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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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13 July 2017

The rent-a-room scheme is a set of special rules designed to help homeowners who rent-a-room in their home. The limit increased to a generous £7,500 from 6 April 2016, after remaining stagnant for many years and has remained at the same level for the current tax year.

The relief applies only to the letting of furnished accommodation and is usually used when one bedroom is rented out in...

06 July 2017

An Essex based financial adviser has admitted tax fraud and has been jailed for five years. He set himself up as tax adviser despite having no financial qualifications. He had previously worked as a bricklayer and his clients were mainly made up of crane drivers, builders and other construction industry workers.

The "financial adviser" assisted his clients in making fraudulent claims...

06 July 2017

There are penalties for employers who don’t pay staff what they are legally entitled to under the National Minimum Wage (NMW) and National Living Wage (NLW) rates.

Employers who have paid a worker below the correct minimum wage must pay any arrears immediately. If not, there are penalties for non-payment of up to 200% of the amount owed, unless the arrears are paid within 14 days. The...

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