News

For Better Or Worse

Question. We are selling a property which used to be our family home, but it has been let out to tenants for the last five years. Are we entitled to capital gains tax relief? Answer. One of the tax benefits of marriage used to be the previous ‘married man’s allowance’. In 1988 however, the then Chancellor Nigel Lawson finally struck a blow for women’s rights not seen since ...

Are you paying your employees enough?

Question. As an employer, I have heard that there are new national minimum wage limits being introduced. How do I ensure I comply with these and what can I do to correct an underpayment to an employee? Answer. From the 1 October 2015 the adult rate of the National Minimum Wage will rise by 20 pence from £6.50 to £6.70 per hour and there is a further increase ...

The settlement of undeclared tax liabilities under favourable terms

Question. I have recently approached an accountancy firm to discuss a disclosure of income that I need to make to HMRC. The disclosure relates to overseas bank interest, undeclared income dating back to the 1980s and capital gains tax on the disposal of a property in Dublin in 2000. My accountant advised me that HMRC can go back 20 years to review my tax affairs. I ...

Tax on the Family Home

Question: We are selling a property which used to be our family home, but it has been let out to tenants for the last five years. Are we entitled to capital gains tax relief? Answer: If you have previously lived in the property you are selling or giving away, you are able to claim ‘principal private residence relief’ (PPR) and reduce the amount of capital gains ...

New powers to directly collect unpaid tax

Question. I have heard that HMRC have received new powers to collect unpaid tax direct from a taxpayers bank account. In what circumstances can they do this?  Answer. George Osborne first announced in the 2014 Budget that he would be giving HMRC the power to collect debts directly from taxpayers’ bank accounts. The legislation included in the Finance Bill 2015–16 does not include all of the ...

Inheritance tax changes to the family home

Question. My motivation is to build up assets with the aim of passing them on to my children and my grandchildren without needing to worry about inheritance tax. I heard that there is an increased nil-rate band when my family home is passed on to my children on my death. What is the impact of these changes? Answer. Currently, Inheritance Tax (IHT) is charged at a rate ...

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Changes to make national insurance payments for self employed easier

Question. I’ve just gone self-employed. How do I go about paying my stamp?  Answer. The self-employed pay 2 types of National Insurance Contributions (NIC): Class 4 which is dependent upon the level of profits and is collected via the tax return Class 2 which is a fixed amount Currently Class 2 NIC are billed six monthly or taken via a monthly direct debit. From April 2015, both of these methods will ...

Reporting standards for small firms simplified

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has introduced new accounting standards designed to simplify reporting for small and micro businesses. Micro businesses will now have to report to a different standard than small businesses under the new FRS 105, while small businesses will also have to adjust to a new set of standards. The FRC’s changes are largely a response to the EU Accounting Directive which significantly increased ...

Summer Budget Report 2015

‘A BIG BUDGET FOR A COUNTRY WITH BIG AMBITIONS’ The first Conservative budget in 18 years has been delivered by the Chancellor George Osborne. Figures from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) provided a positive backdrop to the second Budget Statement in 4 months. Economic growth in 2014 was revised upwards from 2.6 percent to 3 percent and the OBR now predicts output to grow 2.4 percent ...