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Beware sting in VAT Annual Accounting Scheme

23/05/2018

The VAT annual accounting scheme is open to most businesses with a turnover of up to £1.35m per year. The main benefits of the scheme include the requirement to file one VAT return per year. This can significantly reduce the amount of administration time and the associated cost of preparing and submitting quarterly VAT returns. A recent...

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Give now pay later – what are the settlement rules?

23/05/2018

The settlement rules are intended to prevent an individual from gaining a tax advantage by making arrangements that divert his or her income to another person who may be liable at a lower rate of tax or is not liable to Income Tax. Where a settlor has retained an interest in a property in a settlement the income arising is treated as...

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Company van use – the tax consequences

23/05/2018

There are a number of tax consequences to be aware when employees are provided with company vans and fuel. A company van can be defined as a van made available to an employee by reason of their employment. There is usually nothing to report to HMRC if the van is used solely for business journeys, as a pool van or for vans provided as part...

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CGT base cost uplift on death

23/05/2018

Special rules apply to assets when they are passed to a beneficiary after the death of the benefactor. In some cases Inheritance Tax may be due on the transfer. However, there can also be a hidden benefit known as a Capital Gains Tax (CGT) uplift on death (see details of the benefits below). The CGT uplift mostly benefits a surviving...

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Tax exempt gifts paid out of income

23/05/2018

Many taxpayers are aware that there is an annual Inheritance Tax exemption of £3,000 for gifts and this can be carried forward to the following tax year if not used to make a maximum gift of £6,000. You can also give as many gifts of up to £250 per person as you want during the tax year but only if you haven’t used another exemption on...

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Can’t afford to pay your tax bill?

23/05/2018

HMRC understands that taxpayers will sometimes experience difficulties with paying their tax bill and stress that taxpayers should make contact with them as soon as they realise that there is a problem. This is good advice as burying your head in the sand will only make matters worse. Taxpayers should contact the Business Payment...

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New advisory fuel rates published

23/05/2018

Advisory fuel rates are intended to reflect actual average fuel costs and are updated quarterly. The rates can be used by employers who reimburse employees for business travel in their company cars or where employees are required to repay the cost of fuel used for private travel. HMRC accepts there is no taxable profit and no Class 1A...

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New guidance published for employers on setting dress codes and sex discrimination

21/05/2018

Following a joint report ("High heels and workplace dress codes") published by the House of Commons Women and Equalities Committee and Petitions Committee in January 2017, the Government Equalities Office has finally published promised new guidance on “Dress codes and sex discrimination – what you need to know”. The new guidance is aimed...

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Responding to a County Court claim

16/05/2018

It is important that any correspondence received from the County Court is dealt with promptly. This should include taking proper legal advice when appropriate. Usually, a creditor asks the County Court to make a county court judgment (CCJ) against a person who is refusing to pay their bill. The CCJ rules apply to court orders in England...

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When might you be due a tax refund?

16/05/2018

HMRC has issued helpful guidance that explains when you might be due a tax refund and how to make a claim. According to HMRC you may be able to claim a refund if you: are employed and had too much tax taken from your pay; have stopped work; sent a tax return and paid too much tax; have paid too much tax on pension...

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NMW and LW enforcement measures

16/05/2018

A new press release has revealed that in 2017-18, HMRC investigators identified £15.6 million in back pay that is owed to over 200,000 of the UK’s lowest paid workers. This was an increase from £10.9 million for over 98,000 workers in the previous year. The launch of an online complaints service in January 2017 is thought to have been...

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More warnings to beware of bogus tax refund scams

16/05/2018

Fraudsters are taking advantage of taxpayers who may be due a tax refund following the end of the 2017-18 tax year. HMRC is currently processing tax refunds, but the fraudsters are trying to get one step ahead. They do this by sending out scam emails and SMS-messages claiming to be from HMRC. Usually the messages include a click-through...

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Pay and expenses for volunteers

16/05/2018

There are many rewarding opportunities for volunteering available across the UK. It is a popular misconception that only young people volunteer, however, people of all ages volunteer for numerous roles in a wide range of charitable and other sectors. There is no official minimum or maximum age for volunteering. However, the following...

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Can a builder charge 5% VAT for their services?

16/05/2018

Whilst the majority of businesses charge VAT at the standard rate of 20% there are a number of different VAT rates and exemptions that businesses should be aware. There are actually three separate VAT rates, the standard rate of 20%, the reduced rate of 5% and a zero rate. The reduced rate of VAT applies to the supply of certain goods and...

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Pensions Regulator to seize assets

14/05/2018

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has announced that employers who refuse to pay workplace pension fines could have their assets seized to pay their debts. TPR can issue fines to employers who fail to meet their automatic enrolment duties and can secure court orders if the debts are not then paid. TPR is to now appoint High Court Enforcement...

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Advance assurance for R&D tax claims

09/05/2018

Advance Assurance for small companies that claim Research and Development (R&D) tax relief was introduced in November 2015. This measure makes it easier for small businesses investing in research and development to claim tax relief. Advance Assurance is available to companies who haven’t claimed R&D before, have an annual...

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Are you making money from a hobby?

09/05/2018

The 'badges of trade' tests whilst not conclusive are used by HMRC to help determine whether an activity is a proper economic / business activity or merely a money-making side line to a hobby. However, there is a point where careful consideration needs to be given to deciding whether your hobby has in fact become a taxable trading...

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When do you pay tax on lodger’s rents?

09/05/2018

The rent-a-room scheme is a set of special rules designed to help homeowners who rent-a-room in their home within certain limits to pay no tax on the lodger’s rents. The limit increased to a generous £7,500 from 6 April 2016 and remains unchanged for 2018-19. The relief applies to the letting of furnished accommodation and was...

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