Uber loses landmark case over workers rights

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Uber has lost a landmark case over worker rights, entitling UK drivers to minimum wage and sick leave. The Court of Appeal upheld a 2016 ruling, refuting the ride-hailing app’s claim that its drivers are self-employed. Earlier this week, the government said that it would look into workplace policies to help preserve gig economy jobs. […]

Iceland supermarket accused of breaching minimum wage rules

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A savings scheme to help lceland staff save for Christmas could end up costing the supermarket at least £21m, after it was accused of breaching minimum wage rules.The scheme allows low-paid staff to have a sum deducted from their weekly paypacket and placed into a separate account, to be returned on demand, usually at Christmas. HM Revenue […]

Skills to learn for the future of work according to the World Economic Forum

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Having a good memory or a strong command of maths may have once rated high on your list of professional skills. But now that devices handle those tasks, the World Economic Forum is urging workers to skill up for the future. Analytical thinking, initiative and ideation will overtake manual dexterity, time management and speaking abilities. Managers may […]

How are Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies or cryptoassets taxed in the UK?

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In December 2018 HMRC published guidance on the taxation of cryptoassets. HMRC confirms that: Most investors will be subject to Capital Gains Tax on gains and losses.. It will be rare for investment in cryptoassets to be regarded as trading, although ‘mining’ is likely to indicate a trading activity. A capital loss may be claimed […]

Renewable power generation in the UK reached a record high in 2018

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A third of all energy generated in the UK last year was from renewable sources, according to climate research and news site Carbon Brief. Drawn from UK government data, the analysis found electricity generated from fossil fuels fell to a record low. The UK has cut its carbon emissions by more than 43% since 1990, but is still not […]

Getting tax relief sooner when you donate to a charity

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Claiming higher rate tax relief for charitable donations made. In your Self Assessment tax return, you normally only report things that occurred in the tax year in question.  But for charitable donations, you can also claim tax relief on donations you make in the following tax year up to the date you send your return.  […]

Christmas staff party: what can be claimed?

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A staff party or an annual function qualifies as a tax-free benefit for your employees providing that you meet the following conditions: The total cost must not exceed £150 per head, per year. £150 includes VAT together with any extra costs such as transport and accommodation. The £150 is a limit and not an allowance: if the cost is £151, the whole […]

6 things to do when employing staff

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HMRC lists 6 things you need to do when employing staff for the first time. Decide how much to pay someone – you must pay your employee at least the National Minimum Wage. Check if someone has the legal right to work in the UK. You may have to do other employment checks as well. Apply for a DBS […]

Pensions: how does tax relief work?

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An individual makes their pension contributions out of their taxed and NIC’d income. Most individual pension contributions are made “net of tax”.  The pension scheme will then gross up the payment by claiming 20% tax relief from the government.  So for £80 contributed by the individual, the scheme also gets £20 from government, giving a […]

How you treat your employees will determine the fate of your company

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Business magnate Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, believes that employers should put their employees before their clients. “Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients. Most businesses put customers first while employees are just secondary. Employees are the branches […]

Is there such a thing as too much teamwork?

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Open plan offices and the use of messaging apps have encouraged always-on, constant collaboration at work. But research from Harvard’s Ethan Bernstein suggests that we develop more, and better, solutions to problems when we take occasional breaks from the group so we can ponder on our own. Such intermittent collaboration strikes an ideal balance between […]

Record keeping & tax: what, how and until when?

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Good record keeping is vital, not just to ensure timely and accurate filing of tax returns but also in the event of any challenge by HMRC. Penalties can also be levied if your records are incomplete or inaccurate. Generally, you need to keep sufficient records to support any income or expenses included in a tax […]

Recreational benefits

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An employer can provide sporting or recreational benefits tax-free to: Its employees. Any member of their family and household. Main conditions: Benefit to be available to all staff. Benefit not generally available to the public. Benefit cannot include vehicles, holidays or take place in domestic premises. Unfortunately the exemption excludes membership to public gyms and sports […]

The Circular Economy Model: Reuse, Remanufacture or Recycle

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With August 1 marking Earth Overshoot Day, the point during the year that we will have consumed the ecological resources and services that Earth can regenerate in one year, it is clear that something has to change. The circular economy requires a significant shift in mindset, starting with the design process, which must ensure that […]

ISAs

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ISAs The 2018/19 overall limit for ISAs is £20,000. This can be invested in cash or stocks and shares. Any income or gains arising on the investments will be tax free. As with all of our tax tips and web pages this information is necessarily summarised and of a general nature.  If you would like […]

Transfer income-producing assets to your spouse or civil partner

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Transfer income-producing assets to your spouse or civil partner Transferring assets such as property or quoted investments to a spouse or civil partner is accepted by HMRC provided there is an outright gift with no conditions attached to it. Save income tax on share dividends:  Following the change in how dividends are taxed, it can […]

HMRC update guidance on salary sacrifice for employers

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HMRC’s salary sacrifice guidance has been updated to provide information about the effect of employees changing from childcare vouchers to the new tax-free childcare scheme. Salary sacrifice for employers explains how to set up a salary sacrifice arrangement and calculate tax and National Insurance contributions. The guidance has been updated to add more information about […]

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 […]

Register for 2017-18 self assessment by 5 October

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The deadline for registering for self assessment is 5 October 2018 for the 2017-18 tax year.  If you have registered in the past then no action is needed, the deadline is for new self assessment cases. Anyone submitting a self assessment return for the first time – including higher income child benefit charge (HICBC) taxpayers […]

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 […]

How to tax gains made on cryptocurrencies

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Many people will have heard of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, perhaps Stellar, Tether or Eos and there are thousands of new forms of cryptoasset which are less currency like and can have other attributes which can make them essentially a form of tokens tradable on different platforms worldwide. How do you tax Bitcoin? […]

Checking your pensions savings annual allowance

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HMRC have updated their guidance on the rules for carrying forward the unused pension savings annual allowance, together with a calculator on their website. For most taxpayers the maximum amount of pension savings that qualifies for tax relief each tax year is £40,000. It is possible to increase this amount by utilising unused relief brought […]

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 […]

HMRC publish guidance on pension savings annual allowances

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If pension savings are more than the annual allowance, unused annual allowances from previous years can be brought forward. The annual allowance is the limit on the amount of pension savings that can be made to all pension schemes in a tax year before tax has to be paid on them. Pension savings over the […]

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 […]

Are Spouses Wages Fully Deductible?

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HMRC have recently won a tax tribunal case where they were seeking to challenge the deduction for a wife’s wages in arriving at the profits of her husband’s business. The judge agreed with HMRC that the amount allowed as a deduction should be limited based on the hours spent and appropriate rate for the work […]

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 […]

Pensions – personal or company?

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For owner managers of dividend paying companies there is a marginal tax saving of 1% by making a company (employer) pension contribution compared to a personal pension contribution. For example if your company could pay £12500 into a pension scheme there is no tax charge on you.  There is simply £12500 going into your pension […]

No national insurance rise for the self-employed after all

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Philip Hammond has announced that the planned national insurance rise for the self employed has been scrapped at least for the current parliament.  He has said he will announce how extra funds will be raised in the autumn statement. Meanwhile Theresa May has said the government await the Taylor report on the future of employment.  […]

Budget Update: Corporation Tax Rates

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The Chancellor announced that the Government is committed to continue to have the lowest corporate tax rate of the G20 major trading nations.  As already announced the corporation tax rate reduces to 19% from 1 April 2017 and then to 17% from 1 April 2020.   The Government is also keen to continue to encourage […]

Budget Update: Tax Free Dividend Allowance to be Reduced to £2,000

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The Chancellor has announced measures to limit the rise in tax-driven incorporation. The £5,000 tax free dividend allowance will be reduced to just £2,000 from 6 April 2018. Mr Currently, once the dividend allowance has been used the remaining dividends are taxed at 7.5%, 32.5% and then 38.1% depending upon whether the dividends fall into […]

A note on national insurance and the dividend tax

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The main national insurance rates for small business for the current tax year (up to 5 April 2017) are summarised as follows: A sole trader pays 9% national insurance on profits above £8,060 (reducing to 2% on profits above £43,000) Partners in any partnership, including limited liability partnerships (LLP) also 9% national insurance on profits […]

Tax Free Childcare Accounts To Start 6 April 2017

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New tax-free childcare accounts were announced in 2014 to replace the employer-provided childcare voucher scheme. Introduction has been delayed by legal disputes with organisations involved in administering the existing scheme, but the new accounts will at last be introduced on a trial basis in early 2017. The new scheme will then be rolled out across […]