Archive for January, 2016

Review of airside VAT free shopping

Wednesday, January 6th, 2016

A review has been launched by George Osborne to make sure shoppers share in the reduction in VAT in future. At present, it seems that retailers, particularly the larger retailers, are pocking the cash benefits and not passing them on to customers.

Here’s what a recent announcement on this topic confirmed:

The Chancellor, George Osborne, has launched a review into airport sales to make sure VAT savings are being passed on to shoppers… the Chancellor confirmed that the extensive review will make sure that VAT relief in airports is leading to savings for shoppers, as it is intended to do.

Currently, some airside retailers are keeping up to an estimated 50p of every £1 of potential VAT savings instead of passing those savings on to shoppers.

The Chancellor has tasked HMRC to review airside VAT-free shopping to make sure that shoppers share more of the benefit in future. The review is expected to be completed by early 2016 and will also cover all other airside shopping taxes.

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said:

For families flying out of the UK for a winter-getaway, airports should be the ideal place to pick-up a bargain.

VAT relief at airports is intended to cut prices for those travellers – not be a windfall gain for shops.

But many people could be paying over the odds for their purchases because the Government’s VAT concession isn’t passed on.

This is simply unacceptable. I have launched a review to make sure that this VAT relief benefits those it’s intended for – consumers – whatever time of the year they are travelling.

This review will consider ways to ensure prices reflect VAT savings as well as savings on duty.

Source: New feed.

Tax Diary January/February 2016

Tuesday, January 5th, 2016

1 January 2016 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 31 March 2015.

 19 January 2016 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 January 2016. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 January 2016.)

 19 January 2016 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly return for the month ended 5 January 2016.

 19 January 2016 – CIS tax deducted for the month ended 5 January 2016 is payable by today.

 31 January 2016 – Last day to file 2014-15 Self Assessment tax returns online.

 31 January 2016 – Balance of Self Assessment tax owing for 2014-15 due to be settled today. Also first payment on account for 2015-16 due today.

 1 February 2016 – Due date for Corporation Tax payable for the year ended 30 April 2015.

 19 February 2016 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 February 2016. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 February 2016.)

 19 February 2016 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly return for the month ended 5 February 2016.

 19 February 2016 – CIS tax deducted for the month ended 5 February 2016 is payable by today.

Source: New feed.

Car fuel advisory rates changes

Tuesday, January 5th, 2016

 From 1 December 2015, the advisory fuel rates have changed to:

1400cc or less: petrol 11p per mile, LPG 7p per mile

1401-2000cc: petrol 13p per mile, LPG 9p per mile

Over 2000cc: petrol 20p per mile, LPG 13p per mile

Diesel rates:

1600cc or less: 9p per mile

1601-2000cc: 11p per mile

Over 2000cc: 13p per mile

 

These rates can be used from 1 December 2015 to calculate the petrol content of mileage rates paid to employees, or as a basis to repay private petrol provided by employers for the use of a company car.

Source: New feed.

Quarterly accounts filing

Tuesday, January 5th, 2016

At present smaller businesses are required to file accounts once a year with HMRC when their Self Assessment or Corporation Tax returns are filed.

HMRC are now moving towards the provision of a digital account for business owners, a portal that will allow taxpayers to manage their tax affairs online. In the draft notes for the Finance Bill 2016 there is further clarification of the way in which HMRC will expect this digital account to be used.

Here’s what they have to say:

 “Making Tax digital – As announced at Autumn Statement, the government will invest £1.3 billion to transform HMRC into one of the most digitally advanced tax administrations in the world. Most businesses, self-employed people and landlords will be required to keep track of their tax affairs digitally and update HMRC at least quarterly via their digital tax account. HMRC will ensure the availability of free apps and software that link securely to HMRC systems and provide support to those who need help using digital technology. This will not apply to individuals in employment, or pensioners, unless they have secondary incomes of more than £10,000 per year. The government will publish its plans to transform the tax system shortly and will consult on the details in 2016.”

This declaration is likely to have wide ranging implications. For example, will HMRC use this data to require taxpayers to pay their tax quarterly instead of twice yearly (if self employed), or annually if incorporated? Will tax due be based on current year earnings instead of prior year profits?

As stated, HMRC will be consulting on the detail this year. We will be keeping a careful eye on the outcome of their deliberations. Readers should be aware that these changes are unlikely to be implemented before 2020.

Source: New feed.

Stamp Duty increase for second home buyers

Tuesday, January 5th, 2016

George Osborne and his team seem to have a grudge against landlords and second home owners. From 1 April 2016, Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) payable on the acquisition of residential property – where the property is a second home or a buy-to-let investment – will see a significant increase in the amount of SDLT payable.

 

At present, this will only apply to properties purchased in England and Wales. In Scotland, the new Land and Buildings Transaction Tax applies.

 

For example:

 

Andy Jones is considering a further acquisition for his Midlands based buy-to-let property business of £300,000. What are the SDLT implications of buying before or after 1 April 2016?

 

Completion date 1 March 2016 – SDLT payable would be £5,000.

Completion date 1 May 2016 – SDLT payable would be £14,000.

 

The virtual tripling in SDLT due is a result of the 3% increase in SDLT rates from 1 April 2016. For acquisitions after 1 April 2016 the new rates are:

 

£0 to £40,000 no SDLT is payable

£40,000 to £125,000 – 3% on total cost of acquisition

£125,001 to £250,000 – 5% on this band only

£250,001 to £925,000 – 8% on this band only

£925,001 to £1.5m – 13% on this band only

Over £1.5m – 15% of the property price above this amount

 

Will this fuel a rush to buy before rates increase on 1 April 2016? Prospective buyers may want to consider this option, but don’t buy in haste and repent at leisure!

Source: New feed.

Other changes proposed

Tuesday, January 5th, 2016

The government has also published its intention to change a number of other tax reporting issues. Some of the more impactful for smaller businesses and Self Assessment tax payers are reproduced below:

  1. Simple Assessment – legislation will be introduced in Finance Bill 2016 to provide a new power to allow HMRC to make an assessment of a person's Income Tax or Capital Gains Tax liability without them first being required to complete a Self Assessment return where it has sufficient information about that individual to make the assessment. This measure will have effect on and after the date of Royal Assent to Finance Bill 2016.
  1. PAYE – ‘On or Before’ Reporting Obligation Review – HMRC have carried out a review of the ‘On or Before’ reporting obligations for employers who use the Real Time information payroll filing process. Currently, existing micro employers (with 9 or fewer employees) using Real-Time PAYE may take advantage of a reporting relaxation to report all payments they make in a tax month ‘on or before’ the last payday in the tax month rather than 'on or before' each and every payday. This is a 2 year temporary relaxation which is legislated to come to an end on 5 April 2016: this measure confirms the temporary relaxation will end, as planned, aligning the treatment of existing micro employers with all other employers.
  1. Capital Gains Tax: payment on account – from April 2019 a payment on account of any Capital Gains Tax (CGT) due on the disposal of residential property will be required to be made within 30 days of completion of the disposal. Taxpayers will be able to reconcile their payment on account with their total CGT liability for the year, after the year end. Legislation will be introduced in Finance Bill 2017 and the government will publish draft legislation for consultation in 2016.
  1. Student loan repayments – As announced at Autumn Statement: From April 2016 the income threshold for loans taken out on or after 1 September 2012 is frozen at £21,000 until 5 April 2021, and from April 2019 employers will be asked to start deducting repayments from borrowers of postgraduate loans, at a rate of 6% alongside undergraduate repayments at the existing rate of 9%
  1. Data-gathering from Electronic Payment Providers and Business Intermediaries – Legislation will be introduced in Finance Bill 2016 to identify businesses who are not complying with their tax obligations by extending HMRC’s current data gathering powers. The extended powers will include business intermediaries who facilitate transactions, particularly online and electronic payment service providers who operate digital wallets, thereby future-proofing legislation to include emerging new data sources.
  1. Stamp Duty Land Tax: changes to the filing and payment process – As announced at Autumn Statement, the government will consult in 2016 on changes to the SDLT filing and payment process, including a reduction in the filing and payment window from 30 days to 14 days. These changes will come into effect in 2017 to 2018.

Source: New feed.

Business flood victims support fund

Monday, January 4th, 2016

Businesses caught up in the devastation of Storm Eva will be able to apply for £6 million of government money to get their doors back open to customers.

Read Winter flooding 2015: community support for advice and current information.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills announced the cash pot would be made available for the estimated 2,500 firms on either side of the Pennines left flooded by the Boxing Day deluge in the north of England.

The £6 million package adds to the £5 million already announced by the government to help businesses in Lancashire and Cumbria affected by Storm Desmond earlier in December.

Small Business Minister Anna Soubry said:

It’s been a devastating Christmas for many business owners in the north of England who now face the challenge of repairing the damage and reopening their doors.

Small businesses are the lifeblood of towns and cities right across the country and it is vital that we help them start trading again as soon as possible.

This £6 million is being made available immediately by the government and is part of a wider package of support designed to get people, communities and businesses back on their feet.

The money forms part of a wider £50 million relief package announced by Communities Secretary Greg Clark on Tuesday, to support households, businesses, communities and local authorities. It is available to businesses caught up in the flooding caused by Storm Eva.

Local Growth Hubs have more information and should be contacted on how to access the business support.

This announcement follows the £5 million business support scheme to help businesses affected by Storm Desmond announced on 9 December

Source: New feed.

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