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VAT enforcement measures for overseas retailers

03 Jan, 2017

One of the measures included in the Finance Act 2016 concerns the introduction of new powers to help combat the growing problem of overseas traders selling goods in the UK using online marketplaces (such as Amazon and eBay). This measure was first announced by the government at Budget 2016.

Excuses for missing Self Assessment deadline

03 Jan, 2017

A recent press release by HMRC revealed some of the oddest excuses for submitting a late tax return. The excuses ranged from the sublime to the ridiculous and included:

Company cars and vans – taxable benefits

03 Jan, 2017

Where employees are provided with fuel for their own private use by their employers, the car fuel benefit charge is applicable. The fuel benefit charge is determined by reference to the CO2 rating of the car, applied to a fixed amount, currently £22,200. For example, a CO2 rating of 150g/km would create a taxable benefit of £5,994. HMRC has confirmed that the car fuel benefit charge will increase to £22,600 for the 2017-18 tax year. The fuel benefit is not applicable when the employee pays for all their private fuel use.

Air Passenger Duty and Scotland

03 Jan, 2017

Air Passenger Duty (APD) is a departure tax levied on most air travel. Each geographical band has two rates of Air Passenger Duty, one for standard class and the second for 'other' higher classes of travel (usually business / first class). Since 1 April 2016, band A ranges from £13 for a standard class journey and £26 for an 'other' class of travel. Band B for journeys over 2,000 miles ranges from £73 to £146. The Band B rates will increase to £75 and £150 from April 2017.

Date announced for Spring Budget 2017

22 Dec, 2016

Hot on the heels of the recent Autumn Statement, the Chancellor has announced that the Spring Budget will be held on Wednesday, 8 March 2017.

This will be the last Spring Budget to take place following the government’s decision to switch to an Autumn Budget and a Spring Statement. The Spring Budget is also very likely to be the last Budget to take place before the UK begins the formal Brexit negotiation process. The Prime Minister has said that she expects this process to be started by the end of March 2017.

New edition of the employer bulletin

22 Dec, 2016

HMRC has released the latest issue of the 'Employer Bulletin' publication which includes summaries of recent changes and updates that have been announced which are relevant to employers and agents.

The topics covered in the latest edition include the following:

Consultation on new financial guidance advice body

22 Dec, 2016

It was announced earlier this year as part of the Queen’s speech that the pensions guidance service, Pension Wise is to be merged with the Pension Advisory Service and Money Advice Service. The three money advice services will be merged into a single UK-wide body.

In a joint announcement, the Economic Secretary and the Minister for Pensions confirmed plans to develop a single public financial guidance body responsible for all debt advice, money and pensions guidance are to move ahead.

Coding out debts deadline

22 Dec, 2016

The coding threshold entitles taxpayers to have tax underpayments collected via their tax code provided they are in employment or in receipt of a UK-based pension. The coding applies to certain debts such as Self Assessment liabilities, tax credit overpayments and outstanding Class 2 NI Contributions. Instead of paying off debts in a lump sum, money is collected in equal monthly instalments over the tax year.

Auto-enrolment earnings trigger frozen

20 Dec, 2016

The government has now completed its annual review of the pension automatic enrolment earnings trigger and qualifying earnings band and it has announced that the earnings trigger will again be frozen at £10,000 for 2017/18. The earnings trigger determines who is eligible to be automatically enrolled by their employer into a workplace pension scheme.

Gender pay gap regulations published

15 Dec, 2016

The final draft version of the Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017 has been published. Subject to Parliamentary approval, the regulations are to come into force on 6 April 2017, a few weeks earlier than originally anticipated. Since the draft regulations were published for consultation back in February 2016, a number of important changes have been made.

New Income Tax allowances

14 Dec, 2016

In the 2016 Budget, the then Chancellor, George Osborne, announced that he would be introducing two new £1,000 tax allowances for property and trading income. The new allowances will come into force from April 2017.

Holiday makers returning to the UK

14 Dec, 2016

Here is a reminder for anyone going on holiday over Christmas to be aware of their duty and tax free allowances when they are returning to the UK. It remains to be seen what impact Brexit will have on these allowances, however, for the time being the EU allowances remain unchanged.

Travelling to an EU country

Where tobacco or alcohol is brought in from another EU country no duties or tax will be payable as long as you can demonstrate that the goods are for your own use and that you paid the relevant taxes and duties on the purchase.