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15 November 2017

If you have been in the same job for two years or more and are made redundant you will usually be entitled to a redundancy payment. The legal minimum that you are entitled to receive is known as ‘statutory redundancy pay’. There are exceptions where you are not entitled to statutory redundancy pay, such as if your employer offers to keep you on or offers you suitable alternative work which you...

15 November 2017

This may come as a surprising fact to many of our readers, but a will can be changed after death. This can be done by using what is known as a Deed of Variation. Any changes to the will must be done within two years from the date of death. However, beneficiaries who would be left worse off by the change must give their agreement before any changes can be made.

This is most often done to...

15 November 2017

The High Income Child Benefit Charge (HICBC) applies to taxpayers whose income exceeds £50,000 in a tax year and who are in receipt of child benefit. The charge either reduces or removes the financial benefit of receiving child benefit. Where both partners have an income that exceeds £50,000, HICBC is payable by the partner with the highest income.

The HICBC is charged at the rate of 1...

08 November 2017

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

It was announced as part of the Autumn Statement 2016, that...

08 November 2017

In a surprising move, the Government has announced that the planned abolition of Class 2 National Insurance Contributions (NICs) is to be delayed for a year. The withdrawal of Class 2 NICs was due to take place from April 2018 but will now take place one year later from April 2019.

The enabling legislation for this change, NICs Bill will now be introduced in 2018 and will take effect...

08 November 2017

HMRC has won a landmark case after the Supreme Court overturned an earlier decision of the Court of Appeal. The issue at hand concerned historic overpayments of VAT by Littlewoods (a catalogue sales business) between 1973 and 2004. In 2004, HMRC accepted that the VAT had been overpaid and repaid £205m plus a further £268m interest calculated using the simple interest basis.

Littlewoods...

08 November 2017

The bank deposit guarantee limit is the amount of money that is guaranteed for savers in UK banks and building societies should the institution become insolvent. The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) guarantee amount is currently £85,000 per person, per authorised bank or building society.

There is additional protection available to savers with certain types of temporary...

08 November 2017

In a widely expected move, the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted by a majority of 7-2 to increase the Bank Rate from 0.25% to 0.5%. This is the first increase in interest rates since July 2007 when the rate increased to 5.75%. The interest rate has been fixed at 0.5% since the crash of 2009 and was further reduced to 0.25% in August 2016 following worries of economic...

08 November 2017

The current National Minimum Wage (NMW) hourly rate for adults between 21-24 years old is £7.05, and the national living wage is £7.50 for those aged 25 and over. The Living Wage Foundation (an initiative of Citizens UK), recently announced living wage rates for London and the UK at £10.20 an hour and £8.75 an hour respectively.

The Living Wage rates...

06 November 2017

Following the publication of its guidance for employers on managing staff who are experiencing mental health issues, Acas has now published new guidance for employers on how to support employees who are suffering from work-related stress.

The guidance highlights five indicators of stress that managers should be aware of. These are:

  • changes in the employee’s behaviour, mood...
02 November 2017

HMRC’s guidance on paying income tax when you rent out a property has been updated to reflect the new restriction on tax relief for finance charges incurred since April 2017. The tax relief on finance costs (such as mortgage interest) used to buy investment properties, is being gradually restricted to the basic rate of tax. The finance costs restriction is being phased in over four years and...

02 November 2017

For high earning taxpayers the personal income tax allowance is gradually reduced by £1 for every £2 of adjusted net income over £100,000 irrespective of age. Adjusted net income is total taxable income before any personal allowances, less certain tax reliefs such as trading losses and certain charitable donations and pension contributions.

Adjusted net income between £100,000 and £123,...

02 November 2017

There are special rules concerning the payment of capital gains tax (CGT) on the sale of personal possessions also known as 'chattels'. Personal possessions are generally defined as possessions with a predictable useful life of 50 years or less and are exempt from CGT up to a disposal value of £6,000.

Personal possessions include items like jewellery, paintings, antiques, coins and...

02 November 2017

A recent First-Tier Tribunal case examined whether amounts credited to a director’s loan account were subject to PAYE and NIC deductions. The appellant company buys and sells boats. One of the directors, who is also the chairman of the company, had made a substantial loan to the company at some point prior to April 2010.

It was later agreed that an annual fee of £16,000 would be...

02 November 2017

Any business that has been adversely affected by the new 'limited cost trader' test that was introduced on 1 April 2017, should consider whether it will be more beneficial to leave the VAT Flat Rate Scheme (FRS) and revert to using traditional VAT accounting.

Businesses can leave the FRS at any time by notifying HMRC. To save any additional complications, this is usually done at the end...

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