All Domains

2024 - May

INVESTMENTS - 28.05.2024

Warning for cryptoasset investors

Changes to the self-assessment tax return signal HMRC’s intention to go after those buying and selling cryptoassets. What’s the full story?

CAPITAL GAINS TAX - 28.05.2024

Was CGT declaration required?

Our subscriber recently sold a property making a large gain. For some of the time he had occupied it as his home and at other times he shared its occupation. Was he required to declare anything to HMRC?

VAT - 28.05.2024

VAT and personalised number plates

You’ve purchased a pricey personalised number plate which included VAT. A business associate has told you that because the registration number has a connection with the business you can reclaim the VAT. Is he correct or will HMRC block it?


New enhanced guidance to prevent errors

PAYROLL - 28.05.2024

Are you ready for the next payroll deadline?

With the PAYE end of year procedure safely negotiated your next payroll task is preparation of the various employee-related reports required by 6 July. What steps must you take to avoid trouble with HMRC?

LOANS - 28.05.2024

Loan write-off vs repayment

You’re the sole shareholder of a company. A few years ago you borrowed money from it which resulted in a tax bill for the company. You now want to clear the debt. Is it more tax efficient for you to repay it or for your company to write it off?


Is there a tax cost to buying holiday entitlement?

To encourage productivity and attract new talent, you’re thinking of introducing a holiday purchase scheme where employees can give up some of their salary for extra leave. What’s the tax position?


Company income sharing for couples

You’re getting married soon and to save tax you want your partner to receive a share of the dividends from your company. Should you transfer some of your shares or should your company issue your partner with new shares?

PARTNERSHIPS - 21.05.2024

Partnerships: tax consequences of changes in ownership

The founding partners of a trading partnership are approaching retirement, having steadily reduced their involvement in the trade in recent years. They will sell their interest to a family friend. What will be the main tax consequences of this, and is there any other advice you can give?

TAX-FREE BENEFITS - 21.05.2024

Rewarding long-term service tax efficiently

Your client has an employee who has been with the company since it started trading more than 30 years ago. They want to do something to recognise this long service, but want to do so in a way that the employee doesn’t incur a tax charge. What might you advise?

TRAVEL EXPENSES - 21.05.2024

Does mixed purpose mean travel expenses are taxable?

A client pays for an employee to go on a business trip for several weeks in Italy. The employee spends her free time exploring the area she is staying in and going on sightseeing trips. Does this dual purpose mean there’s a tax problem?


The risk-to-capital condition - where are we now?

The risk-to-capital condition (RTCC) was introduced in 2018. It was notable for a lack of clear definitions of key phrases. Now that a number of cases have been heard by the tribunals, how can the decisions inform your advice to clients?

VAT - 21.05.2024

Selling services online: help clients get the VAT right

Most UK businesses sell services rather than goods, which have various VAT challenges when sold online, particularly if three parties are involved in a deal. How should your clients account for the VAT correctly?


Woodlands: tax breaks for landowners

Your client owns land mostly covered by woods. He’s heard that there are tax breaks available if he exploits the land to make profits. He’s correct in principle, but what are the main traps to look out for?


NI refunds: how should clients respond?

A number of self-employed individuals have received a payment from HMRC, seemingly out of the blue. What caused this, and what should you do if any of your clients are affected?

LAND AND PROPERTY - 21.05.2024

Capital allowances for commercial property

Your client (a company) is about to purchase a factory and then extend the building afterwards. What capital allowances will be available, and how will claiming them impact the future capital gains position of the property?

PPE - 21.05.2024

How to protect against hand injuries

Workers’ hands are exposed to a multitude of hazards in the workplace. Selecting appropriate gloves is essential for ensuring their hands remain safe. Along with size, what else should be considered when purchasing hand protection?

PACKAGING - 21.05.2024

What’s new with packaging rules?

The UK government has made a series of announcements relating to new packaging regulations in the past month. What do you need to consider now and going forward?


What’s the HSE’s stance on AI?

The HSE has outlined its approach to regulating artificial intelligence (AI), especially where it impacts health and safety in the workplace. What’s to know?


Underground cable strike causes burns

While digging a hole to install a fence post, a worker accidentally hit an underground cable. What were the consequences of this incident, and what measures can be taken to prevent similar occurrences in your workplace?

FIRE SAFETY - 21.05.2024

Do you need a compartmentation survey?

A fire risk assessor has noted that your building has many defects which would allow a fire to spread and reduce the time to escape. You’ve been instructed to commission a “compartmentation survey”. What might this involve?


£1.2m fine after worker hit by wagon

A metals recycling company has been fined £1.2m after a worker was injured after being struck by a wagon at a processing site. How did this happen and what reasonably practicable control measures would have prevented it?

WORKPLACE - 21.05.2024

Beauty and safety should go hand in hand

Beauty rooms, nail bars and hairdressing salons are increasingly popular. But what can go wrong if you don’t plan for the health and safety of workers and clients? What are the essential steps you should take to keep your salon free from harm?


Can employee take holiday during sick leave?

If an employee is absent from work on long-term sick leave, they continue to accrue at least statutory annual leave. With the 2024 summer holiday season now starting, can they apply to take some of their annual leave during their sickness absence?


Protecting your business from insider fraud

With the former chief executive of the SNP having now been charged in connection with the embezzlement of party funds, it shows the real risk for employers of insider fraud. Is there “red flag” employee behaviour that you should watch out for?

PART-TIME WORKING - 17.05.2024

The employment rights of part-time workers

Part-time workers enjoy statutory rights not to be treated less favourably than comparable full-time workers, regardless of whether they (or their comparator) are male or female. What are the essentials of their statutory protection?

RECRUITMENT - 17.05.2024

How to check a successful candidate’s qualifications

To get ahead in the job market, many candidates resort to lying on their CV, and lying about qualifications is high up on the list. What measures can you take to check qualifications as part of your pre-screening process during recruitment?

AGENCY WORKERS - 17.05.2024

How to avoid the temp-to-perm fee

Agency workers can be a useful resource for covering seasonal work variations, annual leave, etc. If you want to offer an agency worker a permanent role, you’ll normally have to pay a temp-to-perm fee to the agency. Can you avoid paying it?

FIT NOTES - 17.05.2024

Reform of the fit note system


Fairly dismissed for stealing carrier bags

The tribunal has ruled that a Sainsbury’s employee was fairly dismissed for gross misconduct after he was found to have taken carrier bags without paying for them. Does this mean minor theft is always gross misconduct?


Reasonable adjustments for employees with cancer

King Charles has returned to public duties following his cancer diagnosis in February 2024. What reasonable adjustments should you consider for an employee returning to work following a period of sickness absence due to cancer?


New service for voluntary NI contributions

HMRC recently launched a new online service to help top up your NI contributions record. Is it something you should consider using?

PAYROLL - 17.05.2024

Don’t overlook the P60 deadline

The deadline for providing P60s for 2023/24 to your employees is 31 May 2024. Your payroll software will produce the P60s but who should you provide one to, and what are the consequences if you don’t?

CARS - 17.05.2024

Reduce company car tax with capital contribution

It’s time to replace your company car. A friend says that if you make a personal contribution to the cost it will be more tax efficient. The trouble is, you don’t have the cash for this. Is there still a way to achieve the tax saving?

HOMEWORKING - 17.05.2024

Creating a home office tax efficiently

You want to erect a cabin in your garden to use as a home office. You and your family will also use it for private purposes. Will it be more tax efficient for you or your company to pay for it?


MTD for Income Tax Self-Assessment - what’s the latest?

In February 2024 important amendments to the Making Tax Digital for Income Tax Self-Assessment (MTD ITSA) rules became law. How will the changes affect your business when MTD ITSA becomes mandatory?

ENQUIRIES - 17.05.2024

When is HMRC out of time to start a tax enquiry?

HMRC adopts a “process now, check later” system for self-assessment tax returns. That means it usually processes tax returns assuming they are correct but reserves the right to make enquiries. But how long does it have to do this?

VAT - 17.05.2024

How, when and why should you opt to tax a property?

Opting to tax a property began in the 1980s following an EU ruling to override UK VAT rules. The main effect is that you must usually charge VAT when you make supplies of the property, e.g. charge rent, but why should you bother opting?

STAMP DUTY LAND TAX - 17.05.2024

Last chance for SDLT relief

RECRUITMENT - 13.05.2024

Should you worry about white fonting?

The CV trick of “white fonting” has gone viral on social media platforms such as TikTok in recent months. What is it and is it something you need to watch out for during a recruitment exercise?

RISK ASSESSMENT - 09.05.2024

Why was worker crushed by overhead crane?

A manufacturing company has been fined after one of its employees was crushed to death at a factory. What were the circumstances of the accident and how could it have been avoided?

RIDDOR - 09.05.2024

RIDDOR guidance updated - what’s new?

The HSE has updated its guidance regarding the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013. What do you need to know?

ENVIRONMENT - 09.05.2024

Are leaky loos costing you money?

Despite record-high utility bills, almost 90% of SMEs are overlooking obvious cost savings, with the most neglected being water bills. Are you throwing money down the drain with your leaky loos?

LIGHTING - 09.05.2024

Benefits of task lighting

OUTDOOR WORKING - 09.05.2024

Raise sun damage awareness to protect workers

With summer just around the corner, now is a good time to refresh your outdoor workers on the risks of working in direct sunlight. What are they and what can you expect your staff to do to protect themselves?


Forklift truck driver killed whilst loading a lorry

An Oldham-based haulage company has been fined more than £85,000 after a forklift truck (FLT) driver was killed while loading a heavy goods vehicle. What happened and what can you learn from their mistakes?

ENVIRONMENT - 09.05.2024

What is “embodied carbon” and does it affect your business?

There’s a new phrase which is being bandied about - embodied carbon. What does it mean, how can it be measured and how can you reduce it?

LEGIONELLA - 09.05.2024

What happens in a Legionnaires’ disease investigation?

One of our subscribers was visited by an environmental health officer who thought it possible their premises was the source of Legionnaires’ disease. What can you expect if this happens to you?

PAY - 08.05.2024

Are pay secrecy clauses legal?

With salary levels and annual pay reviews often being a source of friction, particularly for those who feel they’re underpaid, can you include a clause in employment contracts prohibiting staff from discussing their salary and pay reviews?


Long-distance travel requirement was sex discrimination

A mother of two who was made redundant after a new long-distance travel requirement was introduced into her role has won her claims for indirect sex discrimination and unfair dismissal. Where did the employer go wrong?

NEW LEGISLATION - 08.05.2024

No new right to domestic abuse leave


Recruiting and developing disabled people

REDUNDANCY - 08.05.2024

Withholding enhanced redundancy pay

Tata Steel has threatened to withhold enhanced redundancy pay (ERP) if employees go on strike. Is it possible to change your mind about paying ERP?

RETIREMENT - 08.05.2024

Can employees choose when to retire?

A 93-year-old employee has been made redundant by Havering Council. Although his redundancy seems genuine, it raises the question whether an employee can continue working for as long as they want to. What’s the position?

SOCIAL MEDIA - 08.05.2024

Quit Tok - how should you respond?

Younger workers are increasingly posting videos of their resignations and dismissals on TikTok and other social media platforms and garnering thousands of views in the process. Is there anything you can do to prevent this?

DISMISSAL - 08.05.2024

Dismissal for a one-off act of serious incompetence

A couple were divorced by mistake after a solicitor at a London law firm made a major inputting error when using an online divorce portal. If an employee commits a one-off act of serious incompetence, can you fairly dismiss them for that act?

MATERNITY LEAVE - 08.05.2024

Pay and benefits during maternity leave

Pay is replaced by statutory maternity pay (SMP) during maternity leave, but benefits continue to accrue. However, the position isn’t always that straightforward. What tricky issues might you encounter relating to pay and benefits?


Can we assume we are “de minimis”?

INPUT TAX - 08.05.2024

Are your suppliers correct to charge VAT?

HMRC issued updated guidance on 4 April 2024 about when an overseas trader, referred to as a non-established taxable person, is able to register for UK VAT. Why is this issue important to you?

COMPLIANCE - 08.05.2024

What’s the difference between an error and an adjustment?

Your business must disclose errors to HMRC above certain limits in writing. But it can include accounting “adjustments” on the next return. What are the main adjustments (that aren’t errors) that your business could make?

HMRC SERVICES - 08.05.2024

How to deal with cutbacks to HMRC’s helplines?

HMRC recently announced that it would cut its VAT helpline service to five days a month. This decision was quickly reversed but the U-turn is likely to be temporary. What alternative options do you have to deal with your VAT queries?

IMPORTS - 08.05.2024

Are VAT returns correct for imported goods and services?

A subscriber is concerned that their accountant completes the same VAT return boxes each period for both imported goods and services purchased from abroad. How should these amounts be treated on the returns?


Partially exempt: how do you apportion phone costs?

Your business is partially exempt, and you pay both the call and line rental costs for employees who use a mobile phone for business purposes. How much can you claim each quarter on the bills?

VAT GROUPS - 08.05.2024

Buying shares in a business: should you form a VAT group?

Your business has purchased the shares in a company that only makes exempt sales and is not registered for VAT. You intend to make management charges to the new company, so should you apply to HMRC for a group registration?


New guidance on penalties for volunteers

Making Tax Digital for Income Tax Self Assessment is still two years away, but some of your clients may have signed up early on a voluntary basis. HMRC has now published guidance regarding how these testers will be subject to penalties. What are the key points?

CHILD BENEFIT - 01.05.2024

HICBC charge eased, but not scrapped

In the 2024 Spring Budget, the Chancellor raised the thresholds and scaled back the taper rate for the high income child benefit charge (HICBC). What does this add up to for your clients, and should they consider restarting a claim?

CORPORATION TAX - 01.05.2024

Loss restrictions after a change of ownership

Your client has an opportunity to acquire a company that has been loss-making for some time, with a view to reviving it. He wants to know if usage of the company’s losses will be restricted. What can you advise?

TRUSTS - 01.05.2024

Tribunal considers CGT relief claim by trustees

Business asset disposal relief (BADR) can be claimed by trustees as well as individual taxpayers. However, as with most trust-related tax matters, there are additional considerations. What did a recent Tribunal case consider in this area?

AUTO-ENROLMENT - 01.05.2024

Do clients have to operate pensions for seasonal staff?

According to The Pensions Regulator, some employers who take on seasonal or other temporary workers aren’t following the workplace pension rules correctly. If your clients are hiring short-term workers what steps should they be taking?


New letting business: is a company worth using?

One of your clients has inherited a considerable amount of cash, and wants to invest in properties to let out. She has considered buying these through a company, but isn’t sure of any tax advantages. If she opts to buy the properties personally, could forming a company still help in a different way?

VAT - 01.05.2024

Leasing cars - what are the VAT pros and cons?

You’re considering leasing instead of purchasing cars for your business. This will improve cash flow and, according to the salesperson, allow you to reclaim VAT that you would not otherwise be entitled to. Are they correct?

BANK HOLIDAYS - 01.05.2024

Is it worth considering a flexible bank holidays scheme?

A flexible bank holidays scheme can help you to create a more inclusive workplace and may assist with staff recruitment and retention. How do these schemes operate and what should you consider before deciding whether to introduce one?

CORPORATION TAX - 01.05.2024

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?

MENTAL HEALTH - 01.05.2024

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?

CONTRACTS - 01.05.2024

Changing an employment contract

If you need to change one or more terms of an employment contract for genuine business reasons, you have three main options to effect that change. What are they and what are the risks?


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?

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