Latest News

2013 Budget – In short

March 21st, 2013  |  Published in Latest News

Beer down a penny a pint – drink for England, with every 300 pints you get one free. Oh chancellor you’re spoiling us!
Spirits and wine are up, though, funny how the papers don’t mention that.

Business taxation summary
Employment allowance: £2,000 NIC break unveiled for 2014-15 – Don’t start applying it yet!

Employee shareholder status: shares for rights

Corporation tax moves towards single 20% rate in 2015

VAT threshold rises to £79,000
from 1 April 2013:
The registration threshold goes up from £77,000 to £79,000
The de-registration threshold goes up from £75,000 to £77,000

A new table of VAT fuel scale charges has been published and will apply to VAT accounting periods beginning on or after 1 May 2013

Capital gains tax relief for SEIS shares

Stamp duty exemption for growth market shares

R&D tax relief

Company cars – new low emission bands

Anti-avoidance: Clampdown on tax scams could affect LLPs

Personal tax summary

£10,000 personal allowances for 2014-15

New childcare scheme from Autumn 2015: 20% support worth on child care costs up to £6,000 per year per child

Exemption threshold for employer provided beneficial loans (ie to buy rail season tickets etc)

Consultation due this year on collecting tax debt through the PAYE coding system

CGT relief extended for reinvesting gains in SEIS shares

Consultation: Could Class 2 NICs move to self assessment?

The government will hold a consultation on using self assessment to collect class 2 NICs, alongside income tax and class 4 NICs, with plans for legislative changes to follow. This would mean that instead of weekly class two NIC payments, the self employed would pay the contributions yearly following their self assessment returns.

Most self employed people pay two different classes of national insurance. Class four is amalgamated with self assessment and dependent on profits, while class two is a flat rate weekly amount.

It seems reasonable, however at the moment at least the cost of Class 2 NIC is spread over the year. With the Self Employed benefiting from the proposed flat rate pension, don’t be surprised if our NIC contributions go up substantially!

Sold Your Second Home?

March 11th, 2013  |  Published in Latest News

If you have a second home, such as a buy to let, or a holiday home, in the UK or abroad you may be liable to Capital Gains Tax on any profit you made.

HMRC’s property sales campaign is aimed at those selling homes in the UK or abroad, including properties people have sold that were given to them, and the sale of holiday homes.

People will have until 9 August to tell HMRC about any unpaid tax on property sales, and until 6 September to pay the tax owed.

After 6 September, HMRC will take a closer look at the tax affairs of those who have sold properties other than their main home, but who appear to have paid no CGT.

Those who come forward voluntarily will pay a lower penalty than if HMRC approaches them first.

If you think that this may apply to you, get in touch.

Bank account deal with the Isle of Man leads to new disclosure facility.

February 25th, 2013  |  Published in Latest News

The UK Government has reached a deal with the Isle of Man where their banks have agreed to hand over account information.

If you’ve got money squirreled away there, and think HMRC will never know, think again.

However, the agreement includes a disclosure facility to allow investors with accounts in the Isle of Man to come forward and settle their past affairs before information on their accounts is automatically shared between the two governments.

The disclosure facility will operate from 6 April 2013 until September 2016. It will not be open to individuals already under investigation but will cover liabilities dating back to April 1999. There will be a penalty charge of 10% of unpaid tax up to 2009 and 20% for later years.

If you choose to ‘tough it out’ and hope nothing happens, it could cost you significantly more, so you should see this as a chance for damage limitation.

I have experience of this, having settled the affairs of two clients during the last amnesty a few years ago. Dealt with properly, it can be quite painless, some form filling and a payment and it all goes away. Give me a call and we can get it sorted for once and for all.

Otherwise you can wait and worry.

Late with your self assessment?

February 18th, 2013  |  Published in Latest News

Almost a million taxpayers have failed to file their self-assessment tax returns and will now be hit with a £100 fine.

HM Revenue and Customs has revealed it will be issuing around 850,000 late filing penalties to taxpayers who did not meet the January 31 deadline for online personal tax returns for 2011/12.

And for most of these the punishment will get even more expensive. Some 790,000 had still not filed their return between February 1 and 15, who will now start accruing daily fines of £10. These are automatic, if the computer sends you a penalty notice, ACT NOW.

I can’t turn back time, but I can stop the clock – ring now!

Child Benefit Changes & Self Assessment

January 11th, 2013  |  Published in Latest News

From 7 January, half a million new people will be required to complete a Self Assessment tax return for the year ending 5th April 2013 after the new high income child benefit charge (HICBC) is introduced.

Of 700,000 households where one person earns more than £60,000, only 200,000 met the deadline to opt out of Child Benefit – the rest will be required to join the Self Assessment system.

Opting out after 7 January will still leave a 2012/13 HICBC based on the child benefit received after that date. The HICBC equals 1% of the child benefit paid for every £100 of income between £50,000 and £60,000. Those who continue to receive child benefit will have to repay some or all of it at a later date via the HICBC.

If you’re in the borderline area between £50,000 and £60,000 you might want to consider if there’s anything you can do to get your taxable income down, such as making more gift aid payments, pension contributions, or consider taking a salary sacrifice. If you’re joining the Self Assessment system for the first time, call me, we’re here to help you.

Messed up your self-assessment?

December 4th, 2012  |  Published in Latest News

We had a new client who had submitted an online 2012 return, through HMRC’s website, then received a demand £5,000 higher than they had expected!

It turned out that they had put a figure in the wrong box, making all their expenses appear as non – allowable! On realising their error, they found, to their horror, that using an ordinary individual login, you can’t amend a return once submitted, other than by writing in.

If this happens to you, don’t panic, by using our agency account, and commercial software, we were able to put things right, and get the figures back to what was intended.

VAT rise, 4 January 2011

November 29th, 2010  |  Published in Latest News

Increase in the standard rate of VAT to 20 per cent

The standard rate of VAT is currently 17.5 per cent but will be increased to 20 per cent on 4 January 2011.

For any sales of standard-rated goods or services that you make on or after 4 January 2011 you must charge VAT at the 20 per cent rate. If you have a cash business and calculate your VAT using the VAT fraction you must use the VAT fraction of 1/6 on your standard-rated VAT inclusive sales from 4 January 2011.

The change only applies to the standard VAT rate. There are no changes to sales that are zero-rated or reduced-rated for VAT. Similarly, there are no changes to the VAT exemptions. Any sales you make at these rates are unaffected by this change.

If you have any queries, or are on a special trader’s scheme and don’t know what to do, contact us via the form on this website, or call me.