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19 January 2017

The Worldwide Disclosure Facility (WDF) was launched on 5 September 2016. Anyone who wants to disclose a UK tax liability that relates wholly or partly to an offshore issue can use the WDF. An offshore issue includes unpaid or omitted tax relating to:

  • income arising from a source in a territory outside the UK;
  • assets situated or held in a territory outside the UK;
  • ...
19 January 2017

The new Lifetime ISA will be launched from April 2017. The Lifetime ISA is designed to help those aged between 18 and 40 to save for a new home or for their retirement. The launch of the scheme was confirmed when the Savings Bill was enacted on 16 January 2017.

The new scheme will see the government provide a bonus of 25% on yearly savings of up to £4,000 until the saver's 50th birthday...

19 January 2017

HMRC has a dedicated helpline number to help businesses and individuals adversely affected by severe weather or floods.

The dedicated helpline is available to provide comprehensive advice and should deal sympathetically with problems faced by businesses and individuals affected by severe weather problems. The helpline can help affected businesses and individuals as they come to terms...

19 January 2017

The Second Incomes Campaign offers individuals the opportunity to inform HMRC that they have undeclared income from a supplementary income stream. The campaign targets individuals in employment who have an additional untaxed source of income.

The HMRC guidance lists the following possible examples:

  • fees from consultancy or other services such as public speaking or providing...
18 January 2017

The introduction of automatic enrolment for workplace pensions is intended to ensure that the majority of employees begin to make proper provision for having a work based pension. Automatic enrolment into workplace pensions has been rolling out across the UK since 2012. The first batch of small and micro employers with 30 or less employers began to enrol in the scheme on 1 June 2015. There are...

17 January 2017

Ten of the most bizarre excuses, used by unscrupulous employers found to have unpaid workers the National Minimum Wage (NMW), have been revealed by the government. The list has been published to coincide with a new awareness campaign aimed at encouraging workers to check their pay to ensure they are receiving at least the statutory minimum ahead of the NMW and National Living Wage (NLW) rates...

12 January 2017

Some major changes to the way Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) commonly known as road tax works will come into effect from April this year. The government has been concerned for some time that the current VED structure is too lenient and that the proliferation of low emission cars is having an adverse effect on the amount of money raised from VED.

This is because under the current VED rules...

12 January 2017

HMRC is to introduce an additional test from 1 April 2017 that will determine the VAT flat rate percentage used by VAT registered businesses using the Flat Rate scheme. It appears that HMRC considers the benefits obtained by certain businesses to be excessive.

Whilst in theory some businesses win and some lose when adopting this scheme. In practice a business would only join the scheme...

12 January 2017

HMRC has released an interesting analysis showing that men are more likely than women to send in their tax return on time. The statistics were compiled by analysing the filing of 2014-15 tax returns up to the end of April 2016. The paper return for that tax year was due to be filed by 31 October 2015 and the online deadline was 31 January 2016.

As well as analysing filings by gender,...

12 January 2017

Fraudsters are continuing to target taxpayers with scam emails in advance of the 31 January deadline for submission of Self Assessment returns. This fraudulent activity will continue after the due date for submission with requests for personal information at a time when many taxpayers will be expecting to hear from HMRC.

A number of these scams purport to tell taxpayers they are due a...

12 January 2017

An Extra Statutory Concessions (ESC) is a concession granted by HMRC that usually reduces a taxpayer’s tax liability to a level less than they would expect to pay based on a strict reading of the law. The majority of the ESCs introduced by HMRC deal with anomalies in the legislation which under certain specific situations create unintended consequences for taxpayers and which are difficult to...

12 January 2017

The marriage allowance came into force on 6 April 2015 and allows lower earning couples to share part of their personal tax-free allowance. HMRC has announced that some 1.3 million couples have applied for the tax break since it was introduced. However, this figure is low when compared to the estimated 4.2m married and civil partner couples who are eligible for the tax break

As we start...

05 January 2017

HMRC has published details of revised limits affected by the 2016 revalorisation which came into force from 1 January 2017.

The threshold for qualifying gifts to be free from customs duty and import VAT when arriving in the UK (from outside the EU) has been updated. The threshold which is only available to private individuals has increased to £39 (from £34) effective from 1 January 2017...

05 January 2017

A number of recent tweets from HMRC highlighted the fact that almost 2,000 taxpayers took the time to file their tax return online on Christmas Day and over 6,000 returns were filed on Christmas Eve. At the tail end of the holiday period over 16,000 taxpayers filed their tax returns on New Year’s Eve and 13,000 people spent part of the first day of 2017 completing their return.

...

05 January 2017

The VAT DIY Housebuilders Scheme is a special scheme that enables self-build homeowners to benefit from the special VAT rules that allow the qualifying construction costs of new homes and certain conversion works to be zero-rated. A recent tweet by HMRC reminds persons building a house in 2017 of the benefits of the scheme. The use of the scheme effectively puts homeowners in a similar...

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