New tax task force launched

A new HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) task force is to target people in Scotland who appear to be living beyond their means. HMRC said on 3 August that the team of specialist officers expected to recover an extra £4.5 million by identifying wealth indicators – such as large houses, investments, aeroplanes, boats and undeclared offshore bank accounts – and cross-referencing them with data HMRC Read more…

Dividend Allowance a ‘back door’ tax rise, say experts

The Association of Taxation Technicians (ATT) says guidance on the new Dividend Allowance will come as a “shock” to taxpayers. Under current arrangements, basic rate taxpayers pay no tax on dividends received. Higher and additional rate taxpayers pay tax at 25 per cent and 30.55 per cent respectively on dividend income. But in the Summer Budget on 8 July, Chancellor George Osborne announced that from Read more…

Invoice finance freedom on way

Businesses are to be freed from a ban on using invoice finance in contracts, the government has confirmed. Invoice financing – in which a third party agrees to buy unpaid invoices for a fee – can provide a valuable source of funds in the interval between completing work and receiving payment for it. More than 44,000 businesses benefit from more than £19 billion of funding Read more…

Key sectors in red tape spotlight

The government has launched new reviews designed to slash red tape in five key industry sectors. The reviews, announced by Business Secretary Sajid Javid announced on 16 July, are part of a government commitment to axe unnecessary regulation and its poor implementation by a further £10 billion by 2020. They will focus on the energy, waste, agriculture, care homes and mineral extraction sectors and the Read more…

Pension participation hits new high

Workplace pension participation has hit its highest level in a decade with young people among the biggest winners, new research has found. Office for National Statistics figures published on 16 July revealed that overall, 70 per cent of eligible employees –13.9 million people – paid into a workplace pension in 2014, a 15 per cent increase in two years. More than half (54 per cent) Read more…

New start date for Tax-Free Childcare

The start date for a new government scheme offering help with childcare costs has been put back by more than a year. It was originally planned that the Tax-Free Childcare initiative would be introduced in autumn 2015. But when legal action was brought by a group of childcare voucher providers involved in delivering the scheme that Tax-Free Childcare will eventually replace, they were granted an Read more…

HMRC collects an extra £11.9bn

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) collected a record £517.7 billion in tax in 2014-15, £11.9 billion more than the previous year. The figures were included in HMRC’s Annual Report and Accounts for 2014-15, published on 16 July, which featured achievements including: securing and protecting a record £26.6 billion through tax compliance crackdowns prosecuting 1,289 cases, predominately for tax-related crimes, and securing a total of 407 Read more…

Self assessment warning over dividend changes

Changes to the way dividend income is taxed could drag people on lower incomes into self assessment and have implications for incorporation, tax experts have warned. Under current arrangements, basic rate taxpayers pay no tax on dividends received. Higher and additional rate taxpayers pay rates of 25 per cent and 30.55 per cent respectively on dividend income. A summer Budget announcement means that from April Read more…

Rents set to rise as Budget hits landlords

Almost two-third of landlords are considering raising rents as a result of summer Budget tax changes, research has found. In the summer Budget on 8 July, Chancellor George Osborne announced that mortgage interest relief for residential landlords would be restricted to the 20 per cent basic rate of income tax, phased in over four years from April 2017. Currently, individual landlords can deduct their costs Read more…

Fears raised over tax debt ‘bank raid’ Bill

Tax campaigners have raised concerns that safeguards for taxpayers from whose bank accounts HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) wishes to directly take money are not “watertight”. The Summer Finance Bill 2015, published on 15 July, includes measures to give HMRC the power to seize money directly from the bank and building society accounts of tax debtors, known as direct recovery of debts or DRD. Money Read more…