All Domains

2024 - February

RECORD KEEPING - 28.02.2024

How long do you need to keep VAT records?

The legislation states that you only need to correct errors made on your returns for the last four years, so can you destroy your accounting records and invoices that are more than four years old? And how could you save on storage costs?

CONSTRUCTION - 28.02.2024

Building certificates needed for 0% VAT

If you provide construction services on a new building to be used for a relevant charitable or residential purpose, or sell a new building to the users, your supply will be zero-rated. But what documents must you get?

COMPLIANCE - 28.02.2024

HMRC targets cash traders in hot food and catering

HMRC’s computer system has identified 4,000 traders in the hot food and catering sector that may be under-recording sales. What does this mean for your business and could the review be extended to other sectors?

RENTAL INCOME - 28.02.2024

What if you’ve lost your option to tax election?

You’ve signed a lease with a new tenant for the commercial property you’ve owned and rented out for six years. The tenant has asked for a copy of your option to tax confirmation letter from HMRC but you cannot find it. What should you do?

INPUT TAX - 28.02.2024

Self-billing: is HMRC’s input tax assessment correct?

One of our subscribers had a recent compliance review and the officer disallowed input tax claimed on self-billed invoices issued to a supplier who deregistered 18 months ago. Is the officer correct to do this and what should our subscriber do?

PROMOTIONS - 28.02.2024

How to account for VAT on customer vouchers?

Your business will sell vouchers to customers that can be redeemed in the future against goods or services that you sell. How should you account for VAT on these vouchers to avoid a problem with HMRC?

RECRUITMENT - 28.02.2024

Pre-employment checks for new recruits

As part of your recruitment process, you should always carry out pre-employment checks on a successful candidate once they’ve accepted your job offer. What checks should you conduct and when should you do them?

TRIBUNALS - 28.02.2024

Tribunal fees back on the agenda?

Employment tribunal fees were abolished in July 2017 following a Supreme Court ruling that they were unlawful. However, the government is now consulting on re-introducing much more modest fees than previously. What are its proposals?


Employee denied permanent homeworking loses claim

An employee who was denied permanent homeworking by her employer following her flexible working request has lost her employment tribunal claim. What does this mean for similar flexible working requests?

FOREIGN WORKERS - 28.02.2024

Q&A - renewal of sponsor licences


Using demotion as a disciplinary sanction

A police officer has made the news headlines after being demoted for selling some police uniform trousers on Vinted. Can you demote as a disciplinary sanction?

DISMISSAL - 28.02.2024

Is it easy to dismiss short-service employees?

Employees with less than two years’ continuous service can’t generally claim unfair dismissal, so it can be relatively easy to dismiss them. But what risks do you need to be aware of before you decide to implement such a dismissal?

HOLIDAYS - 28.02.2024

Annual leave for irregular hours and part-year workers

For holiday years beginning on or after 1 April 2024, new rules will apply to annual leave under the Working Time Regulations 1998 for irregular hours and part-year workers. What are the essentials of those new rules?

MONITORING - 28.02.2024

Monitor entry data to check workplace attendance?

Two large employers have revealed that they’re now using entry data from security access gates to clamp down on non-compliance with hybrid working arrangements. To what extent is this type of monitoring lawful?

ENVIRONMENT - 27.02.2024

Should you sign up to a carbon literacy course?

You’ve heard that a competitor has put some of her staff on a carbon literacy course. What does it entail and should you be thinking about doing something similar?

RISK ASSESSMENT - 27.02.2024

Company fined after 21-year-old worker dies

A company has been fined £67,000 after a young employee lost his life. What were the circumstances of the accident and what should have been in place to prevent this tragic event?


How to manage chemicals with H360 hazard statement

There’s a huge variety of chemicals used in the workplace, and each must be supplied with a safety data sheet (SDS) telling you of its hazardous properties. If you use a substance with an H360 hazard statement, what are the particular risks and what should you do to control them?

CONSTRUCTION - 27.02.2024

What are your client duties under CDM?

You may have been referred to as a client when you are scoping a project, but what exactly does this entail under the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM)?

WORKPLACE - 27.02.2024

Worker fatally struck by moving vehicle

A worker was killed whilst moving around a recycling site. What lessons can be learned from the failures in this case and what controls can you implement to prevent a similar occurrence on your premises?

MENTAL HEALTH - 27.02.2024

HR and HS joint responsibility for mental wellbeing

The responsibility for mental health in the workplace can fall under the scope of human resources (HR) or health and safety (HS), or both. At a time when the problem is increasing exponentially, what is the best approach?


Why are so many Brits on long-term sick?

Long-Covid, depression from lockdowns and even back problems from homeworking are among the factors blamed for a record 2.8m workers being off sick. What can you do to lessen the impact on your business?


Retiring without springing an inheritance tax trap

Your client holds the main interest in a family-owned trading partnership. He is looking to retire, selling his interest to his adult children. You have advised that this could lead to an inheritance tax (IHT) charge. What should you advise here?

CAPITAL GAINS TAX - 27.02.2024

Real time reporting not being used, says financial press

Recent reports in finance publications suggest that less than 1% of capital gains tax (CGT) is being paid through the real time reporting service. What is this service, and should you advise clients to use it?


Avoiding problems with directors’ NI following rate cut

The reduced primary Class 1 rate of 10% is now in effect. With just weeks left until the end of the 2023/24 tax year, what should you advise directors to pay for the year?

TAX CASES - 27.02.2024

Were SEIS conditions met?

SHARE OPTIONS - 27.02.2024

Net settled share options: what’s the correct deduction?

A client’s employee exercised share options at a price of £10,000. The client is expecting a corporation tax deduction of £10,000. However, they have informed you they used a net settled arrangement. Why is this a problem?

IR35 - 27.02.2024

Employment status update

Your clients include workers who provide their services through intermediaries such as personal service companies. What do you need know about recent case law and the imminent statutory changes in April 2024 when making employment status decisions?


New statutory compensation limits effective from 6 April 2024

From 6 April 2024, new increased compensation limits for employment tribunal claims and other amounts payable under employment legislation will come into force. What are the key increases that you need to be aware of?


Are you missing out on the employment allowance?

The employment allowance (EA) can save you thousands a year by reducing your NI contributions bill. The trouble is that the EA is subject to tricky conditions. So when are you entitled to the EA and how do you claim it?


HMRC hunts for undeclared dividends


Adding to your state pension while abroad

SELF-ASSESSMENT - 20.02.2024

Pressure builds on cryptoasset owners

A national firm of accountants says HMRC is stepping up investigations relating to cryptoassets. If you own Bitcoin assets, should you be worried?


Getting directors’ NI contributions right for 2023/24

The end of the tax year is just a few weeks away. As an employer you’ll need to carry out the usual payroll year-end routines. However, if your business operates through a company there’s an extra step that might be required. What is it?

INVESTMENTS - 20.02.2024

EIS - retrospectively reduce your tax bill

You want to make a tax-efficient investment and you’ve read that one which qualifies for the enterprise investment scheme (EIS) is a good option because it means you can reclaim tax you paid on 31 January. How does this work in practice?


Can your CAs claim include VAT paid?

One of our subscribers is being threatened with extra tax and penalties for claiming capital allowances (CAs) for the VAT he paid on the purchase of equipment. Is HMRC right to say the qualifying cost must be exclusive of VAT?


Planning your year-end dividend

The end of the tax year is approaching and you want to make full use of the 8.75% tax rate that applies to dividends. How can you work out how much dividend you can take and ensure its payment before the tax year ends?

CARS - 20.02.2024

Government U-turn on double cab pickups

After an earlier announcement that the tax treatment of double cab pickups would change later this year, the government has almost immediately changed its mind. What is the revised position?

CARS - 20.02.2024

Double blow for double cab pickups

From 1 July 2024, double cab pickup trucks will be classed as cars for direct tax purposes. What will change and will you be affected if you already drive a company- provided vehicle meeting the description?


Can staff refuse to work for health and safety reasons?

If your workplace poses a risk to staff safety or mental health, can they refuse to work? What does the law state and how can you manage a tricky situation?

ASBESTOS - 14.02.2024

Illegal removal of asbestos leads to community order

A man has been handed a community order after he admitted removing asbestos from a school when he wasn’t licensed to do so. What were the circumstances of the case and how can you avoid selecting a bogus contractor?

FIRST AID - 14.02.2024

Is your first aid box outdated and tired?

First aid kits are an important item for any workplace be it static or mobile, such as in a vehicle. Why is it important to regularly check the contents of your kit and how often should you update it?

machinery - 14.02.2024

Landscaper sentenced after worker dies

An inexperienced worker was killed when a moving circular saw kicked back into his groin. What were the chain of events leading to the accident and how can you avoid a similar incident in your workplace?

PPE - 14.02.2024

Why well fitting PPE matters

As a last line of defence, PPE can be an effective way of protecting your staff by forming a barrier between them and the hazard you are exposing them to. But it’s critical to ensure a good fit. Why is this so important?

COMPRESSED AIR - 14.02.2024

Are compressed air systems safe to operate?

Compressed air systems provide energy and power for machinery, tools and equipment, such as inflating vehicle tyres. However, operating them without proper management can pose significant health and safety risks for operators. What are they and how should they be controlled?

ENVIRONMENT - 14.02.2024

Are plastic cups and spoons banned or not?

New research has found supplies of “illegal” plastic items are widely available for sale on sites like Amazon and eBay. Haven’t some of these been banned and, if so, should you avoid buying them?

HAVS - 14.02.2024

HAVS guidance updated

PAYE - 14.02.2024

Rates and thresholds for 2024/25 confirmed

The tax and NI rates and thresholds, as well as the national living and minimum wage levels, applicable to earnings taxed under PAYE have been confirmed for the 2024/25 tax year. Are there any highlights you need to be aware of?


How to deal with sickness absence during disciplinary process

Research by employment and HR support service WorkNest has revealed that nearly 20% of employees are seeing their disciplinary processes take longer than three months, often due to sickness absence. What are your options here?

SELF ASSESSMENT - 08.02.2024

Over one million tax returns not filed on time

Statistics show that more than one million tax returns were not filed by midnight on 31 January 2024. What should you do if you’ve missed the deadline, and why should you double check your filing in any case?


Are acquisition fees tax deductible?

Your company has incurred significant professional fees in relation to its purchase of another business. Are any of these costs tax deductible or do they all need to be treated as capital costs and added to the cost of the investment?


Save tax by gifting shares to your kids?

To prevent parents gaining a tax advantage by shifting income to their children HMRC has tough anti-avoidance rules. Is there legitimate tax planning that company owners can use to work around them?

HMRC - 08.02.2024

How to manage a PAYE compliance check

Our subscriber received a routine HMRC compliance questionnaire which he completed in full. HMRC then demanded more detailed information but without starting an investigation. Is our subscriber within his rights to refuse to supply it?

EXPENSES - 08.02.2024

Tax-efficient staff uniform provision

You pay a clothing allowance to your customer-facing staff and your business pays their PAYE tax and NI. You’re considering providing the clothing direct as you recently read that it’s more tax efficient than paying an allowance. Is this correct?


How to calculate forex risk

Your company is seeking to widen its international reach in search of new markets for sales. You’ve been asked to consider what the foreign exchange risks (forex) are likely to be. Where should you start?


Potential to reclaim overpaid NI on car allowances

A 2023 tax case introduced a change in the way that NI is charged on car allowances. If you pay your employees flat rate car allowances, what do you need to know?

SPREADSHEETS - 08.02.2024

How to add hierarchies to pivot tables

You’ve heard that you can set up hierarchies in pivot tables. What are the advantages of doing so and how do you go about it?

COMPANIES HOUSE - 08.02.2024

Get ready for company law changes

INTEREST RATES - 08.02.2024

Bank base rate held at 5.25%


Lessons from the Horizon scandal

The flawed Horizon accounting system led to the wrongful conviction of hundreds of sub-postmasters. What lessons can you learn from this when implementing new accounting software?

PAYROLL - 08.02.2024

Considerations when employing a director’s spouse

A director’s spouse doesn’t currently work and he’s asked you if the company can employ her in an administrative capacity. What do you need to consider and how much can the company pay her?

VAT - 08.02.2024

Reclaiming VAT on EU business trips

Your staff regularly travel to mainland Europe for conferences and to visit suppliers. When the UK was part of the EU, it was relatively easy to claim back EU VAT on travel costs but the process is much more difficult now. How do you make a claim?

GRIEVANCES - 07.02.2024

Must subsequent grievances be in writing?

Where an employee has submitted a written grievance and then they wish to raise further related complaints, must any subsequent grievance also be in writing for the Acas Code on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures to apply?

REDUNDANCY - 07.02.2024

Some employees to gain extended redundancy protection

The right to be offered a suitable alternative vacancy on redundancy is to be extended from 6 April 2024 to cover pregnant employees and those recently returned from maternity, adoption or shared parental leave. What are the implications?


Q&A - settlement of unknown future claims

PAY - 07.02.2024

What should you pay in a leap year?

2024 is a leap year with 366 days rather than the usual 365, and so employees will have to work an additional day. Do you have to pay them for it?

PATERNITY LEAVE - 07.02.2024

Changes to the statutory paternity leave scheme

The government has published draft regulations which, once in force, will make changes to the way in which employees exercise their statutory entitlement to paternity leave. What are the changes?

MINIMUM WAGE - 07.02.2024

Are you really minimum wage compliant?

Although the age-related national minimum wage rates are straightforward to understand, the rest of the law that applies to the minimum wage is complex. What are the key areas where you might go wrong when it comes to compliance?

AI - 07.02.2024

The perils of using generative AI for research

A 2023 First-tier Tribunal judgment in a tax case has highlighted the dangers of using generative AI for conducting research, particularly if used in the defence of an employment tribunal claim. What happened and what lessons can be learned?


Determining someone’s employment status

Determining an individual’s employment status for the purposes of statutory employment rights can be a complex matter. What are the key tests that you need to be aware of when it comes to making this determination?

IR35 - 06.02.2024

New IR35 legislation published

In his 2023 Autumn Statement the Chancellor announced new rules to prevent potential double charges on income subject to IR35/off-payroll taxes. The draft rules are now out for consultation. What’s the full story?

CAPITAL GAINS TAX - 06.02.2024

Tax planning for a large capital gain on the sale of land

Our subscriber recently sold a field and made a substantial capital gain. The land was inherited from her father and until now used by her brothers in their farming business. Is there any tax planning she can do to reduce the tax on the gain?

PENSIONS - 06.02.2024

Is your private pension being overtaxed?

Recent press reports suggest that anyone who takes income from their private pension has a better than 50/50 chance of HMRC taking too much tax from it. If you’re planning to draw any of your pension savings, how can you avoid this trap?

BENEFITS IN KIND - 06.02.2024

Payrolling benefits will be compulsory

LOANS - 06.02.2024

Fund your business with tax-efficient personal borrowing

Your business needs a vehicle and some equipment. It will have to borrow to make these purchases. You personally have the cash which you could lend to the business, but might there be a more tax-efficient option?

BENEFITS IN KIND - 06.02.2024

Can you reverse payroll tax on perks?

Tax and NI on perks can be avoided by “making good”. This involves the director or employee who received the benefit reimbursing their employer for it. But are you allowed to make good a perk if PAYE tax has already been paid on it?

VAT - 06.02.2024

Personal ownership of business premises - VAT problem?

Your business is moving and you’re thinking of buying the new premises in your personal name, but there’s a possible drawback. Might personal ownership prevent recovery of VAT on costs relating to maintenance and improvement of the property?


Capital allowances for new business - get it right!

You’re making a business plan for a new business. Naturally, tax is an important factor, especially the timing of capital allowances (CAs) for the purchase of equipment. What equipment qualifies for CAs and how much can you claim?


Employee loses claim for permanent homeworking

An employee who had her flexible working request for permanent homeworking rejected by her employer has lost an employment tribunal claim. Does this give you the green light to refuse similar flexible working requests for permanent remote working arrangements?


Employee denied phased return to work wins £29,000

An employee who was denied a phased return to work after having extensive surgery on both of her wrists has been awarded over £29,000 in compensation by the tribunal. What was the legal issue here?

VAT - 01.02.2024

Go electronic with your invoices

Your business recently switched to electronic invoicing. There were a few teething problems but it’s now working well. However, some customers are asking for paper invoices and getting pushy about it. Must you comply with their requests?

TIME OFF - 01.02.2024

Requests for time off for medical appointments

One of your employees has requested time off during working hours to attend a medical appointment. Must you grant their request and are you entitled to ask them about the nature of the medical appointment?


Refurbishment firm fined for failing to protect its workers

An alloy wheel refurbishment company has been fined for multiple health and safety failings. What were they and what can you learn from this case?


Company loans - a cheap form of profit extraction

Despite falling inflation, the Bank of England says it won’t rush to reduce interest rates. So, if you need a loan and your company has available cash is it cheaper and more tax efficient to borrow from it instead of your bank?


£340,000 for being called “a pensioner”

An employee who was labelled “a pensioner” because of his age and placed “in the relegation zone” has been awarded £340,000 in compensation by the tribunal. These are both no-nos, but where else did the employer go wrong?

CAPITAL GAINS TAX - 01.02.2024

What can you deduct from capital gains?

The First-tier Tribunal (FTT) recently ruled on a dispute regarding what should be deducted when working out a capital gain. The FTT’s decision might seem surprising but was it correct?

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