Welcome to the latest edition of Tax Tips & News, our monthly newsletter.

We have put together a fantastic list of events for 2014, including seminars, workshops and networking events. The full list is on our website. Our January event is a VAT seminar, contact for full information and booking. If you need further assistance just let us know or you can send us a question for our Question and Answer Section.

January is a very busy month for us. If you still need to provide us with information for your personal tax return please ensure it is brought in this week, otherwise we may not have time to prepare it in time for the HMRC deadline.

If you have already filed your tax return, don’t forget to pay any tax due for 2013 and first payment on account for 2014 by 31st January 2014 to avoid any penalties or interest accruing.

Please contact us for advice in your own specific circumstances. We’re here to help!

New RTI Relief

Have you been struggling to send full payment summary (FPS) reports under RTI to HMRC on or before the days on which your employees are paid? This is particularly difficult when your workers receive irregular amounts of pay on varying dates. In such cases you may not know the amounts of wages and deductions to report until the workers have finished their shifts.

The concession for small employers with fewer than 50 employees has helped. This allows you to submit all the figures on one FPS report when you make your last payroll run in the month, but this must be no later than the end of the tax month. However, this concession is due to end on 5 April 2014.

The good news is that until 5 April 2016, employers with fewer than 10 workers will be able to send in the FPS covering all payments by the last pay day of the tax month. This new relaxation will only apply to existing employers. Any new PAYE scheme commencing on or after 6 April 2014, or any scheme with 10 or more employees will have to report all the wages and deductions on or before each day the employees are paid, even if that is multiple times in the month.

If you have 10 to 50 employees on your payroll, and have been using the small employer concession to cope with multiple pay dates in a month, we need to talk about how to adjust your systems from April 2014.

Capital Allowances on Fixtures

There are a number of capital allowance claims firms targeting businesses which have recently bought or sold commercial property. These ‘experts’ suggest the business needs to pay for a special survey to claim all the capital allowances they are entitled to, and this must be done quickly in order to claim all the allowances due.

In most cases a special survey is not needed. However, it is true that for commercial building sales made since 1 April 2012 the vendor and purchaser must take formal steps (usually an election) to agree the value of fixtures included in that building. This value must be agreed within two years of the transfer of ownership. If agreement cannot be reached the two parties can go to the tax tribunal where the judge will make a decision.

The agreed value for fixtures is brought into the capital allowance pool as the disposal value for the vendor and is added to the capital allowance pool for the purchaser.

There is another change on its way for transfers of commercial buildings from April 2014. The value of fixtures and fittings must be claimed as part of a capital allowances pool by the vendor in an accounting period prior to the sale of the building. If the vendor does not make this claim, the purchaser is barred from claiming any capital allowances for the fixtures it acquires.

We can help you make the necessary elections and claims for capital allowances.

Disguised Employment

The Government is cracking down on situations in which workers are treated as self-employed for tax purposes, and hence pay low amounts of NICs, but from the outside they appear to act as employees. The following changes in the tax law are proposed to block the use of ‘self-employed’ workers working through LLPs or who are hired-out through employment agencies.

LLPs

All individual members of LLPs are currently taxed as self-employed persons, even if they receive a regular ‘salary’. This is the default position of the law and nothing is being ‘fiddled’ to put workers in this position. However, HMRC believe this rule is being abused, and the workers involved may not realise that they are technically self-employed.

From 6 April 2014 salaried members of LLPs will be treated as employees of the LLP if all of the following conditions are met:

  • the member works for LLP and at least 80% of the pay he receives from the LLP is ‘disguised salary’;
  • where the member has contributed any capital to the LLP, that capital amounts to less than 25% of the member’s ‘disguised salary’ for the year; and
  • the member is not involved significantly in the management of the LLP.

The Government has not yet defined term ‘disguised salary’. If you have salaried members in your LLP we need to talk about these tax changes.

Employment Agencies

From 6 April 2014 if a worker supplied by an offshore employment agency personally carries out the work, or is involved in the provision of the services, the payment from the engager to the worker will have to be taxed under PAYE with class 1 NICs deducted. Any apparent right of substitution in the worker’s contract will not prevent PAYE and NICs being due at the employed rates. The agency at the end of the chain must be an off-shore agency for the new rules to apply, but there may be UK based agencies in between and it may not be obvious to the worker or the engager of that worker, that an off-shore agency is in the chain

If you have any doubts about the contracts you are using either as a worker or an employer, our tax experts can help check the tax implications for you.

Partly-exempt Businesses

If your business supplies some goods or services which carry VAT, and other items which are exempt from VAT (such as charitable events and financing), the business is likely to be partly-exempt for VAT purposes. Being partly-exempt means you may not be able to reclaim all of the VAT on your purchases (input VAT).

Where the input VAT that relates to your exempt sales is no more than £625 per month, and it is also less than half of your total input VAT, you can reclaim all of the input VAT. In other cases you can only reclaim the input VAT which relates to the supplies that carry VAT. There are various methods to apportion input-VAT which can be agreed individually with HMRC, or you can use the standard method.

Whichever method you use to allocate input VAT, this should be reviewed at least once a year, to see if it still gives the best outcome for your business. We can help you with this.

If you pay VAT on road fuel used for private journeys, based on the road fuel scale charges published by HMRC, you need to be aware that the concession for partly-exempt businesses is withdrawn from 1 January 2014. Under this concession the business is permitted to reduce the output VAT due on the road fuel scale charges in line with its partial-exempt position. If you have been using this concession we definitely need to review the methods you use to apportion input VAT from 1 January 2014.

January Question and Answer Section

Q. I have four rental properties, and I have recently remortgaged one property to provide funds for my son’s education. Can I set the professional fees and charges connected with this re-mortgage against my letting income?

A. Normally fees connected with obtaining finance for a business (including a lettings business) are allowable against the profits of that business, but in this case you didn’t use the additional funds for the purposes of the business, but extracted them for your own use. Therefore the fees and charges connected with the new mortgage can’t be set against your letting income.

Q. I’ve got into a muddle over childcare vouchers. When I started the voucher scheme in 2012 all my employees were taxed at 20%, so they all received vouchers worth £55 per week. Now some are paying tax at 40%, but they are still all getting the full amount of tax-free vouchers. What should I do?

A. As an employer you are required to review all your employees’ relevant earnings at the beginning of the tax year, and adjust the amount of tax free childcare vouchers for any employees who are expected to fall into the higher tax brackets. If at the time of that review it was not foreseen that some employees would be paying tax at 40% at some point later in the year, you are not required to adjust the amount of tax free childcare vouchers. The level of tax relief for the vouchers is set at the beginning of the tax year, or when the employee takes up employment with you in that year.

If your review of relevant earnings in April 2013 was incorrect, you may have given vouchers in excess of the tax free amount to some employees. In those cases the excess amounts should be reported on the P11D forms for those employees.

Q. All my employees are entitled to a bonus for exceeding performance targets in 2013, including those who left before the end of the year. How should I report the bonus due to the former employees to HMRC, and do I have to deduct tax?

A. Under RTI you need to set the ‘payment after leaving’ indicator on the full payment submission (FPS) that includes the bonus payment to your former employee. Also on that FPS use the same payroll ID for that person as applied while they were an employee, and show the date the employee actually left. The year to date figures on the FPS should include the bonus payment as well as the previous pay and deductions for the former employee. When paying the bonus to a former employee you need to use the PAYE code ‘OT’ on a month 1 basis to deduct tax and NICs.

January Key Tax Dates

1st January

  • Due date for payment of Corporation Tax for the year ended 31 March 2013.

14th January

  • Return and payment of CT61 tax due for quarter to 31 December 2013.

19th to 22nd January

  • PAYE/NIC and CIS deductions due for month to 5/1/2014 or quarter 3 of 2013/14 for small employers.

31st January

  • Deadline for filing 2013 Self Assessment personal, partnership and trust Tax Returns – £100 first penalty for late filing even if no tax is due or tax due is paid on time.
  • Balancing self assessment payment due for 2012/13.
  • Capital gains tax payment due for 2012/13.
  • First self assessment payment on account due for 2013/14.
  • Interest accrues on all late payments.
  • Half yearly Class 2 NIC payment due.
  • Further penalty of 5% of tax due or £300, whichever is greater for personal tax returns still not filed for 2011/12.
  • 5% penalty for late payment of tax unpaid for 2011/12 self assessment.