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 introduction of a new National Living Wage for the over 25s of £7.20 per hour

  From April 2016, the Scottish Parliament has devolved powers to set the Scottish Rate of Income Tax (SRIT). Within the last few weeks it has been widely publicised that this may mean a higher rate of Income Tax in Scotland as compared to the Income Tax rates in other parts of the UK.   HMRC have also issued a technical statement that clarifies who will be subject to SRIT.

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

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Apr 2015

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 monthly savings of up to £200.   The Government will top up these savings by

  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, banks and building societies, and automatically post data regarding salaries, benefits, pensions and investment income

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

  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 claim allowances and reliefs available. Planning is critical especially if your tax affairs are complex.

  You may feel aggrieved that you were unable to file your return on time for a perfectly valid reason. If you want to appeal against any penalties charged there is a formal appeals procedure you should follow. In order to convince HMRC to withdraw their penalty notice you will have to convince them that you had a reasonable excuse.   The following examples, of what constitutes a reasonable excuse,

  The deadline for submitting your Self Assessment tax return for 2013-14 has passed. The online filing date, after which penalties apply, was midnight, 31 January 2015.   Penalties for individuals:   If you failed to make the filing deadline a range of penalties becomes payable, or potentially payable, how much will depend on how quickly you bring your affairs up-to-date.   Penalties are progressive: they apply from 1 day,

  If you estimate that your taxable income for 2014-15 will marginally exceed £100,000, perhaps for the first time, you should consider your options.   If your income does exceed £100,000 then for every £2 that your income exceeds this amount your personal tax allowance will be reduced by £1.   As the basic personal allowance is £10,000 for 2014-15 this means that when your income is £120,000 or greater,