Child Support Agency (CSA) will begin sharing certain information about the payment records of their clients with credit reference agencies. This means that arrears built up in maintenance payments will have the same effect on people’s credit score as other debts. Having a […]

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Don\’t look gift aid opportunity in the mouth

November 7, 2014

There are precious few opportunities to make an arrangement after the end of a tax year, and carry the benefit back to impact tax liabilities of the previous tax year. One such opportunity involves gift aid, and has the full blessing of HMRC. According to HMRC you can: “… ask for a Gift Aid donations […]

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Incorporated rogues

November 5, 2014

There is much evidence that dubious characters can masquerade as bona fide business people by calling themselves directors and wrapping themselves in the cloak of incorporation. They use limited liability status to avoid any personal, financial liability. Stories abound of “directors” who run up debts, place their insolvent businesses into receivership, buy any useful assets […]

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Tax Diary November/December 2014

November 3, 2014

 1 November 2014 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 31 January 2014.  19 November 2014 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 November 2014. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 November 2014.)  19 November 2014 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly […]

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Rent-a-room relief

November 3, 2014

If you let a room or rooms in your main home you will not pay any tax on rents received as long as the gross receipts do not exceed £4,250 in a tax year. This relief extends to owner occupiers and tenants who receive rent from letting furnished accommodation in their home. If your gross […]

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Workplace pensions overhaul

November 3, 2014

The Government has announced changes that should standardise, and in most cases reduce, the charges made to administer funds on behalf of contributors. Draft regulations published in October confirm that charges to invest and manage the default funds of all qualifying schemes will be capped at 0.75% annually. Small differences in charges can have a […]

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Planning the Christmas celebrations

November 3, 2014

If you are involved in planning the staff Christmas party for your firm don’t forget to consider the Income Tax and VAT consequences. Here’s a short reminder of the points you should add to your check list. The cost of an annual staff party or similar function is allowed as a deduction for tax purposes. […]

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Tax avoidance scheme users ordered to pay up

October 30, 2014

  HM Revenue and Customs has sent notices to tax avoidance scheme users to pay over £250 million of disputed tax under the Accelerated Payments regime introduced in this year’s Finance Act. The Financial Secretary to the Treasury, David Gauke, told MPs scrutinising the National Insurance Contributions Bill that over 600 Accelerated Payment notices had […]

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Are your workers employed or self-employed

October 28, 2014

There can be savings, particularly for employers, if a worker can be paid as a self-employed person. This is particularly so in the construction industry where most workers are engaged by contractors as self-employed subcontractors. What many contractors fail to realise is that they are required to reach a judgement on a worker’s tax status […]

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What is the statutory minimum holiday entitlement?

October 23, 2014

Paid annual leave is a legal right that an employer must provide. Almost all workers are legally entitled to 5.6 weeks’ paid holiday per year (known as statutory leave entitlement or annual leave). An employer can include bank holidays as part of statutory annual leave. Self-employed workers aren’t entitled to annual leave. Most workers who […]

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Pay when you are paid

October 22, 2014

Apart from the retail trade and internet traders most of us send an invoice when we provide our goods or services to customers and then wait for the period of credit to expire before we get paid. During this waiting time we still have our own bills and wages to pay so the working capital […]

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Reclaiming pre-registration VAT input tax

October 17, 2014

If you have been trading for some time before you register your business for VAT don’t forget to consider your option to reclaim VAT on goods and services purchased prior to your registration date. For example, if you are required to register for VAT from 1 January 2014, you only need to pay VAT on […]

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Clamp-down on use of hybrid mismatches

October 14, 2014

The government has announced a clamp-down on the decade-long use of ‘hybrid mismatches’, a technique commonly used by multinational companies to significantly reduce their tax bills. It is the latest in a series of steps the government has taken to tackle aggressive tax planning and is expected to bring tens of millions of pounds per […]

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Construction industry tax penalties

October 13, 2014

 If any of your Construction Industry (CIS) returns are filed one day late, HMRC will charge an initial fixed penalty of £100.  Additionally, if they have still not received that return: two months after the date it was due, they will charge a second fixed penalty of £200 six months after the date it was […]

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Understanding the new State Pension

October 8, 2014

This month sees the launch of a new service that provides a personalised written estimate of what you can expect to receive under the new State Pension system. This will be based on your work history and National Insurance (NI) contributions to date. Initially, the estimate will be available to the approximately 2.5 million people […]

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Farming tax strategy – the herd basis

October 2, 2014

Farm animals are usually dealt with for tax purposes as trading stock: the costs of animals are deducted from monies received when the animals are sold and any resultant profit taxed as income. However, farmers can elect to treat qualifying “herds” of animals in a more tax efficient way, they can apply the Herd Basis […]

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US Treasury blocks tax inversions

October 1, 2014

A move by the US Treasury to close loopholes that encourage US companies to merge with foreign firms and relocate their tax residences offshore could stifle takeovers announced this year worth hundreds of billions of dollars. In particular, it will probably throw into doubt the agreed £32bn takeover of UK listed Shire by AbbVie of […]

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Tax Diary October/November 2014

September 29, 2014

 1 October 2014 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 31 December 2013.  19 October 2014 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 October 2014. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 October 2014.)  19 October 2014 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly […]

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Autumn statement 2014

September 29, 2014

HM Treasury has announced that this year’s Autumn Statement will be made on 3 December 2014. Historically, this has been used to showcase the Government’s expected tax changes in the following year’s finance act. If you have any suggestions the Government is seeking your views on what you would like to see in the Statement. […]

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Business rates relief

September 29, 2014

There are a number of reliefs available to owners or tenants of smaller business premises. This article lists a number that can be claimed. Small business rate relief: You’ll get 100% relief (doubled from the usual rate of 50%) until 31 March 2015 for properties with a rateable value of £6,000 or less. This means […]

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HMRC delays RTI penalties

September 29, 2014

From 6 October 2014, HMRC was due to include smaller employers in the penalty regime for late filing of Real Time Information (RTI) payroll returns for 2014-15. HMRC have announced that this penalty process will be delayed for a number of smaller employers. They will now start from: 6 October 2014 for employers with 50 […]

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Wear & Tear Allowance (WTA)

September 29, 2014

If a property is let furnished – with sufficient furniture, furnishings and equipment for normal residential use – landlords can only claim tax relief for the furniture and equipment by way of the WTA. Prior to April 2013, landlords had the option of claiming the cost of replacement furniture instead.  The WTA is calculated as […]

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International tax avoidance

September 25, 2014

Britain is to take the lead in the clamp down on international tax avoidance, Financial Secretary to the Treasury David Gauke announced Saturday 20 September. UK-based multinationals will have to report to HMRC where they make profits and pay taxes around the world. The UK is the first of 44 countries to formally commit to […]

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VAT registration dilemma

September 23, 2014

James is very industrious gent’s hairdresser. He just manages to keep his turnover below the VAT registration limit. Apart from his rent, which was not subject to a VAT charge, his overheads are minimal. He is considering the purchase of his first home and needs to raise a deposit. To do this he calculates that […]

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£1,000 business rates discount for High Street.

September 22, 2014

In her first major speech new High Streets Minister Penny Mordaunt tells retailers that business rates support is now helping all parts the country. Six months after it was introduced the £1,000 business rates discount for local shops, cafes, restaurants and pubs (up to a rateable value of £50,000) is estimated to be giving nearly […]

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Landlord redress schemes

September 16, 2014

Letting agents have until 1 October 2014 to register with 1 of 3 redress schemes, to ensure tenants and leaseholders have a straightforward option to hold their agents to account. Anyone who feels they get a poor deal from their letting agent will then be able to take their complaint to the redress scheme, and […]

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Autumn Statement 3 December 2014

September 11, 2014

The Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne has announced that he will give his annual Autumn Statement to Parliament on 3 December 2014. The statement provides an update on the government’s plans for the economy based on the latest forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility. These forecasts will be published alongside the Autumn Statement […]

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New e-Exporting programme to boost exports

September 9, 2014

UK Businesses will have access to a new suite of services to help boost their international trade through UKTI’s new e-Exporting Programme. new suite of services and support to help UK companies take advantage of online selling, forecast to reach £60 billion by 2018 UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) is working with the world’s leading […]

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Car tax changes 1 October 2014

September 5, 2014

  Car tax changes 1 October 2014 From 1 October 2014, the paper tax disc will no longer need to be displayed on a vehicle windscreen. If you have a tax disc with any months left to run after this date, then it can be removed from the vehicle windscreen and destroyed. Car owners with […]

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What is HICBC?

September 3, 2014

The High Income Child Benefit Charge (HICBC) affects parents where one partner (or both) have income in excess of £50,000 and either: you or your partner get Child Benefit or, someone else gets Child Benefit for a child living with you and they contribute at least an equal amount towards the child’s upkeep. It doesn’t […]

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Tax Diary September/October 2014

September 1, 2014

 1 September 2014 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 30 November 2013.  19 September 2014 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 September 2014. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 September 2014.)  19 September 2014 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly […]

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Treat you as honest

September 1, 2014

Readers will be interested, and gratified to hear that HMRC will always treat you as honest. The following is an extract from HMRC’s “Your Charter” which states:  Your rights – What you can expect from us: Respect you Help and support you to get things right Treat you as honest Treat you even-handedly Be professional […]

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Smash and grab

September 1, 2014

The government is considering the response to its consultation document on proposals to introduce powers allowing HMRC to dip into a tax payer’s bank account in order to recover arrears of tax. There will be safeguards: The debt recovered would have to be £1,000 or more. A minimum of £5,000 has to be left in […]

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On your bike

September 1, 2014

The cycle to work scheme encourages employees to cycle to work and allows employers to reap the benefits of a healthier workforce. Employers of all sizes can set up a tax exempt scheme. Basically, employers can loan a cycle and associated safety equipment to an employee without the employee suffering a taxable benefit-in-kind charge.  In […]

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New support for home based businesses

September 1, 2014

It is estimated that seven out of ten small businesses are managed in the first instance from home. Home based entrepreneurs contribute £300 billion to the UK economy. It is not surprising, therefore, that the Government have woken up and realised that they should be supporting this sector.  Recently, the Business Minister, Matthew Hancock, announced […]

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HMRC business record checks

August 29, 2014

According to insurers PFP, HMRC business record checks are on the increase.  In the tax year 2013/14 HMRC checked 5,515 sets of business records compared to just 3,431 checks in 2011/12, an increase of 60%. Interestingly, of the records checked 73% were found to have no significant errors. Since November 2012, HMRC have adopted a […]

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Employment Allowance uptake

August 28, 2014

Data released by HM Treasury at the end of July reveals that 725,000 employers across the UK are benefitting from the Employment Allowance. The allowance reduces the amount of employer National Insurance by up to £2,000 in a full tax year. The deduction is automatically made by most payroll software products including HMRC’s online service. […]

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50% off qualifying capital purchases

August 21, 2014

The Finance Act 2014 introduced a temporary increase in the Annual Investment Allowance (AIA). From 1 April 2014 (for companies) and 6 April 2014 for the self-employed, the ability to write off qualifying capital purchases against your profits for tax purposes increased to £500,000. This generous tax allowance will reduce to £25,000 on 1 January […]

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Entrepreneurs get greater freedom to start a business from their home

August 19, 2014

Budding entrepreneurs will be given greater freedom to start and grow a business from their home under new measures announced by the government on 15 August 2014. Around 70% of new businesses start off in the home, and they contribute £300 billion to the economy. As part of its long-term economic plan to back businesses, […]

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Transfer tax allowances to your spouse

August 15, 2014

The Finance Act 2014 has introduced limited flexibility for married couples, or couples in a civil partnership, to transfer a part of their personal allowance to their partner. The amounts involved are not substantial and there are a number of conditions that must be met. These include: The spouse receiving the transferred allowance must not […]

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Car clubs get cash boost from Department of Transport

August 12, 2014

Car clubs are set to receive a £500,000 boost to drive forward their work, Transport Minister Baroness Kramer has announced. As part of a wider visit to Norfolk, 28 July 2014, the minister announced that the Department for Transport will provide the funding to support two pilot programmes which will promote much wider access to […]

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When should you contact HMRC?

August 8, 2014

A cynic might say that you are required to contact HMRC when you are likely to owe them more money. Realistically, the opposite is also true: you should advise HMRC of any changes that could reduce your tax position.  The following notes are extracted from HMRC’s website and set out their requirements. You'll need to […]

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UK economy recovers

August 6, 2014

Its official, in the second quarter April – June 2014 the UK gross domestic product grew by 0.8% and is now bigger than it was before the financial crisis that began six years ago. The state of the economy always attracts politically biased commentary, but reading between the lines it would appear that we are […]

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Tax Diary August/September 2014

August 1, 2014

 1 August 2014 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 31 October 2013.  19 August 2014 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 August 2014. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 August 2014.)  19 August 2014 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly […]

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VAT – pick and mix

August 1, 2014

There are a number of VAT schemes that benefit registered businesses. For example:  Cash accounting If you are eligible and the scheme is suitable for your business, then using the cash accounting scheme enables you to pay VAT when your invoice is paid and not when you issue the invoice to your customers. You are […]

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SITR, SEIS and EIS

August 1, 2014

From April 2014 a new investment relief has been created, the Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR). Investments must be in a social enterprise, which means a community interest company, a community benefit society, or a charity. The money raised must be used for the enterprise’s chosen trade or charitable purpose. In many ways SITR shares […]

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Companies House to increase free access to data

August 1, 2014

In an effort to increase corporate transparency Companies House is to make all of its digital data available free of charge. This will make the UK the first country to establish a truly open register of business information. As a result, it will be easier for businesses and members of the public to research and […]

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Why management accounts are helpful

August 1, 2014

Management accounts, produced on a regular basis, will give you and your professional advisor the information you need to manage your business and keep your planned profit growth on-track. They also provide the basic data that you will need to minimise your tax payments and keep your business on track to produce sustainable profits. Additionally, […]

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Inheritance Tax

July 31, 2014

Inheritance Tax (IHT) is due when a person’s estate (their property and possessions) is worth more than £325,000 when they die. This is called the ‘IHT threshold’. The current rate of IHT is 40% on anything above the threshold. The rate may be reduced to 36% if more than 10% of the estate is left […]

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Trade marks

July 29, 2014

Ever wondered how you can register a trade mark that makes your brand recognisable, for example a logo or a sound? Registering a trade mark lets you stop other people from using it without your permission. A trade mark registration lasts 10 years and is only valid in the country of registration. You can renew […]

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National Minimum Wage (NMW) rates and penalties

July 24, 2014

Last week we published details of who is, and who is not, entitled to payment at National Minimum Wage rates. This week we have listed the current rates of NMW that apply. There are currently three aged based national minimum wage rates and an apprentice rate, which are usually updated in October each year. The […]

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Exporters data to be released by Government

July 22, 2014

 UK businesses should be aware that the Government are consulting on the possible release of data held by public departments, particularly, HMRC. We have reproduced extracts from a recent press release that sets out the scope of the present consultation.   “The data held by the public sector is among the most useful and valuable […]

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A new look to benefits in kind regime?

July 15, 2014

HMRC are currently consulting with interested parties (the accounting profession and associated professional organisations) to re-vamp the UK’s system for taxing employee benefit in kind and expenses. Changes are planned to simplify this process in accordance with recommendations made by the Office of Tax Simplification. Consultations commenced 18 June 2014 and due to be completed […]

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Tax free capital gains – private residence relief

July 10, 2014

If you dispose of a dwelling house (which can include a house, flat, houseboat or fixed caravan) which is your home, or part of a dwelling house which is your home, or• part of the garden attached to your home , you would normally have to pay Capital Gains Tax (CGT) on any gain you […]

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A new range of apprenticeships under the Trailblazer scheme.

July 9, 2014

Skills and Enterprise Minister Matthew Hancock announced a new range of apprenticeships that will be developed by employers under the Trailblazer scheme on 27 June 2014. He also called for expressions of interest from groups of employers to become part of the third phase of Trailblazers. The Apprenticeship Trailblazers, launched in October 2013, have gone […]

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Is my State Pension taxable or not?

July 4, 2014

The State Pension is part of a pensioner’s taxable income. The problem is, it is paid gross, without deduction of tax. If your sole source of income is the State Pension then this should cause no problem as the State Pension is usually below the annual tax-free personal allowance. What can, and does, cause a […]

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TV productions vie for share of UK\’s new TV tax credits

July 2, 2014

The UK’s new TV tax credit for approved productions in the UK are going down a storm with production companies on both sides of the Atlantic. One of the key draws to working on productions in the UK, aside from the financial incentives, is the large pool of experienced crew and actors based in the […]

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Tax Diary July/August 2014

July 1, 2014

1 July 2014 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 30 September 2013. 6 July 2014 – Complete and submit forms P11D return of benefits and expenses and P11D(b) return of Class 1A NICs. 19 July 2014 – Pay Class 1A NICs (by the 22 July 2014 if paid electronically). 19 […]

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Replacement of white goods items in unfurnished, let property

July 1, 2014

This reminder will affect landlords of unfurnished let property who are considering the replacement of standalone white goods (fridges etc) and similar items.  Following the withdrawal of a tax concession from April 2013, there is effectively no tax relief for the replacement of defective, free-standing white goods in unfurnished properties.  In some respects this absence […]

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Penalty for just one day

July 1, 2014

 Consider the following facts: The filing deadline for a Stamp Duty Land Tax return was a Sunday. A member of the advisor’s staff forgot to file the return by the end of the Friday – two days before the deadline. Realising their mistake, the staff member took the file home with the intention of filing […]

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Discontinuance of trade and the Annual Investment Allowance (AIA)

July 1, 2014

In a recently decided tax case a self-employed air conditioning engineer, David Keyl, was denied a claim for AIA. He had purchased a van in July 2008 and on 31 March 2009 (the end of his trading year) he transferred his sole trader business to a limited company. Unfortunately, the legislation setting up the AIA […]

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Business use of employees\’ cars

July 1, 2014

Many employers pay their employees a monthly car allowance to compensate them for the business use of their private vehicles. In most cases this car allowance is treated as remuneration and is subject to PAYE and National Insurance deductions.  Additionally, employers may also pay a nominal amount per mile as a contribution to fuel costs. […]

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Avoid and report internet scams and phishing

June 24, 2014

Internet fraudsters are using ever more intricate messages to trick you to part with private information. For example: your bank details and passwords. They may also hide viruses in email attachments that will give them access to your personal computer files. The viruses will usually be activated if you open the attached files. The best […]

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Business rates exemptions

June 20, 2014

Certain property, whether occupied or out of use for a period, may be eligible for exemption from payment of business rates. The GOV.UK website lists the following as potentially eligible: Exempted buildings – certain properties are exempt from business rates. Exemptions include: agricultural land and buildings, including fish farms buildings used for training or welfare […]

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Do you need to fill in a tax return?

June 17, 2014

HMRC have determined that you must complete a self assessment tax return if any of the following circumstances apply to your personal, financial circumstances:        1.    You're a company director, minister, Lloyd's name or member. Your annual income is £100,000 or more. You have income from savings, investment or property.  If you are an […]

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Construction Industry and tax

June 12, 2014

All active building contractors and building subcontractors are subject to HMRC regulation. The rules they have to abide by are set out in the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS). Essentially, contractors cannot pay their subcontractors without stopping tax. Only in specific circumstances can payments be made without deduction of tax. The scheme operates a little like […]

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European Commission ventures opinion on UK economy

June 10, 2014

In March 2014 the European Commission published a report entitled Macroeconomic Imbalances United Kingdom 2014. The text includes a few observations on the UK property market that have been greeted with less than enthusiasm by the UK Government. The report includes the following introduction: “The United Kingdom continues to experience macroeconomic imbalances, which require monitoring […]

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Small business rate relief

June 6, 2014

You can get small business rate relief if you only use one property and its rateable value is less than £12,000. Until 31 March 2015 you’ll get 100% relief (doubled from the usual rate of 50%) for properties with a rateable value of £6,000 or less. This means you won’t pay business rates on properties […]

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Tax fugitive tracked down

June 3, 2014

A member of the one of the UK’s biggest tobacco smuggling gangs, who fled to Spain to avoid prison, has been returned to the UK to begin his sentence. John Sabin, 58, from Doncaster, was part of an eight-strong gang that transported millions of smuggled cigarettes across the north of England to warehouses, storage yards […]

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Tax Diary June/July 2014

June 2, 2014

 1 June 2014 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 31 August 2013.  19 June 2014 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 June 2014. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 June 2014.)  19 June 2014 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly […]

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The end of Private Residence elections?

June 2, 2014

At present, taxpayers who own more than one property used as residences by them, can make a formal election to determine which of their properties should be considered their private residence for tax purposes. The election needs to be based on the facts – how has each property been used as a private residence – […]

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VAT online filing relaxed

June 2, 2014

HMRC has proposed to relax the current online filing of VAT returns. They are going to improve the telephone filing service by making it possible for taxpayers to ring HMRC rather than making an appointment for HMRC to ring them. They are also providing: a dedicated line, and providing a service outside normal working hours. […]

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HMRC’s second incomes campaign

June 2, 2014

On 9 April 2014 HMRC published details of their latest campaign to encourage taxpayers to declare and pay unpaid tax on second incomes. HMRC will expect settlement of any taxes due four months from the date of declaration of untaxed income sources to HMRC. The types of income highlighted by HMRC include: consultancy fees, for […]

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Pension contributions and high income earners

June 2, 2014

Our previous government enacted legislation that removed the personal allowance for certain high income earners. The present government has made no change to this process. Basically, for every £2 your income exceeds £100,000, your personal allowance is reduced by £1. Take, for example, the case of Joe Smith who has income for 2014-15 of £100,000 […]

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Tax free gains

May 29, 2014

 There are a number of assets that you can sell at a profit without paying capital gains tax (CGT) on the sale. They include: Any car that is owned personally, and not by a business. Personal possessions worth up to £6,000 each. For example jewellery, paintings or antiques. Stocks and shares you hold in tax-free […]

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Charity based tax schemes quashed

May 27, 2014

HMRC have had recent successes in the courts that have neutralised tax schemes utilising charity tax reliefs. Here’s what they have to say on the GOV.uk website: HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) successfully challenged the tax avoidance scheme used by Nicholas Green and designed by Afortis Limited as part of an ongoing crackdown on charitable […]

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Tax anomalies

May 22, 2014

Institute for Fiscal Studies director, Paul Johnson, recently spoke at the annual Chartered Tax Advisor Address. He pointed out a number of the unnecessary complications and policies that have left the UK tax system more complex and less efficient.  “For example: There is a basic rate of income tax of 20%, a higher rate of […]

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Why it\’s important to plan

May 20, 2014

Consider this case study: Bill Smith, a self-employed electrician, purchased a brand new van 15 March 2014 for £18,000. Due to a downturn in the local economy his trading profits for the year to 31 March 2014 were just £9,400. Fortunately, he had secured a number of regular contracts for the following year that should net […]

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NIC employment allowance

May 15, 2014

HMRC have published further clarification regarding who can, or cannot, claim the new £2,000 a year NIC Employment Allowance. Extracts from the update are set out below: Public authorities Public authorities (such as local authorities, town councils and parish councils) are not eligible for the Employment Allowance unless they have charitable status. Pharmacies Independent pharmacies […]

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Small business VAT scheme

May 13, 2014

If you are a registered VAT trader and your present turnover is below £150,000 you may be advised to take a look at the VAT Flat Rate Scheme (FRS). FRS users pay VAT as a fixed percentage of their total sales including VAT. You still add 20% VAT to your invoices but you cannot reclaim […]

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International tax competitiveness

May 9, 2014

David Gauke, the Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, recently gave a speech to the Lord Mayor’s Taxation Forum. His presentation focussed on international tax competitiveness, and how the UK’s system fares compared to our overseas competitors. Here’s an extract of his comments: Competitiveness “Since 2010 we’ve cut corporation tax from 28% to 21%. And this […]

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Businesses in automotive supply chain to benefit from new grants

May 7, 2014

Skills and Enterprise Minister Matthew Hancock unveiled £25 million of additional support for businesses to take the lead in improving training for new and current employees. Businesses can submit their proposals from 6 May 2014 and the offer will be open for 12 weeks. Speaking at a UK Commission for Employment and Skills Investment Showcase, […]

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Second incomes under HMRC microscope

May 2, 2014

In the first week of April 2014 HMRC issued guidance on its latest tax gathering campaign. The target group this time is UK taxpayers who have second incomes and are not presently declaring these income streams on their tax return. The information published by HMRC about the scope of the campaign is reproduced below: About […]

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David Cameron writes to crown dependencies

April 30, 2014

Our Prime Minister has written a letter to the UK’s overseas territories and crown dependencies promoting the value of a public register that would show the ultimate owners of companies registered in their jurisdiction. This follows the publication of the “Company ownership: transparency and trust discussion paper” last week. It concluded: “… we plan to […]

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Tax Diary May/June 2014

April 29, 2014

 1 May 2014 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 31 July 2013.  19 May 2014 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 May 2014. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 May 2014.)  19 May 2014 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly […]

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VAT Mini One Stop Shop (MOSS)

April 29, 2014

Currently, the place of taxation for broadcasting, telecommunications and e-services (BTE) supplies is determined by the location of the supplier of the services. However, from 1 January 2015, the place of taxation for private consumers will be determined by the location of the consumer. Business to business supplies are unaffected; this change will only concern […]

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Pension decision period extended

April 29, 2014

Last month we touched on the changes that HMRC is introducing to the treatment of defined contributions pensions. HM Treasury has now issued the following update that clarifies the position of people who have recently taken a tax-free lump sum from their defined contribution scheme. “The government has announced today (Wednesday 9 April) that people […]

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HMRC may be extending access to taxpayers’ data

April 29, 2014

The Treasury has confirmed it was proceeding with plans to legislate making aggregated and anonymised data more widely available. In a published document HMRC said: "The government has decided to proceed with the proposal to remove the legal restrictions that currently limit HMRC's ability to share anonymised individual level data for the purpose of research […]

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Cars, business use, and tax considerations

April 29, 2014

There are a number of situations where care should be taken in the way in which claims are made for the business use of a vehicle, usually a car, which is also used for private purposes.  We have listed below a number of issues that business owners and private car users should be aware. If […]

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New criminal offence for individuals who hide money offshore

April 23, 2014

The government is consulting on plans to introduce a new strict liability criminal offence for individuals who hide their money offshore. Under the plans announced by the Chancellor, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) would no longer need to prove that individuals who have undeclared income offshore intended to evade tax, in order for a criminal […]

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Unemployment drop…

April 22, 2014

Figures recently published by the Office for National Statistics show that unemployment has dropped below 7% for the first time since the recession and employment has seen the biggest annual jump in a generation. Unemployment fell by 77,000 in the last 3 months, taking the unemployment rate to 6.9% for the first time since 2009. […]

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Government announces extension for pension decision period

April 17, 2014

The government announced recently that people who have recently taken a tax-free lump sum from their defined contribution pension will be given 18 months rather than 6 months to decide what they wish to do with the rest of their retirement savings, and will not be put at a disadvantage should they wish to wait […]

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Radical proposal to change private residence relief

April 15, 2014

At present, it is possible to make an election, in certain circumstances, allowing owners of more than one residential property to choose which property is their main residence. In this way a measure of Private Residence Relief (PRR) can be achieved for the elected property. This process of swapping properties for tax purposes achieved notoriety […]

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Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) issues conflicted information

April 10, 2014

It would seem that economic indicators confuse economists as well as the rest of us. The first two paragraphs of the recently published Executive Summary of the OBR makes for interesting reading.  Here’s a bullet point summary: The UK economy has continued to recover. In the final quarter of 2013, GDP growth matched our December […]

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Don\’t forget to claim Employment Allowance

April 8, 2014

Employers are reminded to claim the £2,000 Employment Allowance which commenced 6 April 2014. Basically, employers can reduce their National Insurance contributions by a maximum £2,000 in the current tax year.  Here’s the instructions on claiming the allowance as posted on GOV.UK’s website:  “You can use your own 2014 to 2015 payroll software (see your […]

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Lifestyle victory for taxi driver and his family

April 2, 2014

Glen Whittle must be feeling pleased with the outcome of his recent appeal against assessments issued by HMRC. An enquiry instigated by HMRC resulted in the issue of assessments on the basis that the income of Mr & Mrs Whittle was insufficient to meet their outgoings. HMRCs argument centred on the level of household and […]

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Tax Diary April/May 2014

March 31, 2014

  1 April 2014 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 30 June 2013.  19 April 2014 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 April 2014. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 April 2014.) 19 April 2014 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 […]

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State Pension and tax

March 31, 2014

If you have recently started to receive your State Pension, you may, or may not, have noticed that it is paid without deduction of tax. This can have a number of unforeseen tax consequences: If your total income including your State Pension is less than your personal tax allowance then there is no tax to […]

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HMRC is changing the way they charge interest on late paid PAYE

March 31, 2014

Employers should note that HMRC is changing the way they charge interest on unpaid PAYE from 6 April 2014. We have reproduced below HMRC’s recent Helpsheet:  For the tax year 2014-15 onwards:  HMRC will charge in-year, rather than annual, interest on all unpaid: PAYE tax and Class 1 National Insurance, including specified charges (estimates HMRC […]

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What has not changed since the Budget?

March 31, 2014

   Entrepreneurs’ Relief  As long as the ownership of your business is structured correctly, and for a minimum time period, then lifetime disposals not exceeding £10m will only be taxed at 10% for Capital Gains Tax purposes.   Cap on tax reliefs  Don’t forget that certain tax reliefs are capped at £50,000 or 25% of […]

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What has changed since the Budget?

March 31, 2014

For those born after 5 April 1948 the personal tax allowance is £10,000. It was also announced that from 6 April 2015 this would increase to £10,500. The much publicised change to the taxation of salaried members of Limited Liability Partnerships is confirmed. Ongoing vigilance is required to ensure that salaried members’ tax status does […]

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Investing in plant and equipment?

March 27, 2014

If expenditure on plant and equipment qualifies for the Annual Investment Allowance (AIA) 100% of the cost can be written off against taxable profits. The amount that can be written off as AIA expenditure has changed a number of times in the past few years. Immediately before 31 December 2012 the (AIA) was set at […]

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Budget highlights

March 25, 2014

We have reproduced two of the more surprising changes announced in the Budget notes published immediately following George Osborne’s presentation last week. HMRC to be given powers to raid bank accounts:  “The government will modernise and strengthen HMRC’s debt collection powers to recover financial assets from the bank accounts of debtors who owe over £1,000 […]

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Budget Statement 19 March 2014

March 20, 2014

Personal Tax, Stamp Duty Land Tax and miscellaneous matters  Personal Tax allowance  The personal allowance for those born after 5 April 1948 will be: For 2014-15 – £10,000 For 2015-16 – £10,500  Income Tax rate bands There was significant press commentary prior to the Budget announcements lobbying for an increase in the threshold at which […]

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HMRC to use Mr Bean film makers

March 19, 2014

In a bizarre attempt to create positive PR for HMRC, Channel 4 has been given unprecedented access to HM Revenue and Customs as they pursue tax evaders and collect unpaid tax. Tiger Aspect Productions, the production company behind Mr Bean, will be filming HMRC staff as they target the so-called high risk sectors: the building […]

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Treasury hungry for ideas

March 18, 2014

George Osborne is delivering his Budget speech Wednesday of this week. It will be interesting to see if his plea for ideas to help smaller businesses has received a sympathetic ear. Here’s what a number of organisations have requested: British Chambers of Commerce The BCC have made three recommendations: A £100m scheme to pay businesses […]

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Reducing tax evasion and avoidance

March 14, 2014

Just in case you have missed the news – that HMRC are stepping up their campaigns to stop tax avoidance and evasion – you may be interested to read the following quotes from HMRC and the Treasury:  “Issue The difference between the revenues that in HM Revenue & Customs’ (HMRC) view should come in, and […]

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Budget speculation

March 5, 2014

Speculation is rife that George Osborne is under pressure to pre-empt possible interest rate increases next year by offering tax cuts in the forthcoming Budget announcements on 19 March. Polling day for the 2015 general election is 7 May so an announcement to increase the basic personal allowance (presently £10,000) may be an option as […]

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Tax Diary March/April 2014

March 3, 2014

 1 March 2014 – Self Assessment tax for 2012/13 paid after this date will incur a 5% surcharge.  1 March 2014 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 31 May 2013.  19 March 2014 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 March 2014. (If you pay your tax […]

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VAT Flat Rate Scheme

March 3, 2014

This scheme can be beneficial for businesses that have a low proportion of costs that include a VAT input tax charge, and their business turnover, excluding VAT, does not exceed £150,000. One interesting feature of the scheme is that you do not have to leave the Flat Rate scheme until your annual income, including VAT, […]

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Entrepreneurs’ Relief

March 3, 2014

Having spent many years building a business, entrepreneurs can still look forward to a maximum tax hit of just 10% when they sell their business, as long as they have organised their business affairs so that they qualify for the CGT Entrepreneurs’ Relief. Basically, you will need to demonstrate that you meet certain criteria for […]

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Compensation for flood victims

March 3, 2014

The following announcements were posted to the GOV.UK website last month. They provide details of some of the compensation being offered to businesses affected by last month’s flooding across the UK:  Cash compensation  Measures include: A £5,000 repair and renewal grant for all affected householders and businesses. The aim is to top up money received […]

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Expected tax changes in the Budget 2014

March 3, 2014

The government has already published certain draft clauses for the Finance Bill 2014. We have listed below some of the more topical changes disclosed.  Changes for the tax year 2014-15:  Personal Tax: Individuals born after 5 April 1948 will be entitled to a personal tax allowance of £10,000. Employees will be able to increase the […]

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April 1st auto-enrolment deadline

March 3, 2014

For employers with between 50 and 249 employees auto-enrolment of employees into a pension scheme starts 1 April 2014. Smaller employers, under 50 employees, will need auto-enrol on a staged basis between 1 June 2015 and 1 April 2017. Employers who are still unclear what their responsibilities are under this new regulation should take a […]

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National Minimum Wage (NMW) penalties to increase

February 26, 2014

Employers have been warned recently that schemes setting out to avoid payment of wages to employees at the minimum rates set by the National Minimum Wage regulations will be penalised. Currently, employers found lacking in this area will be required to make up the unpaid wages and pay fines which can be up to 50% […]

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Possible VAT bonanza for golf clubs

February 24, 2014

Since the 1990s fees for playing at not-for-profit sports clubs has been exempt for VAT purposes. However, HMRC has asserted that only club members’ playing fees are exempt for VAT purposes. Any visiting players have paid VAT included in their green fees. Clubs who have charged the same amount to members and visitors have therefore […]

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Certain PPI victims should declare interest received on compensation payments

February 13, 2014

Many victims of miss-sold Payment Protection Insurance are unaware that they need to declare any interest they received as part of their settlement on their tax return. HMRC have commented: "The interest may or may not have had tax already deducted depending on the type of company making the payment of the interest. "If banks […]

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Cash rich company shareholders may lose out on IHT and CGT relief

February 11, 2014

There has been significant press coverage recently suggesting that companies are hoarding cash. It would seem that this is one of the contributory factors affecting low levels of business investment. Directors are loath to part with their hard won cash reserves. For private company shareholders and shareholders with a significant stake in Plcs this may […]

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Law Society warning on LLP tax reform

February 6, 2014

The Law Society is concerned that if the present changes to LLP taxation are enshrined in the forthcoming Finance Act 2014, decisions will have to be made for tax, rather than commercial reasons. For example members may be required to introduce capital purely to comply with changes in tax law. There are also fears that […]

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CBI champions use of equity finance

February 5, 2014

According to a recent CBI report UK companies rely too heavily on debt finance. It said that 50% of small and medium sized businesses used bank loans and more than one-third used overdrafts. Of the remainder only 3% use equity finance: the European average is 7%.  Smaller UK businesses seem to associate equity funding with […]

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Tax Diary February/March 2014

February 3, 2014

 1 February 2014 – Due date for Corporation Tax payable for the year ended 30 April 2013.  19 February 2014 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 February 2014. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 February 2014.)  19 February 2014 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly […]

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Make sure your record keeping is up to scratch

February 3, 2014

In a recent tax tribunal case a tax payer was denied Capital Gains Tax relief for the cost of improvements to a property as he could provide no evidence of his expenditure to the court. The court came to the conclusion that the taxpayer had made improvements and were somewhat dismayed by his inability to […]

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Electric bill that won’t cause tax problems

February 3, 2014

Employers that provide a company car and pay for the employees’ private fuel create tax, NIC and administrative issues for both parties. Employers will be liable for Class 1A National Insurance charges on the taxable benefit created by the provision of the car and payment of private fuel; unless the employee fully reimburses the private […]

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Best to be informed

February 3, 2014

If you are self-employed, as a sole trader or in partnership, and if we assume that your business year end is 31 March, then the profits you earn in the year to 31 March 2014 will form the basis of your tax payments on account for the tax year 2014-15 (unless the year to 31 […]

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Why should you elect to pay tax?

February 3, 2014

There is a situation where you might be advised to make an election to pay tax. It arises if you sell your company and accept payment in the form of shares (or certain types of loan notes) from the buying company.  Let’s say that you own all of the shares in your company X Ltd […]

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Small business rates relief

January 30, 2014

The following information is reproduced from the GOV.UK website where you can get more information on this topic if required. You can get small business rate relief if: you only use one property its rateable value is less than £12,000 What you get Until 31 March 2015 you’ll get 100% relief (doubled from the usual […]

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Watch out for copycat sites

January 28, 2014

There has considerable press commentary during the last few weeks about a “copy-cat” website taxreturngateway.  If you Google tax return gateway you will still be directed to https://secure.taxreturngateway.com, it’s the top listing. The site purports to act as a channel that allows you to file your return online. When you have finished the process you […]

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The demographics of late tax returns

January 23, 2014

Readers will no doubt be aware that if you are required to file a self-assessment tax return for the tax year ending 5 April 2013, the filing deadline for electronic submission is 31 January 2014. At the time this blog posting was written that leaves you just 10 days to complete the formalities. According to […]

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Bitcoins make waves

January 21, 2014

The internet currency Bitcoins is drawing the attention of US regulators. Recently New York prosecutors confiscated $28 million of the e-currency from the Silk Road marketplace. The Bitcoins were taken because they were received as payments for illegal activities. In the UK Bitcoins may be about to get an unexpected boost from HM Revenue & […]

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What can you dispose of and not pay capital gains tax?

January 16, 2014

Believe it or not there are a number of assets that you can sell that do not trigger a capital gains tax (CGT) liability. The list, published on HMRC’s website is as follows: Your car Personal possessions worth up to £6,000 each, such as jewellery, paintings or antiques Stocks and shares you hold in tax-free […]

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Plan for progress

January 14, 2014

We are now in the last quarter of the current tax year that ends 5 April 2014. If you are in business or pay income tax at the higher rates there is a strong argument that you should consider, and invest in, a tax planning review with your professional advisor.  Why? Shutting the stable door […]

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Google to get �24m tax bill

January 10, 2014

 It would seem that HMRC are making progress in their efforts to make larger concerns more responsible when paying tax. Google have been criticised in the past for using complex arrangements to reduce their UK tax liabilities. Google have responded that they have only taken advantage of tax strategies that are legal – in effect […]

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HMRC publish oddest excuses

January 8, 2014

As the rush to file outstanding 2013 tax returns gathers pace, HMRC have published ten of the “oddest” excuses for late filing of returns in previous years. Readers should note that none of the excuses were successful! In no particular order they are: 1. My pet goldfish died (self-employed builder); 2. I had a run-in […]

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Tax Diary January/February 2014

January 7, 2014

 1 January 2014 – Due date for Corporation Tax payable for the year ended 31 March 2013.  19 January 2014 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 January 2014. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 January 2014.)  19 January 2014 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly […]

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Tax office bogus emails

January 7, 2014

Readers are reminded that HMRC do not send communications to tax payers by email. If you receive an email purporting to be from HMRC, it will be some sort of “scam” and should be ignored (deleted from your PC).   Do not under any circumstances open any attached files or disclose any personal information. Typically, […]

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Taxable benefits 2013-14

January 7, 2014

Where employees are provided with living accommodation, a car or a van, any private use is usually subject to specific scale charges or other rules. This article considers the provision of two further classes of assets provided for an employee’s or director’s personal use. The cash equivalent of the asset provided is the annual value […]

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End of year tax planning 5 April 2014

January 7, 2014

Although we are now at the beginning of a new calendar year we are in the last quarter of the current tax year. Whether you are a business person, property landlord or pay significant amounts of tax as an employed or retired person there is now a short window of opportunity to examine your likely […]

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Salaried members of LLPs

January 7, 2014

HMRC published the draft Finance Bill 2014 last month. Included were changes to the taxation of certain partnerships. This article discusses the introduction of a new type of partnership member for Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs) that will commence 6 April 2014: the “salaried member”. The new status has been introduced to counter so-called “disguised employment” […]

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New year tax changes 2014

January 6, 2014

In his Autumn Statement last month George Osborne announced a number of measures to help businesses grow and support families with cost of living pressures. Here’s a quick round up of the changes you can expect: For growing businesses: To help business grow and create jobs and to provide help for the high street, the […]

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Nothing better to do

December 30, 2013

 HMRC have revealed that 1,566 UK tax payers filed their 2013 self-assessment tax returns on Christmas day. Are we to take this as evidence that the “bah humbug” mentality is alive and well in the UK? In order to file their returns these reluctant revellers will have needed to switch on their computer, as the […]

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HMRC criticised for soft peddling

December 24, 2013

In a recent report prepared by the Public Accounts Committee HMRC was accused of pursuing smaller businesses with more vigour than larger concerns. HMRC was also criticised for under estimating the amount of uncollected tax, over estimating amounts due from the holders of Swiss bank accounts, and collecting tax credit debt. A summary of the […]

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Tax free celebration for Christmas

December 19, 2013

Most business people are aware that if they keep the “per head” expenditure below £150 for the annual bash, and if they follow the other HMRC guidelines, then there should be no risk that HMRC will seek to treat the payments as a taxable benefit. However, if the cost creeps over £150, to say £200 […]

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Equitable Life additional payout

December 17, 2013

On the 10 December 2013 HM Treasury announced that the long awaited additional payment, to pre-1992 Equitable Life annuitants, will be made this week. The details below are the formal confirmation from H M Treasury’s website: The government has confirmed that it will make ex-gratia payments by next week to those Equitable Life With-Profits policy […]

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Approaching the end of another tax cycle.

December 12, 2013

Although the UK tax year runs from 6 April to the following 5 April, there is another which ends 31 January each year – it’s the online filing deadline for self assessment purposes. The 31 January 2014 is also the date on which any outstanding self assessment tax unpaid for the tax year 2012-13 falls […]

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The Bank of England directs funding to small businesses

December 11, 2013

From January 2014 the Bank of England and H M Treasury will redirect the Funding for Lending Scheme away from mortgage lending, and instead provide funding for hard pressed small businesses. There has been significant press commentary about the likely “over-heating” of the UK property market. Basic economics would seem to dictate that if you […]

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Tax Diary December 2013/January 2014

December 10, 2013

 1 December 2013 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 28 February 2013.  19 December 2013 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 December 2013. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 December 2013.)  19 December 2013 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly […]

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Unused PAYE schemes

December 10, 2013

 From October 2013, PAYE schemes will automatically be closed where No real time PAYE submissions have been made No payments have been made to HMRC The employer is not an annual payer There is no evidence that the employer wants to claim Construction Industry Scheme deductions The employer has not received an advance from HMRC […]

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Tax-free Xmas party

December 10, 2013

This month gives us an excuse to let our hair down and enjoy a well earned celebration with our work colleagues and partners. This article is a reminder of the tax concessions that apply to the costs of providing the Christmas bash. The cost of an annual staff party or similar function is allowed as […]

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The 60% Income Tax band

December 10, 2013

According to HMRC the highest rate of Income Tax is 45%. This will apply to anyone with income over £150,000. Income below this amount is taxed at 40%, or a combination of 20% and 40%. However, if your income marginally exceeds £100,000, for every £2 your income exceeds this amount you will lose £1 of […]

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Pension Auto-Enrolment

December 10, 2013

The Pension Regulator issued a press release 17 October 2013 alerting medium sized businesses of their obligation to set up and automatically enrol employees in a pension scheme. They said: “The clock is ticking for thousands of medium sized employers across the UK who have six months to go before their duty to automatically enrol […]

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Autumn Statement – 5 December 2013

December 6, 2013

George Osborne presented his Autumn Statement to Parliament amid mixed messages spilling from the Treasury, and promoted in the national press, about what he would, and would not give away. The reported economic indicators were encouraging: 1.4% growth in the UK expected for 2013, 2.2% for 2014. Increase in jobs this year of 400,000. National […]

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Britain still has favoured tax regime for business

December 5, 2013

 According to the Financial Times “Britain is still the favoured tax regime of business…”. Recent surveys have added a note of caution. Apparently, a growing number of organisations are concerned about the UK’s hardening attitude to tax avoidance. In an interesting twist in the mooted changes to international tax issues, UK resident businesses could be […]

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Property taxes…

December 3, 2013

Since 2003 our Government has collected more than £45bn in stamp duty receipts from British householders buying homes across the UK. The figures disguise a massive increase in the impact of stamp duty land tax (SDLT) over this period as the volume of property purchases and sales has actually fallen by 45%. Ten years ago […]

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Tax changes ahead for partnerships?

November 28, 2013

HMRC are considering changes to the tax rules for partnerships. Changes arising will be included in legislation that will be effective from 6 April 2014. HMRC’s formal consultation closed 9 August 2013 and consideration is now being applied to the following issues: Disguising employment relationships through Limited Liability Partnerships, and Certain arrangements involving allocation of […]

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National Minimum Wage

November 26, 2013

Many businesses are unaware that the National Minimum Wage (NMW) rules are monitored by HMRC. There are consequences if you fail to pay employees NMW rates. Currently, the rates set 1st October 2013 apply. They are: 21 and over – £6.31 per hour 18 to 20 – £5.03 per hour Under 18 – £3.72 per […]

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Deliberate tax defaulters

November 21, 2013

A new list of deliberate tax defaulters has been published by HMRC on 12 November 2013. It includes a number of food retailers, hairdresser, wholesalers, a yacht brokerage, construction industry firms, haulage operator and a property rental owner. HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) publishes details of deliberate tax defaulters – people who have received penalties […]

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Where there\’s a Will…

November 19, 2013

 There are still many families in the UK whose assets will be distributed in accordance with the intestacy rules – and all because a deceased member of the family did not prepare a Will. What are the intestacy rules? Let’s say that the family breadwinner dies leaving a surviving spouse or civil partner and two […]

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UK signs tax agreement with Cayman Islands

November 13, 2013

Chancellor George Osborne made the following announcement to MPs on 5 November 2013. "Today, I can […] announce another step in the fight against tax evasion. We will be signing this afternoon a tax information sharing agreement with the Cayman Islands – the first ever with an overseas territory. "And as a result, information of […]

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Prudential wins important tax case

November 12, 2013

 The High Court has ruled that HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) had unfairly taxed ‘several thousand dividends’ between 1990 and 2009. As a direct result thousands of Prudential with-profits investors could receive a share of approximately £150m. The case could benefit other providers who have similar with-profits funds. For example: Aviva, Royal Sun Alliance, Standard […]

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Pension liberation

November 7, 2013

HMRC have made the following comments on their website to counter so-called “pension liberation” activity. Here’s what they have to say on the subject: “HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is committed to combating pension liberation activity. HMRC has been working closely with other government departments/agencies and the pension industry to take action to prevent pension […]

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UK pushing for transparency

November 5, 2013

David Cameron made the following statement to the members of the Open Government Partnership annual summit last week. “We need to know who really owns and controls our companies. Not just who owns them legally, but who really benefits financially from their existence. This summer at the G8 we committed to do just that – […]

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Tax Diary November/December 2013

November 4, 2013

 1 November 2013 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 31 January 2013.  19 November 2013 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 November 2013. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 November 2013.)  19 November 2013 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly […]

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HMRC targets certain health professionals

November 4, 2013

A new tax campaign was launched by HMRC on 7 October 2013. The campaign targets: physiotherapists, occupational therapists, chiropractors, osteopaths, chiropodists and podiatrists; homeopaths, dieticians, nutritional therapists, reflexologists, acupuncturists, psychologists, speech, language and art therapists, and other health professionals are also covered. Health professionals have until 31 December 2013 to advise HMRC that they would […]

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Swiss bank account holders face new deadline

November 4, 2013

UK residents, whose Swiss banking arrangements have been disclosed to HMRC under the UK/Swiss tax agreement, have started to receive follow up letters from HMRC.  Earlier this year account holders were given a choice: To pay over a fixed percentage of their account balance to compensate for tax previously unpaid. Or, to authorise their Swiss […]

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Selling your business

November 4, 2013

Planning to sell your business is not a process for the faint hearted. You have likely spent many years building your business and the last thing you want to face is losing a large proportion of the sales proceeds to tax or worse, being unable to enforce payment of what is due to you because […]

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When is your home not a home?

November 4, 2013

Cast your mind back when Members of Parliament were accused of “flipping” properties to avoid Capital Gains Tax on the sale of a second property? Theoretically, it should be possible to buy a second home, live in it for a short period, and as long as certain procedures are followed, have the last three years […]

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December is a busy month for the Treasury

October 31, 2013

Wednesday 4th December 2013: Autumn Statement It has been announced that George Osborne will be presenting his Autumn Statement to Parliament at 12.30pm, Wednesday 4th December. The Statement usually sets the tone of future changes to our tax legislation, particularly, those to be included in the Finance Bill 2014.  Tuesday 10th December 2013: Draft clauses […]

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UK economic growth best since 2010

October 29, 2013

Dare we hope? In the third quarter of 2013 the UK’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 0.8%. Don’t be dismayed by the small percentage. The key is it’s a positive number and the best growth indicator published since 2010. Hidden within this increase are some pleasant surprises: • A 2.5% surge in construction activity, bolstered […]

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Post Office sell-off underpriced?

October 24, 2013

If you managed to acquire Post Office shares at 330p per share you will have been presently surprised by the opening price on the London Stock Exchange. At 8am on the first day of trading the shares stood at 430p rising to 450p in the first few minutes. At the end of the first days’ […]

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NIC Employment Allowance April 2014

October 22, 2013

The Chancellor announced the creation of a NICs Employment Allowance in the 2013 Budget. This is planned to start on 6 April 2014 and moved a step closer to becoming law with the First Reading of the Bill on 14 October 2013. HMRC have published the following background information about the scheme: “In the March […]

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Sir Richard Branson leaves UK for British Virgin Islands

October 17, 2013

Sir Richard has decided to leave the UK and live in his holiday home. He wants more time to surf, kite surf, play tennis and stay limber practising pilates. He says that his decision is not dictated by tax considerations. His personal wealth is estimated to be £3.5bn which means he can spend several million […]

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Talking up the prospects for growth

October 15, 2013

We have enough information about the UK’s economic woes to keep us depressed for many years to come. Every week we are told why sustainable recovery from recession and its after effects is just round the corner. The problem is the “corner” is mobile, always just out of reach. Which is why the current round […]

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Do you record business mileage?

October 11, 2013

A number of trade associations have issued warnings to their members recently. They are concerned that HMRC are making an issue of business mileage recording. Apparently, employers are failing to keep adequate records of mileage for employees who have the use of company vehicles. Self-employed business owners can also be caught out by the same […]

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The new Single-Tier State Pension

October 8, 2013

It has been announced that the new Single-Tier State Pension will start, subject to Parliamentary approval, April 2016. The original proposals for the new system were outlined in a White Paper published January 2013. At present the changes are speculative and will need to be agreed by Parliament. However, readers may be interested to read […]

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Home based start-ups reminded to claim for use of home

October 4, 2013

One of the major accountancy bodies, the Association of Certified Accountants, has reminded home based entrepreneurs that they can make a valid claim, for tax purposes. The ACCA’s head of tax, Chas Roy-Chowdhury, reflected: “The rise in start-ups from the home is good news for the economy, but whether these home-based entrepreneurs are aware that, […]

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Tax Diary October/November 2013

October 3, 2013

 1 October 2013 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 31 December 2012.  19 October 2013 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 October 2013. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 October 2013.)  19 October 2013 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly […]

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HMRC accesses credit card data

October 3, 2013

HMRC was given new powers from 1st September 2013 to request information from UK’s merchant acquirers – the companies that process card payment transactions. This will enable HMRC to data-mine information on all credit and debit card payments made over the last four years. It would seem likely that HMRC will use their Connect software […]

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What is ATED?

October 3, 2013

The acronym stands for Annual Tax on Enveloped Dwellings. The tax was introduced in April 2013 to discourage ownership of property in an “envelope” that could avoid payment of Stamp Duty Land Tax on a subsequent sale.  ATED is a tax on companies and so-called Non-Natural Persons (NNPs) who have an interest in a residential […]

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Protecting your pension lifetime allowance

October 3, 2013

 From 6 April 2014 the pensions’ lifetime allowance will be reduced to £1.25 million from the present level of £1.5 million. If you have already built up pension savings of more than £1.25 million or have planned to do so in the expectation that the lifetime allowance would not reduce from the 2013-14 level, there […]

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Capital allowances claims deadline

October 3, 2013

If you own the property that you trade from, for example a hotel or guest house, the purchase price of the property may have included the cost of certain integral features that it may be possible to submit a claim for capital allowances.  The Finance Act 2012 included provisions that affect the ability to make […]

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Camerons tax break for married couples

October 1, 2013

If you are married, and if you and your spouse do not pay tax at the higher rates, you may benefit to the tune of £4 per week if the Conservative party wins the next election, or controls a coalition, from 2015. It is estimated that four million married couples, and fifteen thousand civil partnerships, […]

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Thinking of selling all or part of your business?

September 26, 2013

If you have spent your working life building your business, when you reach the point at which you are considering a sale, planning is critical. VAT, corporation tax, income tax, stamp duty land tax, and capital gains tax are all standing in the wings waiting for you sign on the dotted line; so they can […]

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Payroll giving award for HMRC

September 24, 2013

Payments that your employees make through a Payroll Giving Scheme are deducted from their pay before tax is deducted. This means that employees are given tax relief on their donation immediately – and at their highest rate of tax. It's easy to set up a Payroll Giving Scheme for your business. There's little in the […]

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What is a salary sacrifice?

September 19, 2013

A salary sacrifice is a voluntary reduction in your salary in exchange for tax-free benefits. These benefits can include: • Child care vouchers • Cycle to work schemes • Bus passes for commuters • Canteen tokens • Staff car parking and vouchers The Government have also launched a consultation into the promotion of payroll giving. The aim is promote the […]

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Landfill tax clarification

September 17, 2013

HMRC have published draft guidance on landfill tax. Materials that can be classified as naturally occurring, and therefore taxable at the lower rate of £2.50, include: “Group 1 of the 2011 Order allows the following waste materials to be lower rated: naturally occurring rock, clay, sand, gravel, sandstone, limestone, crushed stone china clay, construction stone, […]

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Do you receive Child Benefit?

September 12, 2013

Many parents who receive Child Benefit may be blissfully unaware that they are walking into a tax trap. From 7 January 2013 Child Benefit payments are effectively means tested by the tax system. If either parent, or both parents, has income in excess of £50,000, then part or all of the Child Benefit you have […]

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G20 agree tax crackdown

September 9, 2013

Although the recent G20 conference in St Petersburg failed to reach a consensus on the best way to deal with the Syria crisis, they did agree on a long term strategy to make it harder to hide money in tax havens. The ultimate goal, to force companies to pay tax in the countries where they […]

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Tax Diary September/October 2013

September 5, 2013

 1 September 2013 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 30 November 2012.  19 September 2013 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 September 2013. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 September 2013.)  19 September 2013 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly […]

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Machine Games Duty

September 5, 2013

 If you intend to make amusement machines available for play, you must register under the Machine Games Duty (MGD) regulations. MGD was introduced for existing operators from 1 February 2013. The published list of person’s who may be affected is anyone who: holds, or is required to hold, a licence or permit which allows them […]

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Charities reminded to adopt online Gift Aid submissions

September 5, 2013

HMRC are advising certain charities to sign up to its new online Gift Aid system. The last “old style” forms will not be accepted after 30 September 2013. According to HMRC, more than 19,000 charities have already signed up to Charities Online. Since the online process was launched 22 April 2013 almost 50% of Gift […]

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National Minimum Wage (NMW)

September 5, 2013

There has been much press commentary recently regarding HMRC’s pursuit of football clubs who stand accused of paying certain “employees” below the NMW. This action is being taken due to complaints HMRC has received from ballboys and club mascots who receive no payment for their time.  All employers are required to pay their employees at […]

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High Income Child Benefit Charge (HICBC)

September 5, 2013

The HICBC was introduced on 7 January 2013 and applies to couples where: One partner has received Child Benefit payments after 7 January 2013, and Either partner has income in excess of £50,000 a year. The person with the highest income, if both are over £50,000, will be liable to pay the charge.  It will […]

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Check HMRCs callers IDs

September 5, 2013

Readers will be aware that there a multitude of emails circulating on the internet purporting to be from HMRC. In almost all cases these will be some form of scam, attempting to gather personal information from you in exchange for the promise of a tax refund or similar inducement. HMRC have confirmed, on numerous occasions, […]

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Minimum wage crack down by HMRC

September 3, 2013

Businesses should be aware that HMRC polices the National Minimum Wage (NMW) legislation. Not only do they fine employers who breach the regulations, they also enforce the payment of underpaid wages to staff. HMRC have recently released figured confirming that 26,000 workers were paid less than the minimum wage. • 708 employers had been fined with […]

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Vodaphone settlement

August 29, 2013

In a previously unreported settlement with the UK Government, Vodaphone appears to have made a large payment to HMRC. The additional taxes related to the tax returns of an Irish subsidiary. Although the overall amount settled was not disclosed Vodaphone were required to reclaim approximately £57m from the Irish Government in tax that should have […]

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Good news, exports on the increase

August 28, 2013

The period April – June 2013 has seen positive economic growth for the second quarter. The economy expanded by 0.7%. Hopes of rebalancing the economy towards trade and investment were given a boost by an impressive 3.6% increase in exports in the same period. However, the good news may too good for the Bank of […]

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Partnerships and LLPs

August 21, 2013

HMRC closed their consultation on the proposed changes to the taxation of partnerships and LLPs on 9th August. Any subsequent changes will be introduced in the Finance Bill 2014, and be effective from 6 April 2014. Two possible changes are worth highlighting. 1. Disguised employment HMRC aim to create a new concept for LLPs, a salaried […]

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Off-shore, online gambling to pay UK tax

August 19, 2013

Online betting companies that have based their operations in offshore tax jurisdictions, to avoid Britain's gambling taxes, will be hit with a new levy to be introduced from December 2014. It is estimated that the new tax may raise £300m for the UK taxpayer. The Government is to impose a 15% tax on operators in […]

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New report from OTS

August 15, 2013

The Office for Tax Simplification has published a new list of tax issues for review. They include: • Increasing the present £8,500 limit, below which employees (not directors) do not suffer benefit in kind charges. This limit was introduced in 1979 and was apparently based on the amount at which a married man started to pay […]

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Ten new tax dodgers

August 12, 2013

Ten new tax defaulters have been added to HMRC’s rogues’ gallery. This follows the publication of twenty tax offenders’ details last year. So far only one of the original twenty has been caught. HMRC has statutory authority to “name and shame” taxpayers who they consider to be deliberate tax defaulters. Generally speaking these are persons […]

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When is sports sponsorship tax deductible?

August 7, 2013

In a recent case heard by the Upper Tribunal, Interfish Ltd were denied tax relief for sponsorship payments made to a local rugby club, Plymouth Albion. The sponsorship payments were significant; over £1.2m over a number of years. The payments were used to fund the purchase of players as well as propping up the club’s […]

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Bonuses increase Treasurys tax take

August 5, 2013

In March 2012 George Osborne and his Treasury advisors took a risk. They announced that on 6 April 2013 they would be reducing the additional rate of income tax from 50% to 45%. The Treasury was criticised at the time because the expected tax take from higher income earners was expected to fall in line […]

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Taxation of loans to directors and shareholders about to change.

August 1, 2013

The Government have launched yet another consultation, this time they are considering changes to the way in which loans to directors and shareholders of small companies are taxed. Currently, if these loans are unpaid at the end of the company’s accounting year, an additional corporation tax charge equal to 25% of the loan outstanding will […]

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Did you have an Equitable Life Policy?

July 30, 2013

MPs have been criticising the Treasury regarding their handling of the compensation scheme for Equitable Life policy holders. On its own admission the Treasury estimates that between 17% and 20% of eligible policy holders may not receive the compensation they are due as they cannot be traced. The current Equitable Life Payment Scheme is due […]

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Tax Diary August/September 2013

July 29, 2013

 1 August 2013 – Due date for corporation tax due for the year ended 31 October 2012.  19 August 2013 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 August 2013. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 August 2013)  19 August 2013 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly […]

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Committee of Public Accounts comments on HMRC 2012-13 numbers

July 29, 2013

We thought readers might be interested to see how well HMRC have done in the last year, collecting our taxes and tackling fraud. The following statement is reproduced from Parliament’s website and was made by The Rt Hon Margaret Hodge MP, Chair of the Committee of Public Accounts, on 2 July 2013.  “These accounts give […]

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HMRC sets up a further task force

July 29, 2013

Holiday businesses in Devon, Cornwall, North Wales, the Lake District and Blackpool area beware: the taxman has set up a further task force to seek out and bring to account business owners who are not declaring the correct information on their tax returns.  The taskforces are trained to focus on particular business sectors and may […]

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Deductions for loans against Inheritance Tax (IHT)

July 29, 2013

Generally speaking, debts of a person’s estate are deductible for IHT purposes – though there are some circumstances where specific debts cannot be deducted such as where the deceased had previously made a gift to the person who made the loan. Following this year’s Finance Act, which became law on 17 July, there are several […]

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HMRCs My Tax Return Catch Up campaign

July 29, 2013

If you have been sent a tax return for any tax year up to 5 April 2012, and it has not been submitted, you may want to consider taking part in this campaign.  In a nut-shell HMRC are offering to look kindly on any penalties chargeable, as a result of late filing or late payment […]

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What is Connect?

July 22, 2013

HMRC’s Connect software system provides data to underpin efforts to tackle tax fraud. It cost a mighty £45m to install in 2009 and by 2011 it had contributed to the assessment of £1.4bn in additional tax revenues. Connect is purported to have more data at its disposal than the British Library. It is not restricted […]

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Online sales tax proposal criticised

July 19, 2013

In recent months the High Street retail industry has been lobbying for a more equitable tax system. In particular they want to see online traders charged a sales tax. High Street retailers argue that online sellers can afford to drop their prices as they have much lower costs; for example they do not have to […]

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HMRC targets holiday businesses

July 17, 2013

HMRC have created yet another taskforce to seek out businesses owners who are believed to be paying less tax than they should. The new team will be concentrating on holiday businesses in certain areas of the UK. Initially, the tax investigation teams will be active in: Blackpool; the Lake District; North Wales; Devon and Cornwall. […]

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Low interest rates set to continue in the UK

July 15, 2013

  Mark Carney in his first week as Governor of the Bank of England has made a number of reported decisions that have pleased the markets and other groups. Firstly, it was reported that he used the Underground to journey to work. This endeared him to thousands of other commuters who battle through the maze […]

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HMRCs accounts – report by Committee of Public Accounts

July 9, 2013

The following statement was published on the UK Parliaments website 2 July 2013. Please note that the tax gap referred to in Margaret Hodge’s remarks is the difference between tax due and tax collected. A statement from The Rt Hon Margaret Hodge MP, Chair of the Committee of Public Accounts: These accounts give us a […]

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David Cameron announces �1m prize for innovation challenge

July 3, 2013

 British cosmologist and astrophysicist Martin Rees has been charged with identifying a modern day Longitude Prize – this was set by the British Government in 1714 and promised £20,000 to the person who mastered the challenge of calculating longitude at sea. At the recent G8 conference Cameron is quoted as saying: “What the world needs […]

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Bank of England’s new boss starts this week.

July 3, 2013

The appointment of Mark Carney as the new governor of the Bank of England has received guarded approval from the financial press this week who hope that he will take a more active role in stimulating the UK economy. The Bank of England interest rate setting committee is meeting Thursday this week and is expected […]

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National Minimum Wage from 1 October 2013

July 1, 2013

Employers please note that the National Minimum Wage rates are increasing from 1 October 2013. They will be: Apprentice rates: £2.68 per hour. * But see note below. Under 18s: £3.72 per hour. 18 to 20 years: £5.03 per hour. Age 21 years and over: £6.31 per hour. *This is the rate for apprentices under […]

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Use of LLPs and partnerships is under HMRC microscope.

July 1, 2013

The Budget 2013 included a stated intention that HMRC would be enabled to take a fresh look at the possible manipulation of profit and loss allocations from partnerships to secure a tax advantage. HMRC has since published a formal consultation on anti-avoidance legislation for LLPs. The effective date for proposed legislative changes is April 2014. […]

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Using vehicles for business and private purposes

July 1, 2013

There are a number of circumstances where care needs to be taken in the way in which claims are made for the business use of a vehicle, usually a car, which has duality of use – business and personal. We have listed below a few issues that businesses and private car owners should be aware […]

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International tax and transparency

July 1, 2013

Readers may be interested to take a look at the conclusions reached by the recent G8 meeting at Lough Erne, Northern Ireland. Their full declaration is set out below: the aim is to improve tax transparency and to bring the international tax system into the modern age. The G8 Lough Erne Declaration – issued 18 […]

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The G8 declaration on steps to reduce off-shore tax evasion

June 27, 2013

At the conclusion of the recent G8 summit at Lough Erne, a form of consensus was achieved in order to tackle the thorny issue of tax transparency: who is accountable for what and where! Their full declaration is set out below, the aim, to improve tax transparency and to bring the international tax system into […]

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PAYE – new online service

June 25, 2013

HMRC have a recurring issue with individuals that have changes to their employment circumstances. Due to the “instantaneous” impact of PAYE, tax is deducted when you are paid, then if HMRC are unable to determine what allowances should be set-off against each employment, then under or over payments of tax may occur. In the general […]

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European Courts rules that 98% tax rate is in breach of human rights!

June 24, 2013

An aggrieved public sector worker in Hungary was dismayed when a lump sum, paid to her on retirement, was taxed at 98%. She appealed the imposition of the tax to the European Court of Human Rights. The Court ruled that the legislation, imposing the 98% tax, was in breach of Article 1 of the first […]

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Transparency

June 20, 2013

The debate continues!  David Cameron has advised the G8 summit that the UK will draw up a register of beneficial owners of companies. The measure would aim to expose the real owners of businesses and strip away the secrecy created by faceless, offshore shell companies. Cameron has said he would make the UK register public […]

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G8 summit to tackle international tax law shortcomings?

June 13, 2013

Next week the world’s richest nations will be meeting in Northern Ireland and are expected to consider ways that they can address the present exploitation of international tax law, especially by larger, corporate groups, who seek to move profits to lower tax jurisdictions in order to minimise their group tax liability. The economic costs are […]

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Change in LLP tax?

June 11, 2013

Our Government believes that it can recover £300m within two years by redefining the tax status of certain partners as “salaried”. At present all individual members (partners) of Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs) are taxed as self employed. Accordingly, any regular withdrawals they make from the partnership can be treated as a share of profits rather […]

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High Street to complain about unfair tax burden

June 5, 2013

The British Retail Consortium is setting up a working group to look at the burden of taxation now suffered by the High Street retail sector in the UK. They are concerned that online retailers have an unfair advantage as they pay less business rates and employ fewer staff than their High Street competitors. Recent research […]

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Tax Diary June/July 2013

June 5, 2013

1 June 2013 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 31 August 2012. 19 June 2013 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 June 2013. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 June 2013.) 19 June 2013 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly […]

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Don’t miss tax credits renewal deadline

June 4, 2013

Individuals who were claiming tax credits for 2012-13 should be receiving a “Renewing your tax credits – Getting it right” pack. It is vital that you complete the Annual Review form for the year ended 5 April 2013 and send it to the Tax Credits Office (TCO) Preston before 31 July 2013. Failure to do […]

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Transferring the unused Inheritance Tax nil rate band

June 4, 2013

Married couples and registered civil partners are allowed to transfer assets to each other during their lifetime or when they die without incurring an Inheritance Tax charge. There is no limit to this relief as long as the receiving spouse or civil partner is UK domiciled. This relief is known as the spouse or civil […]

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Sleeping partners wake-up call

June 4, 2013

Due to a re-interpretation of the law, HMRC announced that from 6 April 2013 sleeping partners will be liable to pay National Insurance. Affected persons should consider the following: Sleeping and inactive limited partners who are not already paying Class 2 NICs will need to register. They can claim for exception from these contributions if […]

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Furnished Holiday Let set-back

June 4, 2013

Last year a case was heard before the First-tier Tribunal that found a Furnished Holiday Let (FHL) property should not be considered an investment for Business Property Relief (BPR) purposes. This was an important decision for owners of FHL businesses as it confirmed the availability of BPR for Inheritance Tax purposes. If the property in […]

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VAT repayment taxable?

June 3, 2013

You may be interested to know that the answer to the title of this post is yes, if certain conditions apply, a repayment of VAT is a taxable receipt. Consider the following tax case where VAT was charged by mistake. Shop Direct Group discovered that they had accounted for VAT on a large number of […]

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New contractual conditions for government contracts

May 30, 2013

From 1 April 2013 bidders for government contracts will need to certify that they are tax compliant and if they fail this test they will be excluded from winning government contracts. The new restrictions will apply to Central government tenders advertised on or after 1 April 2013. The bidding process will include a new pass/fail […]

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Google and Amazon face fresh allegations

May 29, 2013

Multi-national companies continue to draw the attention of the UK press over allegations that they contrive to export profits made in the UK to lower tax jurisdictions. In this way economic activity in the UK escapes UK tax. This in contrast to numerous small and medium sized businesses who are reported to be paying their […]

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HMRC name and shame list grows

May 24, 2013

 In accordance with legislation HMRC may publish information about a deliberate tax defaulter where: HMRC have carried out an investigation and the person has been charged one or more penalties for deliberate defaults, and those penalties involve tax of more than £25,000. However, their information will not be published if the person earns the maximum […]

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Boris calls for London tax raising powers

May 22, 2013

In a radical rethink of the way in which London is funded the 17 members of the London Commission are due to report this week and are likely to recommend that certain tax raising powers are devolved. It is estimated that Revenue streams of up to £12bn could be placed under local control with a […]

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HMRC scours data for off-shore tax dodgers and advisors

May 16, 2013

HMRC is currently investigating a large number of tax advisors and their clients who are suspected of concealing untaxed income and assets in off-shore tax havens. Due to their recent success in reaching tax accords with off-shore jurisdictions HMRC are now working their way through 400 gigabytes of data. The data has revealed the use […]

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Getting the best deal from banks

May 13, 2013

Banks are tarred with being the cause of the recession that has plagued the global and UK economy for the past four years. Whatever truth there is in this point of view one thing is certain: almost without exception they are now risk-averse. Unless you can prove that your need for financial support is well […]

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Tax Diary May/June 2013

May 7, 2013

1 May 2013 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 31 July 2012. 19 May 2013 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 May 2013. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 May 2013.) 19 May 2013 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly […]

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Beware emails purporting to be from HMRC

May 7, 2013

HMRC have made it clear that they do not send taxpayers emails regarding their tax affairs. So the next time you receive an email purporting to be from HMRC you can safely bet that it is a scam and that it can be safely ignored. Whatever you do, do not follow any links in these […]

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General Anti-Abuse Rule (GAAR)

May 7, 2013

Readers may have noted that from the date the Finance Bill 2013 receives a Royal Assent, HMRC will be using new powers to stop abusive tax schemes from reducing a tax payer’s liability. The legislation is set out in the GAAR, the General Anti-Abuse Rule. It is worth noting that HMRC can use the GAAR […]

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Re-opening the stable door

May 7, 2013

Usually, it is necessary to perform an action within a tax year in order to impact your tax liability for that specific year. One notable exception is the ability to carry back charitable donations to the previous tax year in certain circumstances. The following notes are copied from HMRC’s website and explain what is involved: […]

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Self Assessment 2013

May 7, 2013

We are already two months into the 2013-14 tax year and those readers who need to file a tax return for the year ending 5 April 2013 have until 31 January 2014 to do so if filing online. In this article we will explain why it is advisable to gather your various P60s and other […]

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UK Pensions received by ex-pats

May 7, 2013

  If you retire and live abroad make sure that you understand the tax position of your pension before you leave the UK. The UK has a number of so-called “Double Tax” agreements with other countries that set out how income generated and paid from the UK, such as pensions, is taxable. For example the […]

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When is a cost an investment?

May 3, 2013

Most businesses trade with the intention of making a profit. In order to do this they must pay certain costs. Generally, these fall into two categories: those that have to paid in order to trade, for example rent, rates, heating and so on, and those costs that have a more expansive role in maximising the […]

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A sales tax to level the internet, retail playing field?

April 30, 2013

In the United States a piece of legislation is slowly winding through the approval process and if it becomes law would allow state governments to force Internet retailers to collect sales taxes from their customers and remit the proceeds to state and local government – the so-called Market Fairness Act. The states would be required […]

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What is overtrading?

April 23, 2013

Imagine that for the next quarter your turnover doubled from £60,000 to £120,000. To achieve the extra turnover you had to purchase product that cost you £60,000.  On the face of it this is great news for your business. In three months you will have generated £60,000 (Sales of £120k less direct costs of £60k) […]

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Interested in making more profit?

April 23, 2013

 We would guess, yes you are? But how?  The problem with stagnant markets (i.e. verging on recessionary) is the amount of ‘talking down’ that goes on: don’t know about you but sales have taken a hammering, don’t get the support we need from the bank, and so on…  We would like to offer you a […]

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Tax Diary April/May 2013

April 8, 2013

1 April 2013 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 30 June 2012.  19 April 2013 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 April 2013. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 April 2013.)  19 April 2013 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly […]

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Real Time Information (RTI) slow down

April 8, 2013

The following quote is from information recently published to HMRC’s website:  ‘HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) recognise that some small employers who pay employees weekly, or more frequently, but only process their payroll monthly may need longer to adapt to reporting PAYE information in real time. HMRC have therefore agreed a relaxation of reporting arrangements […]

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Mortgage support – Help to buy

April 8, 2013

In the distant past Government supported home buying by offering tax incentives. It has been some years now since UK taxpayers could obtain tax relief for mortgage interest payments. The MIRAS arrangement, where tax relief at the basic rate was deducted from mortgage interest payments by the lender, was the last and fading effort at […]

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New Childcare Scheme from autumn 2015

April 8, 2013

A new Childcare Scheme will be introduced to support working families with their childcare costs and will replace the current salary sacrifice scheme. Unlike its predecessor, the new scheme will be available to the self-employed and those on a minimum wage. Also parents will be able to choose their own voucher provider, as the new system […]

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National Insurance �2,000 employment allowance

April 8, 2013

The Government is to introduce an allowance of £2,000 per year for all businesses and charities to be offset against their employer Class 1 secondary NICs’ bill from April 2014. The allowance will be claimed as part of the normal payroll process. The Government will engage with stakeholders on the implementation of the measure after […]

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The Budget 2013

March 21, 2013

PERSONAL Help for home buyers Two schemes are available. Help to buy: equity loan This scheme will run for three years from 1 April 2013 and is proposed to provide £3.5bn of additional investment. • The scheme will apply to new builds only• All house buyers can apply – this scheme is not restricted to first-time buyers.• Buyers […]

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Tax Diary March/April 2013

March 5, 2013

1 March 2013 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 31 May 2012. 19 March 2013 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 March 2013. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 March 2013.) 19 March 2013 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly […]

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Self Assessment crack down in South East

March 5, 2013

HMRC issued a press release 12 February 2013 advising “tax cheats” in London and the South East that they will be targeted by a new taskforce. The taskforce will put the spotlight on people abusing the Self Assessment system fraudulently to claim back money they are not entitled to. It is expected to recover £6 […]

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Further reminder of payroll changes April 2013

March 5, 2013

Last month’s newsletter included details of the major change in reporting of PAYE information to HMRC from April 2013. The new process is to be known as Real Time Information (RTI) reporting. From 6 April 2013 you will be required to submit payroll data on or before the date that salaries and wages are paid […]

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Finance Bill 2013 draft clauses published

March 5, 2013

The main tax announcements for the 2013-14 tax year, as announced 5 December 2012, have now been published as draft clauses for the forthcoming Finance Bill 2013. GAAR The new acronym stands for General Anti-Abuse Rule. It will give HMRC powers to stop companies and tax payers taking advantage of complex tax arrangements in order […]

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Tax planning for high income earners 2012-13

March 5, 2013

High income earners have until 5 April 2013 to review their tax position for 2012-13. In most cases action will need to be taken prior to this date. Deferring income If you normally receive bonuses this month or a dividend from your company you should estimate your earnings for the next tax year, 2013-14, and […]

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Tax Diary February/March 2013

February 4, 2013

1 February 2013 – Due date for corporation tax payable for the year ended 30 April 2012. 19 February 2013 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 February 2013. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 February 2013) 19 February 2013 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly […]

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50,000 businesses targeted by HMRC

February 4, 2013

Businesses that have failed to submit their VAT returns by the due date will be targeted by HMRC this month. An estimated 50,000 businesses may be affected by this latest campaign by HMRC. Registered traders who have outstanding returns to file may find that their tax affairs will be closely scrutinised and without prior warning.According […]

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Additional tax allowances and reliefs

February 4, 2013

There are a number of tax allowances that can be claimed if certain conditions apply, in some cases these can be transferred to your spouse or civil partner if you are unable to utilise the additional tax relief. 1. Increased personal allowance from age 65. You will be eligible to apply for an additional personal tax […]

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New flat rate state pension announced

February 4, 2013

It has been proposed that from 2017 a new flat-rate state pension will be paid – worth in today’s money £144 a week. Details will no doubt change over time but some of the information available so far is listed below: • As stated above the starting rate April 2017 will be £144 per week, £7,488 […]

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Payroll changes April 2013

February 4, 2013

Employers should make sure that they are ready for the switch to the Real Time Information (RTI) from April 2013. Most employers will be affected from April 2013 and all employers by October 2013. Essentially, RTI requires that you submit payroll data on or before the date that salaries and wages are paid to employees […]

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Tax Diary January/February 2013

January 7, 2013

1 January 2013 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 31 March 2012. 19 January 2013 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 January 2013. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 January 2013.) 19 January 2013 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly […]

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Cap on Income Tax relief

January 7, 2013

Draft clauses recently published for the Finance Bill 2013 outline the way in which the Government proposes to limit the amount of tax relief an individual can claim. Capped reliefs will be limited to the greater of £50,000 or 25% of net taxable income – this is income less pension payments and charitable donations. The […]

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Universal Credit and the self-employed

January 7, 2013

A new Universal Credit (UC) benefits system will be introduced in the UK this year: – The Greater Manchester and Cheshire regions from April 2013,– All new claimants from October 2013,– All existing claimants will be transferred to the new system on a phased approach to be completed in 2017. Universal Credit will be paid […]

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Ten-fold increase in Annual Investment Allowance

January 7, 2013

One of the surprise announcements in the Autumn Statement 2012 was the decision to increase the Annual Investment Allowance (AIA) from 1 January 2013 to £250,000. The increase will apply for two years. Obviously, this is an attempt to focus the minds of entrepreneurs on investment. For profitable, self-employed traders this could be a useful […]

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End of year tax planning

January 7, 2013

Although we are now at the beginning of a new calendar year we are in the last quarter of the current tax year. Whether you are a business person, property landlord or pay significant amounts of tax as an employed or retired person there is now a short window of opportunity to examine your likely […]

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Tax Diary December 2012/January 2013

December 11, 2012

1 December 2012 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 29 February 2012. 19 December 2012 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 December 2012. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 December 2012.) 19 December 2012 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly […]

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Swiss bank account holders beware.

December 11, 2012

UK residents with Swiss bank accounts should be aware that new taxation arrangements are scheduled to come into force on 1 January 2013. The new tax agreement between the UK and Switzerland means that account holders must either provide full details to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) or pay over a proportion of the money […]

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Rag trade and alcohol industry targeted

December 11, 2012

The first taskforces to tackle tax cheats in the rag trade and alcohol industry were launched on 19 November by HMRC. The specialist taskforce teams will target those who do not pay the right amount of tax in: * the rag trade in the Midlands, North Wales and North West, including manufacturing, wholesale, retail and […]

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Business Records Checks

December 11, 2012

When the program was first unveiled in January 2011 HMRC intended to visit 50,000 small businesses across the UK. A year later the whole process was reviewed and subsequently suspended following concerns raised by professional bodies and accountants. According to HMRC:“Up until 17 February 2012, 3,431 BRC had been carried out. These found that 36 […]

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Merry Christmas…

December 11, 2012

The cost of a staff party or other annual entertainment is allowed as a deduction for tax purposes. However, the cost is only deductible if it relates to employees and their guests, which would include directors in the case of a company, but not sole traders and business partners in the case of unincorporated organisations. […]

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Summary of Autumn Statement 5 December 2012

December 6, 2012

Personal tax and benefits • The basic Personal Allowance, due to anyone born after 6 April 1948, will increase in April 2013 to £9,440 (2012-13 £8,105). The increase in the Personal Allowance is £235 more than expected and will save basic rate tax payers up to £267 in a full tax year.• For those born between 6 […]

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Autumn statement 2012

November 1, 2012

The Autumn Statement 2012 will be made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, on Wednesday 5 December at 12.30pm.The Statement provides an update on the Government’s plans for the economy based on the latest forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility. These forecasts are published alongside the Autumn Statement on 5 December. It […]

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Tax return deadline approaching

November 1, 2012

The filing deadline for paper copies of your Self Assessment tax return for 2012 was 31 October 2012. If you file a paper return after this date penalties will apply. Would readers note that if we prepare your return it will be filed electronically, the deadline for electronic filing of 2012 Self Assessment returns is […]

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Higher paid and Child Benefit

November 1, 2012

Higher paid and Child Benefit From January 2013 a person who earns more than £50,000 must advise HMRC if they receive Child Benefit personally, or if they are the higher earner of a couple where their partner receives Child Benefit. If you fall into this category you may be receiving a letter soon from HMRC […]

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Workplace pension reform

November 1, 2012

All employers need to be aware of their responsibilities following the introduction of pension reforms. Some elements of this new legislation, such as the safeguards for individuals, came into effect for all employers from 1 July 2012. The Pensions Regulator has issued “Getting Ready” notes for employers and this can be downloaded as a PDF […]

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Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS)

October 1, 2012

Investors in higher-risk smaller companies have benefitted for a number of years from the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS). The new SEIS is targeted to provide funding for early stage companies who may find it difficult to raise seed capital. Recognising these needs, the SEIS scheme also offers investors higher tax breaks than the existing EIS. […]

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Hello world!

July 20, 2012

Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!

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