The cost of a staff party or other annual entertainment is generally allowed as a deduction for tax purposes. If you meet the various criteria outlined below then there is no requirement to report anything to HMRC or pay tax and National Insurance.
Self-Assessment taxpayers are usually required to pay their Income Tax liabilities in three instalments each year. The first two payments are due on 31 January during the tax year and 31 July following the tax year.
An employee can obtain a benefit when provided with an employment-related cheap or interest-free loan. The benefit is the difference between the interest the employee pays, if any, and the commercial rate the employee would have to pay on a loan
The new super-deduction tax break, that will allow companies to deduct 130% of the cost of any qualifying investment from their taxable profits, is available on most new plant and machinery investments that ordinarily qualify for 18% main rate
The new National Minimum Wage (NMW) and National Living Wage (NLW) rates came into effect on 1 April 2021. The new rate for the NLW is £8.91 which is a 19p increase over last year. The NLW is the minimum hourly rate that must be paid to those aged 23
There are important rules that all businesses must follow to keep business and accounting records accessible if requested by HMRC. The exact documentation that must be held and the time limits for doing so can vary significantly. For example, most
There are special rules to follow if you have submitted a Self-Assessment return and subsequently realise you need to change it. This can happen if for example you made a mistake like entering a number incorrectly or missing information from the
The government’s £500 million scheme to kickstart film and television production entitled the Film and TV Production Restart Scheme, helps UK film and TV productions struggling to secure insurance for COVID-19 related costs.
As lockdown measures begin to be eased, a new package of support measures to help high streets and coastal areas across England has been announced by the Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick. The support will be delivered via a new £56 million
The VAT Flat Rate Scheme has been designed to simplify the way a business accounts for VAT and in so doing reduce the administration costs of complying with the VAT legislation. The scheme is open to businesses that expect their annual taxable
When a taxpayer owns a business as a sole trader or in partnership, a capital gain will be deemed to arise if the business is converted into a company by reference to the market value of the business assets including goodwill. This could give rise to
New National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage rates will come into effect on 1 April 2021. These changes will see the National Living Wage increase by 19p to an hourly rate of £8.91 and the National Minimum Wage will increase to £8.36 (a rise of
One of the services offered by Companies House helps combat fraud and protect your company from unauthorised changes to records. The free service is known as the protected online filing (PROOF) scheme and means that any forms covered by PROOF can
HMRC’s guidance makes it clear that any business that makes an error in making a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) claim must pay back any amount overclaimed. Any claims based on inaccurate information can be recovered by HMRC.
There are special rules in place which limit the ability to change a 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.
When deciding whether an expense is allowed or disallowed for tax purposes it is important to bear in mind that the expenditure must be incurred wholly and exclusively for the purposes of your trade or employment.
If you use your own vehicle for business journeys, then you may be able to claim a tax-free allowance from your employer known as a Mileage Allowance Payment or MAP. The allowance is available if employees use their own car, van, motorcycle or bike
Two separate £1,000 tax allowances for property and trading income were introduced in April 2017. If you have both or either type of income highlighted below then you can claim a £1,000 allowance for each.
The rent-a-room scheme is a set of special rules designed to help homeowners who rent-a-room in their home. The current tax-free threshold of £7,500 per year has been in place since 6 April 2016. If you are using this scheme you should ensure that
Although it cannot be understated, that COVID has resulted in widespread personal tragedies and business hardships, there are stories circulating of businesses that have managed to buck the downward trend.
The rules for individuals providing services to the public sector via an intermediary such as a personal service company (PSC) changed from April 2017. The new rules shifted the responsibility for deciding whether the intermediaries’ legislation
It is not long until the current 2020-21 tax year comes to an end and there are a number of year end payroll chores that must be completed. This includes sending a final PAYE submission for the tax year. The last Full Payment Submission (FPS) needs
A new temporary extension to the eligible carry back period for trading losses has been announced. This will allow trading losses to be carried back for three years (rather than one). The extension to the relief applies to both incorporated
One of the measures announced as part of the March 2021 Budget was the introduction of a new mortgage guarantee scheme to help home buyers purchase a property. The new scheme is designed for prospective home buyers who only have a small deposit and
In our previous newsfeeds we have described how you can calculate the level of turnover you need to create in order to meet all your costs whether they be fixed costs (rent, rates etc.,) or variable costs (goods you need to buy to convert into goods
One of the Chancellors key announcements in the Budget last week was to replace the government guaranteed Bounce Back and Business Interruption loans – due to end for new applications from 31 March 2021 – with a new Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS).
It has been confirmed, by the Chancellor, that the taxable turnover threshold that determines whether businesses should be registered for VAT will be frozen at £85,000 until 31 March 2024. The taxable turnover threshold that determines whether
Designed to help offset the increased Corporation Tax main rate and promote investment, the Chancellor announced the introduction of a new ground breaking super-deduction tax relief. The new temporary tax relief applies on qualifying capital asset
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) commonly known as the furlough scheme will be extended until the 30 September 2021. The Chancellor confirmed that employees will receive up to 80% of their salary for hours not worked subject to a monthly
The Chancellor confirmed that the Corporation Tax main rate will remain at 19% from 1 April 2021 for the next 2 years. The main rate had been expected to increase to help pay the massive costs of the coronavirus pandemic to the public purse.
It has been confirmed as part of the Budget announcements that the 2021-22 personal allowance will increase to £12,570 (2020-21: £12,500) and the basic rate limit to £37,700 (2020-21: £37,500). As a result, the higher rate threshold will increase to
More has been disclosed, leaked, of this year’s Budget announcements than in previous years. But we now have the details and there is a lot to consider. The following Budget summary is split into four sections:
The Supreme Court has handed down a landmark judgement in the Uber case. The Supreme Court unanimously upheld the decisions of earlier courts and has found that Uber drivers are ‘workers’ and not self-employed as Uber has tried to argue.
Businesses that use the flat rate scheme pay VAT as a fixed percentage of their VAT inclusive turnover. The VAT Agricultural Flat Rate Scheme is a variant of the flat rate scheme specifically designed for farmers and other activities relating to
In a recent HM Treasury press release it has been confirmed that the government will publish a number of tax-related consultations and calls for evidence at the end of March. These consultations would usually be published on Budget day but instead
As with Income Tax personal allowances, taxpayers have an annual exempt amount for Capital Gains Tax (CGT) which is forfeited if not used. The annual exemption for individuals in 2020-21 is £12,300. A husband and wife each have a separate exemption.
Under the third Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant, claimants received up to 80% of average trading profits for November and December 2020, and January 2021. This meant that a maximum grant for the three months of £7,500 was made
A reminder that traders who buy and sell goods – wholesalers or retailers – need to be wary of the financial consequences if, as expected, pent up consumer activity leads to a surge in demand for your products from July 2021 or earlier if you can
Employees who need to buy substantial equipment to use as part of their employment may be able to claim tax relief. In most cases they can claim relief based on the full cost as it usually qualifies for a type of capital allowance called the Annual
Employees who are working from home may be able to claim tax relief for any additional costs due to home working. No tax relief will be due if employers reimburse employees for the additional household expenses incurred.
The coronavirus VAT payment holiday gave businesses the chance to defer the payment of any VAT liabilities between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020. The option for businesses to defer their VAT payments ended on 30 June 2020.
Following the end of the Brexit transition period, businesses need to make customs declarations when exporting goods to the EU as well as to the rest of the world. Businesses can make customs declarations themselves or hire a third party such as a
The new Pensions Scheme Act received Royal Assent on 11 February 2021. The Act covers a number of important pensions-related issues and has faced a long journey through parliament, starting in October 2019, that included delays due to both Brexit and
If you are entitled to the marriage allowance and have not yet applied, then you could receive a payment of up to £1,188 from HMRC. HMRC used the occasion of Valentine’s Day to remind couples to make a claim.
Following the end of the Brexit transition period, new rules on tax and duty now apply on goods sent to the UK from overseas. These changes are meant to ensure that goods from EU and non-EU countries are treated in the same way and that UK businesses
The Bounce Back Loans scheme was launched in May 2020 to provide financial support to businesses across the UK that were losing revenue and disrupted cashflow as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The scheme allows qualifying small businesses to
Claims for the third Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant closed on 29 January 2021. Under this grant, the self-employed received up to 80% of average trading profits for November and December 2020 and January 2021. This meant that a
Following the end of the transition period, businesses registered for VAT can account for import VAT on their VAT return, often referred to as postponed VAT accounting. For most businesses, this means that they will declare and recover import VAT on
A recent investigation by the Insolvency Service resulted in the sole director of a Leicester clothing manufacturer being jailed for six months after failing to provide adequate company accounting records.
Business owners in vulnerable sectors: predominantly retailers, leisure and entertainment trades, will have seen their hard-won capital all but exhausted by the needs to meet fixed costs when income generation has been restricted or eliminated by
The P9X form is used to notify employers which tax codes to use for employees. The latest version of the form has just been published and shows the tax codes to use from 6 April 2021. The forms states that the basic personal allowance for the tax
Companies House has announced that they have once again temporarily paused the voluntary and compulsory strike off processes. The hiatus is set to be in place for one month from 21 January until 21 February 2021. When a company is struck off, the
An updated Treasury Direction under sections 71 and 76 of the Coronavirus Act 2020 concerning the extended Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) was published on 25 January 2021. The new direction formally extends the CJRS until 30 April
Scotland’s Finance Secretary, Kate Forbes delivered her second Budget statement to the Scottish parliament on 28 January 2021. The date was selected to allow the Scottish Government time to deliver their Budget and have it approved before the start
HMRC has announced that more than 10.7 million people submitted their 2019-20 Self-Assessment tax returns by the 31 January deadline. This leaves over 1.8 million taxpayers that have missed the deadline and are yet to file. Are you among those that
Following the 31 January 2021 deadline for submission of Self-Assessment tax returns for 2019-20, it can be a useful exercise to review the rules for keeping your pay and tax records. There are no set rules for how to keep your records, but you must
The government has announced a new £1,000 cash bonus to encourage employers to take on new trainees. The traineeship scheme supports young people to gain the skills and experience they need from the very start, helping them to get a job, an
Corporation Tax relief may be available where your company or organisation makes a trading loss. A qualifying trading loss may be used to claim relief from Corporation Tax by offsetting the loss against profits in previous years.
An interesting press release published jointly by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and Business Minister, Paul Scully has highlighted some important actions that businesses should ensure they undertake now that the UK has
HMRC has announced that fines for taxpayers that file their Self-Assessment returns late will be waived until 28 February 2021. The filing deadline for 2019-20 returns remains at 31 January 2021. HMRC is still encouraging taxpayers to try and meet
HMRC are slowly rolling out their Making Tax Digital (MTD) scheme. Eventually, selected landlords submitting their rental income and outgoings via self-assessment will need to embrace this new MTD requirement.
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.
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
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
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
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.
The 31 January 2021 tax return filing deadline is not just the final date for submission of your Self-Assessment tax return but also an important date for payment of tax due to HMRC. This includes the payment of any balance of Self-Assessment
The Brexit transition period has come to an end and a new customs border has been created between the UK and EU. If you are moving goods to or from the UK then you need to ensure that you have all the correct procedures in place.
A new press release by HMRC has highlighted that 2,700 taxpayers took the time to file their tax return online on Christmas Day with a further 8,500 taxpayers completing their tax returns on Boxing Day. In total, 31,400 Self-Assessment returns were
Following a rapid rise in COVID infections, from today 5th January 2021, England has been placed into a new lockdown. Following this the Chancellor has announced £4.6 billion of new lockdown grants to help support businesses forced to close. The
If you have managed to retain profits in your business this fat-on-the-bone will help to see you through loss making periods as we endeavour to emerge from COVID disruption, hopefully, later this year.
It’s official. We are in lock-down 3 in England, Scotland following suit and the other regions expected to enforce similar restrictions.
It is evident that any freeing impact of the vaccine roll-outs will not have sufficient impact before February at
The UK Internal Market Act 2020 received Royal Assent on 17 December 2020 and came into force on 1 January 2021 following the end of the Brexit transition period. The new Act ensures that businesses can continue to trade seamlessly across all four
Children born after 31 August 2002 and before 3 January 2011 were entitled to a Child Trust Fund (CTF) account provided they met the necessary conditions. These funds were long term saving accounts for newly born children. The first of these children
The Help to Save scheme was launched by the government in September 2018 to help those on low incomes to boost their savings. Under the scheme, those eligible could save between £1 and £50 every calendar month and receive a 50% government bonus. The
True to predictions, Boris Johnson and his team achieved a trade deal with the EU to operate from 1 January 2021, and although there are generally no tariffs to pay on the movement of goods back and forth, this is far from free movement of
The Social Security Contributions (Disregarded Payments) (Coronavirus) (No. 2) Regulations 2020 will come into force on 25 January 2021 to provide that payments made by employers to employees to cover or reimburse the costs of coronavirus (COVID-19)
After a very difficult 2020, the traditional Christmas break is almost with us. If you are an employer and looking to give your employees a small token of appreciation for Christmas, then your best option is probably to give them a gift. In order to
HMRC has written to VAT registered businesses across the country to remind them to be prepared for new trading rules with the EU from 1 January 2021 after the Brexit transition period comes to an end. Time is running short and without having all of
From 1 January 2021, businesses will be able to account for import VAT on imports into Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) from EU and non-EU countries. Businesses in Northern Ireland will be able to use the postponed VAT accounting for goods
From the 1st October our brand has evolved. We’ve grown out of TaxAssist and have turned a new page as Heighten. Over the last few months we’ve poured our hearts into re-imagining our brand so that it’s more in line with our values and vision as a firm, and speaks to the kind of clients
When you employ someone to work in your home it is your responsibility to meet the employee’s rights and deduct the correct amount of tax from their salary. This can include employees such as a nanny, housekeeper, gardener or carer. The rules are
HMRC’s published guidance on the application of the 3% higher rate of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) has been updated. The higher rates of SDLT were introduced on 1 April 2016 and apply to purchases of additional residential property such as buy to let
Where an error on a past VAT return is uncovered, businesses have a duty to correct the error as soon as possible. As a general rule, any necessary adjustment can be made on a current VAT return. However, in order to be able to do so, there are three
HMRC and the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) have come together to jointly target misleading marketing by promoters of tax avoidance schemes. HMRC and the ASA can jointly issue an Enforcement Notice to companies irresponsibly advertising tax
The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has announced an additional one-off £1,000 Christmas grant for wet-led pubs in tiers 2 and 3 who will miss out on much needed business during the busy Christmas period.
The new Trader Support Service has been designed to help businesses moving goods under the Northern Ireland Protocol from 1 January 2021, after the Brexit transition period comes to an end. There will be changes in moving goods between Great Britain
HMRC has issued a press release to remind taxpayers that have sold a residential property, which was not their main home, during the 2019-20 tax year that the payment date for any Capital Gains Tax (CGT) owed is 31 January 2021.
HM Treasury has published a further Treasury Direction made under the Coronavirus Act 2020, ss. 71 and 76, which modifies and extends the effect of the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS).The Direction mainly deals with the expansion of the
Advisory fuel rates are intended to reflect actual average fuel costs and are updated quarterly. The rates can be used by employers who reimburse employees for business travel in their company cars or where employees are required to repay the cost of
The coronavirus VAT payment holiday gave businesses the chance to defer the payment of any VAT liabilities between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020. The option for businesses to defer their VAT payments ended on 30 June 2020.
The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Alok Sharma has written a letter to businesses in the professional services sector. The letter (available in English and Welsh) provides tailored advice on what key actions
The deadline for submitting your 2019-20 Self-Assessment tax returns online is 31 January 2021. You should also be aware that payment of any tax due should also be made by this date. This includes the payment of any balance of Self-Assessment
One of the more positive aspects – perhaps the only positive aspect – of COVID disruption has been the movement away from fixed systems to more flexible systems to cope with the changing demands of lock-down.
The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak delivered the government’s spending plans for the coming year to Parliament on 25 November 2020. The Spending Review usually covers 3 to 4 years but given the many unknowns as a result of the pandemic the review will only
Fraudsters are continuing to target taxpayers with scam emails in advance of the 31 January deadline for submission of Self-Assessment returns. In fact, over the last year, HMRC received more than 846,000 reports about suspicious HMRC contact.
HMRC’s guidance on making claims through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme was updated on 19 November 2020. The updated guidance now includes various examples of what is meant by a ‘reasonable excuse’ for employers that submit furlough claims
The Bounce Back Loans scheme was launched in May 2020 to provide financial support to businesses across the UK that are losing revenue and seeing their cashflow disrupted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The scheme allows small businesses to
The Government has confirmed that the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant extension will apply for 6 months from 1 November 2020. It will be possible to claim the SEISS grant extension even if no previous claim had been made under the
Companies House has issued a press release to remind all companies to sign up for email reminders for annual accounts and confirmation statement. Companies House has now stopped sending reminders by post and has sent a final reminder letter to all
If your business acquires goods or sells goods to the EU, and you have no import/export trade with non-EU countries you probably have no experience of dealing with the raft of red tape involved in clearing goods through customs and settling any
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has announced new proposals to ensure that lenders provide tailored support to mortgage borrowers who continue to face payment difficulties due to the COVID-19 crisis. This follows the additional government
The government guidance for landlords and tenants as a result of the coronavirus pandemic has been updated. The Coronavirus Act 2020 provides protection to social and private tenants by delaying when landlords can start proceedings to evict tenants.
The coding threshold entitles tax payers to have tax underpayments collected via a 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, tax credit
One of the great benefits of data stored in an electronic format is that it can be sorted in an endless array of reports. This offers business owners who have invested in accounts software a range of options.
While we wait for the magic-bullets that promise to reduce the impact of COVID – vaccines etc – should we be exploring ways to exchange goods and services with our suppliers and customers?
Barter is defined as: the exchange of goods and services
It is unlikely that hospitality venues will be open to all-comers for the festive season, which closes down our options to celebrate Christmas and New Year with family, friends and work colleagues. If the present lock-down is effective, from 5 November to 2 December, perhaps there will be sufficient elbow room for limited access to
As well as filing accounts with Companies House, there is an important requirement to check that the information Companies House has about your company is correct. This is facilitated by the filing of an annual company confirmation statement. The
A Partnership is a relatively simple way for two or more persons (or legal entities) to set up and run a business together with a view to profit. Partnerships can take many forms. Legal persons other than individuals can also be partners in a
A capital sum received by an individual in respect of the sale or relinquishment of income derived from their personal activities can sometimes be treated as earned income and chargeable to Income Tax. If this is the case, the amount charged to
A wide variety of grants or subsidies are available to businesses and can be received in addition to their ordinary business income. It is important to identify these contributions and to establish whether they are capital or revenue in
If you are an employer and looking to give a small Christmas bonus to your employees, then your best option is probably to give them a gift. In order to ensure that this is not a taxable gift, it is important to ensure that the trivial benefits in
In today’s precarious business environment many companies are unable to pay their debts. If this happens, your creditors can ultimately apply to the court to get their debts paid. This can be done either by getting a court judgement or making an
If you are in business as a self-employed sole trader or as part of a partnership, there may be occasions when you are required to pay Capital Gains Tax (CGT). CGT is normally charged at a flat rate of 20% on the amount of ‘profit’ or ‘gain’.
HMRC has published a news release to remind taxpayers that there is now less than 100 days to file their 2019-20, Self-Assessment tax return. Last year over 11 million taxpayers were required to complete a tax return, but over 958,000 taxpayers
The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson speaking at a press conference on Saturday night, 31 October 2020, confirmed widespread expectations of a second national lockdown in England to help stem the growing resurgence of the coronavirus. The Government was
If you pay Income Tax at the basic rate no additional relief is due on your charitable donations. However, if you are a higher rate or additional rate taxpayer then you can claim tax relief on the difference between the basic rate and your highest
Since 18 September 2020, many designated venues in England have been required to enforce the rule of 6. The ‘rule of 6’ bans any social gathering of more than 6 people, except under limited circumstances such as if a single household or support
The CJRS or furlough scheme ended on 31 October 2020 and has been replaced by the Job Support Scheme (JSS). This JSS has been designed to help businesses and employees deal with a fresh spike of the virus and a winter of uncertainty.
The Help to Buy equity loans scheme is open to both first-time buyers and home movers on new-build homes in England with a purchase price up to £600,000. The Help to Buy equity loans provide a low-interest loan towards the deposit. The loan is