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Topping up your self-employed NIC contributions

13/03/2019

In many circumstances it can be beneficial to make voluntary Class 2 National Insurance Contributions (NICs) to increase your entitlement to benefits, including the State or New State Pension if you are self-employed. You might want to consider making voluntary NICs because: you’re close to State Pension age and do not have enough

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Lost your Unique Tax Reference number?

13/03/2019

Your Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) identifies your tax records at HMRC. The number is also known as your taxpayer number or tax reference number and should be used whenever you contact HMRC, or when you file your tax returns. The UTR is a unique 10 digit code. You are automatically given a UTR when you set yourself up to file Self

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Treatment of deposits for VAT purposes

13/03/2019

As a general rule, most deposits made by customers serve as advance payments and create a VAT tax point when the deposit is received. It is important that businesses ensure that the VAT element of any deposits received is accounted for correctly. Usually this will mean that VAT is due on a deposit when it is received and not when the

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What are the badges of trade?

13/03/2019

The 'badges of trade' tests, whilst not conclusive, are used by HMRC to help determine whether an activity is a proper economic / business activity or merely a money-making side line to a hobby. Careful consideration needs to be given when deciding if a hobby has become a taxable activity. It is clear from the significant amount of case

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Sale of income by an individual

13/03/2019

A capital sum received by an individual in respect of the sale or relinquishment of income to be derived from his or her personal activities, can sometimes be treated as earned income and chargeable to Income Tax. If this is the case, the amount charged to Income Tax is not also charged to Capital Gains Tax. The following conditions must

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Employee tax codes 2019-20

13/03/2019

The P9X form is used to notify employers of the tax codes to use for employees. The basic Personal Allowance for the tax year starting 6 April 2019 will be £12,500 and the tax code for emergency will be 1250L. The basic rate band is between £12,501 to £50,000 except for those defined as Scottish taxpayers who have a

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Spring Statement - 13 March 2019

12/03/2019

The following comments were written on the 13th March 2019 immediately following Philip Hammond’s presentation of the 2019 Spring Statement to Parliament. In theory, the government uses the Spring Statement to respond to the most recent forecasts made by the Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR). In a nut-shell, the OBR forecast

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Expenditure on building that qualifies as plant

11/03/2019

Capital Allowances are the deductions which allow businesses to secure tax relief for certain capital expenditure. Capital Allowances are available to sole traders, self-employed persons or partnerships, as well as companies and organisations liable to Corporation Tax. Interestingly, the Capital Allowance legislation does not

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Are you claiming the Marriage Allowance?

05/03/2019

HMRC has published a press release to remind qualifying couples to claim the Marriage Allowance. The Marriage Allowance allows lower earning couples to share part of their personal tax-free allowance. The Marriage Allowance is available to married couples and those in a civil partnership where one partner doesn’t pay more than the basic

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Last chance to get ready for VAT filing changes 1 April 2019

05/03/2019

The deadline for the introduction of VAT filing changes is now just weeks away. For VAT returns periods starting on or after 1 April 2019, some 1 million businesses with a turnover above the VAT threshold (currently £85,000) will be required to start keeping their records digitally (for VAT purposes only) and provide their VAT return

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Have you received income in the form of loans?

05/03/2019

HMRC has issued a new briefing paper on disguised remuneration charge on loans. Disguised remuneration schemes are tax avoidance arrangements that seek to avoid Income Tax and National Insurance contributions by paying scheme users their income in the form of loans. HMRC is clear that these loans were never intended to be repaid and are

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Companies House – Late Filing Penalties

05/03/2019

There are Late Filing Penalties which are designed to encourage companies to file their accounts and reports on time. The penalties were first introduced in 1992 and were significantly increased from February 2009. All companies, private and public, large or small, trading or non-trading must send their accounts to Companies House. The

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Utilising unused losses for CGT

05/03/2019

Sometimes tax-payers may sell an asset at a loss. If acceptable as capital losses, they can be deducted from Capital Gains made in the same or future years. As a general rule, if the asset would have been liable to CGT had a gain taken place then the loss should be an allowable deduction. These allowable losses are deducted

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Incentive award schemes and tax

05/03/2019

Companies can use incentive award schemes to encourage their employees in various ways, for example, to sell more of their own goods and services. The award can take various forms including cash, vouchers or other gifts. Where an employer meets the tax payable on a non-cash incentive award given to a direct employee by entering into a

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Post cessation receipts and expenses

05/03/2019

According to HMRC’s published guidance there are special rules for the taxation of post-cessation receipts and expenses. These provisions apply to professions, vocations and trades. Tax relief may be available for post-cessation expenses of a trade, although such expenses still have to satisfy the wholly and exclusively test and be

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National Insurance if you go abroad

26/02/2019

If you move abroad it can often be advantageous to continue paying your UK National Insurance Contributions (NICs) in order to preserve your entitlement to the State Pension and other benefits. If you are working in the European Economic Area (EEA) the rules depend on your situation. The EEA includes all EU countries as well as Iceland,

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Job related expenses you may be able to claim

26/02/2019

If you are an employee and use your own money to buy things you need for your job, you can sometimes claim tax relief for the associated costs. It is usually only possible to claim tax relief for the cost of items used solely for your work. There is no tax relief available if your employer pays you back in full for an item you have

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Tax if selling online

26/02/2019

Many people supplement their income by selling services online. This is often described as the 'sharing economy' or the 'peer-to-peer economy' and usually involves renting out something using specialist websites or apps. This could include renting out your house (using websites such as AirBNB) or personal equipment (such as power tools).

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What is a Company Voluntary Arrangement?

26/02/2019

A Company Voluntary Arrangement or CVA is a special arrangement that allows a company with debt problems or that is insolvent to reach a voluntary agreement to pay its business creditors over a fixed period of time. The arrangement is similar to the more well-known Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) that can be used by a sole-trader

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Company tax deductions for charitable donations

26/02/2019

There are special rules in place when a limited company gives to a charity. This can include Corporation Tax relief for qualifying donations made to registered charities or community amateur sports clubs (CASC), as well as Capital Allowances for giving away equipment that has been used by a company. However, the rules are different if

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Correcting errors on VAT returns

26/02/2019

Where an error on a VAT return is discovered, VAT registered businesses have a duty to correct the error as soon as possible. As a general rule, you can use a current VAT return to make an adjustment to a past VAT return. However, in order to be able to do so, there are three important conditions that must be met: The error must be

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Claim EU VAT refunds before Brexit

26/02/2019

The VAT paid in other EU countries is often recoverable by VAT- registered businesses in the UK, who bought goods or services for business use. The exact rules that govern the amount of VAT refundable depends on the other countries' rules for claiming input tax. It is important to note that VAT incurred in foreign countries can never be

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New advisory fuel rates published

26/02/2019

Advisory fuel rates are intended to reflect actual average fuel costs and are updated quarterly. The rates can be used by employers who reimburse employees for business travel in their company cars or where employees are required to repay the cost of fuel used for private travel. HMRC accepts there is no taxable profit and no Class 1A

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Help to Save scheme

26/02/2019

The Help to Save scheme for people on low incomes was officially launched in September 2018 and since then over 80,000 people have signed up. The scheme allows those in work entitled to Working Tax Credit and in receipt of Working Tax Credits or Child Tax Credits to save up to £50 a month for two years and receive a 50% government bonus.

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Tax Diary March/April 2019

24/02/2019

1 March 2019 - Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 31 May 2018. 2 March 2019 – Self assessment tax for 2017/18 paid after this date will incur a 5% surcharge. 19 March 2019 - PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 March 2019. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 March 2019) 19 March 2019 -

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New compensation limits announced

24/02/2019

The Employment Rights (Increase of Limits) Order 2019 has been laid before Parliament and will come into force from 6 April 2019. The Order increases the limits applying to certain awards of employment tribunals and to other amounts payable under employment legislation. The main changes are: Maximum amount of a “week’s pay” which is

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Did you get your Brexit update letter from HMRC?

19/02/2019

HMRC has now written to over 145,000 VAT-registered businesses across the UK with a Brexit update. The letters explain changes to customs, excise and VAT in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal, and what businesses can do to prepare. There are a number of different versions of the letters some of which are specific to the

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Election to treat property as main residence

19/02/2019

There are a number of issues that owners of more than one home should be aware of. An individual, married couple or those in a civil partnership can only benefit from CGT on one property at a time. However, it is possible to choose, by election, which property is treated as a main residence and therefore benefits from a CGT exemption when

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Joint ventures and VAT

19/02/2019

A joint venture is a commercial enterprise undertaken by two or more parties who otherwise retain their own separate identities. The parties to the joint venture usually bring together different resources and areas of expertise to help fulfil a specific project or business activity. HMRC’s published guidance on how a joint venture is

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Filing deadlines for company accounts

19/02/2019

After the end of its financial year, a private limited company must prepare full annual accounts and a company tax return. The deadline for filing the first set of accounts with Companies House is 21 months after the date the company was registered with Companies House. Annual accounts must be submitted 9 months after the company’s

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