All news by: Mike Wakeford

Brexit risk assessment

It looks increasingly likely that we are heading for a no-deal Brexit. Taken literally, this means that our present relaxed trading relationship with customers and suppliers in the EU will cease at the end of October this year.

Personal service company changes from April 2020

In the Autumn Budget the Chancellor announced that the “off payroll” workers rules that currently apply in the public sector would be rolled out to the private sector in 2020. The government have now issued a consultation paper that sets out proposed tax and national insurance changes that will impact on those supplying their services through personal service companies.

Plan your money 2019

2019 is set to be a year of changes for finances, with everything from council tax, state pension payments and inheritance tax set to change. Find out about the changes below and how your finances could be affected.

Ministers considering over 40’s tax

Ministers in the United Kingdom are considering new ways to fund the increasing cost of social care. 

One of the suggested methods has been successfully used in Germany for nearly two decades and involves placing a 2.5% levy onto the income and earnings of those aged over 40.

CGT planning for married couples

This article is also relevant to couples who have entered into a civil partnership.

For the tax year 2018-19, taxpayers can make tax-free capital gains of up to £11,700.

This allowance is available on a per person basis and so married couples (and those in a civil partnership) have a combined CGT allowance of £23,400.

Changes to Capital Gains Tax

Currently a capital gain that is made by an individual UK resident is reported through the self-assessment tax return regime. This means that if an individual disposes of a property during the year ended 5 April 2019, it will be notified on the individuals 2018-19 tax return, which does  not need to be submitted until January 31, 2020 with the tax due on that same day. 

How to spot a HMRC scam

Fraudsters will disguise themselves as HMRC and other government departments/professional bodies to:
•    Obtain personal details which they will sell or use for identity theft,
•    Coax victims into handing over money,
•    Use victims’ details to steal money from their accounts. 
 

Making Tax Digital timeline

You will be aware that HMRC is moving forward with their digitisation of taxpayer VAT and Income Tax reporting requirements, under their much publicised Making Tax Digital (MTD) initiative. Below you will find the most recent announcements made by HMRC on this issue.
 

Budget 2018 overview

Philip Hammond’s third budget, and the last one scheduled to take place before Brexit next year, did not contain many big headline grabbing tax changes as it concentrated more on increased government spending in what the Chancellor claimed was recognition that the days of austerity are now over, as the state of the economy continues to improve.

Tax and making loans to employees

A reminder that making loans to your employees or their relatives can create tax problems for employees and employers. For example, the employer will have an obligation to report a beneficial loan to HMRC and the deemed benefit would be a taxable benefit in kind for the relevant employee.
 

Unexpected VAT charge for UK importers

With no agreement on tariffs, the UK will be treated as any other non-EU trading nation post Brexit. Consequently, UK importers would be required to make an up-front VAT payment in addition to any customs duties. This VAT payment will rank as input VAT that can be reclaimed from HMRC. 

Chancellor calls for a simplification on Inheritance Tax

The Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) has already highlighted inheritance tax (IHT) as an area ripe for an overhaul and now the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, has asked the body to conduct a system-wide review of the current tax regime, and wants to see proposals for simplification, ‘to ensure that the system is fit for purpose and makes the experience of those who interact with it as smooth as possible’.

CGT Opportunities?

This is also an appropriate time of the year to consider your capital gains tax position if you have already disposed (or are considering a disposal) of an asset subject to CGT before 6 April 2018.

4 common mistakes to avoid when submitting your paper tax return

The countdown has begun for this years’ paper tax return, a crucial time for around 10 miilion taxpayers who are either self employed or  receive other income that requires the submission of a tax return, which is normally rental income,  interest or dividend income. It is also necessary to submit a tax return if you have realized capital gains on which a tax liability arises, or if you have made a loss on the disposal of a capital asset that you want to carry forward to set against future gains.

Second finance bill this Autumn

It has been announced that the second Finance Bill will legislate for all policies that were included in the pre-election Finance Bill but had to be dropped in order to rush through the Finance Act 2017 before the snap general election in June.

Trading and property allowances

From 6 April 2017 (subject to the passage of the Autumn Finance Bill, when Parliament returns after the summer break), individuals will be able to claim up to £1,000 a year in tax-free allowances for property or trading income.  If you have both types of income, you may claim a £1,000 allowance for each.

 

Tax diary July/August

July & August are very busy times in the tax calendar, with critical filing dates.

Please check out the link below for dates that may be relevant to your business throughout the year.
July & August are very busy times in the tax calendar, with critical filing dates.
 
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What is dementia tax?


The Conservative Party Manifesto announcement and subsequent U-Turn on the requirement to pay for social care may have caused many voters to switch their allegiance in the June Election. Although this so-called “Dementia tax” is not strictly a tax, paying for social care has become more important than Inheritance Tax for many families.

Expenses and benefits for employees

Until 2015-16, it was possible to apply for a dispensation to exclude certain expenses and benefits provided to employees from the year end returns to HMRC: primarily the submission of forms P11D. These dispensations ceased to be effective from 6 April 2016. From this date many of the expenses covered by dispensations were exempted from the benefits legislation. The sorts of expenses covered include:

 

Beneficial loans to employees

In many cases, making loans to your employees or their relatives can create an obligation to report a beneficial loan to HMRC. The deemed benefit would be a taxable benefit in kind for the relevant employee, and would increase the employer’s Class 1A NIC bill at the end of the tax year.

Simplified cash basis

For some time now, unincorporated businesses have been able to submit simplified accounts in order to settle their tax liabilities. The main advantage of using this system is that income and expenditure is based on money received from customers and money paid to suppliers. In other words, the accruals basis, where income and outgoings are based on the value of invoices sent and received, is not applied.

Tax diary

April is a very busy time in the tax calendar, with critical filing dates.

Please check out the link below for dates that may be relevant to your business throughout the year.

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 who save the maximum will receive a £1,000 bonus each year from the Government.
 

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.

Staff Christmas parties and gifts

There has, for many years, been an exemption for small and seasonal gifts made by an employer to its employees such as a turkey, an ordinary bottle of wine or a box of chocolates at Christmas. In addition, employers have always been able to rely on the annual staff function to exempt Christmas parties (provided the combined VAT inclusive cost of any such functions remains below £150 per head). But now, following the introduction by HM Revenue & Customs of new trivial benefit rules, from 6 April 2016, other staff gifts  might now qualify as a trivial benefit if the cost per head is below the specified VAT inclusive £50 limit. In order to qualify for the exemption, the gift cannot be part of any reward for services, nor can it be in the form of cash or vouchers capable of being converted into cash.

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.

Tax measures contained in 2016 Autumn Statement

This was the first and last Autumn Statement to be delivered by the new Chancellor, as he announced major changes to the timetable under which the annual Budget cycle will operate in future, the main thrust of which is that after  the Spring budget in March 2017 we will be moving to Autumn Budgets and Spring Statements!  In a change of policy from recent years, there were not as many new tax announcements in the speech or the supporting documents as has been the case in recent years, but the tax changes that were announced included the following:

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.

The UK has funeral debt close to £150m

The total amount borrowed by people living in the UK to pay for funerals, has hit close to £147 million, as it is revealed almost 95,000 have been slapped with a huge and unexpected funeral bill, with no other choice but to simply borrow, in order to be able to afford it. It is a startling number that demonstrates how unbelievably out of hand the cost of funerals has become. 

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:

The deadline for paper tax returns is looming.... avoid these common mistakes

The countdown has begun for this years’ paper tax return, a crucial time for around 400,000 taxpayers who are self employed or those that receive other income that requires the submission of a tax return, which is normally rental income, or interest and dividend income that is liable to income tax at more than the basic rate. It is also necessary to submit a tax return if you have realised capital gains on which a tax liability arises, or if you have made a loss on the disposal of a capital asset that you want to carry forward to set against future gains.

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.
 

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.

Making tax digital - too soon?

George Osborne announced the introduction of digital tax accounts in his 2015 Budget, with more information being sent online to HM Revenue and Customs (HRMC) by employers, pension funds, banks and other institutions. This information will  then be used to calculate individuals' tax liabilities which may be viewed by them online. All this sounds great in theory, but many accountants expressed concerns about the reliability of this data.