Blog

Data protection in the event of a no deal Brexit

The government has published the second tranche in its series of technical notices providing guidance for UK businesses, workers and citizens on how to prepare for a “no deal” Brexit. A "no deal" Brexit will occur if the UK and the EU fail to conclude a withdrawal agreement by the time of the UK’s exit from the EU at 11pm on 29 March 2019. This would mean there would be no transitional period and a sudden break in the application of EU rules to the UK. One of the latest notices is entitled “Data protection if there’s no Brexit deal” and it...

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Budget date remains to be confirmed

The Chancellor Philip Hammond, has stated before the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee, that he is not yet in a position to announce a date for the Autumn Budget 2018 saying it was 'difficult to fix'. Last year, the Chancellor had used his annual meeting before the Economic Affairs Committee to announce the Budget date. Now the Chancellor has said he is unable to fix a date at this time due to the significant political events currently taking place in relation to Brexit, including continued speculation that there may be a special...

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Help-to-Save scheme launched

The new Help to Save scheme for people on low incomes was officially opened with effect from 12 September 2018 following an 8-month trial. The new scheme allows those in work entitled to Working Tax Credit, and in receipt of Working Tax Credits or Child Tax Credits to save up to £50 a month for two years and receive a 50% government bonus. The scheme is also open to UK residents who are claiming Universal Credit, and have a household or individual income of at least £542.88 for their last monthly assessment period (though note that payments...

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CGT record keeping

The annual Capital Gains Tax (CGT) exemption for individuals is £11,700 for 2018-19. A husband and wife each benefit from a separate exemption. Same-sex couples who acquire a legal status as civil partners are treated in the same way as married couples for CGT purposes. CGT is normally charged at a simple flat rate of 20% and this applies to most chargeable gains made by individuals. If taxpayers only pay basic rate tax and make a small capital gain, they may only be subject to a reduced rate of 10%. Once the total of taxable income and gains...

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Childcare and compensation claims

The Tax-Free Childcare Scheme (TFCS) helps support working families with their childcare costs. The scheme provides for a government top-up on parental contributions. For every 80p in the £1 contributed by parents, an additional 20p or 20% is funded by Government up to a maximum total of £10,000 per child per year. This gives parents an annual savings of up to £2,000 per child (and up to £4,000 for disabled children until the age of 17) in childcare costs. The scheme is open to all qualifying parents, including the self-employed and those on...

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Spotless but not tax deductible

The First-Tier Tribunal (FTT) recently heard three joined appeals that concerned the availability of tax relief for employee expenses. In each of the cases the expense claims related to the costs incurred cleaning and sanitising working clothes together with the cost of toiletries for personal hygiene. The FTT collectively referred to these costs as cleaning expenses. All three taxpayers were appealing against PAYE coding notices where HMRC denied the cleaning expense claims. Two of the taxpayers worked in the sewerage industry and the third...

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Stamp duty and leasehold property

Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is payable whether you buy a freehold property, a new or existing leasehold property or a shared ownership property. SDLT has been replaced in Scotland by the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax and in Wales by the Land Transaction Tax. The amount of SDLT you pay when you buy a leasehold property, depends on whether it’s an existing lease (an assigned lease) or a new one. There are also different amounts of SDLT payable depending on whether you are buying residential or non-residential property. SDLT on an existing...

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Accommodation expenses and benefits

There are special rules for the provision of living accommodation to employees under certain circumstances. In most cases, employees will pay tax on any living accommodation provided by an employer unless they qualify for an exception. However, where an employee qualifies for an exception, there is no tax to pay on the provision of living accommodation. The definition of living accommodation includes houses, flats, houseboats, holiday homes and apartments. It does not include hotel rooms or board and lodgings. An exception for living...

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Paper Self-Assessment return deadline

The 2017-18 tax return deadline for taxpayers who continue to submit paper Self-Assessment returns, is 31 October 2018. Late submission of a Self-Assessment return will become liable to a £100 late filing penalty. The penalty usually applies even if there is no liability or if any tax due is paid in full by 31 January 2019. We would recommend that anyone still submitting paper tax returns, consider the benefits of submitting the returns electronically and benefit from an additional three months (until 31 January 2019) in which to submit a...

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Self-employed Class 2 NIC changes cancelled

In a surprise move, the government has announced that, following a lengthy consultation, the planned abolition of Class 2 National Insurance Contributions (NIC) will not take place in the current parliament. The announcement was made in a written statement by Robert Jenrick MP, the Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury on 6 September 2018. The withdrawal of Class 2 NICs was originally due to take place from April 2018, but had been delayed until April 2019. The written statement cited concerns relating to the impact on self-employed individuals...

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