Insights

Firm foundations for a new tax relief

Question.   Can you explain to me the new capital allowances relief announced in Budget 2018?   Answer.   One of the few surprises in Budget 2018 was the introduction with immediate effect of a new class of capital allowances – Structure and Buildings Allowances (SBAs). In outline, SBAs will provide relief on a straight-line basis for qualifying expenditure on new non-residential structures and buildings incurred on or after 29 ...

The dividend versus bonus debate

Question.   I’ve decided to pay my employees and shareholders a January bonus or a dividend as a thank you for all their hard work in 2018. Given the tax advantages of dividend payments I’m wondering whether I should be considering bonuses at all or whether I should just pay everyone a dividend? Are there any pitfalls in paying dividends instead of bonuses?   Answer.   The dividend versus bonus debate ...

The tax minefield of giving a property to my daughter

Question.   A few years ago, my wife and I bought an apartment in Belfast for my daughter to live in. As she was only just starting work we bought it in our names. We would now like to transfer it into her name when the five-year fixed period for the mortgage completes, so that she can take it on in her own name. Will there be ...

Pay your tax bill early. It might be helpful!

Question.   I am employed by a large local business but I complete a tax return each year because I have a portfolio of rental properties that I declare each year. I have additional tax to pay of c£2k on each year. Each year my accountant completes my tax return in January and I pay the tax to HMRC. Can I spread these payments?   Answer.   For those completing ...

R&D Tax Relief

Question.   What does my business have to do to qualify for Research & Development tax relief and how is this tax relief given?   Answer.   The government’s Research & Development tax relief incentive allows companies to claim additional tax savings on the research costs they incur. The enhanced relief was established to encourage innovation in the UK however many innovative companies are still not claiming it. The relief can ...

The Shadow Economy

Question.   I am struggling to pay my business bills and I believe that some of my competitors may not be registered with HMRC and pay no tax. How do they get away with this?   Answer.   There have always been and there always will be traders who trade away and pay no form of taxation on their income/profit. In the past these people may have got away unnoticed ...

How to save money on your staff Christmas party

Question.   I would like to treat my employees to a Christmas dinner as a thank you for their hard work and commitment this year. Can I claim the costs for this as a business expense and are there any implications for the employees?   Answer.   This is a very common question at this time of year as we enter the season to be jolly in more ways than one ...

Employers to be caught by PAYE and NIC for contractors

Question.   I run a small business and I use a number of consultants who operate through their own companies. I have read in the recent Budget that I may need to treat these consultants as employees and deduct PAYE and NIC. Is this correct?   Answer.   Chancellor Philip Hammond revealed in his Budget 2018 speech that the Government intends to extend the 2017 public sector off-payroll working or ...

What the Chancellor did with relief for entrepreneurs

Question.   The chancellor announced changes to Entrepreneur’s Tax Relief in the recent Budget. Will the changes have an impact on my ability to claim the reduced 10% capital gains tax rate if I disposal of a business asset? Also, will the changes have an impact on the tax I will have to pay if I sell shares in my trading company?   Answer.   In the budget announcements last month ...

Breaking down the Budget

In a Budget speech lasting over one hour, the Chancellor appeared to present a giveaway Budget to UK taxpayers. However on closer inspection, some of the headline grabbing measures are indeed temporary. in particular, the increase in the annual investment allowance and the one third cut to business rates for certain retail properties. Indeed, having moved the UK Budget to the Autumn time, in his ...