SDLT on second homes

Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is payable on the purchase of residential property in increasing portions of the property price above £125,000.

Current rates of SDLT on individual and additional properties are as follows:…


Switching to the cash basis

Many small, unincorporated businesses choose to use the ‘cash basis’ for working out taxable income. Under this method, participants will be taxed on the basis of the cash that passes through their books, rather than having to undertake complex and time-consuming calculations designed for larger businesses, who generally have to use ‘traditional’ methods for tax purposes. Whilst easing the administrative burdens of preparing ‘traditional’ accounts, using the cash basis can also help with cash flow.…


Half of small business owners have not made a Will should the worst happen

If you are in a relationship, have a family or own a property, the chances are you have already made a Will. As any accountant would tell you, it’s the prudent thing to do and it makes absolute financial sense; after all, wouldn’t you want the peace of mind of knowing that your assets will go those you love most after your death? Now, you would assume that those people who were savvy enough to make a personal Will would also do the same for their businesses. Yet, it appears that isn’t necessarily the case. According to a recent study by Legal & General more than half of Britain’s small business owners have left no instructions in their Will or made any special arrangements regarding shares.…


HMRC identifies a number of digital tax anomalies, and assures taxpayers affected by these problems that they will not be penalised

Are you having problems with the digital tax system, or are finding it increasingly difficult to submit your self-assessment returns online? Well, you might take some comfort from the fact that you are not alone. Many self-employed workers are facing similar problems. Even HM Revenues & Customs seems to be struggling with system errors and incorrect tax calculations following its latest algorithm changes.…


New state pension and contracted-out NICs

Most people will be aware that the state retirement pension system has changed for people who reach state pension age on or after 6 April 2016 – that is men born after 5 April 1951 and women born after 5 April 1953. The full new state pension is currently £159.55 per week, but the amount that employees who have previously paid National Insurance contributions (NIC) at the contracted-out rate may be affected under the new system. The introduction of the new state pension from 6 April 2016 brought an end to the contracting-out rules.…


Rent a room scheme

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 be reported to HMRC via the self-assessment system.…


VAT: zero-rating of adapted motor vehicles

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.…


Working from home

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’.…


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