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.

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.

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’.

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.

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.

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.

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.  

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.

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.

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.

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:

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.

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.

“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....”

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.