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Making a complaint to HMRC

08 Dec, 2016

Taxpayers may find themselves in a position where they need to make a complaint about HMRC. Complaints can relate to many different issues such as unreasonable delays, mistakes and poor treatment by HMRC’s staff. There is a factsheet published by HMRC entitled Complaints that provides further details.

Government to waive VAT on X-Factor charity single

08 Dec, 2016

The Chancellor, Philip Hammond has announced that the government will waive the VAT equivalent on the sales of this year’s X-Factor Christmas Charity single. All proceeds from the sale of the single are going to two charities; Together for Short Lives and Shooting Star Chase Children’s Hospice.

Both charities provide support for children with life-limiting illnesses and their families. The donation will be the equivalent of the sum of the VAT receipts collected on sales of the single from the winner of the reality show.

George Osborne, the Chancellor commented that:

Statutory maternity, adoption, paternity, shared parental and sick pay to rise from April 2017

06 Dec, 2016

In a written ministerial statement, the government has announced the proposed new rates for statutory maternity pay (SMP), statutory adoption pay (SAP), statutory paternity pay (SPP), statutory shared parental pay (ShPP) and statutory sick pay (SSP) for tax year 2017/18. 

The proposed revised rates are as follows:

Changes to salary sacrifice schemes

01 Dec, 2016

One of the big changes to come out of the recent Autumn Statement was the announcement that there will be a clamp down to the tax benefits of certain salary sacrifice schemes from April 2017. This change is likely to affect millions of employees who have sacrificed part of their salary and are currently paying less tax as a result.

Budget date changes

01 Dec, 2016

The Chancellor used his first Autumn Statement speech to announce that it would also be his last. Despite this comment being greeted with delight from the other side of the House all was not as it seemed. The Chancellor was actually referring to the government’s decision to switch to an Autumn Budget and a Spring Statement.

Termination payments

01 Dec, 2016

Following a consultation that took place over the summer, the government confirmed that the £30,000 tax free exemption on termination payments would be retained. However, from April 2018 certain payments will no longer fall within the allowance.

Self Assessment deadline reminder

01 Dec, 2016

The deadline for submitting 2015-16 Self Assessment tax returns online is 31 January 2017. Taxpayers should also be aware that payment of any tax due should also be made by this date. This includes both the payment of any balance of Self Assessment liability for the 2015-16, plus any payment on account due for the current 2016-17 tax year.

Insurance Premium Tax rate increase

01 Dec, 2016

Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) is a tax on general insurance premiums. There are currently two rates a standard rate of 10% and a higher rate of 20%. The higher rate applies where insurance is sold in relation to goods and services which are subject to VAT and to travel insurance.

As part of the Autumn Statement measures it was announced that the standard rate of IPT is to be increased from 10% to 12% from 1 June 2017. This will be the third increase to the standard rate since 1 November 2015.

Class 2 National Insurance Contributions

01 Dec, 2016

Class 2 National Insurance Contributions (NICs) are paid by self-employed taxpayers and members of partnerships if their annual profits are over £5,965. Class 2 NICs are payable at a flat weekly rate currently, £2.80. Class 2 NICs count towards payments such as the basic State Pension, the employment and support allowance, maternity allowance and bereavement benefits.

Financial Services Compensation Scheme

24 Nov, 2016

The bank deposit guarantee limit is the amount of money that is guaranteed for savers in UK banks and building societies, should the institution become insolvent. The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) guarantee amount is currently £75,000 per person, per authorised bank or building society.

Autumn Statement 2016 - The National Living Wage

24 Nov, 2016

The National Living Wage came into effect on 1 April 2016 and is currently set at £7.20 per hour. The National Living Wage is the minimum hourly rate that must be paid for those aged 25 or over.

As part of the Autumn Statement, it has been announced that the National Living Wage will increase to £7.50 from 1 April 2017. This increase is worth an extra £500 per year to a full-time worker earning the National Living Wage.

Autumn Statement 2016 – Corporation Tax

24 Nov, 2016

It had been rumoured that the new Chancellor, Philip Hammond would cancel his predecessors planned cuts to Corporation Tax. However, in his Autumn Statement speech, the Chancellor confirmed that the government would stick to the business tax roadmap set out in March and that Corporation tax will fall to 17% by April 2020. This will according to the Chancellor be by far the lowest overall rate of corporate tax in the G20.