Blog

How to appeal against a tax decision

It is not unusual for taxpayers to find themselves in a position where they disagree with a tax decision made by HMRC. There are a number of different options open to taxpayers seeking to use the review and appeals process. Note, there is a separate procedure to be followed by taxpayers to make a complaint about HMRC for issues such as unreasonable delays, mistakes and poor treatment by HMRC’s staff. As a first step, it is possible to make an appeal against a tax decision. There is normally a 30-day deadline for making a claim, so time is of...

Read More

Claiming an “unclaimed” estate

There are special rules that govern how assets are divided if a person dies without making a will. If this happens your assets are passed on to family members in accordance with a set legal formula. This can result in a distribution of assets that would not be in keeping with your final wishes, and can be especially problematic for cohabitees (a couple who live together but are not married and have not entered into a civil partnership). However, if someone dies without a will and there are no known family members, their property passes to the...

Read More

How to import goods for the first time

Businesses that are starting to import goods for the first time need to be aware of a myriad of special rules that apply. Whilst most smaller businesses importing goods will use a courier or freight forwarder, it is still important to be aware of the duties and VAT implications. Businesses importing goods must be able to distinguish between importing goods from outside the EU or within the EU. Intra-EU movements of goods that are imported are referred to as ‘acquisitions’ and goods that are exported to the EU are known as ‘dispatches’. For...

Read More

Disguised remuneration settlement opportunity

A new measure to tackle disguised remuneration tax avoidance schemes was announced as part of the Autumn Statement 2016. The new measure will introduce a loan charge on disguised remuneration avoidance schemes that remain unpaid on 5 April 2019. These types of schemes (including contractor loans) are used by employers and individuals and seek to avoid paying income tax and NICs. This is usually done by utilising a loan or other payment from a third-party which is unlikely to be repaid. HMRC has often stated that the only way to avoid the new...

Read More

How much statutory redundancy pay should you receive?

If you have been in the same job for two years or more and are made redundant you will usually be entitled to a redundancy payment. The legal minimum that you are entitled to receive is known as ‘statutory redundancy pay’. There are exceptions where you are not entitled to statutory redundancy pay, such as if your employer offers to keep you on or offers you suitable alternative work which you refuse without good reason. The amount of statutory redundancy pay you are entitled to is dependent on your age and your length of service. The payment...

Read More

Changing a will after death

This may come as a surprising fact to many of our readers, but a will can be changed after death. This can be done by using what is known as a Deed of Variation. Any changes to the will must be done within two years from the date of death. However, beneficiaries who would be left worse off by the change must give their agreement before any changes can be made. This is most often done to: reduce the amount of inheritance tax or capital gains tax payable, help someone who was left out of the Will, move the deceased’s assets into a trust...

Read More

Are you caught by the High Income Child Benefit tax charge?

The High Income Child Benefit Charge (HICBC) applies to taxpayers whose income exceeds £50,000 in a tax year and who are in receipt of child benefit. The charge either reduces or removes the financial benefit of receiving child benefit. Where both partners have an income that exceeds £50,000, HICBC is payable by the partner with the highest income. The HICBC is charged at the rate of 1% of the full child benefit award for each £100 of income between £50,000 and £60,000. For taxpayers with income above £60,000, the amount of the charge will...

Read More

OTS publishes new report on the VAT system

The Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) provides advice to the Chancellor on simplifying the UK tax system, with the objective of reducing compliance burdens on both businesses and individual taxpayers and will draw together expertise from across the tax and legal professions, the business community and other interested parties. It was announced as part of the Autumn Statement 2016, that the OTS had been asked to carry out a review of certain aspects of the VAT system. A terms of reference paper was published in December 2016 followed by an...

Read More

Delay in withdrawal of self-employed NIC contributions

In a surprising move, the Government has announced that the planned abolition of Class 2 National Insurance Contributions (NICs) is to be delayed for a year. The withdrawal of Class 2 NICs was due to take place from April 2018 but will now take place one year later from April 2019. The enabling legislation for this change, NICs Bill will now be introduced in 2018 and will take effect in April 2019. The measures in the Bill include, the abolition of Class 2 NICs as well as reforms to the NICs treatment of termination payments and changes to...

Read More

HMRC win Littlewoods’ tax case

HMRC has won a landmark case after the Supreme Court overturned an earlier decision of the Court of Appeal. The issue at hand concerned historic overpayments of VAT by Littlewoods (a catalogue sales business) between 1973 and 2004. In 2004, HMRC accepted that the VAT had been overpaid and repaid £205m plus a further £268m interest calculated using the simple interest basis. Littlewoods argued that the interest should have been calculated on a compound basis and that a further £1.25bn was due. Littlewoods claimed that only the payment of...

Read More