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If you have decided to start your own business as a self-employed sole trader (perhaps having read Choosing the Structure for Your Business) then you might think that you have nothing else to do apart from finding some work and getting paid when you have done it. Unfortunately it isn’t quite as simple as that, […]

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On July 20th this year the Chancellor George Osborne announced the establishment of the Office of Tax Simplification (“OTS”) charged with the task of providing the Government with independent advice on simplifying the UK tax system. Not before time! Today the OTS announced details of two initial reviews, which are to be completed before the […]

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The Coalition’s June 2010 Budget announced that the Government wished to consider how the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) system could be improved in order to reduce costs, ensure accurate tax calculations, and make it easier for employers and HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs) to administer. In all honesty something does need to be […]

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UK tax law is among the most complex in the world, and it has been getting more complex every year. Despite the fact that I earn a fair amount of my income advising on tax matters I welcome the announcement by Chancellor George Osborne of the establishment of the Office of Tax Simplification. The problem with UK […]

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It has long been accepted that businesses can and do make mistakes on their VAT returns from time to time. As long as the amount of VAT in question was under £2,000 they didn’t have to declare the error but could just correct it on the next return they filed. If the amount involved was […]

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Now that George Osborne has finally made it to 11 Downing Street and is planning his “Emergency Budget”, I hope he look seriously at reducing the headline rate of Corporation Tax in order to attract international businesses to the UK as well as stemming the flow of UK companies moving their tax residence elsewhere. The […]

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The new Conservative/Lib Dem coalition government has just published the text of the Coalition Agreement made between the parties. Should you wish you may view this via the link below. The agreement states that it is the intention of the new government to increase the rate of Capital Gains Tax (“CGT”) for “non business assets”.  […]

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Before the recent election all the three main parties were saying that they “had no plans to increase or extend VAT”. In fact the Labour Party actually ruled it out, but then they knew full well that the chance of them being in power, even with Lib Dem support, was fairly negligible. So it proved. […]

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This is the shocking verdict which the authors of a new report, published by the Institute of Economic Affairs, have come to following an in depth study into tax related compliance and administration costs which fall on UK businesses. The report also reveals that the average Finance Act in the 2000s has been three times […]

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There has long been a common misconception that the payment of fees to non-executive directors can be made without having to account for tax and National Insurance (NI) by way of the PAYE (Pay as You Earn) system. Directors, non-executive or otherwise, are considered to be “officeholders” by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and, employers […]

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Any business can claim tax allowances, called capital allowances, on certain purchases or investments. This results in a reduction in the business tax bill – which can’t be bad. In general capital allowances are available on plant and machinery, buildings – including converting space above commercial premises to flats for renting – and research and […]

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It has long been suspected that there is widespread under collection of VAT throughout the European Union. But until now no one realised just how big the figures were. Talk about pouring cash down the toilet! There are a number of reasons for the shortfall some relating to systematic fraud (such as “carousel fraud” on […]

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When I trained as a tax accountant many years ago there was a clear understanding that my duty was to my client and whilst I should not collude in illegal tax evasion or financial irregularity I owed no duty to “rat” on clients to the authorities. Indeed it was always accepted that anything told to […]

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HM Revenue & Customs are facing a flood of legal claims that will blow another massive hole in the public finances. In the past few weeks thousands of High Court claims have been lodges by companies and local councils relating to millions of pounds of interest wrongly charged by HMRC. When HMRC makes a repayment […]

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Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) are convinced that there is widespread tax avoidance in the construction industry and have recently issued a consultation paper outlining their proposals for tackling the problem – proposals which are likely to result in a substantially higher tax burden for many genuinely self-employed workers as well as more red […]

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The controversial tax which was introduced by Gordon Brown shortly after he became Chancellor has proven to cost far more to administer than the cash it has raised. Gordon Brown has long had the typical socialist view of business owners which sees them all as crooks only concerned with paying as little tax as possible. Tax […]

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For many years UK taxpayers benefitted greatly by transferring (settling) their assets in offshore trusts, but increasing ant-avoidance legislation has led people to believe that there is no point in using an offshore trust any more. Whilst it is true that the tax advantages are no longer as good and they once were the fact […]

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A shock announcement in the small print of this year’s budget has left thousands of UK farmers and second home owners reeling at the loss of tax breaks without which they may have to sell up. Not a good thing in a falling market. But it could benefit owners of foreign holiday property. Buried deep […]

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Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has issued a warning that fraudsters are sending out fake e-mails promising rebates.   An estimated five million people filed their tax returns online last month and now many of them are receiving emails which purport to come from HMRC saying there has been an error in calculating their […]

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HMRC have published new regulations relating to the payment of Class 2 and voluntary Class 3 national insurance contributions (NICs) for past years. Class 3 contributions for the 2006-07 tax year which are paid after 5 April 2009 and voluntary Class 2 contributions for the 2006-07 tax year which are paid after 5 April 2008 […]

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