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12 August 2015

The new pension reforms came in to effect on 6 April 2015. The changes have meant that over 500,000 people aged 55 and over can take advantage of the freedom rules for accessing pension savings. The new rules allow people to access their pension pots in new ways and decide how to use their defined contributions pension savings.

There are three main options available, lifetime annuity,...

12 August 2015

The Government is keen to encourage individuals to save for their retirement and tax relief for contributions to pension schemes is given at the individual’s marginal rate of Income Tax subject to the annual and lifetime allowances.

The income and gains which arise as part of a pension scheme are generally exempt from Income Tax and CGT. Over recent years, both the annual and lifetime...

12 August 2015

HMRC’s Let Property Campaign provides landlords who have undeclared income from residential property lettings in the UK or abroad with an opportunity to regularise their affairs by disclosing any outstanding liabilities whether due to misunderstanding the tax rules or because of deliberate tax evasion.

The campaign was launched in September 2013 and does not currently have an end date...

12 August 2015

A mother and son have both been disqualified from acting as company directors for a combined period of 20 years for submitting annual financial accounts containing false information. They also submitted false VAT returns to HMRC.

An investigation by the Insolvency Service found that the mother and son, Mr & Mrs Hawkes, who were both directors of F G Hawkes (Western) Limited signed...

05 August 2015

HMRC’s annual reconciliation of PAYE for the tax year 2014-15 is well under way. HMRC use salary and pension information to calculate if the correct amount of tax has been paid. Where the incorrect amount of tax has been paid, HMRC use the P800 form to inform taxpayers. The forms currently been sent show HMRC’s tax calculations in respect of the tax year ending 5 April 2015. HMRC expects to...

05 August 2015

HMRC’s Connect software is a data matching tool that enables HMRC to cross check one billion pieces of data from HMRC records and third party data to identify links between people, organisations, assets and income in a matter of seconds. The software has been under development since 2008. HMRC has a team of some 150 data analysts that use modelling techniques to identify a particular type of...

05 August 2015

In the Summer Budget, the Chancellor announced that maintenance grants are to be abolished and replaced with loans. From the 2016-17 academic year, the means tested benefits for students from low-income households will be increased by £766 to £8,200 a year. Graduates will only be required to start paying back the loan when they earn above £21,000 a year.

The Chancellor is likely to face...

05 August 2015

HMRC taskforces are comprised of multiple teams from across HMRC including special investigations, local compliance and criminal investigation units for targeting specific sectors and locations where there is a high risk of tax evasion. The taskforces use local knowledge and risk profiling to help create a list of individuals and businesses to target.

The latest taskforce to be launched...

05 August 2015

The new Help to Buy ISA will be available from 1 December 2015. Banks and Building Societies including Barclays, Lloyds Banking Group, Nationwide, NatWest, Santander, and Virgin Money have already signed up to offer the Help to Buy ISA. The new scheme will see savers receive a bonus from the Government of 25% on monthly savings of up to £200 on savings towards their first home. This bonus...

30 July 2015

HMRC’s 'Time to Pay' service is designed to help businesses and individuals who are experiencing cashflow problems. Any taxpayer who is genuinely unable to make a tax payment by the due date could potentially benefit from making an arrangement. If the application is accepted by HMRC, the taxpayer will be required to make arrangements to pay any tax and interest due by instalments.

Until...

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...

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