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08 February 2017

Making Tax Digital (MTD) is likely to be the most wide ranging change to the UK tax system since the introduction of Self Assessment many years ago and will fundamentally change the way businesses, the self-employed and landlords interact with HMRC. The introduction of MTD over the coming years will see HMRC move towards a fully digital tax system by 2020. The introduction of MTD was first...

08 February 2017

A new Pensions Advice Allowance will come into force from April 2017. The allowance will allow those nearing retirement to take up to £1,500 out of their pension pots tax-free to put towards the cost of financial advice. The advice provided can relate directly to the pension as well as to other financial products that help build retirement income such as multiple pension pots and other assets...

08 February 2017

The P9X form is used to notify employers of what tax codes to use for employers. The form has been updated with tax codes to use from 6 April 2017. The basic personal allowance for the tax year starting 6 April 2017 is £11,500 and the tax code for emergency use is 1150L.

As a result of the increase in the basic personal allowance, there is a general uplift of tax codes with suffix 'L'...

08 February 2017

The furnished holiday let (FHL) rules allow holiday lettings of properties that meet certain conditions to be treated as a trade for tax purposes. Individuals, partnerships, trustees and companies who let furnished holiday accommodation situated within the UK or elsewhere in the EEA can benefit from having a FHL.

The furnished holiday letting scheme occupancy conditions must be met for...

08 February 2017

The child tax credit has been designed to help lower income families with children. Credits are available to families with low to moderate income. Child tax credit is paid directly to the main carer in the family either weekly or monthly and is usually paid directly to a designated bank or building society account. The working tax credit assists taxpayers on low incomes by providing top-up...

02 February 2017

From April 2017, the rules for individuals providing services to the public sector via an intermediary such as a personal service company will change. This change will shift the responsibility for deciding whether the intermediaries’ legislation applies to the public sector body, agency or third party paying for the services received.

In addition, the 5% flat rate allowance that applies...

02 February 2017

The Low Income Tax Reform Group (LITRG) was established in 1998 to improve the policy and processes of the tax, tax credits and associated welfare systems for the benefit of those on low incomes. A new press release from the LITRG reminds taxpayers of their options if they receive a fixed £100 penalty notice from HMRC for late filing (after 31 January 2017) of their Self Assessment return....

02 February 2017

The cash basis scheme helps sole traders and other unincorporated businesses benefit from a simpler way of managing their financial affairs. The scheme is currently open to businesses with a turnover of up to £83,000. However, following a consultation on the scheme the government has chosen to make a number of changes.

Effective from 2017-18, the entry threshold for the cash basis will...

02 February 2017

The Annual Investment Allowance (AIA) was permanently set at £200,000 for all qualifying expenditure on or after 1 January 2016. The prior limit had been £500,000 but was set to revert to its original limit of £25,000 from 1 January 2016 until the new permanent level was announced.

The £200,000 limit is a generous allowance and will cover the annual capital expenditure spend of many...

02 February 2017

It is now only a couple of months until the changes to tax relief for buy-to-let landlords start to take effect. From April 2017, tax relief on mortgage costs is to be gradually restricted to the basic rate of tax. Landlords of residential properties have benefited from unrestricted tax relief on finance charges, such as mortgage interest for many years.

This change marks a seismic...

02 February 2017

One of the most often used and valuable of the Capital Gains Tax (CGT) reliefs is on the sale of the family home. CGT is a tax on the profit made from selling certain assets such as property, shares or other investment e.g. antiques and fine art. There are a number of exemptions available which can reduce or remove a taxpayer's liability to CGT.

In general there is no CGT on a property...

31 January 2017

The Social Security Benefits Up-rating Order 2017 has been published in draft form and laid before Parliament and it confirms that:

  • The standard weekly rates of statutory maternity pay (SMP), statutory adoption pay (SAP), statutory paternity pay (SPP) and statutory shared parental pay (ShPP) will increase from £139.58 to £140.98 from 2 April 2017.
  • The weekly rate of...
26 January 2017

The Department for Work and Pensions have confirmed that a new modernised Bereavement Support Payment will be introduced for those bereaved from 6 April 2017. The new Bereavement Support Payment will replace the outdated and complex 3-tier system of Bereavement Payment, Bereavement Allowance and Widowed Parent’s Allowance.

The new benefit will be available to people of any age up to...

26 January 2017

The new Help to Save scheme for people on low income is expected to launch in April 2018. The scheme will allow anyone in work and in receipt of Universal Credit or Working Tax Credits to save up to £50 a month for two years and receive a 50% government bonus. Account holders will then be able to continue saving under the scheme for a further 2 years and receive another bonus. This could see...

26 January 2017

Employers that take on a new employee need to work out which tax code and starter declaration to use in their payroll software. Incorrect tax codes can lead to the new employee paying more tax than is due.

The necessary information can be collected by asking the new employee to complete HMRC's new starter checklist and / or from the employee’s P45. This information must be held in the...

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