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20-02-2019
New Stamp Duty surcharge announced

New Stamp Duty surcharge announced

A new consultation has been launched by HM Treasury together with HMRC seeking views on the design of a new 1% Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) surcharge on non-UK residents purchasing residential property in England and Northern Ireland. This move was first mooted in the Budget 2018. The consultation closes for comments on 6 May 2019. The consultation document makes it clear that ... read more

20-02-2019
Edinburgh makes a case for UK’s first tourist tax

Edinburgh makes a case for UK’s first tourist tax

The City of Edinburgh Council is seeking permission to introduce a tourist tax. After an extensive consultation, the members of Edinburgh Council have agreed to submit proposals to the Scottish Government. The City Council voted in favour of the proposal by a margin of 43 to 15. The Scottish government, that had previously been against such a tax, has agreed to further ... read more

20-02-2019
Did you get your Brexit update letter from HMRC?

Did you get your Brexit update letter from HMRC?

HMRC has now written to over 145,000 VAT-registered businesses across the UK with a Brexit update. The letters explain changes to customs, excise and VAT in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal, and what businesses can do to prepare. There are a number of different versions of the letters some of which are specific to the circumstances of businesses in Northern ... read more

20-02-2019
Election to treat property as main residence

Election to treat property as main residence

There are a number of issues that owners of more than one home should be aware of. An individual, married couple or those in a civil partnership can only benefit from CGT on one property at a time. However, it is possible to choose, by election, which property is treated as a main residence and therefore benefits from a CGT exemption when sold. When a home owner lives in more ... read more

20-02-2019
Joint ventures and VAT

Joint ventures and VAT

A joint venture is a commercial enterprise undertaken by two or more parties who otherwise retain their own separate identities. The parties to the joint venture usually bring together different resources and areas of expertise to help fulfil a specific project or business activity. HMRC’s published guidance on how a joint venture is treated for VAT is as follows. Where two or ... read more

20-02-2019
Filing deadlines for company accounts

Filing deadlines for company accounts

After the end of its financial year, a private limited company must prepare full annual accounts and a company tax return. The deadline for filing the first set of accounts with Companies House is 21 months after the date the company was registered with Companies House. Annual accounts must be submitted 9 months after the company’s financial year ends. There is a fixed date ... read more

20-02-2019
Did you miss the self-assessment deadline?

Did you miss the self-assessment deadline?

Are you among the 700,000 taxpayers that missed the 31 January 2019 filing deadline for your 2017-18 self-assessment returns? If you missed the filing deadline then you will be charged a £100 fixed penalty if your return is up to 3 months late, regardless of whether you owed tax or not. If you do not file and pay before 1 May 2019 then you will face far greater penalties. A ... read more

20-02-2019
Finance Bill receives Royal Assent

Finance Bill receives Royal Assent

The Finance (No.3) Bill 2017-19 received Royal Assent (later than originally planned) on 12 February 2019 following agreement by both Houses on the text of the Bill. The Bill is now an Act of Parliament known as Finance Act 2019. The Act contains the legislation for many of the tax measures announced by the government at Autumn Budget 2017 some of which had been the subject of ... read more

13-02-2019
Gifts out of disposable income

Gifts out of disposable income

There is an annual Inheritance Tax exemption of £3,000 for gifts. This exemption can also be carried forward to the following tax year if not used to make a maximum gift of £6,000. You can also give unlimited individual gifts of up to £250 per person during the tax year, but only if you haven’t used another exemption on the same person. There are additional, special allowances ... read more

13-02-2019
What work is covered by the CIS scheme?

What work is covered by the CIS scheme?

The Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) is a set of special rules for tax and National Insurance for those working in the construction industry. Businesses in the construction industry are known as 'contractors' and 'subcontractors'. Under the scheme, contractors deduct money from subcontractors' payments and pass it to HMRC. Contractors are defined as those who pay ... read more

13-02-2019
When do you pay Capital Gains Tax?

When do you pay Capital Gains Tax?

Capital Gains Tax (CGT) is normally charged at a simple flat rate of 20% and this applies to most chargeable gains made by individuals. However, if you only pay basic rate tax and make a small capital gain, you may only be subject to a reduced rate of 10%. Once the total of your taxable income and gains exceed the higher rate threshold, the excess will be subject to 20% CGT. ... read more

13-02-2019
Class 4 NICs who is liable?

Class 4 NICs who is liable?

There are two types of National Insurance Contributions (NICs) payable by most self-employed people. These are known as Class 2 NICs and Class 4 NICs. Class 2 NICs are paid by all self-employed taxpayers unless they qualify for the small earnings exception or other exemptions which remove the necessity to pay NICs. Class 2 NICs are payable at a flat weekly rate. In addition, ... read more

13-02-2019
Reduction in special Writing Down Allowance

Reduction in special Writing Down Allowance

Businesses can claim Capital Allowances tax relief for certain types of capital expenditure. For expenditure on plant and machinery that exceeds the Annual Investment Allowance (AIA) and does not qualify for a first year allowance, a standard 18% Writing Down Allowance (WDA) is available. This is based on the cost of the items in the year they are acquired. There is a lower ... read more

13-02-2019
EIS Income Tax relief restriction for connected parties

EIS Income Tax relief restriction for connected parties

The Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) is designed to help smaller higher-risk trading companies raise finance by offering a range of tax reliefs to investors who purchase new shares in those companies. In order for investors to be able to claim EIS tax reliefs, the company which issues the shares has to meet a number of rules regarding the kind of company it is, the amount ... read more

13-02-2019
Tax codes for employees

Tax codes for employees

The P9X form is used to notify employers of the tax code to use for employees. The form shows the tax codes to use from 6 April 2019. The basic Personal Allowance for the tax year starting 6 April 2019 will be £12,500 and the tax code for emergency will be 1250L. The basic rate limit is £37,500 except for those defined as Scottish taxpayers who have a lower basic rate limit as ... read more

06-02-2019
Alcohol duty freeze confirmed

Alcohol duty freeze confirmed

The Chancellor, Philip Hammond recently paid a visit to an independent brewery in Liverpool and confirmed that the duty rates on beers, spirits and most ciders will be frozen at the current rates for another year from 1 February 2019. These measures mean that the average price for a bottle of whisky will be £1.50 less and a pint of beer 14p less than if the rates had increased ... read more

06-02-2019
Will you pay tax on your inheritance?

Will you pay tax on your inheritance?

If you inherit property, money or shares you are usually not liable to pay tax on the inheritance. This is because any Inheritance Tax (IHT) due should be paid out of the deceased’s estate before any cash or assets are distributed to the heirs. There is normally no tax to be paid by the deceased’s estate if the value of the estate is below the IHT nil rate threshold of ... read more

06-02-2019
Struggling to pay your January tax bill?

Struggling to pay your January tax bill?

Have you missed the 31 January 2019 deadline for paying your tax bill? The 31 January was not just the final date for submission of your Self Assessment tax return but also an important date for payment of other tax due. This included the payment of any Capital Gains Tax due in relation to the 2017-18 tax year, and also the due date for your first payment on account for ... read more

06-02-2019
Spring Statement 2019

Spring Statement 2019

The Chancellor, Philip Hammond, has announced that he will deliver his Spring Statement to the House of Commons on Wednesday, 13 March 2019. The timing of the statement is interesting as the Spring Statement is due to take place just over 2 weeks before the 29 March Brexit withdrawal date. This will be the second Spring Statement to take place following the government’s ... read more

06-02-2019
MTD pilot for self-employed is available

MTD pilot for self-employed is available

The introduction of Making Tax Digital (MTD) will fundamentally change the way businesses, the self-employed and landlords interact with HMRC. The new regime will require businesses and individuals to register, file, pay and update their information using a new online tax account. The new regime is due to start in April 2019, for VAT purposes only, when some 1 million ... read more