What does the Queen’s Speech mean for employment law?
The Queen’s Speech 2019 outlined several Brexit-related Bills, including an Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill, designed to end free movement within the UK after Brexit and to lay the foundation for a new, modern and global immigration system. The Bill will also reaffirm the government’s commitment to the right to remain for resident EU citizens “who have built their lives here in the UK”. The main elements of the Bill are:
Ending the ... read more
New £20 note unveiled
The Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, has unveiled the design of the new £20 note featuring the artist JMW Turner. The new note will be launched on 20 February 2020 and will join the current £5 and £10 notes in being printed on polymer, a thin flexible plastic. The new plastic £20 note will include a number of new security features including two windows and a two-colour foil, making it very difficult to counterfeit.
The Governor said:
'Our banknotes ... read more
National Living/Minimum Wage entitlement
A reminder that the current National Minimum Wage (NMW) and National Living Wage (NLW) rates came into effect on 1 April 2019. The NLW is the minimum hourly rate that must be paid to those aged 25 or over. The current rate for the NLW is £8.21.
The hourly rate of the NMW (for 21-24 year olds) is £7.70. The rates for 18-20 year olds are £6.15 and the rate for workers above the school leaving age but under 18 is £4.35. Finally. the NMW rate for apprentices is £3.90. ... read more
Who is eligible for 10% tax on business sale?
Entrepreneurs' Relief (ER) can be valuable relief when selling your business, your shares in a trading company or your interest in a trading partnership. Where ER is available, Capital Gains Tax (CGT) of 10% is payable. This rate applies to qualifying lifetime gains of up to £10 million.
However, it is important to remember that there are qualifying conditions that must be met to ensure you are eligible to benefit from the lower 10% rate.
If you are selling all or part of your ... read more
Tax if you return to the UK
There used to be a form that had to be completed advising HMRC if you were returning to live in the UK from another country. Whilst this form was abolished some time ago, there are still various actions that you may need to take if you are returning to live and work in the UK.
In most cases, if you return to live in the UK you will be classed as resident in the UK and you will be required to pay UK tax on your UK income and gains and any foreign income and gains. Your exact liability to Income ... read more
Provisional date announced for Autumn Budget 2019
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sajid Javid, has announced that he is planning to hold his first Autumn Budget 2019 on Wednesday, 6 November 2019. However, this date is based on the UK leaving the EU with a deal on 31 October 2019. At the time of going to press, this was certainly not a foregone conclusion.
The Chancellor did confirm that if the UK leaves the EU without a deal then the Government would act quickly to announce emergency measures to support the economy, businesses and ... read more
Gifts in anticipation of marriage
There is a special exemption from Inheritance Tax for cash gifts made on or shortly before the date that the relevant wedding or civil partnership ceremony takes place.
The amount of tax relief varies depending on the relationship between the donor and the recipient.
Each parent (including step-parents) can gift up to £5,000 tax free
Grandparents and Great grandparents can each gift up to £2,500
Any other person can each gift up to £1,000
If the value transferred by the ... read more
Definition of a Welsh taxpayer
The start of the 2019-20 tax year marked a fundamental change to the way Income Tax is calculated for people who live in Wales. The new Welsh rates of Income Tax (WRIT) is payable on the non-savings and non-dividend income of those defined as Welsh taxpayers.
The definition of a Welsh taxpayer is generally decided on the question of where the taxpayer lives. It should be noted that in order to be a Welsh taxpayer, an individual must be a UK resident for tax purposes – an individual who is ... read more
Definition of a Scottish taxpayer
The Scottish rate of Income Tax (SRIT) commenced on 6 April 2016 and is administered by HMRC on behalf of the Scottish Government. The SRIT is payable on the non-savings and non-dividend income of those defined as Scottish taxpayers. This means that Scottish taxpayers who also have savings and dividend income, need to consider the UK rates as well as the Scottish rates when calculating their Income Tax bill.
Scottish taxpayer status applies for a whole tax year. It is not possible to be a ... read more
Simplified import procedures
HMRC has automatically registered many businesses to use simplified import procedures should the UK leave the EU without a deal on 31 October 2019.
The scheme, called the Transitional Simplified Procedures (TSP) will make importing from the EU bloc much easier, especially for businesses completing customs processes for the first time. The TSP will allow most businesses to transport goods from the EU into the UK without having to make a full customs declaration at the border and to postpone ... read more
Changing your company’s year end
There are special rules in place which limit your options to change your company’s year-end date. A company’s year-end date is also known as its ‘accounting reference date’ and is historically set by reference to the date the company was incorporated. Under certain circumstances it is possible to make a change to the year-end.
As a general rule, you can only change the year end for the current financial year or the one immediately before it. Making a change to a year-end ... read more
What is the Inheritance Tax residence nil rate band?
The Inheritance Tax residence nil-rate band (RNRB) came into effect on 6 April 2017. The 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 effectively increases your existing £325,000 inheritance tax nil-rate band.
The RNRB is being introduced in stages, the threshold is currently £150,000 and will increase to £175,000 ... read more
What is Capital Gains Tax incorporation relief?
If you own a business as a sole trader or in partnership, a Capital Gain will arise if your business is transferred into a company structure. The gain will be assessed by reference to the market value of the business assets, including goodwill, at the date of transfer. This could give rise to a chargeable gain based broadly on the difference between the market value of the assets and their original cost.
In most cases, the incorporation of the business will be completed so that incorporation ... read more
Overdrawn directors’ loans
An overdrawn Director’s Loan Account is created when a director (or other close family members) 'borrows' money from their company. Many companies, particularly 'close' private companies, pay the personal expenses of directors using company funds. Where these payments do not form part of a director’s remuneration, they are usually posted to the Director’s Loan Account (DLA).
The DLA can represent cash drawn by a director as well as other drawings by a director ... read more
When overseas companies need to register at Companies House
An overseas company must register with Companies House if they want to set up a place of business or branch in the UK. Generally, this would be if the overseas company had a physical presence in the UK through which it carries on business.
If an overseas company does not have a physical presence in the UK, they are not usually required to register with Companies House. For example, an independent agent who conducts business on behalf of an overseas company is not considered to have a physical ... read more
Objecting to a limited company being struck off
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.
You can object to a limited company’s application to be struck off the companies register if you’re a shareholder or other interested party, such as a creditor, and have a reason to stop the application, for example:
you have not been told about the ... read more
Post Brexit funding announced
The Chancellor is set to announce a new package of measures to help the UK prepare for a post-Brexit future. We are told that these measures will also help to support the next generation and promote economic growth.
It has also been confirmed that British organisations that are receiving certain EU funding, will continue to do so even after a no-deal Brexit. If the EU cease to fund UK organisations, the Government has guaranteed to commit funding. This will replace certain EU programme ... read more
Residential landlords’ tax changes complete April 2020
The tax relief on finance costs used to buy investment properties is being gradually restricted to the basic rate of tax. The full finance costs restriction will be in place from 6 April 2020. This means that from next April, all finance costs will be disallowed as expenses and any relief will be restricted to a basic rate tax credit.
Finance costs include interest on:
loans - including loans to buy furnishings
overdrafts as well as alternative finance sources
Costs also ... read more