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Make the most of tax efficient savings offers

As the end of the current tax year approaches, it is worthwhile making a check to ensure that the various tax-efficient savings opportunities have been utilised wherever possible. The following paragraphs highlight some of the areas where savings may be made.

ISAs

The maximum annual investment limit for Individual Savings Accounts (SAs) will remain at £20,000 for 2019/20. The limit effectively allows a couple to save £40,000 a year between them and receive interest on the investment tax free. There will also be no capital gains tax to pay when…

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Can an employer still claim the EA?

In broad terms, the Employment Allowance (EA) is available to most employers and should enable them to reduce the amount of National Insurance Contributions (NICs) they have to pay by up to £3,000 per year. The eligibility rules changed from April 2016, and the Autumn Budget 2018 announced further changes expected to take effect from April 2020. It is worth checking to make sure that a limited company is still eligible to benefit from this tax incentive.

Employers may generally claim the EA if they are a business (including…

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Considering capital expenditure?

Businesses considering investing more than £200,000 in plant and machinery could benefit from a change to the capital allowances rules in January 2019, which should allow them to obtain tax relief at an earlier time.

Capital allowances are treated as a trading expense of a particular accounting period, so they can potentially increase a loss, or turn a profit into a loss for tax purposes, which in turn, will impact on the amount of tax payable by a business. Where a business is considering expenditure on qualifying items, it…

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VAT: Supplies of digital services to consumers in the EU

The VAT rules for businesses suppling digital services to private consumers in other member states change with effect from 1 January 2019.

From that date, the place of supply will be the UK where both:

– a UK business is not established in any other EU member state; and
– the total value of cross-border digital sales is less than £8,818 in the current and preceding calendar years.

Businesses affected will no longer need to register for VAT in other EU countries where they have consumers or use the VAT Mini One…

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Company vans update

A charge to income tax will generally arise if a company van is made available, by reason of the employment, to an employee or to a member of his or her family or household. It must be made available without a transfer of ownership from the employer to the employee. Since 2016/17, when the £8,500 earnings threshold for most benefits-in-kind was abolished, the charge applies regardless of the employee’s earnings rate. The charge will however, be proportionately reduced if the van is only available for part of a…

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VAT reverse charge in the construction industry

Autumn Budget 2018 announced a new measure, designed to counter fraud in the construction industry, which has seen gangs of criminal traders artificially extending the chain of supply of labour services, then failing to account for all the output VAT due to HMRC by collecting the VAT on the supplies (sales) and then going “missing” before passing the VAT on to HMRC.

The proposed change, which is scheduled to take effect from 1 October 2019, will mean that for certain specified supplies of construction services, the customer will be…

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PGLs for employers

The Department for Education has launched a new Student Loan product known as Postgraduate Loans (PGLs). From April 2019, individuals will be able to start loan repayments of this type through PAYE, so employers need to be aware of their new obligations.

Broadly, if an individual has a PGL:

– HMRC will send their employer a new Postgraduate start notice (PGL1) to ask them to start taking PGL deductions
– HMRC will send their employer a new Postgraduate stop notice (PGL2) to ask them to stop taking PGL deductions
– employers will…

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HMRC warn of tax scams targeting university students

HMRC have published a series of warnings that university students are being targeted by scammers with fake tax refunds in an effort to steal money and personal details.

The scammers are using seemingly legitimate university email addresses (for example ‘@uc.ac.uk’) in order to avoid detection, and HMRC have received thousands of fraud reports from students at colleges across the UK.

This is the first time HMRC has seen a tax scam attack directly targeting university students in such high volumes.

HMRC never inform people about potential tax refunds by email, text…

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Autumn Budget 2018

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The Chancellor’s 2018 Autumn Budget contained some important announcements and confirmed a number of changes planned for the new tax year.

Following this, we have put together a PDF which contains the latest tax and financial information, which we trust you will find useful. For more information on how the changes may affect you, please contact us.

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…

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HMRC launch MTD campaign

According to recent research undertaken by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), over 40% of businesses that will be affected by Making Tax Digital (MTD) for VAT are not yet aware of it. With only six months to go until MTD goes live for some businesses in April 2019, HMRC have only recently launched a major communications campaign to try and build awareness amongst small businesses.

The ICAEW survey also shows that although there has been a significant increase in the number of businesses now…

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