Blog

New toolkit on handling domestic abuse

Public Health England (PHE) and Business in the Community have published a new toolkit to help employers support workers who are affected by domestic abuse. One in four women and one in six men suffer from domestic abuse in their lifetime and domestic abuse apparently costs businesses £1.9 billion every year due to decreased productivity, time off work, lost wages and sick pay. The new domestic abuse toolkit is aimed at raising awareness of the issue with employers and providing guidance on how they can support those affected by it. The...

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Rent-a-room relief to be modified

The publication of the draft Finance Bill 2018-19 includes legislation to change the way the rent-a-room relief scheme works. Following last year's Budget, a consultation was launched by HM Treasury to examine the design of the rent-a-room scheme. When the relief was first launched it was intended to be used where one bedroom in a house was rented out to a lodger for medium to long-term lets, however this has changed as more and more people rent out rooms online for short term lets using property portals and apps (such as AirBnB). The new...

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Beneficiaries of tax exempt pension benefits to be extended

The draft Finance Bill includes a new measure that will help modernise the tax treatment of employer paid premiums for the provision of death in service life assurance products for their employees. Currently, these premiums are only tax-exempt if the named beneficiary is a member of the employee’s family, or a member of their household. This includes the employees spouse or civil partner, parents, children and members of the employee’s household (such as domestic staff). As the law stands, if the beneficiary is not a member of the employee’s...

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Rules for use of taxable cars and vans to be updated

The Finance Bill 2018-19 draft clauses include new measures that will address two anomalies in the Optional Remuneration Arrangements (OpRA) rules. These measures will: ensure that when a taxable car or van is provided through OpRA, the amount foregone, which is taken into account in working out the amount reportable for tax and National Insurance contributions purposes, includes costs connected with the car or van (such as insurance) which are regarded as part of the benefit in kind under normal rules adjust the value of any capital...

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Draft clauses for forthcoming Autumn Budget are published

The Finance Bill 2018-19 draft legislation was published on 6 July 2018. The Bill which runs to 226 pages (with a further 143 pages of explanatory notes) contains the legislation for many of the tax measures that had previously been announced by the government as well as new initiatives. The publication of the draft Finance Bill is in line with the approach to tax policy where the government committed to publishing most tax legislation in draft for technical consultation before the legislation is laid before Parliament. The Bill is open for...

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Change to evidence required for employee expenses

A new measure to remove the requirement for employers to check receipts for expense claims made by employees using the HMRC benchmark scale rates or overseas scale rates is to be introduced. The benchmark scale rates can be used by employers to reimburse staff for subsistence expenses when they are travelling on business away from their normal workplace. HMRC lists maximum rates but employers can choose to pay less if they so wish. The change will be legislated for in Finance Bill 2018-19 and will remove the onerous requirement for...

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Non-UK resident property companies to be charged Corporation Tax

The government is to move forward with plans to charge Corporation Tax to non-UK resident companies with property income. Currently, these companies are chargeable to Income Tax and not UK Corporation Tax. This change is part of the government's aim to ensure that all companies are subject to the same tax treatment and to limit some of the reliefs claimed by foreign companies on UK rental income. Whilst the Corporation Tax rate continues to fall, the benefit of the falling tax rate may not offset the tighter restrictions faced by non-resident...

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Technical change to Entrepreneurs’ Relief

Entrepreneurs' Relief applies to the sale of a business, shares in a trading company or an individual’s interest in a trading partnership. Where Entrepreneurs' Relief is available CGT of 10% is payable in place of the standard rate. There are a number of qualifying conditions that must be met in order to qualify for the relief. One of these conditions is that an individual’s shareholding must make up at least 5% of the shares. This means that entitlement to Entrepreneurs' Relief is lost where there is a dilution below the 5% qualifying level...

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EU Settlement Scheme

The government’s response to the Home Affairs Select Committee’s report on the delivery of Brexit, published in May 2018, committed to providing further details about the proposed EU Settlement Scheme in the next few weeks. The scheme is the new settled status scheme for EU nationals who are resident in the UK before 31 December 2020. The government has now published a Statement of Intent setting out those further details. EU nationals who are resident in the UK by 31 December 2020 will be able to apply for settled status once they have...

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Spousal tax reliefs for unmarried couples?

In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court has decided that the law preventing opposite sex couples from entering into a civil partnership breaches the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). The appellants in this long running case are an opposite sex couple with a conscientious objection to marriage. The crux of this case centred on the issue that when the law was changed in 2013 to allow same-sex couples to marry the older civil partnership rules remained the same. This meant that only two people of the same sex could enter into a...

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