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Tax relief for buy-to-let landlords

10 Aug, 2016

HMRC has published new guidance on the upcoming changes to tax relief for buy-to-let landlords. From April 2017, tax relief on mortgage costs is to be restricted to the basic rate of tax. Landlords of residential properties have benefited from tax relief on finance charges, such as mortgage interest for many years.

This change marks a seismic shift in tax relief for buy-to-let landlords and will leave many facing far larger tax bills than was previously the case. The reduction in the relief for finance costs for landlords will be phased in over four years from April 2017.

Scottish Tax update

10 Aug, 2016

The Scottish Government’s Finance Secretary, Derek Mackay has announced that the annual receipts for Scotland’s Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) and Scottish Landfill Tax (SLfT) totalled £572 million in 2015-16. This figure was around £74 million higher than initial forecasts.

The Scottish Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) came into force on 1 April 2015. The LBTT replaced UK Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) in Scotland. The LBTT revenues were £44 million more than estimated.

Commenting on the LBTT figures, the Finance Secretary said:

Britain vote to leave the EU

10 Aug, 2016

Following a hard fought campaign, Brexit emerged as the winner of the European Union referendum campaign. The decision means that Britain has a voter mandate to exercise her right to leave the European Union. The exact timetable for Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union has not been laid out. However, the Prime Minister, David Cameron, has confirmed that the formal negotiations for withdrawal from the European Union, known as triggering Article 50, will be a job for the next Prime Minister following the Conservative leadership election in September.

LITRG comments on secondary annuities market

10 Aug, 2016

The Low Income Tax Reform Group (LITRG) was established in 1998 to improve the policy and processes of the tax, tax credits and associated welfare systems for the benefit of those on low incomes. The LITRG has recently published a new press release on the government’s plan to introduce a new secondary annuity market by April 2017.

New Customs Information Paper published

10 Aug, 2016

In the wake of the Brexit decision, a new Customs Information Paper 42 (2016) has been published by HMRC setting out information for businesses moving goods in and out of the UK from the EU.

The Customs Information Paper stresses that there will be no immediate change to the movement of goods and people in and out of the UK. The UK remains a member of the EU until Article 50 is invoked. HMRC will continue to engage with EU business as normal and be engaged in EU decision-making in the usual way.

Fraudulent emails from 'HMRC'

10 Aug, 2016

Taxpayers are reminded that the problem of fraudulent emails continues. A new type of email phishing scam regarding 'Tax Returns' has been identified by HMRC. These emails are part of a phishing exercise that use bogus e-mails and websites to trick taxpayers into supplying confidential or personal information. These emails aren’t genuine HMRC messages and should be ignored.

New national minimum and living wage factsheet

10 Aug, 2016

A new factsheet has been launched by HMRC entitled "Carrying out a self-review of the National Living Wage and the National Minimum Wage". The factsheet will be issued by HMRC as part of their checks to ensure that employees are being correctly paid the National Living Wage (NLW) and National Minimum Wage (NMW). The factsheet provides employers with instructions on how to self-review their records. The NLW and NMW are the minimum legal amounts that employers must pay their employees.

The size and scope of a self-review will depend on a number of factors such as:

BREXIT and the implications for employment law

10 Aug, 2016

Now that the UK has voted to leave the European Union by 52% to 48%, the government will, in due course, inform the European Council of its intention to leave the EU in accordance with Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union. This notification then triggers a two-year period for the negotiation of the terms of a member state's withdrawal. It seems that this will not happen before October 2016, when the current prime minister, David Cameron, says he will step down and leave it to his successor to invoke Article 50 and negotiate the UK’s withdrawal terms.

Genuine HMRC emails

10 Aug, 2016

HMRC has issued an advisory note to let employers know that it is in the process of emailing an employer alert. These emails are headed Important information for employers and refer to Employer Bulletin 60. These emails are genuine and include valid links to pages on the GOV.UK website.

Liability to gaming duty

10 Aug, 2016

Gaming duty is a duty on casino gaming profits and is based on the gross gaming yield for premises where gaming takes place.

The gross gaming yield consists of:

Received a penalty notice from HMRC?

10 Aug, 2016

The Low Income Tax Reform Group (LITRG) was established in 1998 to improve the policy and processes of the tax, tax credits and associated welfare systems for the benefit of those on low incomes. A new press release from the LITRG reminds taxpayers of their options when they receive a penalty notice from HMRC. If a taxpayer has made a genuine mistake, despite taking reasonable care, then no penalty should be due and the taxpayer can appeal against the penalty notice in question.

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.