All Domains

2023 - May

SELF ASSESSMENT - 30.05.2023

Tax return threshold to rise in 2023/24

HMRC has announced a change in the threshold at which taxpayers need to complete a tax return. What’s the new threshold, and what do you need to do if affected?

CARER’S LEAVE - 30.05.2023

New statutory right to carer’s leave

The Carer’s Leave Bill has received Royal Assent to become the Carer’s Leave Act 2023. What will this legislation introduce and when can we expect the new law to be implemented?

PENSIONS - 26.05.2023

Turn a tax trap into a tax-efficient golden handshake

You’ve heard that £30,000 of any lump sum payment on termination of a job can be paid tax and NI free. Can this tax break be used to reward a long-standing employee who’s due to retire shortly?

EXPENSES - 26.05.2023

How to avoid a common mistake with mileage payments

Several of your employees use their personally owned vehicles for work, for which you pay a mileage allowance at HMRC’s approved rates. But there’s a potential trap that could land you with a tax and NI bill. How can you avoid it?


Have you checked your NI contributions lately?

There are good reasons for keeping a close eye on your NI contributions. For example, they are key to your entitlement to the state pension and other benefits. How can you identify and check if you’ve over or underpaid contributions?

VAT - 26.05.2023

Save VAT on property conversion costs

Our subscriber owns an unoccupied commercial property. She plans to convert it into two flats on the upper floors and a retail unit on the ground floor, which she’ll let. How much of the VAT paid on the conversion costs can she reclaim?

HMRC - 26.05.2023

Tax conditional licensing extended

The “tax check” rules for licensing of certain business activities in England and Wales will be extended to Scotland and Northern Ireland later in 2023. What might this mean for your business?

EXPENSES - 26.05.2023

Doctor’s job expenses examined by tribunal

A doctor asked the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) to overturn HMRC’s refusal to allow tax relief for expenses he said were incurred for his job. They ranged from the cost of a computer to taxi fares and legal fees. What did the FTT decide?

PROPERTY - 26.05.2023

Greater regulation for Airbnb, but what about the tax?

Airbnb and other short-term letting businesses face greater government regulation. The relatively good news is that at least there are no proposals to change the tax regime. So, if you’re thinking of becoming an Airbnb landlord, what are the key tax considerations?


Planning with capital allowances from 2023/24 onward

One of your clients, a large general partnership comprising solely of individual partners, is planning to spend a significant amount on capital expenditure in 2023/24. What capital allowances are available, and are there any planning opportunities?

POOL CARS - 26.05.2023

Does car fleet satisfy requirements for pool cars?

You are preparing the P11D calculations for a new client in respect of 2022/23. There are a number of cars the director has suggested are “pool cars” but admits she hasn’t checked all the criteria. What if you discover the exemption doesn’t apply?

LOSS RELIEF - 26.05.2023

Is your client trading in shares for loss relief purposes?

Many clients buy and sell shares, and increasingly trade in more diverse asset classes such as cryptocurrency. They might ask if this activity amounts to a trade, with a view to claiming income tax loss relief. How might a recent case help answer this?


Are interest payments “qualifying loan interest”?

Your client borrowed money to fund a company with some associates three years ago. He has claimed a deduction on his tax returns as qualifying loan interest. However, HMRC is now arguing the company is not close, precluding relief. Is this correct?


How clients can take advantage of SEIS cash injection

Private investment in start-ups is becoming ever more popular, due in part to the recently increased thresholds for the seed enterprise investment scheme (SEIS). What do you need to know to advise small, young company clients in 2023/24?


Transitional year begins for traders

From April 2024, all unincorporated businesses will use a tax year basis to report profits on. 2023/24 is a transitional year, so what do clients need to do to ensure they don’t end up paying too much?

PENSIONS - 26.05.2023

Maximising pensions efficiency: the position after April 2023

The 2023 Spring Budget included a number of changes to the tax treatment, and consequences, of making pension contributions. These are the latest in a string of tweaks to the rules in recent years. What are the key things your clients need to know when planning their saving strategy?


Is tax and NI due on termination payments?

Your company is reviewing its cost base and has taken the difficult decision to make a number of staff redundant. You’ve heard that the first £30,000 of a termination payment is tax free, but is this always the case?

CARS - 23.05.2023

Paying more than the approved mileage rates

Given the increased costs of running a car, your company has decided to increase the amount it reimburses employees for conducting business journeys in their own cars. But what are the tax and NI implications of this?

PAY & CONDITIONS - 23.05.2023

Will new tips rules affect your business?

A new Act on tipping has been passed with the aim of ensuring that more of what customers leave as tips go to staff. Does this mean you need to update your payroll processes and are there any changes to how tips are taxed?


Unwashed hands spreading germs in the workplace

After the pandemic you’d expect personal hygiene to be high on everyone’s agenda, but it seems that may not be the case. Public health officials have warned that sloppy habits are spreading germs in the workplace. What’s the story?

ENVIRONMENT - 22.05.2023

How not to deal with the regulators

In 2020 a farmer attracted national press and regulatory action after he cleared a riverbank. In April 2023 he was fined £1.2m and sentenced to twelve months in prison. What can you learn from this case about how to deal with regulators?

INSPECTIONS - 22.05.2023

HSE targets fairground safety

ASBESTOS - 22.05.2023

Asbestos dangers unknown to under 35s

Millennials and Gen Z workers such as plumbers, electricians, etc. aren’t fully aware of the risk of asbestos. What is the new HSE campaign about?

WORKPLACE - 22.05.2023

Lack of wood dust control led to fine

A joinery firm has been fined for failing to control its employees’ exposure to wood dust. What were the circumstances of the incident and what are the health risks of exposure to wood dust?

PPE - 22.05.2023

Put the best foot forward

It’s clear what the benefits of providing safety footwear are, but supplying the correct type and keeping everyone happy is a minefield. What is the best way of selecting reasonably priced shoes and boots that will match your budget and level of risk?

MACHINERY - 22.05.2023

Every finger amputated after crush injury

A worker from Devon was left with horrific injuries to his hands after an accident operating machinery. What were the circumstances of the event and what could have been done to prevent the life-changing injury?


The need for health surveillance

If your staff are exposed to health hazards during their work, you may be obliged to implement health surveillance measures. Once you have established the need, what should you do to implement a successful scheme?

FOREIGN WORKERS - 22.05.2023

Requirement to report hybrid and remote working patterns

Where you sponsor workers under the UK’s immigration system, you must now report changes to their hybrid or remote working arrangements. What’s the risk here?

RECRUITMENT - 22.05.2023

Using selection tests as part of the recruitment process

It’s becoming increasingly common for employers to use some form of selection test during the recruitment process as an objective method of assessing the suitability of job applicants. What do you need to be aware of when using such tests?


What are your options at the end of probation?

When a recent recruit’s probationary period is coming to an end, you’ll need to decide what action to take, and you essentially have three options. What are they and what should you bear in mind when exercising them?

NEW LEGISLATION - 22.05.2023

Royal Assent for Employment (Allocation of Tips) Act 2023

The Employment (Allocation of Tips) Act 2023 received Royal Assent on 2 May 2023. When is this new legislation likely to come into force?

MATERNITY - 22.05.2023

What must you pay employees who work KIT days?

Employees are permitted to work for some of their maternity leave period without bringing their entitlement to maternity leave and pay to an end. What must you pay an employee who agrees to work on a keeping in touch (KIT) day?

VAT - 19.05.2023

HMRC confirms closure of VAT helpline

The VAT registration helpline, which many businesses use to raise queries about whether they need to register for VAT, is to be closed at very short notice. Why is HMRC scrapping the service and when?

REDUNDANCY - 19.05.2023

What’s the law on voluntary redundancy?

According to a new Acas survey conducted by YouGov, 30% of employers are likely to make staff redundancies over the next twelve months. If employees volunteer for redundancy during a genuine redundancy exercise, what’s the legal position?

HMRC - 15.05.2023

HMRC expands help texts service

After a short trial HMRC has expanded its text service that directs taxpayers online to find answers to questions. Sounds good, but is it all it’s cracked up to be?

BENEFITS - 15.05.2023

Meals for employees an especially valuable perk

You’re considering providing free meals to your employees to help them with the rising cost of living. You’ll be able to buy in bulk and so access discounts not normally open to individual employees. How will HMRC view your plans?

PROPERTY - 15.05.2023

Reduce capital gains tax on your buy-to-let

Our subscriber owns a residential property which has been let for many years. He’s considering selling it but will lose a large chunk of the proceeds to HMRC. What are the options for reducing his capital gains tax (CGT) bill?


Is interest better than a dividend?

Your bookkeeper has suggested that as interest rates are high now is a good time to charge your company interest on your director’s loan account when it’s in credit. But wouldn’t that be less tax efficient than taking dividend income?

CORPORATION TAX - 15.05.2023

Avoiding the pre-trade loan interest trap

You borrowed to get your company started and paid thousands in interest before trading commenced. The basic tax rules can prevent your company from ever getting tax relief for it. What steps can be taken to get around this trap?

CAPITAL GAINS TAX - 15.05.2023

New CGT rules for separating couples not yet law

The government published draft rules in 2022 to remove an unfair trap affecting couples who separate. Because of the political hiatus last autumn the new rules aren’t yet on the statute books. Where does that leave separating couples?

VAT - 15.05.2023

Capital purchases and the flat rate scheme

The flat rate scheme has advantages for small businesses, not least the potential to reduce their quarterly VAT bills. However, one of the disadvantages is a restriction on reclaiming VAT paid on some capital purchases. When does this rule apply?

DATA PROTECTION - 15.05.2023

Personal data obtained during recruitment

During a recruitment exercise you’ll probably gather personal data from a variety of sources, e.g. application forms, CVs and interview notes. How long should you retain this information for and what else must you always do?


How to tackle regular odd days of sickness absence

You’ve noticed that one of your employees is regularly taking an odd day’s sickness absence here and there. What’s the best way to tackle this short-term sickness absence problem?

DISMISSAL - 15.05.2023

What’s an “SOSR dismissal”?

One of the potentially fair reasons for dismissal is “some other substantial reason” - often referred to as an “SOSR dismissal”. In what situations can some other substantial reason be relied upon to terminate employment?


Stop stealing food from the staff fridge!

According to a survey of workers across all age groups, stealing food from the communal staff fridge is the ultimate workplace bugbear. It can also lead to a breakdown in working relationships. What can you do to prevent this?

DRESS CODES - 15.05.2023

OK to have a clean shaven policy?

Police Scotland has introduced a “clean shaven policy” for all frontline staff, meaning that they’ll no longer be able to have beards and moustaches. What’s the hidden trap with such a policy?

DATA PROTECTION - 15.05.2023

Are former employees profiting from your passwords?

Apparently, 47% of employees have used a former employer’s passwords after the termination of their employment and 28% regularly use them to access paid for subscriptions and tools. How can you prevent this?


Excluding a rude workplace companion costs over £1,500

An employer must pay an employee over £1,500 in compensation after it barred his chosen workplace companion from two meetings. This was despite the fact the companion had been rude and aggressive. What do you need to know?

AI - 11.05.2023

Should you have a workplace AI policy?

Samsung has temporarily restricted the use of generative AI tools through company computers after it discovered that some employees had misused the technology by uploading sensitive code to ChatGPT. Should you implement a policy on the use of generative AI?

PERSONAL SAFETY - 09.05.2023

Professionals fear for their safety!

The majority of people in the professional services sector fear for their safety on a daily basis. What are the problems and how can you make your staff feel secure?

SITE SECURITY - 09.05.2023

Poor security led to death of child

A ten-year-old boy died after falling down a manhole on a building site in Glasgow. What were the circumstances of the tragic accident and what should have been in place to prevented this from happening?


Are you in for a shock?

Even with the knowledge that electricity can kill, there are still too many incidents. In fact, there are over 12,000 fires every year due to faulty goods. What should you do to protect your business from the risks posed by electricity?


Worker crushed by falling object

Two construction companies have been sentenced after a worker was hospitalised for nearly a fortnight after being struck by a 124kg panel. What were the failures and what can be implemented to prevent a similar incident in your workplace?

VIOLENCE - 09.05.2023

Supporting staff after a violent incident

Unfortunately it is more and more likely that staff will be faced with having to deal with a violent incident in the workplace or travelling to and from work. What should you do after a serious incident to support your staff and prevent further problems?


Effective toolbox talks

Toolbox talks can be a good way of getting a specific safety message to your staff. But how can you make sure that they are effective, interesting and that all those present are fully participating?

ENVIRONMENT - 09.05.2023

What’s carbon insetting?

You’re familiar with carbon offsetting - a way of paying others to reduce emissions or absorb CO2 to compensate for your own emissions. Now someone has mentioned carbon insetting is a better bet. Is that right?


Young workers suffering with MSDs

DEDUCTIONS - 09.05.2023

What earnings can be subject to AEOs?

You’ve received an attachment of earnings order (AEO) instructing you to deduct payments of an outstanding debt from one of your employee’s pay. You’ve heard that not all earnings are “attachable” so what earnings does it apply to?

STUDENT LOANS - 09.05.2023

HMRC issues GNS messages for student loans

As part of its April 2023 Employer Bulletin, HMRC has reminded employers that it will send generic notification service (GNS) messages to employers for student loan changes. What do you need to look out for?

OVERTIME - 09.05.2023

Do you have to pay employees for overtime?

One of your employees is querying their latest pay as they say they worked extra time when covering for their manager. Do you have to pay them overtime in this situation?

P11DS - 09.05.2023

2022/23 P11Ds - all you need to know

Now that you’ve got the first month of the new tax year out of the way, it’s a good time to turn your thoughts to the completion of P11Ds on non-payrolled taxable employee benefits. What do you need to be aware of this year?

REDUNDANCY - 04.05.2023

Must you accept redundancy volunteers?

In April 2023 the BBC wrote to some of its staff inviting them to apply for voluntary redundancy. If you’re thinking about conducting a similar exercise, are you obliged to accept any employee who applies?

BULLYING - 04.05.2023

Bullying claims in the employment tribunal

In April 2023 Dominic Raab resigned over historic bullying allegations. When doing so, he said that there is a “three-month time limit for bringing bullying claims” in the tribunal. What’s wrong with this statement?


Acas must pay £25,000 for constructive dismissal

Acas has been ordered to pay a former employee nearly £25,000 after a series of blunders led to her resigning and claiming constructive dismissal. What did the organisation that’s tasked with helping employers fail to do?

HOLIDAYS - 04.05.2023

Holidays booked without your permission

You’ve received a holiday request form which has “holiday already booked” written across it. However, you can’t accommodate this request as you already have too many employees on annual leave then. Where do you stand?


Dealing with a BO problem

You’ve received a complaint from several employees about a colleague who has bad body odour. Unfortunately, this becomes unbearable in the hotter months. What’s the best way to approach this tricky situation?

TIME OFF - 04.05.2023

Time off following a family bereavement

One of your employees has lost an adult relative suddenly. How much time off from work are they entitled to take both immediately and following the death?

WORKING TIME - 04.05.2023

Managers lose seven days a year answering admin questions

According to new research, line managers lose seven working days a year answering routine admin questions. This is causing 32% of them to work additional hours to get their work done. How can you recover those lost working days?

NEW LEGISLATION - 04.05.2023

New offence of failure to prevent fraud

BRIBERY - 04.05.2023

Is it legal to provide corporate hospitality and gifts?

The Bribery Act 2010 sets out several criminal offences related to bribery that apply to both individuals and organisations, so it’s important to have procedures in place to limit risk. What’s the legal position on providing corporate hospitality and business gifts?


Should you introduce an attendance allowance scheme?

To reduce the sickness absence rates in your business, one option to consider is introducing an attendance allowance scheme for staff. What specific matters should you think about before putting this type of scheme in place?

HOLIDAYS - 04.05.2023

Controlling when and how annual leave is taken

With the summer holiday season now approaching, you might want to consider whether to take steps to control when and how annual leave can be taken by your workers. What controls could you usefully put in place?


New offence for employers of failure to prevent fraud

The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill will introduce a new failure to prevent fraud offence for employers. Is this something to worry about?

EQUAL PAY - 04.05.2023

Ethnicity pay reporting guidance for employers

The government has published new guidance for employers on how to measure, report on and address any ethnicity pay differences within their workforce. What’s in it?

CONTRACTS - 04.05.2023

Blanket right to vary the employment contract?

A robust employment contract will include the key terms and conditions of employment. But can it also include a blanket clause that permits you to vary or amend any terms and conditions as you need or wish?

CONTRACTS - 04.05.2023

Contract terms or conduct - which will prevail?

A dispute turned on whether the terms of the contract had precedence over the conduct of the parties. In a claim worth over £1.2 million, did the finance provider’s forgiving attitude towards late payment prevent it from terminating for non-payment later on?

CAPITAL GAINS TAX - 04.05.2023

CGT trap when selling a home with a granny annexe

Our subscribers are selling their home, which incorporates an annexe. They realise that some of the gain they make won’t be covered by private residence relief (PRR). How do they calculate it and should it be reported to HMRC?


Unfairly dismissed for calling in sick yet again!

An employee has won her claim for unfair dismissal and been awarded over £3,400 by the tribunal after she was sacked for calling in sick yet again on a Monday morning. Why did the employer lose?

CARS - 04.05.2023

Why pool vehicles are not a perk but a necessity

Much is made of the tax savings achieved by convincing HMRC that a car or van used by employees for work is a pool vehicle. In practice, it means jumping through hoops to prevent a tax bill where there ought not to be one. What’s involved?

employment CONTRACTS - 04.05.2023

The difference between express and implied terms

The terms of an employment contract can be “express” or “implied”. What’s the difference between them and what else do you need to know about them?

Health & safety - 04.05.2023

Recycler convicted of corporate manslaughter

A recycling company has been convicted of corporate manslaughter following its employee’s death. Fatal accident prosecutions are more commonly based on health and safety legislation, so why was this company charged with corporate manslaughter?

VAT - 04.05.2023

Increase your VAT recovery on road fuel costs

If your business pays for road fuel, it can recover the VAT element relating to business use. There are different methods for working out the amount reclaimable. Which is the best for your business?


Will services be zero-rated?

FLAT RATE SCHEME - 03.05.2023

Am I using the right FRS rate?

MIXED SUPPLIES - 03.05.2023

Improved guidance for mixed supplies

HMRC has completed a major consultation exercise about how a business should work out its output tax for mixed supplies. What might this mean for your business?

OVERPAID VAT - 03.05.2023

VAT refund denied by “unjust enrichment”?

You’ve discovered that an item sold by your business is zero-rated. You’ve charged VAT at 20% for the last five years, so want to claim an output tax rebate from HMRC. But will your claim be denied because of unjust enrichment?


Should you set up a separate business for rental income?

To boost cash flow, you’ve decided to rent out your private holiday home to temporary visitors through Airbnb. Will income from the short-term accommodation be subject to VAT and is it worth creating a separate legal entity?

VAT RETURNS - 03.05.2023

Are you completing the outputs box correctly?

HMRC’s computer checks that the outputs and inputs boxes on your VAT returns appear credible. How can you reduce the risk of an HMRC compliance query due to problems with your Box 6 outputs figure?


Entertainment: are there special rules for directors/owners?

You know that input tax can be claimed on the costs of entertaining your staff because they qualify as a business expense. But what is the situation with entertainment costs for directors and business owners?

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