Smaller estates should not have to file Inheritance Tax paperwork, says Office for Tax Simplification

December 4, 2018: The Office for Tax Simplification (OTS) has said that smaller and less complex estates should not be subject to the requirement to file Inheritance Tax (IHT) paperwork. The call was part of a review into IHT, which Chancellor Philip Hammond ordered earlier this year. While just five per cent of estates are subject to IHT,... Read more

Unwrapping Christmas tax gifts

December 4, 2018: Christmas is a time for giving, but many businesses may not be aware that their gifts can be made in a tax-efficient manner, which could make raising festive spirits that little bit cheaper. While Christmas parties may not be for everyone, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) does provide an allowable tax deduction of up to... Read more

Big increase in P2P lending

December 4, 2018: The fifth annual UK Alternative Finance Industry Report has revealed a 65 per cent year-on-year increase in peer-to-peer (P2P) lending. The P2P lending market is now worth £2 billion and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) appear to be the dominant force behind it. To put the rise of P2P lending into context, its value is... Read more

180,500 first-time buyers benefit from relief on Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT)

December 4, 2018: Figures released by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) have revealed that 180,500 first-time buyers have benefited from the Government’s changes to Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT). HMRC estimates that first-time buyers have saved a total of more than £426 million since Chancellor Philip Hammond announced the First-Time Buyers’ Relief (FTBR) in November 2017. At Budget... Read more

Italian e-invoicing requirements make Making Tax Digital look like a walk in the park

December 4, 2018: While a series of false starts and changes of direction have made Making Tax Digital (MTD) seem more complicated than it might need to be, new e-invoicing requirements that come into effect in Italy from 1 January 2019 make it look like a walk in the park. The Italian tax authorities will require VAT-registered businesses... Read more

House of Lords calls for a delay to Making Tax Digital

December 4, 2018: The House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee has criticised HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) for its handling of Making Tax Digital (MTD) and called for a delay to some of the regime’s mandatory requirements. The majority of VAT-registered businesses with taxable turnover above the VAT registration threshold of £85,000 will need to keep digital records... Read more

UK takes second spot for tax compliance in G20

December 4, 2018: New research from the World Bank has revealed that the UK has the second most effective tax system amongst the G20 nations for tax compliance and ease of paying corporate taxes. According to the survey, companies take an average of 105 hours per year to prepare and file their taxes in the UK, which equates... Read more

National Living Wage to rise in April 2019

November 1, 2018: In his latest Budget speech to the Commons, Chancellor Philip Hammond announced that the National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage would increase from April next year. However, despite many employees across the UK welcoming this sudden pay rise, small business owners across the UK are being left to pick up the bill. From April... Read more

Public pilot of Making Tax Digital for VAT opens

November 1, 2018: HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has opened a public pilot of Making Tax Digital (MTD) for VAT. The pilot is open to sole traders and companies that are up-to-date with VAT, who have not received a default surcharge in the last two years. Some other groups will need to wait to join, including those: trading... Read more

Entrepreneurs’ Relief rules to be tightened

November 1, 2018: Despite rumours that the Chancellor might scrap Entrepreneurs’ Relief (ER) all together in the Autumn Budget, Philip Hammond decided to retain the tax relief but has made fundamental changes to who qualifies for it. Mr Hammond said that “encouraging entrepreneurs must be at the heart” of the Government’s strategy but he recognised the relief as... Read more

Research reveals Inheritance Tax hotspots across the UK

November 1, 2018: New research has revealed that the affluent area surrounding Guildford in Surrey has the highest proportion of people paying Inheritance Tax (IHT). The study showed that 658 estates were subject to the tax the town in 2015/16, paying on average £231,000 each. In comparison, Wigan in Greater Manchester saw just 31 estates liable for IHT... Read more

R&D Tax Credit system to be reviewed in light of fraudulent claims

November 1, 2018: According to figures released in the Autumn Budget, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has prevented around £300 million of fraudulent R&D tax credit claims since the relief was introduced. In a bid to prevent further abuse of this tax relief, Philip Hammond has promised to clamp down on fraudulent claims by reintroducing a Pay As... Read more

HM Revenue & Customs to review and rework some 2016-17 self-assessment tax returns following error

November 1, 2018: The Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) has warned that HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is to review and potentially rework as many as 30,000 self-assessment tax returns that were filed online for 2016-17 owing to concerns that its tax calculator may have wrongly computed the tax liability. The review will begin on 19 November 2018... Read more

Payee names to be required for bank transfers in effort to combat fraud and errors

November 1, 2018: From next year, payee names will be checked when making bank transfers in order to ensure that funds are being sent to the correct recipient. Currently, only the sort code and account number are checked when making a transfer, something which has been exploited by fraudsters to trick people into transferring tens of thousands of... Read more

Autumn Budget 2018

October 29, 2018: The sun was already edging behind the London skyline by the time Chancellor Philip Hammond rose to the despatch box to deliver the first Monday Budget since 1962 – pushed back to 3.30pm because of later Parliamentary sitting times on Mondays. Officially, the traditional Wednesday slot was dispensed with this year to allow as much... Read more

CIOT reports increase in R40 refund errors

October 9, 2018: According to a new report by the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT), there have been a growing number of R40 computation errors on refunds processed by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). Individuals can use R40 forms to claim tax refunds on tax deducted from savings income. Following the CIOT report, HMRC has now confirmed that... Read more

Workers miss out on £15.6 million in pay through minimum wage breaches

October 9, 2018: Minimum wage breaches, including breaches of the National Living Wage, have cost workers from across the UK a combined total of £15.6 million in lost wages. Figures released by the Government show that around 200,000 workers were affected in 2017/18, in what was the highest underpayment since the National Minimum Wage was introduced. In total,... Read more

HMRC finally launches MTD communications plan and simplified guidance

October 9, 2018: With only six months left until the launch of Making Tax Digital for VAT, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has finally begun sharing information with businesses about the new regime. While accountants and professional advisers across the UK have been making clients aware of the new digital system for more than two years, the nation’s... Read more

Micro businesses bear the brunt of late payments

October 9, 2018: Recent research has shown that micro businesses are bearing the brunt of late payments, with just 52 per cent of the invoices they issue being paid on time. However, the research found significant regional variation, with 68 per cent of micro businesses in Peterborough encountering the scourge of late payments. The research was based on... Read more

HMRC investigates estate valuations as part of IHT campaign

October 9, 2018: The number of investigations conducted against estates thought to be avoiding Inheritance Tax (IHT) has increased, according to new data from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). The tax authority has revealed that 5,400 estates were investigated during the 2017/18 tax year – a five per cent increase on the previous year’s figure (5,100 estates). This... Read more

Government backed tax-free savings plan to help savers earn 50p on every £1

October 9, 2018: The Government has launched a new savings account that offers savers a 50 per cent tax-free bonus on the money they deposit. The new Help to Save account will offer savers up to 50p for every £1 that they save, which could mean that people could benefit from as much as £1,200 of tax-free money... Read more

Just eight per cent of business loan applications successful with one high street bank

October 9, 2018: On average, less than one in 10 SME loan applications to one nameless high street bank are successful. The figures were released by SME funding platform, Code Investing, whose CEO, Ayan Mitra, said: “Due to regulation, due to banks having huge cost structures, due to SMEs not having standardised data, there’s quite a big funding... Read more

Employment claims from contractors brought within IR35 expected after HMRC settlement

October 9, 2018: A freelance marketing and business development consultant has reached a settlement with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) after arguing that she should be entitled to holiday pay as she was considered to be a worker for tax purposes. Susan Winchester had claimed £4,200 in holiday pay against HMRC after she was deemed to fall within... Read more

Budget date 2018 announced, with half the usual notice

October 9, 2018: The Chancellor has announced that the 2018 Budget will take place on Monday 29 October 2018, having given just half the usual 10 weeks’ notice of the date. The Autumn Budget, which took place for the first time last year, having been moved from the traditional spring date, was initially trailed to take place annually... Read more

Working 9 to 5? It’s an unusual way to make a living

September 5, 2018: The archetypal 9am to 5pm working day might be so ingrained into the psyche of workers across the Western world that Dolly Parton wrote a song about it, but new research has revealed that it is now an unusual way to make a living for UK workers. The YouGov survey found that just six per... Read more

Regulator tells banks to stop victim-blaming

September 5, 2018: The increasing sophistication of bank scams means that customers who lose money to such schemes should not automatically be blamed, the Financial Ombudsman Service has said. Caroline Wayman, Chief Ombudsman and Chief Executive of the Financial Ombudsman Service, said: “It’s not fair to automatically call a customer grossly negligent simply because they’ve fallen for a... Read more

A quick guide to the new penalties for late MTD filing and payments

September 5, 2018: HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has announced a pair of penalty systems for late filing and late payment under Making Tax Digital (MTD) for VAT, which is due to come into effect in April 2019. Late filing will attract penalty points, which will accrue on the basis of how late the filing is and how... Read more

One in ten small businesses are concerned about business failure

September 5, 2018: A new study has revealed that in the last three months the number of SMEs predicting they could close has doubled from five per cent to 10 per cent. Produced by Hitachi Capital Business Finance, the report makes for worrying reading as the proportion of small business owners reporting their concerns about business failure have... Read more

HMRC releases new advisory fuel rates for company car users

September 5, 2018: With the price of fuel going up, employees and businesses will welcome new changes to the fuel advisory rates, which from 1 September 2018 have slightly increased on the previous quarter for some vehicles. Advisory fuel rates from 1 September 2018 Engine size Petrol – amount per mile LPG – amount per mile 1400cc or... Read more

Property investments once again hit by new tax rules

September 5, 2018: In the last few years the property sector has been hit by a number of new tax rules, but now there are two new things on the horizon that landlords must consider. Rent-a-Room Scheme The current Rent-a-Room scheme offers people up to £7,500 a year tax-free from letting out a spare room. However, HM Revenue... Read more