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Tax / 90 posts found

Tax-free property and trading allowances

by mike tombs
in Tax
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Since April 2017, you can earn £1,000 from a trading activity and £1,000 of property related income, without being liable to income tax. These tax-free allowances on property and trading income are useful as families can generate an extra £2,000 a year of income without increasing their tax bills. Obviously, these small amounts will not be a replacement for your day-job, but they do contribute to financing your monthly bills.   What property income could this cover? You could rent out: your drive as a parking space if you live in an area where parking spaces are at a premium, [...]

What will HMRC avoid telling you?

by mike tombs
in Tax
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There are three things that you can count on that HMRC will do:   Calculate the amount of tax you owe based on the information they have gathered. Chase you for payment of this tax if not recovered by PAYE. Pursue you if they believe you have under-declared your taxable income or made excessive claims to reduce your tax.   What they will not do is advise you to maximise the benefit of reliefs and allowances to which you are entitled to claim.   HMRC rely to some extent on the age-old principal that ignorance of the law is not, [...]

Are home to work travel costs ever allowed?

by mike tombs
in Tax
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Ordinary commuting between home and work incurs costs: either shoe leather, if you walk, or the cost of transport. For most employees these costs are considered to be personal costs and are not deductible for tax purposes.   This is so even if your employer requests that you attend out of hours, say the weekend. According the HMRC:   If an employee is sometimes required by his employer to attend their permanent workplace outside normal working hours, often at the weekend. This may mean that they incur extra costs on bus fares, meals eaten at their desk and sometimes even [...]

Turkey dinner and tax returns

by mike tombs
in Tax
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Completing your tax return may not have been top of your priorities on Christmas Day, but that didn’t stop 2,616 taxpayers from filing their Self-Assessment returns on 25 December 2018. For some taxpayers completing their return on Christmas Day is as traditional as spending time with family and friends or waiting for the Boxing Day sales to start. The peak filing time, according to HMRC, was between 1pm and 2pm, when more than 230 customers filed. Angela MacDonald, HMRC’s Director General for Customer Services, said: This year, more than 2,600 taxpayers chose to file their returns on Christmas Day. Whether [...]

Taxing dividends

by mike tombs
in Tax
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To reduce National Insurance costs, shareholders of small privately owned companies, who are also working directors of the company, can presently restructure their remuneration package to reduce their salary and make up the difference as dividend payments. Unless this strategy is affected by the Budget at the end of this month, this remains one of the most useful ways for owner directors of small companies to reduce their overall tax and NIC costs. Dividends are not considered to be a business cost. They don’t reduce the amount of profit assessable to corporation tax. Rather, dividends are a distribution of profits [...]

Did your goat eat your accounts?

by mike tombs
in Tax
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Companies House have published a list of bizarre excuses for the late filing of their statutory accounts. They include:   “goats ate my accounts” “I found my wife in the bath with my accountant” “pirates stole my accounts” “we delivered the accounts to the betting office next door to Companies House” “a volcano erupted and prevented me from filing” “slugs ate my accounts” “it was Valentine’s Day” “my company was more successful than I thought it would be, so I was too busy to file”   As you would expect, Companies House issued late filing penalties and any appeals were [...]

Not so trivial

by mike tombs
in Tax
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Options for reducing the impact of taxation on our earnings are somewhat limited. That said, there are still opportunities that will keep you the right side of the law and will increase the take home pay of employees.   One such opportunity available to employers is to pay so-called trivial benefits. The benefits may be of small value, but never-the-less, even small tax-free payments will be gratefully received.   To qualify as tax-free, the benefits paid to employees need to fit the following criteria: they cost £50 or less to provide, the payments are not made in cash or by [...]

What has “hope” got to do with it?

by mike tombs
in Tax
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In a recent tax case, Pallister v Revenue & Customs, Pallister’s son (PJ) was left a share in his deceased parent’s investment property in June 2012. A local surveyor valued the property at £1.2m and this was the figure used to determine the deceased parent’s inheritance tax bill.   Subsequently, the property was sold in March 2014 for £2.5m.   HMRC were peeved. Less than two years had passed and PJ’s share of 88% in the property had seemingly increased in value by almost 100%. They therefore challenged the earlier valuation for inheritance tax purposes on the basis that “hope” [...]

Football agent scores massive own goal

by mike tombs
in Tax
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HMRC were quick to publicise their victory in a recent tax case that resulted in a well-known football agent facing a £1.2m tax bill.   According to their press release, former football agent Jerome Anderson lost his £1.2 million tax battle with HMRC during a case heard at the Upper Tribunal. This showed that Anderson and eight others failed in their attempt to avoid large amounts of tax. The scheme involved investments in the recruitment and training of young footballers at the Bafana Soccer Academy in South Africa. Anderson attempted to use this investment to claim a £3 million artificial [...]