News

  • news-pencil

    What would labour do if they were elected?

      If elected Labour have pledged to re-nationalise the railways and Royal Mail and bring some of the power and water industries into State ownership. They have also promised to bring an end to student loans. These and other measures will be very expensive and will require big increases in taxation and borrowing. Key tax […]

    in News on June 26, 2017 Comments 0
  • news-vote

    Election 8th June- What is in the Manifestos?

      The decision to call a snap General election on 8th June caught many of us by surprise. The various political parties have been rushing out their manifestos making all sorts of promises if elected. These documents are becoming increasingly important. Bringing in measures contrary to a manifesto, like the increase in Class 4 National […]

    in News on June 23, 2017 Comments 0
  • news-microphone

    Public speaking- strategy for a great presentation

      Public speaking isn’t easy but is a necessary skill for many in the business world. Whether it is a boardroom presentation or an update to shareholders/staff members, most managers will be required to present at some point. Here is a presentation strategy to help you to up your game.   Start and finish strong: […]

    in News on June 21, 2017 Comments 0
  • news-lamp

    For a Good Problem to Solve

      In today’s rapidly evolving business environment, innovation is key to the growth (and indeed, survival) of most firms. Many of us are constantly on the look-out for an innovative new idea. The best innovations don’t tend to come from a great idea. Instead, they tend to come from solving a problem.   For example, […]

    in News on June 19, 2017 Comments 0
  • news-house

    Stamp duty on Second Homes

      Since 1 April 2016 there has been a 3% supplementary Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) charge payable on the purchase of second and subsequent residential properties costing more than £40,000. This was clearly aimed at buy-to-let investors as well as those buying second homes.   Note that this additional 3% charge does not apply […]

    in News on June 14, 2017 Comments 0
  • news-keyboard

    HMRC Computer isn’t always correct

      HM Revenue and Customs have acknowledged that their software and some commercial software used by accountants doesn’t always come up with the right amount of tax payable! You may have seen this reported in some newspapers such as the Daily Telegraph.   This arises because the tax system of different income tax personal allowances, […]

    in News on June 12, 2017 Comments 0
  • news-team

    Supporting your team

      As a manager, you have a great deal on your plate the majority of the time. But one of the most important things (if not the most important thing) you can do is to make time to support your team.   Encourage them to manage themselves: The best managers will step back and let […]

    in News on June 9, 2017 Comments 0
  • news-self-assesment

    Tax Diary June/July 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 […]

    in News on June 7, 2017 Comments 0
  • news-pension-staging

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

      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 […]

    in Personal Tax on May 31, 2017 Comments 0
  • news-piggybank

    Tax due next month

      Are you self-employed? If you are, or if you are someone who doesn’t pay all their tax at source, 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 […]

    in News on May 29, 2017 Comments 0
  • news-flags

    Overseas Business

      In today’s increasingly globalised world, more and more firms are doing business overseas. Where you do business dictates how you should manage your business etiquette and personal style.   Preparation time It is good practice to spend some time preparing for your business trips and learning about a region’s history, customs and culture. This […]

    in News on May 26, 2017 Comments 0
  • news-desctop

    New trends in online search

      The online world is constantly evolving. As such, the way that people use online search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. is changing all the time. Businesses need to keep up to date with these changes so that customers and potential customers can continue to find them online. Here are some of the […]

    in News on May 24, 2017 Comments 0
  • news-moneybox

    New tax free allowances started on 6th April

      The £5,000 dividend and savings allowance of up to £1,000 have been with us since 6 April 2016. There are now two further allowances available since 6 April 2017. There are concerns that these have not been widely publicised and not properly understood.   The first £1,000 allowance is against self-employed income. This is […]

    in Employment Tax on May 22, 2017 Comments 0
  • news-tree

    Selling land to a developer- is that trading or a capital gain?

      Farmers and other landowners will often be approached by developers seeking to obtain planning permission to build on the land. Great care is needed to avoid unnecessary tax charges on the transaction. HMRC have recently updated their guidance on transactions in land clarifying that under certain circumstances some of the eventual profit can be […]

    in News on May 19, 2017 Comments 0
  • news-home

    Additional IHT relief for passing on family home started 6 April

      For deaths on or after 6 April 2017 there is now an additional £100,000 inheritance tax (IHT) allowance where the family home is passed on to direct descendants. This was originally announced on 8 July 2015 and that date is relevant where the deceased has downsized to a lower value property.   This additional […]

    in Personal Tax on May 17, 2017 Comments 0
  • news-vat

    Does the new 16.5% VAT flat rate percentage apply to your business?

     The new VAT flat rate of 16.5% started to apply from 1 April 2017 for “limited cost traders”.   A “limited cost trader” is one using the VAT flat rate scheme but where the VAT inclusive cost of goods for a year is less than 2% of VAT inclusive turnover, excluding certain specified items.   […]

    in News on May 15, 2017 Comments 0
  • news-coins

    Better to pay interest on your loan account than dividends if higher rate taxpayer

      Ever since the introduction of the 7.5% increase in the rate of tax on dividends in April 2016, it has been more tax efficient for owner managed business shareholders to pay interest on their loans to the company rather than pay themselves dividends. The interest would be deductible against the company’s profits saving corporation […]

    in Business Tax on May 12, 2017 Comments 0
  • news-child

    Should we give shares to children and pay £5,000 dividends tax free?

      The introduction of the £5,000 tax free dividend allowance has tempted many family company shareholders to give shares to other family members so that they can be paid £5,000 a year tax free. (Note that this allowance reduces to £2,000 from 6 April 2018).   Such a strategy needs to be carefully structured as […]

    in Personal Tax on May 10, 2017 Comments 0
  • news-clock

    Make the most of dead time.

      We have all been there before – stuck in a city with time to kill between meetings. Some of us head off for the nearest coffee shop at this time while others might make a few calls or go for a stroll in order to think about the next meeting. Perhaps there is a […]

    in News on May 8, 2017 Comments 0
  • news-office

    Venting your frustrations in the office

      Most people experience frustrations at work from time to time. Whether it is due to constant pressure, last-minute demands or irritating colleagues, at some stage, most of us reach a point where we want to vent our frustrations in the office.   Frustrations happen, and venting is an easy way to blow off steam. […]

    in News on May 5, 2017 Comments 0
  • news-laptop

    U-Turn on self-employed NIC’s- for now…

      In his first Budget on 8th March, the new Chancellor Phillip Hammond announced that he would level the playing field between employees and the self-employed by increasing Class 4 National Insurance Contributions (NICs) from 9% to 10% from 6 April 2018 and then to 11% from 6 April 2019. His justification is that the […]

    in Employment Tax on May 3, 2017 Comments 0
  • news-moneybox

    Class 4 NICs

      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 […]

    in Employment Tax on May 1, 2017 Comments 0
  • news-iphone

    Making Tax Digital

      The current tax year, 2017-18, is the last year we have to prepare for the advent of the new reporting system, Making Tax Digital for Business (MTDfB). Following the recent budget, it is now clear which businesses are going to be affected and when. Dates for implementation will be:   From April 2018, unincorporated […]

    in Business Tax on April 26, 2017 Comments 0
  • news-coin

    Dividend tax set-back

      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 […]

    in News on April 24, 2017 Comments 0
  • news-moneybox

    Have you used your 2016-17 ISA allowance?

      Your maximum annual investment in ISAs for 2016/17is £15,240. Your investment needs to be made before 6 April 2017. In addition, have you thought about investing for your children or grandchildren by setting up a Junior ISA? In the 2016/17 tax year, you can invest £4,080 into a Junior ISA for any child under […]

    in General Tax on April 21, 2017 Comments 0
  • news-high-house

    Buying a company with losses

      The new flexible loss relief rules coming into effect from 1 April 2017, will make the purchase of a loss-making company attractive. For many years there has been anti-avoidance to block the use of such losses and it is proposed that these rules will continue to apply.   The draft clauses in Finance Bill […]

    in News on April 19, 2017 Comments 0
  • news-moneybox

    Don’t lose your personal allowance

      For every £2 that your adjusted net income exceeds £100,000, the £11,000 personal allowance is reduced by £1. Pension contributions and Gift Aid can help to reduce adjusted net income and save tax at an effective rate of 60%.   The restriction applies between £100,000 and £122,000 adjusted net income. Another way that you […]

    in Personal Tax on April 17, 2017 Comments 0
  • news-skyscraper

    New company loss relief rules start on 1 april 2017

      New rules that will allow greater flexibility in the way that companies obtain relief for losses will apply to losses incurred from 1 April 2017 onwards.   These rules have been introduced to encourage companies to diversify as the losses may be available to offset against profits of another activity in a future period […]

    in News on April 14, 2017 Comments 0
  • news-digital-technologies

    Making tax digital to start in 2018

      Legislation to introduce Making Tax Digital (MTD) will be included in the Finance Bill 2017 and despite many objections that it was too soon, the new system of quarterly reporting will commence in April 2018 for the self-employed and property landlords.   There were 1200 responses to the consultation documents issued in summer 2016 […]

    in News on April 12, 2017 Comments 0
  • news-rules

    New rules for IR35 workers in the public sector start 6 April 2017

      There are significant changes that commence on 6 April 2017 for workers in the public sector supplying their services via their own personal service companies or other intermediaries.   From 6 April 2017 the public sector employer or agency that engages the worker will have to review the employment status of the worker and […]

    in News on April 10, 2017 Comments 0
  • news-sheet

    Year end Capital Tax planning

      Have you used your 2016/17 £11,100 annual capital gains exemption? Consider selling shares where the gain is less than £11,100 before 6 April 2017. Also, if you have any worthless shares, consider a negligible value claim to establish a capital loss. You may even be able to set off that capital loss against your […]

    in Personal Tax on March 29, 2017 Comments 0
  • news-coin

    Consider other tax efficient investments

      If you are looking for investment opportunities, have you considered the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS)? These investments in certain qualifying companies allow you to set off 30% of the amount invested against your tax bill as well as capital gains tax (CGT) deferral. An even more generous tax break is available for investment in […]

    in Personal Tax on March 27, 2017 Comments 0
  • news-skype

    Skype Translator

      Skype Translator allows users to talk to people anywhere in the world with real time translation.   Skype has designed the system in order to break down language barriers between friends, family and colleagues.   Recently, Skype has expanded the availability of its real-time translation feature, integrating the tool with calls made to mobile […]

    in News on March 24, 2017 Comments 0
  • news-office-work

    The UK is to get its first Small Business Commissioner

      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 […]

    in News on March 22, 2017 Comments 0
  • news-house

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

      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, […]

    in Business Tax on March 20, 2017 Comments 0
  • news-money-2

    Personal tax and National Insurance changes for 2017-18

      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 […]

    in Personal Tax on March 17, 2017 Comments 0
  • news-iphone

    Making Tax Digital

      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 businesses (including landlords) reporting to HMRC. The present proposals will oblige smaller businesses to upload quarterly data […]

    in Business Tax on March 15, 2017 Comments 0
  • news-scotland

    Scottish income tax rates and thresholds

      The Scottish Government has the devolved power to set certain tax rates, principally income tax and land transaction tax (equivalent to SDLT in England and Wales). Although it proposes to freeze the basic, higher and additional rates at 20%, 40% and 45% respectively, the thresholds will not be the same as the rest of […]

    in Business Tax on March 10, 2017 Comments 0
  • news-house-tax

    Property sales- trading or capital gain?

      In the December edition of this newsletter we flagged up that new anti-avoidance legislation in Finance Act 2016 will tax certain transactions in UK land as trading transactions instead of capital gains.   Just before Christmas, HMRC issued guidance to clarify the scope of the new rules. The legislation as enacted in Finance Act […]

    in Business Tax, Personal Tax on March 8, 2017 Comments 0
  • news-pensions

    Make Pension payments before the 6th of April

      The current annual pension limit remains at £40,000. In addition, unused relief from the previous three tax years may be utilised once the current £40,000 limit has been used. However, the relief from 2013/14 will lapse on 6 April 2017.   If, for example, you have £10,000 unused allowance from 2013/14 you would need […]

    in Personal Tax on March 6, 2017 Comments 0
  • Don’t forget your 2016/2017 ISA allowance

      The current ISA allowance is £15,240, rising to £20,000 for 2017/18. Remember that there is no longer a 50% restriction on the amount that you can invest in a cash ISA; the £15,240 annual limit covers all ISA investments which could be in shares, bonds, cash or certain other investments.  

    in Personal Tax on March 3, 2017 Comments 0
  • news-income-100k

    New government savings scheme starts in April 2017

      From April 2017,adults under the age of 40 will be able to open a Lifetime ISA (LISA) and pay in up to £4,000 each tax year. They will be able to continue making contributions up to the age of 50. The government will add a 25% bonus to these contributions. This means that individuals […]

    in Personal Tax on March 1, 2017 Comments 0
  • news-self-assesment-2

    Shareholders must also be officers or employees

      In order to qualify for CGT entrepreneurs’ relief on the disposal of shares, the shareholder must have been an officer or employee of the trading company or group throughout the twelve months up to the date of disposal. Although there is no minimum number of hours, it is important that there Is evidence that […]

    in Business Tax on February 27, 2017 Comments 0
  • news-work-from-home

    Do you have enough shares to qualify for CGT Entrepreneurs relief

      Entrepreneurs’ Relief reduces the rate of CGT to 10% on the first £10 million of gains on the disposal of qualifying business assets. This would include sole traders disposing of their business and partners disposing of their interest in a partnership carrying on a business. With many businesses operating as limited companies these days […]

    in Business Tax on February 24, 2017 Comments 0
  • news-pension

    Director disqualified for seven years

      Directors have a responsibility to maintain, preserve and deliver 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 […]

    in Business Tax on February 13, 2017 Comments 0
  • news-plant

    Considering investing in plant or equipment?

      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 […]

    in Business Tax on February 10, 2017 Comments 0
  • news-digital-tax

    Making tax digital to be delayed

      The Treasury Select Committee has reviewed the proposals for the introduction of “Making tax digital” (MTD) and have agreed with the various professional bodies that if the new systems are introduced too quickly there could be a disaster. It would significantly increase burdens on small businesses. In their report they comment that the overall […]

    in Business Tax, Personal Tax on February 10, 2017 Comments 0
  • news-storms

    Storm damage

      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 […]

    in Business Tax on February 8, 2017 Comments 0
  • news-tax-returns

    Capital Gains Tax (CGT) planning 2016-17

      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 […]

    in Business Tax on February 6, 2017 Comments 0
  • news-self-assesment

    Three months to go

      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 […]

    in Business Tax, Personal Tax on January 30, 2017 Comments 0
  • news-fuel

    Car fuel advisory rates from 1 December 2016

      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 […]

    in Business Tax on January 23, 2017 Comments 0
  • news-car

    Is your employer still paying for your private fuel?

    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 […]

    in Business Tax on January 16, 2017 Comments 0
  • news-euro

    Proposed changes to UK Domicile Rules

      Where an individual is resident but not domiciled in the UK there are special rules that apply to that person’s overseas income and capital gains. Plus only their UK assets are charged to inheritance tax. The government has been consulting this summer on possible changes to the rules from 6 April 2017.   Currently […]

    in Personal Tax on December 23, 2016 Comments 0
  • news-tax

    Penalties for Careless errors in accounting records

      Where additional tax is payable as the result of an HMRC enquiry and it is shown that the additional tax is due to poor accounting records, the maximum penalty that can be imposed is 30% of the additional tax for failure to take reasonable care. Where the error is deliberate, the penalty will be […]

    in Business Tax on December 21, 2016 Comments 0
  • news-income-tax-cgt

    Income Tax Not CGT on Property Sale

      Finance Act 2016 brought in new rules to ensure that overseas property traders and developers are subject to UK income tax or corporation tax when they dispose of UK properties from 5 July 2016. However the way in which the legislation is drafted may catch some buy-to-let landlords.   The new rules treat UK […]

    in Business Tax on December 16, 2016 Comments 0
  • news-speech-rec

    Speech Recognition Technology

      Speech recognition applications have been around for a long time but until recently haven’t seen a huge uptake by the business community. With high accuracy and professional apps available for mobile devices, is voice recognition a technology that your business could make effective use of today?   Many business users may have already experienced […]

    in Business Tax on December 14, 2016 Comments 0
  • news-grocers

    Deferring taxable gains until future sales

    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 […]

    in Business Tax on December 7, 2016 Comments 0
  • news-calculator

    Limits on certain claims for tax relief Income Tax

      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 […]

    in Personal Tax on December 5, 2016 Comments 0
  • news-tax-returns

    How long do you need to keep tax records?

      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   If you are not in business One year from the 31 […]

    in Business Tax, Personal Tax on December 2, 2016 Comments 0
  • news-business-relief

    When is a hobby a trade?

      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 […]

    in Business Tax, Personal Tax on November 30, 2016 Comments 0
  • news-tax-online#

    Don’t miss out on Tax Relief on R&D

      The government is concerned that many small companies are missing out on generous R&D tax credits. For the last year HMRC have been offering companies an advance assurance scheme to check whether or not their activities qualify before they make a claim. So far over 200 applications for advance assurance have been made.   […]

    in Business Tax on November 28, 2016 Comments 0
  • news-investment

    Have you declared your overseas income and gains?

      Where an individual is resident in the UK, he or she is generally taxable on worldwide income and gains whether or not it is brought back into the UK. Again, there can be significant interest and penalties on top of the unpaid tax if HMRC find out.   HMRC now exchange information involving savings […]

    in Personal Tax on November 25, 2016 Comments 0
  • news-credit-cards

    Have you declared all of your credit card sales?

      Where credit card sales have been omitted from business takings, HMRC are encouraging taxpayers to come forward and make a disclosure of the income that has been omitted to avoid incurring interest and penalties on top of the unpaid tax.   As you may be aware HMRC now receive information from third parties such […]

    in Business Advice, Business Tax on November 23, 2016 Comments 0
  • news-coupels-tax

    Splitting the income of married couples

      Where a married couple hold savings accounts and other investments in joint names, the income from those investments is split 50:50 for tax purposes, unless there is an election to allocate the income in accordance with their beneficial interests. This is particularly important where the couples’ marginal tax rates are different now that there […]

    in Personal Tax on November 21, 2016 Comments 0
  • news-xmas-party

    Christmas is coming! New rules for gifts to staff.

      From 6 April 2016 new rules were introduced to allow employers to provide their directors and employees with certain “trivial” benefits in kind, tax-free.   The new rules are a simplification measure so that certain benefits in kind will not need to be reported to HMRC, as well as being tax free for the […]

    in Business Tax on November 19, 2016 Comments 0
  • news-self-assesment-3

    Quarterly report by employment intermediaries

      Ever since 6 April 2015 employment agencies and other intermediaries have been required to make quarterly reports of payments made directly to workers or via partnerships, LLPs and companies where no tax has been deducted from the payments.   HMRC have recently updated their guidance to intermediaries to make it clear that, where an […]

    in Business Tax on November 9, 2016 Comments 0
  • news-car

    Advisory Fuel Rate for Company Cars

      These are the suggested reimbursement rates for employees’ private mileage using their company car from 1 September 2016. Where there has been a change the previous rate is shown in brackets.     You can continue to use the previous rates for up to 1 month from the date the new rates apply.   […]

    in Business Tax on October 28, 2016 Comments 0
  • news-farmer

    Changes To Farmers Averaging

      From 2016/17 onwards farmers now have the option to smooth out their profits over two or five tax years as the result of a change in Finance Act 2016.   Farmers’ and market gardeners’ profits often fluctuate wildly from one year to the next and the tax rules for many years have allowed them […]

    in Business Tax on October 26, 2016 Comments 0
  • news-reporting-2018

    Reporting to HMRC every Quarter to go ahead in 2018

      The Government and HMRC remain committed to the “Making Tax Digital” project with more information being sent online to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) by employers, pension funds, banks and other institutions.   The next big step will be the introduction of quarterly reporting of income and expenditure by businesses and landlords from 2018. […]

    in Business Tax on October 24, 2016 Comments 0
  • news-football

    Football agent loses tax appeal

      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 […]

    in News on October 19, 2016 Comments 0
  • news-general-tax

    Claiming back pre-registration VAT

      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 […]

    in Business Tax, General Tax on October 14, 2016 Comments 0
  • news-house

    Tax and your home

      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: […]

    in Business Advice, Personal Tax on October 12, 2016 Comments 0
  • news-self-assesment

    Claiming back pre-trading costs

      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 […]

    in Business Advice, Business Tax on October 11, 2016 Comments 0
  • news-house-tax

    PAYING 20% INSTEAD OF 28% ON THE SALE OF PROPERTY

      The latest Finance Act has retained the 28% CGT rate for sales of residential property, whereas the general rate was reduced to 20% for higher rate taxpayers.   It has been suggested that it is possible to reduce the rate from 28% to 20% by deferring the gain temporarily into qualifying EIS company shares. […]

    in General Tax, Personal Tax on October 7, 2016 Comments 0
  • news-last-chance-plan

    New successes for HMRC in the courts

      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 […]

    in Business Tax on September 26, 2016 Comments 0
  • news-euro

    Government to replace EU funding

      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 […]

    in Business Tax on September 19, 2016 Comments 0
  • news-car

    Claiming back VAT on a vehicle purchase

      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 […]

    in Business Tax on September 12, 2016 Comments 0
  • news-parliament

    A new broom

      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 […]

    in General Tax on September 5, 2016 Comments 0
  • news-payroll

    High Income Child Benefit Charge

      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 […]

    in Personal Tax on September 5, 2016 Comments 0
  • news-general-tax

    NIC Employment Allowance (EA)

      For 2016-17, the EA is set at £3,000. This means that if you are eligible, you will not have to pay employers’ Class 1 contributions up to this amount. The following set out some of the less well known facts about this allowance:   The EA can only be used against your employer Class […]

    in Business Tax on August 29, 2016 Comments 0
  • news-dividend

    Seed EIS Relief Denied

      The Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) and the recently introduced Seed EIS provide generous tax breaks for investors who subscribe for shares in qualifying companies provided the correct procedures, and in particular the correct forms, are used to claim tax relief.   Seed EIS provides income tax relief of 50% of the amount invested and […]

    in Business Tax on August 24, 2016 Comments 0
  • news-buy-to-rent

    New Rules for Buy to Let Landlords

      The 2016 Finance Bill sees the introduction of important tax changes for property investors that were originally announced in the 2015 Budget.   From 6 April 2016 onwards there are important tax changes affecting the replacement of furnishings for buy to let landlords. 6 April 2017 will see the start of mortgage interest being […]

    in Business Tax on August 17, 2016 Comments 0
  • news-gavel

    Where there’s a Will…

      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 […]

    in Personal Tax on August 15, 2016 Comments 0
  • news-euro

    Brexit – What are the tax implications?

      One of the main reasons that individuals voted “leave” was to restore fiscal sovereignty to the UK so that we are able to set our own laws, in particular tax law, without interference from Brussels.   Significant tax changes currently require “State Aid” approval and we have seen many recent tax changes forced on […]

    in Business Tax, Personal Tax on August 10, 2016 Comments 0
  • news-buy-to-let

    Buy-to-let landlords action required

      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 […]

    in Business Tax on August 8, 2016 Comments 0
  • news-piggybank

    Transferring ISAs

      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 […]

    in Personal Tax on August 1, 2016 Comments 0
  • news-general-tax

    Should I use the VAT Flat Rate Scheme for My Small Business

      The VAT Flat Rate Scheme is intended to simplify VAT accounting and reporting for small businesses, and some may even find that they pay less VAT than using normal VAT accounting.   To join the scheme your VAT turnover must be £150,000 or less (excluding VAT), and you must apply to HMRC to use […]

    in Business Tax on July 27, 2016 Comments 0
  • news-expenses

    Business expenses you can claim

      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 […]

    in Business Tax on July 25, 2016 Comments 0
  • news-scam

    Bogus emails and now, bogus phone calls

      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 offending taxpayer to settle the bill […]

    in General Tax, News on July 20, 2016 Comments 0
  • news-general-tax

    Sooner or later?

      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, […]

    in Personal Tax on July 18, 2016 Comments 0
  • news-house

    Stamp Duty increase penalises home buyers

      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.   […]

    in General Tax, Personal Tax on June 27, 2016 Comments 0
  • news-general-tax

    What is a CT61?

      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 […]

    in Business Tax on June 20, 2016 Comments 0
  • news-pension-staging

    More on the taxation of dividends?

      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, […]

    in Business Tax on June 13, 2016 Comments 0
  • news-pension

    Expanding your Income Tax bands

      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 […]

    in Personal Tax on June 8, 2016 Comments 0
  • news-dividend

    Lifetime Individual Savings Account (Lifetime ISA)

      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 […]

    in Personal Tax on May 2, 2016 Comments 0
  • news-general-tax

    Capital Gains Tax (CGT) changes

      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 […]

    in Business Tax on April 25, 2016 Comments 0
  • news-income-100k

    Overdrawn loan accounts

      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. […]

    in Business Tax on April 18, 2016 Comments 0
  • news-rental

    Stamp Duty (SDLT) increases buy-to-let

      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 will apply to property purchases in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The additional rates are:   £0 – £125k: 3% £125k – £250K: 5% […]

    in Business Tax on April 11, 2016 Comments 0
  • news-landlord

    Right to rent

    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 Business Tax on February 29, 2016 Comments 0
  • news-nat-wqage

    National Living Wage (NLW)

      From April 2016, all workers aged 25 or over must be paid the new NLW of £7.20 per hour.   This compares with the current National Minimum Wage (NMW) for this age group of £6.70 per hour.   Workers aged less than 25 years must continue to be paid the NMW. The current rates […]

    in Business Tax on February 22, 2016 Comments 0
  • news-tax-returns

    Capital Gains Tax (CGT) planning

      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 […]

    in Business Tax on February 15, 2016 Comments 0
  • news-tax-deadline

    Tax payments due 31 January 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 […]

    in Personal Tax on February 8, 2016 Comments 0
  • news-work-from-home

    Other changes proposed

      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 […]

    in General Tax on February 1, 2016 Comments 0
  • news-car

    Car fuel advisory rates changes

      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 […]

    in Business Tax on January 25, 2016 Comments 0
  • news-house

    Stamp Duty increase for second home buyers

      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 […]

    in Personal Tax on January 18, 2016 Comments 0
  • news-budget-2015

    Quarterly accounts filing?

      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 […]

    in Business Tax on January 11, 2016 Comments 0
  • news-piggybank

    Help to buy ISAs are available from 1 December 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 […]

    in General Tax, Personal Tax on January 4, 2016 Comments 0
  • news-car

    Repaying employers for private fuel

      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 […]

    in Business Tax on December 28, 2015 Comments 0
  • news-self-assesment-3

    A 30th December 2015 filing deadline

      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 […]

    in Personal Tax on December 21, 2015 Comments 0
  • news-apartment

    Landlords despair

      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 […]

    in Business Tax on December 14, 2015 Comments 0
  • news-investment

    Business rates

      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 […]

    in Business Tax on November 30, 2015 Comments 0
  • news-car

    The VW emissions fiasco

      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 […]

    in Employment Tax on November 23, 2015 Comments 0
  • news-general-tax

    Less is more

      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 […]

    in Business Tax on November 16, 2015 Comments 0
  • news-self-assesment

    End of the tax cycle

      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 […]

    in Personal Tax on November 9, 2015 Comments 0
  • news-euro

    Emerging markets in the EU?

      f 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 […]

    in Business Tax on October 26, 2015 Comments 0
  • news-car

    Advisory fuel rates from 1 September 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 […]

    in Business Tax on October 19, 2015 Comments 0
  • news-tax-returns

    Personal Savings Allowance (PSA)

      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 […]

    in Personal Tax on October 12, 2015 Comments 0
  • news-dividend

    Salary v dividends conundrum

      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 […]

    in Business Tax, News on October 5, 2015 Comments 0
  • news-villa

    Do you own property in the EU?

      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 […]

    in Business Tax, Personal Tax on September 28, 2015 Comments 0
  • news-grocers

    Sunday trading review

      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 […]

    in Business Tax on September 21, 2015 Comments 0
  • news-car

    Vehicle Excise Duty changes from April 2017

      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 […]

    in Business Tax on September 14, 2015 Comments 0
  • news-money-2

    More on the dividend tax

      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 […]

    in Business Tax on September 7, 2015 Comments 0
  • news-avoidance

    Small business changes

      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 […]

    in Business Tax on September 2, 2015 Comments 0
  • news-pensions

    Tapered pensions annual allowance

      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 […]

    in Personal Tax on August 31, 2015 Comments 0
  • Image created by Louis Hall (http://www.freeimages.com/profile/lute1)

    Home owners and IHT

      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 […]

    in Personal Tax on August 28, 2015 Comments 0
  • news-apartment

    Landlords

      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 […]

    in Business Tax on August 26, 2015 Comments 0
  • news-budget-2015

    Summer Budget 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 […]

    in General Tax on August 3, 2015 Comments 0
  • news-business-start-up

    Business start-ups

      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 […]

    in Business Tax on July 27, 2015 Comments 0
  • news-tax

    Under and over payments of tax 2014-15

      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 […]

    in Personal Tax on July 13, 2015 Comments 0
  • news-budget-2015

    Summer Budget Statement 8 July 2015

      George Osborne has presented his first Budget without regard for coalition partners. The measures he has introduced recognise the need to incentivise individuals and businesses, with the promise to balance the nation’s books and reduce debt. We have summarised below some of the more impactful changes.   Some of the measures are surprising: the […]

    in Business Tax, General Tax, Personal Tax on July 9, 2015 Comments 0
  • news-scotland

    Scottish Rate of Income Tax

      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.   […]

    in General Tax, Personal Tax on July 6, 2015 Comments 0
  • news-gavel

    Attempts to defraud a liquidator punished by courts

      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 […]

    in General Tax on June 29, 2015 Comments 0
  • news-investment

    The missing clauses

      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 […]

    in Business Tax on June 22, 2015 Comments 0
  • news-money-2

    Reclaiming VAT input tax prior to registration

      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 […]

    in Business Tax on June 15, 2015 Comments 0
  • news-pension-staging

    What is your business staging date?

      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 […]

    in Business Tax, Employment Tax on June 8, 2015 Comments 0
  • news-gavel

    HMRC scores hat-trick

      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 […]

    in Business Tax, General Tax on June 1, 2015 Comments 0
  • news-car

    Reclaim VAT from mileage payments

      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 […]

    in Employment Tax on May 25, 2015 Comments 0
  • news-tax-returns

    Business and corporate tax changes from 1 April 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, […]

    in Business Tax on May 18, 2015 Comments 0
  • news-money-2

    Personal tax changes from 6 April 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 […]

    in Personal Tax on May 11, 2015 Comments 0
  • news-pensions

    Pension’s flexibility a word of caution

      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 […]

    in News on May 4, 2015 Comments 0
  • news-nat-wqage

    Significant increase in NMW from October 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 […]

    in Business Tax on April 27, 2015 Comments 0
  • news-saving-boot

    Savings boost

      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 […]

    in Personal Tax on April 20, 2015 Comments 0
  • news-tax-online#

    Goodbye tax returns, hello digital accounts

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

    in Personal Tax on April 13, 2015 Comments 0
  • news-business-relief

    Domestic employment arrangements

      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 […]

    in Employment Tax on March 30, 2015 Comments 0
  • news-inheritence

    When was the last time you reviewed your Will?

      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, […]

    in General Tax, Personal Tax on March 23, 2015 Comments 0
  • news-last-chance-plan

    Last chance to plan for 2014-15

      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 is the 31 March 2015 these opportunities included:   The timing of capital purchases: equipment, vehicles and so on. The […]

    in Business Tax on March 16, 2015 Comments 0
  • news-avoidance

    What is tax avoidance?

      None of the comments that follow should stop you considering strategies that minimise your tax position based on current law and best practice. One thing that HMRC has failed to mention in its published comments, highlighted below, is the number of taxpayers in the UK who pay too much tax because they failed to […]

    in Personal Tax on March 10, 2015 Comments 0
  • news-work-from-home

    Home based businesses and business rates

      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 […]

    in Business Tax on March 2, 2015 Comments 0
  • news-snuggl

    Snugglebundl wins appeal

      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%. […]

    in Business Tax on February 23, 2015 Comments 0
  • news-excuses

    What is a reasonable excuse for late filing?

      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 […]

    in Personal Tax on February 16, 2015 Comments 0
  • news-missed-tax

    Self Assessment late filing penalties

      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 […]

    in Personal Tax on February 11, 2015 Comments 0
  • news-pension-advice

    Topping up your State Pension

      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 […]

    in Employment Tax, General Tax, News on January 26, 2015 Comments 0
  • news-tax-deadline

    Planning your business year end

      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 exercise with your professional advisor before the end of the tax year. This should […]

    in Business Tax on January 19, 2015 Comments 0
  • news-income-100k

    Is your income approaching £100,000?

      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 […]

    in Personal Tax on January 14, 2015 Comments 0
  • news-self-assesment-3

    Work out your tax position sooner rather than later

      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 […]

    in Personal Tax on January 12, 2015 Comments 0
  • news-xmas-overtime

    Overtime and holiday pay

      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 […]

    in Employment Tax on December 29, 2014 Comments 0
  • news-tax-returns

    Personal tax summaries

      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:   Personal tax summaries show you how your tax is calculated and what it is spent on Personal tax summaries show you […]

    in Personal Tax on December 22, 2014 Comments 0
  • news-self-assesment-2

    Paying tax arrears by instalments

      At present, if you file your Self Assessment tax return before a certain date, you can elect to have any arrears paid off by making an adjustment to your tax code in the following tax year.   In order to qualify for this option you must have your return filed by 30 December.   […]

    in Personal Tax on December 15, 2014 Comments 0
  • news-self-assesment

    Don’t file a paper tax return

      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 […]

    in Business Tax, Personal Tax on December 8, 2014 Comments 0
  • news-pension

    Workplace pensions overhaul

      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 […]

    in General Tax on December 1, 2014 Comments 0
  • news-xmas-party

    Planning the Christmas celebrations

      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 […]

    in Business Tax on November 27, 2014 Comments 0
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    National Minimum Wage (NMW)

      A reminder to business readers that the NMW rates increased from 1 October 2014; the new rates are:   21 and over £6.50 per hour 18 to 20 £5.13 per hour Under 18 £3.79 Apprentice rate £2.73   Don’t forget that HMRC oversees compliance with the NMW regulations. The types of workers who are […]

    in Payroll on November 24, 2014 Comments 0
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    Rent-a-room relief

      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.   […]

    in Personal Tax on November 20, 2014 Comments 0
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    Autumn statement 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 […]

    in General Tax on October 27, 2014 Comments 0
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    Business rates relief

      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 […]

    in Business Tax on October 20, 2014 Comments 0
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    Wear & Tear Allowance (WTA)

      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 […]

    in Personal Tax on October 13, 2014 Comments 0
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    HMRC delays RTI penalties

      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 […]

    in Employment Tax on October 7, 2014 Comments 0
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    Treat you as honest

      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 […]

    in Business Tax on September 29, 2014 Comments 0
  • Image created by Louis Hall (http://www.freeimages.com/profile/lute1)

    New support for home based businesses

      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 […]

    in Business Tax on September 18, 2014 Comments 0
  • Photo by Bev Lloyd-Roberts (http://www.freeimages.com/profile/beverlylr)

    On Your Bike

    On your bike 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 […]

    in Employment Tax on September 11, 2014 Comments 0
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    Smash and Grab

    Smash & Grab 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 […]

    in Personal Tax on September 8, 2014 Comments 0
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    Penalty for just one day

    Penalty for just one day 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 […]

    in Business Tax, Personal Tax on July 29, 2014 Comments 0
  • news-car

    Business use of employees’ cars

    Business use of employees’ cars 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 […]

    in Employment Tax on July 29, 2014 Comments 0
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    Discontinuance of trade and the Annual Investment Allowance (AIA)

    Discontinuance of trade and the Annual Investment Allowance (AIA) 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 […]

    in Business Tax on July 29, 2014 Comments 0
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    Replacement of “white goods” and similar items in unfurnished, let property

    Replacement of “white goods” and similar items in unfurnished, let property 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, […]

    in Business Tax on July 29, 2014 Comments 0
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    Catch our new video

    Catch our new video

    in News on December 7, 2013 Comments 0
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    New Website Launched

    New Website Launched Ascentis LLP is pleased to announce the re-launch of our website. Incorporating the latest in new media technologies we feel the site reflects the level of service our clients can expect to receive from us & if that wasn't enough, we strongly urge you to check the site out on your mobile [...]

    in News on December 7, 2013 Comments 0