Trivial Benefits

Employees and Office holders can be provided with trivial benefits. These are not subject to Income Tax or National Insurance on the employee, whilst the employer can also obtain tax relief and reclaim (if registered) any VAT on the items purchased. In order for an expense to be able to be classed as a trivial benefit it must meet the …

Private pension tax relief

There was much speculation prior to the budget last month, that the tax relief for higher rate tax payers was going to be scrapped, or reduced. Many pundits were expecting a flat-rate tax deduction of 33% rather than tax relief for higher rate taxpayers of 40%. Fortunately, for those who may have been affected by a reduction, this change was …

Company capital gains relief is frozen

Before the Autumn Budget, the capital gains tax (CGT) calculations of companies included a relief called the indexation allowance. Basically, this allowed a company to increase the acquisition cost of an asset by the annual rate of inflation. Without this relief, any CGT payable on the sale of the asset would increase. Instead of deducting the cost plus the inflation …

First time buyer bonanza

HMRC have laid out the detail of their budget plans to support first-time home buyers in their quest to buy their first home. There are fears that this strategy will simply drive up prices as demand is stimulated, and that this will replace stamp duty savings with house prices that once again move beyond the reach of younger buyers. The …

The Autumn Budget 2017

Autumn Budget 2017 Prospects for growth, especially for productivity have been downgraded, but the Chancellor was bullish in his forecasts for investment and the Government’s intention to sort out the slow pace of house building in the UK. A few non-tax comments of note were:   • Unemployment at its lowest rate since 1975. • Chancellor is providing an extra …

Are your bank deposits protected

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) is the place to go if your bank or other regulated organisation is unable to pay claims against it. For most of us this will mean that our deposits with banks authorised to hold deposits by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) will be able to recover funds up …

January 2018 and taxes to pay

January is the month when individuals and businesses are required to pay tax. If your business is a limited company, and your tax year ends 31 March 2017, any corporation tax due for that year is payable 1 January 2018. Unlike your self-employed counterparts – see below – no payments on account are required for 2017-18. If you are a …

Child benefit tax trap

A family claiming the weekly Child Benefit (currently, £20.70 a week for eldest or only child and £13.70 a week for additional children) may get an unwelcome tax bill if either parents’ income exceeds £50,000 during a tax year. A tax charge was introduced a number of years ago, known as the ‘High Income Child Benefit Charge’ (HICBC), if either …

Abolition of self-employed NIC to be deferred

The Low Incomes Tax Reform Group (LITRG) has welcomed a recent announcement by the Government that there will be a one-year delay before the removal of Class 2 National Insurance contributions (NICs) to enable consultation on the impact of its abolition on the self-employed with low incomes. If Class 2 NICs were abolished, those with profits below the small profits …

Smaller businesses to be drawn into the VAT net

The Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) published a report setting out a range of proposals for simplifying VAT. According to the OTS the tax is showing its age. What was meant to be a simple tax has become highly complex and it has not kept pace with changes in society. The most significant issue identified in the report is the …