HMRC clarify pre-registration of VAT policy

2nd December 2016

HMRC have recently published Brief 16 (2016), entitled Treatment of VAT incurred on assets that are used by the business prior to VAT registration. Broadly, the brief aims to clarify when, and to what extent, VAT is deductible and what to do if the correct treatment has not been applied.

Employment Allowance consultation launched

2nd December 2016

HMRC have launched a technical consultation on proposals to restrict the Employment Allowance (EA) from employers of 'illegal workers'. The consultation is open for comments until 3 January 2017.

Voluntary living wage increase takes effect

2nd December 2016

The official living wage rate has increased by 20p per hour to £8.45 an hour (£9.75 in London), which is higher than the UK-wide official National Living Wage for those over 25, currently set at £7.20, while those under 25 must be paid the national minimum wage (NMW).

Caps on income tax relief

2nd December 2016

In general terms, providing a business is undertaken on a commercial basis with a view to making a profit, tax relief should be available for trading losses incurred. It is usually possible to offset the loss against other taxable income from the same year, or the previous year. 

December tax questions and answers

2nd December 2016

December tax questions and answers

Restriction of tax relief on finance costs for individual landlords

31st October 2016

New provisions will take affect from April 2017, which will see tax relief for finance costs on residential properties being gradually restricted over a period of three years, until, by 2020/21, all financing costs incurred by a landlord will be restricted to the basic rate of income tax.

NMW increases take effect

31st October 2016

New rates for the National Minimum Wage (NMW) took effect from 1 October 2016, and employers must ensure that they implement them accordingly. 

Help-to-Save

31st October 2016

The Savings (Government Contributions) Bill is currently making its way through Parliament, having had its second reading in the House of Commons on 17 October 2016.

Self-assessment and disclosure

31st October 2016

Finance Act 2016, which became law on 15 September 2016, contains provisions designed to help clarify the time allowed for making a self-assessment.   

November tax questions and answers

31st October 2016

November's tax question and answers.

Finance Bill 2016 receives Royal Assent

27th September 2016

The Finance Bill 2016 finally received Royal Assent on 15 September, enacting proposals announced in the 2016 Budget, Autumn Statement 2015 and Summer Budget 2015.

Termination Payments Consultation

27th September 2016

Following a recent consultation, the Office for Tax Simplification (OTS) is currently consulting on proposed changes to the tax and National Insurance Contributions (NICs) treatment of termination payments.

HMRC launch online disclosure service for agents

27th September 2016

Where a client has failed to report all their income and gains, tax advisers and agents are now able to make a disclosure to HMRC using a new online service.

Lifetime ISA guidance updated

27th September 2016

HM Treasury has updated its factsheet on the new Lifetime Individual Savings Account (ISA), which are expected to launch in April 2017.

October Questions and Answers

27th September 2016

Q. I have recently started a new job and, for the first time in my career, I have been provided with a company car. I have to pay for fuel for private use but my employer says I can claim mileage for business journeys. Will I have to pay tax on fuel payments? 

Dividend Allowance

30th August 2016

Legislation included in Finance Bill 2016 implements the new 0% rate for dividend income, as well as changing the rates of tax for dividend income. 

CIOT examines new corporate offence proposals

30th August 2016

The CIOT has recently expressed its concerns that the new corporate offence of failure to prevent the criminal facilitation of tax evasion may lead to a string of prosecutions.

FB 2016 amendment on OTS appointments proposed

30th August 2016

The chairman of the Treasury Select Committee recently wrote to the Chancellor of the Exchequer to inform him that the Committee disagrees with his predecessor’s decision

EU consultation on ending VAT on eBooks

30th August 2016

The future of the chargeable rate of VAT on digital publications and eBooks is under review as the European Commission (EC) has launched a two-month consultation with a view to abolishing the current full rate VAT.  

September Questions and Answers

30th August 2016

Q. I have recently changed jobs and need to use my car to make business journeys. Will I have to pay tax on the mileage expenses my employer reimburses me for these trips? 

HMRC Annual Report Published

3rd August 2016

The National Audit Office has published a report on the 2015-16 accounts of HMRC

Spotlight on Tax Avoidance Schemes

3rd August 2016

HMRC have published Spotlight 31: change of date for withdrawal of transitional relief on investment growth

HMRC Focus on Contractor Loan Schemes

3rd August 2016

HMRC have recently published new guidance on 'contractor loan schemes'

Casual Employees

3rd August 2016

Some employers will be considering taking on extra staff on a 'casual' basis to cover the summer period

August Questions and Answers

3rd August 2016

Take a look at the Questions and Answers for August

July 2016 Questions and Answers

1st July 2016

July 2016 Questions and Answers

FRS 102 guidance on directors' loans revised

1st July 2016

HMRC have recently updated their online toolkit on directors' loan accounts to help tax advisers and agents preparing 2015/16 company tax returns.

Help-to-save consultation launched

1st July 2016

HMRC have launched a consultation on the government's proposed 'Help-to-Save' scheme, which is designed to encourage people on low incomes to build up their savings.

HMRC guidance on senior accounting officers

1st July 2016

HMRC have published Brief 12(2016), which contains information on changes to their senior accounting officer guidance (SAOG).

Trivial benefits

1st July 2016

Employers will be aware that various changes have been made to the reporting requirements for employee benefits and expenses from April 2016, which mean that some employers will no longer have to complete annual return forms P11D.

New PSC register requirements take effect

1st June 2016

From 6 April 2016, all unlisted UK companies, limited liability partnerships (LLPs), or societas europaea (SEs) are required to maintain a register of the people who have significant control over them. 

OTS examines potential for new trading vehicle

1st June 2016

The Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) recently published a series of recommendations following its simplification review of small company taxation.

HMRC go live with Verify identity authentication

1st June 2016

Gov.uk Verify, the online service taxpayers will need to use to prove their identity before accessing HMRC's digital services and other government online services, is now live. 

Free pension advisory services to be merged

1st June 2016

Pension Wise, the free advice service set up to promote and advise on pensions reform and annuity freedoms, is to be merged with other publically funded advice services on pensions, to create a single website and advisory service.

June Questions and Answers

1st June 2016

June Questions and Answers

Finance Bill 2016 - The Highs

6th May 2016

The 2016 finance bill was one of the more interesting bills in recent times, in this post we look at the highs of it

2016 Finance Bill - The Lows

6th May 2016

The 2016 finance bill was one of the most interesting bills in recent times, in this post we look at the lows of it  

New credit card payment fees take effect

28th April 2016

Clients may be interested to know that HMRC have introduced a new schedule of fees, which apply from 1 April 2016, and replace the former 1.5% fee. 

HMRC on house due diligence

28th April 2016

HMRC have published a consultation document covering proposals to introduce a fulfilment house due diligence scheme.

New student loan plans take effect

28th April 2016

Repayment of student loans is a shared responsibility between the Student Loans Company (SLC) and HMRC. 

Companies to be liable for employees who facilitate tax cheating

28th April 2016

Plans to introduce a criminal offence for corporations who fail to stop their staff facilitating tax evasion.

May Questions and Answers

28th April 2016

May Tax Question and Answers

April Questions and Answers

31st March 2016

April 2016 tax question and answers.

OTS recommends simplifications for small companies

31st March 2016

The Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) has unveiled a package of recommendations aimed at making the tax system simpler and easier

Close alignment of income tax and NICS

31st March 2016

The Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) has published its recommendations on closer alignment of income tax and national insurance contributions. 

National minimum wage increases announced

31st March 2016

Following recommendations made by the Low Pay commission, the government has announced increases in the national minimum wage (NMW), which will take effect from October 2016.

Guidance on SDLT Budget reforms

31st March 2016

Following announcements made in the 2016 Budget on 16 March, HMRC have published further guidance on the changes that are being made to stamp duty land tax (SDLT)

Practical Implications of the dividend tax allowance

29th February 2016

The new rules governing the taxation of dividends are set to take effect in relation to dividends received after 5 April 2016. 

Personal Savings Allowance Update

29th February 2016

From 6 April 2016, the personal savings allowance (PSA) will allow basic rate taxpayers to receive up to £1,000 of savings income tax-free. 

Landlords' Replacement Wear and Tear Allowance

29th February 2016

Capital allowances are not available for expenditure on furniture and furnishings for use in dwelling houses. 

Employee Bonus Schemes In the Spotlight

29th February 2016

HMRC have recently published the latest addition to their tax avoidance guidance series, entitled Employee Bonus Scheme

March Questions and Answers

29th February 2016

March 2016 tax question and answers.

Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) on additional properties

29th January 2016

Proposals to bring in higher rates of stamp duty land tax (SDLT) on purchases of additional residential properties are expected to be finalised in time for the forthcoming Spring Budget on 16 March 2016.

HMRC prepare for National Living Wage (NLW)

29th January 2016

The government has recently launched its campaign to promote the introduction of the new national living wage (NLW), which will take effect from 1 April 2016. 

Simplification of VAT MOSS for small businesses

29th January 2016

HMRC Brief 4/2016 entitled VAT MOSS - simplifications for businesses trading below the VAT registration threshold, outlines simplifications available to businesses trading below the UK's VAT registration threshold (currently £82,000) that make supplies of digital services (telecommunications, broadcasting or electronically supplied services) to consumers in other EU member states. 

Could EA exemption be avoided?

29th January 2016

The Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) has recently warned that Government plans to exclude one-person businesses from claiming the national insurance Employment Allowance (EA) from April 2016 will be too easy to dodge.

February Questions and Answers

29th January 2016

February 2016 tax question and answers.

Self Assessment Tax Returns - Ways to pay

7th January 2016

Looking for advice on ways to pay your self assessment tax returns? For more information read this article

Making Tax Digital: Launch of PTAs

4th January 2016

As part of a £1.3bn investment to transform HMRC into one of the most digitally advanced tax administrations in the world, HMRC have published a report and discussion paper setting out how new procedures for interacting with HMRC and paying tax will be implemented under the Making Tax Digital banner.

VAT Partial Exemption Changes Following Le Credit Lyonnais

4th January 2016

In Brief 22/15 HMRC confirm changes to the VAT Regulations 1995 to ensure that UK law is aligned with EU law following the decision of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in the case Le Credit Lyonnais (C-388/11). The changes take effect from 1 January 2016. 

2016 Fuel and Van Benefit Rates Set

4th January 2016

The Van Benefit and Car and Van Fuel Benefit Order 2015 (SI 2015/1979) comes into force on 31 December 2015 and takes effect for the tax year 2016-17 and subsequent tax years. 

Introducing Innovative Finance ISAs

4th January 2016

From 6 April 2016, a new type of Individual Savings Account (ISA) will be launched - the Innovative Finance ISA. 

January Questions and Answers

4th January 2016

January Question and Answers.

Dividend Allowance - Autumn Statement

16th December 2015

Further details have been provided of the new rates of income tax on dividends and the new dividend allowance which will apply to dividends received on or after 6 April 2016. 

Personal Savings Allowance - Autumn Statement

16th December 2015

We now have details of how the PSA will work and its interaction, if any, with the 0% starting rate.

Employment Taxes - Autumn Statement

16th December 2015

HMRC had gone quiet on whether an exemption would be introduced to remove trivial benefits in kind from taxation and NIC.

Replacement of wear and tear allowance - Autumn Statement

16th December 2015

This measure will give relief for the cost of replacing furnishings to a wider range of property businesses

December Questions & Answers

4th December 2015

Can I claim for the time I spend repairing my rental property? I own three rental properties and spend a considerable amount of time each year undertaking various necessary repairs. Can I pay myself say, an hourly rate, for the time I spend on the properties and claim a corresponding deduction in my accounts? 

HMRC Win 'Rangers' Tax Case

4th December 2015

This case concerned a scheme involving payments to various trusts set up in respect of executives and footballers employed by the former Rangers Football Club. 

Dividend Allowance

4th December 2015

The government announced at the summer 2015 Budget, that a new dividend allowance of £5,000 will be introduced from 6 April 2016.

Company Cars - April 2016 Increases

4th December 2015

The financial benefits of driving a company car have continued to erode over recent years, but this benefit remains one of the most popular and potent perks of a job

HMRC Continue With Modernisation Plans

4th December 2015

The recent formal announcement that HMRC will be replacing local offices with thirteen large regional centres.

Follower Notices and Accelerated Payment Notices

3rd November 2015

When a court or the tribunal issue a ruling that potentially resolves a large number of cases, many 'followers' (i.e. taxpayers with similar circumstances) agree to settle their affairs with HMRC, but some do not. 

Update on Intermediaries Review

3rd November 2015

The government estimates that around £420m a year is lost in tax and NICs by taxpayers ignoring or manipulating the intermediaries' legislation (IR35).

HMRC business records checks scrapped

3rd November 2015

HMRC have announced that they have scrapped their compliance procedure known as 'business record checks' (BRCs) with immediate effect.

Flat rate homeworking expenses

3rd November 2015

Many small businesses can choose to be taxed on the basis of the cash that passes through their books, rather than being asked to spend their time doing calculations designed for big businesses.

November Questions & Answers

3rd November 2015

I have recently registered for VAT. I understand that I can use a flat rate for working out the VAT payable to HMRC, but I am not sure how the scheme works and how to register for it. 

Changes to NICs for the Self-employed

6th October 2015

From 2015-16 onwards, the collection of Class 2 contributions will be through the self-assessment system.

Spotlight on Contractor Loan Schemes

6th October 2015

According to recent guidance published by HMRC, contractors and freelancers have been bombarded by promoters who make claims that they can help individuals take home up to 90% of their income using a contractor loan schemehttp://www.westwaters.co.uk/contact-us.html

Tax Credit Changes Approved

6th October 2015

The government has recently confirmed that the draft Tax Credits (Income Thresholds and Determination of Rates) (Amendment) Regulations 2015,

IHT on Main Residence Nil-rate Band and Downsizing Proposals

6th October 2015

HMRC have published a technical note covering the proposals, announced in the Summer Budget 2015, to phase in a new residence nil-rate band (RNRB) from 6 April 2017 when a residence is passed on death to a direct descendant.

October Questions and Answers

6th October 2015

Q. I am a VAT-registered sole trader, owning a cycle shop in my local town. I am thinking of opening a second shop in another town and am wondering how I will deal with this for self-assessment and VAT. 

Private Residence Relief

8th September 2015

If a client sells off part of their home’s garden for development, is any gain exempt from capital gains tax? 

Tax-efficient savings for children

1st September 2015

There are a number of ways to save or invest for children - some accounts are tax-efficient but rigid, others are often flexible but liable to tax. 

The future for intermediaries

1st September 2015

The Summer Budget 2015 contained an announcement that the government is to consult on proposals to improve the effectiveness of the existing intermediaries legislation, commonly known as IR35. 

When tips are taxable

1st September 2015

Confusion often arises regarding tips and gratuities as the tax and NIC treatment depends on how they are paid to the recipient.

Paying inheritance tax

1st September 2015

Various rules exist for determining the time for payment of inheritance tax (IHT). 

September Question & Answer's

1st September 2015

September Question & Answer's

Tax-free Childcare

30th July 2015

Tax-free childcare is part of the government's long-term plan to support working families and will provide up to 1.8m families across the UK with up to £2,000 of childcare support per year, per child, via a new online system. 

Rent a Room

30th July 2015

In the Summer Budget 2015, the government announced that the level of rent-a-room relief will be increased from the current level of £4,250 to £7,500 from April 2016. 

Help to Buy ISAs

30th July 2015

The new help-to-buy ISA, which is expected to be available from Autumn 2015, will enable first-time buyers to save up to £200 a month towards their first home. 

Employment Allowance

30th July 2015

The Summer Budget 2015 contained two announcements affecting the employment allowance (EA).

August Questions and Answers

30th July 2015

August Tax Questions and Answers

Annual Investment Allowance Set To Increase

20th July 2015

The Chancellor announced in the Summer Budget 2015 that the annual investment allowance (AIA) will be increased from £25,000 to £200,000 from January 2016 onwards.

Director shareholders hit hard in Summer Budget

9th July 2015

Announcements in the Summer Budget impact heavily on director shareholders particularly in one-man companies. What are these painful changes?

Tax Reconciliation

1st July 2015

HMRC has started the tax reconciliation process for the majority of taxpayers who are taxed under PAYE. 

RTI penalties

1st July 2015

Employers are supposed to be warned in advance that a penalty for a late PAYE report is due. 

Reasonable Excuse

1st July 2015

If you have received a penalty for late filing of your personal tax return it is possible to get it cancelled if certain conditions are met.

VAT on Pre-trading Expenses

1st July 2015

When you register your business for VAT you can reclaim the VAT charge on goods you acquired within the previous four years, and on services provided to your business within the last six months. 

July Question and Answer's

1st July 2015

July Question and Answer's

Chris Tindle Joins As Associate

17th June 2015

We are delighted to announce the exciting arrival of Chris Tindle as Associate.

Make the Best of Allowances

1st June 2015

As the sole owner/director of your company you face a dilemma over how to extract income from that company. 

Non-resident Capital Gains Tax

1st June 2015

If you are involved with sales of UK residential property where the buyer or seller is tax-resident outside of the UK, you need to be aware of a new tax that came into effect on 6 April 2015: non-resident CGT (NR CGT). 

EIS Assurance

1st June 2015

The Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) provides some very attractive tax incentives for investors who subscribe for shares in small companies.

Staff Clothes

1st June 2015

If you provide clothes for your staff to wear at work you need to be aware of the tax and VAT implications which may vary according to the items provided.

June Question and Answer's

1st June 2015

June Question and Answer's

Forms P11D and P9D

1st May 2015

The forms P11D and P9D need to be submitted to HMRC by 6 July 2015 where expenses or benefits were provided to your employees in 2014/15, which are not covered by a dispensation, or are not otherwise exempt from tax.

Cancelling VAT or VAT-MOSS Registration

1st May 2015

If you registered for UK VAT in order to operate VAT-MOSS for your overseas sales of digital services to non-business customers, you may now find that the administration for such sales is just not worth the hassle.

ATED Reporting

1st May 2015

The annual tax on enveloped dwellings (ATED) now applies to residential properties worth over £1m that are owned by a company, or a partnership with one or more corporate members, or in some cases a unit trust. 

Auto-enrolment Exemptions

1st May 2015

Have you received a letter from The Pension Regulator (TPR) telling you to "ACT NOW" to prepare for auto-enrolment? The letter gives you just a few weeks to nominate a contact to receive communications about auto-enrolment, with the threat of fines or prosecution if you don't take action. 

May Question and Answer's

1st May 2015

May Question and Answer's

Salary, dividend or pension contribution?

2nd March 2015

When you work for your own company you can decide how much salary to pay yourself, how much to pay into your pension fund, and what proportion of the remaining profits to take as a dividend. 

RTI penalties

2nd March 2015

Last month we warned you about the penalties coming into effect for late filed RTI reports.

Child benefit claw-back

2nd March 2015

If you or your spouse/partner claim child benefit, and at least one of you has adjusted net income of £50,000 or more for the year, the highest earner must declare the benefit on their tax return in order to pay back part or all of the child benefit as a tax charge. 

Company cars

2nd March 2015

Does your company still own or lease the car you use for private journeys? 

March Questions and Answers

2nd March 2015

Tax questions and answers for March.

VAT Benchmarking

3rd February 2015

HMRC are currently writing to around 7,500 furniture retailers and car repair businesses asking the owners to check the figures reported on their VAT returns.

Supporting the Sick

3rd February 2015

It is such a pain when a key employee is off sick. You are required to pay that person statutory sick pay (SSP) once he or she has been absent from work for four days.

RTI Reports and Penalties

3rd February 2015

Real time information (RTI) was supposed to make the reporting of PAYE easier for employers, but it has introduced more filing deadlines, and new penalties for missing those deadlines.

Holiday Pay

3rd February 2015

There has been some panic whipped up in the media about employers having to pay vast amounts of back-dated holiday pay to employees who regularly get paid for overtime.

February Questions and Answers

3rd February 2015

February tax questions and answers.

VAT Moss new guidance

5th January 2015

On 1 January 2015 the VAT law changed for electronic services that are supplied digitally to non-business customers.

Incorporation of a business

5th January 2015

When a business incorporates and transfers its trade and assets to a company controlled by the seller, the assets must be transferred at open market value for tax purposes. 

Shared parental leave and pay

5th January 2015

Where a child is due to be born (or adopted) on or after 5 April 2015, its parents will be entitled to share the 52 weeks of maternity leave and 39 weeks of maternity pay or maternity allowance which is currently available only to the mother.

Solicitors disclosure

5th January 2015

As a qualified solicitor you need to be very careful not to make mistakes on your tax returns, as a tax investigation could do serious harm to your professional reputation. 

January Questions and Answers

5th January 2015

January Questions and Answers

2014 Autumn Statement - Update

12th December 2014

We recently sent you our Autumn Statement summary. Draft legislation has now been published and we are enclosing further information with more detail on specific areas which we thought you might find helpful in answering any queries your clients may have.

Patent box tax break cut short

12th December 2014

The patent box scheme offers a 10% tax rate for companies which innovate. However it’s soon to be closed. How long do you have to take advantage?

Is incorrect attribution of VAT costing you money

12th December 2014

Your company makes both VATable and exempt sales, which means it can’t recover the VAT it pays on some purchases. Working this out involves several steps. How can you ensure you maximise the VAT reclaimable?

Cash Basis

3rd December 2014

From 6 April 2013 you can use two "simplifications" to make accounting easier for your unincorporated businesses: the cash basis and fixed rate deductions. 

R&D Enhanced Deductions

3rd December 2014

Companies (not unincorporated businesses), can claim enhanced deductions for qualifying costs they incur on research and development (R&D) projects.

Let Property - Repairs or Improvements

3rd December 2014

If you let out residential property you need to know whether you can receive a tax deduction for the cost of replacing or repairing furniture and fittings provided inside that property. 

Let Property - Furniture and Fittings

3rd December 2014

When your property is fully furnished you can claim a wear and tear allowance (10% of the net rents), each year to cover the cost of replacing furniture and furnishings such as carpets and curtains. 

December Questions and Answers

3rd December 2014

Tax questions and answers for December.

Dealing (tax efficiently) with a failing investment

1st December 2014

A few years ago you set up a company to invest in other businesses. One of them has struggled and you’re undecided whether or not to pull the plug on your investment. If you go ahead what’s the most tax-efficient way to do it?

The pros and cons of charging VAT on buildings

1st December 2014

You’re buying new premises for your business. VAT is payable on the price, but you’ll only have to fund this until you reclaim it on your next VAT return. However, why do you need to think beyond this?    

First tax summaries hit the doorstep

1st December 2014

24 million people will receive tax summaries over the next few weeks. They are not demands but a simple statement of your income, tax and NI for 2013/14. You can find out more about them on the GOV.UK website.

Avoiding a VAT trap on employee salaries

25th November 2014

Usually, VAT isn’t part of the equation on staff salaries. However, where they work for more than one of your businesses and costs are shared, VAT can come into play. What steps are needed to prevent this?

Give away business assets IHT free

25th November 2014

If you give away business assets to your family, tricky inheritance tax rules could land your estate with an unexpected bill from HMRC. What steps can you take to avoid this happening?  

Reclaim VAT on the costs of supplying foreign customers

25th November 2014

Where you don’t charge VAT to your customers you can’t usually reclaim any you incur in respect of the costs of making the supply. What are the exceptions to this rule when selling services to foreign customers?

Accelerate tax deductions for equipment

25th November 2014

Currently, businesses can claim tax deductions in the year of purchase for the full cost of equipment up to £500,000. However, this figure drops to £25,000 after the end of 2015. But there are still opportunities to accelerate tax relief; what are they?    

Maximise capital allowances on fitting costs

25th November 2014

Tax rules allow businesses to claim capital allowances on the cost of equipment. You can also claim tax deductions for installation costs, but how far can you stretch this rule?

Simplifying partial exemption

25th November 2014

For years there was only one, potentially fiddly, method to work out the amount of VAT reclaimable where partial exemption applies. However, two alternative tests could make your life easier. How do they work?

Tax relief for rent-free periods

25th November 2014

You’ve signed a new lease on your premises and negotiated a rent-free period with your landlord. How will this affect the timing of tax relief over the term of lease?

Tax-efficient family income benefit

25th November 2014

Life insurance can provide a tax-free lump sum for your family when you die. However, a family income benefit policy offers an alternative that has extra tax advantages. How do they work?

Improved RTI Reporting

18th November 2014

HMRC has made changes to its RTI employer payment summaries (EPSs). When and how might these affect your company’s PAYE reports?

How will auto-enrolment affect your business?

18th November 2014

Pensions auto-enrolment has been a fact of life for large companies for over a year. It’s now starting to affect smaller businesses. Before your company gets involved are there any tax issues you should consider?

Repaying your director’s loan account

18th November 2014

Your company’s financial year ends on 31 December and your director’s loan account is in deficit. To avoid this triggering a tax bill for your company, you could take a bonus to clear the debt. What’s the most tax-efficient way to handle this?

Pensions Death Tax

31st October 2014

Currently if you die before you have started to draw your pension, the value of your pension fund will not usually be subject to inheritance tax (IHT) at 40%, as it is excluded from your estate.

Taskforce at Large

31st October 2014

HMRC has set up specialist tax investigation teams to concentrate on recovering unpaid tax from particular business sectors or as a result of tax fraud.

National Insurance Contributions

31st October 2014

It seems that HMRC is trying to gather every penny in tax and national insurance contributions (NIC), from every possible source.

Mini One Stop Shop (MOSS)

31st October 2014

This sounds like a friendly retail outlet where you might buy a pint of milk on a Sunday evening. In fact it is short-hand for the online portal which UK businesses should use from 2015 to account for VAT they owe in respect of digital services provided to customers in other EU countries. 

November Questions and Answers

31st October 2014

November question and answers

Creating Extra Cash-flow

30th September 2014

Could your creative company benefit from a boost to its cash flow? If it produces computer games, films, high-end TV or animation programmes, it may qualify for a new payable tax credit.

Understanding the CIS

30th September 2014

If you are a contractor in the construction industry it is essential that you deduct the right amount of Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) tax from payments you make to subcontractors.

VAT on International Services

30th September 2014

When you sell services to businesses in other countries, the sale will generally be outside the scope of UK VAT. You don't charge VAT on your invoice, but you need to report the value of that sale as part of the total in box 6 on your VAT return. 

Scottish Taxes

30th September 2014

The Scottish people have spoken and the majority have decided they want Scotland to remain part of the UK. However, that doesn't mean everything will remain the same. 

October Questions and Answers

30th September 2014

Relevant questions and answers for October.

Late Filing Penalties

27th August 2014

From 6 October 2014 the HMRC computer will automatically issue you with a penalty if you submit your full payment submission (FPS) under RTI "late", or don't submit it at all for a month in which you paid your employees.

Redress Payments

27th August 2014

Was your business mis-sold an interest rate hedging product (IRHP) by its bank? 

VAT On Multi-products

27th August 2014

Most products and services are subject to standard rate VAT at 20%, but some products are zero-rated (VAT applied at 0%), while others, e.g. rent for certain buildings, are exempt from VAT.

Travel Question

27th August 2014

If you contract through your own personal service company (PSC), you will be an employee of that company and you have to obey the strict tax rules that apply to employees' travel deductions when claiming expenses from your PSC.

September Questions and Answers

27th August 2014

September Questions and Answers

Accelerated Payments

1st August 2014

The Taxman now has the power to demand tax from you if you have used a registered tax avoidance scheme, or if he thinks the tax scheme you have used is similar to one that has been judged to fail by a Court or Tribunal. 

Maximising Statutory Maternity Pay

1st August 2014

Paying statutory maternity pay (SMP) is not optional. It must be paid if your employee qualifies, but the good news is that a small business can recover 103% of the SMP paid from HMRC.

Commission Refunds

1st August 2014

If you invest through a firm of financial advisers, you may well receive a repayment of commission from that firm each year.

EC Sales Lists

1st August 2014

If your business is VAT registered and you sell goods or services into other European countries you must generally also submit an additional form to the Government called an EC Sales List (ESL also known as form VAT101).

August Questions and Answers

1st August 2014

Tax questions and answers for August 2014.

The Realities of Flexible Working Requests

1st August 2014

The Realities of Flexible Working Requests by Rob Grinter, Mark David HR Ltd

Real Time Information (RTI) Penalty Notices

1st July 2014

As an employer you may have received an RTI penalty warning letter accusing you of not submitting all of the RTI returns required for 2013/14. 

VAT on Digital Services

1st July 2014

Do you sell digital services such as: music or software downloads, e-books or online videos? If so, do you know where your customers are, and whether they are businesses or individuals? 

PAYE Reconciliations

1st July 2014

If most of your income is taxed under PAYE (Pay As You Earn) you may soon receive a reconciliation of the income tax you have paid compared to the amount that was due to be paid for 2013/14.

Scary Letters

1st July 2014

Have you received a scary letter from HMRC lately? Perhaps all HMRC letters are scary, but this latest nudge-letter really takes the biscuit.

July Questions and Answers

1st July 2014

July Tax Questions and Answers

Marginal Tax Rates

29th May 2014

What rate of tax would you pay on an additional £1 of earnings? If your annual income is between £41,865 and £150,000 you may think the tax rate would be 40%, but the peculiarities of the UK tax system mean you could pay much more.

Real Time Information (RTI) Interest

29th May 2014

In the past some employers would play the PAYE system, holding on to the PAYE deductions until the last payment date of the year, and then paying the balance due before interest was charged. 

VAT and Discounts

29th May 2014

Do you offer prompt payment discounts to your customers - known as PPDs?

Auto-enrolment

29th May 2014

Auto-enrolment is the term for the law that requires all employers to register their employees into a qualifying workplace pension scheme. 

June Questions and Answers

29th May 2014

Question & Answers for June

Second Incomes

28th April 2014

The Taxman is reaching out to employees with second incomes; which could be anything from selling home-made items, to working as a self-employed consultant. 

Second Homes

28th April 2014

If you have more than one home, - properties actually used as your home - you can elect for one of those properties to be your tax-exempt main home.

Tax Nudge

28th April 2014

A "nudge" in this context is a piece of advice or an arrangement designed to encourage you pick the option the Government wants to you to choose, such as contributing to a pension, or eating healthier foods.

Flat Rate VAT

28th April 2014

The flat rate VAT scheme for small businesses is designed to reduce administration hassle for the businesses that use it, not to reduce the amount of VAT the business pays over to HMRC, but that is often a side effect of using the scheme.

May Question & Answer

28th April 2014

May Q&A's

May Key Tax Dates

28th April 2014

May Key Tax Dates.

Salary and Dividend Strategy 2014/15

1st April 2014

As a director and shareholder of your own company you can decide how much salary to pay yourself each month in order to use your tax-free personal allowance in the most tax efficient way.

Salaried Members of LLPs

1st April 2014

Do you operate your business as an LLP? If you do, you need to be aware of the change in tax treatment of certain LLP members from 6 April 2014. 

Cross-border Services

1st April 2014

You may have heard that the price of electronic books and music will rise on 1 January 2015.

Search for Landlords

1st April 2014

In our March newsletter we told you about HMRC's let property campaign (LPC) which aims to nudge landlords into confessing undeclared rental income.

April Question and Answer Section

1st April 2014

April Question and Answer Section

April Key Tax Dates

1st April 2014

April Key Tax Dates 

Pensions clock is ticking

1st April 2014

A guest blog from Rob Grinter at Mark David HR Ltd: Pensions clock is ticking

Real Time Information (RTI) Penalties

27th February 2014

HMRC has experienced significant problems in reconciling amounts of PAYE due from employers, to the amounts reported under real time information (RTI). 

Business Journeys

27th February 2014

A number of self-employed businesses have been waiting for a tax case to be decided which turned on the question of "what is a business journey?"... Read more

Let Property Campaign

27th February 2014

The taxman has launched another 'confess your tax sins' campaign aimed at individuals who have failed to declare rental income they have received from residential properties.

VAT on Books and Leaflets

27th February 2014

There is no VAT on printed books, booklets, newspapers, and leaflets. Well there is, - its zero-rate VAT, so the customer pays no VAT, but the supplier can reclaim the VAT it pays on purchases.

March Question and Answer's

27th February 2014

March Question and Answer's

March Key Tax Dates

27th February 2014

March Key Tax Dates

Enjoy yourself it’s later than you think

27th February 2014

The Government is introducing major changes to the way employees save for their retirement and employers will have to contribute too.

Just what the doctor ordered

27th February 2014

From April 2014 an Employment Tribunal will have the power to order an employer who has lost a case to pay a financial penalty to the Secretary of State of between £100 and £5,000. 

CGT on Home Developments

30th January 2014

Your main home is exempt from capital gains tax when you sell it, but only if you bought the property with the intention of living in it on a permanent basis, not as a project to renovate and sell. 

Non-Resident Landlords

30th January 2014

If you leave the UK and let your property here, your letting agent (or the tenant where there is no agent) should deduct basic rate (20%) tax from the rents paid after deduction of certain expenses, under the non-resident landlord scheme (NRL). 

VAT Penalties

30th January 2014

If you pay your VAT late to HMRC, even one day late, your card will be marked for a VAT penalty called a 'default surcharge'. 

IHT Relief on Business Assets

30th January 2014

Inheritance tax (IHT) is payable at 40% on the net value of the assets you own when you die, plus (to a certain extent) on the value of the gifts you made in the seven years before you die. 

February Question and Answer's

30th January 2014

February Question & Answer's

February Key Tax Dates

30th January 2014

Key tax dates in February

New RTI Relief

8th January 2014

Have you been struggling to send full payment summary (FPS) reports under RTI to HMRC on or before the days on which your employees are paid? T

Capital Allowances on Fixtures

8th January 2014

There are a number of capital allowance claims firms targeting businesses which have recently bought or sold commercial property. 

Disguised Employment

8th January 2014

The Government is cracking down on situations in which workers are treated as self-employed for tax purposes, and hence pay low amounts of NICs, but from the outside they appear to act as employees. The following changes in the tax law are proposed to block the use of 'self-employed' workers working through LLPs or who are hired-out through employment agencies.

Partly-exempt Businesses

8th January 2014

If your business supplies some goods or services which carry VAT, and other items which are exempt from VAT (such as charitable events and financing), the business is likely to be partly-exempt for VAT purposes.

January Question and Answer Section

8th January 2014

January Question and Answer's

January Key Tax Dates

8th January 2014

January Key Tax Dates

It’s party time

29th November 2013

It’s the festive season and the works Christmas party is just around the corner. Everyone is looking forward to letting their hair down and having a good time. Just be careful though that you don’t do something which you may later regret.

December Question and Answer Section

29th November 2013

December Question and Answer's

RTI Penalties Around The Corner

29th November 2013

This tax year (2013/14) is the first year in which the majority of employers have submitted their PAYE data using real time information (RTI). HMRC has not yet imposed penalties for late RTI submissions made within the tax year, but that is about to change.

EFRBS Settlement

29th November 2013

If you have used an 'EFRBS' (employer financed retirement benefit scheme) since 2006, you should shortly expect to receive a letter from the Taxman. This will allow you to pay tax which may have been avoided by using the ERFBS.

VAT Due Payment Date

29th November 2013

When must your VAT payment reach HMRC? The correct answer is: seven days after the end of the month following the end of your VAT quarter. Not seven working days, seven calendar days.

Loans to Reduce IHT

29th November 2013

Have you used a loan to reduce the inheritance tax (IHT) which may be due when you die? A common IHT planning technique has been to take out a mortgage on the family home and use those borrowed funds to invest in assets that qualify for 100% exemption from IHT, such as farmland or shares quoted on the AIM stock market. The loan reduces the value of home subject to IHT, and the assets acquired don't attract an IHT charge.

Is your company a family IHT shelter?

21st November 2013

If your elderly relations have cash or investments to spare and are worried about inheritance tax, how can your company help them avoid it and, at the same time, do you a favour?

Warning over child benefit tax

12th November 2013

HMRC is threatening all those liable to the high income child benefit charge (HICBC) with a fine unless they’ve registered for self-assessment. What’s the full story?

Using the SEIS

29th October 2013

The seed enterprise investment scheme (SEIS) is designed to help small companies raise modest amounts of funding (up to £150,000). 

Earn-out Payments on Business Sales

29th October 2013

When you sell a business, you may receive some of the consideration up front and another payment later if the business meets certain targets, that later payment is called an 'earn-out'. 

VAT and Indirect Exports Change

29th October 2013

When you export goods to a country outside the EU the goods are 'zero-rated' for VAT purposes, which means you do not apply VAT to the value of the goods. 

New RTI Messages

29th October 2013

Real time information (RTI) is all about one-way communications with HMRC.

October Question and Answer

29th October 2013

October Question and Answer 

November Key Tax Dates

29th October 2013

November Key Tax Dates

Inheritance tax for teenagers

22nd October 2013

It might come as a surprise to you that IHT can apply to your children just as it can to you. When should you get involved with tax planning for your youngsters?

VAT on employee benefits - can you avoid it?

21st October 2013

You can reclaim the VAT you pay on purchases which you then pass on as benefits in kind to your employees. However, when you supply them you’ll usually have to account to HMRC for VAT as if you were making a normal sale; how can you legitimately avoid this extra cost?

New Employee Shareholder Status

27th September 2013

The Government thinks that employees who own shares in their employing company feel more involved in that business and hence are happy and loyal employees.

Contractor Loan Schemes

27th September 2013

Have you taken part in a contractor loan scheme? This is a tax saving scheme which was widely sold to workers in personal service industries, such as IT contractors.

Child Benefits When Turn 16

27th September 2013

If you have a child aged 16, check whether you are still receiving all the child benefit and child tax credits you expect to.

VAT on Sale of Commercial Buildings

27th September 2013

When purchasing or selling a commercial property one of the first things to establish is whether VAT will be applied to the price of the property.

October Question and Answer's

27th September 2013

October Question and Answer's from Newsletter

October Key Tax Dates

27th September 2013

October Key Tax Dates

Unsociable social media?

27th September 2013

A guest blog from Rob Grinter at Mark David HR Ltd: Could you lose your job because of a Facebook posting or text message?

Retrospective IHT planning

25th September 2013

Beneficiaries can vary the terms of the will they are inheriting, but how can they ensure it’s done tax efficiently?

Reducing the cost of your new business premises

19th September 2013

You’ve found the ideal new home for your business - the trouble is with the VAT and stamp duty land tax it’s a bit over budget. What can you do to cut the cost but keep the seller happy?

Resurfacing - Repairs or Capital?

3rd September 2013

Any business owner whose property includes a road, driveway, or parking area, will have to repair those surfaces at some point. The question is whether to charge the costs to 'repairs' or to 'capital improvements' in the accounts. 

New ATED Charge

3rd September 2013

The annual tax on enveloped dwellings (ATED) came into effect on 1 April 2013. This new tax applies to residential properties in the UK worth over £2 million, which are owned by a non-natural person, such as a company, trust or partnership that includes a company as a member.

VAT on Storage Change

3rd September 2013

The law on whether VAT must be charged on storage facilities changed from 1 October 2012. Before that date if you let out space for storage to individuals or businesses, that service could be exempt from VAT, if you had not elected for the whole building to be subject to VAT (AKA: 'opted to tax'). Since October 2012, if you are VAT registered, you generally need to charge VAT at 20% on the supply of storage areas.. 

Pension Lifetime Allowance

3rd September 2013

The Government want us to save enough so we can each draw an adequate pension in retirement, but if you save too much you will be stung with a 55% tax charge when you draw your pension. The boundary between 'enough' and 'too much' savings is set in law by the lifetime allowance, which is a value of your total pension savings at retirement. This allowance will be reduced from £1.5 million to £1.25 million on 6 April 2014. 

September Question and Answer Section

3rd September 2013

Question and Answers for September

September Key Tax Dates

3rd September 2013

Tax Dates for September

A legitimate VAT claim for the cost of private motoring

15th August 2013

If you’re a director, business partner or self-employed as a sole trader, there’s a generous VAT break which, if you use your own car for business, could cut your running costs. How can you make it work for you?

August Question and Answer Section

31st July 2013

Tax questions and answers from August

VAT Mistakes

31st July 2013

If your company makes a deliberate VAT mistake, which results in less VAT being paid over to HMRC than is correctly due, you as the director of that company can be issued personally with a penalty.

RTI for Seasonal Workers

31st July 2013

Have you taken on casual workers this summer? Perhaps you are paying piece-rates for the amount of produce picked or packed by each person.

Self-billing Change

31st July 2013

The procedure of 'self-billing' is frequently used in the publishing and construction sectors, where a large business customer engages lots of smaller businesses as suppliers (eg authors or subcontractors).

My Tax Return Catch-up

31st July 2013

The Taxman has launched a campaign to persuade tardy taxpayers to submit their over-due tax returns for 2011/12 or earlier years.

Capital allowances - timing is everything!

9th July 2013

When your business buys equipment it can claim a tax deduction for the cost. But is claiming this straightaway always the best option?

Split the bill to save VAT

3rd July 2013

The rules say that you can’t reclaim VAT on the cost of entertaining your customers etc. But in some situations a claim is allowed for associated costs. When does this apply?

Expenses and Benefits Reporting

27th June 2013

The deadline for submitting the annual returns of expenses and benefits (forms P11D and P9D) to HMRC is 6 July 2013. 

Research and Development Claims

27th June 2013

Did you know there is a tax relief for companies which invent stuff? The process of inventing and solving the associated problems is called research and development (R&D). Companies can more than double the tax deduction given for the costs of R&D, and potentially get a refund of PAYE and NICs paid. 

RTI Relaxation Extended

27th June 2013

The temporary relaxation of the RTI reporting requirements for small employers has been extended to 5 April 2014. It was due to apply only until 5 October 2013.

Machine Games Duty

27th June 2013

If you run a pub or other establishment which contains gaming machines, you should have already registered to pay machine games duty (MGD), which replaced the amusement machine licence duty (AMLD) from 1 February 2013.

July Question and Answer Section

27th June 2013

July Question and Answer Section

July Key Tax Dates

27th June 2013

Important tax dates for July 2013.

Tax breaks for tying the knot

20th June 2013

Saving tax by itself might not be a good reason to get hitched, but there’s no point in missing out when you do. What tax planning moves should you be discussing with your intended?

HMRC starts tax calculations process

14th June 2013

Around 5.5 million people will receive tax calculations, P800s, between now and October. Will you be sent a letter and what should you do if you receive one?

Transferring an IHT advantage

6th June 2013

Married couples can transfer their Inheritance Tax nil-rate bands (NRBs) between each other, but you’ll have to convince HMRC that you qualify. What proof does it require?

June Questions and Answers

3rd June 2013

June Questions and Answers

Letting Business Tax Reliefs

3rd June 2013

The tax treatment of businesses which involve the letting of property is not consistent across all taxes and tax reliefs. It's not logical, but just because the letting business qualifies for one tax relief it will not necessarily qualify for an apparently similar tax relief. 

RTI Growing Pains

3rd June 2013

The Taxman is also causing RTI pains for employers and employees by issuing duff data.

No RTI Reports Made?

3rd June 2013

Employers were told that they had to use real time information (RTI) to report PAYE deductions from the first pay day on or after 6 April 2013. But what if there has been no pay day since 6 April, because no one has been paid?

Inheritance Tax Loan Change

3rd June 2013

A change in the way loans are treated for inheritance tax (IHT) purposes could increase the taxable value of your estate on death, and the amount of IHT payable.

Bad debt equals good tax deduction

21st May 2013

In these difficult times bad debts are a big problem. If you don’t keep a watchful eye on them your company might be paying Corporation Tax on income it will never receive. How can you formulate your claim for a tax deduction for maximum advantage?

Defer a gain and reduce your tax

14th May 2013

You can defer tax payable on capital gains by investing in certain types of company. But how can you turn this timing advantage into a real tax saving?

May Question and Answer Section

29th April 2013

May Question and Answer's

Don't Rely on HMRC VAT Advice

29th April 2013

If you are uncertain about whether you can make a claim for VAT you have incurred, or how to treat a certain transaction for VAT purposes, you could try searching the HMRC website for a solution to your query.

Beware Pension Liberation

29th April 2013

Have you been approached by firms that promise you instant cash from your pension fund? This known as pension liberation, and involves taking cash from your pension fund before you reach the retirement age set by your pension scheme.

Sleeping Partners and NI

29th April 2013

In the past sleeping partners and inactive partners didn't have to pay NI contributions on their partnership profits.

RTI Round Up

29th April 2013

Real time information (RTI) has had a bumpy start. In brief these are the major problems and work-arounds discovered so far.

Make the most of your IHT nil-rate band

25th April 2013

Sometimes, the terms of a person's will don't meet the requirements of the beneficiaries. Fortunately, there's a way to rearrange these, provided it's done within two years of the date of death. It's achieved by a legal document called a deed of variation (DoV), which must be signed by the beneficiaries. It allows them to decide how the estate should be divided. So what are the benefits of using a DoV?

When can you discount a gift to save IHT?

12th April 2013

Discounted gift schemes can reduce the IHT your estate will have to pay and so increase the money going to your beneficiaries. But these schemes aren't suitable for everyone. How can you make sure they'll work for you?

Choosing when to claim a capital loss

5th April 2013

Where you own shares in a company, whether it's a plc or a family run business, and it hits hard times, these might have little or no value. In this case you can claim a loss against any capital gains you've made. But can you allocate it to whichever year you like?

RTI Relaxation

3rd April 2013

The real time information (RTI) system for submitting PAYE information to HMRC must be used by small employers for all pay days on and after 6 April 2013. However, at the last minute the Government has agreed to a temporary relaxation of one of the RTI reporting requirements for employers with fewer than 50 employees.

Loans to Participators Trap

3rd April 2013

The 2013 Budget announcements included a brief outline of how the law will be changed to tax loans taken out of owner-managed companies by the shareholders/directors (known as participators). We have now seen the draft legislation so we can give you further details of how the tax law will apply for loans or repayments made on and after 20 March 2013.

SEIS Investment Extension

3rd April 2013

The Budget also included an announcement of the extension of capital gains tax (CGT) relief.

Cash Basis for Small Businesses

3rd April 2013

The cash basis was also mentioned in the 2013 Budget announcements, but now we have some more details.

April Questions and Answers

3rd April 2013

April newsletter question and answer section.

Saving VAT and SDLT on property deals

27th March 2013

In some situations where you're buying or selling a commercial property that's subject to VAT you can avoid having to account to HMRC for this. As a buyer this might reduce the SDLT you pay or improve your cash flow. And as the seller it can make your property more attractive to buyers. What's involved?

You can’t hide from the taxman

20th March 2013

Over the past two years, there has been a staggering increase in the number of investigations being conducted by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

When can you discount a gift to save IHT?

19th March 2013

Discounted gift schemes can reduce the IHT your estate will have to pay and so increase the money going to your beneficiaries. But these schemes aren't suitable for everyone. How can you make sure they'll work for you?

Reclaiming overcharged HMRC interest

12th March 2013

Computers might be pretty smart, but HMRC's seems to have a problem matching tax payments with amounts due. This often leads to incorrect demands for interest and surcharges. How can you go about reclaiming these?

Annual Payroll and RTI

28th February 2013

Under real time information (RTI) PAYE reporting, a Full Payment Submission (FPS) report is required to be made to HMRC every time an employee is paid, not just once after the end of the tax year as is currently the case. RTI will be compulsory for most employers from the first pay date following 6 April 2013.

Make the Losses Work

28th February 2013

The value of shares quoted on the stock market has risen recently. This may encourage you to sell some investments before the end of this tax year (5 April 2013) in order to use your annual capital gains exemption and to soak up any capital losses.

Room Hire and Vat

28th February 2013

The letting of land is exempt from VAT unless it falls into one of the many exemptions from the exemption for VAT. One of those exemptions to the exemption is where accommodation is provided in hotels, inns, boarding houses and similar establishments, including rooms provided for the purpose of catering, i.e. an eating and drinking occasion.

Self-Employed Travel Expenses

28th February 2013

If you are self-employed you may have a number of customers you go to regularly to work at their premises. This could apply to mobile hairdressers, cleaners, gardeners, and even medical professionals who work at private clinics

March Question and Answer Section

28th February 2013

March Question and Answer Section from our March Newsletter

HMRC's trap for employers

26th February 2013

If HMRC picks up a mistake in the benefits and expenses returns - Forms P11D - you submit for your staff, it will usually ask you to pay the tax shortfall, plus interest and maybe penalties on top. But do you really have to agree to this?

Income tax v Capital Gains Tax

20th February 2013

Even though the top rate of Capital Gains Tax was raised to 28% a couple of years ago, this is preferable to paying income tax at up to 50%. What are your options for converting income into capital gains and taking advantage of the tax rate differential?

Reclaiming overcharged HMRC interest

10th February 2013

Computers might be pretty smart, but HMRC's seems to have a problem matching tax payments with amounts due. This often leads to incorrect demands for interest and surcharges. How can you go about reclaiming these?

Can you cancel a tax return to avoid a penalty?

5th February 2013

From April HMRC will be allowed to cancel a tax return that's been issued and any late filing penalties that go with it. But where do you stand if you've just missed the January 31 deadline?

Tax Schemes & Swiss Bank Accounts

31st January 2013

Have you received a letter from the Taxman recently, inviting you to pay tax avoided by using a tax scheme or Swiss bank account?

Letting Relief Explained

31st January 2013

If you have let a property which was once your main home, or was treated as your main home as you lived in job related accommodation, letting relief can help reduce the tax you pay on the eventual sale. This tax relief cannot apply to a buy-to-let property that has never been occupied by the owner.

SEIS - The Opportunity

31st January 2013

The Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) will have a limited life - only five years to 5 April 2017. It allows investors to receive 50% income tax relief on the amount invested and up to 28% capital gains tax relief for a limited period. Also if you make a loss on the SEIS shares you can get further income tax relief for that loss.

Green Car Scam

31st January 2013

Please don't be taken in by a scheme which claims to reduce the taxable benefit of your company cars. The taxman has specifically warned taxpayers about this scheme on the spotlights page of his website.

February 2013 Q&A

31st January 2013

February 2013 Newsletter Question and Answer Section

Delaying Capital Gains Tax

22nd January 2013

If you've already used your 2012/13 annual exemption for Capital Gains Tax but want to sell some more assets, what are your options to stop, or at least delay, HMRC from getting its hands on your cash?

Can you register for VAT advantages?

18th January 2013

An advantage to VAT registration is that your business can reclaim the VAT it pays on purchases. But some organisations, such as charities, miss out because they aren't entitled to register. Can you work around this rule?

Where should you invest your company money?

17th December 2012

A tribunal recently considered the tax consequences of a director investing company money into his personal bank account. The judgement didn't go well for the director, but does this ruling mean this type of scheme can never work?

Capital losses - tax planning for married couples

3rd December 2012

Capital losses brought forward from earlier years must be set against the next taxable gain you make. But where this is chargeable at a lower Capital Gains Tax rate this might not be tax efficient. What can you do to improve this situation?  

VAT - no paperwork, no problem

26th November 2012

Usually the Taxman is a stickler for paperwork and won't allow you to claim a penny in VAT without an invoice or receipt to back it up, but there are exceptions. If you're not aware of these you might be missing out.

Christmas at the office – tax breaks

20th November 2012

Chrismas is just around the corner and hopefully the Christmas party spirit will be in full flow. We want to help you and your business through this money consuming time, helping you save as much money in tax as possible! We've compiled a short summary on the tax breaks you could be taking advantage of this Christmas.

Reclaiming VAT on household costs

16th November 2012

The cost of running your home seems to be increasing by the day; however, if you work from home, full or part-time, you can at least reclaim some of the VAT on this. But how much?

Inheritance Tax relief for badly performing shares

9th November 2012

The shares you're about to inherit from your parents are now worth less than when they died. The silver lining is that you might be able to get back some of the Inheritance Tax paid on their estate. How does this work?

VAT compensation

29th October 2012

Sometimes things don't go as planned, even in the best run business. If this means having to compensate a customer how can you get the Taxman to contribute to this cost?

New businesses missing out on reclaiming VAT

20th September 2012

Generally, when a business registers it can reclaim VAT paid for goods on hand. There's also scope for reclaiming VAT on services received before registration but tough conditions apply. What exactly are you allowed to claim for?

Can the new 36% IHT rate boost your estate?

12th September 2012

The rules surrounding the new lower rate of Inheritance Tax (IHT) are not as straightforward as originally anticipated. However, it's not all bad news and some estates might gain an unexpected advantage. What is it?

Taxman demands Corporation Tax forms early

7th September 2012

The deadline for Corporation Tax forms hasn't changed in years. So why is the Taxman sending out early demands, and how should you respond to these?

Deferring tax on investment income

17th August 2012

If the Taxman has his way he'll reduce your PAYE code number as far as possible so that he collects more tax from your salary. He's allowed to do this, but the regulations limit the deductions he can make. However he'll often chance his arm and go for more. When and how can you put a stop to this?

Making sure you're covered for investigation costs

10th August 2012

Insurance terms and conditions can be tricky; one false move and you might not be covered, and policies to meet the cost of extra accountancy fees resulting from a tax investigation are no different. However, if you take the right precautions when filling in your tax return, you shouldn't have any trouble.

Regular generosity can save tax

2nd August 2012

Inheritance Tax planning is all about reducing the value of your estate. The trouble is, transferring wealth to your family isn't a simple matter of making gifts as you'll usually have to wait seven years before they're exempt. But did you know some gifts, no matter how valuable, are exempt straightaway?

Giving the right answers to the Taxman

23rd July 2012

The Taxman is suspicious by nature and if he's asking a question about your tax return you'll need to carefully consider your reply. You must tell the truth, but how you tell it can make the difference between him giving you the all clear and starting a full investigation. What's the right thing to say?

Promoting your business tax efficiently

9th July 2012

The Taxman allows you to reclaim the VAT paid on the cost of promoting your business. But will he change his mind where this amounts to sponsoring your favorite sporting event or hobby?

IHT relief for when property prices slump

28th June 2012

Selling a house as an executor of someone's estate in a falling market can lead you straight into a trap in the form over an over-the-top Inheritance Tax bill. What can you do to set the record straight and reduce the tax payable?

Shifting the cost of VAT

22nd June 2012

Where you run more than one business and they share overheads, allocating these costs between the companies might lead to a VAT charge. But the good news is there's a fairly simple way to avoid this.

Get your VAT back on debts

8th June 2012

It's bad news if a customer can't or won't pay, and where you've already handed over VAT on the sale to the Taxman it adds insult to injury. Of course, you'll get the VAT back if the debt goes completely bad, but how long do you have to wait and could you avoid paying it in the first place?

Green car tax deductions

29th May 2012

We all know about the government's policy on making company cars greener by offering lower tax charges to drivers of low CO2 emission vehicles. But there are also incentives for the businesses providing the cars.

Shifting assets to a former spouse

22nd May 2012

The last thing on your mind when you're going through a divorce will be tax, but ignoring this can be costly, particularly when it comes to transferring assets to your ex. But get the timing right and you can easily avoid potential tax bills.

The tax cost of getting a good name for your business

15th May 2012

If you're thinking of buying an existing brand from another business in order to boost your company's profile, the good news is that there's a tax-efficient way to do it.

Dodging the IHT holiday home trap

8th May 2012

If you plan to avoid Inheritance Tax by giving your holiday home to the younger members of your family, but still intend to use it from time to time, the Taxman has anti-avoidance rules to foil this arrangement. How can you dodge these?

Two properties, two gains, no tax

24th April 2012

There's a lot of talk about the longstanding Capital Gains Tax exemption for private homes being restricted. This could see second homes not already within the exemption become taxable. What can you do to make sure you're covered?

Budget 2012: What it means for you and your company

16th April 2012

The Chancellor had warned that this Budget would not include any tax giveaways and he stuck to his word. But this doesn’t mean to say there weren’t significant changes to bother the business and personal tax regimes.

A new company start-up incentive

10th April 2012

Entrepreneurs can now get their hands on the Taxman's generous new company start-up relief. But creating a new company can increase the tax bill for others associated with it. So is it worth the effort?

Renewing your IHT relief

3rd April 2012

  Selling your business can lead to you losing out on IHT business property relief. What can you do to ensure this doesn't happen?  

Maximising VAT claims on property development

27th March 2012

Property prices seem stagnant, while building costs just keep going up. However, maximising your VAT recovery on these can ease the pain a little. How is this done?

What CGT planning should you be doing now?

13th March 2012

The end of the 2011/12 tax year is nearly upon us. If you have investments potentially liable to Capital Gains Tax (CGT) you should be thinking about tax planning. Can giving investments to other members of your family play a part?

Small profit rate tax trap

6th March 2012

The Corporation Tax rate leaps from 20% to 27.5% where company profits exceed £300,000. But the higher tax rate can kick in on lower profits if you own shares in more than one company. What is this trap and how can you avoid it?

Gift schemes for dodging IHT

28th February 2012

You want to give away some assets to save Inheritance Tax but you can't afford to lose the income they generate. If you transfer the asset but continue receiving the income the Taxman will treat the assets as yours. Is there a scheme that will give you the best of both worlds?

VAT-efficient Promotions

23rd February 2012

These days everyone is more price-conscious. Sales promotion schemes are a good way of enticing new business or keeping hold of existing customers. How can you make these schemes VAT efficient?

Do nil-rate band trusts still offer tax breaks?

14th February 2012

Four years ago a major change to the IHT rules meant that nil-rate band trusts became unfashionable. So if your will includes one, should you change it to remove the trust or can it still produce tax savings?

Changes to EU sales reporting

7th February 2012

If you're registered, your VAT return must include figures for EU purchases and sales, but you might also be required to provide EC sales list or Intrastat reports. When do these apply and how are they changing?

New era for tax investigations?

24th January 2012

The Taxman says that he's now taking a much harsher line in suspected cases of fraud. Surely that couldn't include you?

The Taxman's new task forces

24th January 2012

HMRC has launched five new investigation task forces with more to follow. They will carry out targeted tax enquiries. Who are these aimed at and how do they differ from normal investigations?

A new way to contact the Taxman

14th January 2012

The Taxman has at last agreed to accept e-mails, but only for VAT queries. What are the drawbacks and advantages to using this service?

Small gains mean zero tax

10th January 2012

Where your company sells some land it owns, you would expect tax to be payable on any gain it makes from the deal. However, in some cases you can cut the tax out of the equation. How is this possible?

Tax-free property investment

4th January 2012

When your young ones finish school and go off to college or university not only might you have to find money to meet their tuition fees, but you'll also have to pay for somewhere for them to live. A property investment may be the answer.

Rent your holiday home for tax purposes

21st December 2011

  You own a holiday home, worth around £250,000, which you use for several weeks per year. How can you continue to make use of the property but shift it out of your estate for Inheritance Tax purposes?  

Sharing your income to save tax

21st December 2011

  The current economic downturn has resulted in falling income for your family, and now your partner has been made redundant. Can you transfer some of your income to them and save some tax in the process?  

Tax subsidised Christmas shopping trip

30th November 2011

You're attending a big trade fair and your spouse fancies coming along to go last-minute Christmas shopping in the nearby town. What proportion of the costs can your company claim as a tax deduction?

An IHT efficient gift of your holiday home

29th November 2011

It's nice to own a holiday home so you can take a break from the rat race when you want. But when your time comes the Taxman will charge Inheritance Tax (IHT) on what it's worth, which may leave your beneficiaries having to sell the property to pay his bill. The good news is that there's a simple way you can continue to use the property and avoid IHT.

VAT due on employee benefits from January

24th October 2011

It's taken over a year for the Taxman to decide what to do following the EU ruling regarding VAT on certain employee benefits. He's now issued guidance. What does this say and how should you implement the change?

How much of your pension fund will the Taxman get?

24th October 2011

You've built up a healthy pension fund and are looking forward to retirement. But if you don't survive long enough to make full use of it the Taxman can take a huge bite of what's left. What, if anything, can you do to mitigate this?

Taxman backs down on VAT flat-rate scheme

24th October 2011

The Institute of Taxation recently got took up the cudgels with the Taxman over incorrect guidance it has published. This might have caused businesses using the flat-rate scheme to wrongly pay VAT on investment income. What's the full story?

Avoiding IHT with QNUPS

23rd October 2011

A friend told you that he intends to invest a chunk of his assets in a qualifying non-resident pension scheme (QNUPS) because the funds in them are beyond the Taxman's reach. Is he right?

Tax Calculations Are On The Way

22nd October 2011

Last year the Taxman was forced to write off millions in tax because of the blunders he made. Bills for 2010/11 are on the way; can you expect a repeat performance?

Tax-free Perks Blog

6th October 2011

One of your suppliers has tickets to next year's Olympics, and has offered a few to you free of charge. Can the directors and employees of your company use these without getting hit with a tax bill?

A Company Tax Break for Capital Losses

6th October 2011

This years Finance Act included an important change to the rules on capital losses made by group companies. What was his and how can you be sure your company qualifies?

Dont Fall Into an NI Trap

5th October 2011

Two directors  have been meeting the cost of business expenses out of their salary but theyve now found out that this could be costing them thousands a year in extra NI. Why is this and what's the alternative?

 

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