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19 March 2019

The government has laid a Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules implementing the full opening of the EU Settlement Scheme from 30 March 2019. The scheme will apply regardless of whether there is a Brexit deal or not.

The scheme will allow EEA/Swiss citizens living in the UK by 31 December 2020 (or by 29 March 2019 if the UK leaves the EU without a deal) and their family members...

19 March 2019

In the Spring Statement 2019, the Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced that the apprenticeship reforms set out in the Autumn Budget 2018 will now be introduced a year early. From 1 April 2019, the co-investment rate for non-levy employers will be cut by a half from 10% to 5%. In addition, from the same date, levy-paying employers will be able to share a greater portion of their levy funds...

19 March 2019

As the Brexit date fast approaches, it seems the only thing we can say with any certainty is that uncertainty continues to plague the issue of our leaving the EU. The negotiations on the terms of the UK’s exit from the EU are unresolved and there are three possible outcomes: a delayed Brexit by extending Article 50, a no-deal Brexit or a modified Brexit.

HMRC has published a letter to...

19 March 2019

The list of company benefits that can be provided tax-free to employees is quite short. However, some of the benefits that can be provided include the following:

  • Meals: Free or subsidised meals in a staff canteen where meals are provided for all employees on a reasonable (not overly extravagant) scale. The exemption does not apply where free or subsidised meals are provided as part...
19 March 2019

The cash basis scheme helps many sole traders and other unincorporated businesses benefit from a simpler way of managing their financial affairs. The scheme is not open to limited companies and limited liability partnerships. The scheme allows qualifying businesses to use the cash basis when recording income and expenditure.

You must have a turnover of £150,000 or less to join the...

19 March 2019

If you are self-employed as a sole trader or as a partner in a business partnership, then you must keep suitable business records as well as separate personal records of your income.

For tax purposes, the business records must be held for at least 5 years after the 31 January submission deadline for the relevant tax year. For example, for the 2017-18 tax year, when online filing was due...

14 March 2019

In many circumstances it can be beneficial to make voluntary Class 2 National Insurance Contributions (NICs) to increase your entitlement to benefits, including the State or New State Pension if you are self-employed.


You might want to consider making voluntary NICs because:



  • you’re close to State Pension age and do not have enough qualifying years to...
14 March 2019

Your Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) identifies your tax records at HMRC. The number is also known as your taxpayer number or tax reference number and should be used whenever you contact HMRC, or when you file your tax returns. The UTR is a unique 10 digit code. You are automatically given a UTR when you set yourself up to file Self Assessment tax returns or form a limited company.

...
14 March 2019

As a general rule, most deposits made by customers serve as advance payments and create a VAT tax point when the deposit is received. It is important that businesses ensure that the VAT element of any deposits received is accounted for correctly. Usually this will mean that VAT is due on a deposit when it is received and not when the supply is actually made.


VAT does not...

14 March 2019

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. Careful consideration needs to be given when deciding if a hobby has become a taxable activity.


It is clear from the significant amount of case law on this subject that a decision...

14 March 2019

A capital sum received by an individual in respect of the sale or relinquishment of income to be derived from his or her personal activities, can sometimes be treated as earned income and chargeable to Income Tax. If this is the case, the amount charged to Income Tax is not also charged to Capital Gains Tax.


The following conditions must all be present before the sale of...

13 March 2019

The P9X form is used to notify employers of the tax codes to use for employees. The basic Personal Allowance for the tax year starting 6 April 2019 will be £12,500 and the tax code for emergency will be 1250L. The basic rate band is between £12,501 to £50,000 except for those defined as Scottish taxpayers who have a lower basic rate limit as well as...

13 March 2019

The following comments were written on the 13th March 2019 immediately following Philip Hammond’s presentation of the 2019 Spring Statement to Parliament. In theory, the government uses the Spring Statement to respond to the most recent forecasts made by the Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR).


In a nut-shell, the OBR forecast that:



  • the UK economy...
12 March 2019

Capital Allowances are the deductions which allow businesses to secure tax relief for certain capital expenditure. Capital Allowances are available to sole traders, self-employed persons or partnerships, as well as companies and organisations liable to Corporation Tax.


Interestingly, the Capital Allowance legislation does not specifically define plant and machinery (P&M...

06 March 2019

Companies can use incentive award schemes to encourage their employees in various ways, for example, to sell more of their own goods and services. The award can take various forms including cash, vouchers or other gifts.


Where an employer meets the tax payable on a non-cash incentive award given to a direct employee by entering into a PAYE settlement agreement (PSA), the...

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