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Autumn Budget 2017
22/11/2017 - More...
Prospects for growth, especially for productivity have been downgraded, but the Chancellor was bullish in his forecasts for investment and the Government’s intention to sort out the slow pace of house building in the UK. A few non-tax comments of note were: Unemployment at its lowest rate since 1975. Chancellor is providing an extra

How to appeal against a tax decision
15/11/2017 - More...
It is not unusual for taxpayers to find themselves in a position where they disagree with a tax decision made by HMRC. There are a number of different options open to taxpayers seeking to use the review and appeals process. Note, there is a separate procedure to be followed by taxpayers to make a complaint about HMRC for issues such as

Claiming an “unclaimed” estate
15/11/2017 - More...
There are special rules that govern how assets are divided if a person dies without making a will. If this happens your assets are passed on to family members in accordance with a set legal formula. This can result in a distribution of assets that would not be in keeping with your final wishes, and can be especially problematic for

How to import goods for the first time
15/11/2017 - More...
Businesses that are starting to import goods for the first time need to be aware of a myriad of special rules that apply. Whilst most smaller businesses importing goods will use a courier or freight forwarder, it is still important to be aware of the duties and VAT implications. Businesses importing goods must be able to distinguish

Disguised remuneration settlement opportunity
15/11/2017 - More...
A new measure to tackle disguised remuneration tax avoidance schemes was announced as part of the Autumn Statement 2016. The new measure will introduce a loan charge on disguised remuneration avoidance schemes that remain unpaid on 5 April 2019. These types of schemes (including contractor loans) are used by employers and individuals and

How much statutory redundancy pay should you receive?
15/11/2017 - More...
If you have been in the same job for two years or more and are made redundant you will usually be entitled to a redundancy payment. The legal minimum that you are entitled to receive is known as ‘statutory redundancy pay’. There are exceptions where you are not entitled to statutory redundancy pay, such as if your employer offers to keep

Changing a will after death
15/11/2017 - More...
This may come as a surprising fact to many of our readers, but a will can be changed after death. This can be done by using what is known as a Deed of Variation. Any changes to the will must be done within two years from the date of death. However, beneficiaries who would be left worse off by the change must give their agreement before

Are you caught by the High Income Child Benefit tax charge?
15/11/2017 - More...
The High Income Child Benefit Charge (HICBC) applies to taxpayers whose income exceeds £50,000 in a tax year and who are in receipt of child benefit. The charge either reduces or removes the financial benefit of receiving child benefit. Where both partners have an income that exceeds £50,000, HICBC is payable by the partner with the

OTS publishes new report on the VAT system
08/11/2017 - More...
The Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) provides advice to the Chancellor on simplifying the UK tax system, with the objective of reducing compliance burdens on both businesses and individual taxpayers and will draw together expertise from across the tax and legal professions, the business community and other interested parties. It was

Delay in withdrawal of self-employed NIC contributions
08/11/2017 - More...
In a surprising move, the Government has announced that the planned abolition of Class 2 National Insurance Contributions (NICs) is to be delayed for a year. The withdrawal of Class 2 NICs was due to take place from April 2018 but will now take place one year later from April 2019. The enabling legislation for this change, NICs Bill

HMRC win Littlewoods’ tax case
08/11/2017 - More...
HMRC has won a landmark case after the Supreme Court overturned an earlier decision of the Court of Appeal. The issue at hand concerned historic overpayments of VAT by Littlewoods (a catalogue sales business) between 1973 and 2004. In 2004, HMRC accepted that the VAT had been overpaid and repaid £205m plus a further £268m interest

Are your bank deposits protected?
08/11/2017 - More...
The bank deposit guarantee limit is the amount of money that is guaranteed for savers in UK banks and building societies should the institution become insolvent. The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) guarantee amount is currently £85,000 per person, per authorised bank or building society. There is additional protection

Interest rates start to rise
08/11/2017 - More...
In a widely expected move, the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted by a majority of 7-2 to increase the Bank Rate from 0.25% to 0.5%. This is the first increase in interest rates since July 2007 when the rate increased to 5.75%. The interest rate has been fixed at 0.5% since the crash of 2009 and was further reduced to

UK Living Wage rates rise
08/11/2017 - More...
The current National Minimum Wage (NMW) hourly rate for adults between 21-24 years old is £7.05, and the national living wage is £7.50 for those aged 25 and over. The Living Wage Foundation (an initiative of Citizens UK), recently announced living wage rates for London and the UK at £10.20 an hour and £8.75 an hour respectively. The

New Acas guidance on dealing with stress in the workplace
06/11/2017 - More...
Following the publication of its guidance for employers on managing staff who are experiencing mental health issues, Acas has now published new guidance for employers on how to support employees who are suffering from work-related stress. The guidance highlights five indicators of stress that managers should be aware of. These

Change to tax relief on re-mortgaged buy-to-let property?
02/11/2017 - More...
HMRC’s guidance on paying income tax when you rent out a property has been updated to reflect the new restriction on tax relief for finance charges incurred since April 2017. The tax relief on finance costs (such as mortgage interest) used to buy investment properties, is being gradually restricted to the basic rate of tax. The finance

Are your earnings approaching £100,000?
02/11/2017 - More...
For high earning taxpayers the personal income tax allowance is gradually reduced by £1 for every £2 of adjusted net income over £100,000 irrespective of age. Adjusted net income is total taxable income before any personal allowances, less certain tax reliefs such as trading losses and certain charitable donations and pension

CGT payable on sale of personal possessions
02/11/2017 - More...
There are special rules concerning the payment of capital gains tax (CGT) on the sale of personal possessions also known as 'chattels'. Personal possessions are generally defined as possessions with a predictable useful life of 50 years or less and are exempt from CGT up to a disposal value of £6,000. Personal possessions include items

Unpaid director’s salary taxable or not?
02/11/2017 - More...
A recent First-Tier Tribunal case examined whether amounts credited to a director’s loan account were subject to PAYE and NIC deductions. The appellant company, buys and sells boats. One of the directors, who is also the chairman of the company, had made a substantial loan to the company at some point prior to April 2010. It was later

Adjustments if you leave the VAT Flat Rate Scheme
02/11/2017 - More...
Any business that has been adversely affected by the new 'limited cost trader' test that was introduced on 1 April 2017, should consider whether it will be more beneficial to leave the VAT Flat Rate Scheme (FRS) and revert to using traditional VAT accounting. Businesses can leave the FRS at any time by notifying HMRC. To save any

More than one source of self-employment
02/11/2017 - More...
Any self-employed person who has more than one source of self-employment is required to pay Class 4 NICs on their total taxable profits. Class 4 NICs are paid by the self-employed as a percentage of annual taxable profits. Class 4 NICs currently apply on assessable profits from £8,164. Between £8,164 and £45,000, NICs are payable at 9%.

Workers unaware of pension contribution increases
31/10/2017 - More...
The current total minimum contribution to a defined contribution workplace pension scheme under the automatic enrolment provisions is 2% of qualifying earnings, with a minimum of 1% coming from the employer. The remaining 1% would then ordinarily come from the worker. However, the employer may pay in more than the 1% minimum and, in that

Gazumping may become a thing of the past
25/10/2017 - More...
The Communities Secretary Sajid Javid has announced plans to make the process for buying a home 'cheaper, faster and less stressful'. This includes looking at new measures to tackle gazumping where a seller accepts a higher offer from a new buyer after already accepting an offer for less money. The government will also examine ways of

Fine wine investment scam
25/10/2017 - More...
A recent investigation by the Insolvency Service has seen two directors of a company selling fine wines disqualified for a total of 20 years. Crimson Fine Wines Limited cold-called customers and offered them the opportunity to take part in fine wine investment scheme offering high returns over periods varying from 12 months to five years.

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Latest News

Autumn Budget 2017
22/11/2017 - More...
Prospects for growth, especially for productivity have been downgraded, but the

How to appeal against a tax decision
15/11/2017 - More...
It is not unusual for taxpayers to find themselves in a position where they

Claiming an “unclaimed” estate
15/11/2017 - More...
There are special rules that govern how assets are divided if a person dies

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