News

Archiving international trade documents

08/04/2021

There are important rules that all businesses must follow to keep business and accounting records accessible if requested by HMRC. The exact documentation that must be held and the time limits for doing so can vary significantly. For example, most company records must be held for at least 6 years from the end of the last company financial

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National Minimum and Living Wage increases 1 April 2021

08/04/2021

The new National Minimum Wage (NMW) and National Living Wage (NLW) rates came into effect on 1 April 2021. The new rate for the NLW is £8.91 which is a 19p increase over last year. The NLW is the minimum hourly rate that must be paid to those aged 23 or over. The NLW used to apply only to those aged 25 and over but from 1 April 2021 has

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Companies can claim super-deduction from 1 April

08/04/2021

The new super-deduction tax break, that will allow companies to deduct 130% of the cost of any qualifying investment from their taxable profits, is available on most new plant and machinery investments that ordinarily qualify for 18% main rate writing down allowances. This means that for every £1 a company invests they can reduce their

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Exempt beneficial loans

08/04/2021

An employee can obtain a benefit when provided with an employment-related cheap or interest-free loan. The benefit is the difference between the interest the employee pays, if any, and the commercial rate the employee would have to pay on a loan obtained elsewhere. These types of loans are referred to as beneficial loans. There are a

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Claims to reduce payments on account

08/04/2021

Self-Assessment taxpayers are usually required to pay their Income Tax liabilities in three instalments each year. The first two payments are due on 31 January during the tax year and 31 July following the tax year. These payments on account are based on 50% each of the previous year’s net Income Tax liability. In addition, the third (or

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Annual party benefits

08/04/2021

The cost of a staff party or other annual entertainment is generally allowed as a deduction for tax purposes. If you meet the various criteria outlined below then there is no requirement to report anything to HMRC or pay tax and National Insurance. There will also be no taxable benefit charged to employees. An annual function offered

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5% late penalties apply from 1 April 2021

01/04/2021

Self-Assessment taxpayers that failed to pay their outstanding tax liabilities or set up a payment plan by midnight on 1 April 2021 will be charged a 5% late payment penalty charge. Under the normal rules a 5% late payment penalty would have been charged if tax remained outstanding or a payment plan has not been set up before 3 March

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New support for High Streets and sea-side towns

01/04/2021

As lockdown measures begin to be eased, a new package of support measures to help high streets and coastal areas across England has been announced by the Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick. The support will be delivered via a new £56 million Welcome Back Fund. The new funding will help councils boost tourism, improve green spaces and

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£1.5bn boost for rates relief

01/04/2021

A new Business Rates relief fund will provide a £1.5 billion tranche of support to businesses outside the retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors affected by COVID-19. Retail, hospitality and leisure businesses have not been paying rates during the pandemic as part of a 15 month-long relief which runs to the end of June this year. Many

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OTS recommended changes to IHT

01/04/2021

The Financial Secretary to the Treasury has written to the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) to confirm that HM Treasury strongly supports some key recommendations on changes to Inheritance Tax. The government announced on 23 March 2021 that it will: change reporting regulations so that from 1 January 2022 over 90 per cent of

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Film and TV restart scheme

01/04/2021

The government’s £500 million scheme to kickstart film and television production entitled the Film and TV Production Restart Scheme, helps UK film and TV productions struggling to secure insurance for COVID-19 related costs. The Scheme allows TV and film productions that have been halted or delayed by a lack of insurance to get started

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Updating Self-Assessment tax returns

01/04/2021

There are special rules to follow if you have submitted a Self-Assessment return and subsequently realise you need to change it. This can happen if for example you made a mistake like entering a number incorrectly or missing information from the return. If you filed your return online, you could amend your return online as

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Disposing of garden or grounds

25/03/2021

In general, there is no Capital Gains Tax (CGT) on a property which has been used as a main family residence. This relief from CGT is commonly known as private residence relief. However, there are some grey areas which might result in CGT being due on the sale of a private residence. One of these areas to consider is when disposing of

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Have you claimed too much from furlough scheme?

25/03/2021

HMRC’s guidance makes it clear that any business that makes an error in making a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) claim must pay back any amount overclaimed. Any claims based on inaccurate information can be recovered by HMRC. If you’ve overclaimed a grant and have not repaid it, you must notify HMRC by the latest of 90 days

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Consider signing up to PROOF scheme

25/03/2021

One of the services offered by Companies House helps combat fraud and protect your company from unauthorised changes to records. The free service is known as the protected online filing (PROOF) scheme and means that any forms covered by PROOF can only be filed online. Companies House will reject any paper versions of the forms and send

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Calculating Minimum Wage if paid annual salary

25/03/2021

New National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage rates will come into effect on 1 April 2021. These changes will see the National Living Wage increase by 19p to an hourly rate of £8.91 and the National Minimum Wage will increase to £8.36 (a rise of 16p). There are also increases in the other minimum wage thresholds. There are special

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Incorporation relief

25/03/2021

When a taxpayer owns a business as a sole trader or in partnership, a capital gain will be deemed to arise if the business is converted into a company by reference to the market value of the business assets including goodwill. This could give rise to a chargeable gain based broadly on the difference between the market value of the assets

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Flat Rate Scheme limited cost trader check

25/03/2021

The VAT Flat Rate Scheme has been designed to simplify the way a business accounts for VAT and in so doing reduce the administration costs of complying with the VAT legislation. The scheme is open to businesses that expect their annual taxable turnover in the next 12 months to be no more than £150,000. A limited cost trader check was

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Tax Diary March/April 2021

25/03/2021

1 April 2021 - Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 30 June 2020. 19 April 2021 - PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 April 2021. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 April 2021) 19 April 2021 - Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly return for the month ended 5 April 2021. 19 April 2021 -

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What would a business vaccine aim to prevent?

23/03/2021

Now we are getting used to the idea that the various vaccines will provide some defence against COVID outbreaks, what would a vaccine for our businesses attempt to prevent? We have listed below a few strategies that you might like to consider that would help you survive any more periods of lockdown that governments may be forced to

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Rent-a-room relief

18/03/2021

The rent-a-room scheme is a set of special rules designed to help homeowners who rent-a-room in their home. The current tax-free threshold of £7,500 per year has been in place since 6 April 2016. If you are using this scheme you should ensure that rents received from lodgers during the current tax year do no exceed £7,500. The tax

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Tax-free property and trading income

18/03/2021

Two separate £1,000 tax allowances for property and trading income were introduced in April 2017. If you have both or either type of income highlighted below then you can claim a £1,000 allowance for each. The £1,000 exemptions from tax apply to: If you make up to £1,000 from self-employment, casual services (such as babysitting or

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Tax-free mileage expenses

18/03/2021

If you use your own vehicle for business journeys, then you may be able to claim a tax-free allowance from your employer known as a Mileage Allowance Payment or MAP. The allowance is available if employees use their own car, van, motorcycle or bike for work purposes. It is important to note that this tax-free allowance is not available

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Expenditure disallowed

18/03/2021

When deciding whether an expense is allowed or disallowed for tax purposes it is important to bear in mind that the expenditure must be incurred wholly and exclusively for the purposes of your trade or employment. Under the legislation any expenditure not incurred wholly and exclusively for the purposes of the trade, profession or

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Changing accounting date

18/03/2021

There are special rules in place which limit the ability to change a company’s year end date. A company’s year-end date is also known as its ‘accounting reference date’ and is historically set by reference to the date the company was incorporated. Under certain circumstances it is possible to make a change to the year end. As a rule, you

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Reminder of eight-step export routine

18/03/2021

Following the end of the Brexit transition period, the process for exporting goods to the EU mirrors the process for all other international destinations. Businesses, especially those that only trade with EU should by now be aware of the rules and be working accordingly. Businesses can make customs declarations themselves or hire a third

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Passports – expensive items

17/03/2021

Many families will be organising UK holidays this year and so passports may be left in draws for 2021. But when the market for overseas holidays opens up, better check that your passports still meet that important “6 months before they expire” condition if you don’t want to be turned back when you check in for your

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COVID – beating the bug

17/03/2021

Although it cannot be understated, that COVID has resulted in widespread personal tragedies and business hardships, there are stories circulating of businesses that have managed to buck the downward trend. Very often this is due to being in the right sector to take advantage of growth opportunities opening-up, more often, it is down to

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New mortgage guarantee scheme

11/03/2021

One of the measures announced as part of the March 2021 Budget was the introduction of a new mortgage guarantee scheme to help home buyers purchase a property. The new scheme is designed for prospective home buyers who only have a small deposit and are therefore unable to qualify for a mortgage. Under the new scheme, lenders will be able

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Temporary carry back of losses

11/03/2021

A new temporary extension to the eligible carry back period for trading losses has been announced. This will allow trading losses to be carried back for three years (rather than one). The extension to the relief applies to both incorporated and unincorporated businesses and is subject to a £2,000,000 cap. The relief will apply for

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