Insights

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 ...

Time is running out to file your paper tax return

Question.   I am a retired business owner and I have always submitted my personal tax return on paper to HMRC. I have read that the implementation of Making Tax Digital may remove the paper filing option. Will HMRC accept my paper tax return if I file it before the 31st October 2018 deadline?   Answer.   The days of the paper tax return could well be numbered as HMRC begins ...

The HMRC Let Property Campaign for landlords not paying their taxes

Question.   I own a couple of residential properties and I have just received a letter from HMRC asking me to make sure I disclose my income and expenses in relation to let residential properties. What is the Let Property Campaign and how do I avail of it?   Answer.   HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is continuing to issue letters to resident and non-resident landlords across the UK whom ...

R&D tax incentives should not be ignored

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 ...

Childcare vouchers deadline fast approaching

Question.   Our first child was born recently and I have received information in relation to childcare vouchers and I note a new scheme, Tax Free Childcare, has commenced but I can still register for the old scheme. Can you explain these schemes to me?   Answer.   The Government will withdraw the tax and national insurance relief associated with childcare vouchers for brand new applicants from 4 October 2018, with ...

What workplace perks do I pay tax on?

Question.   My small business has got bigger over the years and I am keen to reward my loyal workforce with any tax free benefits that are available. Can you tell me what employer benefits are taxable and which are not?   Answer.   Today the remuneration of many directors and employees comprises a package of salary and benefits. Essentially two tests must be applied in determining the tax implications of ...

Salary or dividend – what’s best when you work for the family firm?

Question.   Should I pay myself a dividend from my family company or am I better paying myself a salary?   Answer.   As a shareholder in a company it is possible to take advantage of a number of tax planning opportunities which are not available to other business structures. Many entrepreneurs take a mix of salary, bonus and dividend.   One of the main benefits of extracting profits by way of dividend ...

Before your year ends

Question.   I have a small family business that is operated through a limited company with a 30 September year end. With less than a month to go to our year end, are there any things that I should be attending to?   Answer.   As a director of and shareholder in a limited company there are many items that you should attend to before your year end. A couple of ...

Warning to disclose unpaid offshore tax or face severe penalties

Question.   I read somewhere that HMRC have provided an opportunity for taxpayers to disclose offshore tax liabilities before the end of September or face much stiffer penalties. What is this opportunity and what happens if a taxpayer doesn’t meet this deadline?   Answer.   Taxpayers have only a few weeks left to disclose undeclared offshore tax liabilities to HMRC or risk a stiff penalty. Taxpayers who need to make a ...

What business clothes can I include in my expenses?

Question.   I work as a consultant in a specialist and high risk sector and I wear my own protective clothing when I am visiting manufacturing plants. Am I allowed to claim the cost of these clothes that I wear to work?   Answer.   The purchase of general clothing is not an allowable deduction for tax, as it could be worn for non-work purposes – the fact that you ...