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R&D Enhanced Deductions

Companies (not unincorporated businesses), can claim enhanced deductions for qualifying costs they incur on research and development (R&D) projects. For small companies the deduction can be 225% of the qualifying costs, and since April 2012 there is no minimum spend required in an accounting period.

The major barrier to claiming this tax relief is working out whether your project qualifies as R&D. To qualify it must push the boundaries of scientific or technical knowledge. Ask yourself:
a) Has anyone else done what we are trying to achieve with this project?
b)

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Cash Basis

From 6 April 2013 you can use two “simplifications” to make accounting easier for your unincorporated businesses: the cash basis and fixed rate deductions. If your business falls within the size criteria you can use one or both of these simplifications, or neither, the choice is yours.

To start to use the cash basis your business must have annual turnover of less than the VAT registration threshold (currently £81,000). There are slightly different rules if you also claim the Universal Credit benefit (successor to tax credits). You must stop…

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Mini One Stop Shop (MOSS) – Revision

This sounds like a friendly retail outlet where you might buy a pint of milk on a Sunday evening. In fact it is short-hand for the online portal which UK businesses should use from 2015 to account for VAT they owe in respect of digital services provided to customers in other EU countries.

We mentioned this new rule in our July 2014 newsletter. “Digital services” includes a multitude of products such as:

– music downloads;
– video on demand;
– electronic books;
– online games;
– anti-virus services;
– software purchased by download;
– charges by…

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National Insurance Contributions

It seems that HMRC is trying to gather every penny in tax and national insurance contributions (NIC), from every possible source. Recently it has been demanding payment of class 2 NICs from landlords and investors in investment partnerships. If you get a bill for back-dated class 2 NICs should you pay it?

The annual class 2 NI liability is a relatively small amount (£143 for 2014/15), but it can provide you with an entitlement to the UK state pension. At least ten full years of NI contributions will be…

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Taskforce at Large

HMRC has set up specialist tax investigation teams to concentrate on recovering unpaid tax from particular business sectors or as a result of tax fraud.

The latest HMRC taskforce teams are looking at:

– fraudulent VAT repayments in the West Midlands and Nottingham areas; and
– property tax evasion in South West England and South Wales.

The property taskforce is using data gathered about property transactions by the Valuation Office in order to target taxpayers who may have sold properties but not declared a capital gain on their tax returns. The same…

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Pensions Death Tax

Currently if you die before you have started to draw your pension, the value of your pension fund will not usually be subject to inheritance tax (IHT) at 40%, as it is excluded from your estate. However, there can be a 55% tax charge where your pension fund is passed to someone else under your will, especially if you die aged over 75.

From 6 April 2015 the 55% tax charge will be abolished. If you die before you reach age 75 you will be able to pass on…

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Don’t Get a Tax Hangover From Your Christmas Party!


 

Here at Morgan Hemp we are keen to keep our clients abreast of news, issues and events to help you keep your finances in order and to make sure you are not losing out.

Heading in to the festive period you are probably making plans for a Christmas party. But have you thought about making sure the big annual celebration isn’t a gift to the taxman?

Entertaining your employees can be allowable for tax relief in your business accounts, and it…

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Scottish Taxes

The Scottish people have spoken and the majority have decided they want Scotland to remain part of the UK. However, that doesn’t mean everything will remain the same. We already know there will be two new taxes in Scotland from 1 April 2015, and a variation to income tax rates for Scottish taxpayers from 6 April 2016.

If you are planning to buy land or buildings in Scotland, you should be aware that the…

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VAT on International Services

When you sell services to businesses in other countries, the sale will generally be outside the scope of UK VAT. You don’t charge VAT on your invoice, but you need to report the value of that sale as part of the total in box 6 on your VAT return. There are exceptions to this general rule for services connected to land, live performances, catering or passenger transport.

If the sale is to a VAT registered business in another EU country the Read More

Understanding the CIS

If you are a contractor in the construction industry it is essential that you deduct the right amount of Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) tax from payments you make to subcontractors.

A common misunderstanding about the CIS is that deductions of CIS tax only have to be made from labour costs. This is not the case, but it may work out like that in practice.

HMRC’s instructions are clear, the contractor must deduct the following cost…

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