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Autumn Budget 2017 – Research and Development (R&D)

23 Nov, 2017

R&D tax credits were introduced for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in 2000 and for large companies in 2002. R&D credits are a Corporation Tax relief used to encourage innovation and enterprise within the UK economy.

Autumn Budget 2017 – Income Tax Rates & Allowances

23 Nov, 2017

The Chancellor has confirmed that from 2018-19 the personal allowance will increase to £11,850 (an increase from the current £11,500) and the basic rate limit to £34,500. As a result, the higher rate threshold will increase to £46,350 from April 2018. These increases are part of 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. The Scottish Parliament sets the basic rate limit for Scotland meaning that Scottish higher rate taxpayers may pay more tax in 2018-19.

Autumn Budget 2017 – SDLT for first-time buyers

23 Nov, 2017

As the Chancellor, Philip Hammond alluded to in his Budget speech there had been much speculation in the press that he would do something to alleviate the Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) burden for first time buyers.

Autumn Budget 2017 - Air Passenger Duty

23 Nov, 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 premium economy / business / first class). Currently, band A (short-haul) ranges from £13 for a standard class journey and £26 for an 'other' class of travel. The Band B (long-haul) rates for journeys over 2,000 miles range from £75 to £150.

Autumn Budget 2017 - Alcohol and Tobacco Duty

23 Nov, 2017

As part of the Budget measures the Chancellor announced that the duty rates on beers, ciders, spirits and wine will be frozen at the current rates. These measures will mean that a bottle of whisky will be £1.15 less than if the rates had increased as expected and a pint of beer 12p less. As the Chancellor said in his speech ‘Merry Christmas!’.

Employment tribunal fees refund scheme is now open

22 Nov, 2017

Following the successful completion of the first phase of its refund scheme for employment tribunal fees, following the Supreme Court's judgment in July 2017 in R (on the application of Unison) v Lord Chancellor 2017 that the fees regime was unlawful, the government has now fully opened the scheme to anyone who thinks that they may be eligible for a refund.

Autumn Budget 2017

22 Nov, 2017

Prospects for growth, especially for productivity have been downgraded, but the Chancellor was bullish in his forecasts for investment and the Government’s intention to sort out the slow pace of house building in the UK. A few non-tax comments of note were:

Uber loses appeal on worker status but Deliveroo riders held not to be workers

21 Nov, 2017

Back in October 2016, in Aslam and others v Uber BV and others 2016, an employment tribunal was held that Uber drivers were “workers” for the purposes of the Employment Rights Act 1996, the Working Time Regulations 1998 and the National Minimum Wage Act 1998. This potentially gave them an entitlement to various basic employment rights, including paid holiday and the national minimum or national living wage. Uber, which has always maintained that its drivers are running their own individual self-employed businesses, appealed to the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT).

How much statutory redundancy pay should you receive?

15 Nov, 2017

If you have been in the same job for two years or more and are made redundant you will usually be entitled to a redundancy payment. The legal minimum that you are entitled to receive is known as ‘statutory redundancy pay’. There are exceptions where you are not entitled to statutory redundancy pay, such as if your employer offers to keep you on or offers you suitable alternative work which you refuse without good reason.

The amount of statutory redundancy pay you are entitled to is dependent on your age and your length of service.

Disguised remuneration settlement opportunity

15 Nov, 2017

A new measure to tackle disguised remuneration tax avoidance schemes was announced as part of the Autumn Statement 2016. The new measure will introduce a loan charge on disguised remuneration avoidance schemes that remain unpaid on 5 April 2019.

These types of schemes (including contractor loans) are used by employers and individuals and seek to avoid paying income tax and NICs. This is usually done by utilising a loan or other payment from a third-party which is unlikely to be repaid.

Are you caught by the High Income Child Benefit tax charge?

15 Nov, 2017

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, HICBC is payable by the partner with the highest income.

Changing a will after death

15 Nov, 2017

This may come as a surprising fact to many of our readers, but a will can be changed after death. This can be done by using what is known as a Deed of Variation. Any changes to the will must be done within two years from the date of death. However, beneficiaries who would be left worse off by the change must give their agreement before any changes can be made.

This is most often done to:

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