Archive for July, 2014

Tax free capital gains – private residence relief

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

If you dispose of a dwelling house (which can include a house, flat, houseboat or fixed caravan) which is your home, or part of a dwelling house which is your home, or• part of the garden attached to your home , you would normally have to pay Capital Gains Tax (CGT) on any gain you make.

However, you will be entitled to full relief from any capital gains tax liability where all the following conditions are met:

  • the dwelling house has been your only or main residence throughout your period of ownership, and
  • you have not been absent, other than for an allowed period of absence or because you have been living in job-related accommodation, during your period of ownership
  • the garden or grounds including the buildings on them are not greater than a specified area, and
  • no part of your home has been used exclusively for business purposes during your period of ownership.

If you meet all of these conditions, you will not have to pay CGT on the disposal.

Consideration of the tax position if you own more than one property which you have occupied in a tax year, or if the above conditions are only partly met, will need to be considered in some detail.

Relief for the disposal of a private residence can also be complicated when owners marry, divorce or permanently separate.

A new range of apprenticeships under the Trailblazer scheme.

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

Skills and Enterprise Minister Matthew Hancock announced a new range of apprenticeships that will be developed by employers under the Trailblazer scheme on 27 June 2014. He also called for expressions of interest from groups of employers to become part of the third phase of Trailblazers.

The Apprenticeship Trailblazers, launched in October 2013, have gone from strength to strength. The first phase of Trailblazer sectors includes energy & utilities, digital industries, financial services, life sciences and industrial sciences. Businesses from each sector worked together and produced new concise employer-led standards for key apprenticeship roles in their industry. These were launched in March 2014 and the first apprenticeships under the new standards will be delivered in 2014/15.

Building on their success, the businesses involved will now work on standards for more occupations that they see as crucial to developing their workforce and that will provide new opportunities for young people. The new range of occupations includes:

  • workplace pensions
  • aerospace machinist
  • IT practitioner
  • laboratory and healthcare science
  • investment operations

Skills and Enterprise Minister Matthew Hancock said:

The apprenticeship Trailblazers have already made great strides in developing a simpler and more rigorous system which works for employers and apprentices. Their commitment to develop more apprenticeship standards demonstrates the support our reforms have from employers.

Equipping all young people with the skills they need to begin prosperous and productive careers is a vital part of our long-term economic plan. Apprenticeships give young people the chance to fulfil their potential while helping to drive business growth.

We want to give more employers in more sectors the chance to lead the development of apprenticeship standards for their industries. That is why we will launch a third phase of Trailblazers later this year and I would encourage groups of employers to step forward and take this opportunity.

Please call if you would like to discuss the possibility of developing an apprenticeship scheme for your business.

Is my State Pension taxable or not?

Friday, July 4th, 2014

The State Pension is part of a pensioner’s taxable income. The problem is, it is paid gross, without deduction of tax.

If your sole source of income is the State Pension then this should cause no problem as the State Pension is usually below the annual tax-free personal allowance. What can, and does, cause a problem is if you have other sources of income that combined with your State Pension exceed your personal tax-free allowance.

The assumption most pensioners make is that they can spend their State Pension. Unfortunately, this can lead to cash flow problems if a tax bill drops through your door. This should only happen if you have other income sources and any tax stopped on those additional income streams is insufficient to cover your total tax liabilities: based on all your income including State Pension receipts.

If you have additional income and receive a State Pension, it is necessary to crunch the numbers and see if you should be saving to meet a future tax bill. Readers concerned about their position should talk to the tax office or their professional tax advisor.


Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

On Wednesday 18th June, the Scottish Affairs Committee heard evidence on the currency issue from Ed Balls and Kathy Jamieson.

Many of our clients have asked about currency in the event of a YES vote – and for those interested in the position we would encourage them to take time to watch the Parliament TV session here –


Please note this firm has no formal role or opinion on this debate. However we do feel that the 1 hour 40 minutes of evidence provides such an interesting understanding of the Westminster position on Scotland’s currency and the importance of this makes circulation of this link via our website worthwhile.

Clearly Mr Balls is pro-union, but his evidence is nonetheless relevant to all Scots as the “Westminster position” on currency is vital to negotiations in the event of a YES vote.

Donald Parbrook
Director, Milne Craig

TV productions vie for share of UK\’s new TV tax credits

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

The UK’s new TV tax credit for approved productions in the UK are going down a storm with production companies on both sides of the Atlantic.

One of the key draws to working on productions in the UK, aside from the financial incentives, is the large pool of experienced crew and actors based in the UK.

TV production incentives were first introduced in Northern Ireland and attracted the popular “Game of Thrones” series. This provided the inspiration for the wider offer to the UK as a whole.

The “High-end Television Tax Relief” (HTR) is available if the following conditions are met:

  • the programme passes the cultural test – a similar test to that for FTR but within the European Economic Area
  • the programme is intended for broadcast
  • the programme is a drama, comedy or documentary
  • at least 25% of the total production costs relate to activities in the UK
  • the average qualifying production costs per hour of production length is not less than £1million per hour
  • the slot length in relation to the programme must be greater than 30 minutes

Programmes commissioned together are treated as 1 programme.

However, your company can't claim HTR if the programme:

  • is an advertisement or promotional programme
  • is a news, current affairs or discussion programme
  • is a quiz or game show, panel show, variety show, or similar programme
  • consists of or includes an element of competition or contest
  • broadcasts live events, including theatrical and artistic performance
  • is produced for training purposes

The availability of this relief has reversed the previous outflow of investment from the UK in this type of TV production.

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