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Rent-a-room scheme

13 Jul, 2017

The rent-a-room scheme is a set of special rules designed to help homeowners who rent-a-room in their home. The limit increased to a generous £7,500 from 6 April 2016, after remaining stagnant for many years and has remained at the same level for the current tax year.

VAT relief on building a new home

13 Jul, 2017

The VAT DIY Housebuilders scheme is a special scheme that enables homeowners building a home to benefit from the special VAT rules that allow the qualifying construction costs of new homes and certain conversion works to be zero-rated. In this way, any VAT paid on certain qualifying costs can be recovered. The scheme has been designed to effectively put homeowners in a similar position to a property developer.

Online filing exclusions for 2016-17

13 Jul, 2017

HMRC’s list of exclusions from online filing for 2016-17 continues to multiply. The list of exclusions has been updated with the publication of version 4.0 of the document. There are now a total of 32 live exclusions on the list including 5 new additions to the list.

Future changes to Corporation Tax?

13 Jul, 2017

The Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) provides independent advice to the government on simplifying the UK tax system, with the objective of reducing compliance burdens on both businesses and individual taxpayers. The OTS operates on a permanent, statutory footing and seeks to draw together expertise from across the tax and legal professions, the business community and other interested parties. 

Furnished holiday lettings

13 Jul, 2017

The furnished holiday let (FHL) rules allow holiday lettings of properties that meet certain conditions to be treated as a trade for some specific tax purposes. Individuals, partnerships, trustees and companies who let furnished holiday accommodation situated within the UK or elsewhere in the EEA can benefit from having a FHL. HMRC’s guidance on the scheme has recently been updated.

Bricklayer turned accountant is jailed

06 Jul, 2017

An Essex based financial adviser has admitted tax fraud and has been jailed for five years. He set himself up as tax adviser despite having no financial qualifications. He had previously worked as a bricklayer and his clients were mainly made up of crane drivers, builders and other construction industry workers.

Directors may not have to file a tax return

06 Jul, 2017

A recent First Tier Tribunal case examined whether a company director had an obligation to submit a Self Assessment tax return without receiving a notice to file. The taxpayer in question appealed against penalties totalling £1,300 relating to his 2014-15 Self Assessment return on the basis that he had a reasonable excuse for his appeal.

NMW and LW penalties for non-compliance

06 Jul, 2017

There are penalties for employers who don’t pay staff what they are legally entitled to under the National Minimum Wage (NMW) and National Living Wage (NLW) rates.

Employers who have paid a worker below the correct minimum wage must pay any arrears immediately. If not, there are penalties for non-payment of up to 200% of the amount owed, unless the arrears are paid within 14 days. The maximum fine for non-payment can be up to £20,000 per employee and employers who fail to pay, face a possible 15-year ban from being a company director.

Tax-free loans to employees

06 Jul, 2017

Employees can obtain a tax-free benefit when provided with an employment-related cheap or interest-free loan. The most common is where the combined outstanding loan value to an employee is less than £10,000 throughout a tax year.

The benefit is calculated as the difference between the interest the employee pays, if any, and the commercial rate the employee would have to pay on a loan obtained elsewhere. These types of loans are referred to as beneficial loans.

No benefits but still need to file a form?

06 Jul, 2017

As many of our readers will be aware, new payroll legislation on the treatment of certain business expenses and benefits came into effect from 6 April 2016. One of the main changes was the removal of the requirement for employers to report certain expenses paid to employees (whether deductible or not) on form P11D at the end of the tax year.

Taxman and the shed

06 Jul, 2017

One of the most often used and valuable of the Capital Gains Tax (CGT) exemptions covers the sale of the family home. In general, there is no CGT payable on the sale of a property which has been used as the main family residence. An investment property which has never been used will not qualify. This relief from CGT is commonly known as private residence relief (PRR).

Implementing a Cycle to Work Scheme

28 Jun, 2017

The Cycle to Work scheme was introduced in 1999 to help promote a healthy commute to work.

The scheme allows employers to provide (technically loan) bicycles and cyclists’ safety equipment to employees as a tax-free benefit. Where the scheme conditions are satisfied, employees can benefit from a tax and National Insurance Contributions (NICs) reduction of between 32% and 42% through a salary sacrifice arrangement; there are also possible employer NIC savings.

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