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30 July 2015

The 31 July is the last day for families and individuals who receive tax credits to renew their tax credit. As in previous years, there is expected to be a huge last minute rush and it may be difficult to contact HMRC by phone.

Claims can be renewed by post, phone or online. A press release from HMRC released on 24 July 2015 highlighted the fact that more than 540,000 people renewed...

30 July 2015

HMRC has published a new consultation entitled 'Tackling the hidden economy: Extension of data- gathering powers'. The consultation considers the Government’s intention to introduce legislation giving HMRC new data-gathering powers to obtain data from online business intermediaries and electronic payment providers as part of its continued efforts to combat tax avoidance and evasion....

30 July 2015

One of the important measures announced in the recent Enterprise Bill was the establishment of a new Small Business Conciliation Service that will help settle payment disputes between small and large companies especially in relation to late payment practices. Late payments are estimated to cost businesses £40bn this year alone. The name of this service has now been given a working title of...

30 July 2015

HMRC together with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) are to target employers in the hairdressing and beauty sectors to ensure that employees are being paid the National Minimum Wage (NMW). The initiative is also being supported by the National Hairdressers’ Federation and the Hair and Beauty Industry Authority. The organisations will work with the industry to help...

23 July 2015

Creative Industry Tax Reliefs (CITR) are a collection of Corporation Tax reliefs that allow qualifying companies to claim a larger deduction, or in some circumstances claim a payable tax credit when calculating their taxable profits.

To qualify for the CITR films, television programmes, animations or video games must pass a 'cultural test' or qualify through an internationally agreed co...

23 July 2015

HMRC launched a specialist tobacco taskforce last summer to tackle some of the UK’s most notorious hotspots for the sale and supply of illicit tobacco and alcohol as part of its overall remit to tackle tax fraud.

Earlier this month, around 40 HMRC officers with support from North Wales Police, UK Border Agency, and Trading Standards officers carried out checks on shops, private...

23 July 2015

The employment allowance of £2,000 per year for all businesses and charities was made available from April 2014. The allowance is offset against the employer's Class 1 secondary National Insurance Contributions (NICs) and can be claimed as part of the normal payroll processes.

In the Summer Budget, the Chancellor announced that the employment allowance will rise to £3,000 from April...

23 July 2015

Since April 2013, Universal Credits have been gradually rolled out across the country. Universal Credit is a single monthly payment for people both in and out of work, which merges together some existing benefits and tax credits. The rollout to existing claimants is expected to begin in 2016 and to be completed in 2017.

Universal Credit will eventually replace the following benefits:...

23 July 2015

The Summer Finance Bill 2015 officially known as Finance Bill 2015-16 was presented to Parliament on 14 July 2015. The second reading of the bill took place on 21 July and the Committee Stage is expected to take place shortly after the Commons' returns from the summer recess.

The Summer Finance Bill implements key policies for business such as the reduction of the Corporate Tax rate to...

16 July 2015

The TV licence fee has not been payable by those aged 75 or over since 2001. The Government has reached an agreement with the BBC that it will take on the cost of free television licences for over-75s on a phased basis from 2018/19 with the BBC taking full responsibility for the costs by 2020/21. 

The Chancellor George Osborne said:

'The deal we have agreed with the...

16 July 2015

The annual allowance for tax relief on pensions is currently £40,000 and there is a three year carry forward rule that allows taxpayers to carry forward unused annual allowance from the last three tax years if they have made pension savings in those years.

The annual allowance is to be reduced for high income earners from April 2016. Those with income in excess of £150,000 will see...

16 July 2015

Major changes to the way Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) is calculated and spent will come into effect from 2017. In his Budget speech, the Chancellor confirmed that the success of low emission cars is having an adverse effect on the amount of money raised from VED.

He stated that 'because so many new cars now fall into the low carbon emission bands, by 2017, over three quarters of new...

16 July 2015

Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) is a tax on general insurance premiums. There are currently two rates; a standard rate of 6% and a higher rate of 20%. The higher rate applies where insurance is sold in relation to goods and services which are subject to VAT and to travel insurance.

As part of the Summer Budget measures the standard rate of IPT is to be increased from 6% to 9.5% from 1...

16 July 2015

In the Summer Budget, the Chancellor stressed the importance of building the Northern Powerhouse. The Northern Powerhouse was a key economic proposal of the previous coalition Government and has continued to be a key focus of the new conservative Government. The intention is to push economic growth in the North of England by building strong city regions including devolution deals with...

09 July 2015

The deposit guarantee limit for savers in UK banks and building societies will fall from £85,000 to £75,000 from 1 January 2016. The change which has been met with dismay by many banks has been brought about following a recalibration of the deposit protection provided by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

The change has been made necessary as the FSCS coverage level is...

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