Blog

Finance (No.3) Bill published

As expected, the government published Finance (No.3) Bill on Wednesday, 7 November 2018. The Bill is so named as it is the third Finance Bill in the current special two-year session of Parliament. The Bill contains the legislation for many of the tax measures announced by the Government at Autumn Budget 2017 some of which have since been the subject of further consultation. The Bill also includes other measures that were first announced in the recent autumn Budget on 29 October 2018. The Bill extends to some 315 pages whilst the accompanying...

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Directors’ loans – tax consequences for your company

There are tax consequences for both companies and directors relating to the issue of director’s loans. We will examine below some of the implications if a company facilitates loans to a director. A director’s loan comprises not just an actual loan, but can also include other payments made by the company for the personal benefit of a director such as personal expenses paid for on a company credit card. These amounts are usually posted to a director’s loan account (DLA). When and if your company has to tell HMRC about a director’s loan, depends...

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Directors’ loans - tax consequences for the director

An overdrawn director's loan account is created when a director (or other close family members) 'borrows' money from their company. Many companies, particularly 'close' private companies, pay for personal expenses of directors using company funds. Where these payments do not form part of a director’s remuneration, they are usually posted to the director’s loan account (DLA). The DLA can represent cash drawn by a director as well as other drawings by a director (including personal bills paid by the company). Whilst it is quite common for small...

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ISAs and Inheritance Tax

New rules were introduced by the Government in 2015 that allow for the spouse or civil partner of a deceased ISA saver to benefit from additional ISA benefits. Under the rules, if an ISA saver in a marriage or civil partnership dies, their spouse or civil partner inherits their ISA tax advantages. Surviving spouses are able to save an additional amount in an ISA or ISAs up to the value of their spouse or civil partner’s ISA savings at the date of death. This additional allowance does not count against the surviving spouse’s/civil partner’s...

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Employment status of football referees

A recent First-Tier Tribunal case examined the complex issue of whether a group of 60 football referees should be classified as employees or self-employed. HMRC argued that the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) was the employer of the group of football referees in question. On this basis, HMRC raised assessments for a total of £583,874.07 relating to Income Tax and National Insurance Contributions in the 2014-15 and 2015-16 tax years. By way of background, PGMOL provides referees and other match officials for matches in the...

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Holiday let property and Business Property Relief

Business Property Relief (BPR) is an attractive tax relief for taxpayers with business interests, offering either 50% or 100% relief from Inheritance Tax (IHT) on the value of their business assets if certain conditions are met. The relief can even be used whilst the donor is still alive, and the estate can still get BPR on qualifying assets. An interest in a business or a company will not qualify for BPR if the business carried on by the entity consists wholly or mainly of making or holding investments. This fact drives HMRC's view that...

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Foreign currency considerations

There are special rules that must be considered when buying and selling assets in foreign currency. This is sometimes known as a barter transaction. As a general rule when a foreign currency transaction takes place at arm's length, the value of the consideration is the sterling equivalent of the amount paid for the asset at the date of acquisition and / or disposal. HMRC provides the following explanatory example where US shares are bought for US dollars in a bargain at arm's length for full consideration: the acquisition cost of the...

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UK Living Wage rates rise

The Living Wage Foundation (an initiative of Citizens UK) recently announced Living Wage rates for London and the UK at £10.55 an hour and £9 an hour respectively. These Living Wage rates are not statutorily binding but represent an increase of 25p in the UK and 35p in London over the current rates. The new Living Wage rates were announced on the 5 November 2018 and all of the accredited employers have committed to implement them by the end of the financial year. The Living Wage is an independent calculation that reflects the real cost of...

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SDLT payment deadline to be reduced

Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is a tax that is generally payable on the purchase or transfer of land and property in England and Northern Ireland. It is also payable in respect of certain lease premiums. Higher rates of SDLT were introduced on 1 April 2016 and apply to purchases of additional residential property such as buy to let and second homes. The filing and payment deadline for SDLT is currently 30 days after the 'effective date' of the transaction. HMRC’s guidance explains who must send a SDLT return, the penalties for late filing and...

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Security guidance on encryption and passwor

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has published updated security guidance on encryption and on passwords in online services under the GDPR. The GDPR requires data controllers to implement appropriate technical and organisational measures to ensure they process personal data securely. Article 32 of the GDPR includes encryption as an example of an appropriate technical measure. The guidance suggests that: Encryption is a widely-available measure with relatively low costs of implementation. Data controllers should have an...

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