BREXIT update

The last few weeks have seen some of the most extraordinary political manoeuvrings in the UK parliament, and as we complete the edit of this article, the EU parliament seems to have given us a few extra weeks to complete the withdrawal agreement and get a final draft agreed by parliament. The formal statement issued late last night (22 March...

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Spring Statement March 2019

The following comments were written on the 13th March 2019 immediately following Philip Hammond’s presentation of the 2019 Spring Statement to Parliament. In theory, the government uses the Spring Statement to respond to the most recent forecasts made by the Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR). However, what follows is a short summary of the points Philip Hammond did raise. Employment Since 2010 there...

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Retaining business records

Sole traders If you are self-employed, and obliged to submit a self-assessment tax return, you must keep your tax records for at least five years after the 31 January submission deadline of the relevant tax year. For example, if you submit your 2018-19 tax return online on or before 31 January 2020, you must keep your records until at least the...

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Are home to work travel costs ever allowed?

Ordinary commuting between home and work incurs costs: either shoe leather, if you walk, or the cost of transport. For most employees these costs are considered to be personal costs and are not deductible for tax purposes. This is so even if your employer requests that you attend out of hours, say the weekend. According the HMRC: If an employee is sometimes...

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How are dividends taxed?

Dividends received from shares held in UK companies form part of a tax-payers self-assessment. The payments are made by the paying company without any deduction of tax and therefore the amount received is the sum that needs to be declared. Dividends are paid out of the company’s retained profits – these are profits after any corporation tax has been paid –...

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Brexit , no end in sight

On the 12 March the government updated its advice to traders with the EU. The advice assumes a no-deal outcome. On the basis that being prepared for the worst possible outcome, and a no-deal result is universally accepted to be a disaster for UK businesses, we are reproducing in full the text of the letter in this post. Here’s what HMRC...

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Pension shakeup

The past week, and who knows for how long into the future, has been a crazy week for politics in the UK. Brexit is challenging the way manage our democracy and it will be interesting to see how matters are resolved to observe the results of the EU referendum and cope with the apparent splits amongst members of parliament. And yet,...

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No tax when you sell your home?

The private residence relief allows you to sell your home without paying any capital gains tax (CGT) on the profit you make on the sale. If only life was that simple. Unfortunately, there are occasions when CGT may be payable. For example, if part of your home has been used exclusively for your business a proportion of any gain would be...

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Spring Statement 13 March 2019

The following comments were written on the 13th March 2019 immediately following Philip Hammond’s presentation of the 2019 Spring Statement to Parliament. In theory, the Government uses the Spring Statement to respond to the most recent forecasts made by the Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR). In a nut-shell, the OBR forecast that: the UK economy will continue to grow, and Government borrowing, and...

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Holiday entitlement

According to government sources if you work a five day week, you are entitled to 5.6 weeks’ paid holiday a year. This is known as our statutory or annual leave entitlement. At first sight, 5.6 weeks looks to be an odd number of days, but it refers to a normal working week of five days. Accordingly, the 5.6 weeks translates to...

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