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26 July 2017

The intestacy rules that govern how assets are divided if someone dies without making a will changed from 1 October 2014. The changes do not affect people who die with less than £250,000 in assets but for those that leave more, the changes were significant.

For example, prior to 1 October 2014, a surviving spouse or civil partner in a relationship without children would have inherited...

26 July 2017

HMRC’s annual reconciliation of PAYE for the tax year 2016-17 is well under way. HMRC uses 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 uses the P800 form to inform taxpayers of any under or over payments. The forms currently being sent show HMRC’s tax calculations in respect of the tax year ending...

26 July 2017

This coming Monday (31 July) is the last day for families and individuals that 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 highlighted that almost one million renewals were...

26 July 2017

The Personal Savings Allowance (PSA) was launched on 6 April 2016. The allowance means that the first £1,000 interest on savings income for basic rate taxpayers is tax-free. For higher-rate taxpayers the PSA is £500. Anyone earning over £150,000 does not benefit from the new PSA.

In addition, any taxpayers whose total taxable income is less than £17,500 won’t pay tax on any savings...

20 July 2017

The government has confirmed that a new Finance Bill will be introduced as soon as possible after the summer recess. The House of Commons returns to Westminster on 5 September 2017.

In a joint press release from HMRC and HM Treasury we are told that the new Finance Bill will legislate for all policies that were included in the pre-election Finance Bill but not included in the Act that...

20 July 2017

A new timetable for the introduction of Making Tax Digital (MTD) has been announced. The new regime was due to start from April 2018, but was delayed by the snap general election earlier this year. The government now appears to have listened to concerns that the roll-out of the MTD was moving too fast. The original proposals would have required most businesses to upload quarterly figures to...

20 July 2017

Many director shareholders take a minimum salary and any balance of remuneration as dividends. This tends to reduce National Insurance Contributions (NICs), and in some cases Income Tax. The planning strategy is to pay a salary at a level that qualifies the director for State benefits, including the State Pension, but does not involve payment of any NICs.
 
For 2017/18, the NIC rate...

20 July 2017

Working out whether you are an employee or self-employed can be a tricky business and HMRC’s view can sometimes be at odds with status defined under employment law.

Clearly, although not always, there are tax and NIC advantages for you and the business that contracts for your services if you are treated as self-employed as opposed to employed. However, you may have more rights - holiday...

20 July 2017

In July 2015, the then Chancellor George Osborne announced a series of reforms to the non-domicile rules. The new rules were due to come into effect from April 2017, but were removed from the cut-back Finance Bill that was rushed through parliament before the general election. It has now been announced that the necessary legislation to introduce these reforms will be included in the new...

20 July 2017

The Gift Aid scheme is available to all UK taxpayers, but in order to sign up to the Gift Aid scheme when you make a donation, you must be paying UK income tax.

There are clear advantages for charities if you make your donation in this way. The charity or Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CASC) concerned can take your donation and, provided all the qualifying conditions are met, can...

13 July 2017

The Supreme Court has ruled in favour of HMRC over a long running tax avoidance case against a former incarnation of Rangers football club (now in liquidation). The case concerned a tax avoidance scheme under which the club paid remuneration to their employees through a complex employee benefit trusts and sub-trusts structure in the hope that the scheme would avoid liability to Income Tax and...

13 July 2017

The Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) provides independent advice to the government on simplifying the UK tax system, with the objective of reducing compliance burdens on both businesses and individual taxpayers. The OTS operates on a permanent, statutory footing and seeks to draw together expertise from across the tax and legal professions, the business community and other interested parties...

13 July 2017

HMRC’s list of exclusions from online filing for 2016-17 continues to multiply. The list of exclusions has been updated with the publication of version 4.0 of the document. There are now a total of 32 live exclusions on the list including 5 new additions to the list.

Many of these issues exist as HMRC has been unable to update its software to properly deal with all the various...

13 July 2017

The VAT DIY Housebuilders scheme is a special scheme that enables homeowners building a home to benefit from the special VAT rules that allow the qualifying construction costs of new homes and certain conversion works to be zero-rated. In this way, any VAT paid on certain qualifying costs can be recovered. The scheme has been designed to effectively put homeowners in a similar position to a...

13 July 2017

The furnished holiday let (FHL) rules allow holiday lettings of properties that meet certain conditions to be treated as a trade for some specific 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. HMRC’s guidance on the scheme has recently been updated.

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