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Uncategorised

Please find below all the articles that have been categorised as 'Uncategorised'.

Rent-a-room tax break remains

HMRC’s rent-a-room scheme currently allows individuals to receive up to £7,500 of gross income from renting out spare rooms in their only or main home without a liability to tax arising. Broadly, as long as income is below the annual threshold, it does not need to be reported to HMRC.

However, the emergence and growth of peer-to-peer online marketplaces and digital platforms (for example Airbnb) has made it significantly easier to advertise rooms and put those with spare accommodation in touch with a national and global network of…

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VAT Flat rate scheme

The VAT flat rate scheme (FRS) is used by many small businesses to help simplify their VAT reporting obligations, although some VAT experts would argue that the scheme is not simple to use.

Broadly, the FRS is a simplified VAT accounting scheme for small businesses, which allows users to calculate VAT using a flat rate percentage by reference to their particular trade sector. When using the FRS, the business ignores VAT incurred on purchases when reporting VAT payable, with the exception of capital items which cost £2,000 or…

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Minimum workplace pension contributions rise

The minimum contributions employers and their staff must pay into their automatic enrolment workplace pension scheme increased with 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 increases mean that total contributions for employees have gone up from 5% to 8%.

All employers with staff in a pension scheme for automatic enrolment must ensure that they implement the changes and ensure that at least…

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Taxpayer wins IR35 challenge

HMRC have recently lost another high-profile IR35 case. Kaye Adams, the presenter of ITV’s Loose Women programme, has successfully challenged HMRC on her employment status, with a First Tier Tribunal (FTT) finding the terms of her personal services contract for BBC radio shows meant she was not an employee.

In Atholl House Productions Ltd v HMRC [2019] UKFTT 0242, TC07088, the tribunal stated that the essential issue was whether, if the services supplied by the taxpayer to the BBC had been supplied under a contract directly between the…

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Treasury under pressure to debate probate “tax”

In its commentary on the economic and fiscal outlook published alongside details of the Spring Statement, the Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR) has pointed out that the government has altered its proposed schedule of fees payable for an application for a grant of probate. The new rates take effect from April 2019, and range between £250 and £6,000, depending on the value of the estate.

Prior to the change, bereaved relatives paid a flat £215 fee for probate, the charge for securing legal…

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Making Tax Digital update

VAT-registered businesses with a taxable turnover above the VAT threshold are required to use the Making Tax Digital (MTD) service to keep records digitally and use software to submit their VAT returns from 1 April 2019.

The exception to this is a small minority of VAT-registered businesses with more complex requirements. As part of planning for the VAT pilot, HMRC consulted with various stakeholders and took the decision to delay mandation for these customers until 1 October 2019 to ensure there is sufficient…

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Employee mileage allowances

Confusion often arises over differing tax treatment of mileage allowances paid to employees using their own cars for business, and those provided with a company car.

An employee using their own car for work can claim a mileage allowance from their employer, which is designed to cover the costs of fuel and wear and tear for business trips. The mileage allowance will be tax-free if it does not exceed HMRC’s Approved Mileage Allowance Payment(AMAP) rates, which are currently as follows:
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NMW and NLW increases take effect

New rates for the National Minimum Wage (NMW) and National Living Wage (NLW) (aged 25 and over) apply from 1 April 2019, and employers must ensure that they implement them accordingly. The rates are as follows:

– 25 and over – £8.21 per hour;
– 21- to 24-year-olds – £7.70 an hour;
– 18- to 20-year-olds – £6.15 an hour;
– under 18s – £4.35 an hour; and
– Apprentice…

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Spring Statement 2019: Maintaining the tax system

Making Tax Digital (MTD)
Mandatory digital record keeping for VAT for businesses over the VAT threshold (with turnover over £85,000) comes into force from 1 April 2019. This is an important first step in this modernisation of the tax system to which the government remains committed. In the WMS, the Chancellor confirmed the government’s ‘light touch approach to penalties in the first year of implementation’. Where businesses are doing their best to comply, no filing or record keeping penalties will be issued. The focus will be on supporting businesses…

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Spring Statement 2019: Tax avoidance, evasion & non-compliance

The government has previously stated its ongoing commitment to keeping the tax administration framework under review to ensure that it ‘continues to strike the right balance between robustly challenging tax avoidance, evasion and other forms of deliberate non-compliance, and treating all taxpayers fairly’. Finance Act 2019 subsequently contained provisions introducing statutory reporting requirements by the government on certain anti-avoidance measures (FA 2019, s 92 and 93).

HM Treasury and HMRC have published a joint policy paper setting out the government’s approach and achievements in tackling tax avoidance, evasion and…

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