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Can we claim for marketing, entertainment and subscription costs?

10 Jan, 2018

The self-employed are often concerned if an expense is allowable or not for tax purposes. In this article, we will briefly look at the rules for claiming marketing, entertainment and subscription costs.

Most marketing expenses are treated as allowable business expenses. This includes advertising in newspapers or directories, bulk mail advertising (mail shots), providing free samples and website costs.

The cost of entertaining clients, suppliers and customers or event hospitality in relation to the business is not treated as an allowable business expense.

Changes to approved English apprenticeships

08 Jan, 2018

The Apprenticeships (Miscellaneous Provisions) Regulations 2017, which only apply in relation to England, will come into force on 15 January 2018. The new Regulations:

Fair payment practices for small businesses

03 Jan, 2018

In October 2017, Paul Uppal (a former Conservative MP and entrepreneur) was appointed to the newly-established post of Small Business Commissioner (SBC) based in Birmingham. At the time, it was estimated that the office of the SBC would be operational by the end of 2017. The SBC is an independent public body and covers the whole of the UK - England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Pre-owned assets income tax charge

03 Jan, 2018

The pre-owned assets (POA) income tax charge was introduced in the Finance Act 2004 and the first year in which a POA charge could arise was back in 2005-6. The POA charge is effectively a tax on individuals who have given certain types of assets away but who continue to enjoy either full or partial benefits from the assets. The charge was introduced to help combat the problem of inheritance tax schemes that sought to remove large chunks of an estate from the inheritance tax net. The POA charge can apply to arrangements that were in place as far back as March 1986.

Beware iTunes gift card scam

03 Jan, 2018

HMRC is warning members of the public of a worrying iTunes gift card scam. The fraudsters are cold calling victims purporting to work for HMRC and warning them that they owe HMRC large amounts of tax which they can only pay off using digital vouchers and gift cards, including those used for Apple’s iTunes Store.

Victims are told to go to a local shop, buy these vouchers, and then read out the redemption code to the scammer who remains on the line the whole time. These scammers are ruthless and prey on elderly and vulnerable members of society.

VAT when business transferred as a going concern

03 Jan, 2018

The transfer of a business as a going concern (TOGC) rules concern the possible VAT liability resulting from the sale of a business. Normally the sale of the assets of a VAT registered or VAT registerable business will be subject to VAT at the appropriate rate.

However, where the sale of a business includes specific assets and meets certain conditions the sale will be categorised as a TOGC. A TOGC is defined as 'neither a supply of goods nor a supply of services' and is therefore outside the scope of VAT and no VAT is chargeable.

Planning note

Relief if you let and then sell your home

03 Jan, 2018

One of the most often used and valuable of the capital gains tax (CGT) exemptions concerns the sale of the family home. As a general rule there is no CGT on a property which has been used as the main family residence. An investment property which has never been used will not qualify. This relief from CGT is commonly known as private residence relief.

Taxpayers are usually entitled to full relief from CGT where all the following conditions are met:

Staircase tax to be reversed

03 Jan, 2018

The Government has announced that the business rates anomaly known as the ‘staircase tax’ is to be axed. The 'staircase tax' affects businesses that operate in adjoining units or rooms, but are accessed from a communal lift, corridor or staircase. For example, a business that has offices on two floors of a building that are accessed via a communal staircase. Such businesses are unfairly treated as they presently pay rates as if occupying two totally separate properties.

Tax Diary January/February 2018

02 Jan, 2018

1 January 2018 - Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 31 March 2017.

19 January 2018 - PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 January 2018. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 January 2018)

19 January 2018 - Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly return for the month ended 5 January 2018.

19 January 2018 - CIS tax deducted for the month ended 5 January 2018 is payable by today.

Benefits of letting furnished holiday property

20 Dec, 2017

The furnished holiday let (FHL) rules allow holiday lettings of properties that meet certain conditions to be treated as a trade for some specific tax purposes. The FHL rules currently apply to individuals, partnerships, trustees and companies who let furnished holiday accommodation situated within the UK or elsewhere in the European Economic Area (EEA). The EEA includes Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

Salary sacrifice changes from April 2018

20 Dec, 2017

The tax and NIC advantages of certain benefits provided as part of a salary sacrifice arrangement were removed from 6 April 2017. The new rules effectively remove the Income Tax and employer NIC advantages of certain benefits provided as part of salary sacrifice arrangements such as mobile phones and workplace parking.

What are VAT special schemes?

20 Dec, 2017

There are three main VAT schemes available to small businesses:

  • The flat rate scheme
  • The annual accounting scheme
  • The cash accounting scheme

The Flat Rate Scheme

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