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Keen readers of this blog will have noticed several articles over the last 18 months regarding changes to the tax treatment of holiday lettings. The first of these was UK Budget Bombshell for Second Home Owners (April 2009). This article highlighted a proposal hidden away in the small print of Alistair Darling’s 2009 Budget. This […]

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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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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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Since I first raised this issue in April of last year (see UK Budget Bombshell for Second Home Owners) I have had occasion to return to the subject several times. To recap, as part of the 2009 Budget, measures were slipped into the small print of the budget by the then Government to withdraw the […]

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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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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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“Transfer pricing” is an increasingly important and contentious area of international tax law. This is because so much of modern world trade involves the transfer of goods, intangibles or services within multinational enterprises (MNEs) – groups of companies or related businesses based in 2 or more countries. Such international trade offers scope for an MNE […]

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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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In what may be seen as a final act of desperation by a morally, legally and financially bankrupt UK government, the Treasury, having failed to “crack down” on what it sees as tax avoidance by banks (the UK courts don’t agree with HMRC) has now come out with a “Voluntary Code”. Not only is this daft […]

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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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