News

Changes to Companies House Fees

23/05/2024

There have been a number of significant changes in Companies House fees. These changes took effect on 1 May 2024. The last significant change in fees occurred in April 2016. The new fees have been calculated on a ‘cost recovery’ basis meaning that the fees are calculated based on what it costs to provide the services in question.

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Tax credits reminder

23/05/2024

We would like to remind our readers that HMRC is currently sending the annual tax credit renewal packs to 730,000 tax credit claimants. HMRC is encouraging recipients to renew their tax credits claim online. HMRC started writing to taxpayers on 2 May 2024 and expects all packs to be with recipients by the 19 June 2024. Renewal packs

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Reporting expenses and benefits to HMRC

23/05/2024

The deadline for submitting the 2023-24 forms P11D, P11D(b) and P9D is 6 July 2024. These forms can be submitted using commercial software or via HMRC’s PAYE online service. HMRC no longer accepts paper P11D and P11D(b) forms. Employees must also be provided with a copy of the information relating to them on these forms by the same date.

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VAT reverse charge for builders

23/05/2024

There are special VAT reverse charge rules for certain building contractors and sub-contractors. The rules, which came into effect on 1 March 2021, makes the supply of most construction services between construction or building businesses subject to the domestic reverse charge. The reverse charge only applies to supplies of specified

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Tax when transferring assets during divorce

23/05/2024

When a couple is separating or is divorced it is unlikely that they are thinking about the tax implications of their actions. However, apart from the emotional stress, there are also tax issues that can have significant implications. The Capital Gains Tax (CGT) rules that apply during separation and divorce changed for disposals that

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View your annual tax summary

23/05/2024

The Annual Tax Summary is a document provided by HMRC that shows details of the tax you pay and how this is used by government. The Annual Tax Summary shows: your taxable income from all sources that HMRC knew about at the time that it was prepared; the rates used to calculate your Income Tax and National Insurance contributions;

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Universal Credit changes

20/05/2024

Universal Credit claimants working less than half of a full-time week will have to look to increase their hours but will be able to benefit from extra work coach support. These changes will see 400,000 Universal Credit claimants receive more help to progress in work. The changes come as the PM announces once in a generation welfare

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Childcare funding for under 9-month-olds

20/05/2024

In a recent press release the Department for Education confirmed that parents of children from 9 months old can now apply to access government-funded childcare from September 2024, as England’s largest ever childcare expansion continues. From 12 May 2024, eligible working parents of children who will be 9 months old by 31 August can

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Employing staff for the first time?

16/05/2024

There are a number of rules and regulations that you must be aware of when you employ staff for the first time. HMRC’s guidance sets out some important issues to be aware of when becoming an employer. Decide how much to pay someone - you must pay your employee at least the National Minimum Wage. Check if someone has the legal right

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Register an overseas company

16/05/2024

An overseas company must register with Companies House if they want to set up a place of business in the UK. This would mean that the overseas company has a physical presence in the UK through which it carries on business. If an overseas company does not have a physical presence in the UK, they are not usually required to register with

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Beneficial tax-exempt loans

16/05/2024

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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Closing a limited company

16/05/2024

There are a number of reasons why you may need to close your limited company. This could be because the company structure no longer suits your needs, your business is no longer active, or the company is insolvent. You will usually need the agreement of all the company’s directors and shareholders to close down a company. The method for

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Check a VAT number

16/05/2024

The Check a UK VAT number service is available at: www.gov.uk/check-uk-vat-number. This service allows users to check: if a UK VAT registration number is valid; and the name and address of the registered business. The service also allows UK taxpayers to obtain a certificate to prove that they checked that a VAT registration number

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Deferring National Insurance payments

16/05/2024

Employees with more than one job may be able to defer or delay paying Class 1 National Insurance in certain circumstances. This deferment can be considered when any of the following apply: You pay Class 1 National Insurance with more than one employer. You earn £967 or more per week from one job over the tax year. You earn £1,209 or

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Customs declaration deadline

13/05/2024

A reminder that businesses must submit all export declarations through the Customs Declaration Service (CDS) by 4 June. Businesses exporting goods have less than one month left to move across to the CDS, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) announced today. Export declarations must be submitted through CDS from 4 June this year, when it

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Company names – new regulations

13/05/2024

A recent post by Companies House confirmed that they are now using new powers to challenge the registration of certain company names. Extracts from their recent blog post is reproduced below: “New powers to challenge company names These new measures build on existing controls on company names. Names cannot be the same as or too

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Time to renew tax credits

09/05/2024

HMRC is currently sending the annual tax credit renewal packs to the 730,000 tax credit claimants and is encouraging recipients to renew their tax credits claim online. HMRC started writing to taxpayers on 2 May and expects all packs to be with recipients by the 19 June 2024. Renewal packs with a black stripe across the front page are

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Act now to claim dormant funds

09/05/2024

The Ministry of Justice has published an urgent warning for anyone with unclaimed dormant funds held by the Courts Funds Office (CFO). Recent changes in legislation have changed the rules for individuals or entities with dormant funds held by the CFO. The new rules come into effect from 1 June 2024 and mean that any account that has been

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Check if HMRC contact is genuine

09/05/2024

HMRC’s published guidance titled ‘Check genuine HMRC contact that uses more than one communication method’ has been updated. The list is intended to help taxpayers check if recent contacts purporting to be from HMRC are actually a scam. The guidance contains a list of emails, phone calls, letters and text messages recently issued by HMRC

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How to claim R&D expenditure credit

09/05/2024

In the Autumn Statement last year, it was announced that the existing R&D Expenditure Credit and Small and Medium Enterprise Scheme would be merged from April 2024. The merged scheme R&D expenditure credit (RDEC) and enhanced R&D intensive support (ERIS) became effective for accounting periods beginning on or after 1 April

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Do you need to register for Economic Crime Levy?

09/05/2024

The Economic Crime Levy is a levy that applies to businesses that are already regulated for anti-money laundering purposes. Your business must register if your UK revenue is £10.2 million or more in a financial year and: Your business is already regulated by HMRC for anti-money laundering purposes. Your business is regulated by a

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Lifetime transfers and liability to IHT

09/05/2024

There are special rules concerning the liability to IHT of a transfer made during a lifetime. For example, most gifts made during a person's life are not subject to tax at the time of the gift. These lifetime transfers are known as 'potentially exempt transfers' or 'PETs'. These gifts or transfers achieve their potential of becoming

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Tax Diary June/July 2024

07/05/2024

1 June 2024 - Due date for corporation tax due for the year ended 31 August 2023. 19 June 2024 - PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 June 2024. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 June 2024). 19 June 2024 - Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly return for the month ended 5 June 2024. 19 June 2024 - CIS

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Cyber protection laws introduced

07/05/2024

New consumer protections against hacking and cyber-attacks came into force at the end of April 2024. All internet connected smart devices will be required by law to meet minimum-security standards. Manufacturers will be legally required to protect consumers from hackers and cyber criminals from accessing devices with internet or network

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New Companies House powers

07/05/2024

The recently introduced Economic Crime and Transparency Act has gifted Companies House a range of new powers aimed at reducing exploitation by corporate entities to pursue illegal enterprise. The aim of the new reforms are: Introducing identity verification for all new and existing registered company directors, People with Significant

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VAT boost to charitable donations

02/05/2024

The government is looking to introduce a new relief that would provide a VAT boost to charitable donations. The new VAT relief would be designed to encourage businesses to donate everyday items to charities without creating a VAT liability. A 12-week consultation on the proposed changes will be launched before 23 July 2024. Under the

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New tips guidance published

02/05/2024

New rules that stop employers from withholding tips from people working in the hospitality, leisure and services sectors are a step closer following the publication of a new Code of Practice on tipping. The Employment (Allocation of Tips) Act 2023 colloquially known as the Tipping Act received Royal Assent on 2 May 2023. However, the

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Self-employed tax basis period reform

02/05/2024

The self-employed tax basis period reform has changed the way trading income is allocated to tax years. Under the reforms, the tax basis period has changed from a ‘current year basis’ to a ‘tax year basis’. This means that all sole trader and partnership businesses must now report their profits on a tax year basis, beginning with the

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Directors who are liable for unpaid tax

02/05/2024

HMRC has the power to make directors personally liable for paying the tax debts of companies they have been involved in under certain limited circumstances. This can also apply to certain other individuals associated with a company. A joint and several liability notice tells the recipient that they are personally responsible, along with

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Business rates relief in England

02/05/2024

Business rates are a tax on non-domestic premises, including most commercial properties such as shops, offices, pubs, warehouses and factories. The money raised through business rates is used to help fund local services like the police, fire and rescue services. Business rates are generally calculated by multiplying the rateable value of

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Hiring customs agents

02/05/2024

Customs declarations can be difficult and time consuming to complete. Businesses can make their own custom's declarations; however, this is complex and requires specialist skills and software. Most businesses use a specialist such as a customs agent, broker, freight forwarder or fast parcel operator to submit import and export customs

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Free management course for SMEs

30/04/2024

The government has launched the new Help to Grow: Management Essentials course; a short online course with practical tips and resources for small business leaders. It is based on the 12-week Help to Grow: Management Course and is suited for leaders of newer or smaller SMEs, or those who are looking to explore the principles of business

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Post Office Offences Bill to be extended

30/04/2024

The Government has tabled amendments to expand the territorial extent of the Post Office Offences Bill. Convictions resulting from the Post Office Horizon scandal in Northern Ireland will now be within scope. This blanket exoneration will automatically quash convictions brought about by the scandal, including 26 in Northern Ireland,

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Childcare Account chores

25/04/2024

HMRC’s Childcare account can be used to claim free childcare (if eligible) or pay for Tax-Free Childcare. HMRC’s sign in page for the account states that in order ‘…to keep getting free childcare or Tax-Free Childcare, you must sign in every 3 months and confirm your details are up to date’. There are various eligibility rules that must

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Do’s and don’ts for Standard Visitors to the UK

25/04/2024

There is useful guidance published on GOV.UK that explains the do’s and don’ts for Standard Visitors to the UK. Visitors to the UK who are classed as a ‘Standard Visitor’ are allowed in the UK for tourism, business, study (courses up to 6 months) and other permitted activities. Permitted activities include the following: for tourism,

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Bikes for employees

25/04/2024

The Cycle to Work scheme allows employers to provide bicycles and cyclists’ safety equipment to employees as a tax-free benefit. The scheme must be offered to all employees and the bike must be used mainly for qualifying journeys i.e., between home and work. However, private use of the bike is also allowed. Where the scheme conditions are

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Tax-free home sales

25/04/2024

In general, there is no Capital Gains Tax (CGT) liability created when a property used as the main family residence is sold. An investment property which has never been used as a home will not qualify. This relief from CGT is commonly known as private residence relief. Taxpayers are entitled to full relief from CGT when all of the

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Transferring unused nil rate band for IHT

25/04/2024

The Inheritance Tax residence nil rate band (RNRB) is a transferable allowance for married couples and civil partners (per person) when their main residence is passed down to a direct descendent such as children or grandchildren after their death. The allowance increased to the present maximum level of £175,000 from 6 April 2020. The

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Checking your National Insurance records

25/04/2024

There is an online service available on HMRC to check your National Insurance Contributions (NIC) record online. The service is available at https://www.gov.uk/check-national-insurance-record In order to use this service, you will need to have a Government Gateway account. If you do not have an account, you can apply to set one up

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Tipping boost

24/04/2024

The government’s Tipping Act is a step closer to coming into force, as the Code of Practice is published and laid before Parliament. The new Code of Practice will protect the tips of more than 2 million workers giving them a fair share of the tips received by a company. Millions of UK workers are set to take home an estimated £200

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Smart energy

24/04/2024

In a recent press release, the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero confirmed that consumers are set to benefit from cheaper and more convenient energy deals as part of new measures to create a smart, flexible electricity system to help save money on bills. They said: “New proposals set out in a recent consultation will

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Payrolling employee expenses and benefits

18/04/2024

Employers can register on a voluntary basis (before the start of the tax year) to report and account for tax on certain benefits and expenses via the RTI system. This is known as payrolling and removes the requirement to complete a P11D for the selected benefits at the tax year end. The deadline for submitting the 2023-24 forms P11D,

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Changes to Scottish Income Tax rates 2024-25

18/04/2024

A reminder of the changes to Scottish Income Tax rates for the 2024-25 tax year. It was announced as part of the Scottish Budget measures that a new tax band called the advanced rate band will apply a 45% tax rate on annual income between £75,000 and £125,140 and would come into effect from 6 April 2024. In addition, 1p was added to the

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Taxable employment benefits from April 2026

18/04/2024

From April 2026, the government will mandate the reporting and paying of Income Tax and Class 1A National Insurance Contributions on benefits in kind via payroll software. This represents a significant change to the current system and should reduce the administrative requirements and simplify the tax system for both employers and

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View and prove your immigration status

18/04/2024

A UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) account can be used by eligible users to view and prove their immigration status online. This may be required to provide proof of your status to employers or higher education providers. The service can also be used to update personal details or to check what rights you have in the UK, for example the

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Post Transaction Valuation Checks

18/04/2024

A Post Transaction Valuation Check (PTVC) can be requested from HMRC for an individual to work out a capital gains tax liability or for companies to calculate corporation tax liability on chargeable gains. The request for a PTVC should be made using the CG34 form. HMRC’s guidance says the form must be completed and sent to the address on

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Class 4 NICs who is liable?

18/04/2024

Most self-employed people are required to pay Class 4 National Insurance contributions (NICs) if their profits are £12,570 or more a year. Class 4 NIC rates for the tax year 2024-25 are 6% (2023-24: 9%) for chargeable profits between £12,570 and £50,270 plus 2% on any profits over £50,270. A number of categories of people are exempt

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Tax Diary May/June 2024

18/04/2024

1 May 2024 - Due date for corporation tax due for the year ended 30 July 2023. 19 May 2024 - PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 May 2024. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 May 2024). 19 May 2024 - Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly return for the month ended 5 May 2024. 19 May 2024 - CIS tax

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COVID Bounce Back abuse

16/04/2024

The Insolvency Service has recently published information confirming that a total of 831 company directors were banned in 2023-24 for Covid support scheme abuse, up more than 80% on the previous year, and that the average length of director disqualification for Covid misconduct in 2023-24 was almost 10 years. The Covid Bounce Back Loan

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Settling energy disputes

16/04/2024

Business owners that are in dispute with their energy suppliers will be interested in the free support on offer from the Energy Ombudsman. In a recent press release the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero confirmed the following: “Businesses will get free support to resolve issues with their energy contracts, as part of

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Accessing the HMRC mobile APP

11/04/2024

HMRC’s free tax app is available to download from the App Store for iOS and from the Google Play Store for Android. The latest version of the app includes updated functionality. The app can be used to see: your tax code and National Insurance number; your income and benefits; your income from work in the previous 5 years; how much

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Using the starter PAYE checklist

11/04/2024

Employers that take on a new employee need to work out which tax code and starter declaration to use in their payroll software. Incorrect tax codes can lead to a new employee paying more tax than is due. Employers will require certain information from their new employee in order to ensure that the correct tax code and starter declaration

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HMRC continues to target till fraud

11/04/2024

HMRC has, for many years, looked to target businesses that deliberately undertake electronic sales suppression (ESS). ESS happens where a business deliberately manipulates its electronic sales records in order to hide or reduce the value of individual transactions. This type of fraud is hard to spot as it tries to reduce the recorded

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Termination payment clearance process

11/04/2024

The tax treatment of termination payments has changed significantly over recent years. The changes have aligned the rules for tax and secondary National Insurance contributions (employer (NICs)) by making an employer liable to pay NICs on termination payments they make to their employees. HMRC has announced that it is aligning its

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VAT retail schemes

11/04/2024

VAT retail schemes are a special set of schemes used by retail businesses to account for VAT. The schemes are used by businesses that sell a significant amount of low value and/or small quantity items to the public with different VAT liabilities. The use of the schemes can save businesses a significant amount of time in calculating the

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Paying VAT on goods from EU to Northern Ireland

11/04/2024

There are special procedures for moving goods in and out of Northern Ireland. Under the Northern Ireland Protocol, all Northern Ireland businesses continue to have access to the whole UK market. There is specific guidance published by HMRC that should be followed for goods that are received into Northern Ireland from a supplier in the

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New employment protections

09/04/2024

New legislation, including three Government backed cross party Acts, came into force from 6 April 2024. Pregnant women and new parents will now receive special treatment in a redundancy situation, as a suite of new laws are introduced - delivering the Government’s plan to support families and back hardworking Brits. New laws will

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What do we mean by profit?

09/04/2024

When most business owners refer to business profits, they are likely to mean the difference between sales and costs, and more concisely, that sales exceed costs. However, the word “profits” can prove to be a moveable feast as HMRC, banks and traders will likely have a different interpretation. For example, do costs

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To register or not to register

05/04/2024

In the recent Spring Budget, the VAT registration threshold was raised to £90,000 (previously £85,000) which means that smaller businesses that did not want to register for VAT, now have an additional £5,000 of turnover they can make each year without needing to register for VAT. Obviously, if you sell goods or services to other

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Measures to support household budgets from 1 April

05/04/2024

In a recent press release the government confirmed the following policies to support household incomes from 1 April 2024. The National Living Wage has officially risen from £10.42 an hour to £11.44. This marks a £1,800 annual boost to full-time workers’ pay packets. This means nobody over 21 will earn less than two-thirds of the

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