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HMRC's April interest rate cut

Luke Parker
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HMRC’s official rate of interest has been cut from 2.25% to 2% from 6 April 2021. This will affect any directors or employees who have a beneficial loan from their employer, as well as directors who have an overdrawn current account with their...

Family money increases wealth divide through inheritance

Luke Parker
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Research by the Institute for Fiscal Studies provides a stark warning of how important inheritances are going to be for younger generations in terms of both lifetime income and wealth. Wealth passed down from one generation to the next is fast becoming...

Retiring in 2021... or beyond

Luke Parker
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A recent survey of people who have retired or plan to retire in 2021 provides interesting insights, whatever your intended retirement year. The average age of people planning to retire in 2021 is 60, according to a recently published survey by investment...

Excess furlough money repaid

Luke Parker
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The government reports that 3,000 businesses have voluntarily repaid over £760 million of furlough grants received under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) where the reality of the impact of the pandemic was not as bad as first anticipated....

New tax year opportunities

Luke Parker
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Some tax planning should happen before the end of the tax year; but the start of a new tax year also presents opportunities. With many people experiencing a drastic change to their circumstances due to the pandemic, it is more important than ever to keep on...

Freeport tax incentives

Luke Parker
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Among the development measures the Chancellor announced in the March Budget were eight new freeports in England. These are due to enter operation in late 2021, with each freeport including a defined tax site within which a range of tax incentives and...

Missing out on tax-free childcare

Luke Parker
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By setting up an online childcare account, you can get a government top-up to help with the costs of childcare. However, thousands are missing out on this payment. Tax-free childcare is worth up to £500 every three months (£2,000 a year) for...

Should you incorporate?

Luke Parker
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The planned increase in corporation tax has changed some of the mathematics on incorporation. The Budget announced a significant change to corporation tax from 2023:  •    Small companies, with profits of up to £50,000, would...

Changing tax payments for SMEs

Luke Parker
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As making tax digital extends to businesses and landlords from April 2023, the government is considering whether to increase the frequency of tax payments, both for the self-employed and companies. The recently published consultation is part of the...

Shaping the future for business rates

Luke Parker
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A comprehensive review of business rates is underway in England. The government recently published an interim report, with the final report delayed until autumn. One definite change coming is the closing of a loophole that has allowed people to avoid rates...

Off-payroll status communication

Luke Parker
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From 6 April 2021, any medium or large-sized organisation engaging a worker operating through an intermediary will be responsible for determining the worker’s employment status. This status must then be communicated to the worker and to any party...

Businesses prepare for long term tax hike

Luke Parker
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The 3 March Budget provided an immediate sweetener for businesses in the form of a temporary extension to carry back of trading losses, plus, for companies only, a temporary super-deduction for investment in plant and machinery. However, in two years’...

VAT deferral: new payment scheme

Luke Parker
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Businesses that deferred VAT payments due between 20 March and 30 June 2020, and cannot afford to pay by 31 March 2021, have the option of joining a new scheme allowing them to pay the deferred VAT over a longer period. The VAT deferral new payment scheme...

Covid-19 relief measures extended again

Luke Parker
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The latest, and hopefully last, lockdown is not due to be completely lifted until at least 21 June, so it was no surprise to see Covid-19 relief measures extended in the Budget on 3 March. The furlough scheme will now run until 30 September and there will...

The Spring 2021 Budget - still some surprises

Luke Parker
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A quiet turning of the tax screw. Just before the Budget arrived on 3 March, it seemed as if the Chancellor would have nothing to say that was not already public knowledge. However, while some of the torrent of leaks were confirmed, none of the pre-Budget...

Budget 2021 - Key points

Luke Parker
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  To the casual observer, the first Budget of 2021 appeared to have been fully revealed before the Chancellor even reached the despatch box. The relentless flow of pre-Budget rumours, kite-flying and red herrings makes it is all the more important to...

What to look for in Budget 2021

Luke Parker
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          Tomorrow Rishi Sunak will present his second Budget within 12 months. For many commentators, it is perhaps the pivotal Budget of this parliament. Pre-Budget leaks and interviews have put the focus squarely on...

No tax surprises in Scottish Budget

Luke Parker
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The draft Scottish Budget has been presented in the Scottish Parliament ahead of March’s Westminster Budget. Income tax rates are unchanged and most tax bands rise in line with inflation. The temporary increase to the starting point for land and...

Prepare for the new tax year

Luke Parker
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Taking some time to start planning for 2021/22 now can be worthwhile.  While there is often a focus on planning for the end of the tax year, much less attention is paid to the start of the tax year. The lack of an obvious deadline is probably one...

A year on - four financial lessons from the Covid-19 pandemic

Luke Parker
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As the pandemic enters its second year, what have we learned? The World Health Organisation declared Covid-19 a pandemic on 11 March 2020, coincidentally the day that Chancellor Rishi Sunak presented his first Budget. At the time, the Chancellor...

VAT reverse charge from March

Luke Parker
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The VAT domestic reverse charge will finally apply to most supplies of building and construction services from 1 March 2021. The rules, whose implementation have been postponed twice, cover standard and reduced rate VAT supplies between VAT-registered...

Brexit transition leaves questions on VAT

Luke Parker
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Many businesses are struggling with the VAT regime in place since Brexit, especially when it comes to exporting goods to the EU. We address some of the common misunderstandings. Exporting goods Provided you have proof of postage or shipment, goods...

Latest Covid-19 support measures

Luke Parker
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More support is available to help businesses in this latest lockdown, expected to last until at least 8 March. Keep up to date with, and claim, any support that your business is entitled to so you can plan cash flow and take remedial action as necessary. ...

Taxing wealth - a viable option?

Luke Parker
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An independent body of tax experts has set out the framework for a one-off wealth tax.  Will the Chancellor be tempted? “We have a responsibility, once the economy recovers, to return to a sustainable fiscal position.” So said the...

Post-Brexit EU business travel

Luke Parker
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Business travel to the EU has become significantly more complicated since 1 January, with many activities carried out by short-term business visitors now requiring a work permit. Business travel includes activities such as travelling for meetings and...

Recruitment impact of new immigration rules

Luke Parker
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With the end of freedom of movement between the UK and EU from 1 January 2021, the UK has introduced an immigration system that treats all applicants equally. Anyone recruited to work in the UK from outside the UK, excluding Irish citizens, must meet...

Self-assessment: last minute filing

Luke Parker
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Some 2,700 taxpayers took time out from their Christmas day festivities to go online and file their self-assessment tax return for 2019/20. Despite such diligence, 45% of taxpayers (some 5.4 million) had still to file by the start of January, and it is very...

Covid-19 measures: 5 January 2021 update

Luke Parker
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As the third Covid-19 lockdown took effect on 5 January 2021, the Chancellor announced a further £4.6 billion in grants to the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors. This new round of support follows extensions to the job retention and loan schemes...

Capital gains tax: increases on the way?

Luke Parker
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A recent report could herald changes to capital gains tax. Last July the Chancellor asked the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) to undertake a review of capital gains tax (CGT) “in relation to individuals and smaller companies”. The...

Changes to the National Minimum and Living Wages

Luke Parker
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One of the announcements to come out of the Chancellor’s Spending Review was welcome increases to minimum wages. From 1 April 2021, the National Living Wage will get a 19p increase, going up to £8.91 per hour, with this rate being extended to...

Tougher criteria for third SEISS grant

Luke Parker
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Applications for the third Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant opened from 30 November, and you have until   29 January 2021 to make a claim. Be warned, however, that some of the conditions for this grant are different from those...

CBILS: the key to winter survival

Luke Parker
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A recent survey of small businesses has revealed that only a quarter of them are confident of their survival into 2021, with many worried about cash flow. Those businesses that took out Bounce Back Loans (BBLs) have already used up most of this funding. ...

Countdown to Brexit - the known knowns

Luke Parker
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With under one month to go until the Brexit transition period ends, just one in five businesses have a good understanding of the risks and enough preparations in place, according to a survey by one of the largest accountancy firms EY. Many firms believe...

Company cars - rolling downhill?

Luke Parker
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New HMRC data show the popularity of this traditional perk could be waning. Source: HMRC September 2020 There was a time when the company car was the fringe benefit that every employee wanted. You had ‘made it’ once you had the keys to...

Can you afford to retire if you're self-employed?

Luke Parker
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New research shows the majority of the self-employed are not saving for retirement. Source: IFS Here’s a quick quiz: Are you self-employed? If so, have you contributed to a private pension in the last year? The Institute for Fiscal...

Employees can now claim tax relief for working from home

Luke Parker
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HMRC has launched an online portal to help taxpayers claim tax relief for working from home during the pandemic. From 6 April 2020, employees can claim a tax-free amount of £6 a week to cover the additional costs of working from home. For a basic...

Boost for self-employed support in extended grants

Luke Parker
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Tw o further grants under the self-employed income support scheme (SEISS) were announced in September and have now been updated following the second lockdown. The government’s new package of support measures announced in the Chancellor’s...

Take two: furlough scheme extended into 2021

Luke Parker
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As the second lockdown took effect on 5 November, the Chancellor returned to Parliament to announce a further extension to the furlough scheme through to March 2021. The extension of financial support under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) will...

CJRS scheme extended and further support measures announced

Luke Parker
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CJRS and Job Support Scheme The Job Support Scheme, which was scheduled to come in on Sunday 1st November, has been postponed. In his announcement on 31 October of a new national lockdown for England from 5 November until 1 December, the Prime Minister...

Another Autumn Budget deferred

Luke Parker
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After heavy hinting from the Treasury for some weeks, the expected Autumn Budget has been pushed into spring 2021, with tax rises on the cards. Since the March Budget and through to August, the expectation was that the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, would...

Scammers never sleep - rise in tax scams reported

Luke Parker
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Given the amount of Covid-19 financial assistance available, it comes as no surprise that there is an increase in HMRC-related scams this year. What is worrying is that scammers have become more sophisticated; it is no longer a matter of  simply...

Chancellor extends VAT cut until March

Luke Parker
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The temporary reduced standard VAT rate of 5% for the tourism and hospitality sector was due to end on 12 January, but has now been extended to 31 March 2021. With Covid-19 restrictions continuing for the foreseeable future, this winter is likely to be...

Bounce Back Loan Scheme extended

Luke Parker
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The application date for the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) has now been extended to 30 November, and the loan repayment process made more flexible. To date, the BBLS has provided more than a million loans between £2,000 and £50,000 to...

When is a van a car?

Luke Parker
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The tax treatment of cars and vans is quite different, with van classification far more beneficial from both an employer and employee perspective. However, the distinction is not always clear-cut, especially where vans have been modified to turn them into...

HMRC targets employers over CJRS claims

Luke Parker
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With reports of two-thirds of furloughed employees continuing to work during the Covid-19 lockdown, despite the initial prohibition of work as an explicit condition of furlough, it is no surprise that HMRC has already written to 3,000 employers it believes...

How does the Winter Economy Plan affect me?

Luke Parker
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Update: The information below has now been superceded by the resent extension of the Furlough Scheme and further support measures announced by the government on 31 October 2020. Please follow the link below for the latest advice. ...

Who pays capital gains tax?

Luke Parker
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HMRC has published some interesting research into capital gains tax (CGT). Here are three CGT questions for you to ponder: How many individuals made enough capital gains in 2018/19 to face a CGT bill? The answer is just 256,000, according to the...

Defining 'adversely affected' for the self-employed

Luke Parker
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Many self-employed workers will have already claimed their second, and final, Self-Employment Income Support Scheme grant, but otherwise have until 19 October to do so. A key condition is that the business must have been ‘adversely affected’ by...

A new season, a new Budget

Luke Parker
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As autumn arrives, attention is turning to possible measures in the next Budget. Yet another extraordinary turn for 2020, normally seen only in an election year, will be upon us soon: the second Budget of the calendar year. The last Budget, on 11 March,...

Business rates review back on the table

Luke Parker
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The government committed to undertake a fundamental review of business rates in England at the Spring Budget. It has now issued a call for evidence, with views on reliefs and the ‘multiplier sort’ by 18 September. Although fundamental reform is...

Capital gains tax review new on the agenda

Luke Parker
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The Chancellor has asked the Office of Tax Simplification to review capital gains tax (CGT). Within a week of giving his Summer Statement, the Chancellor wrote to the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) asking it to “undertake a review of CGT and...

Are electric vehicles tax efficient?

Luke Parker
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With the government announcing there will be no van benefit charge for fully electric company vans from 6 April 2021, you might be forgiven for thinking that having a company electric vehicle avoids any tax cost. However, this is not quite always the case. ...

What does digital tax mean for me?

Luke Parker
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The government is expanding its digital tax strategy Details of an ambitious ten-year strategy to create a tax system fit for the 21st century have been released alongside Finance Bill legislation. With the rapid growth of information and...

Stamp Duty Land Tax: temporary reduced rates

Luke Parker
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On 8th July 2020 Chancellor Rishi Sunak confirmed existing rumours that the residential Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) threshold will be increased to £500,000 immediately until 31 March 2021. The Government will...

COVID-19 Bulletin 7 - Extension to the Self Employment Income Support Scheme

Luke Parker
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In Covid-19 - Bulletin 5 - Key Support Measures For The Self Employed  we outlined the details of the Self Employment Income Support Scheme including who is eligible, how to check eligibility, how much you will...

COVID-19 - Bulletin 6 - Changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Luke Parker
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Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, announced more details about the extension to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme on Friday, please see the key details outlined for you below: Important dates It’s important to note...

COVID-19 - Bulletin 5 - Key Support Measures For The Self Employed

Luke Parker
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Over the past few weeks we have received a number of queries from our self employed clients regarding the support available to them. At the start of the outbreak the most significant support measures announced by the government were targeted at...

COVID-19 Bulletin 4 - Future Fund & Bounce Back Loan

Luke Parker
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Over the last two weeks the government has announced further measures of support  in the form of the Coronavirus Future Fund and  the Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan. Both measures are aimed at supporting...

COVID-19 Bulletin 3 - Self-employment Income Support Scheme

Luke Parker
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Announcement of Coronavirus Self-employment Income Support Scheme and updates to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme On Thursday 26 th  March The Chancellor unveiled the Coronavirus Self-employment...

COVID-19 Bulletin 2 - CJRS - Government releases further guidance

Luke Parker
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On Thursday 26 th  March the government released further guidance on how to submit a claim via the new Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). The latest guidance provides further detail on who is eligible for the...

COVID-19 Bulletin 1 - update from Gilberts Chartered Accountants

Andrew Lovett
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Here at Gilberts Chartered Accountants, we wanted to keep you up to date with our plans due to COVID-19 and the recent government advice. Firstly, we are absolutely committed to you, our clients, and we will continue to support you in these...

Act urgently to secure deferral of your VAT payments

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Due to the current Coronavirus situation HMRC has set up a VAT payment deferral scheme.  VAT  payments  due to HMRC between 20 th  March and 30 th  June can now be deferred until the end of March 2021.  ...

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and further support measures announced on Friday 20th March 2020

Luke Parker
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On Friday 20 th  March The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, unveiled several new measures aimed at protecting peoples jobs, offering more generous support to those without employment, strengthening the safety net for those...