Not so trivial

Options for reducing the impact of taxation on our earnings are somewhat limited. That said, there are still opportunities that will keep you the right side of the law and will increase the take home pay of employees. One such opportunity available to employers is to pay so-called trivial benefits. The benefits may be of small value, but never-the-less, even small...

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Powers of attorney

As we will possibly live on until our 80s and beyond, and as that may involve coping with disability of one form or another, the need for consideration of support as we get older is ever more pertinent. Readers will no doubt have heard the term “power of attorney”, but not many, we suspect, will have made the investment and appointed...

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Cash is king

If the present wrangling over the terms of our exit from the EU result in terms that disadvantage UK businesses, what can we do now to protect our hard-earned business assets? It is difficult to make this call as negotiations could drift in either direction: a continuing trade agreement or a so-called “hard-Brexit”. No-one can say what trading conditions will be like...

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Selling the garden shed?

When you are selling your home, you are likely to be selling a range of fixtures and fittings. For example: • White goods, washing machines, fridges, cookers etc, • Furniture, • Carpets, • Curtains, • Garden equipment, • Leisure or fitness equipment, jacuzzi etc, • And the garden shed. If identified in the sale contract, any value attributed to these personal assets, or chattels, will not attract a...

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Evidence or assertion?

In a recent tax case, three taxpayers asserted that cleaning costs of work clothes amounted to £2,200 a year and HMRC disagreed. The facts were compelling. Each of the appellants worked in the drainage or sewage industry and to maintain personal hygiene they washed work clothing on a daily basis. Why shouldn’t they claim for the costs of keeping their work...

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Self employed liability

If you are a sole trader, or in a basic partnership, and if your business gets into financial difficulties, any liabilities that cannot be covered by the disposal of business assets may have to settled out of personal assets. In accountancy speak, you have unlimited liability; there is no protection for your personal assets. You have options.  The Office for Tax Simplification has...

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Planning or regretting?

As we have outlined in recent posts, change is upon us and come the end of March next year, the combination of Brexit and the advent of Making Tax Digital (MTD) will change much that we have taken for granted. Apart from the cross-border considerations (import VAT, customs duties and the like) MTD will require all affected businesses to link with...

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Grants available for food producers and suppliers

Up to £20 million is being made available to increase productivity and sustainability in crop and ruminant agriculture systems through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund. Innovate UK are looking for projects that improve productivity and sustainability in crop and ruminant agriculture. There is £20 million to be shared across 2 types of project: productivity solutions, which develop a single intervention within a supply...

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Buy-to-let mortgages

The gradual restriction of tax relief for buy-to-let mortgage interest has received much publicity since the process commenced 5 April 2017. From that date, tax relief is converted from a straight forward deduction against business profits into a basic rate tax deduction. If you continue to be a basic rate taxpayer as these changes roll-out, you will see no increase in...

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What is side-ways loss relief?

If a business owner makes a loss as a self-employed person, they can set off the losses against any other earnings of the same year. In effect, the business losses are moved side-ways against other earnings. However, in order for loss relief to be allowed, the loss making business must be able to demonstrate that it was managed on a commercial...

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