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DVLA car scam

22 Jun, 2017

The Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) is warning the public of what appears to be a number of widespread scams targeting members of the public using emails, texts and telephone calls. These communications are supposedly sent from the DVLA and in some cases, include links to a lookalike DVLA online website.

The BBC’s Watchdog programme has also tweeted a link to a fake email which looked like it was from the DVLA.

The email states:

Are you claiming the NIC employment allowance?

22 Jun, 2017

For some time now, employers have been able to reduce their Class 1 NI contributions that relate to their employment of staff. The relevant relief, the employment allowance, is worth up to £3,000 per year and is available to most businesses and charities to be offset against their employer's Class 1 NIC bill.

Claiming the allowance is fairly straight forward, all that is required is a tick in the relevant box in your payroll software.

Should you be using the VAT Cash Accounting Scheme?

22 Jun, 2017

The VAT Cash Accounting Scheme (CAS) can offer important benefits to certain small businesses. Under the standard VAT accounting scheme, VAT is payable on sales whether or not the customer has paid and can lead to claims for Bad Debt Relief. With the CAS no VAT needs to be paid over to HMRC until the customer has paid for his goods / services. Using the CAS will help protect your cash flow if the amounts owed to your business by customers consistently exceeds the amounts owed to your suppliers.

Using your own car for business purposes

22 Jun, 2017

Employees who use their own car at work for business purposes can, under certain circumstances, be paid a tax-free allowance by their employers. This includes the use of their own van, motorcycle or bike. It is important to note that this tax-free allowance does not include journeys to and from work but for other business related mileage.

How will your business be affected by Making Tax Digital?

22 Jun, 2017

The introduction of Making Tax Digital (MTD) will fundamentally change the way companies, the self-employed and landlords interact with HMRC. The new regime will require businesses and individuals to register, file, pay and update their information using a new online tax account.

Gifts to a charity or your spouse

22 Jun, 2017

There is usually no Capital Gains Tax (CGT) to be paid on the gift of assets between married couples and civil partners. However, there is still a disposal that has taken place for CGT purposes, effectively, at no gain or loss on the date of the transfer. When the asset ultimately comes to be sold, the gain or loss will be calculated using the base cost when the asset was first owned by the spouse or civil partner making the gift.

Are we seeing the end of tax-free benefits?

22 Jun, 2017

There have been changes to the tax rules for certain Benefits in Kind which are provided as part of salary sacrifice schemes. These changes, which started coming into effect in April of this year, are beginning to have an impact on certain tax-free benefits provided to employees. The new rules effectively remove any Income Tax and employer NIC advantages and treat continued use of the benefits provided as if they were part of salary. 

There are transitional rules, they are:

Main Residence Nil Rate Band

15 Jun, 2017

The impact of Inheritance Tax has been reduced recently for families that own their own home. HMRC has introduced a new relief, the Inheritance Tax main residence nil-rate band (RNRB), which came into effect on 6 April 2017.

The RNRB is a transferable allowance, that is available to the estates of both parties in a marriage or civil partnership, when their main residence is passed down to a direct descendent: for example, their children or grandchildren. The RNRB is available in addition to the existing £325,000 Inheritance Tax nil-rate band (NRB) threshold.

VAT Flat Rate Scheme – limited cost traders

15 Jun, 2017

The VAT Flat Rate Scheme (FRS) was introduced to ease the process of calculating and submitting VAT returns for smaller businesses - the FRS is only available to businesses that expect their annual taxable turnover in the next 12 months to be no more than £150,000 (exc VAT). VAT due for each quarter is calculated as the VAT inclusive turnover multiplied by a relevant percentage rate.

Benefits filing deadline approaching

15 Jun, 2017

Employers are reminded that the deadline for submitting the 2016-17 forms P11D, P11D(b) and P9D is 6 July 2017. P11D forms are used to provide information to HMRC on certain benefits and expenses that employees and directors receive during the tax year: such as company cars, loans and private medical insurance.

Employers making online submissions will need to correct any problems with the forms before filing electronically. Employers who submit paper forms with errors will have to re-submit when corrected and may exceed filing deadlines.

Post-election comment

15 Jun, 2017

The recent election result has certainly thrown the cat amongst the pigeons.

There are already indications that the Queen’s speech and the start of Brexit negotiations may be delayed, this mainly due to extended negotiations to agree support for the Conservatives with minority groups, at present the DUP.

Manifesto pledges that may be removed from the Queen's speech includes:

Using the trivial benefits exemption

15 Jun, 2017

The trivial benefits in kind (BiK) regime came into effect in April 2016. This statutory exemption applies to small non-cash benefits like a bottle of wine or a bouquet of flowers given occasionally to employees or any other benefit in kind classed as 'trivial' that falls within the exemption.

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