Around half of the UK’s SMEs admit to making errors on taxes

December 3, 2019: According to accounting software providers, QuickBooks, over 50 per cent of UK small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) owners have made a mistake when filing their VAT returns, while just a quarter (25 per cent) feel confident that they have filed their VAT accurately. As the business owner, it is important to bear in mind the following... Read more

Keeping workplace gifts tax-free this Christmas

December 3, 2019: Over the Christmas period, you may wish to treat your employees. This is a tried and trusted approach to building a strong relationship with your team. But are you aware that you may be breaking PAYE rules by doing so? We want to ensure that you enjoy the holidays just as much as your team,... Read more

HMRC urges taxpayers to be vigilant ahead of self-assessment deadline

December 3, 2019: HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has urged taxpayers to be vigilant ahead of the self-assessment deadline on 31 January 2020, with a surge in fraudulent activity expected. HMRC has said that it has received 900,000 reports in the last 12 months relating to suspected fraud, with phone calls, text messages and emails being the most... Read more

The end of the help-to-buy ISA – What’s next?

December 3, 2019: Since 2015, banks and building societies have been offering help-to-buy ISAs to first-time buyers. To qualify, you had to be 16 or over and be a first-time buyer. However, as of the end of last month, the scheme has been closed to new savers. Under the scheme savers could deposit a lump sum of up... Read more

Late payments a huge drain on SMEs

December 3, 2019: Small firms are owed a staggering £23.4 billion in late payments, an issue that is continuing to cause greater problems for businesses each year. In the last year alone, the figure has increased by £10.4 billion According to one study by Pay.UK, this is costing small businesses dear in both time and money, as 22... Read more

Annual R&D spend in the UK reaches £25 billion

December 3, 2019: According to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) businesses in the UK spent £25 billion on research and development (R&D) during 2018. The figure represents a 5.8 per cent increase on the previous year when the figure stood at £23.7 billion. The ONS claim the figures highlight an upward trend when... Read more

Newly cohabiting parents warned over new tax charge

November 1, 2019: Newly cohabiting couples, where at least one of the partners is a parent, have been warned by a leading insurer to be aware of a new tax charge, if either earns more than £50,000 a year. NFU Mutual has said that cohabiting couples need to be aware of the High Income Child Benefit Tax Charge,... Read more

Countdown to the 31 January Self-Assessment Tax Return deadline begins

November 1, 2019: Fewer than 100 days now remain until the 31 January 2020 deadline for the online submission of Self-Assessment Tax Returns. Self-Assessment Tax Returns must be completed in respect of most income that has not been subject to PAYE. This includes the following groups: Self-employed individuals Sole traders Partners Individuals in receipt of rental income Individuals... Read more

Grant scheme opportunities for electric vehicle charging infrastructure at work

November 1, 2019: With the projected growth of electric car ownership in coming years, the Government is offering grants to support businesses who introduce charging infrastructure at their place of work. Provided by the Office of Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV), the Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS) is a voucher-based grant that offers support to companies with the up-front costs... Read more

Spanish holiday home owners cautioned over post-Brexit tax impact

November 1, 2019: With the UK currently set to leave the EU by the end of January 2020, anyone who owns a Spanish holiday home needs to be prepared for the impact of Brexit on taxation. Spanish tax law makes specific provision for EU/EEA residents that benefits people living in member states over others from outside the EU... Read more

Businesses and contractors offered clarity on IR35

November 1, 2019: With less than six months left until the introduction of the IR35 regulations in the private sector, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has finally released additional guidance to help clarify this complex area of taxation. From 6 April 2020, the off-payroll rules (IR35) are going to be extended across the private sector bringing large and... Read more

Pension holders to be refunded £54 million of overpaid tax

November 1, 2019: New figures released by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) have revealed that it handed back more than £54 million to people who had overpaid tax on pension withdrawals in the last three months alone. The latest quarterly data for 1 July 2019 to 30 September 2019 is the highest figure since pension freedoms were introduced... Read more

Renovated homes that have been empty for two years can qualify for a reduced rate of VAT

October 1, 2019: Although a key VAT-saving measure for listed dwellings was abolished in October 2012, there are still circumstances in which a renovation project can be subject to a reduced rate of VAT of five per cent. There are two circumstances in which this can apply. The first is where a dwelling has been empty for the... Read more

HMRC trialling self-assessment checks to help local authorities to recover council tax

October 1, 2019: HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has announced that it is entering into data-sharing arrangements with local authorities to help clamp down on council tax debt. In the 2017/18 tax year, councils in England had an £818 million deficit for council tax arrears, which has prompted HMRC to work with local authorities by sharing information about... Read more

Overseas employees potentially face double NICs liability following a no-deal Brexit

October 1, 2019: Employees working overseas on secondment could face paying twice as much in National Insurance Contributions in the event of a no-deal Brexit, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has warned. If the UK leaves the EU without a withdrawal agreement then current agreements to avoid double payment of the equivalent of National Insurance Contributions (NICs) in... Read more

New figures show a sharp increase in Inheritance Tax (IHT) receipts

October 1, 2019: New figures published by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) have revealed a significant increase in the number and value of Inheritance Tax (IHT) receipts. The figures, which relate to the 2016/17 tax year, show a 15 per cent increase in the number of estates paying IHT in comparison with the previous year, rising from 24,500... Read more

Non-VAT-registered businesses need EORI number to trade with EU customers and suppliers post-Brexit

October 1, 2019: Any business that is VAT-registered and currently trades with the EU will have automatically been issued with an EORI number allowing it to trade with customers and suppliers in EU member states following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. However, businesses that are not registered for VAT will need to register for an EORI number... Read more

25,000 companies receive penalties for the late filing of accounts in just one month

October 1, 2019: The latest data from Companies House shows that thousands of penalties were handed out for the late filing of company accounts, with more than 25,000 companies missing a deadline on 30 September. This date marks a common deadline for companies, according to Companies House, with a further 643 companies narrowly avoiding a penalty by filing... Read more

HM Revenue & Customs has started carrying out PAYE tax investigations remotely

October 1, 2019: It has been reported that HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has begun carrying out PAYE investigations remotely. The investigation begins with a phone call, inviting the employer to complete a survey sent by email. There is a concern amongst accountants that the wording of some of these questions could trip up unwary employers and prompt... Read more

Wages rise at the fastest rate in a decade

October 1, 2019: According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), averages wages in the UK are growing at their fastest rate since 2008. The ONS has revealed that average earnings, including bonuses, grew by four per cent in the four months between May and July. This is the highest rate in a decade and means that wages... Read more

Government delays introduction of VAT reverse charge!

September 17, 2019: The controversial introduction of the VAT reverse charge in the construction sector has been postponed by a year and will now take place on 1 October 2020, following concerns that the industry wasn’t ready for this monumental change. The new VAT reverse charge had been due to come into force on 1 October this year,... Read more

Tax investigations reap in £13 billion for the treasury

September 2, 2019: The latest official data from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) shows that the actual cash collected from all tax investigations hit £13 billion in 2018/19. This was up 27 per cent from the previous tax year in which £10.3 billion was collected. The data also showed that transfer pricing fines for multinationals have risen to... Read more

Half of all SMEs make VAT return mistakes

September 2, 2019: Half of all small-medium sized enterprises (SMEs) make errors when filing their VAT returns, according to the latest research. The data also revealed that just 27 per cent of small businesses are confident that they have filed their return correctly, even though they have spent more than an hour checking their figures. The first online... Read more

Boots, Asda and Specsavers push back against business rates

September 2, 2019: Some of the UK’s top retail stores, including Asda and Boots, have joined the fight against spiralling business rates. It comes after many leading retail bodies published a letter calling for the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sajid Javid, to address tax rules to boost the UK high street. The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) joined... Read more

MTD for VAT filing deadline missed by one in ten businesses

September 2, 2019: HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has reassured the 120,000 businesses that failed to meet the 7 August deadline for Making Tax Digital (MTD) for VAT that the tax authority will not be issuing fines to them for missing the date. Under MTD, all businesses with a turnover of £85,000 or more must keep computer-based records... Read more

Making a voluntary disclosure to HMRC

September 2, 2019: Taxpayers are actively encouraged by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) to inform the tax authority if they realise that they did not pay the correct tax at any time in the past. This process is known as a voluntary disclosure and will usually allow a taxpayer to settle their affairs and any underpayment without the... Read more

How to tell if an email is fraudulent

September 2, 2019: Email scams have become increasingly common, with fraudsters claiming to be from companies, banks and even HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) to obtain your data and bank details. The fraud, which is also known as a phishing scam, can also involve malicious software that can infect your device with a virus. To stay protected, here... Read more

New figures show that a quarter of estates paying Inheritance Tax (IHT) are investigated by HMRC

August 1, 2019: The response to a Freedom of Information (FoI) request has revealed that as many as one in four estates that are liable for IHT are investigated each year. In 2018-19, more than 5,500 investigations were launched by HMRC into the approximately 22,000 estates that had to pay the tax. Despite the introduction of the Residence... Read more

Government’s draft IR35 legislation contains important changes

August 1, 2019: After much anticipation, the Government has now published its draft legislation for the off-payroll working (IR35) rules, which will be enforced in the private sector from 6 April 2020. The latest policy document for the private sector shares a number of similarities with that already in force in the public sector. However, it does introduce... Read more

Construction businesses only have weeks left to prepare for the VAT reverse charge

August 1, 2019: Businesses in the construction industry now have only a matter of weeks left to prepare for the new VAT domestic reverse charge regime. These new rules will be enforced from 1 October 2019, significantly changing the VAT affairs and tax liabilities of companies in the construction industry. The domestic VAT reverse charge will apply to... Read more