270,000 late penalty notices cancelled by the Revenue

270,000 late penalty notices cancelled by the Revenue

A response to a freedom of information request has revealed that HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) cancelled 270,000 late penalty notices in 2016. However, this figure was dwarfed by the 610,000 cancellations in 2015 and the 400,000 cancellations in 2014. The request was made by a partner in a ‘magic circle’ law firm, who was himself issued with a late penalty notice, despite having submitted Read more…

OTS calls for overhaul of ‘complex’ tax charges and reliefs

OTS calls for overhaul of ‘complex’ tax charges and reliefs

An overhaul of “the complex patchwork” of tax charges and reliefs affecting businesses throughout various stages of the business lifecycle is urgently required in order to stimulate growth among small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) has said. In a report published midway through April, the OTS looked closely at business taxes, charges and reliefs, identifying a number of areas in Read more…

1.3 million SMEs hoping to branch out internationally to boost growth

1.3 million SMEs hoping to branch out internationally to boost growth

An annual survey suggests that some 1.3 million UK-based small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) intend to branch out overseas this year in a bid to expand their horizons and fuel their growth plans. According to CitySprint’s latest annual survey of business owners and decision makers, ambitions among Britain’s SMEs remain strong despite the fact that business confidence has fallen slightly over the past few years. Read more…

Workplace pension contributions more than double

Workplace pension contributions more than double

The percentage of salary employers and employees must contribute to a workplace pension has increased from 6 April 2018. Employees will now contribute three per cent (up from one per cent) of their annual salary into a personal workplace pension, while employer contributions have increased from one to two per cent. Under the new rules, an employee earning an average salary (around £27,000) can expect Read more…

Dividend Allowance cut could cost you £1,143. Is it time to restructure?

Dividend Allowance cut could cost you £1,143. Is it time to restructure?

For a while, company directors have been able to make a tax-efficient living by taking a combination of salary and dividends due to the generous Dividend Allowance. However, changes which took effect from 6 April 2018 have cut the allowance from £5,000 to just £2,000. The changes are meant to level the playing field between the self-employed, directors, shareholders and employees, but if you’re not Read more…

Do you offer an EMI scheme? These are the new rules you need to know about

Do you offer an EMI scheme? These are the new rules you need to know about

EU State Aid approval for the Enterprise Management Incentives (EMI) scheme expired on 6 April 2018, meaning any share options received after this date may not be eligible for tax reliefs. This is an important change for employers who currently grant EMI share options or plan to do so in the future. The Government said it is currently following the process of applying to the Read more…

Millions of people have not checked their online tax accounts for errors

Millions of people have not checked their online tax accounts for errors

Millions of people from across the UK could be paying more tax than they need to, it has emerged, after figures from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) showed that more than 15 million individuals have not checked their Personal Tax Accounts. The figure means that less than half of taxpayers have accessed their accounts, risking errors in the amount they pay. Personal Tax Accounts were Read more…

Late payments in the spotlight after Carillion collapse

Late payments in the spotlight after Carillion collapse

Small businesses in the UK have long been scourged by late payments, but the problem was brought into sharp focus earlier this year following the collapse of construction giant, Carillion, emphasising the importance of careful credit control. According to the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), some suppliers were waiting as long as 120 days to receive payment from Carillion. FSB National Chairman, Mike Cherry, said: Read more…

Quarterly digital reporting to HM Revenue & Customs opens to self-employed individuals

Quarterly digital reporting to HM Revenue & Customs opens to self-employed individuals

Since March this year, self-employed individuals have had the option of reporting their income digitally to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) as part of a pilot of the Government’s Making Tax Digital (MTD) programme. The Government has long had the ambition of taking most taxes including Income Tax, VAT and Corporation Tax onto a system of quarterly reporting using ‘designated software packages’ under the auspices Read more…

HMRC takes new steps to tackle online VAT fraud

HMRC takes new steps to tackle online VAT fraud

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has been granted new powers to help combat online VAT fraud conducted on digital marketplaces. Originally outlined by the Chancellor in the 2017 Autumn Budget, the new powers – known by the term ‘joint-and-several liability’ (JSL) for online marketplaces – strengthen existing arrangements to make online marketplaces accountable for VAT fraud committed by online sellers on their platforms. In its Read more…