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Beware of triggering an IHT bill on Christmas gifts

When deciding what to give as Christmas gifts, the possibility of triggering an unintended inheritance tax liability is not one that immediately springs to mind. However, there are traps that may catch the unwary. Income or capital When making a gift, it is important to ascertain whether the gift is being made out of income […]

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Entrepreneur’s relief – the basics

Entrepreneurs’ relief is intended to reduce the rate of capital gains tax to a flat rate of 10% on certain qualifying business disposals. Certain aspects of the relief have recently changed, and this may affect any subsequent tax liability. A qualifying business disposal must include a material disposal of business assets. For these purposes, a […]

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Just starting out

Just starting out in business? Here’s how you can get #tax relief #entrepreneur #startup

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When does the diesel supplement apply?

If you’re an employer, make sure you’re up to date on the latest Employer Bulletin on diesel supplements.

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Give from income to save inheritance tax

Within a family scenario, there are many situations in which one family member may make a gift to other family members. However, the way in which gifts are funded and made can make a significant difference to the way in which they are treated for inheritance tax purposes. Not all gifts are equal There is […]

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Travel Expenses and the 24 Month Rule

As a general rule, employees are denied a tax deduction for the cost of travel between home and work. Likewise, subject to a few limited exceptions, if the employer meets the cost of home to work travel, the employee is taxed on it. One of the main exceptions to this rule is where an employee […]

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Beware disposals to family members – the ‘market value’ rule

At first sight, the calculation of a capital gain or loss on the disposal of an asset is relatively straightforward – simply the difference between the amount received for the sale of that asset and the cost of acquiring (and, where relevant) enhancing it, allowing for the incidental costs of acquisition and disposal. However, as […]

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Tax relief for charitable donations

Individuals who donate to charity can do so tax-free. There are various ways of making tax-relieved gifts to charity – the way in which the relief works depends on whether the donation is made via Gift Aid, as a deduction from wages or a pension via the Payroll Giving Scheme, in a will or whether […]

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When should a business register for VAT?

All traders – whether sole traders, partnerships, or limited companies – are obliged to register to charge and pay VAT once annual sales reach a pre-set annual threshold. This threshold remains at £85,000 for the year commencing 1 April 2019. The annual VAT threshold is determined by total sales and is not the same as […]

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PAYE settlement agreements

A PAYE Settlement Agreement (PSA) enables the employer to pay the tax and National Insurance instead of the employee on those benefits and expenses included within the PSA. This can be useful to preserve the beneficial nature of the benefit, for example in respect of a Christmas or other function falling outside the associated exemption, […]

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Workplace pension contributions rise takes effect

An increase in the minimum contributions employers and their staff must pay into their automatic enrolment workplace pension scheme took effect from 6 April 2019. From that date, the employer minimum contribution has risen from 2% to 3%, while the staff contribution also increased from 3% to 5%. As part of the ‘phasing’ process, the […]

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Minimising the Upheaval of an HMRC Enquiry

Where a business receives an enquiry notification from HMRC, it does not always mean that something is wrong. Sometimes HMRC simply need some further information to ensure that a return is correct, for example, if the business recently received a lot of money, it would be reasonable for HMRC to ask where the funds came […]

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Family companies – optimal salary for 2019/20

For personal and family companies it can be beneficial to extract some profits in the form of a salary. Where the individual does not have the 35 qualifying years necessary to qualify for the full single-tier state pension, paying a salary which is equal to or above the lower earnings limit for National Insurance purposes […]

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Is the Summer Party Tax-Free?

A statutory exemption exists, which allows employers to meet the cost of certain social events for staff without triggering a liability to tax or NICs, providing certain conditions are met. The legislation refers to ‘an annual party or similar annual function’. Although HMRC do not seem to interpret this to mean that the same event […]

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Employing Family Members

It is permissible for a business to claim a tax deduction for the cost of a reasonable wage paid to a family member who helps in the business. Their duties could, for example, include answering the phone, going to the bank, bookkeeping and other administrative tasks. The tax legislation specifies that ‘in calculating the profits […]

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Practicalities of forming a partnership

Although a partnership can be a simple and flexible way for two or more people to own and run a business, unlike limited company status, partners do not have any protection if the partnership fails. If one of the partners resigns, dies, or goes bankrupt, the partnership has to be dissolved, even though the business […]

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Capital allowances – write off small pools

Businesses which are not using the cash basis can claim capital allowances for capital items that are used in the business, such as plant and machinery, tools and equipment, and so on. Where the annual investment allowance, which gives an immediate 100% deduction against profits is not claimed, either because the allowance has been used […]

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Are you paying the minimum wage?

The National Living Wage (NLW) and National Minimum Wage (NMW) increased from 1 April 2019. From that date, the NLW, payable to workers aged 25 and over, is set at £8.21 per hour. Workers under the age of 25 and over school leaving age must be paid the NMW appropriate for their age. From 1 […]

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Reducing your payments on account

Under the self-assessment system, a taxpayer is required to make payments on account – advance payments towards the eventual tax and National Insurance liability – where the previous year’s self-assessment bill was £1,000 or more, unless more than 80% of the tax liability is deducted at source, for example, under PAYE. The self-assessment return for […]

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Tax aspects of using a work’s van

If an employee is able to use a work’s van for private use, which generally includes home-to-work travel, there will be a taxable benefit and a subsequent tax charge. From 6 April 2019, the flat-rate van benefit charge has risen from £3,350 to £3,430, representing a small increase in real terms to a basic rate […]

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