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ICPA ACCOUNTANCY & TAX PORTAL

Welcome to the ICPA Accountancy & Tax Portal provided in conjunction with our partners Taxationweb.

Below is a list of our most important recent articles which you can read in full by clicking on the links.

Alternatively you can select a topic from the menu to the left of the screen to see our full list of articles for that topic. We hope you find the articles both useful and informative.    

 

Tax Return Estimates - Careless or Deliberate

The use of estimates on a Tax Return can be the only option available on hopefully rare occasions but will HMRC feel they were estimated carelessly or possibly deliberately?

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HMRC visits - by agreement or with advance notice

The very latest factsheet from HMRC on how a visit to business premises can be arranged by agreement or not and how the visit should proceed covering where your home is where the business is run from.

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Vat on sales to EU question

The team at CronerTaxwise answer yet another sales to the EU question and this time it's about children's clothes.

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Unannounced visits for inspections approved by the tribunal

The very latest factsheet from HMRC on what happens when they make unannounced visits as part of check into a taxpayers affairs. It covers what happens if you don't allow access, reasonable excuses and how their in spectors will carry out their work.

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HMRC target tax status of media personalities

Gabelle report that they are seeing an increase in enquiries into the employment status of high profile media types. They raise some interesting points regarding "Control" and contend that HMRC can be successfully challenged. 

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Points don't mean prizes

The team at Contractor Weekly run their eye over yet another tax avoidance scheme involving umbrella companies and redeemable loyalty points. So if you come across this with your clients you know what to do.

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Statutory Maternity Leave and Pay

So just what are the rules regarding Maternity Leave and pay? A super article from ACAS covers all you need to know

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Late Tax Returns: Expecting sympathy from HMRC?

We all know that HMRC love a fine and if you send in a Return late one will follow as sure as night follows day. However, if you have a reasonable excuse...........

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Check if you can get an additional Inheritance Tax threshold

HMRC's issued guidance on the Residence Nil Rate Band or RNRB. Checkout the workings of the relief.

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Tax-free allowance on property and trading income

Following requests from the low Incomes Tax Reform Group to provide some much needed clarity to the new allowance HMRC have reacted by drawing up what and how the allowance works.

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Uncomplicating the UK Tax System - OTS

Having been around for 7 years the Office of Tax Simplification finds itself in the position of having to review its own reports and reviews. Here is what they think needs changing, updating or nothing at all 

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Vat Public Notices Updated

A good list of recent changes HMRC have made to Vat Notices and more importantly what sections etc. have been changed

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10 Pitfalls when claiming CGT PRR

Private Residence Relief is a valuable relief available to home owners, quite possibly the most valuable available but as the list shows it can be easily lost 

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HMRC Helpsheet : Farmers and market gardeners

The latest helpsheet from HMRC targeted specifically at farmers and market gardeners using accrual accounting with plenty of examples.

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Reed put to rest?

Is vat due on the total payments received including the staff emoluments by employment agencies? no prizes for guessing what HMRC want

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Purchase of Own Shares : An Entrepreneurs' Relief Trap

As ever with lots of tax matters as Mark says "Timing is everyrthing" especially so in regard to purchases of a companies own shares.

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Automatic Enrolment Obligations for SME's

As Simon as we are entering the tsunami stage for enrolments so here is a brief but timely article to help

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Vat Place of Supply and Intermediary Services

Place of supply, supply of services, who vats and how much? The team at CronerTaxwise have the answer.

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The Card Transaction Disclosure Programme

HMRC are receiving details of debit and credit card transactions from the companies that actually process the transactions. So if this knowledge prompts a business to think about declaring or amending income here is how they go about it.

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Share Pooling and Entrepreneur's Relief

The team at CronerTaxwise look to answer an interesting question put to them b y a client on Entrepreneur's Relief.

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Outsourced Services Outside off Payroll

The provision of services to the public sector has become very complex and involved. Lots has been written about Contractors who are caught up in the new system but what is actually considered "outside off payroll" here are some good examples from Contractor Weekly

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New £1,000 Allowance: Not all good news

As with everything from HMRC of late it's never as simple as it seems or probably should be. Here its about losses and as the article says why are so many of these simplifications anything but.

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Chancellors letter to HM Treasury

Read the letter The Chancellor wrote to HM Treasury explaining the withdrawal of the proposed nic increase. Older readers will see shades of Jim Hacker of "Yes Minister"

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Taking the Strain out of Vat

Thinking of quitting the Vat Flat Rate Scheme? Here are a couple of alternatives you may want to consider.

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Employment Status Service Tool goes live

Finally after much ado the ESS Tool is up and running. Just see if you can get and answer that places a Contract outside IR35

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New Minimum Wage Rates

The minimum wage rates are changing from April and here is a timely reminder of the new rates from ACAS

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MTDfB Deferment
 

So post budget no change in the frankly pathetic exemption level of £10,000 but a delay of one year for those with turnover over £10k and less than £85K. Here is how HMRC "spun" there decision and again they are apparently "listening" but only to things they want to hear in my opinion

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Letting Property at below the market rate

Helping our children to have a home of their own is more and more prevalent these days. Here are the tax implications when rent is concerned.

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Vat Assessments

What can you do when you receive a Vat Assessment that you simply don't agree with? The team at The Vat People talk about the process involved

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Payroll Changes for 2017/18

A good update on upcoming payroll changes that may or may not effect your clients from the team at Qtac

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Cash Accounting: A Panacea for Landlords?

HMRC believe that cash Accounting for Landlords is the way forward under the MTDfB regime,. which most would agree with. Then it all goes West if you use an Agent.

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For the Record

When it comes to receiving your state pension you naturally want to receive the maximum that you are entitled to and that means ensuring you contributions are up to date. In this case a diligent taxpayer was almost caught out.  

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Vat Registration issues on an Acquisition

When a business is acquired as a going concern the requirement to Vat Register can be critical. Here the team at CronerTaxwise look at a question put to them on the subject.

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Interest Relief - Who Pays? 

If you want to get tax relief for a loan it sometimes isn't as simple as frankly it should be. Mark Mclaughlin looks at HMRC's treatment in certain circumstances and unsurprisingly it seems to be slanted in their favour.

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Status Tool Ready by End of the Month (February)
 

With the Public Sector Off Payroll rules set to start post 6 April 2017 BUT also for contracts entered into pre 6 April 2017 but straddling the start date the team at Contractor Weekly review the new Status Tool and set out what can actually happen 

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Scam warning issued by Insolvency Service

A warning and some very sound advice from The Insolvency Service about scams our elderly are being subjected too. Worth passing on to our clients in case they have any elderly relatives and indeed for their own information because these scams are getting smarter and smarter.

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HMRC Claims given the Chop

Was the Karate Instructor A Partner? an Employee? or Sole Trader? an in teresting case on many levels and well documented.

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MTDfB: Its 2020 for my limited Company clients so no need to worry about them for a year or two

Limited Companies will not have report their profits quarterly until April 2020 so plenty of time to worry about them isn't there? Have you factored in the possible April 2019 deadline?

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Stamp Duty Land Tax What if I only buy part of the property?

Here is a question put to the team at CronerTaxwise with the questioner looking to reduce the burden of SDLT I bet you can guess what the answer is. 

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Land & Property : Going on an adventure?

The clue is in the title. Yes we're looking again at whether property sales are a result of a trading or not. In this case Mark Mclaughlin looks at a case where the taxpayer went for the unexpected 

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I've been called up for Jury Service

So what can/should you do when an employee is called up for Jury Service? ACAS naturally have the answers that you need.  

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A Welcome Suspension

Another case where a taxpayer found that his penalty was suspended. Why? because his case fulfilled the SMART conditions. 

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Selling Future Business Profits: Income or Capital

No prizes for guessing which way a seller would like to go and equally no prizes for knowing that HMRC look to stop that hap;pening. In this article Mark Mclaughlin looks at selling "Occupational Income...

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On your bike

The team Qdos Contractor Weekly look at a recent Tribunal ruling relating to bicycle courier services and as with Uber the case did not go the way of the Courier Company...

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Vat and DIY Builders Services

More tales of woe from DIY builders, this time its all about the rate to be charged. Again...

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Not so inspired VAT advice

Is retrospective deregistration for vat possible? This artiocle looks at a recent case before the tribunal on just such an issue...

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Helping a daughter to buy a house: a SDLT question

The team at CronerTaxwise answer a question put to them and the answer was probably not what the questioner wanted to hear...

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Tax avoidance schemes- accelerated payments

The latest updated factsheet from HMRC which will be given to taxpayers whom they believe have used a tax avoidance scheme...

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Furnished Holiday Lettings: Is Your Property Special?

Holiday letting properties get beneficial treatment for Capital gains tax don't they? If in doubt have a read of Mark McLaughlin's article which should refresh your memory.

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Vat and Children's Clothing: Fur Hats

Vat and Children's Clothing can never be described as easy as this question put to the team at CronerTaxwise about fur hats amply demonstrates.

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HMRC decisions: What you can do if you disagree

In this latest factsheet issued by HMRC they set out how you can progress your case if you can't agree with a decision they have made.

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Overdrawn Directors' Loans Account - Traps to Avoid

We all know the rules about overdrawn directors' loan accounts don't we? If you need a reminder have a good read of this article by Mark McLaughlin which will refresh your memory and gives a good insight into what to avoid

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HMRC anti-money laundering supervision goes online in 2017

In an era that could well be defined by the word "Digital" HMRC have announced that it is bringing it's Money Laundering Registration and Renewal process online from 2017. Why did it take so long?

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Don't be complacent about MLR

The Money Laundering Regulations have been in place since 2007 and yet some practices just don't seem to pay the regulations sufficient attention as this case shows quite clearly. The Money Laundering Regulations have to be afforded the attention they deserve

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Off-payroll rules have landed

From April 2017 the responsibility for deciding the employment status of workers for Public Authorities fall on the Authority itself not the worker. here are the rules in some detail

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Fixed Term Work

Are employees employed on Fixed Term contracts to be treated any differently fro those staff employed on permanent contracts? ACAS sets out the rules relating to those employed for a Fixed Term

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Business partners - Do as you are told

Partners profit shares for tax purposes is usually straightforward but what happens when individual partners disagree over the amount? Mark looks at a recent case in point and ends with a warning about how the MTD proposals appear to leave no room for disagreement. 

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Vat on food for human consumption

Vat on food and varying food types has long been a source of both amusement and concern. Here we look at a question posed to CronerTaxwise on whether vat should or should not be charged on roasted nuts without shells!!

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Changes to notify HMRC in respect of your money Laundering Registration

If HMRC are your Money laundering supervisors then are you aware just what changes to your business need to be notified to them and indeed how you go about it? Here are the item that need notiyfing and many forget about the change from Sole Trader to Company. Surprisingly this process involves a paper form and postage.

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Salary Sacrifice is changing from April 2017

The Chancellor announced at Autumn Statement that new rules are coming in on 6 April 2017 for Benefits in Kind (BiKs) where they are provided by salary sacrifice. Further details of the changes were announced on 5 December. This article contains details of the changes and guidance on what action employers may need to take between now and April 2017 when the new rules come into force.

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HMRC Clarify position on pre-registration input vat


There has been much debate in the profession about HMRCs change of position over claiming pre-registration input vat. This article draws upon  the Revenue and Customs brief 16 for the definitive answer on the subject.

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Joint Property and Form 17 Practical Points

Jointly help property generates income assessable in equal shares. It's the 50:50 rule but what if the shares in the property are not held equally? Form 17 is often touted as the solution in these circumstances and Mark Mclaughlin covers this in some detail in this article.

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Advisory Fuel Rates from 1 December 2016 for Company Car owners

 

The rates have changed again so here they are. Use them from the 1st December for you Company Car owning staff.

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Vat Property Pitfalls 

The team from the CronerTaxwise helpline take a look at the issue of Pre-registration input vat on Land and Buildings. As is always the case with Land and Buildings where Vat is concerned it's never straightforward.

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Money Laundering Regulations need to be taken Seriously 

The Money Laundering Regulations have been in since 2007 and not taking them seriously can be an expensive mistake to make. Now is the time to give these regulations the attention they deserve if you have not yet.

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Look no further

The Office of Tax Simplification have decided to not to recommend their "lookthrough" procedure for small companies. Here are the reason why. 

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Evolution and the automated Accountant

Frank Woods general manager of Bankstream uses the information gained from The Bankstream Accountants Confidence Index to see how automation will help practices to grow in the future whilst answering concerns of overwork. 

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Tax Return Enquiries : check the small print

Mark reviews the case of Mabbutt V Revenue & Customs and points out that HMRC have to take as much care as they expect taxpayers to take because they to can be held to suffer if they don't. In this case it seems it will cost the exchequer around £600K. 

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Small businesses and finance

If your client has a finance application rejected by the major banks they now have to advise them about the alternative sources that are available to them. 

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Airbnb: Tax Free Cash?

A salutary warning from  the team at Contractor Weekly about the possible legal effects of using Airbnb without checking if it's permitted within your lease. Even HMRC make reference to this within their manuals so be careful. 

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National Minimum Wage information for employers

Exactly what steps do HMRC take in relation to ensuring that the correct rates of pay are adhered to? This fact sheet tells you this also covers arrears and penalties.

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Apprentices : The Key Points

Apprentices are set to increase throughout the workplace and ACAS list the key points they feel employers and indeed possible apprentices should know.

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Vat and Adapted Vehicles

A disabled person can get vat relief on certain supplies but as is always the case with Vat it's never simple. Just look at the circumstances regarding adapted vehicles.

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Tax Return Errors: They told me to do it

Mark looks at how HMRC apply penalties even if a taxpayer takes professional advice wghich turns out to be incorrect. 

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Overtime Laws

So what are the rules and regulations regarding overtime? 

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Transferring Rental Income - Anti-Avoidance Problems? 

There are lots of reasons why individuals would want to transfer a share of rental income whether also transferring a share in ownership or not. Mark Mclaughlin warns that there are plenty of dangers ahead for the unwary.

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More third party debt transfer 

HMRC have recently issued a Consultation document entitled "Penalty for participating in Vat fraud" and again HMRC seek permission to name and shame those involved as well as transferring the penalty to company officers. The team at Contractor Weekly take a look at the consultation. 

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It's fast approaching Automatic Re-enrolment Time for larger businesses

Astonishingly, larger businesses are coming up to Automatic Re-enrolment Time, where has the time gone? The Qtac Payroll team look at what is involved for those whose first re-enrolment is coming up.

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APNs - more where they came from

APNs or to give them their correct title Accelerated Payment Notices seem to be flavour of the month with HMRC at the moment. This article explains why...

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Personal Savings Allowance: How it works

£1,000 savings income tax free thanks to your Personal Savings Allowance, but it's never that simple is it? Here is HMRC's latest attempt at explaining how it works...

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Emergency Leave

Emergencies happen, it's a fact of life and if staff need time off how you handle the matter is important...

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Director escapes company's PAYE debt

HMRC are looking to transfer Company paye debts to the employee if certain circumstances apply. What exactly are these circumstances and how a tribunal found in favour of the employee in a recent case are fully discussed here.

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Vat and Show Home Furnishings

So what are the rules concerning the deductibility of input vat on show homes furnishings? here is the answer. 

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Changes to Corporation Tax Forms from September 2016

Latest information from HMRC on changes to paper Corporation Tax forms and letters.

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Don't become a Contractor by Accident

Business property owners can find that if they take too much of an interest in building works on their property HMRC may deem them to be Contractors and part of CIS with all that entails. Mark McLaughlin gives a timely warning to anyone thinking of overseeing a Grand Design.

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Vat and the end of a car lease

Termination fees and rental rebates can be daunting, HMRC even have a their own guidance on this issue but this is a good place to start if the circumstances apply. 

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The advantages of filing for bankruptcy

If the debts are stacking up and the likelihood of being able to pay them is receding then filing for bankruptcy could be an option.

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HMRC launch WDF to cover undeclared overseas assets, income and gains

This month HMRC launched the WDF (Worldwide Disclosure Facility) to give taxpayers the opportunity to make voluntary disclosures about any liabilities derived from overseas assets, income or gains and as it's voluntary there will be a reduced penalty rate applied. So if you have clients that fit these circumstances...

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When you can use Advisory Fuel Rates

New rates came into effect from 1st September so here is not only a reminder of the new rates but also of the circumstances in which they may be used.

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Zero Rating of building supplies in connection with zero rated building work

Supplies of goods don't normally qualify for zero-rating even if used in a zero-rated construction. But as ever there are exceptions and here is one.

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Capital Allowances for integral fixtures

What are Integral Fixtures and how are Capital Allowances applied? the answer is here.

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BHS - Claiming redundancy payments

The demise of BHS was and remains big news but for former employees its about making sure they receive their redundancy entitlement. This article from the insolvency service will help.

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Minimising Vat on construction


The team at Gabelle look at a recent Tribunal decision which may help when you consider the vexed question  of Vat on Construction.


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August 2016: The month HMRC caught up with the Consultation issues

After significant delays HMRC caught up with the outstanding Consultations. Here are the Making tax Digital sextet and Tax Avoidance as well!

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Death and Discovery : does deliberate behaviour equate to a criminal charge?

"Nothing is certain except Death and Taxes" said Benjamin Franklin and this case reported by the team at Gabelle shows this saying is still relevant today.

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What are the rules regarding Adoption for staff?

If a staff member asked you about their rights should they adopt would you have the answer? This will help.

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A Tax Return HMRC couldn't look into

HMRC have to follow the correct procedure in everything they do, so if they fail to so do they should be held accountable as would be the case if the roles were reversed. Mark looks at a case where they got it wrong and had to suffer the consequences.

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Changes to tax relief for residential landlords

Lots of changes all being phased in over the coming years. Here is HMRC's series of examples to help.

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Are Umbrella Companies still relevant?

The team at Contractor weekly look at recent developments with regards to Umbrella companies in the light of a report and comment made by the low income Tax Reform Group. 

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Hotels are trading aren't they?

Is the income from letting or a trade? Loss relief as is often the case is at the heart of this question and Mark looks at a couple of cases that might put hotels and motels under HMRC scrutiny.

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Jury Service

So what exactly are the rules regarding Jury Service for an employer? Read here the ACAS guidance on the subject.

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How to wind up an insolvent partnership 

Lots written about Company liquidations but how do you go about winding up a Partnership? Good guidance here fro The Insolvency Service.

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Brexit and Vat

Of all the taxes Vat and Europe are possibly the most interwoven. The team at Gabelle take a look at some of the vat issues post referendum.

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Penalties for Vat and Excise wrongdoing

The very latest factsheet from HMRC on the thorny issue of penalties.

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The side nearest the window

Laurence Vogel bemoans the lack of training in the soon to become mythical processes of double entry and the ultimate goal of a balancing Trial Balance.

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Successful PPR claim after 52 days occupancy

So how long do you have to occupy a property to claim the relief? Mark Mclaughlin points out that there is is no simple answer and highlights a case where 52 days occupancy was successful. 

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Post Brexit what could happen to EU employees?

Pre exit or post exit could be an important distinction for EU employees in a possibly lengthy period of uncertainty

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Reforming IR35 : End users reactions 

Read here about HMRC's research into the implications for engagers/employers should the onus for applying IR35 be passed on to them.

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Non Resident Property Development Tax

From 5 July non resident companies and individuals will find themselves subject to tax if they are deemed to be "dealing in or developing UK land". but just how is this defined?

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Zero Hours Contracts : Myths Busted

The team at ACAS set out to put right some common misconceptions about zero hours contracts.

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TAAR on Winding Up a Company

The CIOT are concerned that the new Target Anti-Avoidance Rules on distributions on winding up a Company can lead to significant uncertainty which id never good for any business. Read hear about their views with lots of examples

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Is it a Trade or a Hobby

If you make money at it HMRC will seek to tax it but if you lose money at it will they give you loss relief?

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Property and Vat - Construction incorporating an existing building

According to HMRC togain zero rating when constructing a new building and existing building needs to be razed to the ground. However, is this always the case? 

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People with significant control

Persons with significant control or PSCs should be easy to spot shouldn't they?

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IR35: Shape of things to come

The consultation on "off-payroll" payments in the public sector is now out and responses are required by the 18th August. This article covers the main points of the consultation and handily lists what exactly is included in the term Public Sector.

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What are the corporation tax rules for loans to participators?

You should know this, you probably do know this but just in case have a quick read and be sure.

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Vat Surcharge - HMRC gets hit for six

Gabelle reports on a couple of recent cases concerning vat surcharges which went the way of the trader.  

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Money Laundering Regs: Appeals and Penalties

HMRC issues guidance on what to do if you have received a penalty with regard to your Money Laudering obligations and how to make an appeal. 

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Vat: Does a partial exemption special method transfer with the sale of a business?

Businesses that make both Exempt and Taxable supplies have to work out a special scheme with HMRC to enable them to claim back some input vat. Some special schemes are good for the business and some not so good. However, what happens when a business with such a scheme is sold?

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Guidance on CGT treatment of Employee Shareholder Shares

HMRC issues its latest update covering changes in 2016 specifically regarding agreements entered into post 16 March 2016 with some good examples.

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Quarterly Reporting: Its 2018 for virtually all our clients

Here is the very latest from HMRC on the quarterly reporting timetable and it changes everything we originally thought.

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HMRC Enquiries: Great Expectations 

Mark looks at the recently revised and some say watered down Taxpayers Charter and explains how it can help in your dealings with HMRC

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Data Protection

ACAS spells out the eight principles of Data Protection and how they impact on employment.

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Charging rent for business premises - A CGT pitfall

Are you considering charging rent to a limited company that you own as a way of extracting profit in a tax efficient way? Mark issues a warning.

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HMRC : Unjust enrichment : Non-profit making sports clubs

Finally after much ado HMRC have issued a briefing on how how relevant clubs can make a repayment following last year's tribunal case relating to golf clubs and green fees.

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Advisory fuel rates from 1st March 2016

Do you drive a company car but pay for all the fuel? If you do here are the rates you can claim back for business travelling.

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ICPA sponsored BCMS webinar

Gain the knowledge to help your clients evaluate their business’s saleability and sell it for the maximum value. Learn how the old ways of valuing a business more often undervalue and are nearly always wrong. How your practice can generate fee income from the process and gives you and your clients access to all the professional help and advice needed to get the best outcome.

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