Government help for people in debt
New government proposals have been published that look at further extending debt solutions to help more people suffering from problem debts. The proposals specifically look at increasing the financial eligibility criteria for debt relief orders (DROs), helping more people deal with financial difficulties to get a fresh start.
A DRO is a special way of dealing with debts aimed at those with minimal assets and low income. If an application for a DRO is accepted, the claimant will usually make ... read more
Online tax payment plans
New figures published by HMRC have revealed that some 25,000 taxpayers have set up an online payment plan to manage their tax liabilities spreading payments of £69 million for up to 12 monthly instalments.
This follows an increase in the limit for making an online payment plan to £30,000 (previously £10,000) that took effect from 1 October 2020. Taxpayers with outstanding tax liabilities may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs by using this service.
The deadline for ... read more
Tax when you sell shares
Capital Gains Tax (CGT) is normally charged at a simple flat rate of 20% when you sell shares unless they are in a CGT free wrapper such as an ISA or pension.
If you only pay basic rate tax and make a small capital gain you may only be subject to a reduced rate of 10%. Once the total of your taxable income and gains exceeds the higher rate threshold, the excess will be subject to 20% CGT. There is also an annual CGT exemption. This means that in the current tax year you can make £12,300 of ... read more
Tax returns filing deadline is fast approaching
The approaching deadline for submitting 2019-20 Self-Assessment tax returns online is 23:59 on Sunday, 31 January 2021. The filing deadline is not just the final date for submission of your Self-Assessment tax return but also an important date for payment off tax due to HMRC. This includes the payment of any balance of Self-Assessment liability for the 2019-20 plus the first payment on account due for the current 2020-21 tax year. The 31 January 2021 is also the payment date for any CGT due on ... read more
Simplified expenses motor vehicles
There are simplified arrangements in place for the self-employed (and some partnerships) to claim a fixed rate deduction for certain expenses where there is a mix of business and private use. The simplified expenses regime is not available to limited companies or business partnerships involving a limited company.
The fixed rate deduction can be used instead of working out the actual costs of buying and running your vehicle, e.g., insurance, repairs, servicing, fuel. The use of the simplified ... read more
Striking companies from Companies Register
There are a limited range of circumstances when a company can request to be removed from the register (known as being struck off). For example, a voluntary strike off can be requested by a dormant or non-trading company.
A limited company can be closed down by getting it 'struck off' the Companies Register, but only if it:
hasn't traded or sold off any stock in the last 3 months. For example, a company in business to sell apples could not continue selling apples during that 3 month period ... read more
Basics of CGT Rollover Relief
Business Asset Rollover Relief is a valuable relief that allows you to defer payment of CGT on gains made when you sell or dispose of certain assets and use all or part of the proceeds to buy new assets. The relief means that the tax on the gain of the old asset is postponed. The amount of the gain is effectively rolled over into the cost of the new asset and any CGT liability is deferred until the new asset is sold.
Where only part of the proceeds from the sale of the old asset is used to buy ... read more
Government tackles late payment to small firms
The Government has announced an overhaul of the Prompt Payment Code (PPC).
Under the new reforms, companies that have signed up to the PPC will be obliged to pay small businesses within 30 days - half the time outlined in the current Code.
Despite almost 3,000 companies signing the Code, poor payment practices are still rife, with many payments delayed well beyond the current 60-day target required for 95% of invoices. Currently, £23.4 billion worth of late invoices are owed to firms across ... read more
Rights to regenerate
We will soon have the rights to turn derelict buildings into homes and community assets. In a recent press release the Ministry of Housing said:
The public will be able to convert vacant plots of land and derelict buildings into new homes or community spaces, under plans announced 16 January 2021 by the Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick MP.
The ‘Right to Regenerate’ proposals would make it easier to challenge councils and other public organisations to release land for redevelopment - helping ... read more
Rogue employers named and shamed for failing to pay minimum wage
139 employers, including some of the UK’s biggest household names, have been named and shamed in a government press release for failing to pay £6.7 million to over 95,000 workers in breach of the national minimum wage (NMW) legislation.
This is the first time in over two years that the government has named and shamed employers for failing to pay the NMW, as the naming and shaming scheme was paused in 2018 so that an evaluation into its effectiveness could be carried out. The scheme has now ... read more
CJRS guidance on who can be furloughed
HMRC’s guidance on which employees can be placed on furlough using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been updated. The scheme will continue until at least 30 April 2021.
The updated guidance includes new information about employees who are unable to work because they have caring responsibilities resulting from coronavirus (COVID-19). This guidance confirms that employers may furlough employees with caring responsibilities arising from COVID-19 who are unable to work or are working ... read more
VAT Reverse charge for construction sector
A further reminder that new VAT rules for building contractors and sub-contractors will come into effect from 1 March 2021. The new rules were originally expected to commence from 1 October 2019, but an initial 12 month delay was announced. The start date was then delayed for a further 5 months until 1 March 2021 due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
The new rules will make the supply of most construction services between construction or building businesses subject to the domestic ... read more
Have you paid your Data Protection Fee?
The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) is the independent regulatory office in charge of upholding information rights in the interest of the public. Under the Data Protection Act 2018, all organisations that process personal information must register with the ICO.
By law, every organisation or sole trader who processes personal information needs to pay a data protection fee to the ICO, unless they benefit from a very limited exemption. There are currently more than half a million fee ... read more
Tax and duties for goods sent from abroad
Following the end of the Brexit transition period new rules regarding tax and duty apply to goods sent to the UK from the EU. These changes are to ensure that goods from EU and non-EU countries are treated in the same way and that UK businesses are not disadvantaged by competition from VAT free imports.
For goods sold directly to customers in the UK from overseas with a value of £135 or less (which aligns with the threshold for customs duty liability) the point at which VAT is collected has ... read more
New IPO search facility
The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) is the official UK government body responsible for intellectual property (IP) rights including patents, designs, trademarks and copyright.
The IPO has launched a new service that allows users to search for the goods and services they intend to use their trade mark on before they apply.
Intellectual Property Offices worldwide use a trade mark classification system that groups together similar goods or services into 45 different classes. This is referred ... read more
IHT Main Residence Nil Rate Band
The Inheritance Tax residence nil-rate band (RNRB) is a transferable allowance for married couples and civil partners (per person) when their main residence is passed down to a direct descendent such as children or grandchildren after their death.
The RNRB came into effect on 6 April 2017 and was introduced in stages. The allowance increased to the present maximum level of £175,000 from 6 April 2020. Going forward, the allowance is set to increase in line with the Consumer Price Index. The ... read more
Tax on an inherited private pension
Private pensions can be an efficient way to pass on wealth, but it is important to consider what, if any, tax will be payable on an inherited private pension. The person who died will usually have nominated the recipient by telling their pension provider that they should inherit any monies left in their pension pot. If the nominated person can’t be found or has since died, the pension provider may make payments to someone else instead.
In general, if you inherit a private pension and the owner ... read more
Testing for international arrivals
Passengers arriving from all international destinations will be required to present a negative COVID-19 test result before departing for England to help protect against new strains of coronavirus circulating internationally.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced that inbound passengers arriving by boat, plane or train will have to take a test up to 72 hours before departing the country they are in, to help protect against the new strains of coronavirus such as those seen in Denmark and ... read more