Archive for January, 2014

Plan for progress

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

We are now in the last quarter of the current tax year that ends 5 April 2014. If you are in business or pay income tax at the higher rates there is a strong argument that you should consider, and invest in, a tax planning review with your professional advisor.

 Why?

Shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted is a waste of time – it is like an acknowledgement that an action should have been taken earlier, and is now a futile re-enactment of something that no longer has value.

From a professionals perspective there is nothing quite as depressing as the realisation that a client is not going to benefit from a legitimate tax planning strategy and purely because information was not provided before a particular deadline – in the terms of this article, before 5 April 2014.

What sort of information should we be examining?

 If you are in business:

  1. Your current management accounts.
  2. Your plans for the coming year.
  3. Changes in tax legislation that will apply from 6 April 2014 and that will have an impact on your business: we now have published information about some of the significant tax changes for 2014-15.

 If you are a higher rate income tax payer:

  1. An estimate of your taxable income for 2013-14.
  2. An estimate of your taxable income for 2014-15.
  1. Changes in tax legislation that will apply from 6 April 2014 and that will have an impact on your personal tax liability.

So, if you have not considered these issues thus far, contact us now. We will need time to consider your particular circumstances. Please get in touch as soon as possible, certainly no later than the first week in February 2014.

Google to get �24m tax bill

Friday, January 10th, 2014

 It would seem that HMRC are making progress in their efforts to make larger concerns more responsible when paying tax.

Google have been criticised in the past for using complex arrangements to reduce their UK tax liabilities. Google have responded that they have only taken advantage of tax strategies that are legal – in effect Google are saying that if the law has created scenarios that were not intended by Parliament, then the law should be changed.

Recent press commentary has speculated that Google is about to be hit by a £24m tax demand. Apparently, Google’s UK staff in London are given shares by the US parent company as part of their remuneration package. In the past these share issues have been used to reduce Google’s UK tax bill.

HMRC, it would appear, are on the case. They seem to be clamping down on aggressive share schemes. Google have released the following comment:

“This is a matter the company is discussing with HMRC in an ongoing review initiated in 2010. The company has made a provision of £24 million for potential corporation tax for the years under review (2005-11).” 

HMRC publish oddest excuses

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

As the rush to file outstanding 2013 tax returns gathers pace, HMRC have published ten of the “oddest” excuses for late filing of returns in previous years. Readers should note that none of the excuses were successful!

In no particular order they are:

1. My pet goldfish died (self-employed builder);

2. I had a run-in with a cow (Midlands farmer);

3. After seeing a volcanic eruption on the news, I couldn’t concentrate on anything else (London woman);

4. My wife won’t give me my mail (self-employed trader);

5. My husband told me the deadline was 31 March, and I believed him (Leicester hairdresser);

6. I’ve been far too busy touring the country with my one-man play (Coventry writer);

7. My bad back means I can’t go upstairs. That’s where my tax return is (a working taxi driver);

8. I’ve been cruising round the world in my yacht, and only picking up post when I’m on dry land (South East man);

9. Our business doesn’t really do anything (Kent financial services firm); and

10. I’ve been too busy submitting my clients’ tax returns (London accountant).

HMRC’s director general of personal tax, Ruth Owen is quoted as saying:

 “There will always be unforeseen events that mean a taxpayer could not file their tax return on time. However, your pet goldfish passing away isn’t one of them. If you haven’t yet sent your 2012/13 tax return to HMRC, you need to do it online and pay the tax you owe by the end of January.

”With all the help and advice available, there’s no excuse not to.”

However, there are reasonable excuses that HMRC will accept. They include:

  • a failure in the HMRC computer system
  • your computer breaks down just before or during the preparation of your online return
  • a serious illness, disability or serious mental health condition has made you incapable of filing your tax return
  • you registered for HMRC Online Services but didn't get your Activation Code in time

According to HMRC a “reasonable excuse” is when some unforeseeable or unusual event beyond your control has prevented you from filing your return. It would seem that the death of a goldfish in the family is not unusual enough…

Tax Diary January/February 2014

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

 1 January 2014 – Due date for Corporation Tax payable for the year ended 31 March 2013.

 19 January 2014 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 January 2014. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 January 2014.)

 19 January 2014 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly return for the month ended 5 January 2014.

 19 January 2014 – CIS tax deducted for the month ended 5 January 2014 is payable by today.

 31 January 2014 – Last day to file 2013 Self Assessment tax returns online.

 31 January 2014 – Balance of self assessment tax owing for 2012-13 due to be settled today. Also first payment on account for 2013-14 due today.

 1 February 2014 – Due date for Corporation Tax payable for the year ended 30 April 2013.

 19 February 2014 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 February 2014. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 February 2014.)

 19 February 2014 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly return for the month ended 5 February 2014.

 19 February 2014 – CIS tax deducted for the month ended 5 February 2014 is payable by today.

 1 March 2014 – Self Assessment tax for 2012/13 paid after this date will incur a 5% surcharge.

Tax office bogus emails

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

Readers are reminded that HMRC do not send communications to tax payers by email. If you receive an email purporting to be from HMRC, it will be some sort of “scam” and should be ignored (deleted from your PC).
 

Do not under any circumstances open any attached files or disclose any personal information. Typically, the email will offer you a tax refund if you send your bank details, or some other inducement to part with similar information.
 

HMRC will either call you or send a letter if they need to communicate with you.

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