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Reduction in dividend allowance confirmed

13 Sep, 2017

Now that the second Finance Bill of 2017 has been published, we finally have confirmation that a number of measures announced earlier this year are to be included on the statute books. These measures were cut from the first Finance Bill of 2017 due to the snap election.

These measures includes confirmation that the reduction in the dividend allowance from £5,000 to £2,000 will come in to effect from April 2018. The £5,000 dividend allowance was introduced in April 2016 and replaced the old dividend tax credit. 

Card transaction disclosures

13 Sep, 2017

HMRC’s Card Transaction Programme is a disclosure opportunity for businesses that accept card payments and have not paid the right amount of tax due. The disclosure opportunity has been widened to also allow businesses that accept cash payments to also use the scheme. The campaign offers the opportunity for affected businesses to bring their affairs up to date and in doing so take advantage of the best possible terms.

New Finance Bill published

06 Sep, 2017

Before the summer recess, the government confirmed that a new Finance Bill would be introduced as soon as possible after the summer recess. The House of Commons returned to Westminster on 5 September 2017.

Tax relief and goodwill

06 Sep, 2017

Goodwill is usually defined as the ‘extra’ value attributable to a business over and above its tangible assets.

What are VAT records and how long should you keep them?

06 Sep, 2017

There are distinct rules that VAT registered businesses must follow regarding retention of VAT records.

Records include:

  • a record of sales and purchases, and
  • a separate VAT account.

Generally, a business must keep VAT business records for at least 6 years (or 10 years if they use the VAT MOSS service). By special permission, HMRC may allow you to keep some records for a shorter period. For example, if the 6-year rule causes you serious storage problems or undue expense.

Self-employed NIC increase

06 Sep, 2017

Class 2 National Insurance Contributions (NICs) are currently paid by self-employed taxpayers and members of partnerships if their annual profits exceed £6,025. Class 2 NICs are payable at a flat weekly rate currently, £2.85. Class 2 NICs count towards benefits such as the basic State Pension, the employment and support allowance, maternity allowance and bereavement benefits.

Auto-enrolment penalties sky-rocket

06 Sep, 2017

Automatic enrolment for workplace pensions was instigated to encourage employees to start making provision for their retirement with employers also contributing to make a larger pension pot.

The timetable for employers to begin enrolling their staff started with the UK’s largest businesses in 2012, followed by medium, and then small and micro companies. By the end of March this year over 7 million workers had been automatically enrolled into a workplace pension, it is expected that all employers will be part of the scheme by the end of February next year.

HMRC accepts changes to R & D claims

06 Sep, 2017

HMRC recently announced a deadline for accepting amended claims for Research and Development (R&D) tax credits. This specific opportunity relates to claims to include eligible reimbursed employee expenses as part of qualifying staff costs. Only staffing costs of directors or employees directly and actively engaged in the relevant R&D can be considered.

Update child benefit and child tax credit details

06 Sep, 2017

Taxpayers in receipt of child benefit and child tax credits payments should be aware that HMRC can stop making payments on the 31 August following a child’s 16th Birthday.

Corporate governance reforms announced

05 Sep, 2017

The government has issued its response to its consultation which started in November 2016 on corporate governance reform. Its response document sets out proposals for a “world-leading package” of corporate governance reforms which it now intends to take forward to increase boardroom accountability and enhance the public’s trust in business. The key reforms are:

Failing to prevent facilitation of tax evasion

05 Sep, 2017

A new corporate offence of failing to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion will come into force on 30 September 2017 under the Criminal Finances Act 2017.

VAT – beware the default surcharge

30 Aug, 2017

A default surcharge is a penalty levied on businesses that submit late VAT returns. VAT registered businesses are required by law to submit their returns and make sure that payment of the VAT due has cleared to HMRC’s bank account by the due date.

There is no penalty for a first offence, however a business that submits a VAT return late is issued with a surcharge liability notice that begins on the date of the notice and ends twelve months from the end of the latest period in default.

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