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New guidance published on religion and belief discrimination

11 Jun, 2018

Acas has published new guidance on religion and belief discrimination in the workplace. The 26-page guidance booklet, entitled “Religion or belief discrimination: key points for the workplace”, primarily offers employers, managers, HR professionals, employees and job applicants a grounding in how to reduce the chance of religion or belief discrimination happening in the workplace, how it might still occur and how it should be dealt with if it does happen.

VAT Agricultural Flat Rate Scheme

06 Jun, 2018

Businesses that use the flat rate scheme pay VAT as a fixed percentage of their VAT inclusive turnover. The VAT agricultural flat rate scheme is a variant of the flat rate scheme specifically designed for farmers and other activities relating to agricultural production (such as horticulture).

Farmers cannot join this scheme if the value of their non-farming activities is above the VAT registration threshold (currently £85,000). The amount of VAT paid on business expenses becomes irrelevant to the VAT returns.

Don’t leave assets in a company you dissolve

06 Jun, 2018

The final step in bringing a company to a legal end is when the company is dissolved. However, one if the important points to be aware of when doing so is that the dissolved company can no longer trade or otherwise deal with it's assets. For example, receive a tax refund. It is the responsibility of the company directors to ensure that all of a company’s assets and liabilities are all dealt with before it is dissolved.

Pensions paid to non-residents

06 Jun, 2018

The HMRC Double Taxation Relief Manual sets out the overall principles to be applied in respect of pension income.

It states:

'Pensions, other than Government pensions, paid in consideration of past employment to a resident of a country with which the United Kingdom has a double taxation agreement, are normally taxable only in the country of which the pensioner is a resident, but there are exceptions to this.

Liability of non-resident companies

06 Jun, 2018

Under the current rules non-resident companies with a trading business in the UK are liable to pay UK Corporation Tax on their profits made through a permanent establishment/branch or agency.

There are some differences in the taxation of non-resident companies as opposed to resident companies. For example, a non-resident company:

What is the Repayment of Teachers Loan Scheme?

06 Jun, 2018

Student Loans are part of the government’s financial support package for students in higher education in the UK. They are available to help students meet their expenses while they are studying, and it is HMRC’s responsibility to collect repayments where the borrower is working in the UK.

Gifts with strings attached

06 Jun, 2018

Most gifts made during a person's lifetime are not subject to tax at the time of the gift. The lifetime transfers are known as 'potentially exempt transfers' or 'PETs'. These gifts or transfers achieve their potential of becoming exempt from Inheritance Tax if the taxpayer survives for more than seven years after making the gift. There is a tapered relief available if the donor dies between three and seven years after the gift is made.

New Time Off for Public Duties Order 2018 due in force from 1 October 2018

04 Jun, 2018

The Time Off for Public Duties Order 2018 has been laid before Parliament and will come into force on 1 October 2018. The Order amends section 50 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 so as to grant unpaid time off work to four groups of volunteers in the criminal justice system, who all monitor conditions of those in custody. Currently, employers are not obliged to grant time off work to these volunteers so that they can perform their public duties.

The four groups of volunteers are:

Holiday entitlement

30 May, 2018

Almost all full-time workers in the UK are legally entitled to 5.6 weeks' (or 28 days) paid holiday per year. This is known as their statutory leave entitlement or annual leave. Legally, employers can include bank holidays in this total although not all employers do this. Employers are also free to provide additional non statutory holiday entitlement.

Is professional gambling a trade?

30 May, 2018

A thought-provoking question that has been asked by one of our readers is whether professional gambling is a trade or not. The answer to this question might surprise you. According to HMRC and reinforced by a number of court cases the answer is that gambling is not a taxable trade. This answer holds even for a professional gambler who spends a significant amount of time building up their expertise and honing their skills.

Children’s savings and tax

30 May, 2018

All children in the UK have their own personal annual allowance. However, anti-avoidance laws prevent this allowance being utilised by parents of children aged under 18 with some minimal exceptions. If older children are employed by a parent, then they can receive income paid as wages subject to the usual rules.

Payments in lieu of notice - an update

30 May, 2018

Since 6 April 2018, employers have been required to pay Income Tax and Class 1 National Insurance Contributions (NICs) on certain parts of termination payments made to employees whether or not these payments are contractual. The element that is liable to taxation is the amount of the termination payment that represents a payment in lieu of notice commonly referred to as 'PILON'. The measure means that all PILONs rather than just contractual PILONs (as was historically the case) are treated as taxable earnings.

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