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Autumn statement 2014November 20, 2014
The Autumn Statement is due to take place on the first Wednesday of next month (3 December 2014). The statement will be used to give an update on the state of the economy and provide an update on the government’s plans for the economy based on the economic and fiscal forecasts published by the
 
       
The Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR) schemeNovember 20, 2014
The Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR) scheme is a tax relief scheme to encourage individuals to support social enterprises and to assist social enterprises accessing new sources of finance. The scheme can be used for investments made on or after 6 April 2014. Individuals making an eligible
 
       
Aggregates Levy – Northern IrelandNovember 20, 2014
The Aggregates Levy is relevant to quarry operators and other extractors of rock, sand and gravel, including operators of dredgers, importers of aggregate and others who commercially exploit aggregate as well as other businesses involved in the construction industry and users of minerals for
 
       
Gambling tax reforms to come into effectNovember 20, 2014
The introduction of changes to the basis of taxation for gambling duties from 'place of supply' to 'place of consumption' will come into effect from the beginning of next month. With a place of consumption tax basis, remote gambling operators will be required to pay tax on the gross gambling profits
 
       
Band Aid anniversary single launchedNovember 20, 2014
The Government has announced that they are to waive the VAT on sales of the Band Aid anniversary single that was launched earlier this week. This announcement closely follows that made recently by the Chancellor in relation to waiving the VAT on the sale of the poppies used within the First World
 
       
Government seeks to increase Gift Aid donationsNovember 20, 2014
HM Treasury has recently confirmed that the Gift Aid model declaration form is to be improved in order to stop charities losing out on Gift Aid. The National Audit Office (NAO) estimates there are donations of around 2.3 billion where Gift Aid is not used. Whilst not all of these donations will be
 
       
Class 3A National Insurance ContributionsNovember 20, 2014
A new class of National Insurance was first announced in the Autumn Statement in December 2013. The new class of voluntary National Insurance Contributions – Class 3A is aimed at existing pensioners and those workers reaching the state pension age before 6 April 2016 to have the opportunity to gain
 
       
Pre-registration input taxNovember 13, 2014
There are special rules that determine the recoverability of VAT incurred before a business registers for VAT. This type of VAT is known as pre-registration input VAT. There are different rules for the supply of goods and supply of services, but VAT can only be reclaimed if the pre-registration
 
       
Scottish carrier bag charge introducedNovember 13, 2014
A charge for single use carrier bags has been introduced in Scotland. With effect from 20 October 2014 a minimum charge of 5p has been introduced on single use carrier bags supplied in Scotland. From this date, single use carrier bags will no longer be given away free when people buy goods. This
 
       
Government to waive VAT on Tower of London poppiesNovember 13, 2014
The Government has announced that they are to waive the VAT equivalent of the estimated 1.1 million from the sale of the poppies used within the First World War commemorative installation at The Tower of London. The Government will use some of the money collected from the LIBOR fines imposed on the
 
       
Employment allowance - six month updateNovember 13, 2014
The employment allowance of 2,000 per year for all businesses and charities was made available from April 2014. The allowance is offset against the employers Class 1 secondary NICs and can be claimed as part of the normal payroll process through the regular payroll processes. The maximum amount
 
       
VAT on Christmas partiesNovember 13, 2014
Now is the time that many businesses are preparing for Christmas parties for staff as well as for customers and prospective clients. VAT incurred on Christmas parties for staff can be recovered subject to the usual rules. If staff partners/spouses or clients are also invited to the event the input
 
       
Collecting tax credit overpaymentsNovember 13, 2014
HMRC has issued a news briefing to advise a change to the way it collects some tax credit overpayments. There has been a lot of adverse press coverage criticising HMRC for the way it collects tax credit overpayments. Until very recently HMRC did not have the capabilities to collect old debts from
 
       
Making payments to HMRCNovember 6, 2014
Guidance notes have recently been published by HMRC regarding payment of taxes. The guidance notes highlight the amount of time it takes for various payments to reach HMRC. In general, depending on the accepted method of payment for each of the various taxes payments made online or via telephone
 
       
Personal tax summaries are in the postNovember 6, 2014
HM Treasury have now prepared the first batch of personal tax summaries which will be sent to taxpayers across the UK from 3 November 2014. The annual tax summary will show individual taxpayers how much Income Tax and National Insurance Contributions they paid in 2013-14 and includes a table and
 
       
Avoid the Self Assessment rushNovember 6, 2014
The deadline for submitting 2013-14 Self Assessment tax returns online is 31 January 2015. All filings should now be made online as the deadline for submitting paper returns, 31 October 2014, has passed. Taxpayers that still submit a paper return after the deadline will receive an automatic 100
 
       
Tax gap fallingNovember 4, 2014
The tax gap, which is the difference between the amount of tax due and the amount collected, was 6.8% of tax liabilities, or 34 billion, in 2012 to 2013. The UK apparently, has one of the lowest tax gaps in the world, but HMRC have said they will continue to deploy its resources and skills to
 
       
Refund, maybe?November 4, 2014
A number of incorrect 2013-14 tax calculations (P800s) and payable orders were issued to UK taxpayers in a three-week period from 15 September 2014. According to HMRC this issue only affects a small proportion of the 2013-14 P800s and payable orders which were issued over a three-week period. If
 
       
Scotland ActNovember 4, 2014
The Revenue Scotland and Tax Powers Act 2014 (RSTPA) received Royal Assent on 24 September 2014. The act establishes Revenue Scotland as the authority responsible for collecting Scotland’s devolved taxes. At present the devolved taxes are: • The Land and Buildings Development Tax, and• The
 
       
Election pledgesNovember 4, 2014
The principal players in the current UK political arena have all disclosed their plans for taxation post the 2015 general election. In alphabetical order, their pledges are set out below: Conservatives • Raise the income tax personal allowance to 12,500 by 2020.• Raise the earnings threshold at
 
       
VAT tax scheme failsNovember 4, 2014
The Upper Tribunal has decided that a circular scheme set up on behalf of Huddersfield University to ultimately, avoid the VAT costs on a refurbishment project was abusive. The scheme will now be disregarded for VAT purposes. The University had entered into a circular and self-cancelling lease and
 
       
CIS employed or self-employed?November 4, 2014
There are sound tax reasons for contractors to engage the services of self-employed labour as opposed to employed labour. For example there are significant savings in employer’s National Insurance. There are advantages too for the self-employed subcontractors: they are treated as a business for
 
       
Directors jailedNovember 4, 2014
Two disqualified directors were sentenced to a combined 13 months in prison for being in control of a company whilst banned from doing so. Their convictions - handed down on 16 October during a hearing at Southwark Crown Court - follow an initial investigation by the Insolvency Service and a
 
       
State Pension is taxableNovember 3, 2014
If you receive a State Pension there are two things you should be aware of:1. The basic State Pension is paid gross, without a deduction of tax, and2. It is treated by HMRC as taxable income.If your total income, including the State Pension is less than your personal allowance (10,000 in the
 
       
HMRC’s High Net Worth UnitOctober 30, 2014
HMRC's High Net Worth Unit (HNWU) is a specialist division established in 2009 to deal with taxpayers who have wealth in excess of 20 million. HMRC uses details from tax returns and other public information databases to identify some 6,200 of the country’s highest taxpayers. In certain
 
       
Irish Government calls time on controversial tax arrangementOctober 30, 2014
In the recent Irish Budget, the Irish finance minister Michael Noonan announced the abolition of the controversial 'double Irish' tax scheme that has enabled many large US multinationals to dramatically reduce their tax bills. The Irish Government was under enormous pressure from parties including
 
       
New MOSS portal launchedOctober 30, 2014
On 1 January 2015 the VAT place of supply for businesses providing digital services such as broadcasting, telecoms and e-electronic (BTE) services to consumers (B2C) will change. Currently these supplies are taxed in the Member State in which the business is established. However, from 2015, the
 
       
Claiming back tax overpaid on savingsOctober 23, 2014
The R40 form 'Claim for repayment of tax deducted from savings and investments' is available on HMRC’s website. Banks and building societies usually deduct 20% tax on savings interest. Individuals who have paid too much tax on interest can use the R40 form to claim back any overpaid tax. Claims can
 
       
New legislation for coding out debtsOctober 23, 2014
The legislation that will enable a significant increase in the coding threshold for taxpayers to have an underpayment collected via their tax code, came into effect on 1 November 2014. From 2015-16 the coding out limit will increase from 3,000 to 17,000 based on a graduated scale. The maximum
 
       
Changes to the intestacy rulesOctober 23, 2014
The intestacy rules that govern how assets are divided if someone dies without making a will changed from 1 October 2014. The changes do not affect people who die with less than 250,000 in assets but for those that leave more the changes are very significant. Prior to 1 October 2014, a surviving
 
       
Consultation announced on hybrid mismatchesOctober 16, 2014
The government has announced a clamp-down on the decade-long use of ‘hybrid mismatches’, a technique commonly used by multinational companies to significantly reduce their tax bills. In simple terms, hybrid mismatch planning schemes exploit differences between countries’ tax rules to avoid paying
 
       
New taskforces to tackle VAT fraudOctober 16, 2014
Two new specialist taskforce teams have recently begun to target businesses in north-west England and north Wales who try to fraudulently reclaim VAT. The taskforces are comprised of multiple teams from across HMRC including special investigations, local compliance and criminal investigation units
 
       
Credit Card Sales campaign launchedOctober 16, 2014
HMRC has launched a new campaign that offers individuals and businesses, who accept credit and debit card payments, the opportunity to bring their affairs up to date. Any individual or company that accepts credit and debit card payments should be registered with HMRC and have declared all of their
 
       
Chancellor visits new homes developmentOctober 9, 2014
Earlier this week the Chancellor visited the Kings Rise housing development in Birmingham to celebrate the government’s landmark Help to Buy housing scheme. The Help to Buy scheme was launched on 8 October 2013 and was extended a few months later. The scheme allows qualifying buyers with a 5%
 
       
Stamp Duty late payment penaltiesOctober 9, 2014
New penalties for late payment of Stamp Duty on share or land transactions came into effect on 1 October 2014. In general, documents must be stamped and any Stamp Duty paid within 30 days of when the documents were signed and dated (‘executed’). For example, for the purchase of property, Stamp Duty
 
       
International tax crime conferenceOctober 9, 2014
The heads of tax crime investigation in 44 countries recently met, together with the Financial Action Task Force and World Customs Organisation at Europol Headquarters in the Hague. This was the second meeting of the OECD Forum of Heads of Tax Crime Investigation. The event focused on key threats
 
       
Accelerated Payment NoticesOctober 9, 2014
New provisions in the 2014 Finance Act give HMRC significant new powers to demand upfront payment of any disputed tax associated with avoidance schemes by issuing an accelerated payment notice. Accordingly, users of certain tax avoidance schemes may receive an accelerated payment notice (APN) to
 
       
HMRC warns of phishing emailsOctober 9, 2014
HMRC has tweeted a number of times recently continuing its campaign to warn taxpayers of the danger of phishing emails. Phishing emails are sent by fraudsters who try and trick recipients into thinking an email has been sent by HMRC. HMRC is aware of numerous instances of phishing emails being sent
 
       
University loses tax avoidance caseOctober 9, 2014
HMRC has successfully appealed a decision of the First-tier Tribunal that originally found in favour of the taxpayer. The case concerned the refurbishment of a derelict mill by the University of Huddersfield. In 1996, the University began working on a site known as East Mill that the University
 
       
VAT Retail Export SchemeOctober 2, 2014
The VAT Retail Export Scheme or Tax-Free Shopping scheme allows individuals not resident in the EU to obtain a VAT refund on goods bought in the UK and taken out of the EU. The scheme does not apply to services, for example hotel bills. HMRC has been reviewing the scheme since Budget 2013 with a
 
       
Official rate of interestOctober 2, 2014
The official rate of interest on an employment related loan is to remain at 3.25% for the next quarter beginning 6 October 2014. The 3.25% rate applies from 6 April 2014, the first time the rate had changed since April 2010. A change in the rate is only made during the year if there are significant
 
       
Alcohol smuggling targetedOctober 2, 2014
Earlier this year HMRC launched a new initiative to tackle some of the UK’s most notorious hotspots for the sale and supply of illicit tobacco and alcohol as part of its overall remit to tackle tax fraud. The initiative has seen HMRC officers carrying out checks on shops, warehouses, self-storage
 
       
Tribunal case – National Insurance ContributionsOctober 2, 2014
The First-tier Tribunal recently examined the entitlement of a retired taxpayer to the State Pension. The taxpayer, a Mr James Plant, claimed that he had worked since leaving school at 15 in 1962 until he emigrated to Australia in 1990. Mr Plant was clear that with the exception of a year of ill
 
       
Tax fraud solicitor sentencedOctober 2, 2014
A solicitor found guilty of tax fraud has been sentenced to ten years in jail following an investigation by HMRC. The solicitor from Leicester was found guilty of falsifying property conveyancing documents and lying to his clients. The solicitor, Shameer Sacranie, absconded and was sentenced in his
 
       
Chancellor announces new proposalsOctober 2, 2014
The Chancellor made some interesting proposals in his speech at the recent Conservative Party conference held in Birmingham. The first of these was a proposed freeze benefits for those of working age for a two year period and would come into effect from 2016 if the Conservatives win the next
 
       
Furnished Holiday LettingsSeptember 25, 2014
The Furnished Holiday Let (FHL) rules allow holiday lettings of properties that meet certain conditions to be treated as a trade for certain tax purposes. Individuals, partnerships, trustees and companies who let furnished holiday accommodation situated within the UK or elsewhere in the EEA can
 
       
VAT number verificationSeptember 25, 2014
The European Commission website includes an on-line service which allows taxpayers to check if a quoted VAT number is valid. The service allows taxpayers to obtain a certificate to prove that they checked that a VAT registration number was valid at a given time and date. This system has been
 
       
Coding out debtsSeptember 25, 2014
Taxpayers can elect to have an underpayment of less than 3,000 collected via their tax code provided they are in employment or in receipt of a UK-based pension. The coding adjustment applies to certain debts such as Self Assessment liabilities and tax credit overpayments. Instead of paying off
 
       
US crackdown on multinational tax avoidanceSeptember 25, 2014
In a move that may stop a number of current take-overs of UK companies by US buyers, the US Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have jointly announced the introduction of some important new measures to target US multinationals that seek to avoid US tax. The measure
 
       
Taskforces to tackle VAT fraud in the Midlands and NottinghamSeptember 25, 2014
Two new specialist taskforce teams have recently begun to target businesses in the Midlands and Nottingham who try to fraudulently reclaim VAT, in particular businesses being set up purely for the purpose of making false VAT repayments claims. The taskforces are part of HMRC’s wider remit to tackle
 
       
Pensions – annual allowanceSeptember 18, 2014
The annual allowance for tax relief on pensions was reduced to 40,000 (from 50,000) with effect from 6 April 2014. Pension providers are in the process of writing to pension scheme members contributing more than 40,000 per year. Finance Act 2011 legally requires pension providers to send these
 
       
Employment intermediariesSeptember 18, 2014
There are special rules that apply when an intermediary must treat a worker they provide to a UK-based client as an employee for Income Tax and National Insurance purposes. Since 6 April 2014, a worker is treated as an employee if the following conditions apply: is placed with a UK-based
 
       
National Minimum WageSeptember 18, 2014
New National Minimum Wage (NMW) rates came into effect on 1 October 2014. The hourly rate of the NMW increased to 6.50 (a rise of 19p) adults aged 21 years and older. The rate for apprentices under the age of 19 or in the first year of their apprenticeship increased to 2.73 (a rise of 5p).
 
       
RTI late filing penaltiesSeptember 18, 2014
The vast majority of 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 new late
 
       
VAT liability of construction servicesSeptember 18, 2014
The First-tier Tribunal recently heard an appeal by a construction company regarding the VAT liability of construction services supplied at a residential property in a North London suburb. The homeowners had sought and been granted planning permission for major works to the property. The planning
 
       
Disclosure opportunity for landlordsSeptember 11, 2014
Landlords that may owe tax, whether through misunderstanding the rules or deliberate evasion, are being targeted by HMRC in a campaign that was launched last year. Unusually, the campaign does not currently have a finish date and will run until at least March 2015. HMRC will allow landlords to come
 
       
Exemptions from CGTSeptember 11, 2014
Capital Gains Tax (CGT) is a tax on the profit made on the disposal of an asset that has increased in value. Whilst most taxpayers are aware of their annual CGT tax-free allowance (currently 11,000) and the exemption for the qualifying sale of the family home there are other items that are exempt
 
       
Online trader jailedSeptember 11, 2014
An online trader has been sentenced to two years in jail for failing to declare the sales he made online. John Woolfenden from Radcliffe sold DVDs, CDs and games using online portals such as Play.com, Playtrade and eBay. He was found guilty of evading almost 300,000 of unpaid taxes and interest and
 
       
HMRC launches new property taskforceSeptember 11, 2014
New specialist taskforces have recently been launched to target property tax dodgers in the south west and south Wales. According to HMRC the taskforce will target those who have sold one or more properties and haven’t paid Capital Gains Tax or disclosed rental income. The taskforces are part of
 
       
Paper Self Assessment return deadlineSeptember 11, 2014
Taxpayers that continue to submit paper Self Assessment returns are reminded that the deadline for submitting the 2013-14 return is 31 October 2014. Taxpayers who submit their Self Assessment return late will become immediately liable to a 100 late filing penalty. The penalty will apply even if
 
       
Help to Buy: schemes updateSeptember 4, 2014
The Help to Buy mortgage guarantee scheme opened on 8 October 2013 and was extended a few months later. The scheme allows qualifying buyers with a 5% deposit to apply for a mortgage on a home (old or new) worth up to 600,000. The scheme is open to first-time buyers as well as existing home owners
 
       
Advisory fuel rates for company carsSeptember 4, 2014
New advisory fuel rates are effective from 1 September 2014. Fuel rates are reviewed four times a year with changes taking effect on 1 March, 1 June, 1 September and 1 December. Due to the increased review time, HMRC's previous policy whereby the rate could change if fuel prices fluctuated by 5% or
 
       
Business record checks updateSeptember 4, 2014
The Business Record Checks (BRC) programme imposes penalties for significant record keeping failures relating to Income Tax, Corporation Tax and VAT and applies to the self-employed, sole traders and businesses with a turnover of less than 30m. According to insurers PFP, HMRC business record
 
       
The NISA effectSeptember 4, 2014
The New ISA (NISA) that was announced by the Chancellor as part of the 2014 Budget announcements came into effect on 1 July 2014. The NISA introduced major changes to the old ISA system by introducing equal limits for cash and stocks and shares. This provides savers with the ability to transfer
 
       
Autumn statement 2014September 4, 2014
The Chancellor, George Osborne has announced that he will make his Autumn Statement to the House of Commons on 3 December 2014. The statement will be used to give an update on the state of the economy and will respond to the economic and fiscal outlook published by the independent Office for Budget
 
       
Direct recovery of debts by HMRCSeptember 4, 2014
In the Budget earlier this year the Chancellor announced that the Government was looking at introducing a new power called Direct Recovery of Debts that would allow HMRC to recover Income Tax debts directly from taxpayer’s bank and building society accounts. A consultation was launched in May of
 
       
Marginal rate of Income TaxAugust 27, 2014
For high earning taxpayers the personal allowance is gradually reduced by 1 for every 2 of income over 100,000 irrespective of age. This results in the total loss of the personal allowance for taxpayers that had a total income over 118,880 in 2013/14 and over 120,000 in the current tax year.
 
       
Paper tax discs to be discontinuedAugust 27, 2014
The end of paper tax discs for cars, which were first introduced in 1921, is nigh. From 1 October 2014, the requirement to display a motor disc on a vehicle windscreen will be removed. In future, cars will be checked against the DVLA’s electronic register and we will see an increased use in number
 
       
New crackdown on illicit tobacco and alcoholAugust 27, 2014
HMRC has launched a new initiative to tackle some of the UK’s most notorious hotspots for the sale and supply of illicit tobacco and alcohol as part of its overall remit to tackle tax fraud. HMRC officers will lead new enforcement operations in high risk areas across the UK. The initiative will see
 
       
Tackling offshore tax evasionAugust 27, 2014
The Government has been targeting offshore tax avoidance and evasion and there have been a number of recent disclosure opportunities that offered taxpayers the opportunity to come forward and make a disclosure, with beneficial terms. In general, making a voluntary disclosure can result in
 
       
Reduced charges for calling HMRCAugust 27, 2014
Over the last year or so, HMRC has been moving away from 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
 
       
Deliberate tax defaultersAugust 27, 2014
HMRC has published its seventh list of deliberate tax defaulters. The list includes fourteen individuals, businesses and companies and lists the amounts on which penalties are due and the amount of penalties charged. One of the companies listed, a Manchester based food and beverage business had to
 
       
National Minimum WageAugust 21, 2014
The new National Minimum Wage (NMW) rates will come into effect on 1 October 2014. The hourly rate of the NMW will increase to 6.50 (a rise of 19p) for adults aged 21 years and older. The rate for apprentices under the age of 19 or in the first year of their apprenticeship will increase to 2.73
 
       
New edition of the Employer BulletinAugust 21, 2014
HMRC has released the latest issue of the 'Employer Bulletin' publication which includes summaries of recent changes and updates that have been announced which are relevant to employers and agents. The topics covered in the latest edition include the following: Employment allowance. The
 
       
Paper Self Assessment returnsAugust 21, 2014
The 2013-14 tax return deadline for taxpayers who continue to submit paper Self Assessment returns is 31 October 2014. Tax payers who are late submitting a Self Assessment return will be liable to a 100 late filing penalty. The penalty will apply even if there is no liability or if any tax due is
 
       
PAYE tax refundsAugust 21, 2014
HMRC’s annual reconciliation of PAYE for the tax year 2013/14 is well under way. In the majority of cases, taxpayers that pay tax through the PAYE system will have paid the correct amount of tax. However, if too much or too little tax has been paid taxpayers will be sent a P800 form. The form
 
       
Non-residents claiming personal allowancesAugust 21, 2014
An interesting consultation document has been issued by HM Treasury which looks at the possible restriction of the UK personal allowance entitlement for non-residents. Currently, many non-residents with taxable income arising from the UK can benefit from the personal allowance. The personal
 
       
Employee Benefit Trusts - an updateAugust 21, 2014
Back in 2011, HMRC announced the terms on which it was prepared to settle open enquiries into Employee Benefit trusts (EBT) and similar arrangements without the need for litigation. This was known as the EBT Settlement Opportunity (EBTSO). These arrangements typically sought to avoid or defer the
 
       
Duty free limits for travellersAugust 14, 2014
Here is a reminder for travellers of their duty and tax free allowances whilst travelling over the summer period. Travelling to an EU country Where tobacco or alcohol is brought in from another EU country no duties or tax will be payable as long as you can demonstrate that the goods are for your
 
       
The Statutory Residence TestAugust 14, 2014
The rules that determine if someone is resident in the UK for tax purposes are known as the Statutory Resident Test (SRT). Historically, residence in the UK was determined by being in the UK in excess of 182 days in any tax year (6th April to 5th April) or by being resident in the UK for an average
 
       
Coding out debtsAugust 14, 2014
The coding threshold entitles taxpayers to have an underpayment of less than 3,000 collected via their tax code, provided they are in employment or in receipt of a UK-based pension. The coding applies to certain debts such as Self Assessment liabilities and tax credit overpayments. Instead of
 
       
Tribunal – VAT default surchargeAugust 14, 2014
A VAT default surcharge is a penalty levied on businesses that submit late VAT returns. VAT registered businesses are required by law to submit their return and make sure that payment of the VAT due has cleared to HMRC’s bank account by the due date. There is no penalty for a first offence,
 
       
Tax credit deadline expiredAugust 14, 2014
The deadline for renewing tax credits claims was 31 July 2014. In a recent press release, HMRC confirmed that more than three million people renewed their tax credits on time. This number included some 390,000 who renewed online for the first time. As would be expected the 31 July was the busiest
 
       
Electrician ordered to repay stolen moneyAugust 14, 2014
An electrical contractor, Ross Elliott, who was found guilty of tax fraud and jailed for three years in January 2013, has been ordered to pay back 372,000 or face an extra two years in jail. The contractor who worked for a large number of building companies submitted more than 500 false purchase
 
       
Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS)August 7, 2014
The SEIS is designed to increase the level of investing in the early development of high growth potential businesses. The scheme is similar to the EIS but focuses on smaller, early stage companies carrying on, or preparing to carry on, a new business in a qualifying trade. It was announced as part
 
       
National Insurance numbersAugust 7, 2014
The old plastic National Insurance number cards have been replaced by a letter stating an individual's National Insurance number. It is important that everyone keeps a record of their National Insurance number on file. Individuals who have lost or forgotten their NI number might be able to locate
 
       
Employment allowance usageAugust 7, 2014
The employment allowance of 2,000 per year for all businesses and charities was made available from April 2014. The allowance is offset against the employers Class 1 secondary NICs and can be claimed as part of the normal payroll process. The maximum amount available is capped at 2,000 per year.
 
       
Late filing of Self Assessment tax returnsAugust 7, 2014
Taxpayers who have not yet filed their 2012-13 Self Assessment returns online faced a minimum daily penalty of 10 totalling 900 for the three months from 1 May 2014. The next set of penalties began on 1 August and taxpayers will be charged the greater of 300 or 5% of the tax due. If the return
 
       
Submitting VAT returnsAugust 7, 2014
The vast majority of VAT registered businesses must submit VAT returns online and make any payments due electronically. In the past it has only been possible to avoid the obligation to file online if the taxpayer was a practicing member of a religious society or order whose beliefs are incompatible
 
       
Two pharmacists found guilty of VAT fraudAugust 7, 2014
Two pharmacists have been jailed for a total of six and a half years after fraudulently claiming VAT repayments relating to the export of life-saving cancer and HIV medicines to Nigeria. The pair had a contract with the NHS to operate a prescription service to the public but they created false
 
       
Annual Tax on Enveloped Dwellings (ATED)July 31, 2014
The ATED came into effect on 1 April 2013. The tax is payable by certain non-natural persons that own interests in dwellings valued at more than 2 million. This provision affects certain companies, partnerships with company members and managers of collective investment schemes described in the
 
       
Tax avoidance – Total Return SwapsJuly 31, 2014
A new measure was announced at Budget 2014 to counter arrangements where a company enters into a derivative contract with a parent company or another group company, generally located in a tax haven. The new measure will affect group companies using derivatives that involve a payment of all or part
 
       
Disclosure opportunity for landlordsJuly 31, 2014
Landlords that may owe tax, whether through misunderstanding of the rules or deliberate evasion, are being targeted by HMRC in a campaign that was launched last year. Unusually, the campaign does not currently have a finish date and will run until at least March 2015. HMRC will allow landlords to
 
       
Scottish Land and Buildings Transaction TaxJuly 31, 2014
From 1 April 2015, Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) will no longer apply to land transactions in Scotland. Land transactions will instead be subject to Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT). The Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (Scotland) Act (LBTT Act), which received Royal Assent on 31 July 2013,
 
       
Combatting pension liberationJuly 31, 2014
HMRC has been working to combat pension savers being targeted by unscrupulous companies encouraging them to access their pension savings early. This is commonly known as pension liberation and can have significant, adverse tax consequences. In October 2013, new rules were introduced to strengthen
 
       
Discontinuance of trade and the AIAJuly 31, 2014
The Annual Investment Allowance (AIA) allows businesses to write off 100% of the cost of qualifying P&M, up to the allowed maximum, against taxable profits. It can be claimed by an individual, partnership or company carrying on a trade, profession or vocation, a UK non-residential property
 
       
Coding out debtsJuly 24, 2014
The coding threshold entitles taxpayers to have an underpayment of less than 3,000 collected via their tax code, provided they are in employment or in receipt of a UK-based pension. The coding applies to certain debts such as Self Assessment liabilities and tax credit overpayments. Since April
 
       
The Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR) schemeJuly 24, 2014
The Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR) scheme is the Government’s new tax relief scheme to encourage individuals to support social enterprises and to assist social enterprises access new sources of finance. The scheme is available for investments made on or after 6 April 2014. Individuals making
 
       
Pension changesJuly 24, 2014
The most wide-ranging changes to pensions in many years were announced as part of this year's Budget. The changes affect individuals that have pensions savings in a defined contribution (DC) scheme, such as a personal pension. The changes, which will come fully into effect from April 2015, will
 
       
HMRC’s High Net Worth UnitJuly 24, 2014
HMRC's High Net Worth Unit (HNWU) was established in 2009 to deal with taxpayers who have wealth in excess of 20 million. HMRC uses details from tax returns and other public information databases to identify almost 6,200 of the country’s taxpayers who are handled by the HNWU. In certain