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Capital Gains Tax (“CGT”) was introduced by Harold Wilson’s Labour Government in 1965. Its purpose was simple: To tax the profit or “gain” made on the sale or “disposal” of an asset by individuals. Companies do not pay CGT but instead any gain is taxable as part of their Corporation Tax bill. The original reason […]

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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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University tuition fees could be replaced by a new “graduate tax” under new proposals put forward by business and skills secretary Vince Cable.  He proposed that the government would pay fees directly to universities instead of lending money to students to cover the cost and then having them pay these loans back by an extra […]

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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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I was talking to an Independent Financial Advisor a couple of days ago and in conversation asked him how he was getting on winding up the estate of a mutual client who died about 18 months ago. “Fine”, he said, “but it looks like we have paid too much Inheritance Tax on the house” – […]

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Benjamin Franklin said, “In this life nothing is certain but death and taxes”. When anyone who is resident or domiciled in the UK dies those they leave behind will find that HMRC will want a slice of the dead person’s estate – their money, house, possession etc. This tax used to be called Death Duties […]

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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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I’ve suddenly had a lot of people contact me to ask the above question regarding the tax free ISA (Individual Savings Account) products that are available to UK taxpayers. This is probably due to changes that came in last month. If you don’t know what an ISA is then have a look at this earlier article. […]

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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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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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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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There has been much publicity and comment about “non doms” – these being persons who whilst resident in the UK are not domiciled there (see here for more information on what this means). The popular belief is that these people are unfairly avoiding tax on income or capital gains made outside the UK by claiming […]

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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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HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs) have announced that they are gearing up to mount an attack on Managed Service Companies (MSCs) based in the UK and offshore. Background For many years now HMRC has battled to try and stop what it perceives to be the unacceptable use of limited companies as a way for […]

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HMRC have published the long delayed survey which they commissioned on Save As You Earn (SAYE) and Share Incentive Plans (SIP), which considers whether the schemes have met their policy objectives. The survey on SIPs was due in 2005. While the report provides some useful statistics, it is disappointing that HMRC have failed to address […]

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International businessman Robert Gaines-Cooper has failed to persuade the Court of Appeal that he has changed his UK domicile. We read a lot in the UK press about “non-doms” and how they don’t pay their fair share of tax. Recent legislation has made it more difficult for “non doms” to benefit but as usual the […]

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An Individual Savings Account (ISA) allows any UK taxpayer aged 18 or over to save up to £7,200 each year (for 16-17 year olds this is £3,600 cash) and not pay tax on the income they receive from the investment. They are now a permanent feature of the UK savings landscape. Tax Advantages of ISAs All income […]

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