Welcome to October’s Tax Tips & News, our newsletter designed to bring you tax tips and news to keep you one step ahead of the taxman.
If you need further assistance just let us know or you can send us a question for our Question and Answer Section.
We are committed to ensuring all our clients don’t pay a penny more in tax than is necessary.
Please contact us for advice in your own specific circumstances. We’re here to help!
Table Of Contents
Taxman Brings in the Heavies
– Commercial Collection Services Ltd;
– Credit Solutions Ltd;
– Fairfax Solicitors Ltd; and
– iQor Recovery Services Ltd.
They will all be expected to operate under industry and Tax Office standards.
If you owe tax, even a just a few hundred pounds, you may well find a bailiff from one of those commercial firms on your doorstep. Before this happens you should receive a warning letter from the Collector of Taxes, but we know those letters can be out of date, contain incorrect figures or sometimes never arrive.
We are aware of some problems with corporation tax demands such as:
– Letters asking for tax to be paid but with no details of how the debt arose, or what period it is for;
– Demands sent where no corporation tax is due;
– Estimated tax bills issued and chased when in fact no tax is due.
If you receive a letter regarding an unpaid tax debt do not ignore it, even if the facts are incorrect and you don’t owe the tax stated. If the Taxman’s information is not corrected promptly you can expect to see the bailiffs and they can be hard people to deal with.
National Minimum Wage Changes
The hourly NMW rates increased on 1 October 2010 and now apply to workers in the following age bands:
21 and over: £5.93
16 and 17: £3.64
Apprentice rate: £2.50
The apprentice rate applies to apprentices aged under 19, or those aged 19 or more in the first year of their apprenticeship.
The Taxman can impose penalties of up to £5,000 if you do not pay the statutory NMW rate, and you may even be tried in the Crown Court for non-compliance with the NMW rate regulations, leading to an unlimited fine. You must also pay any arrears of wages owed (for the previous 6 years), based on the current NMW rate, not the rate in force when your employee was underpaid.
Unfortunately the Taxman did not do his reconciliations for 2008/09 (and in many circumstances for earlier years), so there are now two years’ worth of forms P800 (2008/09 and 2009/10) on their way to up to 4.7 million taxpayers.
It is going to take some weeks to issue all of those forms, so you may not receive a letter immediately, if at all. If you normally complete a self-assessment tax return form you should not receive a form P800 as all of your tax liabilities are reconciled on the self-assessment form.
If you do receive a form P800, don’t panic. In most cases it will show a repayment of tax, which will be sent to you within a few weeks. You do not have to supply any further details to the Taxman to get this repayment. To avoid fraudulent scams, PLEASE DO NOT respond to emails or telephone calls asking for your bank details in connection with a tax repayment.
If the form P800 shows that you owe some tax, you won’t have to pay anything immediately. Indeed, if you owe less than £300 in total for 2008/09 and 2009/10 that tax will be written off and you won’t have anything to pay. If the tax due is less than £2,000 it will be collected through your 2011/12 PAYE, so the amount will be deducted from your monthly salary in the year to 5 April 2012. If the tax due is more than £2,000 the Tax Office will issue a separate payment request, and ask for payments to be made in 2011. However, if you will have difficulty in paying the amount due, whether this is more or less than £2,000, you can ask to pay over an extended period of up to three years.
There is a possibility that you could avoid paying the tax due, where you can prove that the Taxman ignored information relating to your tax affairs for more than 12 months after the end of the tax year. This procedure is called Extra Statutory Concession A19, and you need to make a claim for this to apply.
We can help you check the P800 tax calculation, and to submit any claims needed.
Tell the Taxman Now
If you miss that deadline, the Taxman may send you a failure to notify penalty, which can be up to 100% of the tax due. However, if you pay all the tax due on time, which for income tax and CGT relating to the 2009/10 tax year, is by 31 January 2010, the penalty can be reduced to nil.
Where you have already received a self-assessment tax return form to complete for 2009/10 or a notice to file a self-assessment tax return online, your obligation to tell the Taxman is satisfied when you submit your tax return on time. But if you haven’t got a tax return form, you need to ask the Taxman to set you up in the self-assessment system before 5 October 2010. We can help you with registration.
Once you are registered with the Tax Office, you should receive either a Tax Return form or a letter from the Taxman asking you to file a Tax Return online. The form or letter will include your Unique Taxpayer Reference number (UTR). If you submit a Tax Return that does not include your personal UTR number it may be rejected, and any tax payments you make will not be promptly matched to your records.
October Question & Answer Section
A. You can reclaim VAT correctly charged on your building materials and on most of your building services, using the VAT refund scheme for DIY builders. The claim form for new builds under this scheme (VAT 431NB) can be downloaded from the HMRC website, but be sure to also read the guidance notes. There is a different form (VAT 431C) to use where you are converting a property rather than building it from new. In either case you can’t reclaim the VAT charged on professional services connected with the build, such as architectural or legal services. We can help you compile and submit your claim to the VAT office.
Q. A large UK company has made a late payment of fees owed to my company. They paid interest on the late paid amount, as they are required to do so under the contract, but they deducted tax from that interest. How do I deal with that tax in my accounts?
A. Your customer should not have deducted tax from the interest it paid, as both parties involved in the transaction are UK resident companies trading in the UK. Companies used to have to deduct income tax from annual amounts of interest paid, but that requirement was removed from 1 April 2001 where the recipient is a UK company. Ask your customer to pay you the amount of interest it has withheld as ‘tax’. We can provide a longer explanation of the legal position if you need it.
Q. I have received several emails recently from organisations claiming I could use an employee benefit trust (EBT) to reduce tax. Is this a scam, or is there something in it?
A. In outline a lot of EBT schemes works like this: the company pays money into the EBT and employees of the company receive a loan from the EBT in place of all or part of their salary. The employees pay tax and NI on just 4% on the loan per year. This all sounds good, but there can be various problems in practice. Some schemes are more aggressive than others and you should be prepared for the Taxman to look very closely and try to challenge such arrangements. They are not for those not willing to take some risk and you should be made aware of all the risks involved before proceeding.
October Key Tax Dates
5 If a Tax Return has not been received, individuals and trustees must notify HMRC of new sources of income and chargeability in 2009/10
14 Return and payment of CT61 tax due for quarter to 30 September 2010
19 Tax and Class 1B NI due on PAYE settlements for 2009/10
19/22 PAYE/NIC, and CIS deductions due for month to 5/10/2010 or quarter 2 of 2010/11 for small employers
31 Deadline for 2009/10 self assessment paper returns to be filed for HMRC to do the tax calculation.