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Spring Statement 2018
07-12-2017

Spring Statement 2018

The Chancellor, Philip Hammond has announced that he will deliver his Spring Statement to the House of Commons on Tuesday, 13 March 2018. This will be the first Spring Statement to take place following the government’s decision to switch to a new cycle with the annual Budget taking place in the autumn and the annual Statement taking place in the spring. The Spring Statement will be used to give an update on the state of the economy and will respond to the economic and fiscal forecast ... read more

Finance Bill 2017-18 is published
06-12-2017

Finance Bill 2017-18 is published

The Finance Bill 2017-18 was published on 1 December 2017 and runs to relatively modest 192 pages. The Bill contains the legislation for many of the tax measures that have been announced by the Government at Autumn Budget 2017. The Finance Bill introduces a number of diverse measures including the introduction of a new permanent stamp duty land tax relief for first-time buyers, the freezing of the capital gains indexation allowance from the end of 2017, increases in vehicle excise duty and ... read more

What happens to the 5p for a plastic bag?
06-12-2017

What happens to the 5p for a plastic bag?

HM Treasury has published an interesting response to a Freedom of Information enquiry that wanted to know what happens to the money raised from the sale of 5p plastic bags by retailers. HM Treasury points out that this charge is not a tax and the money from the charge does not go to the government. Therefore, the Treasury has not received any income from this measure. The minimum charge of 5p was introduced in October 2015 on single-use carrier bags supplied by large shops in England. Since ... read more

Tax incentives to invest in qualifying assets
06-12-2017

Tax incentives to invest in qualifying assets

The Annual Investment Allowance (AIA) limit is a generous capital allowance that will more than cover the annual capital expenditure spend of many small and medium sized businesses. The AIA is a 100% upfront allowance that applies to qualifying expenditure up to a specified annual limit. The limit has been fixed at £200,000 since 1 January 2016. The AIA can be claimed for qualifying expenditure on plant and machinery by an individual, partnership or company carrying on a trade, profession or ... read more

Reminder of current tax relief for pension contributions
06-12-2017

Reminder of current tax relief for pension contributions

Many commentators had predicted that the Chancellor would further reduce the annual amount that can be saved into a pension as part of the Budget measures. However, these fears appear to have been unfounded as no changes were announced. The annual allowance for tax relief on pensions will remain at the current level of £40,000 for 2018-19. There is also a three year carry forward rule that allows taxpayers to carry forward unused annual allowance from the last three tax years if they have made ... read more

Why don’t we still pay Class 2 NIC monthly?
06-12-2017

Why don’t we still pay Class 2 NIC monthly?

Class 2 national Insurance contributions (NICs) are paid by self-employed taxpayers and members of partnerships if their annual profits are over £6,025. Class 2 NICs are payable at a flat weekly rate currently, £2.85. Class 2 NICs count towards payments such as the state retirement pension, the employment and support allowance, maternity allowance and bereavement benefits. The withdrawal of class 2 NICs was due to take place from April 2018 but has now been delayed until April 2019. The ... read more

Tax win for Spurs
06-12-2017

Tax win for Spurs

HMRC’s appeal to the Upper Tribunal over termination payments made to two football players employed by Tottenham Hotspur has been rejected. The case related to the tax position of termination payments made to two professional footballers in connection with the early termination of their employment contracts. This case had already passed through the First-Tier Tribunal, who ruled that the payments were not taxable as earnings from their employment nor were the payments subject to national ... read more

Fit for Work referral and assessment service to be abolished
04-12-2017

Fit for Work referral and assessment service to be abolished

The government has confirmed that, as a result of “low referral rates”, its national Fit for Work referral and assessment service will come to an end in England and Wales on 31 March 2018 and on 31 May 2018 in Scotland. The Fit for Work service is a free government service that was launched in 2015 to help employers manage sickness absence in the workplace. There are two elements to it: (1) an advice service providing general health and work advice, as well as support on sickness absence, ... read more

Statutory maternity, adoption, paternity, shared parental and sick pay to rise from April 2018
30-11-2017

Statutory maternity, adoption, paternity, shared parental and sick pay to rise from April 2018

In a written ministerial statement, the government has announced the proposed new rates for statutory maternity pay (SMP), statutory adoption pay (SAP), statutory paternity pay (SPP), statutory shared parental pay (ShPP) and statutory sick pay (SSP) for tax year 2018/19. The proposed revised rates are as follows: the standard weekly rates of SMP, SAP, SPP and ShPP will increase from £140.98 to £145.18 – it is assumed this will be for payment weeks commencing on or after Sunday, 1 ... read more

New Acas guidance on sexual harassment at work and on avoiding pregnancy and maternity discrimination
30-11-2017

New Acas guidance on sexual harassment at work and on avoiding pregnancy and maternity discrimination

Acas has published new guidance for employers and employees that outlines what kind of workplace behaviours could be considered sexual harassment and how to report and handle it. The guidance covers: what is sexual harassment? how does sexual harassment happen? sexual assault and physical threats who can it happen to? historical allegations making a complaint of sexual harassment handling a complaint of sexual harassment getting support Acas highlights a number of ... read more

Company capital gains tax increase
29-11-2017

Company capital gains tax increase

As part of the Budget measures, the Chancellor announced that the indexation allowance for companies that make capital gains is to be scrapped. The indexation allowance currently allows companies or organisations to include the effects of inflation and claim tax relief when calculating any chargeable gains that they make. The monthly indexation allowance will continue to be published until December 2017 and will then be frozen from 1 January 2018. This means that the indexation relief ... read more

First-time buyer bonanza
29-11-2017

First-time buyer bonanza

The biggest prize from the recent Budget went to first-time home buyers after the Chancellor announced changes to the Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) rules. With immediate effect from Budget day, SDLT has been abolished for first-time buyers making a purchase of up to £300,000. Unlike the temporary Stamp Duty holiday that applied from 2010-12 this change has been made permanent. The Chancellor also extended the relief to the first £300,000 of the purchase price on properties valued at up to ... read more

Low-emission vehicles plug-in grant
29-11-2017

Low-emission vehicles plug-in grant

The low-emission vehicles plug-in grant can help you save up to £4,500 on the purchase price of a new electric or hybrid car. The scheme was first launched in 2011 and is available across the UK and offers a grant towards the price of eligible new cars. The paperwork for the grant application is handled by the dealer you purchase your car from. HMRC publishes a list of qualifying cars, and only cars listed are eligible for the grant. The list is divided in to 3 main categories. Category 1. ... read more

Born before 6 April 1935?
29-11-2017

Born before 6 April 1935?

The married couple's allowance (MCA) is available to elderly married couples or those in a civil partnership where at least one member of the couple were born before 6 April 1935. The allowance provides for tax relief by deducting 10% of the allowance from the amount of tax due on taxable income. The MCA can reduce a tax bill to zero but cannot result in a refund of tax. For the current tax year, the maximum amount of allowance is £8,445. This means that qualifying claimants can receive a ... read more

Paying National Insurance at State Pension Age?
29-11-2017

Paying National Insurance at State Pension Age?

The State Pension age has been increasing since April 2010. The changes will see the State pension age gradually rise to 65 for women between 2010 and 2018, and then to 66, 67 and 68 for both men and women by 2039. There are now many taxpayers that have reached the State Pension age and continue to work. In most cases they no longer need to pay any National Insurance Contributions (NICs). At State Pension age, the requirement to pay Class 1 and Class 2 NICs ceases. However, you will remain ... read more