Budget 2014 – A summary

Devil is, as always, in the details but the headline changes in the 2014 budget were: Personal tax For 2015 to 2016 the personal allowance for those born after 5 April 1948 will increase to £10,500 and the basic rate limit will be £31,785 for 2015 to 2016. For 2015 to 2016 the starting rate for savings

Directors’ loan accounts, a note of caution

It is established practise in small and medium size companies for owner directors to withdraw sums from the business ‘in lieu of salary’ and then, at the year end, to declare a dividend to clear to nil any balance on the Directors’ loan account. Provided the loan balance is cleared within 9 months of

Taxman considers amnesty for heating engineers

Permanent secretary for tax Dave Hartnett has suggested that gas fitters could be the next professional group to be offered a disclosure opportunity. Following tax amnesties for offshore account holders and healthcare professionals, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) may offer a new disclosure opportunity for heating engineers, gas fitters and other trades persons to declare

How good are your records?

HMRC believes 40% of the five million small and medium businesses in the UK maintain inadequate records.    Due to commence in the second half of 2011, the HMRC are introducing a new Business Records Check consisting of a visit to the business premises by at least one officer for approximately four hours. Where the officer identifies significant

Interest on employee loans to remain at 4.00%

HMRC have confirmed that the official rate of interest applying to interest-free or low interest loans made to employees will remain at 4.00% for the 2011–12 tax year, subject to review in the event of significant rate

Family companies still under scrutiny by HM Revenue & Customs

Despite several high profile cases going against HM Revenue & Customs, the tax authority is continuing to pursue shareholders in family companies where there is perceived tax avoidance by income shifting.  Income shifting is the process of diverting income from one tax payer to another where the second taxpayer is subject to a lower rate

The VAT trap for sole traders – multiple trades

The majority of sole traders are aware of their obligations to register for VAT when their business turnover has gone over a specific limit - called the 'VAT threshold' (currently £70,000), but few realise that it is not their 'business' that is registered but them personally. Why does this matter? Where an individual carries