Month: March 2016

Bank Interest tax changes

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‘A great many savers will have no idea that, from April, they may for the first time have to check whether they need to report or pay tax on interest they have received, rather than have their bank deduct the tax they owe.’
Chairman of the House of Lords’ Economic Affairs Committee, Lord Hollick, commenting on HMRC’s ‘inadequate’ communication strategy that has rendered taxpayers ‘unaware’ of key changes to the taxation of savings and dividends.


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5 April
Last day of 2015/16 tax year.
Deadline for 2015/16 ISA investments.
Last day to make disposals using the 2015/16 CGT exemption.
7 April
Due date for submission and payment of VAT for the quarter ended 29th February 2016.
14 April
Due date for income tax for the CT61 period to 31 March 2016.
19/22 April
Quarter 4 2015/16 PAYE remittance due.
30 April
Normal annual adjustment for VAT partial exemption calculations (monthly returns).

Budget 2016

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This Report, which was written immediately after the Chancellor of the Exchequer delivered his Budget Speech, is intended to provide an overview of the latest announcements and recent measures most…
Source: Budget 2016

Chancellor presents a Budget 'for the next generation'

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16 Mar 2016
Chancellor George Osborne delivered his eighth Budget to the House of Commons, dubbing it a ‘Budget for the long term’ but warning that ‘the storm clouds are gathering again’.
Having proclaimed that the British economy is ‘fit for the future’ and that the Government remains on course to achieve a budget surplus of £10.4bn in 2019/20, the Chancellor warned that a growing tide of global economic gloom threatens to overshadow the UK.
With low productivity and a weak global outlook continuing to present a ‘dangerous cocktail of risks’, the Chancellor revealed that the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has significantly revised down its economic forecasts for the next five years, with UK economic growth forecast to be just 2% in 2016.
Official figures also revealed that the Chancellor has missed his target to reduce debt as a share of GDP. Borrowing forecasts have been revised upwards to £55.5bn for 2016/17, and the Chancellor announced the need for deeper spending cuts, with £3.5bn of additional savings to be made by 2019/20.
With an EU referendum fast approaching the Chancellor was keen to point out that the OBR’s forecasts were predicated on there being no Brexit, and to share its misgivings that leaving the EU could usher in a ‘period of uncertainty’ for the UK.

Business tax roadmap

The Chancellor revealed a package of business tax measures, announcing that the Small Business Rate Relief threshold will rise from £6,000 to £15,000 from April 2017 and promising further radical changes, with the uprating of business rates set to change from RPI to CPI. Greater London will see the complete devolution of business rates from next April.
In additional measures for SMEs, stamp duty on commercial property has been reduced for lower value purchases with effect from midnight, while corporation tax will see another reduction, reaching 17% by April 2020.

Measures for individuals

Meanwhile, for individuals, building on the recent announcement of a new Help to Save scheme, the Chancellor unveiled a new Lifetime ISA for the under-40s, which will allow individuals to save up to £4,000 a year towards buying a home or financing their retirement, which the Government will top up by 25%.
Other key announcements on personal taxation included the next step in the Government’s drive to increase the income tax personal allowance, which will rise to £11,500 from April 2017, at which time the threshold for higher rate tax will also rise to £45,000.
Capital gains tax rates will also be cut, with the headline rate falling from 28% to 20% and the basic rate from 18% to 10% with effect from 6 April.
Fuel duty will remain frozen for the sixth consecutive year, while tobacco duties will rise above inflation, and from 2018 a new sugar levy on the soft drinks industry will aim to combat the problem of childhood obesity.
Other significant measures include additional investment in the nation’s infrastructure, further measures towards the ‘devolution revolution’ and plans to turn every school in England into an academy.

No Pension Tax Relief Changes

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The Chancellor has announced there will be no changes to tax relief on pensions.

Should I incorporate?

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Deciding whether or not to incorporate your business is something that is often dismissed as too complicated and not worth the effort. In fact, it isn’t that bad and can lead to tax savings and a greater level of control over your income and the taxes due.
There is paperwork to complete but don’t let this put you off if incorporating your business is right for you. VAT registrations can be transferred and PAYE schemes can be set up and all of this is relatively straight forward.
The accounting principles used to prepare accounts should be the same for all businesses but certain deductions may be allowed or disallowed for tax purposes where the business is conducted through a particular medium.
For example, companies are permitted to makes the following deductions, which are or will be restricted for an unincorporated business:

  • Interest and finance costs for letting residential property (restricted from April 2017).
  • Payments to your pension scheme.

Companies are not permitted to use the cash basis of accounting or fixed rate deductions (also called simplified expenses), which may make a difference to the level of taxable profit.
Administrative costs
The additional costs and hassle involving in running a company should not be underestimated. For example, when operating as a company the business owner will need to:

  • Operate separate bank accounts for the company and maintain records of payments made to the business owners.
  • Draw-up and submit annual accounts that comply with company law to Companies House.
  • Submit an annual return to Companies House, including a filing fee.
  • Tag figures in the accounts and tax return to submit both online to HMRC.

A company will normally have to operate a PAYE scheme to report salary and benefits paid to its director(s). This will require monthly RTI reports, unless the directors are paid only annually. As a sole trader or partnership you are not required to operate a PAYE scheme if you have no employees.
Tax reliefs
The following reliefs are perhaps beyond the scope of a typical sole director limited company. Nonetheless they are available and it is worth seeing if there is anything you can take advantage of. The tax reliefs only available to companies include:

  • Enhanced reliefs for research and development (R&D tax relief).
  • Reduced tax on income from exploiting patents (Patent Box).
  • Enhanced reliefs for the creation of films, TV programmes, video games or theatre productions.
  • Tax reliefs for investors using the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS), or Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) or Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR). SITR is available to unincorporated charities.

Pensions: George Osborne to drop tax relief plans

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From BBC News UK


An Isa-style scheme would have ended tax relief on contributions, but made pension pot withdrawals tax free.
Mr Osborne was due to unveil the plans in the Budget on 16 March, but was warned it could cause a run on savings.
The proposal, which would have made savings from the government’s £21bn tax relief bill, had been opposed by pensions minister Baroness Altmann.
Conservative MPs had also become concerned about the impact of the changes on higher earners.

A Treasury source said now was not the time to make changes to pension tax relief.
BBC political correspondent Eleanor Garnier says the decision is a recognition of how fragile the EU referendum campaign is – avoiding the changes removes the risk of upsetting voters ahead of the vote in June.
The chancellor had been considering two options – the other being a flat rate of tax relief for everyone saving for a pension. Those who pay higher rates of tax currently get bigger breaks.

An ally of the chancellor told the Times: “George has always been clear he wouldn’t do anything to damage saving.
“He’s listened to what people have said and concluded that now isn’t the right time, with uncertainty in the global economy and reforms such as auto-enrolment still bedding in, to turn things on their head.
“It is also clear that employers wouldn’t welcome a wholesale change in the way they administer schemes. So he is not going to tear up the system of pension tax relief. There won’t be any changes to tax relief at all in the budget.”

Industry opposition

Baroness Altmann made clear she was opposed to the idea, and there was the threat of resistance from Tory MPs worried about the effects on their constituents, potentially costing higher-rate taxpayers thousands of pounds from their retirement income.
The pensions minister said: “The freedom and choice reforms have put us in a place where people’s pensions can work well for them.
“However, tax is a natural brake on them spending their pension fund too soon.”

How pension tax relief works

Pension tax relief is given on contributions at the rate of income tax – 20%, 40% or 45%.
Someone at the 20% rate contributing £10,000 gross to their pension would have to pay £8,000 net, at 40% it would be £6,000, and £5,500 for those at 45%. So it favours the better off.
Pension savers currently pay no tax on money they put in but pay tax on the cash they take out above their personal allowance.
The amount anyone can save into a pension and get tax relief is capped at £40,000 annually and £1.25m in their lifetime.

The proposal had been opposed by the pensions industry.
Yvonne Braun, of the Association of British Insurers, said the scheme would have hit current savers and could have created a “fiscal time bomb” for future generations.
She said: “Many savers would be worse off and it would also damage the economy more widely because of its impact on saving and investment.”
Changes to the pensions system in recent years have included automatic enrolment into workplace pensions in 2012 and people aged 55 and over being allowed to take their retirement pots how they want rather than being required to buy an annuity retirement income introduced in 2015.

Small Business Guide To Social Media

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Small Business Guide To Social Media – Advice From Sage
Source: Small Business Guide To Social Media

Small Business Guide To Social Media

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Small Business Guide To Social Media – Advice From Sage

HMRC Tax Changes

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BBC News – HMRC ‘failing to tell taxpayers of key changes to savings taxes’