All Domains

2024 - June


Enforced migration to Universal Credit

The government is sending out Universal Credit (UC) Migration Notices. If you receive one, what does it mean and why must you act now to ensure you don’t lose valuable benefits?

INCOME TAX - 24.06.2024

Two important tax changes dropped

PENALTIES - 24.06.2024

New late payment fines

HMRC has finished consulting on draft regulations for changes to its new system for late payment penalties. Why is the change needed and who will it affect?

IR35 - 24.06.2024

TV presenter’s employment status battle continues

The Upper Tribunal (UT) recently had to decide if a previous tribunal had erred in ruling that Adrian Chiles’ contracts as a TV presenter were outside IR35. What was the outcome and the key factors involved?

VAT - 24.06.2024

Selling a holiday home - what about the VAT?

Our subscriber owns a cottage which he lets as holiday accommodation. He plans to redecorate, make minor improvements and then sell the property. Can he reclaim the VAT on these costs and, if so, how will it affect the VAT position when he sells?

PAYROLL - 24.06.2024

Directors’ remuneration - avoiding HMRC penalties

The timing of HMRC payroll reporting for employees is straightforward. However, for directors’ salaries etc. special rules can mean you need to send a report to HMRC sooner than you might think. What are the trigger points for reporting?

LOANS - 24.06.2024

Company loan v company credit card

As a director shareholder, borrowing cash from your company can trigger tax charges for both you and it. To avoid these a colleague has suggested that it’s more tax efficient to obtain a company credit card and use that instead. Is she correct?

EXPENSES - 24.06.2024

What household expenses can you claim?

Your home-based business is thriving and there’s little time for admin tasks. Nevertheless, keeping detailed records is a necessary but time consuming evil. What steps can you take to simplify this without losing out on tax relief?


Change to refund claim process

The construction industry scheme (CIS) requires contractors to withhold tax from subcontractors. As this is at a flat percentage, overpayments are common. How has HMRC’s refund process changed recently?

GROUPS - 19.06.2024

Moving property to a holding company: tax implications

One of your clients has recently put a holding company in place for asset protection purposes and is about to transfer a trading premises to it. What price should the transfer take place at, and what taxes do you need to consider?


How can clients side-step the OpRA rules?

The optional remuneration arrangement (OpRA) rules have been around for several years. They aim to cancel the tax and NI advantages offered by salary sacrifice schemes. But how can clients still secure these advantages for their employees?

TRUSTS - 19.06.2024

Ending a trust tax efficiently

Your client has had a discretionary trust for their children for many years. They are now adults, and following a ten-year charge the client wants to end the trust and distribute the assets to each of them. How can this be done without triggering a tax trap?


What’s new for P11D filing?

You’ve been asked to help some of your clients with P11D reporting for the first time in several years. What recent change do you need to be aware of, and why might a change to your clients’ reporting going forward be useful?

INCOME TAX - 19.06.2024

Should Scottish clients relocate?

In 2024/25, Scotland has a six-tiered income tax rate system with a top rate of 48%. Will Scottish taxpayers be significantly worse off, and what other factors do clients need to consider if they are looking at relocating?

WORK EXPERIENCE - 17.06.2024

Does work experience involve a lot of paperwork?

You are considering hosting a work experience student but are concerned that you’ll need to submit many risk assessments and policies to satisfy the placement organiser. What does the HSE’s latest guidance say about this?

PPE - 17.06.2024

What is face fit testing?

If your staff work with dusts and other chemicals that put them at risk of ill health through inhalation, you may provide them with PPE. However, it’s also important to ensure that they are wearing it correctly, so how do you achieve this?

ENVIRONMENT - 17.06.2024

The environmental stink over loo roll

Toilet paper brands are reportedly greenwashing their products. What’s the story and how can you apply what’s happened to your procurement policies, so you don’t pay premiums for crap products?


Company fined after workers exposed to wood dust

A company has been fined for not controlling the risk from working with wood dust. What are the dangers involved and what should be put in place to protect workers and your business?

MENTAL HEALTH - 17.06.2024

Mental health No.1 priority


Issues with prolonged kneeling

Kneeling is a common yet often overlooked practice that can lead to health problems, including absenteeism. What can you do to reduce the risk of lower limb disorders (LLDs) in your workplace?

WORKING AT HEIGHT - 17.06.2024

Electrician fractures skull after fall from scissor lift

A worker was seriously injured after falling out of an overturning scissor lift. What were the chain of events leading up to this accident and what should be put in place to prevent a similar occurrence at your site?

OFFICE SAFETY - 17.06.2024

Do you think your office is safe?

While hazards in an office might not be as high risk as other working environments, accidents can still happen. What are the top five issues and what can you do to create a safer workplace for both staff and visitors?

WORKING AT HEIGHT - 17.06.2024

Purchasing telescopic ladders online

MISCONDUCT - 17.06.2024

How should you deal with “office sirens”?

One of the latest trends on TikTok is the “office siren” where Gen Z women are encouraged to wear mini skirts, tightly fitted blouses that have buttons open to reveal cleavage and rectangular glasses to their workplaces and then share their outfits online. What can you do if someone turns up to work inappropriately dressed?

CONTRACTS - 12.06.2024

New Code of Practice on Dismissal and Re-engagement

A new Code of Practice on Dismissal and Re-engagement will come into force on 18 July 2024, setting out your responsibilities when seeking to change employment terms. What key provisions in the Code should you be aware of?

DISMISSAL - 12.06.2024

Must you offer redeployment before SOSR dismissal?

If you’re considering dismissing an employee for “some other substantial reason” (SOSR), you may need to first explore whether you can offer them available alternative employment. When should you do this and what is the process?

DATA PROTECTION - 12.06.2024

Create your own privacy notice


Should you allow politics at work?

With the general election taking place on 4 July 2024, it’s bound to result in political discussions at work. Should you allow politics to enter the workplace?

REDUNDANCY - 12.06.2024

How should you decide on the redundancy selection pool?

Before you reach the stage of provisionally selecting employees for redundancy, you must first identify what your pool is going to be, i.e. the group of employees from which you’ll do your selection. How should you choose the pool?


Unfairly dismissed after informing employer of new job

An employee who was shouted at by her employer and called ungrateful after she told him she was leaving for a new job was held by a tribunal to have been unfairly dismissed. Why?

TIME OFF - 12.06.2024

Time off work for duties as local councillor

One of your employees was elected as a local councillor in the May 2024 local government elections. They are now saying they are entitled to as much time off work as they need to perform their duties as a local councillor. Are they correct?


Fixed-term employees and equal treatment rights

Employees on fixed-term contracts have the statutory right not to be treated less favourably than comparable permanent employees unless you can objectively justify the difference in treatment. How does this protection work in practice?

STUDENT LOANS - 12.06.2024

New student loan procedure

The PAYE system has resulted in thousands of taxpayers over repaying their student loans. HMRC says its new procedure will help prevent this. What’s the full story?

COMPANY TAX - 12.06.2024

Disincorporation - is it worth it?

Your business has suffered a dip in the last couple of years and you’re looking to downsize. As part of the process you want to close your company and operate as a sole trader instead. What are the tax consequences?

PROPERTY - 12.06.2024

Holiday homes - RIP FHL?

The Spring Budget 2024 announced the abolition of the furnished holiday lettings regime from April 2025. What steps should you be considering to mitigate the possible tax consequences?

INCOME TAX - 12.06.2024

The trading allowance - something for nothing?

If you earn a little income on the side, the trading allowance can exempt it from tax or reduce the amount payable. What types of income does it apply to and how does it work?

INHERITANCE TAX - 12.06.2024

Can cash savings in your company save IHT?

Our subscriber recently read a report about inheritance tax business property relief. It claimed that holding very large cash savings in a company can reduce the tax bill on your estate. Is this tactic something you should consider?

VAT - 12.06.2024

VAT reclaim failed due to missing information

A First-tier Tribunal (FTT) was asked to rule on a dispute between a company and HMRC relating to a VAT refund. Its decision turned on whether the documents that the company’s claim was based on were sufficient. What was the outcome?

DIVIDENDS - 12.06.2024

Tax-efficient way to use dividends

The next dividend from your company isn’t due to be paid for another few months. However, arranging for it to be paid earlier, or taking an extra dividend, can provide an opportunity to save some tax on your company benefits. What’s involved?

ATTENDANCE - 10.06.2024

Can you use office attendance as a performance metric?

Law firm Addleshaw Goddard has started to use office attendance as a factor in assessing the performance of its partners in order to incentivise them to spend more time in the office. Are there any risks with this?

SEASONAL WORK - 04.06.2024

Protect seasonal and temporary workers

The summer months are often a time to expand your workforce to keep up with seasonal variations in workload. What should you do to keep inexperienced workers safe in the course of their employment?

CONTRACTORS - 04.06.2024

Three companies fined as worker injured at Pirelli factory

Three companies have been fined after a lift truck engineer was seriously injured whilst working. What were the failings and what should have been in place to prevent this accident from occurring?

ENVIRONMENT - 04.06.2024

Are you covered for flooding?

Climate change means more extreme weather events, and new research focused on SMEs shows how costly a problem this can be. What’s the story and how do you check you are adequately covered by insurance?


Flour dust - what are the risks?

Although on the surface of it flour dust appears innocuous, it is a hazardous substance. What are the ill-health effects and injuries that can occur when working with flour, and what should be put in place to reduce the risk?

ENFORCEMENT - 04.06.2024

Employees exposed to multiple failings results in fine

An engineering firm has been fined for failing to ensure the health, safety and welfare of its employees, even though no accident had occurred. Why did the HSE prosecute, and what can you learn from its mistakes?

FIRE SAFETY - 04.06.2024

Check your external fire escape(s)

ENVIRONMENT - 04.06.2024

What are environmental product declarations?

Another relatively new sustainability kid on the block is an “environmental product declaration” (EPD). What are EPDs, is there any benefit to your business in having them and how should you create them?

WORKING AT HEIGHT - 04.06.2024

The perils of working on skylights

Maintaining skylights will involve roof work which poses unique risks for employees. What hazards can workers face when cleaning or repairing skylights and what measures should be taken to keep them safe?


Greater use of contracting firms anticipated

PROMOTIONS - 04.06.2024

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 do you account for VAT on these vouchers to avoid a problem with HMRC?

FRAUD - 04.06.2024

VAT scams: are you at risk?

Companies are being targeted by VAT refund scammers, the aim being to get repayment claims deflected to their own accounts. What can you do to avoid a problem?


Can your holding company register and claim input tax?

You’ve decided to form a holding company that will own shares in your current and future trading companies. Can the holding company register for VAT if it makes management charges to its subsidiaries?

BUY-TO-LET - 04.06.2024

Can you claim input tax on buy-to-let costs?

To take advantage of lower prices, your business has purchased a buy-to-let residential property to rent out. Even though your rental income will be exempt from VAT, how can you potentially reclaim input tax on related property costs?


What’s a performance service and when is the tax point?

A subscriber provides face-to-face educational and training services in both the UK and abroad. They have heard about special VAT rules for “performance services”. What are these services and how do they affect our subscriber?


Avoid VAT on property purchase price?

You are buying a commercial property where the seller intends to charge you VAT because they opted to tax the building with HMRC. Under what circumstances can you avoid the charge or, alternatively, claim it as input tax on your own return?

CONTRACTS - 03.06.2024

Protecting your business from departing employees

Losing a key employee to a competitor can be damaging for your business. Not only may your confidential information be put at risk but you may lose clients as a result. What can you do to protect your business from competitive threats?

INTERNSHIPS - 03.06.2024

Things to be aware of when hiring an intern

It’s that time of year when students leave college or university and look for roles that advance their chosen career paths. If you’re thinking about taking on an intern over the summer, what do you need to be aware of from an employment law perspective?


Unfairly dismissed asking for contract and payslips

An employment tribunal has ruled that an employee who had been employed for less than a year was unfairly dismissed after requesting an employment contract and payslips. Why was this unfair despite the employee’s short service?

PATERNITY LEAVE - 03.06.2024

Paternity Leave (Bereavement) Bill

DRESS CODES - 03.06.2024

Euro 2024: football shirts at work?

With Euro 2024 starting on 14 June 2024, some staff will want to wear their shirts to work on match days. Are there any risks if you let them do this?

MATERNITY LEAVE - 03.06.2024

Why must you confirm the end date of maternity leave?

Once you’ve received notice of the date an employee intends to start their maternity leave, you have 28 days to notify them of the date on which it will end. If you fail to do so, there are some adverse consequences. What are they?

CONTRACTS - 03.06.2024

What’s the law on the use of zero-hours contracts?

An April 2024 report by the Resolution Foundation indicates that employers are now using zero-hours contracts to reduce their wage bills and offset higher minimum wage rates. Where does the law currently stand on the use of zero-hours contracts?

RECRUITMENT - 03.06.2024

Can you reject job applicant for having criminal record?

The government is urging employers to recruit prison leavers as part of a campaign to reduce reoffending and grow the economy. If you’re reluctant to do this, can you refuse to employ someone because they have a criminal record?

PAY - 03.06.2024

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?

CHEMICAL SAFETY - 03.06.2024

Know your hazard and precautionary statements

All substances are supplied with a label and a safety data sheet (SDS) which gives you information about the properties of the chemical. But what is a hazard or precautionary statement, what information is provided and how should you use this?

COMPANY LAW - 03.06.2024

Banned director defrauded investor of pension pot

A bankrupt businessman continued to run various companies, contrary to his bankruptcy restrictions. He used his ostensibly trustworthy role as a director to take advantage of investors, including depriving one man of his hard-earned pension pot. What happened to this dodgy director?


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?

MENTAL HEALTH - 03.06.2024

Do workers with poor mental health take more risks?

Whilst it is well documented that poor mental health raises absenteeism in the workplace, it is becoming recognised that it may be having another negative impact - a rise in workplace injuries. Why is this, and can you do anything to reduce the risk?

EXPENSES - 03.06.2024

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?


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?

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