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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.

New EC consultation on aggressive tax planning

24 Nov, 2016

A new consultation has been launched by the European Commission to gather feedback on the need for new rules to deter promoters of aggressive tax planning schemes. The Commission is concerned with recent reports that have highlighted the way certain intermediaries, such as tax advisers, have helped their clients to shift profits offshore for the purposes of tax avoidance or evasion.

Autumn Statement 2016 – Income Tax Rates & Allowances

24 Nov, 2016

The Chancellor, Philip Hammond has confirmed the government’s commitment to increase the basic personal allowance to £12,500 and the higher rate threshold to £50,000 by the end of the current Parliament in 2020.

As previously announced, from April 2017 the basic personal allowance will increase to £11,500 and the basic rate limit to £33,500. As a result the higher rate threshold will increase to £45,000 from April 2017.

Autumn Statement 2016 - New Investment Bond

24 Nov, 2016

The Chancellor has announced that a new National Savings and Investments (NS&I) product called the NS&I Investment Bond will be launched. The new Investment Bond will offer a new market leading rate for savers who have been hard hit by low savings rates for a number of years.

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.

Low take-up of the marriage allowance

24 Nov, 2016

The marriage allowance came into force on 6 April 2015 and allows lower earning couples to share part of their personal tax-free allowance. Recently published figures have suggested that less than a quarter of the 4.2m couples eligible to make a claim have done so.

HMRC has commented that they '…are stepping up our marketing campaign to ensure couples do not to miss out on this marriage tax break. Couples have up to four years to claim backdated annual allowances and we have simplified the application process so that families do not miss out.'

Autumn Statement

23 Nov, 2016
Our review of the Autumn Statement will appear here later.

Sole Enterprise with Protected Asset status

17 Nov, 2016

The Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) has published a final report on the potential for launching a new simple trading vehicle to offer a simpler route in tax and related areas for small business ventures. The report examined the possibility of launching a Sole Enterprise with Protected Asset or SEPA status for sole traders.