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Tribunal examines default surcharge appeal

10 Aug, 2016

A recent First-Tier Tribunal case examined an appeal by a taxpayer against a penalty for late submission of a VAT return for the quarter ending 31 October 2014. The penalty was a VAT default surcharge that is levied on businesses that submit late VAT returns. The default surcharge penalty was charged at the highest 15% rate. The VAT payment was due on 7 December 2014, which was a Sunday, and the payment was made one day late on Monday 8 December 2014. The taxpayer's grounds of appeal were that the penalty of £1,283.04 was excessive and unreasonable.

Tax credits online renewals

10 Aug, 2016

Families and individuals that receive tax credits should ensure that they renew their tax credit claims by 31 July 2016. Claimants who do not renew on-time may have their payments stopped. HMRC has begun sending tax credits renewal packs to approximately 5.9 million tax credit claimants. The packs are in the process of being sent and the process is expected to be completed by June.

Bank Corporation Tax surcharge

10 Aug, 2016

In the summer 2015 Budget, the Chancellor announced a new 8% Corporation Tax surcharge on bank profits from the 1 January 2016 in order to maintain a fair contribution from the banks. The profits will be calculated on the same basis as for Corporation Tax, but with some reliefs added back. The reliefs to be added back relate to any group relief for the period from non-banking companies and any relief arising before 1 January 2016.

Gift Aid fraudsters jailed

10 Aug, 2016

The Gift Aid scheme is available to all UK taxpayers and allows for 25p of tax relief on every pound donated to charity. Last year Gift Aid was worth over £1.2bn to UK charities. Higher rate taxpayers are eligible to claim additional tax relief on the difference between the basic rate and their highest rate of tax.

Two men have been found guilty of fraud and money laundering offences after they used the rules of the Gift Aid scheme to perpetrate a fraud. The two men claimed they were trustees and associates of two charities.

Immigration Act 2016 becomes law

10 Aug, 2016

The Immigration Bill completed its passage through Parliament and received Royal Assent on 13 May 2016 to become the Immigration Act 2016. It will now be brought into force through new regulations and this is likely to commence over the next few months. It represents a much tougher government approach to illegal working and, as a result, employers will need to consider whether their current right to work checks are legally compliant.

Its provisions affecting employers include:

Reminder for Scottish taxpayers to check their payslips

10 Aug, 2016

The Low Income Tax Reform Group (LITRG) has issued a press release reminding Scottish taxpayers to check their payslips for 2016-17. Scottish taxpayers should check their PAYE code has the prefix 'S' (for Scottish), for example, a Scottish taxpayer's tax code for 2016-17 could be S1100L.

Pension reforms update

10 Aug, 2016

Major pension reforms came into effect on 6 April 2015. In a recent press release HMRC has confirmed that over 230,000 savers have already taken advantage of the new landmark freedoms to access over £4.3 billion from their pension pots.

The new rules allow those aged 55 and over new opportunities to access their pension pots and new choices as to how to use their defined contributions pension savings. There are three main options available: a lifetime annuity, flexi-access drawdown and a lump sum payment. These options can be used on their own or in combination.

Tax credit reminders from HMRC

10 Aug, 2016

We are now in the midst of the tax credits renewals period. Families and individuals that receive tax credits should ensure that they renew their tax credit claims by 31 July 2016. Claimants who do not renew on-time may have their payments stopped.

Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme consultation

10 Aug, 2016

The Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme (GASDS) allows qualifying charities and Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CASCs) to claim a top-up equivalent to Gift Aid on small donations of money made without a Gift Aid declaration. A small donation is defined as a donation of £20 or less in cash. Donations made by cheque, credit card, text or bank transfer do not count.

VAT liability of green fees

10 Aug, 2016

HMRC has issued a new Revenue and Customs Brief 10 (2016) and updated an existing VAT information sheet 01/15 about a long running case concerning the VAT liability of green fees charged for visitors at non-profit making golf clubs. The particular golf club in question, Bridport and West Dorset Golf Club, had historically accounted for VAT on its green fee income in accordance with the treatment outlined in UK law and HMRC's guidance on the matter.

Help to Buy: ISA scheme updated guidance is available

10 Aug, 2016

HMRC has published some updated guidance on the Help to Buy: ISA. The guidance clarifies the way the government bonus is calculated. First time home buyers need to apply for their bonus (and purchase a home) within 12 months of closing a Help to Buy: ISA account. There are special rules that allow the money to be re-deposited in a Help to Buy: ISA if the house purchase did not complete.

High Income Child Benefit charge

10 Aug, 2016

The High Income Child Benefit Charge (HICBC) applies to taxpayers whose income exceeds £50,000 in a tax year and who are in receipt of child benefit. The charge either reduces or removes the financial benefit of receiving child benefit. Where both partners have an income that exceeds £50,000, the charge applies only to the partner with the highest income.