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

New fuel rates for company cars

HMRC has updated the advisory fuel rates applicable where employers reimburse employees for business travel in their company cars, or require employees to repay the cost of fuel used for private travel.  From 1 March 2011 the rates are: Engine size Petrol Diesel LPG 1400cc or less 14p 13p 10p 1401cc to 2000cc 16p 13p 12p Over

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

Self assessment deadline next Monday

A self-assessment return for the 2009/10 tax year must be filed online and by 31 January or HMRC will impose a £100 penalty.  NOTE: The penalty will be reduced to nil is any tax due for 2009/10 is settled by the

PAYE payment dates alert

HMRC are tightening the rules on the payment of taxes.  To avoid paying late employers must ensure HMRC have cleared funds by the due date or, if the due date falls on a non-banking day, by the last bank working day before the due

20% VAT from 4th January 2010

Most businesses should now be aware of the increase in the standard rate of VAT to 20% on 4th Janauary 2010, however, many are still unsure of the detail.  Set out below are a few of the important issues for VAT traders: Advance Sales Can I simply invoice now and receive payment later - In short yes,

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