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Incorporation of a business

When a business incorporates and transfers its trade and assets to a company controlled by the seller, the assets must be transferred at open market value for tax purposes. The assets may include “goodwill” which is defined as the business reputation or customer relationships, including the value of continuing contracts.

The transfer of the assets may generate a taxable capital gain in the hands of the seller, as the assets will have appreciated in value during the time they were used or created by the first business.

Capital gains tax…

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VAT Moss new guidance

On 1 January 2015 the VAT law changed for electronic services that are supplied digitally to non-business customers. Those customers must now pay VAT on the e-service at the rate that applies in the country where they receive the service. It’s up to the supplier to work out the VAT due, and pay that VAT to the local tax authority. There is no minimum threshold of sales below which VAT is not due.

The UK has set up the VAT-MOSS system to collect and pay over the overseas VAT…

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Let Property – Furniture and Fittings

When your property is fully furnished you can claim a wear and tear allowance (10% of the net rents), each year to cover the cost of replacing furniture and furnishings such as carpets and curtains. You can only claim capital allowances for furniture used inside a property which is let out commercially as furnished holiday accommodation for at least 140 days a year (other conditions also apply).

Before 6 April 2013, the taxman allowed landlords of unfurnished and partly furnished properties to claim for the cost of items provided…

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Let Property – Repairs or Improvements

If you let out residential property you need to know whether you can receive a tax deduction for the cost of replacing or repairing furniture and fittings provided inside that property. The cost of equipment used to maintain the outside of a property, or used in the communal areas of a building containing multiple dwellings, is always deductible.

When you fit something for the first time to a property, such as a fitted kitchen, that cost will form part of the capital cost of the building and will only…

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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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