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

HMRC outlines changes to Capital Gains Tax treatment on second homes

August 1, 2019: From April 2020, the date at which Capital Gains Tax (CGT) must be paid on a second home property disposal is changing. After this date, taxpayers will only have 30 days to file their return and make an advance payment towards their tax bill. This differs drastically from the current rules, which allows people to... Read more

Summer childcare costs cooldown with Tax-Free Childcare

August 1, 2019: The Government wants to remind working parents that they could be entitled to up £2,000 per child per year to help with the costs of childcare, including regulated holiday clubs during the school holidays. The six weeks summer holiday can often be a strain for working families who rely on childcare, but the Government says... Read more

Employment Allowance to be restricted from next year

August 1, 2019: At the moment businesses and charities of all sizes can benefit from Employment Allowance. However, from the start of the new tax year in April 2020, the allowance will only be available to employers with a secondary National Insurance Contributions bill in the current tax year of less than £100,000. Employers need to ensure that... Read more

Principal Private Residence Relief and Lettings Relief changes due in April 2020

August 1, 2019: The start of the next tax year in April 2020 will see key changes come into effect in respect of Principal Private Residence Relief (PPR) and Lettings Relief, both of which can be used to soften the impact of Capital Gains Tax (CGT) on property disposals. From next April, Lettings Relief will be restricted to... Read more

Payroll professional nationally recognised

July 16, 2019: Mandy Gardiner, Head of Payroll Services at PW Payroll Solutions has been named in the ‘50 Leaders within Knowledge and Professional Service’ category in the ‘Reward 300 index’, an achievement that recognises and rewards the expert’s knowledge, specialism and dedication to the payroll sector. 2019 marks the 10 year anniversary of Reward 300, an index... Read more

Incorporation no longer automatically resets the two year requirement for sole traders

July 2, 2019: Entrepreneurs’ Relief (ER) entitles a business owner to significant relief from Capital Gains Tax (CGT) on the disposal of their business, often halving the consequent tax bill. To qualify for ER, the company must normally have been the business owner’s personal company for the whole of the last two years and they must have been... Read more

Remember to pay the annual data protection charge

July 2, 2019: Businesses across the UK are being reminded that, if they process personal data, they are subject to a legal requirement to pay the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) an annual data protection charge, unless they have a relevant exemption. Any businesses that fail to pay the correct charge are at risk of a fine of up... Read more

More than 150 chief financial officers and senior finance executives personally fined by HMRC last year

July 2, 2019: Research by law firm, Pinsent Masons, has found that more than 150 chief financial officers and other senior finance executives have been fined personally by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) in relation to tax accounting issues during the last financial year. This is an increase of 22 per cent on the previous year when 125... Read more

Value of UK SMEs reach £3 trillion

July 2, 2019: New research has found that the total value of UK SMEs has reached more than £3 trillion – with the average small business now worth £2.9 million. The study by MarketInvoice found company valuation is something that two-thirds of owners consider a top priority and something they think about all the time. Business owners cited... Read more

Businesses encouraged to increase readiness for no-deal Brexit

July 2, 2019: Businesses across the UK are being encouraged to increase their readiness for a no-deal Brexit. The Institute of Directors (IoD) said that, while all firms should be preparing for a no-deal Brexit, it had found that fewer than half of businesses had plans in place. The IoD has also called on the Government to make... Read more

SMEs unaware of £1 million annual investment allowance

July 2, 2019: A new study has found that more than half (58 per cent) of SMEs are not aware of a temporary two-year increase in the annual investment allowance (AIA), which could help them secure £1 million in funding. Last year, the Government increased the AIA from £200,000 to £1 million from 1 January 2019 to 31... Read more

Taxpayers’ bills delayed by payment on account errors

July 2, 2019: The Association of Taxation Technicians (ATT) has revealed that problems with HMRC’s IT systems earlier this year, relating to calculations for payment on account, mean that some taxpayers will not receive tax demands this month. The glitches in the tax authority’s systems during the self-assessment tax return season also mean that calculations for payment on... Read more

Wealthiest UK families save nearly £700 million a year in Inheritance Tax

July 2, 2019: A new report has found that a significant proportion of the UK’s Business Relief goes to those with more than £1 million in assets. Tax Justice UK, a campaigning organisation, has revealed that 234 wealthy families shared £458 million in tax relief in the 2015-16 year thanks to Inheritance Tax breaks via Business Relief. The... Read more

New code launched to help protect victims of sophisticated banking fraud

June 3, 2019: A new code has been launched by 17 UK banks to protect customers who fall victim to a sophisticated form of fraud known as Authorised Push Payment (APP) scams. APP scams involve tricking people into making payments to fraudsters, who are masquerading as legitimate payees. Victims of these scams who notify the banks signed up... Read more

EIS and SEIS tax relief funding passes £2.1 billion

June 3, 2019: A rise over the course of the 2017-18 tax year saw funding for the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) and Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) tax reliefs pass the £2.1 billion mark. The EIS scheme saw the larger increase in approved funding, with an increase in funds raised of £28 million. In comparison, SEIS approved funding... Read more

Significant lack of awareness around gifting rules for IHT

June 3, 2019: A new report published by the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) and the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has revealed a worrying lack of awareness about the Inheritance Tax (IHT) benefits of making a gift. Its study found that only 25 per cent of those who had made a gift had a ‘working knowledge’... Read more

Revenue tests new trigger to increase the accuracy of PAYE codes

June 3, 2019: HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is trialling a new trigger, which is intended to improve the accuracy of employees’ PAYE tax codes. According to HMRC, as many as half a million tax codes being used by employers across the UK could be incorrect, leading to employees either overpaying or underpaying tax. To address the problem,... Read more

MTD for VAT – relaxation on posting supplier statements

June 3, 2019: HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has updated its VAT notice regarding Making Tax Digital (MTD) for VAT to relax several of the digital recordkeeping requirements. One of the changes, secured with the help of the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIoT), relates to purchase invoices from suppliers. It has become apparent in sectors that receive a... Read more

Government confirms that HMRC will get a higher priority when firms go bust

June 3, 2019: From April next year, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) will rank third just after secured creditors, such as banks, and insolvency practitioners in order to recover additional outstanding tax from failing businesses. Currently, HMRC is ranked alongside unsecured creditors, such as suppliers, trade creditors, contractors and customers, who on average rarely recover more than four... Read more

IR35: off-payroll working rules set to change next year

May 10, 2019: HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has published new guidance on the expansion of the IR35 requirements to contractors working in the private sector. IR35 governs the tax status of people working through personal service companies (PSCs) and until now required public sector employers to determine whether contractors working for them should be taxed as employees.... Read more

Additional year to prepare for Making Tax Digital for taxes other than VAT

May 10, 2019: The Chancellor’s Spring Statement contained an important nugget of information for businesses that had been wondering when they will need to be ready for Making Tax Digital (MTD) for taxes other than VAT. Until recently, the Government’s official line was that the rollout of the UK’s digital system would be confined to VAT until “April... Read more