New tax on global digital businesses

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To try and ensure that digital businesses pay tax that reflects the value they derive from UK users, the government has announced that it will introduce a Digital Services Tax (DST) which will raise £1.5bn over four years from April 2020. The DST applies a 2% tax on the revenues of specific digital business models […]

EU adopts proposal to cut VAT on e-books

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The Professional Publishers Association (PPA) has welcomed an EU decision to reduce VAT on online publications, including electronic books, newspapers and periodicals. At present, electronically supplied services such as digital publications are taxed at the standard VAT rate, which in the UK is 20%. This contrasts with traditional media, which is zero-rated. The directive, which […]

Brexit: Risks for UK and EU companies

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With less than six months until the exit, the main risks areas businesses may face are as follows: 1. Cyber-attacks: future cooperation between the UK and EU on this issue remains uncertain. No deal will have a knock-on effect on security. Businesses are concerned that the future involvement of the UK in organisations such as the […]

Bizarre excuses given for late Companies House filings

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An erupting volcano and a paper-eating goat are just two of the unusual explanations provided by directors for their inability to file their company accounts on time, according to this year’s analysis by Companies House of the most unusual excuses it received. Other reasons given for not meeting the deadline included the filer finding his […]

Small charities failing to provide accurate financial data

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According to a Charity Commission survey, not enough small charities are providing correct information in their annual returns because too many are relying on someone with insufficient knowledge of their organisation’s accounts, leading to errors. In a review of a sample of charities, 38% of charities with incomes below £25,000 per annum were found to […]

Childcare vouchers deadline 4 October 2018

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The Government will withdraw the tax and National Insurance relief associated with childcare vouchers for brand new applicants from 4 October 2018, with Tax-Free Childcare (TFC) providing help with childcare costs instead. For anyone who has not claimed childcare vouchers yet, it means they need to join in time for their employer to action their […]

Brexit uncertainty hits future planning at businesses

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Lack of clarity around the Brexit process is hitting preparations for business after the UK leaves the EU, with only a third of finance professionals in large businesses reporting their organisation has started scenario planning and just 20% of those in small organisations, according to a poll. Around eight out of 10 of the respondents […]

HMRC outlines ‘no deal’ preparations for EU-only UK traders

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HMRC has written to 145,000 VAT-registered businesses across the UK, including Northern Ireland, which only trade with the EU, explaining changes to customs, excise and VAT in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit, which would require them to complete customs declarations for the first time. While HMRC stresses that it is ‘unlikely’ the UK […]

UK employees less ethical than European counterparts

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UK employees seem to take a more lenient approach than the average European employee to questionable workplace practices, according to a survey by the Institute of Business Ethics which found that 38% believe petty fiddling is inevitable in a modern organisation compared to 30% of their European counterparts. The survey sought to establish whether employees […]

HMRC update guidance on paying the Apprenticeship Levy

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HMRC have updated guidance on how to allocate the apprenticeship levy allowance across multiple PAYE schemes and/or connected companies and charities. Pay Apprenticeship Levy explains when the apprenticeship levy needs to be paid and how to report payments. The guidance has been updated at the section about ‘how to allocate your allowance’. The apprenticeship levy […]

Government outlines VAT implications if no Brexit deal

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The Government has set out the VAT implications for businesses in the event of a “no-deal” Brexit. For most UK businesses there will be no change to the VAT rules.There will, however, need to be some specific changes to VAT rules and procedures applying to transactions between the UK and EU member states. The key […]

HMRC late payment interest rates revised

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On 2 August 2018, the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee voted unanimously to increase the Bank of England base rate to 0.75%. HMRC interest rates are linked to the Bank of England base rate and, as a consequence of the change, HMRC interest rates for late payment have also increased.  These changes came into […]

Ask Alexa to contact HMRC for help

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HMRC has launched new and innovative technology to help more than 3 million customers renew their tax credits. HMRC has developed a customer-focused service through Amazon Alexa specifically for those seeking help with their tax credits renewals. Customers with Amazon Alexa-enabled devices can ask Alexa to ‘open HMRC’ and ask for help and information with […]

Valuing an unlisted business

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If you are looking to sell your business, you will need to know what it is worth. There are various valuation methods however when valuing a business for sale to continue trading, typically a value model is something like this: Expected future annual profit before tax (HMRC require this to be provable by reference to […]

Ebay and Amazon pledge to assist with VAT compliance

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The growth in online e-commerce is an important part of the UK economy but has also created opportunities for abuse of the VAT system. HMRC have asked for the assistance of online market place companies to help them identify online trader who may not be complying with the requirement to register for VAT. Ebay and […]

Classifying food and drink expenditure

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The subject of classifying food and drink expenditure is a tricky area, not helped by HMRC’s vague guidance on the matter. There are VAT and corporation tax consequences depending on what classification you use so it is important to get it right. Generally, food and drink expenses incurred by a business can be categorised into […]

GDPR

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The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force on the 25 May 2018. It’s a single set of rules that is designed to protect the privacy of individuals in their private, professional or public life. The regulation will change the way personal data can be collected, used and transferred. Businesses will need to know […]

BBC presenter loses IR35 appeal

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HMRC has won the first in a series of appeals concerning the application of employment intermediaries legislation to BBC television presenters, after a first tier tribunal decided that IR35 applied to the arrangements under which the BBC contracted a presenter of the regional news programme, Look North. The appeal concerned the BBC engaging presenters through […]

Worker status

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Employment law has developed to acknowledge that some individuals are not self-employed or employed, but are “workers” with some limited employment rights.  In tax law there are still only two statuses: employed or self-employed.  If an individual is a worker for employment law they are likely, but not necessarily, they will be self-employed for tax […]

Invest in EIS or Seed EIS qualifying companies

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Before 6 April 2018, individuals may invest in companies that qualify under the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) and treat that investment as having been made in 2016/17. The tax relief is 30% of the amount invested.  So a £20,000 investment can reduce the 2016/17 tax liability by £6,000. Investing in a Seed EIS qualifying company […]

Does your accounts system comply with MTD for VAT?

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Making Tax Digital (MTD) for VAT is scheduled to start in April 2019 which means that your VAT information needs to be submitted to HMRC digitally. On 18 December 2017, HMRC published draft legislation together with examples of how the business account records might link with the HMRC computer in order to comply with MTD […]

Tax relief for energy saving technology

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For a number of years there has been a generous 100% tax break for businesses that install energy saving technology in their premises. This is in addition to the £200,000 annual investment allowance for plant and machinery. The technology that qualifies for this 100% tax break includes energy efficient boilers and energy saving lighting systems. […]

Pension Planning

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For most taxpayers the maximum pension contribution is £40,000 each tax year, although this depends on their earnings. This limit covers both contributions by the individual and their employer. Note that the unused allowance for a particular tax year may be carried forward for three years and can be added to the relief for the […]

Fixed Rate Mileage for Property Businesses

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From 6 April 2018, unincorporated property businesses can now use a fixed rate mileage rate for business journeys by car, motor vehicle or goods vehicle as an alternative to claiming capital allowances and actual expenses. This information is courtesy of 2020 As with all of our tax tips and web pages this information is necessarily […]

Training Costs

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It is long established that training costs learning new skills is not tax deductible for self-employed.  This is because costs of learning new skills is deemed by HMRC to be capital not revenue expense. The government are now consulting on extending the scope of tax relief currently available for work-related training costs. As with all […]

What to consider when deciding which type of trading entity to use

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Should I be trading as a sole trader, partnership, limited liability partnership (LLP), company limited by shares, company limited by guarantee or a Community Interest Company (CIC)? There are a series of issues that need to be considered when deciding which type of trading entity to use: What is the expected profit of the business […]

Good Governance Is Good For Business

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Good governance is not about making the right decisions but about ensuring there is a good decision-making process used in the business. In a large enterprise, the management board will have a team who are charged with ensuring the firm adheres to the principles of good corporate governance as is expected of a large organisation. […]

Business vs Non Business for VAT input tax claim

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When an entity has both business and non-business activities input tax claims may need to be apportioned to allow for this split. A case has highlighted that other objectives or long timescales do not necessarily have any impact of how such claims should be apportioned. In this case a charity acquired land which was used […]

Making Tax Digital

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Making Tax Digital will be mandatory for VAT purposes from April 2019. From then, businesses with a turnover above the VAT threshold (currently £85,000) will have to:    Keep their records digitally – for VAT purposes only    Provide their VAT return information to HMRC through MTD-compatible software. Other businesses will be able to adopt […]

Off-payroll working

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HMRC has updated its guidance the intermediaries legislation (IR35) to clarify that the IR35 rules may apply if an agency, umbrella company or similar third-party supplies a worker by engaging their company rather than the individual directly. The new guidance can be found here. As with all of our tax tips and web pages this […]

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