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21 May 2018

Following a joint report ("High heels and workplace dress codes") published by the House of Commons Women and Equalities Committee and Petitions Committee in January 2017, the Government Equalities Office has finally published promised new guidance on “Dress codes and sex discrimination – what you need to know”.

The new guidance is aimed at employers who set dress codes and employees...

16 May 2018

HMRC has issued helpful guidance that explains when you might be due a tax refund and how to make a claim.

According to HMRC you may be able to claim a refund if you:

  • are employed and had too much tax taken from your pay;
  • have stopped work;
  • sent a tax return and paid too much tax;
  • have paid too much tax on pension payments;
  • bought a...
16 May 2018

It is important that any correspondence received from the County Court is dealt with promptly. This should include taking proper legal advice when appropriate.

Usually, a creditor asks the County Court to make a county court judgment (CCJ) against a person who is refusing to pay their bill. The CCJ rules apply to court orders in England and Wales. There are different court system...

16 May 2018

A new press release has revealed that in 2017-18, HMRC investigators identified £15.6 million in back pay that is owed to over 200,000 of the UK’s lowest paid workers. This was an increase from £10.9 million for over 98,000 workers in the previous year. The launch of an online complaints service in January 2017 is thought to have been partially responsible for the increase as HMRC encourages...

16 May 2018

Fraudsters are taking advantage of taxpayers who may be due a tax refund following the end of the 2017-18 tax year. HMRC is currently processing tax refunds, but the fraudsters are trying to get one step ahead. They do this by sending out scam emails and SMS-messages claiming to be from HMRC. Usually the messages include a click-through link to a replica of the HMRC website where the...

16 May 2018

There are many rewarding opportunities for volunteering available across the UK. It is a popular misconception that only young people volunteer, however, people of all ages volunteer for numerous roles in a wide range of charitable and other sectors.

There is no official minimum or maximum age for volunteering. However, the following points should be taken into account:

  • ...
16 May 2018

Whilst the majority of businesses charge VAT at the standard rate of 20% there are a number of different VAT rates and exemptions that businesses should be aware. There are actually three separate VAT rates, the standard rate of 20%, the reduced rate of 5% and a zero rate. The reduced rate of VAT applies to the supply of certain goods and services.

In this article we will look at...

14 May 2018

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has announced that employers who refuse to pay workplace pension fines could have their assets seized to pay their debts.

TPR can issue fines to employers who fail to meet their automatic enrolment duties and can secure court orders if the debts are not then paid. TPR is to now appoint High Court Enforcement Officers (HCEOs) to enforce court orders in...

09 May 2018

Advance Assurance for small companies that claim Research and Development (R&D) tax relief was introduced in November 2015. This measure makes it easier for small businesses investing in research and development to claim tax relief.

Advance Assurance is available to companies who haven’t claimed R&D before, have an annual turnover of less than £2million and less than 50...

09 May 2018

The 'badges of trade' tests whilst not conclusive are used by HMRC to help determine whether an activity is a proper economic / business activity or merely a money-making side line to a hobby. However, there is a point where careful consideration needs to be given to deciding whether your hobby has in fact become a taxable trading activity.

It is clear from the significant amount of...

09 May 2018

The rent-a-room scheme is a set of special rules designed to help homeowners who rent-a-room in their home within certain limits to pay no tax on the lodger’s rents. The limit increased to a generous £7,500 from 6 April 2016 and remains unchanged for 2018-19.

The relief applies to the letting of furnished accommodation and was traditionally used when one bedroom in a home was rented out...

09 May 2018

A new system that allows UK banks and building societies to scan cheques and clear them digitally rather than using the paper cheque for clearing is expected to be introduced from October 2018. The Image Clearing System (ICS) for cheques will cut down the clearing times from up to six days to just one day.

The changes will facilitate more banks offering their customers the opportunity...

09 May 2018

HMRC operates a simplification measure that allows businesses to claim back VAT from mileage claims using a standardised scale charge to value fuel costs for private use. The scale charge is a fixed amount based on a vehicles CO2 rating.

Most businesses, particularly small and medium sized businesses, which do not keep detailed mileage records covering all journeys, use the road fuel...

09 May 2018

New figures published by the government have revealed that 69,000 first-time home buyers have benefited from the recent changes to the Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) rules. Under rules that came into effect on 22 November 2017, SDLT has been abolished for first time buyers making a purchase of up to £300,000.

The figures covered the period from the introduction of the relief on 22 November...

09 May 2018

The High Income Child Benefit charge came into force in January 2013 and applies to taxpayers whose income exceeds £50,000 in a tax year and who are in receipt of child benefit. The charge claws back the financial benefit of receiving child benefit either by reducing or removing the benefit entirely.

If you or your partner have exceeded the £50,000 threshold during the last tax year (...

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