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20-07-2017
Employed or self-employed?

Employed or self-employed?

Working out whether you are an employee or self-employed can be a tricky business and HMRC’s view can sometimes be at odds with status defined under employment law. Clearly, although not always, there are tax and NIC advantages for you and the business that contracts for your services if you are treated as self-employed as opposed to employed. However, you may have more rights ... read more

20-07-2017
Changes to deemed domicile rules

Changes to deemed domicile rules

In July 2015, the then Chancellor George Osborne announced a series of reforms to the non-domicile rules. The new rules were due to come into effect from April 2017, but were removed from the cut-back Finance Bill that was rushed through parliament before the general election. It has now been announced that the necessary legislation to introduce these reforms will be included ... read more

20-07-2017
Gift Aid donations only available to taxpayers

Gift Aid donations only available to taxpayers

The Gift Aid scheme is available to all UK taxpayers, but in order to sign up to the Gift Aid scheme when you make a donation, you must be paying UK income tax. There are clear advantages for charities if you make your donation in this way. The charity or Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CASC) concerned can take your donation and, provided all the qualifying conditions are ... read more

13-07-2017
Rangers EBT kicked into touch

Rangers EBT kicked into touch

The Supreme Court has ruled in favour of HMRC over a long running tax avoidance case against a former incarnation of Rangers football club (now in liquidation). The case concerned a tax avoidance scheme under which the club paid remuneration to their employees through a complex employee benefit trusts and sub-trusts structure in the hope that the scheme would avoid liability to ... read more

13-07-2017
Future changes to Corporation Tax?

Future changes to Corporation Tax?

The Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) provides independent advice to the government on simplifying the UK tax system, with the objective of reducing compliance burdens on both businesses and individual taxpayers. The OTS operates on a permanent, statutory footing and seeks to draw together expertise from across the tax and legal professions, the business community and other ... read more

13-07-2017
Online filing exclusions for 2016-17

Online filing exclusions for 2016-17

HMRC’s list of exclusions from online filing for 2016-17 continues to multiply. The list of exclusions has been updated with the publication of version 4.0 of the document. There are now a total of 32 live exclusions on the list including 5 new additions to the list. Many of these issues exist as HMRC has been unable to update its software to properly deal with all the ... read more

13-07-2017
VAT relief on building a new home

VAT relief on building a new home

The VAT DIY Housebuilders scheme is a special scheme that enables homeowners building a home to benefit from the special VAT rules that allow the qualifying construction costs of new homes and certain conversion works to be zero-rated. In this way, any VAT paid on certain qualifying costs can be recovered. The scheme has been designed to effectively put homeowners in a similar ... read more

13-07-2017
Furnished holiday lettings

Furnished holiday lettings

The furnished holiday let (FHL) rules allow holiday lettings of properties that meet certain conditions to be treated as a trade for some specific tax purposes. Individuals, partnerships, trustees and companies who let furnished holiday accommodation situated within the UK or elsewhere in the EEA can benefit from having a FHL. HMRC’s guidance on the scheme has recently been ... read more

13-07-2017
Rent-a-room scheme

Rent-a-room scheme

The rent-a-room scheme is a set of special rules designed to help homeowners who rent-a-room in their home. The limit increased to a generous £7,500 from 6 April 2016, after remaining stagnant for many years and has remained at the same level for the current tax year. The relief applies only to the letting of furnished accommodation and is usually used when one bedroom is ... read more

06-07-2017
No benefits but still need to file a form?

No benefits but still need to file a form?

As many of our readers will be aware, new payroll legislation on the treatment of certain business expenses and benefits came into effect from 6 April 2016. One of the main changes was the removal of the requirement for employers to report certain expenses paid to employees (whether deductible or not) on form P11D at the end of the tax year. The business expenses and benefits ... read more

06-07-2017
Directors may not have to file a tax return

Directors may not have to file a tax return

A recent First Tier Tribunal case examined whether a company director had an obligation to submit a Self Assessment tax return without receiving a notice to file. The taxpayer in question appealed against penalties totalling £1,300 relating to his 2014-15 Self Assessment return on the basis that he had a reasonable excuse for his appeal. Part of the appeal was based on the ... read more

06-07-2017
Taxman and the shed

Taxman and the shed

One of the most often used and valuable of the Capital Gains Tax (CGT) exemptions covers the sale of the family home. In general, there is no CGT payable on the sale of a property which has been used as the main family residence. An investment property which has never been used will not qualify. This relief from CGT is commonly known as private residence relief (PRR). One of ... read more

06-07-2017
Bricklayer turned accountant is jailed

Bricklayer turned accountant is jailed

An Essex based financial adviser has admitted tax fraud and has been jailed for five years. He set himself up as tax adviser despite having no financial qualifications. He had previously worked as a bricklayer and his clients were mainly made up of crane drivers, builders and other construction industry workers. The "financial adviser" assisted his clients in making ... read more

06-07-2017
NMW and LW penalties for non-compliance

NMW and LW penalties for non-compliance

There are penalties for employers who don’t pay staff what they are legally entitled to under the National Minimum Wage (NMW) and National Living Wage (NLW) rates. Employers who have paid a worker below the correct minimum wage must pay any arrears immediately. If not, there are penalties for non-payment of up to 200% of the amount owed, unless the arrears are paid within 14 ... read more

06-07-2017
Tax-free loans to employees

Tax-free loans to employees

Employees can obtain a tax-free benefit when provided with an employment-related cheap or interest-free loan. The most common is where the combined outstanding loan value to an employee is less than £10,000 throughout a tax year. The benefit is calculated as the difference between the interest the employee pays, if any, and the commercial rate the employee would have to pay on ... read more

28-06-2017
What is the best way to extract funds from your company?

What is the best way to extract funds from your company?

Director shareholders are wont to ensure that they pay the lowest amount of tax and NIC consistent with their obligations under the relevant legislation. For many years, director shareholders have followed a high dividend, low salary extraction strategy. This tended to reduce Income Tax and NIC contributions. The dividend changes that came into effect in April 2016, took some ... read more

28-06-2017
Implementing a Cycle to Work Scheme

Implementing a Cycle to Work Scheme

The Cycle to Work scheme was introduced in 1999 to help promote a healthy commute to work. The scheme allows employers to provide (technically loan) bicycles and cyclists’ safety equipment to employees as a tax-free benefit. Where the scheme conditions are satisfied, employees can benefit from a tax and National Insurance Contributions (NICs) reduction of between 32% and 42% ... read more

28-06-2017
Tax-free employee suggestion schemes

Tax-free employee suggestion schemes

Do you have an employee suggestion scheme in place? There are still commercial and tax advantages to setting up such a arrangement. HMRC offers two tax-free award schemes that can be made available to employees: Encouragement awards - for good suggestions, or to reward your employees for special effort. Encouragement awards are exempt from tax and National Insurance up to a ... read more

28-06-2017
Swapping salary for pension benefits

Swapping salary for pension benefits

Employers and employees may have noticed that HMRC has clamped down on the tax and NIC benefits of some aspects of salary sacrifice schemes. The changes are being rolled out gradually from April 2017, and will affect a number of employees who have sacrificed part of their salary for benefits and are currently paying less tax and NIC as a result. For the time being, all ... read more

28-06-2017
Are pension benefits received taxable?

Are pension benefits received taxable?

As our readers are most likely aware, there are special rules which allow individuals who set up private pension scheme(s) to benefit from significant tax reliefs when saving for their retirement. There is no overall limit to the amount of employer or employee contributions and no upper limit to the total amount of pension saving that can be built up. However, there are ... read more