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06 July 2017

An Essex based financial adviser has admitted tax fraud and has been jailed for five years. He set himself up as tax adviser despite having no financial qualifications. He had previously worked as a bricklayer and his clients were mainly made up of crane drivers, builders and other construction industry workers.

The "financial adviser" assisted his clients in making fraudulent claims...

06 July 2017

There are penalties for employers who don’t pay staff what they are legally entitled to under the National Minimum Wage (NMW) and National Living Wage (NLW) rates.

Employers who have paid a worker below the correct minimum wage must pay any arrears immediately. If not, there are penalties for non-payment of up to 200% of the amount owed, unless the arrears are paid within 14 days. The...

06 July 2017

Employees can obtain a tax-free benefit when provided with an employment-related cheap or interest-free loan. The most common is where the combined outstanding loan value to an employee is less than £10,000 throughout a tax year.

The benefit is calculated as the difference between the interest the employee pays, if any, and the commercial rate the employee would have to pay on a loan...

28 June 2017

Director shareholders are wont to ensure that they pay the lowest amount of tax and NIC consistent with their obligations under the relevant legislation. For many years, director shareholders have followed a high dividend, low salary extraction strategy. This tended to reduce Income Tax and NIC contributions. The dividend changes that came into effect in April 2016, took some of the shine off...

28 June 2017

The Cycle to Work scheme was introduced in 1999 to help promote a healthy commute to work.

The scheme allows employers to provide (technically loan) bicycles and cyclists’ safety equipment to employees as a tax-free benefit. Where the scheme conditions are satisfied, employees can benefit from a tax and National Insurance Contributions (NICs) reduction of between 32% and 42% through a...

28 June 2017

Do you have an employee suggestion scheme in place? There are still commercial and tax advantages to setting up such a arrangement. HMRC offers two tax-free award schemes that can be made available to employees:

  1. Encouragement awards - for good suggestions, or to reward your employees for special effort. Encouragement awards are exempt from tax and National Insurance up to a small...
28 June 2017

Employers and employees may have noticed that HMRC has clamped down on the tax and NIC benefits of some aspects of salary sacrifice schemes. The changes are being rolled out gradually from April 2017, and will affect a number of employees who have sacrificed part of their salary for benefits and are currently paying less tax and NIC as a result.

For the time being, all arrangements in...

28 June 2017

As our readers are most likely aware, there are special rules which allow individuals who set up private pension scheme(s) to benefit from significant tax reliefs when saving for their retirement. There is no overall limit to the amount of employer or employee contributions and no upper limit to the total amount of pension saving that can be built up. However, there are important limits that...

27 June 2017

With the General Election having returned a minority government and with the government’s priority being to legislate for Brexit, a rather more modest agenda for employment law reform was outlined in the Queen’s Speech 2017 than originally may have been envisaged. Parliament will also sit for two years instead of the ordinary one year, to give MPs sufficient time to consider the laws required...

27 June 2017

1 July 2017 - Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 30 September 2016.

6 July 2017 - Complete and submit forms P11D return of benefits and expenses and P11D(b) return of Class 1A NICs.

19 July 2017 - Pay Class 1A NICs (by the 22 July 2017 if paid electronically).

19 July 2017 - PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 July 2017. (If you pay your tax...

22 June 2017

There is usually no Capital Gains Tax (CGT) to be paid on the gift of assets between married couples and civil partners. However, there is still a disposal that has taken place for CGT purposes, effectively, at no gain or loss on the date of the transfer. When the asset ultimately comes to be sold, the gain or loss will be calculated using the base cost when the asset was first owned by the...

22 June 2017

The introduction of Making Tax Digital (MTD) will fundamentally change the way companies, the self-employed and landlords interact with HMRC. The new regime will require businesses and individuals to register, file, pay and update their information using a new online tax account.

The new regime is due to start next April when the self-employed (including property landlords), with...

22 June 2017

Employees who use their own car at work for business purposes can, under certain circumstances, be paid a tax-free allowance by their employers. This includes the use of their own van, motorcycle or bike. It is important to note that this tax-free allowance does not include journeys to and from work but for other business related mileage.

Employers usually make payments based on a set...

22 June 2017

The VAT Cash Accounting Scheme (CAS) can offer important benefits to certain small businesses. Under the standard VAT accounting scheme, VAT is payable on sales whether or not the customer has paid and can lead to claims for Bad Debt Relief. With the CAS no VAT needs to be paid over to HMRC until the customer has paid for his goods / services. Using the CAS will help protect your cash flow if...

22 June 2017

For some time now, employers have been able to reduce their Class 1 NI contributions that relate to their employment of staff. The relevant relief, the employment allowance, is worth up to £3,000 per year and is available to most businesses and charities to be offset against their employer's Class 1 NIC bill.

Claiming the allowance is fairly straight forward, all that is required is a...

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