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Is HMRC Knocking? Don’t Be An Ostrich

Few letters will strike fear into the heart of abusiness owner faster than one from HMRC stating their intention to begin an investigation into the firm.

While the problem of tax evasion or aggressive tax avoidance is hardly a new thing, it has perhaps never been as politicised as it is now, and there is a concerted effort on the part of HMRC to crack down – and to be seen to crack down – on those who play fast and loose with taxes.

One  law firm claimed recently…

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Savvy Forward-Planning Will Deliver Succession Success

If you have been at the helm of your own business for some years, nurturing it from germination to becoming a fruitful concern, your thoughts will, at some point, turn to passing it on – and enjoying the rewards of your hard work.

Long before you start to dream about a relaxing retirement sampling the verdant golf courses of the world, you have another very important duty to perform in order to safeguard the long-term vitality of your business – and…

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Mileage rates for electric and hybrid cars

Some confusion has been reported over how businesses should calculate mileage expenses rates for electric and hybrid company cars. This confusion has arisen largely because HMRC’s advisory fuel rates, or approved mileage allowance payments, only cover petrol and diesel cars. There are no separate ‘approved’ rates for electric or hybrid vehicles.

Currently, whilst HMRC do recognise that employees should be reimbursed for costs incurred for business travel, they do not currently recognise electric charging costs as a ‘fuel’ expense and do not therefore, currently publish separate rates.

HMRC’s advisory fuel…

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Switching to the cash basis

Many small, unincorporated businesses choose to use the ‘cash basis’ for working out taxable income. Under this method, participants will be taxed on the basis of the cash that passes through their books, rather than having to undertake complex and time-consuming calculations designed for larger businesses, who generally have to use ‘traditional’ methods for tax purposes. Whilst easing the administrative burdens of preparing ‘traditional’ accounts, using the cash basis can also help with cash flow.

For the 2017/18 tax year onwards, the eligibility income threshold for using the cash…

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SDLT on second homes

Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is payable on the purchase of residential property in increasing portions of the property price above £125,000.

Current rates of SDLT on individual and additional properties are as follows:
– Purchase price up to £125,000 – SDLT rate Zero; additional property rate 3%
– The next £125,000 (portion from £125,001 to £250,000) – SDLT rate 2%; additional property rate 5%
– The next £675,000 (portion from £250,000 to £925,000) – SDLT rate 5%; additional property rate 8%
– The next £575,000 (portion from £925,000 to £1.5m) – SDLT…

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Paying voluntary NICs

There are various reasons as to why gaps may arise in an individual’s national insurance contributions (NIC) record, for example, because that person has been on low earnings for several years, they have been living abroad, or because they have been unemployed and have not been claiming benefits. In certain circumstances therefore, it may be possible, and beneficial, to pay voluntary Class 3 National Insurance Contributions (NICs) as this can safeguard entitlement to a future state retirement pension and certain other state benefits.

Broadly, voluntary contributions may be paid…

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Workers Rights, The Gig Economy and The Autumn Budget

I suspect that for Philip Hammond, the last budget seems like it happened mere weeks ago. But the thoughts of employers, employees and of all of us concerned with finances and tax are turning to the Autumn Budget 2017.

Budget predictions are proving to be as difficult as predicting election results, so let’s not venture too far down this route.

However, some of the topics that The Chancellor is going to have to address include workers rights and the rights of those working in the ever-growing gig economy.

The issue of…

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Tax & Financial Strategies 2017/18

Recent months have seen significant changes to the UK’s economic and political landscape. With further landmark changes in the pipeline, it is more important than ever to plan ahead and ensure that you are making the most of your business and your personal finances.

 

If you have any questions or would like one-to-one advice tailored to your needs, please call us on 01792 466 428 or email [email protected].

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Savvy Forward-Planning Will Deliver Succession Success

If you have been at the helm of your own business for some years, nurturing it from germination to becoming a fruitful concern, your thoughts will, at some point, turn to passing it on – and enjoying the rewards of your hard work.

Long before you start to dream about a relaxing retirement sampling the verdant golf courses of the world, you have another very important duty to perform in order to safeguard the long-term vitality of your business – and to safeguard your nest-egg.

Exiting a business, whether you…

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New state pension and contracted-out NICs

Most people will be aware that the state retirement pension system has changed for people who reach state pension age on or after 6 April 2016 – that is men born after 5 April 1951 and women born after 5 April 1953. The full new state pension is currently £159.55 per week, but the amount that employees who have previously paid National Insurance contributions (NIC) at the contracted-out rate may be affected under the new system. The introduction of the new state pension from 6 April 2016 brought…

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