News

On your e-bike

11/06/2019

The Cycling Minister, Michael Ellis, has announced a number of changes to the Cycle to Work scheme in an announcement that was timed to coincide with Bike week. Bike week is an annual celebration to showcase cycling across the UK and runs from 8 – 16 June. The Cycle to Work scheme was introduced almost 20 years ago to help promote

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HMRC cancels penalties charged to 6,000 families

11/06/2019

The High Income Child Benefit Charge (HICBC) was introduced in January 2013 and applies a charge to taxpayers whose income exceeds £50,000 in a tax year and who are in receipt of child benefit. The charge claws back the financial benefit of receiving child benefit either by reducing or removing the benefit entirely. HMRC has been

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HMRC blocks phone fraudsters

11/06/2019

Fraudsters have been blocked from using HMRC’s most used helpline numbers after the introduction of new defensive controls. These fraudsters had been able to make calls to taxpayers across the UK which appeared to be coming from HMRC by mimicking helpline numbers. These fraudsters are usually operating as part of large criminal

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Free television licences scrapped for over-75s

11/06/2019

The TV licence fee has not been payable by those aged 75 or over since 2001. During 2015, the government reached an agreement with the BBC as part of the last charter renewal that it will take on the cost of free television licences for over-75s by 31 May 2020 as part of the fee settlement. The BBC estimated that the change would have

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Genuine HMRC messages

11/06/2019

HMRC has issued an updated version of their online guidance on Genuine HMRC contact and recognising phishing emails and texts. The guidance provides a current list of genuine messages from HMRC. This includes email messages, text messages and telephone contacts from HMRC. The latest updates on the list includes confirmation that HMRC is

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Free information about companies

11/06/2019

A surprising amount of free information about companies is available from Companies House. This is in line with the government’s commitment to free data and ensures that all publicly available digital data held on the UK register of companies is accessible free of charge. These records provide access to over 170 million digital

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Employer owned property and sub-letting

11/06/2019

In some industries, employers provide accommodation to employees because this is required by the nature of the job. There are no tax charges in respect of the provision of living accommodation where it is necessary for the proper performance of the employee’s duties that he or she should reside in the accommodation, or the

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Cashback schemes and tax

11/06/2019

Statement of Practice 4/97 sets out HMRC’s views on the correct treatment for tax purposes of commission, cashbacks and discounts. Cashbacks are taken to mean lump sums received by a customer as an inducement for entering into a transaction for the purchase of goods, investments or services and received as a direct consequence of

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VAT reverse charge construction industry

11/06/2019

A change to the VAT rules first announced at Budget 2018, will come into effect from 1 October 2019. This change will make the supply of construction services between construction or building businesses subject to the domestic reverse charge. The reverse charge will only apply to supplies of specified construction services to other

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Working past retirement age

04/06/2019

There are many taxpayers who have reached the State Pension age and continue to work. In most cases they no longer need to pay any National Insurance Contributions (NICs). At State Pension age, the requirement to pay Class 1 and Class 2 NICs on employed or self-employed earnings ceases. However, you will remain liable to pay any NICs

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Working from home allowance

04/06/2019

If you are self-employed and running a business from your home, there are simplified arrangements available for claiming a fixed rate deduction for certain expenses where there is a mix of business and private use. The simplified expenses rules are not available to limited companies or business partnerships involving a limited

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Working tax credits you could claim

04/06/2019

The Working Tax Credit (WTC) is designed to help taxpayers on low incomes by providing top-up payments and includes those who do not have children. There are extra amounts available for qualifying childcare expenses and working households in which someone has a disability. The basic amount of WTC is £1,960 a year and is always

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New crackdown on funeral plans

04/06/2019

The government has announced new plans to crackdown on high pressure and bullying tactics to sell pre paid funeral plans. These tactics are often used to target those who are old and vulnerable and unaware exactly what they are buying. In some cases, the funeral plans are sold with misleading promises and to maximise the salesperson's

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What records must a VAT trader keep?

04/06/2019

There are distinct rules that VAT registered businesses must follow when keeping VAT records. This includes keeping proper business and accounting records, a separate VAT account as well as copies of all VAT invoices received and issued. There is no requirement to issue a VAT invoice for retail supplies to unregistered businesses unless

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IHT and foreign property

04/06/2019

If a permanent home (domicile) is in the UK then any foreign situated property owned at date of death will be chargeable to Inheritance Tax. The site of an asset is usually the place where the asset in question is considered to be located for legal purposes. The site of immovable property is the place or country where the property is

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Non-resident company liability to Corporation Tax

04/06/2019

Under the current rules non-resident companies with a trading business in the UK are liable to pay UK Corporation Tax on their profits made through a permanent establishment/branch or agency. This includes trading income and any income from property or rights used by, or held by or for, the permanent establishment/branch or agency (except

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New advisory fuel rates published

04/06/2019

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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Tax Diary June/July 2019

28/05/2019

1 June 2019 - Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 31 August 2018. 19 June 2019 - PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 June 2019. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 June 2019) 19 June 2019 - Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly return for the month ended 5 June 2019. 19 June 2019 - CIS tax

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Deadline to reduce taxable benefits

28/05/2019

Employees can often reimburse their employers for benefits provided in order to lessen their taxable benefits and thereby reduce or avoid a tax charge. This is referred to in the legislation as ‘making good’ and most often involves the employee making a cash payment to their employer. The payment has the effect of reducing the

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Have you adopted the new minimum wage rates?

28/05/2019

The new National Minimum Wage (NMW) and National Living Wage (NLW) rates came into effect on 1 April 2019. The NLW first came into effect on 1 April 2016 and is the minimum hourly rate that must be paid to those aged 25 or over. The new rate for the NLW is £8.21 which is a 38p or almost 5% increase over the previous year. The

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Not sure if you need to submit a tax return?

28/05/2019

There are a number of reasons why you may need to register with HMRC to submit a tax return. This could include: if you are self-employed and earning more than £1,000 per year from the self-employed activity, if you are a company director, if you have an annual income over £100,000 and / or if you have certain income from

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Company Unique Taxpayer References

28/05/2019

The Company Unique Taxpayer References (UTR) is the primary identifier for the company and should be used whenever HMRC is contacted and when tax returns are filed. When a new limited company is registered, Companies House will inform HMRC of the new company and a UTR (ten-digit number) will be issued. HMRC will then issue a letter to

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Reminder of “bed and breakfasting” rules

28/05/2019

Historically, the term bed and breakfasting (sale and repurchase) of shares referred to transactions whereby someone sold shares one day and bought them back the next morning. This used to have Capital Gains Tax (CGT) benefits by crystallising a gain or a loss but is no longer tax effective over such a short period. The rules changed in

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What is overlap relief?

28/05/2019

The assessment of self-employed or partnerships profits is usually relatively straight-forward if the accounting date - the date to which accounts are prepared - falls between 31 March and 5 April. However, overlap profits can arise where a business year end date is not coterminous with the end of the tax year. Overlap profits can happen

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Tax and lease premiums

28/05/2019

Where a freeholder (or landlord) of a property grants a new lease to a new tenant there are sometimes upfront payments due, usually known as a lease premium. The payments of these premiums are increasingly popular, and the tax implications can be complicated depending on the length of the lease. For leases of 50 years or less a

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Less is more – MTD regulations relaxed

20/05/2019

Starting from April 2019, most VAT-registered businesses that have a taxable turnover over £85,000 are required to keep their VAT records digitally and use Making Tax Digital (MTD) compatible software to submit their VAT return information to HMRC. There are exceptions for certain businesses that have until the first VAT Return

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Claim for money owed to you

20/05/2019

If you are owed money by an individual or business, there is a procedure you can use called making a court claim. This was more commonly referred to as taking someone to a 'small claims court'. Before making a claim, you should try to contact the person or organisation to try and resolve the issue by discussion or by using a

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Reasonable excuses for late payment or filing

20/05/2019

There are a number of options open to taxpayers who disagree with a tax decision issued by HMRC. As a first step, it may be possible to make an appeal against a tax decision. There is normally a 30-day deadline for making a claim, so time is of the essence. HMRC will then carry out a review, usually by using HMRC officers that were not

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VAT Margin Scheme on sales of vehicles

20/05/2019

A Margin Scheme is an optional method of accounting which allows certain businesses to calculate VAT based on the 'value' they add to the goods they sell, rather than on the full selling price. Without the use of the Margin Scheme, businesses would have to account for VAT on the full selling price of goods within the Margin

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Pre-trading expenses for a rental business

20/05/2019

There are special rules for the pre-trading expenses of a rental business. If the expenses were in relation to a letting, then a deduction may be allowed where the following conditions are met: The expenditure is incurred within a period of seven years before the date the rental business is started, and The expenditure is not

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