News

HMRC publishes more strange excuses

23/01/2019

A recent press release by HMRC revealed some of the oddest excuses for submitting a late tax return. The excuses ranged from the sublime to the ridiculous and included: My mother-in-law is a witch and put a curse on me. I’m too short to reach the post box. I was just too busy – my first maid left, my second maid stole from me, and my...

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Avoid car-fuel benefit charge for 2018-19

23/01/2019

The easiest way to ensure that no car-fuel benefit charge (for private journeys in a company car) is payable, is to use the advisory fuel rates published by HMRC to repay any private fuel costs to your employer. The advisory fuel rates are intended to reflect actual average fuel costs and are updated quarterly. However, the car-fuel...

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On your bike – Cycle to Work schemes

23/01/2019

There are special rules involving bicycles usually referred to as 'Cycle to Work' arrangements. The Cycle to Work scheme was introduced almost 20 years ago to help promote the use of healthy ways to commute to work using an environmentally friendly mode of transport. Employers of all sizes across the public, private and voluntary...

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Lifetime transfers where estate of another individual is increased

23/01/2019

Most gifts made during a person's life are not subject to tax at the time of the gift. These lifetime transfers are known as 'potentially exempt transfers' or 'PETs'. These gifts or transfers achieve their potential of becoming exempt if the taxpayer survives for more than seven years after making the gift. If the taxpayer dies within 3...

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Changes to lettings relief and other exemptions April 2020

23/01/2019

Two changes to the way Private Residence Relief works are due to come into effect from April 2020. These changes could reduce the amount of CGT relief available on the sale of a private residence. The changes are: Home owners that let all or part of their house may not benefit from the full Private Residence Relief, but can benefit...

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CGT relief for two dwellings for the same period

23/01/2019

As a general rule, there is no Capital Gains Tax (CGT) on a property which has been used wholly as a main family residence. This relief from CGT is commonly known as Private Residence Relief. Conversely, an investment property that has never been used as a main residence will not qualify. It is not uncommon for taxpayers to own more...

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Welsh rates of Income Tax

23/01/2019

The Welsh Government has confirmed that the proposed Welsh Government Budget has been ratified and that the new Welsh rates of Income Tax (WRIT) will be set at 10p for 2019-20. This means that the rates of Income Tax paid by Welsh taxpayers will continue to be the same as those paid by English and Northern Irish taxpayers when the WRIT is...

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Auto-enrolment qualifying earnings band figures for tax year 2019/20 confirmed

22/01/2019

The draft Automatic Enrolment (Earnings Trigger and Qualifying Earnings Band) Order 2019 has now been published. As expected, it freezes the earnings trigger, which determines when an eligible worker is entitled to be automatically enrolled into a qualifying workplace pension scheme, at £10,000 from 6 April 2019. It also continues to...

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Statutory payment rates for tax year 2019/20 confirmed

22/01/2019

The following statutory payment rates are confirmed: The standard weekly rates of Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP), Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP) and Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP) will increase from £145.18 to £148.68 from 1 April 2019. The weekly rate of Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) will increase from £92.05 to £94.25 from 6 April 2019...

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EU Settlement Scheme fee is to be scrapped

22/01/2019

The Prime Minister has announced in a speech to the House of Commons that the £65 fee for applications made by EU citizens under the EU Settlement Scheme is to be waived. The scheme is due to be rolled out in full on 30 March 2019 and at that stage there will be no fee charged. Currently, the scheme is in a public pilot test phase...

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Don’t overclaim for equipment purchases

16/01/2019

You can use the Annual Investment Allowance (AIA) to claim a very generous 100% first year tax relief for qualifying expenditure on plant and machinery. The allowance is available for most assets purchased by a business but does not apply to cars. The AIA was set at £200,000 per calendar year for all qualifying expenditure on or after 1...

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Reducing payments on account

16/01/2019

Taxpayers are usually required to pay their Income Tax liabilities in three instalments each year. The first two payments are due on: 31 January during the tax year e.g. for 2018-19 the first payment on account is due on 31 January 2019. 31 July following the tax year e.g. for 2018-19 the second payment on account is due on 31 July...

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Could you claim the Marriage Allowance?

16/01/2019

If you or your partner are a low earner or not working, then you may be eligible for the marriage allowance. The marriage allowance allows lower earning couples to share part of their personal tax-free allowance. The marriage allowance (MA) is available to married couples and those in a civil partnership where a spouse or civil partner...

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Carry back charitable contributions

16/01/2019

Donations to charity over the course of a tax year can add up and taxpayers must ensure they keep a proper record of all donations to backup tax return entries. Donations that are made through the Gift Aid scheme allow for the recipient charity to claim 25p worth of tax relief on every pound donated. Higher rate and additional rate...

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Remaining age related tax allowances

16/01/2019

Most age related tax allowances have been phased out. However, the Married Couple's Allowance (MCA) is available to elderly married couples or those in a civil partnership where at least one member of the couple were born before 6 April 1935. The allowance provides for tax relief by deducting 10% of the allowance from the amount of tax...

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Tax if clients leave the UK to live abroad

16/01/2019

The P85 form should be completed by individuals or their agents to advise HMRC that have left the UK to live or are going to work abroad for at least one full tax year. The completion of the P85 form will ensure that an individual leaving the UK can claim any tax refund they are entitled to and will also help HMRC decide how an...

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Automatic enrolment for the self-employed?

09/01/2019

The government has confirmed that they are to examine a number of different approaches to help encourage the self-employed to save for their retirement. The success of automatic enrolment for pension savings for the employed has helped highlight that pension savings for the self-employed are lagging behind those achieved for the employed....

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New 'global' pound coin

09/01/2019

HM Treasury has confirmed that the £1 coin will be going global. This announcement means that the UK’s Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies will be able to design and mint their own versions of the 12-sided £1 coin replacing the older coins. The coins are expected to feature images celebrating the heritage of these territories,...

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