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Longer or shorter company accounting periods

20 Dec, 2017

Companies often have to contend with having two different company accounting periods. This is because there are different rules for Companies House filings and submissions to HMRC, for corporation tax purposes.

The accounting periods can be the same but can also differ and a change may need to be made to ‘sync’ the accounting periods. As a general rule, the Companies House rules are more flexible and under certain circumstances it is possible to make a change to the year end. The Companies House accounting period can sometimes run for more or less than 12 months.

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

Simplified cash basis for unincorporated landlords

20 Dec, 2017

The cash basis scheme helps sole traders and other unincorporated businesses benefit from a simpler way of managing their financial affairs. The scheme was extended to landlords from April this year with many expected to benefit from the savings in administrative burdens. The scheme is not open to limited companies and limited liability partnerships.

Changes to the basic disclosure process

20 Dec, 2017

From January 2018, the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) is making some important changes to the basic disclosure process relating to criminal record checks. From next month, individuals who need to obtain a basic disclosure check for a job in England and Wales should apply to the DBS, not to Disclosure Scotland. Up until now, individuals in England and Wales have had to apply for basic disclosure to Disclosure Scotland.

VAT rules for retailers using online marketplaces

20 Dec, 2017

Under new rules that came into force last year, HMRC has the power to force overseas retailers to appoint a UK-based VAT representative or to provide a financial guarantee. These rules currently apply to overseas retailers that supply goods already in the UK at the point of sale, to UK consumers through an online marketplace (such as eBay or Amazon).

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 is reasonable care from a tax point of view?

13 Dec, 2017

The tax penalty system is intended to make penalties simpler to understand and more consistent across many taxes. The penalties can range from 0% where reasonable care is taken, but nonetheless an incorrect return is submitted up to 100% of the tax where an error is deliberate, and the taxpayer attempts to conceal it.

Tax is changing in Wales next year

13 Dec, 2017

From next April, Wales will join Scotland in becoming responsible for some of the taxes paid locally. This will begin with the introduction of the new Welsh land transaction tax (LTT) which will replace the UK stamp duty land tax (SDLT) as well as the new landfill disposals tax (LDT) which will replace landfill tax. These changes will mark the first time that the Welsh have taken control of their own taxes for more than 800 years.

Coventry named UK City of Culture for 2021

13 Dec, 2017

In a boost for the Midlands economy, Coventry has been named UK City of Culture 2021. The announcement was made by the Minister for Arts, Heritage and Tourism, John Glen after Coventry beat four other cities that were in the running.

When you can’t claim employment allowance

13 Dec, 2017

The employment allowance of £3,000 per year is available to most businesses and charities and can be used to be offset against their employers Class 1 NIC bill. The allowance can be claimed as part of the normal payroll process.

An employer can claim less than the maximum if this covers their total Class 1 NIC bill. Eligible employers that have not yet done so can still claim for the current 2017-18 tax year (as well as make a backdated claim for one further tax year).

Selling your business – 10% tax may apply to sale

13 Dec, 2017

Entrepreneurs' relief applies to the sale of a business, shares in a trading company or an individual’s interest in a trading partnership. Where entrepreneurs' relief is available CGT of 10% is payable rather than the normal main rate of 20%. This can significantly reduce the amount of CGT due and there is a £10 million lifetime limit.

The lifetime limit means that individuals can qualify for the relief more than once, subject to the overriding condition that 20% CGT will be charged once the total amount of qualifying capital gains exceed £10 million.

Spring Statement 2018

07 Dec, 2017

The Chancellor, Philip Hammond has announced that he will deliver his Spring Statement to the House of Commons on Tuesday, 13 March 2018.

This will be the first Spring Statement to take place following the government’s decision to switch to a new cycle with the annual Budget taking place in the autumn and the annual Statement taking place in the spring.

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