All Domains

2024 - April

INHERITANCE TAX - 30.04.2024

The IHT exemption that HMRC hides

You have the task of obtaining probate for your mother’s estate which involves completing tricky inheritance (IHT) tax forms. One of these requires you to report lifetime gifts. How might the form’s wording cause you to miss out on an IHT exemption?

CAPITAL GAINS TAX - 30.04.2024

New and improved form for property gains

TRAVEL - 30.04.2024

The latest on home-to-work travel

HMRC has changed its guidance on home-to-work travel costs where an employee’s home is their workplace. How might this affect your right to tax relief?

LOSSES - 30.04.2024

Were capital losses deductible for income tax?

The First-tier Tribunal (FTT) recently considered if an individual was entitled to tax relief for losses when a company he invested in went bust. It ought to have been simple but a refinancing deal complicated matters. What did the FTT decide?

EXPENSES - 30.04.2024

Make personal expenses tax efficient

Your daughter has just left school and wants to take a vocational course. It will cost around £4,000. If you got your company to pay for it, will it be more tax efficient than meeting the cost from your pocket?

BENEFITS - 30.04.2024

Are work-related benefits for disabled persons tax free?

A loyal employee has suffered a disability and needs special equipment to do her job. If she also uses the equipment in her personal life, will it count as a taxable benefit for her?

INCOME TAX - 30.04.2024

Can relocating reduce your income tax bill?

In 2024/25 there are six tiers of Scottish income rates and thresholds with a top rate of 48%. Our subscriber currently lives in the Scottish borders but is thinking of moving a few miles south to England. What might he save in tax?


Incorporating your business - don’t forget the property tax

As a sole trader you can save income tax by transferring your business to a company, but this can trigger other taxes. While these can usually be negated, there’s one tax that’s often overlooked. What is it and can you avoid it?

RECRUITMENT - 30.04.2024

Should you give interview questions in advance?

In an attempt to make the recruitment process fairer, job applicants at John Lewis and Waitrose can now see the interview questions beforehand. Is this something you should consider?

MAINTENANCE - 23.04.2024

Poor maintenance increases safety risks

An independent safety body has highlighted two incidents where a casual approach to maintenance work nearly caused a fire. Both cases were discovered by a fire and rescue service and were caught just in time. What happened?

ENFORCEMENT - 23.04.2024

When does the HSE prosecute SMEs?

The HSE prosecutes certain companies while opting not to pursue legal action against others. What is the rationale behind its decision-making and what can you do to reduce the chance of falling foul of its decisions?

ENVIRONMENT - 23.04.2024

Packaging: the red tape surrounding looking green

You are in the process of designing new packaging for your products and the designer has suggested some “green” images to attract more customers. Is this ok to do?

WORKING AT HEIGHT - 23.04.2024

Fall prevention awareness week

The first ever “No Falls Week” is taking place between 13 and 17 May 2024. What’s it about and should your company get involved?


Worker suffers serious burns after electrical flash

A company has been fined after a worker sustained serious burns to their body. What were the circumstances of the incident and how can you minimise the risk of a similar event occurring in your workplace?

WORK EQUIPMENT - 23.04.2024

How safe are lasers in the workplace?

Lasers are now widely used in everything from office equipment to construction work. However, they do introduce further risks into the workplace. What are these risks and how should you manage them?


Serious mistakes led to amputation

A food manufacturing company has been fined £400,000 after one of its employees had to have her leg amputated. What happened and what should have been in place to prevent the accident occurring?

HOMEWORKING - 22.04.2024

Can you force a return to the office?

Where staff had previously been working from home during the pandemic, can you require them to return to the office for a minimum amount of time under a hybrid working arrangement?

STAFF HANDBOOKS - 17.04.2024

Should you have a staff handbook?

There’s nothing in law that says you must have a staff handbook, but it’s recommended you do, even if you don’t have many employees. What are the benefits and how should you set your handbook out?

TIME OFF - 17.04.2024

How to deal with unauthorised absence

When an employee fails to report to work without permission and without any legitimate reason or explanation, it’s an unauthorised absence. What steps should you take to deal with it?

HOLIDAYS - 17.04.2024

Holiday years for irregular hours and part-year workers

New annual leave accrual rules now apply for irregular hours and part-year workers, but only in respect of holiday years starting on or after 1 April 2024. What’s the problem here and is there a potential way around it for new workers?

PAY - 17.04.2024

Can you avoid new rules on tips?

A restaurant chain has removed its service charge and replaced it with a “brand charge”, seemingly to circumvent the new tipping legislation. Is this an option?

DISMISSAL - 17.04.2024

Fairly dismissed for irretrievable relationship breakdown

The Employment Appeal Tribunal has ruled that an employee was fairly dismissed due to a breakdown of trust and confidence in the working relationship, even though he received no written warning and wasn’t offered a right of appeal. Why was this?

REDUNDANCY - 17.04.2024

Redundancy during pregnancy and family-related leave

You must now offer a suitable available vacancy on redundancy not only to those on maternity, adoption or shared parental leave but also to those who are pregnant or recently returned from such leave. What must you do to comply with your duties?


Using trial periods to assess feasibility of flexible working

The new Acas Code of Practice on requests for flexible working recognises that it’s possible to have a trial period to assess the feasibility of an employee’s proposed flexible working arrangement. How will a trial period work?

PENSIONS - 17.04.2024

The latest on pension lifetime limits

Pension companies are currently sending letters to many taxpayers saying that they have used some of their lifetime allowance (LTA). As the LTA has been abolished, why are the letters being sent and why might they matter?

PROPERTY - 17.04.2024

Act quickly to comply with the ATED

Your company owns a city flat for use by directors and employees. Its value has risen in recent years. Might this mean that the annual tax on enveloped dwellings (ATED) now applies and, if so, what steps must you take?

VAT - 17.04.2024

Avoiding the VAT registration cliff edge

Although the Chancellor announced an increase to the VAT registration limit in the Spring Budget 2024, it was relatively modest. As a service business if your turnover exceeds the new limit can you legitimately avoid having to register?


No more CIS tax refunds

INCOME TAX - 17.04.2024

Deadline for child benefit tax

Changes to the high income child benefit charge mean some couples will pay less tax. Others can also benefit but must take steps to do so. What’s required and when?

CAPITAL GAINS TAX - 17.04.2024

Did MP dodge capital gains tax?

A story about Angela Rayner MP and the sale of her property has recently been doing the rounds in the media. The reports suggest that the police are investigating possible tax evasion. Is this justified or just wild speculation?

BENEFITS - 17.04.2024

The tax advantages of benefits in kind

Your company is doing especially well and you want to take advantage of its good fortune. The priority income you take should be tax efficient. Why might benefits in kind be your best option?


Can dividends ever be paid from loss-making company?

Dividends are generally the most tax-efficient form of income you can take from your company but they can only be paid out of profits. Despite this, might there be a way for your loss-making company to pay you a dividend?

ABSENCE - 15.04.2024

Employee calls in sick following London Marathon

The London Marathon takes place this Sunday, 21 April 2024. If an employee calls in sick the day after, or following a similar event, is there anything you can do about it?


Link to type 2 diabetes and night shift working

LEGAL DUTIES - 10.04.2024

Are you responsible for criminal acts?

The incident of a Deliveroo driver biting off a customer’s thumb raises questions of liability when it comes to employee acts. What’s to know?

WORKING AT HEIGHT - 10.04.2024

Construction firm fined after worker died following fall

A construction company in Kent has been fined after a sub-contractor fell and died from his injuries. What happened and what does the accident tell us about managing work at height?


Lyme disease in the workplace

Lyme disease is a ‘flu-like illness caused by bacteria and transmitted to humans through the bite of infected ticks. It poses a significant health risk, especially for those working outdoors. What can you do to protect your workers?

RISK ASSESSMENT - 10.04.2024

The cost of not paying attention to risk assessments

Whilst undertaking risk assessments can be seen as a bit of a chore, doing so is a necessary part of keeping your workplace safe. What can go wrong with inadequate risk assessments?

ENVIRONMENT - 10.04.2024

Inspections on the rise - should you prepare?

A colleague has told you about news stories warning that the Environment Agency has gone on the offensive, and is talking about all the additional inspections it’s now undertaking. Is this something you need to worry about?


What’s hiding under your workers’ desks?


Pizza maker fined after workers caught up in machinery

One of the nation’s largest producers of supermarket pizzas has been fined £800,000 after two workers suffered serious injuries at its factory in Bolton. What were the failures and how can you prevent injuries when working with machinery?


How should safety be managed on a business acquisition?

Shortly after one of our subscribers took over a business there was an accident caused by safety procedures being ignored. Will he get an easy ride from the HSE because it’s so soon after acquisition? And what could have been done better?


Managing dismissals for long-term sickness absence

If an employee’s long-term sickness absence starts to become protracted to the point where you’re contemplating their dismissal, how should you go about dealing with that?

SUSPENSION - 08.04.2024

Suspension following gross misconduct allegations

The employee at Red Bull who accused its Formula 1 team principal, Christian Horner, of inappropriate behaviour has now been suspended for alleged dishonesty. Is it lawful to suspend an employee where there are gross misconduct allegations?


Should you trial a four-day working week?

The 4 Day Week Campaign and think tank Autonomy have launched a new initiative called 4ugust, under which you would give your staff a four-day week, while keeping salaries the same, for the month of August. Is it worth considering?

PARENTAL LEAVE - 08.04.2024

Parental leave and automatic unfair dismissal protection

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has refused to strike out an automatic unfair dismissal claim brought by an employee who argued his dismissal was because he sought to take parental leave. What was the rationale for the EAT’s decision?

DATA PROTECTION - 08.04.2024

Reporting personal data breaches

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is investigating the London Clinic following claims that its staff attempted to access the Princess of Wales’ medical records. What are the legal issues here?


Trial period in new role can be reasonable adjustment

According to the Employment Appeal Tribunal, an employer failed to make reasonable adjustments when it dismissed a disabled employee rather than placing him in an alternative role on a trial basis. What are the implications of this ruling?

PAY - 08.04.2024

Employee won’t work their notice - deduct from pay?

If an employee resigns but then refuses to work some or all of their contractual notice period, you might be tempted to deduct a sum from their outstanding wages to compensate you for their breach of contract. What’s the legal position on this?


April is Stress Awareness Month

Stress accounts for around half of all work-related ill health, causing problems for millions of workers and employers. How can you use this year’s Stress Awareness Month to improve the situation in your workplace?

REPAIRS - 05.04.2024

Have you underclaimed expenses?

In 2022/23 HMRC sent a nudge letter to taxpayers that included a statement saying that upgrading a boiler wouldn’t be a deductible expense for tax purposes. It’s now writing to individuals admitting that this was wrong. What action do you need to take?


Celebrating a company milestone and the tax consequences

Our subscriber’s company is celebrating 25 years in business with small gifts to customers and a party for its staff. What tax deductions is it entitled to for the extra costs it incurs?

TERMINATION PAY - 03.04.2024

Compensating a departing director or employee

A dispute in the boardroom has resulted in one of the directors resigning from the firm. A financial settlement has been agreed to prevent the departure becoming acrimonious. Can the company apply the £30,000 exemption to the payment?


Employers or employees - who gets tax relief for equipment?

Your company is kitting out its directors with new computers for their home offices. As inevitably there’ll be some private use of the equipment, how might this affect the tax position of the company and the director?

SCAMS - 03.04.2024

Surge in tax scams

PROPERTY - 03.04.2024

Property expenses - HMRC admits error

In late 2023 HMRC wrote to landlords suggesting they may have claimed tax relief they weren’t entitled to. It now accepts it was wrong. What’s the full story?


Penalties for not reporting a tax liability

The First-tier Tribunal (FTT) recently had to decide if HMRC was right to issue tax assessments and penalties because a taxpayer had provided inadequate information about her income. What practical advice can be learned from the FTT’s ruling?

CORPORATION TAX - 03.04.2024

Improving cash flow to help pay corporation tax bill

Last year produced a good profit with a correspondingly high tax bill. Conversely, the current year will show a small loss. This has left the company with insufficient funds to meet the tax bill. How might a change of accounting date help its finances?

EXPENSES - 02.04.2024

Overseas business trip with the family - is it taxable?

Our subscriber is making an overseas trip for business and is taking her spouse and two children so they can holiday while she’s working. Her question is, can she put the expense through her company and if so are there any tax considerations?


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?

INVESTMENTS - 02.04.2024

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?


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?

FIRE SAFETY - 02.04.2024

Fire extinguisher guidelines updated

When determining how many fire extinguishers you need, their type, size and location, the most important source of guidance is the British Standards document BS5306-8. What changes were introduced in the latest update?

COMPANY LAW - 02.04.2024

What’s new at Companies House?

The latest set of Companies House (CH) reforms aim to improve the reliability of the Register of Companies and help combat fraud. 4 March saw the first major implementation phase. How does this affect companies?

RECRUITMENT - 02.04.2024

Responsible AI recruitment

The government has published new guidance on procuring and deploying AI in the recruitment process, e.g. during the sourcing, screening, interview or selection stages. Is it worth a look?

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