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Making Tax Digital – the next steps

Making Tax Digital – the next steps On 21 July, the Treasury published a report, Building a trusted, modern tax administration system, which sets out the Government’s vision of what they wish to achieve in the next ten years. The vision comprises three...

Bonus for employers who retain furloughed staff

Bonus for employers who retain furloughed staff The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, presented A Plan for Jobs at the time of the Summer Economic Update on 8 July 2020. This included incentives for employers who retain furloughed staff and who offer training and...

New rules for claims under the CJRS

New rules for claims under the CJRS The second and final phase of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) runs from 1 July 2020 to 31 October 2020. During this phase, furloughed workers may return to work part-time under the flexible furloughing provisions. New...

Temporary increase in residential SDLT threshold

Temporary increase in residential SDLT threshold To help boost the housing market and allied sectors, the residential Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) threshold in England and Northern Ireland has been increased from £125,000 to £500,000 for a temporary period...

Reduced rate of VAT for hospitality sector

Reduced rate of VAT for hospitality sector To support businesses and jobs in the hospitality sector, the reduced (5%) rate of VAT applies to supplies of food and non-alcoholic drinks from restaurants, pubs, bars, cafés and similar establishment across the UK...

NIC implications of COVID-19 support payments

NIC implications of COVID-19 support payments Various support payments have been made to help those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. How are those payments treated for National Insurance purposes? Grant payments under the CJRS Where an employer claims a grant...

SEISS extended

SEISS extended The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) has been extended. Eligible self-employed taxpayers will be able to claim a second, and final, grant under the scheme in August. Eligibility The eligibility criteria for the second grant are the same as...

Changes to trading activities as a result of COVID-19

Changes to trading activities as a result of COVID-19 The COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions on trade have led many businesses to change what they do in a bid to survive. An example of this is the village pub opening instead as a local shop selling food and other...

Flexible furloughing

Flexible furloughing The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) has provided a lifeline for many employees and employers during the COVID-19 pandemic. As at 21 June 2020, 9.2 million employees had been furloughed by 1.1 million employers who had, collectively,...

Option to defer July self-assessment payment on account

Option to defer July self-assessment payment on account Taxpayers facing financial difficulties as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic can opt to delay making their second self-assessment payment on account for 2019/20, due by 31 July 2020. As long as the amount is paid...

Expenses and Benefits Returns for 2019/20

Expenses and Benefits Returns for 2019/20 Employers who provided taxable expenses and benefits to their employees during the 2019/20 tax year will, as usual, have to tell HMRC about these by 6 July 2020. This obligation is unchanged despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Form...

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme extended

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme extended The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, announced on 12 May that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme would be extended until 31 October 2020. The scheme enables employers adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic to furlough staff...

Claim SSP for Coronavirus-related absences

Claim SSP for Coronavirus-related absences Smaller employers who have paid statutory sick pay (SSP) to employees who were absent from work due to a Coronavirus-related absence can now claim a rebate from the Government. The claim portal went live on 26 May 2020. Who...

COVID-19 self-employed scheme

COVID-19 self-employed scheme After mounting pressure for clarification on the COVID-19 support that was expected to be made available on the 26 March, the Chancellor Rishi Sunak has now announced the details of the self-employed income support scheme (SEISS) and how...

Making Tax Digital – soft landing extension

Making Tax Digital – soft landing extension One-year extension for MTDfV soft landing In a welcome response to COVID-19, HMRC has extended its digital links ‘soft landing period’ by twelve months to April 2021. HMRC Email In a widely distributed...

Optimal salary for 2020/21

Optimal salary for 2020/21 A popular profit extraction strategy for personal and family companies is to pay a small salary and to extract further profits as dividends. With new National Insurance thresholds applying for 2020/21, what is the optimal salary for the new...

Supporting employees working from home

Supporting employees working from home As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many employees are now working at home in accordance with Government instructions to help reduce the spread of Coronavirus. Providing equipment to employees working from home Employees may...

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme The online claim portal for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) went live on 20 April 2020, allowing employers who have furloughed staff as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic to claim grants from the Government equal to 80% of...

COVID-19: SSP Relaxations

COVID-19: SSP Relaxations To help employees and businesses manage the Coronavirus outbreak, a number of relaxations have been made to the statutory sick pay (SSP) rules. They apply from 13 March 2020. Details are on the Gov.uk website. SSP payable from day one...

COVID-19: Business rate relief and grants

COVID-19: Business rate relief and grants To help business affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chancellor announced a number of measures effected through the business rates system. Business rate retail relief increased and extended At the time of the 2020 Budget,...

Budget 2020 – rates and allowances

Budget 2020 – rates and allowances The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, presented his first Budget on 11 March 2020, confirming the rates and allowances applying for the 2020/21 tax year. The following key rates and allowances were announced. Full details of the rates...

Off-payroll working rules delayed

Off-payroll working rules delayed In a surprise move, the Government have announced that the reforms to the off-payroll working rules have been delayed by one year and will now come into effect from 6 April 2021. The delay is to help businesses affected by the...

Using capital losses

Using capital losses Where capital gains tax would be payable on a gain made on the disposal of an asset, if the disposal results in a loss, the loss is an allowable loss for capital gains tax purposes. Gains in the same tax year In the event that capital gains are...

Termination payments and employer National Insurance

Termination payments and employer National Insurance From 6 April 2020, employers will have to pay Class 1A National Insurance contributions on taxable termination payments in excess of the £30,000 tax-free limit. However, no contributions will be payable by...

National Insurance contributions for 2020/21

National Insurance contributions for 2020/21 The starting point for paying National Insurance is to increase to £9,500 for 2020/21 for employees and for Class 4 contributions payable by the self-employed. This is in line with a Government commitment to increase...

Personal allowances – use them or lose them

Personal allowances – use them or lose them With the end of the 2019/20 tax year approaching, now is a good time to review your available personal allowances for 2019/20 and make sure that they are not wasted. Personal allowance For 2019/20, the personal...

Reducing your payments on account

Reducing your payments on account Under the self-assessment system, a taxpayer is required to make payments on account of their tax liability where their income tax and Class 4 National Insurance bill for the previous tax year was £1,000 or more, unless at least...

Loan charge – changes announced

Loan charge – changes announced The 2019 loan charge applied to loans made through a disguised remuneration loan scheme on or after 6 April 1999 which remained outstanding on 5 April 2019 and in respect of which settlement had not been reached with HMRC by that...

Determining worker status using HMRC’s CEST tool

Determining worker status using HMRC’s CEST tool From 6 April 2020 the off-payroll working rules are extended. The impact of the new rules was discussed in the December 2019 Newswire. Under the new rules, medium and large private sector organisations engaging...

Changes to Property Taxation – 2017 to 2020

Changes to Property Taxation – 2017 to 2020 2017 Income Tax – Restriction of finance costs for individual landlords In his 2015 post-election summer Budget, George Osborne informed residential landlords that from April 2017 their ability to claim higher...

Tax Return Tips

Tax Return Tips The 2018/19 self-assessment tax return must be filed online by midnight on 31 January 2020 if a late filing penalty is to be avoided. What can you do to help ensure this deadline is not missed? Help us to help you The tax return season is a very busy...

Off-payroll working – plan ahead for the changes

Off-payroll working – plan ahead for the changes The tax playing field is not a level one – the tax and National Insurance take where a worker is employed is higher than that where that worker provides his or her services through a personal service company...

Beware the trivial benefits gift card trap

Beware the trivial benefits gift card trap The tax exemption for trivial benefits is a handy exemption as it allows employers to provide employees with low cost benefits tax-free. However, where the benefit is in the form of the gift card, it is easy to fall foul of...

Voluntary NICs – Should you pay?

Voluntary NICs – Should you pay? The single-tier state pension is payable to individuals who reach state pension age on or after 6 April 2016. Entitlement to the state pension is dependent on having been paid or credited with sufficient National Insurance...

Can you claim small business rate relief?

Can you claim small business rate relief? Business rates are payable on non-domestic properties such as offices, shops and factories. The rates are worked out on the rateable value of the property, but there are various reliefs available including small business rate...

File your tax return by 30 December

File your tax return by 30 December The 2018/19 self-assessment tax return must be filed online by midnight on 31 January 2020 if a late filing penalty is to be avoided. A later deadline applies where the notice to file a return was not given until after 31 October...

Parties and Presents

Parties and Presents The taxman is not entirely lacking in Christmas spirit and the tax system features a number of exemptions which enable employers to put on a party for staff or to give employees a seasonal gift without triggering an unwanted tax liability....

Have you got your EORI number?

Have you got your EORI number? UK businesses will need an ‘Economic Operator Registration Identification’ (EORI) number to trade with the EU after Brexit. If there is a ‘no-deal’ Brexit In the event that the UK leaves the EU on 31 October 2019...

Beat the changes to main residence ancillary reliefs

Beat the changes to main residence ancillary reliefs From 6 April 2020, two of the reliefs associated with the Capital Gains Tax (CGT) main residence relief are to be significantly curtailed. Therefore, if you are likely to be affected and are currently considering...

A One Year Tax Break for Zero Emission Company Cars

A One Year Tax Break for Zero Emission Company Cars The UK government recently announced its intention to exempt newly registered zero-emission company cars from a benefit in kind tax charge for one year from April 2020. This exemption underlines the key role that the...

Improve task organisation with this simple concept

Improve Task Organisation with this Simple Concept. The daily grind, for so many, can feel like a constant juggling act. You attempt to balance work, household chores, bills, family – and hopefully some leisure in between if there’s any time leftover. Trying to...

Latest Employer Bulletin

Latest Employer Bulletin The latest edition of HMRC’s Employee Bulletin was issued in June. Topics covered in the bi-monthly magazine, include some of the following: Guidance for employers to help their employees with tax-free childcare for the summer holidays. Advice...

Workforce preparations for Brexit

Workforce Preparations for Brexit The government has advised that EU citizens who wish to continue to work, live, or study in the UK, after it leaves the EU on 31 December 2020, should apply to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS). An employer toolkit is available to...

It’s that time of year again!

It’s That Time of Year Again! At this time of every year, HM Revenue and Customs embark on a massive computerised reconciliation process. This is to check that those with PAYE records, but not in self-assessment, have paid the right amount of tax in the preceding tax...

Six Ways an App Can Support Business Growth

The use of the smartphone has changed dramatically over the past decade: it has gone from being merely a gadget to being an increasingly used and increasingly important lifestyle and business tool. A report by Ofcom (the UK regulator for the communications services)...

New advisory fuel rates for company cars

The new fuel rates take effect from 1 June 2019, although the previous rates can be used for an additional month. These rates only apply to employees who are using a company car in the following scenarios: When employees are reimbursed for business travel in their...

Ancillary Capital Gains reliefs consultation

The Capital Gains Tax (CGT) consultation on Private Residence Relief (PRR) and on changes to ancillary reliefs is now closed. The consultation ran from 1 April 2019 until 1 June 2019. Historically, PRR has been a very useful way to reduce the taxable gains arising...

Companies House open consultation

HMRC currently has an open consultation on proposals to further improve the role of Companies House, with a view to having businesses submit more information for the purpose of helping to tackle economic crime. The consultation’s focus is to stop the registered...

Tax code mix up for Welsh taxpayers

From April 2019 onwards, the Welsh Government has devolved powers to decide the rates of Income Tax payable by Welsh taxpayers. The above means the Welsh Government have the ability to vary the Welsh rates of Income Tax or to keep them the same as those paid by...

P11D submission deadline

The HMRC form P11D is the form employers use to report the details of taxable expenses and benefits provided to employees and directors during the course of a tax year, after that year has ended. Employees pay tax on the benefits disclosed on the submitted P11D via a...

Minimum wage regulations

In a recent report by the Low Pay Commission (LPC), it was found that the number of people being paid less than the statutory minimum wage is on the rise. In April 2018, 439,000 workers were paid less than the National Minimum Wage (NMW), and out of those individuals,...

5 Top Tips for Successful Freelancing

5 Top Tips for Successful Freelancing Here we provide some top tips for keeping your freelancing work organised, healthy, and successful! Although it is not possible to provide a one-size-fits-all plan, these tips will certainly help to keep your freelancing affairs...

VAT fuel charge updates

There are new road scale fuel charges with which businesses must comply effective from 1 May 2019. The updated valuation table includes the new scale charges, and is available to view...

Scottish Air Departure Tax plans further delayed

The plans to replace Air Passenger Duty (APD) with Air Departure Tax (ADT) have been delayed by the Scottish Government until at least 2020. As part of the Scotland Act 2016, the Scottish Parliament can charge travellers tax when leaving Scottish airports. As a...

Pensions Dashboard Initiative

The Pensions Dashboard is a new Government initiative which will now move forward, it has been confirmed. The dashboard will be introduced with a view to allow individuals to save for retirement and to view information from multiple pensions on one centralised...

Employer Bulletin

The latest version of the Employer Bulletin is available to view online. The April edition includes the following topics, and more: Cash Allowances, Flexible Benefits Packages and Salary Sacrifice Unpaid work trials and the National Minimum Wage EU Exit Preparedness...

Tax scams update

HMRC and Action Fraud have warned of high numbers of springtime scams. These tend to target those who may be less experienced with the tax system, such as the young and the elderly. Between March and May 2018, HMRC received nearly 250,000 reports of phishing, and...

Improving your Productivity in Three Easy Ways

According to Close Brothers, in terms of productivity – something assumed to be one of the largest challenges facing business – the UK lags behind the rest of the G7 by 16%. Nearly half of UK small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) say new technology would increase...

Structures and Buildings Allowance Consultation

The Spring Statement, delivered in March by Philip Hammond, included an update and open consultation on Structures and Buildings Allowance (SBA). The relief is available for new commercial structures and buildings – and will also be available where an existing...

Making Tax Digital for VAT update

The new Making Tax Digital for VAT (MTDfV) rules came into effect on the 1 April 2019. The new rules require businesses with an annual VAT-taxable turnover above £85,000 to keep digital records for VAT purposes, and to submit their VAT return to HMRC using...

P11D Deadline for Submission to HMRC

P11D forms are due, by 6 July 2019, for the year which ended on 5 April 2019. The P11D is used to report benefits and some expenses provided to directors and employees. If, as an employer, you report your employee benefits by year, using payrolling, you do not need to...

Updates to Income Tax for 2019/20

The new tax year, effective from 6 April 2019, brings changes to income tax allowances and bands. The following updates now apply. Rates of Tax While the basic rate of tax will remain at 20%, the 2019/20 basic rate band – the threshold above which income is taxable at...

New Brexit Advisory Tool

The UK Government has issued new advice to small businesses on how they could be affected by the UK’s leaving the EU. The documents contain advice regarding a range of issues, such as sending and receiving personal data and EU-UK trading. The UK government recommends...

Brexit no deal preparation – HMRC advice

If the UK crashes out of the EU with no deal, many UK businesses will need to apply the same processes to EU trade that apply when trading with the rest of the world. For instance, they will need to register for an Economic Operator and Registration Identification...

3 Steps to increase your website traffic

To help drive more customers to your website, it is key to maximise the impact from search through SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). Improved SEO enables your website to be discovered and to rank with relevance, so that it appears at the top of the search engine...

Contributions to Pensions Auto Enrolment to increase

The Pensions Regulator has issued guidance for employers concerning the increase in minimum pension contributions, which took effect on 6 April 2019. Duration Employer minimum Total minimum contribution Current contributions 2% 5% 6 April 2019 onwards 3%...

Increase in Minimum Wage

The National Minimum Wage (NMW) and National Living Wage (NLW), the legal minimum wage rates that must be paid to employees increased on the 1 April, with employers liable to be penalised for any failure to comply. The new rates are: Rate from 1 April 2018 Rate from 1...

Company Car Fuel Rates

HMRC has just published their new company car advisory fuel rates, which are effective from the 1 March 2019. The rates only apply when, as an employer, you either: reimburse employees for business travel in their company cars; or, require employees to repay the cost...

Employers Update from HMRC

In the February Bulletin, HMRC has included updates on the following: End of year reporting; Reporting expenses and benefits; Student Loan notices and a new type of Student Loan repayment that employers will need to be able to process via payroll (Post Graduate...

Start date for Making Tax Digital for VAT is here

Most businesses with VAT return periods beginning on or after 1 April 2019 will need to comply with the regulations mandated for VAT. For businesses with “more complex” VAT, this date has been deferred to 1 October 2019. This delay applies to trusts, not for profit...

Five steps to help you set up as self-employed

If you have made the decision to move towards working for yourself, the options to consider are whether to be a sole trader, a shareholding director of a limited company, or to trade as a partnership. Once you’ve decided, HMRC will need to be informed. If you choose...

Protect your pensions!

The Insolvency Service has urged individuals saving for retirement to protect their pension pots from criminals and ‘negligent trustees’. Research carried out by the Service found that criminals use a range of tactics to convince savers to part with their funds,...

HMRC Voice ID system

The non-profit organisation Big Brother Watch has made a report to the Information Commissioners Office (ICO), claiming that HMRC has broken data protection laws by capturing millions of callers’ voice data on the HMRC Voice ID System, and that people have been...

Spring Statement 13th March 2019

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, has announced that the government will respond to the forecast from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) in the Spring Statement on Wednesday 13 March 2019. While Hammond has already stated that the Spring...

Post-Brexit Preparations

UK VAT-registered businesses which trade with the EU are being urged by HMRC to be prepared for the possibility of a no-deal Brexit. HMRC sent letters to 145,000 firms advising businesses to take three actions ahead of the 29th March 2019 leave date: Register for a UK...

Making Tax Digital for VAT pilot update

HMRC has extended the Making Tax Digital for VAT (MTDfV) pilot scheme to all eligible businesses, on the mandated compliance for VAT return periods beginning on or after 1 April 2019. However, MTDfV for some ‘more complex’ businesses has been deferred until 1 October...

Update letter from The Pensions Regulator

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) is beginning to write reminders to all employers that, from 6 April 2019, the minimum amount to be paid to a workplace pension is increasing to 8% – and that they, the employers, must contribute at least 3% of the total contribution. To be...

Scottish Budget income tax changes

The Scottish Draft Budget took place on 12 December 2018. To assist those of you who might be affected, we have published a table containing the 2019/20 proposed rates and bands (for non-savings and non-dividend income), along with the 2018/19 rates and bands....

List of deliberate tax defaulters published online

HMRC have published an updated list containing details of taxpayers who have been penalised for deliberate errors in their tax returns or have purposely failed to comply with tax requirements. HMRC are able to publish details where an investigation has been made and...

Scottish Budget property tax changes

The 2019/20 Scottish Draft Budget includes changes to Scottish Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT). The policy priority for residential Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) continues to be to help first-time buyers and those moving through the property...

HMRC’s most bizarre excuses for late returns

As the deadline approaches for submitting returns, here are HMRC’s strangest reasons for late or failed submissions, from taxpayers who missed the Self-Assessment deadline last year. My mother-in-law is a witch and put a curse on me. I’m too short to reach the post...