Claiming child benefit for newborns

General Register Offices are currently operating with reduced capacity and with government guidance to social distance and stay at home, new parents are advised not to visit them. They can however still claim Child Benefit without having to register their child’s birth first to ensure that they do not miss out.

COVID-19: What are the options when furlough ends?

Although we still don’t know when lockdown restrictions will be lifted, it is worth organisations starting to plan for the end of the furlough period – particularly if you are unlikely to have a full workload to occupy your entire team.  We look at the options available to businesses when the furlough scheme finishes. 

COVID-19: Business Rates Relief

The Chancellor has announced a raft of measures designed to help businesses during the coronavirus crisis.  One of the headline measures announced in the Spring Budget was the Business Rates Holiday - 100% relief from Business Rates for retail, leisure and hospitality businesses in England for 2020/21. 

COVID-19: Travel to Work

To clarify the situation regarding travel – travel for work purposes is currently permitted, but only where you cannot work from home and provided you are not showing coronavirus symptoms and neither you nor any of your household are self-isolating. 
 

COVID-19: OPTIONS AND PROTECTION AVAILABLE TO COMPANIES IN DISTRESS

Directors will naturally be concerned as to their conduct during the current pandemic. Trying to do the right thing by the company’s employees, customers, suppliers and other stakeholders whilst ensuring ongoing compliance with their fiduciary duties will be challenging, however, changes are being made to the insolvency regime to provide directors with breathing space to explore their options, whilst protecting them from risk of personal liability.
 

Coronavirus: specific measures and support for the charity sector

Understandably, charities are concerned about the current coronavirus crisis, which will impact on both the work they are able to undertake, and income to generate. Many do not have sufficient cash reserves. With the NCVO announcing that the charity sector could lose at least £4bn over the next 12 weeks, we want to ensure our charity clients are aware of the measures and support available to you during this time. We will keep this page updated and urge you to get in contact if you have further questions on the below.

IR35 is delayed

Taken from City Am

Chief treasury secretary Steve Barclay this evening announced that the IR35 tax reforms would be pushed back by one year, less than a week after the controversial measures were confirmed in the Budget.
 

The Budget 2020 Overview

This was a budget delivered by a new Chancellor against the backdrop of a worsening COVID-19 crisis and recent economic shocks, and as a result the speech was probably very different to the one that was being prepared only a few weeks ago.

Don't fall for this scam

The Insolvency Service has issued a warning that fraudsters have been contacting investors in insolvent schemes claiming to be from the Official Receiver's office or to have been appointed by the Official Receiver to help recover funds for a fee.

Changes to Capital Gains Tax (CGT)

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 2020, it will be notified on the individuals 2019-20 tax return, which does not need to be submitted until January 31, 2021 with the tax due on that same day.

What now?

Even though many of the uncertainties that have plagued UK politics during 2019 are still to be decided, at least the hiatus in parliament has been resolved; the Conservatives now have a working majority and we can expect action on a number of fronts. 

Time is running out for tax planning 2019-20

A reminder that in just a few months the present tax year closes, 5 April 2020.

After this date, a whole raft of 2019-20 tax planning options for individuals will cease to be available.

These cover a multitude of opportunities to reduce your liability to Income Tax, Capital Gains Tax and National Insurance.

Turnover of Top 15 UK gym chains rises 8% in a year to £1.6bn

The turnover of the Top 15 UK gym chains increased 8% last year to £1.61bn, up from £1.49bn in the previous year*, says accountants and business advisors, Moore.
Moore’s research suggests that spending on gyms is far exceeding that of other parts of the leisure industry such as pubs and bars – bucking the current weakness in consumer spending. Consumer spending on recreation and culture activities as a whole has increased by just 3.8% over the last year**.
 

Helping you thrive in a changing world

From Monday 9 September 2019, global accounting and consultancy network Moore Stephens relaunches our brand to become ‘Moore’. The unveiling of a new logo, visual identity and brand positioning marks the continued evolution of a network of more than 260 independent firms in 112 countries and a client-focused professional community of more than 30,000 people.

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.

Do you own a holiday let property?

There is a number of tax incentives that you can take advantage of if you own and let a Furnished Holiday Lets property (FHL). They include:
  • You can claim Capital Gains Tax reliefs for traders (Business Asset Rollover Relief, Entrepreneurs’ Relief, relief for gifts of business assets and relief for loans to traders),

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.

Moore (South) LLP attends Ellen MacArthur Annual Charity Gala Dinner

Moore (South) LLP were delighted to attend Dame Ellen MacArthur’s Annual Gala Charity Dinner at the BT Tower last Thursday 28th March. 

In attendance from Moore (South) LLP were Sue Lucas, Andrew Coldwell, Ann Mathias, Esme Shakeshaft, Kevin Cooper and Vicky Drayton. 

They were accompanied by their special guests for the evening, Richard and Lucy Moore of Moore Global and Nicholas and Joanna Hilton of Moore UK.

Moore attends Ellen MacArthur Annual Charity Gala Dinner

Moore (South) LLP were delighted to attend Dame Ellen MacArthur’s Annual Gala Charity Dinner at the BT Tower last Thursday 28th March. 

In attendance from Moore (South) LLP were Sue Lucas, Andrew Coldwell, Ann Mathias, Esme Shakeshaft, Kevin Cooper and Vicky Drayton. 

They were accompanied by their special guests for the evening, Richard and Lucy Moore of Moore Global and Nicholas and Joanna Hilton of Moore UK.

Can’t pay your tax?

A reminder that HMRC may consider extended options for settling your outstanding tax bill. The key is to contact HMRC, explain why you can’t pay on time, and discuss how you can settle any outstanding liabilities.

VAT chargeable on all non-refundable deposits

HMRC has confirmed a new policy that VAT will remain due on a deposit, even if the customer does not use the goods or services for which it was paid – this comes into effect from March 1 2019. This change will affect the hospitality industry significantly (but it will also apply to other businesses), which will soon be unable to recover VAT charged on cancelations or ‘no show’ charges.
 

VAT chargeable on all non-refundable deposits

HMRC has confirmed a new policy that VAT will remain due on a deposit, even if the customer does not use the goods or services for which it was paid – this comes into effect from March 1 2019. This change will affect the hospitality industry significantly (but it will also apply to other businesses), which will soon be unable to recover VAT charged on cancelations or ‘no show’ charges.

Loans to employees

A reminder that if your business makes a loan to your employees or their relatives this can create tax problems for both employees and employers.

And please don’t forget that the term “employee” includes directors, and also that loans to family members may be caught. 
 

How long does it take to sell a small business?

The agreed sale price of a small business for sale, is influenced by a number of factors including revenues, business category, the business location, cash flow multiples and of course, the asking price. Although these factors are important in monitoring small business sales another overlooked factor speaks to fundamental market conditions, in particular the amount of time the business spends on the market. It is possible to study the health of the market by looking at the factor of time as it can determine the demand among buyers and expectations of sellers.

Making Tax Digital - Bridging software

Can we still use spreadsheets after MTD comes into force?
One of the most commonly asked questions concerning the Making Tax Digital changes coming in from April 2019 concerns whether spreadsheets count as “functional compatible software”.  The answer to this is both yes and no.

Probate fees on the increase

Probate fees are to increase according to a new government consultation, which will see the end of the current flat fee approach and the introduction of a new banded approach based on the value of an estate. 

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.

Pension contributions set to rise

From 6th April 2019, the total minimum amount being paid into the workplace pension both by the employer and the employee will increase from 5% to 8 % of qualifying earnings due to a change in workplace pension regulations.  (This is based on a qualifying earnings scheme.) 

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.

Is the top rate of Income Tax 45%?

Named the additional rate, the highest rate of Income Tax is 45%, and some might say 45% is high enough.

However, if the rate of tax is measured as the relationship between income and tax plus tax related penalties paid, there are times when this 45% can rise, to as much as 90%.

Pensions Costs

The recently announced proposed increase in Teachers’ Pensions Scheme (TPS) employer contributions from 1 September 2019, has shocked the academy sector. Treasury indications predict a rise to 23.6% - an increase of over 40%. Most schools were expecting a 2% to 3%. 

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. 

Pensions Costs

The recently announced proposed increase in Teachers’ Pensions Scheme (TPS) employer contributions from 1 September 2019, has shocked the academy sector. Treasury indications predict a rise to 23.6% - an increase of over 40%. Most schools were expecting a 2% to 3%.
 

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. 
 

New Academies Financial Handbook 2018

The new handbook came into effect on 1 September 2018.  Although similar to the 2017 handbook, certain key items have been headlined at the front of the 2018 handbook as the “top ten musts” for chairs and trustees. These “musts” focus on three core functions of governance:
 

New Academies Financial Handbook 2018

The new handbook came into effect on 1 September 2018.  Although similar to the 2017 handbook, certain key items have been headlined at the front of the 2018 handbook as the “top ten musts” for chairs and trustees. These “musts” focus on three core functions of governance:

Are you eligible to claim the Marriage Allowance?

Marriage Allowance lets you transfer £1,190 of your Personal Allowance to your husband, wife or civil partner - if they earn more than you.
This reduces their tax by up to £238 in the tax year. To benefit from this arrangement, you (as the lower earner) must have an income below your Personal Allowance - this is £11,850 for the current tax year.

Making Tax Digital - Bridging software

One of the most commonly asked questions concerning the Making Tax Digital changes coming in from April 2019 concerns whether spreadsheets count as “functional compatible software”.   Bridging software allows businesses to transfer the relevant VAT information from a spreadsheet directly into HMRC's MTD systems - thereby removing the need to purchase a full accounting software package - at least in the short-term. 

Top 100 UK hotel groups see profitability rise as tourist numbers grow

Profitability at the UK’s Top 100 hotel groups has risen 13% in the last year*, with pre-tax profits of £689 million, up from £609 million in the previous year.

Hotels are benefiting from the continued drop in the value of sterling that has led to rising numbers of overseas tourists coming to the UK. 2017 set a record for inbound tourism to the UK, with 39.2 million visits, up 4.3% in a year.

HMRC to review 2016/17 tax returns

HMRC are planning on reviewing up to 30,000 self-assessment returns from 2016/2017, after concerns that their tax calculator computed individual’s tax liabilities incorrectly.

The 2016/17 self-assessment period was a difficult time for agents, including us. This was due to an increasing number of returns subject to exclusions.
 

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.

What is a reasonable excuse?

HMRC is still required to obtain certain returns from you even if there is no income or tax to declare. Failure to submit will likely trigger late filing penalties and unfortunately, pleading ignorance of your obligations to file “nil” returns is not a reasonable excuse.

Buy to let mortgages

The gradual restriction of tax relief for buy-to-let mortgage interest has received much publicity since the process commenced 5 April 2017. From that date, tax relief is converted from a straight forward deduction against business profits into a basic rate tax deduction.

UK Department Stores – reasons to be cheerful

Recent news of profit warnings, redundancies and store closures for the UK’s major department store chains provides clear evidence that times have changed. Is the end of the department store as we know it? Will any of the major chains survive? And what makes one chain more likely to survive than another?

Points based penalties

In the recently published draft clauses that will form the basis of the Budget later this year, HMRC has outlined a significant change to the way they will be levying penalties for late filing breaches under the Making Tax Digital regulations.
 

It's all in the clouds

For those of you that have already considered the assets you hold and what should happen to them in the event of your death (or losing mental capacity), the obvious ones such as property, physical assets (cars etc.), personal items are easy.

 

Stop monkeying around!

In the world of investment management there is an idea that blindfolded monkeys throwing darts at pages of sharelistings can select portfolios that will do just as well, if not better, than both the market and the average portfolio constructed by professional asset managers. If this is true, why might it be the case?

Draft Finance Bill measures

The Government has today issued for consultation draft legislation intended for inclusion in the Finance Bill to be introduced later this year, after the Autumn Budget. This extends to 226 pages of legislation and 143 pages of explanatory notes.

ESFA release the Academies Accounts Direction 2017-18

The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) has published its Academies Accounts Direction (AAD) 2017-18 which is applicable to academy trusts preparing statutory financial statements for the period ending 31 August 2018. Although the changes aren’t as significant as those seen in previous updates, there are still a number of things to consider.

Major shake-up in the UK Grocery market

The UK grocery market has also been changing in recent years. Seeing issues on the horizon, it is no surprise that Sainsbury’s and Asda are undertaking strategic investment for the future. The key questions are why do they feel the need to do this now, what will it mean for the UK supermarket scene and what effect will it have on consumers?

Moore Business of the Year Award

The South Wilts Business Of The Awards were launched back in 2000 and since then has recognised literally 100’s of local companies for delivering business excellence across South Wiltshire. The judging panel is made up of the actual award sponsors all of whom are experts in their field, they bring a great deal of depth to the judging process and give freely of their time to visit EVERY SINGLE entrant to these awards.

 

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.
 

Tax-free childcare support expanded

Since 14 February 2018, tax-free childcare has become available to all remaining eligible families: parents whose youngest child is under 12. The new scheme aims to help working parents with the cost of childcare. 

According to government, it is quick and easy to apply, and parents could save thousands of pounds each year. For every £8 parents pay into their childcare account, the government will add an extra £2, up to £2,000 per child per year. HMRC has been gradually rolling out tax-free childcare since April 2017. 

94% of OMBs say Government is ignoring them on Brexit

94% of OMBs say that the Government is ignoring their concerns on Brexit, shows new research from our 5th annual Owner Managed Business report, entitled "Powered by people and technology in 2018: the owner managed business view". Of the 653 owner managed businesses surveyed, only 41 say that they think the Government is listening to their views on Brexit.

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.

Have you submitted your tax return?

The countdown has begun for this years’ online tax return, a crucial time for around 11 million taxpayers who are self employed or  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.  Because of changes made to the taxation of dividends with effect from 6 April 2017, any one who receives more than £5,000 of dividends in a year is likely to have an income tax liability, even if they are only basic rate taxpayers.  In the past only higher rate taxpayers have had to pay any tax on their dividend income.

PRIIPS and MiFID II: Cost and charges considerations

Two key pieces of regulation that impact how firms demonstrate transparency to clients when interacting with them throughout the lifecycle of a relationship, went live this week: Packaged Retail and Insurance-based Investment Products (PRIIPs) Regulation and the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II (MiFID II).
 

Investigation into the London Stadium complete

Today, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has today published Moore' independent review into the true scale of the mismanagement of the London Stadium by the former Mayor, revealing a catalogue of errors that led to transformation costs soaring and a bungled decision that has left the taxpayer to foot an annual loss of around £20 million.

What does the Autumn Budget Update mean for the film and TV industry?

As with all budgets, there is a mixture of good news and bad news – increases to some reliefs that can benefit the sector, some tightening up of existing rules for Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) relief which will have an adverse effect in some situations, and some consultations and position papers on international issues whose impact will have to be considered carefully and where the industry may wish to respond.
 

STEP launches ‘The Informed Trustee’

During Trustees’ Week, the Society of Trusts and Estates Practitioners (STEP) – the global professional association for practitioners who specialise in family inheritance and succession planning – launched an innovative new online course for charity trustees, as part of its commitment to providing education in the field of trusts and trusteeship.

Wilber's cash for clothes

The Wiltshire Air Ambulance Charitable Trust has a mission statement that is simple and effective – “they save lives.” The charity does this by raising sufficient funds to finance an air ambulance service in Wiltshire and adjacent counties. 

Paying self-assessment tax by instalments

If you file your 2016-17 self-assessment tax return on or before 30 December 2017, you can elect to spread the repayment of any underpayment of tax for 2016-17 to the tax year 2018-19. This is done by amending your tax code for 2018-19 such that any arrears are repaid by increasing your tax payments each pay period.

MiFID II - the final furlong

With just 36 working days remaining of 2017 and until the implementation of MiFID II, we are seeing mixed progress towards compliance, with some firms just completing the first hurdle as they progress through the gap analysis stage. While others have demonstrated strong progress towards implementing solutions and now have the finish line in sight, as we enter the final furlong.

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.

Restructuring could radically reduce your capital requirements

For some insurers, acquisition activity has created legal entity structures with a number of different underwriting platforms and locally regulated subsidiaries across jurisdictions. This can result in the cost and inefficiency of multiple regulatory rules, relationships and returns and, when the solvency requirements of all the various subsidiaries are added together, an aggregate capital requirement that can be much higher than that of a single consolidated business.

Making Tax Digital: Changes to VAT reporting from 2019

From April 2019, as part of the Government’s Making Tax Digital (MTD) programme, VAT registered businesses with taxable turnover above the VAT registration threshold (currently £85,000) will have to keep their records digitally (for VAT purposes only) and submit their VAT return information to HMRC digitally through ‘MTD functional compatible software’.

Regulator’s spotlight now firmly on COREP returns accuracy

Last year, the PRA issued a ‘Dear CEO letter’ setting out its intention to review the accuracy of COREP returns. Now, the Regulator has started to press ahead with their review, and has issued a wave of S166 reviews to investigate individual business’ COREP processes and procedures. We now believe that the next step will be for the FCA to take the same approach for those firms that fall under its regulation.

VAT bad debt relief

If you use standard VAT accounting – pay VAT on sales when invoiced and claim back VAT on purchases when invoiced – you may have availed yourself of the six months claim for bad debt relief on unpaid invoices

Claiming back professional subscriptions

If your employment requires that you obtain and maintain membership of a professional organisation, you can make a claim to set the cost against your taxable earnings for income tax purposes. As you would expect there are a few hoops you will need to jump through to claim this relief. They are:
 

Another Finance Bill!

With the publication of three Finance Bills planned for 2017 it has been increasing difficult to follow what has been included in each Bill and what each of the Bills are called. Our update highlights the recent changes.

SAO rotation in the Lloyd's market

The provision of Statements of Actuarial Opinion (SAOs) is an important aspect of the control system that Lloyd’s applies to the society as a whole in order to ensure the robustness of technical provisions and the general maintenance of high technical standards.

Regulatory intervention: what next for the CFD industry?

An article discussing the concerns raised over the risks posed to retail investors from the provision of speculative products such as CFDs. It has been widely publicised, that the regulators are considering intervention, including possible measures such as leverage limits, guaranteed limits on client losses or restrictions on the marketing and distribution of these products.

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.

MiFID II countdown – five months to go

On 3 July, the FCA published policy statement PS17/14 detailing their final rules on conduct of business and client assets as part of the implementation of MiFID II in the UK. In this article we focus on the new conduct requirements and provide a brief outline on the main changes being introduced on best execution, investment research and inducements. 

Five top-tips for grant-making trusts & foundations

When it comes to the financial management of recipients, grant-giving foundations and charitable trusts face contradictory pressures. On the one hand, foundations do not want to be overly burdensome on their partners. Many foundations take pride in distinguishing themselves from publicly-funded bilateral and multilateral donors. They see themselves as being more nimble, less bureaucratic and less demanding on the recipients of their funds; more interested in results rather than adherence to myriad procedural conditions. They are also more willing and able to fund riskier projects and partners.

Extending the Senior Managers & Certification Regime to all FCA firms – summary of Consultation Paper 17/25 on Individual Accountability

On Wednesday, the FCA issued a consultation paper (CP17/25)  on the extension of the Senior Managers & Certification Regime (‘SM&CR’) to those FSMA authorised firms that are not currently in scope of the regime.
The key drivers of this reform are still the same as the original SM&CR that is currently applicable to the banking sector; Improving culture and governance in financial services firms, holding senior managers to high standards through individual accountability and increasing consumer protection remain amongst the highest priorities for the FCA.

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.
 
.

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.

Anyone for a wall?

The Restructuring & Insolvency team are delighted to announce that Duncan Swift, a partner at Moore, has been appointed Deputy Vice President of R3, the insolvency and restructuring trade body with effect from 7 July 2017.
 

How long does it take to sell a small business?


The agreed sale price of a small business for sale, is influenced by a number of factors including revenues, business category, the business location, cash flow multiples and of course, the asking price. Although these factors are important in monitoring small business sales another overlooked factor speaks to fundamental market conditions, in particular the amount of time the business spends on the market. It is possible to study the health of the market by looking at the factor of time as it can determine the demand among buyers and expectations of sellers.  
 

Are you up to date with GDPR?

Personal data is defined as ‘any information relating to a person who can be identified directly or indirectly ‘.  Personal data has been a topic of discussion over the last few years and no matter what industry you work in; you will almost certainly have come across how data is fiercely changing the face of the world, at a rapid rate!
 

MiFID II : governance and organisational requirements

In addition to changes to market structure, conduct of business and transparency, MiFID II will introduce extensive requirements in respect of internal management, organisational arrangements, individual responsibilities and governance. The reform takes provisions derived from the Capital Requirement Directive (CRD IV) that were originally intended for banks and large institutions, and extends these to all MiFID firms.

2016/2017 Academies Account Direction

The ESFA has published its Academies Accounts Direction for 2016/17. Although the changes aren’t as significant as last year, there are a number of things to consider. As well as introducing new disclosure requirements, including academy transfers and the apprenticeship levy, and providing guidance on accounting for premises occupied by church academy trusts, the ESFA has taken the opportunity to re-affirm/clarify existing financial administrative and legal requirements.

Valuable information on P11D's

Employee expenses and benefits – employer reporting requirements
If you’re an employer you  need to submit an end-of-year report to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), for each employee and director you’ve provided with non-business expenses or benefits in kind.  The report is made on a form P11d.
 

The future of regulation in the shadow of Brexit

With the Prime Minister Theresa May indicating that there is insufficient time to replace European bodies with a new British regulatory regime, the implications of Brexit look to have limited short term impact on Financial Services regulation. However, beyond March 2019, what would a hard or soft Brexit look like in terms of future regulation?

Should you expect more from your CASS Auditors?

With increased regulatory focus, further complexity for CASS rules, and recording-breaking fines for CASS failings, it is paramount that you have an advisor who combines technical CASS expertise with an in-depth understanding of the industry. However, last year’s introduction by the Financial Reporting Council of rigorous new CASS audit led most fees to increase considerably. But are you getting value for money?

Protect yourself from phishing scams

The recent cyber attacks around the world have highlighted the need to ensure individuals are aware of the risks posed by phishing scams and are not tricked into either downloading harmful material online or providing personal or financial information to fraudsters.

MiFID II: common misconceptions

With only seven months to go until its implementation date, MiFID II is one of the most talked-about topics in the financial industry. However, we are still finding that a number of firms fall victim to some misinterpretations and common misconceptions about the changes brought about by MiFID II.

Strength amidst uncertainty in 2017: the real estate & construction view

Our survey, completed by 691 business leaders from across the UK, finds continued uncertainty amongst owner managed businesses (OMBs). This view is shared in the real estate and construction sector where, although they are more confident than owner managed businesses overall, their confidence has dropped significantly compared to last year. 61% are confident about the general outlook for 2017, compared to 84% in previous year's survey.
 
Combined with their lowered optimism, real estate and construction businesses are more likely than OMBs generally to have already experienced some negative impact from the Brexit vote (38% compared to 30% overall). Alongside this, again compared to OMBs in general, RE&C OMBs appear relatively unwilling to commit to specific strategies in 2017, and yet have little reticence about identifying the issues that concern them this year, both from a business and economic perspective.

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.

Making Tax Digital plans suspended

Following the calling of a snap general election, numerous elements of the Budget proposals have been dropped from the Finance Bill.  One of the most notable removals concerns Making Tax Digital (MTD).
 
The current position is that, (subject to any future Budget announcements), MTD will now not be coming into effect in April 2018.
 

VAT blow for cultural charities and public bodies

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has finally crushed hopes that more public bodies and charities engaged in cultural activities could claim VAT exemption on their admission charges. Its recent judgment in the VAT case of the British Film Institute (BFI), released in February, draws a line under an argument that has been running for the last four years.

Corporate tax rates & VAT limits

The new corporate tax rates are now upon us and the Government is committed to continue to have the lowest corporate tax rate of the G20 major trading nations. As already announced the corporation tax rate reduces to 19% from1 April 2017 and then to 17% from 1 April 2020.

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.

Making tax digital

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

Time to tighten your anti-money laundering defences

By 26 June 2017, all European Union member states are required to have enacted the Fourth Money Laundering Directive (4MLD) into national law. 4MLD aims to give effect to the updated Financial Action Task Force (“FATF”) standards. With this in mind Firms need to make sure their policies, procedures, systems and controls are up to scratch.

Are you paying your employees tax efficiently?

With P11D submissions for employees due at the beginning of July, now is a good time to take stock of the benefits you provide to your workforce and evaluate if there are more tax efficient options available.  It’s also worth reviewing whether there are more potentially appealing benefits you could be providing that could help you to attract, remunerate and retain staff. 

In this article we look at a selection of employee benefits that are exempt from tax. Whilst this list is not exhaustive, each is worth considering to see if it would be a positive step forward in the tax position of both the employee and the business itself.
 

The art of delegation: delegated authorities in the insurance sector

The regulators generally look at insurers and brokers who outsource via delegated authority with greater scrutiny, mainly because of the increased risk of weak oversight and control by the principal over the performance of products and delivery of services outsourced in this way. It is therefore crucial to have the right systems and controls in place, together with clear allocation of responsibilities.
 

How ready are you for MiFID II?

With an implementation date of 3 January 2018, the deadline for readying your firm for the required changes is rapidly approaching. However, in a recent Moore survey, it was found that only 7% of firms had started their implementation plans and more than half did not even have a plan in place yet to achieve timely compliance.
 
To aid firms in scope of MiFID II, this article highlights the key milestones you need to work towards over the coming nine months.

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.

What will be in the 2017 Spring Budget?

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, will present his first and last Spring Budget on Wednesday 8 March.

The reason that this is a ‘one-off’ occasion is not because Mr Hammond is contemplating an exit from the role of Chancellor, but because on 23 November 2016, in his first and last Autumn Statement, he announced that in future the Budget would take place in the Autumn, and the Autumn Statement (which deals primarily with spending rather than tax decisions) would be abolished.
 

Making tax digital to be delayed?

  The Treasury Select Committee has reviewed the proposals for the introduction of “Making tax digital” (MTD) and have agreed with the various professional bodies that if the new systems are introduced too quickly there could be a disaster.

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.
 

MiFID II authorisations gateway

The FCA announced the opening of the MIFID II authorisations gateway on 30 January. It is thought that around 600 applications will be submitted over the coming months including new applications for authorisation of organised trading facilities, commodities dealers and data reporting service providers. Similarly, variations of permissions and notifications from existing firms that require a change of permission or passporting rights are expected.

VAT exemptions for eligible bodies

The Upper Tribunal decision in the case of St Andrew’s College Bradfield (the college) could have ramifications for any not for profit entity which treats its supplies as exempt from VAT on the basis that it does not distribute profits or it only passes profits to an associated non profit making body. 
 

“2017 Will Be The Year I Get on Top of MY Finances....”

The start of a new year is a fresh thought. It is exciting to think of the new possibilities you may come across, the new faces that you meet at networking events, may eventually become close business connections and the idea of it being a completely new year sparks the opportunity to set new goals. Most of us have one resolution that we put together on 31st December and it is usually centred on something that we have been putting off for a long period of time: “This year will be the year that I finally get around to....”

Proposed changes to UK domicile rules

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

100% tax relief for low emission cars

Currently 100% capital allowances are available when a business buys a motor car with CO2 emissions of no more than 75 grams per kilometer. Legislation has now been passed to reduce the threshold to just 50 grams from April 2018 but also to continue the tax relief for 3 years until 2021.

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.

Salary sacrifice under the microscope

Salary sacrifice is a term applied to benefits taken in place of salary. In many respects these benefits provide employees with higher “take home” value than if the benefits were treated the same as cash income. Mr Hammond is mindful to curb this practice as it is intended that the change will add £1bn a year to tax revenues by 2020.

More fundraising changes afoot

In July 2016 the Fundraising Standards Board was replaced by the Fundraising Regulator following a government-commissioned report into the self-regulation of charity fundraising by Sir Stuart Etherington, Chair of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations.

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.

Digital Tax Returns - what will the changes mean for you?

You’ve probably seen the headlines such as ‘the end of the Tax Return’ and heard the Government talk about ‘reducing the burden’ for tax payers by building a ‘transparent and accessible tax system for the digital age’, but you may not be aware of what the changes will mean for you. Senior Tax Adviser Matthew Grief from the Moore Peterborough office explains what impact the proposed changes will have on the tax payer.

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:

Changes to farmers averaging

From 2016/17 onwards farmers now have the option to smooth out their profits over two or five tax years as the result of a change in Finance Act 2016.

Farmers’ and market gardeners’ profits often fluctuate wildly from one year to the next and the tax rules for many years have allowed them to average their profits in order to smooth out those fluctuations. 

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.

Related Parties

There have been some subtle changes to who is now classified as a related party and subsequently a potential increase in the related party disclosures required in the year end accounts.  An individual or organisation is a natural related party under any of the following circumstances:

Academies: AAR

The AAR will no longer be filled in via an excel spreadsheet, the 2015/16 return will be replaced by an online form, which the EFA are currently finalising, with it due to be launched on 31st October.

Spending the kids inheritance......

When considering any type of tax planning and in particular Inheritance planning it is important to ensure that you do not give too much away too quickly. You have worked hard to accumulate your savings and assets. When looking at gifts, ensuring that you have enough funds to maintain your lifestyle is the number one priority.

Where there's a will there's a way.....

If you have not made a will your estate may not go to the beneficiaries that you intend it to.

In October 2014 the Intestacy laws changed, reformed to suit the Modern Family. The changes improve the position for surviving spouses but may lead to more claims by Adult children under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.

NIC Employment Allowance (EA)

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

Should I file my tax return early?

Is it better to file your Self Assessment tax return as soon as possible after the end of the tax year?

You are not obliged to file your tax return for 2015-16, online, before the 31 January 2017. However, if you leave the process of completing your return until close to this date, it will not give you much time to calculate and fund the amount of tax you may owe on the same date, 31 January 2017.

Buy-to-let mortgage deposit requirements could rise to 60% in 2017

 The bolts are set to be tightened for landlords that are looking for a buy to let mortgage with a small deposit, as mortgage deposit requirements could rise to 60% in some areas, as we approach 2017.
This deposit rise has been provoked by a perfect storm of tax changes, risk-averse lenders, and strict stress tests, that may push some areas to off limits and out of budget, for potential investors.

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.

More on the taxation of dividends?

In the context of this article tax credit does not refer to the child or working tax credits – these are part of the benefits system. Tax credits in this article refer to a deduction made from your overall tax liabilities, usually at a fixed percentage rate of the relevant income.
 

Stamp duty increase penalises home buyers

There has been much press commentary regarding the extra 3% Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) and the 3% Additional Dwelling Supplement (ADS) – part of the Land and Building Transaction Tax in Scotland – that applies to the purchase of a second residential property by individuals in the UK from 1 April 2016.

Gift Aid: Changes to declarations and maintaining the levels of giving

In November 2015 HMRC published new model gift aids for single and multiple donations. Whilst the "simplification" is welcome, there are also new information requirements that have received less positive reactions.  Charities were required to update the declarations used, by 5 April 2016.
With the increase in personal allowances to £11,000 (2016-17), and the new dividend allowance of £5,000, individuals may now be taken out of tax altogether. 
 

Retirement age NI bonus

When you reach the State Retirement Age (SRA) you stop paying Class 1 NIC contributions if you are employed, and Class 2 contributions if you are self-employed.

You will still have to pay Class 4 NIC, the most significant self-employed NIC charge, for the entire tax year during which you achieve the SRA. The next year you will be exempt.

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.

Moore (South) LLP scoops Employer of the Year Award

On Friday 22nd April 2016, Moore (South) LLP headed on down to this year's Chichester Observer and Gazette Business Awards, a black tie event that aims to celebrate business excellence across the region.  This year the awards ceremony was held in its usual venue, at the Hilton Avisford Park Hotel. In attendance to present the awards was BBC One’s very own Nick Wallis.
    

Women in Business Conference

On 8 March representatives from the Salisbury office attended the Women in Business Conference at Bowood Hotel & Spa.  This is the second year the Conference, funded by TEN, to celebrate International Women's Day, has been held.
 

Company car drivers and private fuel

Since the tax on private fuel provided with company cars is so high, many employers now have an arrangement whereby they no longer pay for private fuel. In this case, the employee must reimburse the employer for private fuel included in petrol bills paid by the employer. Otherwise, the employee may face a tax charge.

Capital Gains Tax (CGT) Planning

Most of our readers will be aware that they can make chargeable gains of up to £11,100 in the tax year 2015-16 and pay no CGT. This exemption cannot be transferred to a future tax year or carried back to a previous tax year if it is not utilised.

SPORTY CHAINS

Held for the second year at the Bargeman's Rest in Newport, the Moore (South) Isle of Wight charity quiz night raised funds for the Isle of Wight Youth Trust. Proceeds from team entry fees, a heads and tails game based on facts from the Youth Trust, and a raffle, raised over £900 to support the work of the Trust.

Salisbury office to host new Bond film

Sony Pictures have granted the Salisbury office permission to host a Regional Charity Gala Screening of SPECTRE on Tuesday 27 October.  All the proceeds from this black tie event will go to the Stars Appeal Breast Cancer Unit Campaign in memory of Sue Richardson, the wife of partner, Peter Richardson, who sadly passed away earlier this year from cancer.

Littlehampton Academy trip to Romania

Moore are proud to be the t-shirt sponsor for The Littlehampton Academy's trip to Romania on the 3 July. The schools chaplain, Paul Sanderson, has arranged for a group of students to go out to 2 villages in Romania where they will teach Romany Gypsy children to read and write. Although these children go to school they are treated as second rate citizens and hence aren't give an equal opportunity to learn.

The pressure is on!

Following on from our success at the Glanvilles quiz, Moore Chichester attended the Chichester Chamber of Commerce charity quiz night held at the Chichester Park Hotel on Thursday 16 April. Our team ‘The Moore the Merrier’ comprised Andrea Wulff, Andrew Henshaw, Mike Wakeford, Louise Hastings, Steve Smith and Diane Henshaw (a late substitute for Graham Francis , and a very able one too). With only two team members from the Glanvilles quiz, the pressure was on.