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02 July 2015

The implementation date of the Tax-Free Childcare Scheme (TFCS) has been pushed back until early 2017 following a Supreme Court decision. The scheme was expected to be launched later this year but was delayed as a direct result of a legal challenge to the introduction of the scheme. The legal action was instigated by a small group of childcare voucher providers who won an injunction preventing...

02 July 2015

HMRC is warning of new fraudulent emails being sent to taxpayers. The emails take advantage of the upcoming 31 July 2015 deadline for submitting tax credits renewal information. Some of these fraudulent emails inform recipients that they are due a tax rebate, and provide a click-through link to a replica of the HMRC website.

These are not genuine HMRC messages and should be disregarded...

24 June 2015

James Reber, 51, a furniture importer has been given an 18-month prison sentence, suspended for two years for allowing hollow statues of the religious icon Buddha to be used to smuggle more than 100,000 illicit cigarettes into the UK. He was also ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.

Mr Reber initially denied any knowledge of the Buddhas or the cigarettes but changed his plea...

24 June 2015

Almost all employers are now reporting their PAYE information in real time. Following the introduction of RTI in April 2013, it was decided to stagger the start of the in-year late filing and payment penalties to give employers more time to adapt to reporting in real time.

The late filing penalty regime started on 6 October 2014 for employers with more than 50 employees. There was an...

24 June 2015

Since 6 April 2015 over half a million people in the UK aged 55 and over have been able to take advantage of the new rules for accessing pension savings. The new rules allow people new ways to access their pension pots by taking lump sum payments. The first 25% is tax-free and the remainder is taxed at the individual's marginal rate.

New figures published by HM Treasury have revealed...

24 June 2015

The Skills Minister, Nick Boles has announced new plans that will see the creation of 3 million new apprenticeships by 2020. This will be aided by new moves that will see the term 'apprenticeship' enshrined by law through the Enterprise Bill. The Enterprise Bill is expected to be introduced to Parliament in the Autumn and will see an increase in the number of apprenticeships offered in both...

24 June 2015

Over the last few years, HMRC has been moving away from the use of 0845 numbers to 03 numbers. 03 numbers are non-geographic but are usually charged at the same rates as 01 and 02 numbers and are free with some telephone packages.

All HMRC helplines now have 03 numbers and the majority of calls are made using those numbers. Since December 2014 taxpayers using 0845 numbers to call HMRC...

11 June 2015

The latest statistics on the uptake of the Government’s flagship Help to Buy schemes were published on 6 June 2015. The figures show that almost 100,000 homes have been bought since the schemes were first launched in October 2013.

Some of the headline figures include:

  • 80% of scheme completions have been made by first-time buyers, with more expected when the Help to Buy ISA...
10 June 2015

Earlier this year, the coalition Government confirmed that following talks with the banking industry, new basic bank accounts would be made available. Nine banks agreed to offer the new accounts and committed to have them available by the end of 2015.

These new accounts will help people who do not have a bank account. There are estimated to be over 1 million people in the UK without a...

10 June 2015

The new Conservative Government confirmed last month that there will be a second Budget this year. The Summer Budget will take place on Wednesday 8 July 2015 and will be George Osborne’s seventh Budget and the first with a Conservative majority Government.

HM Treasury had asked for feedback from business, charities and members of the public as to what they would like to see in Budget...

10 June 2015

New anti-avoidance legislation came into effect on 17 July 2014 and gives HMRC significant powers to demand upfront payment of disputed tax from taxpayers using avoidance schemes. This can be demanded by the use of an Accelerated Payment Notice (APN), issued when HMRC has an open appeal or enquiry and either a follower notice has been issued (the taxpayer is using certain arrangements...

10 June 2015

Over the last number of years, HMRC has been actively seeking to reduce tax credits error and fraud. This has included launching many campaigns that specifically looked to target tax credits fraud as well as simplifying the tax credits system, better monitoring of changes in income through the real time information system, and improved detection of fraud.

New statistics released by HMRC...

04 June 2015

HMRC has recently issued a clarification in respect of the advisory fuel rates to confirm that the rates are per mile (not per kilometre). The UK remains the only country in Europe, and the Commonwealth that defines speed limits in miles per hour.

The latest advisory fuel rates became effective from 1 June 2015. Fuel rates are reviewed four times a year with changes taking effect on 1...

04 June 2015

HMRC has commenced its annual reconciliation of PAYE for the tax year 2014/15 and has begun sending out tax calculations to some taxpayers using the P800 form. The form shows HMRC’s tax calculations in respect of the tax year ending 5 April 2015. This form is sent to taxpayers after HMRC have received details of the salary, pension and tax paid for each individual from employers and pension...

04 June 2015

The Rural Fuel Duty relief scheme provides support for motorists in remote areas where pump prices are significantly higher than the UK average, by cutting fuel duty by 5p per litre. The scheme was extended from 1 April 2015 and applies to the sale of unleaded petrol, diesel, biodiesel, bioblend and bioethanol blend in the Inner and Outer Hebrides, the Northern Isles, the islands in the Clyde...

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