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When do you pay tax on lodger’s rents?

09 May, 2018

The rent-a-room scheme is a set of special rules designed to help homeowners who rent-a-room in their home within certain limits to pay no tax on the lodger’s rents. The limit increased to a generous £7,500 from 6 April 2016 and remains unchanged for 2018-19.

The relief applies to the letting of furnished accommodation and was traditionally used when one bedroom in a home was rented out to a lodger for an extended period. However, the relief can also be used when rooms in your house are rented out online for short-term lets.

Employers can claim back VAT from mileage claims

09 May, 2018

HMRC operates a simplification measure that allows businesses to claim back VAT from mileage claims using a standardised scale charge to value fuel costs for private use. The scale charge is a fixed amount based on a vehicles CO2 rating.

Most businesses, particularly small and medium sized businesses, which do not keep detailed mileage records covering all journeys, use the road fuel scale charges scheme. This measure saves business car users the chore of keeping detailed records of actual private mileage.

Are you making money from a hobby?

09 May, 2018

The 'badges of trade' tests whilst not conclusive are used by HMRC to help determine whether an activity is a proper economic / business activity or merely a money-making side line to a hobby. However, there is a point where careful consideration needs to be given to deciding whether your hobby has in fact become a taxable trading activity.

When you can or cannot change your company year-end

02 May, 2018

There are special rules in place which limit the ability to change a company’s year end date. A company’s year end date is also known as its ‘accounting reference date’ and is usually set by reference to the date the company was incorporated.

Bid to tackle online VAT fraud

02 May, 2018

HMRC is continuing to pressure online marketplaces marketplace (such as eBay or Amazon) to tackle online VAT fraud. Online marketplaces are already accountable for VAT fraud committed by online sellers on their platforms. These measures, known as joint and several liability (JSL) for marketplaces were extended earlier this year to help ensure that all businesses selling goods in the UK follow the same rules and pay the correct amount of VAT due.

New laws to protect home address

02 May, 2018

New laws have come into effect (from 26 April 2018) to help tackle the problem of identity fraud and personal harm for company directors. The new laws, which were introduced into parliament on 22 February 2018, allow company directors and others such as secretaries, people with significant control (PSC) and LLP members, to remove their personal addresses from the UK’s official company register on Companies House.

More support for non-parental carers

02 May, 2018

The government has announced that Universal Credit and Child Tax Credit support is to be extended to families who look after children who might otherwise be in the care of the local authority.

Under the current guidelines, support in the form of Universal Credit and Child Tax Credit is available for a maximum of 2 children in a household unless certain limited exceptions apply. The Secretary of State, Esther McVey confirmed to Parliament that these exceptions will be extended to provide support for these children regardless of the order in which they entered the household.

Scottish Limited Partnership reforms

02 May, 2018

The government has announced a new crackdown to close loopholes that have been exploited by those using Scottish Limited Partnerships (SLPs). SLPs and Limited Partnerships (LPs) are used by many legitimate businesses particularly those in the private equity and pensions industry to invest more than £30 billion a year in the UK.

Enterprise zones – new maps published

02 May, 2018

Enterprise zones were first launched in 2011 and are specific geographic areas that provide various tax breaks and Government support. Businesses that set-up in enterprise zones can benefit from up to a 100% business rate discount worth up to £275,000 over a five-year period or 100% enhanced capital allowances (ECA) tax relief for qualifying investments in plant and machinery.

A new set of maps has been published that lists sites within enterprise zones that qualify for the ECA 100% first-year allowances for investments in new plant and machinery until 31 March 2020.

Updated guidance on DBS criminal record checks

30 Apr, 2018

The Home Office and the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) have updated their guidance for employers on requesting DBS criminal record checks for potential employees. The updated guidance includes some useful information regarding the security features of a DBS certificate, so that employers can spot fake or altered certificates.

Late filing of self-assessment tax returns

25 Apr, 2018

Taxpayers that have not yet filed their 2016-17 self-assessment returns, will have already been charged an automatic £100 penalty for late submission. The penalty applied from 1 February 2018 even if no tax was due or the tax due was paid on time.

HMRC has estimated that almost 750,000 taxpayers missed the 31 January 2018 deadline for submitting their tax returns. Taxpayers who were meant to file online by 31 January 2018, and have still not filed their 2016-17 return, are reminded that they will face far greater penalties.

Which car benefits are exempt from tax?

25 Apr, 2018

The tax benefits of driving a company car have been steadily reduced over many years. Most employers and employees are aware of the additional costs of providing company cars and the tax implications they create. However, for many employees the lure of having a company car means that this remains a very popular option.
There are some circumstances where it can be possible to offer employees car benefits that are exempt from tax.

These include:

Cars available for business journeys only

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