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Tax / 90 posts found

Mileage rates for electric and hybrid cars

by miketombs
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Some confusion has been reported over how businesses should calculate mileage expenses rates for electric and hybrid company cars. This confusion has arisen largely because HMRC's advisory fuel rates, or approved mileage allowance payments, only cover petrol and diesel cars. There are no separate 'approved' rates for electric or hybrid vehicles. Currently, whilst HMRC do recognise that employees should be reimbursed for costs incurred for business travel, they do not currently recognise electric charging costs as a 'fuel' expense and do not therefore, currently publish separate rates. HMRC's advisory fuel rates can be used to work out mileage costs in certain [...]

VAT: zero-rating of adapted motor vehicles

by miketombs
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Finance Act 2017 introduced legislation designed to end perceived abuse of the VAT relief on substantially and permanently adapted motor vehicles for disabled wheelchair users. The amended rules, which took effect from 1 April 2017, now specify a limit on the number of vehicles within a specified period of time that an individual can purchase under this relief. An eligible individual will be able to purchase one vehicle every three years. There are some instances when this limit can be exceeded, so if an individual's car is written off or stolen or if the vehicle has ceased to be suitable for the [...]

August 2017 Q & A

by miketombs
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Q. My wife has a part time job but doesn't earn enough to pay tax. Can she get tax relief on contributions made to a pension scheme? A. Yes, even if you are not earning enough to pay income tax, you still qualify to have tax relief added to any contributions you make to a pension plan. However, the maximum you can pay in is £2,880 a year, or 100% of your earnings, subject to the 'annual allowance' restrictions. Tax relief is added to the contributions at the basic rate of tax (currently 20%), so if you pay in £2,880 net, tax [...]

Rent a room scheme

by miketombs
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Although Budget 2017 announced that the Government intends to review the rent-a-room scheme, it currently remains a tax-efficient way of letting out a spare room. Broadly, HMRC's rent-a-room scheme is an optional exemption scheme, which allows individuals to receive up to £7,500 of tax-free gross income (income before expenses) from renting out spare rooms in their only or main home. The exemption is halved where the income is shared with a partner or someone else. Broadly, as long as income is below the annual threshold, it does not need to be reported to HMRC. If income exceeds the threshold, it needs to [...]

Working from home

by miketombs
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Over recent years, it has become increasingly popular for employers to allow their employees to work from home, and in doing so, pay an amount to cover any additional household costs incurred. What are the tax implications of such expenses for the employee? Broadly, no tax liability will arise where an employer makes a payment to an employee for reasonable additional household expenses, which the employee incurs in carrying out duties of the employment at home under 'homeworking arrangements'. 'Homeworking arrangements' are arrangements between the employee and the employer under which the employee regularly performs some or all of the duties [...]

IHT: main residence nil-rate band

by miketombs
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From April 2017, each individual spouse or civil partner will be offered a residence nil rate band (RNRB), which is designed to help pass on a home to 'direct descendants', including children or grandchildren, tax-free after their death. The rules governing the inheritance tax (IHT) nil rate band are complex and it is always recommended that prior professional advice is considered. Phasing in of RNRB The RNRB is being phased in over a four-year period as follows: £100,000 in 2017-2018 £125,000 in 2018-2019 £150,000 in 2019-2020 £175,000 in 2020-2021 Broadly, the new RNRB will be added to the existing £325,000 [...]

Reform of landlords’ taxation?

by miketombs
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The government's plans to allow landlords to use the cash basis for tax purposes were confirmed in the 2017 Spring Budget, but although the proposed legislation was included in Finance Bill 2017, it did not appear in the much reduced Finance Act 2017, which received Royal Assent on 27 April 2017. It is likely that the proposals have been temporarily shelved, pending the outcome of the General Election, and are expected to reappear in a second Finance Bill later this year. If the provisions are subsequently enacted, they are expected to apply retrospectively from 6 April 2017, i.e. for the [...]

CGT annual exemption: use it or lose it!

by miketombs
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Capital gains tax (CGT) is normally paid when an item is either sold or given away. It is usually paid on profits made by selling various types of assets including properties (but generally not a main residence), stocks and shares, paintings, and other works of art, but it may also be payable in certain circumstances when a gift is made. The most common method for minimising a liability to capital gains tax is to ensure that the annual exemption is fully utilised wherever possible. Whilst this is relatively straight-forward where only capital gains are in question, the computation can be [...]

HMRC launch consultation on employee expenses

by miketombs
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As confirmed the Spring Budget 2017, HMRC have launched a consultation on the use of the income tax relief for employees' business expenses, including those that are not reimbursed by their employer. The main objectives of the consultation, which will run until 12 June 2017, are to understand: if the current rules or their administration can be clearer and simpler; whether the tax rules for expenses are fit for purpose in the modern economy; and why the cost to the exchequer of the tax relief for expenses which are not reimbursed has increased. Expenses form an integral part of the [...]

VAT Flat rate scheme: changes take effect

by miketombs
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The VAT flat rate scheme (FRS) is used by many small businesses to help simplify their VAT reporting obligations. Businesses could often gain a cash advantage from using the scheme, but this advantage has been significantly curtailed from 1 April 2017, particularly in relation to service-related businesses. Whilst the FRS continues to operate, many businesses will no longer find it economical to use. Broadly, the FRS is a simplified VAT accounting scheme for small businesses, which allows users to calculate VAT using a flat rate percentage by reference to their particular trade sector. When using the FRS, the business ignores [...]