Blog

15
Jan

More than 3,000 taxpayers complete self-assessment on Christmas Day

More than 3,000 taxpayers complete self-assessment on Christmas Day

Instead of tucking into turkey or unwrapping their gifts, 3,003 taxpayers completed their self-assessment returns on 25 December 2019, according to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). Every year hundreds of people across the UK use the Christmas break as a time to manage their financial affairs, with HMRC declaring it a “Christmas tradition”.

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15
Jan

Should your company pay a data protection fee?

Should your company pay a data protection fee?

We are aware that the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has been contacting companies to remind them of their legal obligation to pay a data protection fee. The ICO has confirmed that the UK’s 4.2 million limited companies will receive letters sent to their registered office addresses making them aware of this obligation...

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15
Jan

SMEs now wait 23 days for late payments, new study finds

SMEs now wait 23 days for late payments, new study finds

According to the latest data, UK SMEs now have to wait up to 23 days on average for late payments to be made. MarketFinance, a peer-to-peer invoice finance platform, has analysed late payment data between 2013 and 2019 from 100,205 invoices raised by UK SMEs to give a detailed overview of the late payments pressures SMEs face.

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15
Jan

Reminder: National Living Wage set to increase from April

Reminder: National Living Wage set to increase from April

On 1 April 2020 the Government will introduce increases to the National Living and Minimum Wage. From this date the National Living Wage (NLW) will rise from £8.21 to £8.72 per hour and will mean that 2.8 million full-time workers will see a £930 boost to their annual earnings. The Government claims that the introduction of the NLW...

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15
Jan

HMRC launches revamped CEST IR35 off-payroll working tool

HMRC launches revamped CEST IR35 off-payroll working tool

With less than three months remaining before the IR35 off-payroll working rules begin to apply in the private sector, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has launched a revamped CEST IR35 off-payroll working tool. The rule change means that engagers, rather than workers, will be responsible for determining whether an engagement...

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15
Jan

New Advisory Fuel Rates

New Advisory Fuel Rates

A new set of Advisory Fuel Rates came into effect from the beginning of December 2019, which apply to employees who use a company car. The rates can be used in circumstances where you are reimbursing employees for business travel in their company car or in requiring employees to repay the cost of fuel used for...

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15
Jan

VAT receipts reach record level of £133 billion

VAT receipts reach record level of £133 billion

Figures published by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) have revealed that VAT revenue in 2018/19 rose by £7 billion from the previous year to reach a record £133 billion. In the ten years since 2008/09, the VAT take has risen by 52 per cent from £87.9 billion. The bulk of the VAT take last year came from incorporated companies, which...

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17
Dec

Around half of the UK’s SMEs admit to making errors on taxes

Around half of the UK’s SMEs admit to making errors on taxes

According to accounting software providers, QuickBooks, over 50 per cent of UK small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) owners have made a mistake when filing their VAT returns, while just a quarter (25 per cent) feel confident that they have filed their VAT accurately. As the business owner, it is important to bear in mind...

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17
Dec

Late payments a huge drain on SMEs

Late payments a huge drain on SMEs

Small firms are owed a staggering £23.4 billion in late payments, an issue that is continuing to cause greater problems for businesses each year. In the last year alone, the figure has increased by £10.4 billion. According to one study by Pay.UK, this is costing small businesses dear in both time and money, as 22 per cent...

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17
Dec

The end of the help-to-buy ISA – What’s next?

The end of the help-to-buy ISA – What’s next?

Since 2015, banks and building societies have been offering help-to-buy ISAs to first-time buyers. To qualify, you had to be 16 or over and be a first-time buyer. However, as of the end of last month, the scheme has been closed to new savers. Under the scheme savers could deposit a lump sum of up to £1,200 when they...

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17
Dec

HMRC urges taxpayers to be vigilant ahead of self-assessment deadline

HMRC urges taxpayers to be vigilant ahead of self-assessment deadline

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has urged taxpayers to be vigilant ahead of the self-assessment deadline on 31 January 2020, with a surge in fraudulent activity expected. HMRC has said that it has received 900,000 reports in the last 12 months relating to suspected fraud, with phone calls, text messages and emails being...

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17
Dec

Keeping workplace gifts tax-free this Christmas

Keeping workplace gifts tax-free this Christmas

Over the Christmas period, you may wish to treat your employees. This is a tried and trusted approach to building a strong relationship with your team. But are you aware that you may be breaking PAYE rules by doing so? We want to ensure that you enjoy the holidays just as much as your team, so we’ve put together our top tips...

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17
Dec

Annual R&D spend in the UK reaches £25 billion

Annual R&D spend in the UK reaches £25 billion

According to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) businesses in the UK spent £25 billion on research and development (R&D) during 2018. The figure represents a 5.8 per cent increase on the previous year when the figure stood at £23.7 billion. The ONS claim the figures highlight an upward trend when...

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5
Nov

Countdown to the 31 January Self-Assessment Tax Return deadline begins

Countdown to the 31 January Self-Assessment Tax Return deadline begins

Fewer than 100 days now remain until the 31 January 2020 deadline for the online submission of Self-Assessment Tax Returns. Self-Assessment Tax Returns must be completed in respect of most income that has not been subject to PAYE. This includes the following groups...

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5
Nov

Grant scheme opportunities for electric vehicle charging infrastructure at work

Grant scheme opportunities for electric vehicle charging infrastructure at work

With the projected growth of electric car ownership in coming years, the Government is offering grants to support businesses who introduce charging infrastructure at their place of work. Provided by the Office of Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV), the Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS) is a voucher-based grant that offers support to companies...

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5
Nov

Spanish holiday home owners cautioned over post-Brexit tax impact

Spanish holiday home owners cautioned over post-Brexit tax impact

With the UK currently set to leave the EU by the end of January 2020, anyone who owns a Spanish holiday home needs to be prepared for the impact of Brexit on taxation. Spanish tax law makes specific provision for EU/EEA residents that benefits people living in member states over others from outside the EU bloc. In some cases...

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5
Nov

Businesses and contractors offered clarity on IR35

Businesses and contractors offered clarity on IR35

With less than six months left until the introduction of the IR35 regulations in the private sector, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has finally released additional guidance to help clarify this complex area of taxation. From 6 April 2020, the off-payroll rules (IR35) are going to be extended across the private sector bringing large...

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5
Nov

Pension holders to be refunded £54 million of overpaid tax

Pension holders to be refunded £54 million of overpaid tax

New figures released by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) have revealed that it handed back more than £54 million to people who had overpaid tax on pension withdrawals in the last three months alone. The latest quarterly data for 1 July 2019 to 30 September 2019 is the highest figure since pension freedoms were introduced in 2015.

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5
Nov

Newly cohabiting parents warned over new tax charge

Newly cohabiting parents warned over new tax charge

Newly cohabiting couples, where at least one of the partners is a parent, have been warned by a leading insurer to be aware of a new tax charge, if either earns more than £50,000 a year. NFU Mutual has said that cohabiting couples need to be aware of the High Income Child Benefit Tax Charge, which sees Child Benefit payments made to...

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4
Oct

HMRC trialling self-assessment checks to help local authorities to recover council tax

HMRC trialling self-assessment checks to help local authorities to recover council tax

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has announced that it is entering into data-sharing arrangements with local authorities to help clamp down on council tax debt. In the 2017/18 tax year, councils in England had an £818 million deficit for council tax arrears, which has prompted HMRC to work with local authorities by sharing information about taxpayers.

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4
Oct

Overseas employees potentially face double NICs liability following a no-deal Brexit

Overseas employees potentially face double NICs liability following a no-deal Brexit

Employees working overseas on secondment could face paying twice as much in National Insurance Contributions in the event of a no-deal Brexit, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has warned. If the UK leaves the EU without a withdrawal agreement then current agreements to avoid double payment of the equivalent of National Insurance...

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4
Oct

New figures show a sharp increase in Inheritance Tax (IHT) receipts

New figures show a sharp increase in Inheritance Tax (IHT) receipts

New figures published by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) have revealed a significant increase in the number and value of Inheritance Tax (IHT) receipts. The figures, which relate to the 2016/17 tax year, show a 15 per cent increase in the number of estates paying IHT in comparison with the previous year, rising from 24,500 to 28,100.

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4
Oct

Non-VAT-registered businesses need EORI number to trade with EU customers and suppliers post-Brexit

Non-VAT-registered businesses need EORI number to trade with EU customers and suppliers post-Brexit

Any business that is VAT-registered and currently trades with the EU will have automatically been issued with an EORI number allowing it to trade with customers and suppliers in EU member states following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. However, businesses that are not registered for VAT will need to register for an EORI number...

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4
Oct

25,000 companies receive penalties for the late filing of accounts in just one month

25,000 companies receive penalties for the late filing of accounts in just one month

The latest data from Companies House shows that thousands of penalties were handed out for the late filing of company accounts, with more than 25,000 companies missing a deadline on 30 September. This date marks a common deadline for companies, according to Companies House, with a further 643 companies narrowly avoiding...

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4
Oct

HM Revenue & Customs has started carrying out PAYE tax investigations remotely

HM Revenue & Customs has started carrying out PAYE tax investigations remotely

It has been reported that HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has begun carrying out PAYE investigations remotely. The investigation begins with a phone call, inviting the employer to complete a survey sent by email. There is a concern amongst accountants that the wording of some of these questions could trip up unwary employers...

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4
Oct

Wages rise at the fastest rate in a decade

Wages rise at the fastest rate in a decade

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), averages wages in the UK are growing at their fastest rate since 2008. The ONS has revealed that average earnings, including bonuses, grew by four per cent in the four months between May and July. This is the highest rate in a decade and means that wages in the UK...

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4
Oct

Renovated homes that have been empty for two years can qualify for a reduced rate of VAT

Renovated homes that have been empty for two years can qualify for a reduced rate of VAT

Although a key VAT-saving measure for listed dwellings was abolished in October 2012, there are still circumstances in which a renovation project can be subject to a reduced rate of VAT of five per cent. There are two circumstances in which this can apply. The first is where a dwelling has been empty for the whole...

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11
Sep

Government delays introduction of VAT reverse charge!

Government delays introduction of VAT reverse charge!

The controversial introduction of the VAT reverse charge in the construction sector has been postponed by a year and will now take place on 1 October 2020, following concerns that the industry wasn’t ready for this monumental change. The new VAT reverse charge had been due to come into force on 1 October this year...

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11
Sep

Making a voluntary disclosure to HMRC

Making a voluntary disclosure to HMRC

Taxpayers are actively encouraged by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) to inform the tax authority if they realise that they did not pay the correct tax at any time in the past. This process is known as a voluntary disclosure and will usually allow a taxpayer to settle their affairs and settle any underpayment without...

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11
Sep

MTD for VAT filing deadline missed by one in ten businesses

MTD for VAT filing deadline missed by one in ten businesses

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has reassured the 120,000 businesses that failed to meet the 7 August deadline for Making Tax Digital (MTD) for VAT that the tax authority will not be issuing fines to them for missing the date. Under MTD, all businesses with a turnover of £85,000 or more must keep computer-based records...

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11
Sep

Boots, Asda and Specsavers push back against business rates

Boots, Asda and Specsavers push back against business rates

Some of the UK’s top retail stores, including Asda and Boots, have joined the fight against spiralling business rates. It comes after many leading retail bodies published a letter calling for the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sajid Javid, to address tax rules to boost the UK high street.

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11
Sep

Half of all SMEs make VAT return mistakes

Half of all SMEs make VAT return mistakes

Half of all small-medium sized enterprises (SMEs) make errors when filing their VAT returns, according to the latest research. The data also revealed that just 27 per cent of small businesses are confident that they have filed their return correctly, even though they have spent more than an hour checking their figures.

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11
Sep

Tax investigations reap in £13 billion for the treasury

Tax investigations reap in £13 billion for the treasury

The latest official data from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) shows that the actual cash collected from all tax investigations hit £13 billion in 2018/19. This was up 27 per cent from the previous tax year in which £10.3 billion was collected. The data also showed that transfer pricing fines for multinationals have risen to £413,000.

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11
Sep

How to tell if an email is fraudulent

How to tell if an email is fraudulent

Email scams have become increasingly common, with fraudsters claiming to be from companies, banks and even HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) to obtain your data and bank details. The fraud, which is also known as a phishing scam, can also involve malicious software that can infect your device with a virus.

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16
Aug

Government’s draft IR35 legislation contains important changes

Government’s draft IR35 legislation contains important changes

After much anticipation, the Government has now published its draft legislation for the off-payroll working (IR35) rules, which will be enforced in the private sector from 6 April 2020. The latest policy document for the private sector shares a number of similarities with that already in force in the public sector.

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16
Aug

Construction businesses only have weeks left to prepare for the VAT reverse charge

Construction businesses only have weeks left to prepare for the VAT reverse charge

Businesses in the construction industry now have only a matter of weeks left to prepare for the new VAT domestic reverse charge regime. These new rules will be enforced from 1 October 2019, significantly changing the VAT affairs and tax liabilities of companies in the construction industry.

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16
Aug

HMRC outlines changes to Capital Gains Tax treatment on second homes

HMRC outlines changes to Capital Gains Tax treatment on second homes

From April 2020, the date at which Capital Gains Tax (CGT) must be paid on a second home property disposal is changing. After this date, taxpayers will only have 30 days to file their return and make an advance payment towards their tax bill.

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16
Aug

Summer childcare costs cooldown with Tax-Free Childcare

Summer childcare costs cooldown with Tax-Free Childcare

The Government wants to remind working parents that they could be entitled to up £2,000 per child per year to help with the costs of childcare, including regulated holiday clubs during the school holidays.

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16
Aug

Employment Allowance to be restricted from next year

Employment Allowance to be restricted from next year

At the moment businesses and charities of all sizes can benefit from Employment Allowance. However, from the start of the new tax year in April 2020, the allowance will only be available to employers with a secondary National Insurance Contributions bill in the current tax year of less than £100,000.

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16
Aug

Principal Private Residence Relief and Lettings Relief changes due in April 2020

Principal Private Residence Relief and Lettings Relief changes due in April 2020

The start of the next tax year in April 2020 will see key changes come into effect in respect of Principal Private Residence Relief (PPR) and Lettings Relief, both of which can be used to soften the impact of Capital Gains Tax (CGT) on property disposals.

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16
Aug

New figures show that a quarter of estates paying Inheritance Tax (IHT) are investigated by HMRC

New figures show that a quarter of estates paying Inheritance Tax (IHT) are investigated by HMRC

The response to a Freedom of Information (FoI) request has revealed that as many as one in four estates that are liable for IHT are investigated each year. In 2018-19, more than 5,500 investigations were launched by HMRC into the approximately 22,000 estates that had to pay the tax.

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10
Jul

Wealthiest UK families save nearly £700 million a year in Inheritance Tax

Wealthiest UK families save nearly £700 million a year in Inheritance Tax

A new report has found that a significant proportion of the UK’s Business Relief goes to those with more than £1 million in assets. Tax Justice UK, a campaigning organisation, has revealed that 234 wealthy families shared £458 million in tax relief in the 2015-16 year thanks to Inheritance Tax breaks via Business Relief.

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10
Jul

Taxpayers’ bills delayed by payment on account errors

Taxpayers’ bills delayed by payment on account errors

The Association of Taxation Technicians (ATT) has revealed that problems with HMRC’s IT systems earlier this year, relating to calculations for payment on account, mean that some taxpayers will not receive tax demands this month. The glitches in the tax authority’s systems during the self-assessment tax return season...

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10
Jul

SMEs unaware of £1 million annual investment allowance

A new study has found that more than half (58 per cent) of SMEs are not aware of a temporary two-year increase in the annual investment allowance (AIA), which could help them secure £1 million in funding. Last year, the Government increased the AIA from £200,000 to £1 million from 1 January 2019 to 31 December 2020...

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10
Jul

Businesses encouraged to increase readiness for no-deal Brexit

Businesses encouraged to increase readiness for no-deal Brexit

Businesses across the UK are being encouraged to increase their readiness for a no-deal Brexit. The Institute of Directors (IoD) said that, while all firms should be preparing for a no-deal Brexit, it had found that fewer than half of businesses had plans in place. The IoD has also called on the Government...

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10
Jul

Value of UK SMEs reach £3 trillion

Value of UK SMEs reach £3 trillion

New research has found that the total value of UK SMEs has reached more than £3 trillion – with the average small business now worth £2.9 million. The study by MarketInvoice found company valuation is something that two-thirds of owners consider a top priority and something they think about all the time.

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10
Jul

More than 150 chief financial officers and senior finance executives personally fined by HMRC last year

More than 150 chief financial officers and senior finance executives personally fined by HMRC last year

Research by law firm, Pinsent Masons, has found that more than 150 chief financial officers and other senior finance executives have been fined personally by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) in relation to tax accounting issues during the last financial year. This is an increase of 22 per cent on the previous year when 125 were fined...

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10
Jul

Remember to pay the annual data protection charge

Remember to pay the annual data protection charge

Businesses across the UK are being reminded that, if they process personal data, they are subject to a legal requirement to pay the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) an annual data protection charge, unless they have a relevant exemption. Any businesses that fail to pay the correct charge are at risk of a fine of up to £4,350.

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10
Jul

Incorporation no longer automatically resets the two year requirement for sole traders

Incorporation no longer automatically resets the two year requirement for sole traders

Entrepreneurs’ Relief (ER) entitles a business owner to significant relief from Capital Gains Tax (CGT) on the disposal of their business, often halving the consequent tax bill. To qualify for ER, the company must normally have been the business owner’s personal company for the whole of the last two years and they must...

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10
Jun

Government confirms that HMRC will get a higher priority when firms go bust

Government confirms that HMRC will get a higher priority when firms go bust

From April next year, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) will rank third just after secured creditors, such as banks, and insolvency practitioners in order to recover additional outstanding tax from failing businesses. Currently, HMRC is ranked alongside unsecured creditors, such as suppliers, trade creditors, contractors...

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10
Jun

MTD for VAT - relaxation on posting supplier statements

MTD for VAT - relaxation on posting supplier statements

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has updated its VAT notice regarding Making Tax Digital (MTD) for VAT to relax several of the digital recordkeeping requirements. One of the changes, secured with the help of the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIoT), relates to purchase invoices from suppliers.

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10
Jun

Significant lack of awareness around gifting rules for IHT

Significant lack of awareness around gifting rules for IHT

A new report published by the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) and the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has revealed a worrying lack of awareness about the Inheritance Tax (IHT) benefits of making a gift. Its study found that only 25 per cent of those who had made a gift had a ‘working knowledge’ of...

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10
Jun

EIS and SEIS tax relief funding passes £2.1 billion

EIS and SEIS tax relief funding passes £2.1 billion

A rise over the course of the 2017-18 tax year saw funding for the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) and Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) tax reliefs pass the £2.1 billion mark. The EIS scheme saw the larger increase in approved funding, with an increase in funds raised of £28 million.

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10
Jun

New code launched to help protect victims of sophisticated banking fraud

New code launched to help protect victims of sophisticated banking fraud

A new code has been launched by 17 UK banks to protect customers who fall victim to a sophisticated form of fraud known as Authorised Push Payment (APP) scams. APP scams involve tricking people into making payments to fraudsters, who are masquerading as legitimate payees.

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10
Jun

Revenue tests new trigger to increase the accuracy of PAYE codes

Revenue tests new trigger to increase the accuracy of PAYE codes

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is trialling a new trigger, which is intended to improve the accuracy of employees’ PAYE tax codes. According to HMRC, as many as half a million tax codes being used by employers across the UK could be incorrect, leading to employees either overpaying or underpaying tax.

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16
May

Pass on up to £950,000 tax-free in 2019-20

Pass on up to £950,000 tax-free in 2019-20

As of 6 April, direct descendants can inherit up to £950,000 completely free of inheritance tax from their parents or grandparents thanks to increases in the residence nil-rate band. This tax-free allowance on inherited property has risen from £125,000 to £150,000 this year and will rise again next year to £175,000.

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16
May

Beware the Employer Compliance Check Questionnaire

Beware the Employer Compliance Check Questionnaire

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is understood to be sending out “Employer Compliance Check Questionnaires” without notifying agents, which could land businesses in trouble if the wrong information is provided. The questionnaires are understood to be a replacement or substitute for a PAYE audit, which would typically...

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16
May

Employers must comply with new payslip rules

Employers must comply with new payslip rules

Under the Government’s Good Work Plan, more than 300,000 workers have received a payslip for the first time under new rules that came into force in April. However, experts fear that many employers may be unaware of the recent changes and how it could affect them.

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16
May

Additional year to prepare for Making Tax Digital for taxes other than VAT

Additional year to prepare for Making Tax Digital for taxes other than VAT

The Chancellor’s Spring Statement contained an important nugget of information for businesses that had been wondering when they will need to be ready for Making Tax Digital (MTD) for taxes other than VAT. Until recently, the Government’s official line was that the rollout of the UK’s digital...

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16
May

IR35: off-payroll working rules set to change next year

IR35: off-payroll working rules set to change next year

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has published new guidance on the expansion of the IR35 requirements to contractors working in the private sector. IR35 governs the tax status of people working through personal service companies (PSCs) and until now required public sector employers to determine whether contractors...

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16
May

Registering for Making Tax Digital for VAT takes seven days, warns HM Revenue & Customs

Registering for Making Tax Digital for VAT takes seven days, warns HM Revenue & Customs

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has warned businesses across the UK that the registration process for Making Tax Digital (MTD) for VAT takes seven working days. This means that VAT-registered businesses turning over £85,000 or more need to register more than seven days before submitting a return...

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9
Apr

Are you registered for Making Tax Digital yet?

Are you registered for Making Tax Digital yet?

Launched on 1 April 2019, most VAT registered businesses are now required to comply with the new Making Tax Digital for VAT regime. However, many businesses may not be aware that they are required to register to use the new system and that this process can take up to seven working days to complete.

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9
Apr

ITV presenter Lorraine Kelly wins important IR35 appeal

ITV presenter Lorraine Kelly wins important IR35 appeal

Lorraine Kelly has won an appeal against HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) at a First Tier Tribunal (FTT) following a £1.2 million demand for unpaid income tax and National Insurance Contributions (NICs). HMRC claimed that Lorraine Kelly should have been working inside the rules of IR35 at ITV Breakfast Ltd during the relevant period.

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9
Apr

UK SMEs hit by £17.4 billion cybercrime bill in 2018

UK SMEs hit by £17.4 billion cybercrime bill in 2018

New research from internet service provider, Beaming, has revealed that in 2018 UK small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) were affected by cybercrime to the tune of £17.4 billion. Business cybercrime is the flavour of the month for fraudsters, with hacking, phishing and data breaches affecting millions of UK companies...

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9
Apr

Tax-free HMRC scheme assists families with childcare costs

Tax-free HMRC scheme assists families with childcare costs

A Government scheme set up by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is advising parents to apply for the Tax-Free Childcare scheme, which provides contributions on savings used to cover childcare costs. Research has revealed that more than a million families are failing to make use of the Tax-Free Childcare scheme.

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9
Apr

Invoice fraud cost UK firms £93 million last year

Invoice fraud cost UK firms £93 million last year

A recent survey conducted by UK Finance revealed that more than four in 10 UK businesses are unaware of the potential risks associated with invoice fraud. Last year these scams cost UK firms almost £93 million, with 3,280 invoice and bank scam cases reported – costing on average £28,000 per case.

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9
Apr

Businesses get to grips with new employment costs

Businesses get to grips with new employment costs

Employers across the UK are starting April with a sudden increase in employment costs following a rise in workplace pension contributions and minimum wage costs. The sharp increase in expenditure on staff couldn’t come at a worse time for business who are experiencing growing uncertainty over the UK and wider global economy.

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13
Mar

Spring Statement 2019

Spring Statement 2019

On any other day, the Chancellor’s Spring Statement would have dominated the headlines. However, with the UK’s scheduled withdrawal from the EU just days away, and the Prime Minister’s latest Brexit deal voted down by the Commons just hours earlier, this seemed more like a sideshow than the main event.

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7
Mar

National Living Wage to rise next month

National Living Wage to rise next month

From 1 April 2019, employers will be required by law to pay their employees a higher minimum wage rate. It is thought that this increase in the UK’s statutory wage requirements will benefit around 2.4 million workers and means that the annual earnings of a full-time minimum wage worker...

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7
Mar

Are you making full use of the generous R&D relief scheme?

Are you making full use of the generous R&D relief scheme?

Hundreds of businesses across the UK enjoy tax relief totalling millions of pounds thanks to the Government’s generous R&D relief scheme. Last year nearly 40,000 claims were made for Research and Development (R&D) tax credits in the UK, almost double the amount made in the previous year.

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7
Mar

Tribunal finds in favour of Middlesbrough FC in low pay claim

Tribunal finds in favour of Middlesbrough FC in low pay claim

In a landmark case, Middlesbrough FC has effectively won the right to pay staff below the minimum wage by providing other benefits to them. In February, an employment tribunal at Teesside Magistrates’ Court overturned a ruling that the Championship football club had broken employment laws...

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7
Mar

Make the grandest romantic gesture and reduce your tax bill

Make the grandest romantic gesture and reduce your tax bill

Getting married or conducting a civil partnership ceremony is often the happiest day of most people’s lives but unfortunately almost one million married or civil partnered couples in the UK have not used up to £900 in tax relief available to them.

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7
Mar

New advisory fuel rates for company car users

New advisory fuel rates for company car users

New advisory fuel rates from 1 March 2019 for drivers of company cars have fallen for all but one class of vehicle. The rates apply where a business is reimbursing employees for travel in a company car, or where employees must repay the cost of fuel used when travelling in a company car in a personal capacity.

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7
Mar

Delay in issuing Self-Assessment penalty notifications

Delay in issuing Self-Assessment penalty notifications

While 93.68 per cent of the 11.5 million taxpayers who were required to file their Self-Assessment Tax Returns by midnight on 31 January did so on time, 731,186 missed the deadline. Those who missed the deadline will have to wait longer than in previous years to receive penalty notifications from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

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7
Mar

Making Tax Digital productivity boost expected to be worth billions to UK SMEs

Making Tax Digital productivity boost expected to be worth billions to UK SMEs

New research suggests that the UK’s SMEs could benefit to the tune of as much as £57 billion over the next five years because of digital productivity improvements associated with HM Revenue & Customs’ (HMRC) Making Tax Digital (MTD) initiative.

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21
Feb

Automatic Enrolment contributions to increase

Automatic Enrolment contributions to increase

The next increase in Automatic Enrolment (AE) pension contributions for both employees and employers will take place from 6 April 2019. The minimum employer contribution will increase from two per cent to three per cent, while the employee contribution will rise from three per cent to five per cent...

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21
Feb

HM Revenue & Customs drops insistence that all company directors must submit tax returns

HM Revenue & Customs drops insistence that all company directors must submit tax returns

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has dropped its insistence that all company directors must submit tax returns following a series of tribunal rulings. For several years, HMRC has advised in its guidance on the gov.uk website that company directors should register for Self-Assessment and this has also been part of online tools...

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21
Feb

Late payers to be flagged up to businesses under new proposals

Late payers to be flagged up to businesses under new proposals

The Small Business Commissioner, Paul Uppal, has recommended a new “traffic light” system that will warn smaller firms which businesses have a consistent record of late payment and those most likely to request longer payment terms.

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21
Feb

Just over half of businesses are prepared for Making Tax Digital

Just over half of businesses are prepared for Making Tax Digital

A new study into preparations for Making Tax Digital amongst businesses has found that only 57 per cent of firms are ready to comply with the new regime by 1 April 2019. Despite the various delays and changes to the Government’s new digital tax system, businesses have had several years to prepare themselves...

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21
Feb

Entrepreneurs’ Relief changes fail to meet up to the test

Entrepreneurs’ Relief changes fail to meet up to the test

During the last Budget, the Government announced new conditions to entrepreneurs’ relief that would take immediate effect to change the definition of a “personal company” for shareholders who claim entrepreneurs’ relief.

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21
Feb

Payroll sector prepares for key changes in 2019/20

Payroll sector prepares for key changes in 2019/20

The next 12 months will see a number of new changes to payroll policy that could have an impact on a wide range of businesses. To give an overview of how businesses could be affected by these changes, below are some of the highlights that employers will need to prepare for.

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4
Jan

Taxpayers treated unfairly by HMRC, says House of Lords report

Taxpayers treated unfairly by HMRC, says House of Lords report

The House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee has criticised some of the powers granted to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), describing them as disproportionate and lacking effective taxpayer safeguards. The committee’s latest report says that HMRC’s powers are now too broad and the penalties...

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4
Jan

Taxpayers offered online tool to assess their self-assessment requirement

Taxpayers offered online tool to assess their self-assessment requirement

It should seem obvious whether an individual must submit a self-assessment tax return annually. Yet, each year, thousands of people find themselves brought into the regime unwittingly. To help taxpayers prepare their affairs accordingly, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is offering a free online tool...

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4
Jan

Tax rates rise twice as fast in the UK than the international average

Tax rates rise twice as fast in the UK than the international average

According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), UK tax revenue as a percentage of GDP rose to 33.3 per cent in 2017. This was up from 32.7 per cent in the previous year and was more than double the average rate of increase for nations covered by the OECD’s research.

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4
Jan

An end to the Entrepreneurs’ Relief ‘dilutions dilemma’?

An end to the Entrepreneurs’ Relief ‘dilutions dilemma’?

As a business takes off, the level of investment it needs in order to expand can significantly outpace growth in revenues and profits. One of the options open to entrepreneurs at this stage in the development of a business is to issue new shares that secure new investment, without the financial pressures...

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4
Jan

Brexit uncertainty sends small business confidence to a seven-year low

Brexit uncertainty sends small business confidence to a seven-year low

Confidence amongst small businesses has tumbled to a seven-year low – in part due to the uncertainty of Brexit. A survey carried out by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has found that nearly one in three small exporters think that sales to overseas customers will fall during the early part...

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4
Jan

Debt recovery costs small businesses an average of £9,000

Debt recovery costs small businesses an average of £9,000

The cash flow difficulties that late payments cause small businesses are well known. However, the cost of recovering late payments is less well publicised, despite being a major and growing expense – coming in at around £9,000 last year for an average business.

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13
Dec

Smaller estates should not have to file IHT paperwork, says Office for Tax Simplification

Smaller estates should not have to file IHT paperwork, says Office for Tax Simplification

The Office for Tax Simplification (OTS) has said that smaller and less complex estates should not be subject to the requirement to file Inheritance Tax (IHT) paperwork. The call was part of a review into IHT, which Chancellor Philip Hammond ordered earlier this year.

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13
Dec

Big increase in P2P lending

Big increase in P2P lending

The fifth annual UK Alternative Finance Industry Report has revealed a 65 per cent year-on-year increase in peer-to-peer (P2P) lending. The P2P lending market is now worth £2 billion and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) appear to be the dominant force behind it.

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13
Dec

180,500 first-time buyers benefit from relief on Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT)

180,500 first-time buyers benefit from relief on Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT)

Figures released by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) have revealed that 180,500 first-time buyers have benefited from the Government’s changes to Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT). HMRC estimates that first-time buyers have saved a total of more than £426 million since Chancellor Philip Hammond announced...

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13
Dec

Italian e-invoicing requirements make Making Tax Digital look like a walk in the park

Italian e-invoicing requirements make Making Tax Digital look like a walk in the park

While a series of false starts and changes of direction have made Making Tax Digital (MTD) seem more complicated than it might need to be, new e-invoicing requirements that come into effect in Italy from 1 January 2019 make it look like a walk in the park.

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13
Dec

House of Lords calls for a delay to Making Tax Digital

House of Lords calls for a delay to Making Tax Digital

The House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee has criticised HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) for its handling of Making Tax Digital (MTD) and called for a delay to some of the regime’s mandatory requirements. The majority of VAT-registered businesses with taxable turnover above the VAT registration threshold of £85,000 will need...

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13
Dec

UK takes second spot for tax compliance in G20

UK takes second spot for tax compliance in G20

New research from the World Bank has revealed that the UK has the second most effective tax system amongst the G20 nations for tax compliance and ease of paying corporate taxes. According to the survey, companies take an average of 105 hours per year to prepare and file their taxes in the UK, which equates to around...

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13
Dec

Unwrapping Christmas tax gifts

Unwrapping Christmas tax gifts

Christmas is a time for giving, but many businesses may not be aware that their gifts can be made in a tax-efficient manner, which could make raising festive spirits that little bit cheaper. While Christmas parties may not be for everyone, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) does provide an allowable tax...

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6
Nov

National Living Wage to rise in April 2019

National Living Wage to rise in April 2019

In his latest Budget speech to the Commons, Chancellor Philip Hammond announced that the National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage would increase from April next year. However, despite many employees across the UK welcoming this sudden pay rise, small business owners across the UK...

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6
Nov

Entrepreneurs’ Relief rules to be tightened

Entrepreneurs’ Relief rules to be tightened

Despite rumours that the Chancellor might scrap Entrepreneurs’ Relief (ER) all together in the Autumn Budget, Philip Hammond decided to retain the tax relief but has made fundamental changes to who qualifies for it. Mr Hammond said that “encouraging entrepreneurs must be at the heart” of the...

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6
Nov

Research reveals Inheritance Tax hotspots across the UK

Research reveals Inheritance Tax hotspots across the UK

New research has revealed that the affluent area surrounding Guildford in Surrey has the highest proportion of people paying Inheritance Tax (IHT). The study showed that 658 estates were subject to the tax the town in 2015/16, paying on average £231,000 each.

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6
Nov

R&D Tax Credit system to be reviewed in light of fraudulent claims

R&D Tax Credit system to be reviewed in light of fraudulent claims

According to figures released in the Autumn Budget, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has prevented around £300 million of fraudulent R&D tax credit claims since the relief was introduced. In a bid to prevent further abuse of this tax relief, Philip Hammond has promised to clamp down on fraudulent...

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6
Nov

HM Revenue & Customs to review and rework some 2016-17 self-assessment tax returns following error

HM Revenue & Customs to review and rework some 2016-17 self-assessment tax returns following error

The Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) has warned that HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is to review and potentially rework as many as 30,000 self-assessment tax returns that were filed online for 2016-17 owing to concerns that its tax calculator may have wrongly computed the tax liability.

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6
Nov

Payee names to be required for bank transfers in effort to combat fraud and errors

Payee names to be required for bank transfers in effort to combat fraud and errors

From next year, payee names will be checked when making bank transfers in order to ensure that funds are being sent to the correct recipient. Currently, only the sort code and account number are checked when making a transfer, something which has been exploited by fraudsters to trick people into...

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