Autumn Statement 2023 – Growth, growth, growth…

As ever, in the last couple of weeks there has been a huge amount of speculation about what may or may not be announced at the Autumn Statement 2023 – abolition of inheritance tax; increase in the inheritance nil rate band; a stamp duty land tax holiday; a cut in the rate of income tax… […]

Autumn Statement 2023 – Tax cut, complexity and uncertainty

It’s a tax cut, Jim, but not as we know it Having been told by successive Chancellors for as long as one can care to remember that ‘national insurance is not a tax’, it feels so wrong to claim that there has been a tax cut today – that said, to the ‘man on the […]

Autumn Statement 2023 – All change for the self-employed

The key change announced for the self-employed was the ‘headline’ abolition of Class 2 national insurance and the reduction in the rate of Class 4 national insurance, both with effect from 6 April 2024. Class 2 national insurance is a flat rate charged at £3.45 per week and is there to preserve entitlement to contributory […]

Budget 2023 – everywhere, but not quite everything

In what was the first (and hopefully last) budget of 2023, there was a focus on growth being supported by the Chancellor’s four pillars – enterprise, employment, education and everywhere… not quite everything everywhere all at once, but there were some promises to review and reform the self-assessment for small businesses and sole traders which […]

Can HMRC ‘spread’ out?

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) can open an enquiry into any self-assessment return within certain time limits. A tax return enquiry for one period could extend to other periods, such as where HMRC considers that a self-employed individual’s income for one tax year has also been understated in other tax years. HMRC’s ‘presumption’ This HMRC […]

Partnership expenses: Panic over?

Individual partners in a partnership sometimes incur business expenses personally. It has been widely accepted that tax relief can be claimed for such expenses. This could be achieved by adjusting for the expenses in the tax computation in the partnership tax return, provided any adjustment was made before the net profit was allocated between the […]

How’s The Family? Penalties And ‘Reasonable Excuse’

Does HMRC properly consider whether penalties are appropriate when taxpayers file their tax returns late due to serious illness? Every year, numerous appeals by taxpayers against penalties from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for the late submission of tax returns reach the First-tier Tribunal. Excuses, excuses… Those taxpayers are normally appealing to the tribunal for […]

Director’s Tax Returns: Don’t Believe Everything You Read!

The majority of owner-managed or family company directors receive a notice to file a tax return from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) each year. Most of those directors will regularly extract profits from the company (e.g. as salary and/or dividends). However, in some cases a director may not have received anything from the company, and […]

Is HMRC Being Un-‘Reasonable’?

Taxpayers are under threat of penalties if they fail to comply with their various tax obligations. This article focuses on penalties for filing tax returns late. There is an important exception from late filing penalties, which applies if the taxpayer satisfies HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) (or the tribunals) that there is a ‘reasonable excuse’ […]