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Ahead of this week’s Queen’s Speech and following a survey of IoD members, which found that the two biggest factors holding back businesses are the economy and government regulation, the Institute of Directors (IoD) has called for the introduction of three Bills. The IoD accepts that there are no quick fixes for our economic situation, […]

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For several years HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) have been concerned that directors and shareholders of companies, referred to as “close companies”, have been able to avoid paying tax by abusing rules relating to loans made to directors, shareholders or other “participants” or indeed to their associates. Typically this might involve a director or shareholder […]

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 In his Budget yesterday UK Chancellor George Osborne responded positively to calls from the London Stock Exchange and abolished stamp duty on shares of companies listed on growth markets including the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) and the ISDX Growth Market. The Stock Exchange, financial institutions, and business organisations have long argued that removing stamp duty […]

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At its simplest, tax planning is just a case of arranging your financial affairs in such a way as to pay as little tax as possible within the law and so not much different from “tax avoidance”. Politicians and the media are struggling to agree exactly what “tax avoidance” is and are starting to use […]

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The courts of most countries have long accepted that taxpayers have the right to arrange their financial affairs in such as manner as to use tax legislation to reduce the amount of tax that is payable by means that are within the law. For centuries the mantra “evasion is illegal but avoidance is not” has been […]

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Tax evasion is the illegal evasion of any type of tax or duty (so it includes smuggling) by individuals, companies, trusts or other corporate entities. Typically evasion occurs when taxpayers deliberately misrepresent the true state of their affairs to the tax authorities to reduce their tax liability and includes dishonest tax reporting, such as declaring less income, profits […]

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The UK now levies the highest taxes on flying in the world. In less than 20 years the tax (Air Passenger Duty or “APD”) has risen from £5 for flights within Europe and £10 for outside Europe to between £13 and £184 per person depending on distance and class of travel.  In 2011-12, APD raised […]

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If an individual engages in a business (as a sole trader) and makes a profit, that is taxed. If two or more individuals engage in business (as a partnership or limited liability partnership) and make a profit the partnership does not pay tax but the profits flow through to the individuals who pay tax on […]

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Almost before George Osborne sat down after delivering his 2012 Budget speech, many of his own Conservative MPs – on the back benches and in the cabinet – were putting up howls of anguish at some of the measures, such as the so-called “pasty tax”, the “granny tax”, taxes on caravans and listed buildings, and […]

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I honestly cannot believe the cack-handed way in which the government has sought to defend George Osborne’s proposed tax-relief cap for charity donations. Worse still they have attempted to do so in a manner that displays a total lack of understanding on how tax relief for charities actually works. It isn’t rocket science guys – […]

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It comes as no surprise that the UK Government has accepted the recommendation of Graham Aaronson QC that a General Anti-abuse Rule (GAAR) should be introduced into the UK tax system to tackle what it sees as misinterpretation of legislation. The aim of the GAAR is to allow tax avoidance to be tackled without making […]

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Watching George Osborne’s 2012 Budget speech on TV I cringed at some of the ideas that he came up with, not because they might not have points to recommend them, but because Osborne didn’t seem to realise that they gifted the opposition, the media, and some of his own party, opportunities to mock and attack […]

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For the purposes of UK Taxation a close company is broadly defined as being one controlled, directly or indirectly, by five or fewer “participators” or by any number of directors who are participators. HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) defines a participator as a person who has a share or “interest” in a company. A participator […]

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The Office of Tax Simplification has today published a document dealing with the taxation of small businesses. It contains a general appreciation that for very small businesses the existing tax rules are over complicated and that they tend to cause problems and costs for the business owner or manager that discourage and penalise entrepreneurial ideas. […]

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 Before I continue let me make it clear that the above is not an accusation but a genuine question, and one which I think needs to be answered urgently. By now there can be few people who have not heard that Sir Paul Stephenson, the Commissioner of London’s Metropolitan Police force, resigned last night. In […]

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Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs have announced a new hit list of potential tax cheats who they are targeting for investigation. High on that list are teachers who make extra cash from giving private lessons, people selling goods on eBay, Amazon or other internet sites, personal trainers and tradesmen and businesses who hide their true […]

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HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has published revised Advisory Fuel rates to be used as mileage allowances where an employee is provided with a company car but not with company fuel. This can be, and usually is, advantageous to the employee who instead of being liable to be taxed on the “benefit in kind” of […]

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It’s over a year now since I pointed out that it is actually in the best interest of the British taxpayer for banks (or any other business) to pay large bonuses to their staff. It isn’t hard to see why this should be so and so I’m rather surprised that neither the media nor Government […]

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The Institute of Directors (IoD) today publishes the results of a survey of its members on the administrative burdens that the tax system imposes on them. The picture is much gloomier than that painted by last Friday’s World Bank survey, which placed the UK fourth for ease of paying taxes. The IoD argues for specific […]

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On Tuesday 4th January 2011 the Standard Rate of Value Added Tax is increasing from 17.50% to 20%. This change will mean a lot of extra work for VAT registered businesses and any non registered business or private individuals should consider whether there are any steps they can take to try and pay at the […]

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