af2700e3 7a14 4217 bb86 8a308f7a7e44 800x380 - Changes to customs declarations 1 January 2022

Changes to customs declarations 1 January 2022

There are special procedures for importing goods into the UK. Following the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December 2020, the process for importing goods from the EU effectively mirrors the process for all non-EU international destinations.

However, a number of easements had been in place to help ensure a smooth transition for goods coming from the EU. This included a delay in the requirement for full customs declarations and controls until the end of this year.

And so, from 1 January 2022, businesses will no longer be able to delay making import customs declarations under the Staged Customs Controls rules that have applied during 2021. This will mean that most businesses will have to make declarations and pay relevant tariffs at the point of import.

Affected businesses should ensure that they consider as a matter of urgency how they are going to submit customs declarations and pay any duties. Businesses can appoint an intermediary, such as a customs agent, to deal with their declarations or they can submit them directly; although this can be daunting for businesses unused to the processes involved.

There is a ‘Simplified Declarations’ authorisation from HMRC that allows some goods to be released directly to a specified customs procedure without having to provide a full customs declaration at the point of release. However, this needs specific authorisation from HMRC and there are also other requirements that must be met. An application made now is unlikely to be approved before 1 January 2022.

Source: HM Revenue & Customs Tue, 14 Dec 2021 00:00:00 +0100
2691cfa7 cbe6 45ef a549 9d7b793e7b2e 800x380 - VAT group registration

VAT group registration

There are special VAT rules that allow two or more corporate bodies to be treated as a single taxable person for VAT purposes. This is known as a VAT group. Eligible persons are bodies corporate, individuals, partnerships and Scottish partnerships, provided certain conditions are satisfied. Bodies corporate includes companies of all types and limited liability partnerships.

Under a VAT group registration, the representative member accounts for any tax due on supplies made by the group to third parties outside the group. This is particularly helpful for those whose accounting is centralised. As a VAT group is treated as a single taxable person, they do not normally account for VAT on goods or services supplied between group members. Only one VAT return is required for the whole group and all members of the group are jointly and severally liable for the tax due from the representative member.

There are other important points to be aware of in respect of a VAT group registration. For example, the representative member must have all the necessary information to submit a VAT return for the group by the due date. The partial exemption de minimis limits apply to the group as a whole and not the members individually.

Source: HM Revenue & Customs Tue, 07 Dec 2021 00:00:00 +0100
02367c34 4695 44dd 8ad6 2855ea3101da 800x380 - Steps to modernise UK tax system

Steps to modernise UK tax system

At the Autumn Budget 2021, it was announced that there would be a dedicated day this Autumn where the government would set out further plans to continue building a modern, simple and effective tax system. This 'day' was on 30 November 2021, and referred to by HMRC as the aptly named, Tax Administration and Maintenance Day.

A number of documents were published including:

  • An update on reforms to Small Brewers Relief.
  • A technical consultation setting out further detail on the conclusions to the government’s review of business rates.
  • A report on Research and Development (R&D) tax reliefs, providing further details on announcements made at the Budget which included refocusing relief in the UK, targeting abuse, and supporting innovation by expanding qualifying expenditure to capture cloud and data costs. 
  • A Call for Evidence on reforming registration for Income Tax Self-Assessment (ITSA) to give taxpayers a better understanding of their tax obligations and support available to them.
  • Publishing a summary of responses to the Call for Evidence on the Tax Administration Framework Review (TAFR), including plans to reform several areas of the tax administrations system to simplify and modernise it.
  • A Call for Evidence on the role umbrella companies play in the labour market to improve our understanding of the sector.
  • Publishing the first five-year review of the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) launched in March 2021 to examine the effectiveness of the OTS.
  • A consultation on potential changes to the Stamp Duty Land Tax reliefs for mixed-property and multiple dwellings to ensure they operate fairly and to reduce the scope for misuse.
Source: HM Treasury Tue, 07 Dec 2021 00:00:00 +0100
5645b682 b851 4923 a7dd 117eb0b9cc2d 800x380 - Government agrees OTS recommendations

Government agrees OTS recommendations

The Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) was established in July 2010, to provide advice to the Chancellor of the Exchequer on simplifying the UK tax system. The Financial Secretary to the Treasury has recently written an extensive letter to the OTS regarding the conclusions of the first five-year review and to respond to the OTS reviews into Inheritance Tax (IHT) and Capital Gains Tax (CGT).

The letter confirms that after careful consideration, the government has decided not to make any changes to the IHT lifetime gifts rules at the current time. It was also confirmed that changes to the design and operation of CGT will be kept under review.

The government has accepted the following five recommendations from the OTS report on the technical and administrative issues with CGT:

  1. Integrate the different ways of reporting and paying CGT into the Single Customer Account. This is part of a long-term strategy.
  2. Extending the reporting and payment deadline for the UK Property return to 60 days. This has been completed.
  3. Extending the ‘no gain no loss’ window on separation and divorce. This will be subject to consultation over the course of the next year.
  4. Expanding the specific Rollover Relief rules which apply where land and buildings are acquired under Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPO). This will be subject to a final consultation. 
  5. Various improvements in CGT guidance on specific areas. HMRC has already completed a review and expansion of the guidance on the UK Property Tax Return and will proceed in other areas identified in the OTS report.

The government will also consider five other recommendations by the OTS including the treatment of separate share pools, the practical operation of Private Residence Relief nominations and a review of the rules for enterprise investment schemes.

Source: HM Treasury Tue, 07 Dec 2021 00:00:00 +0100
1eeca1df 0a47 4896 9199 b6fc9b40e69d 800x380 - 60 days is better than 30 days

60 days is better than 30 days

The deadline for paying any Capital Gains Tax (CGT) due on the sale of a residential property is now 60 days. The previous 30-day limit was replaced as part of the Autumn Budget measures in October and the change came into effect on the day of the announcement (27 October 2021).

This means that a CGT return needs to be completed and a payment on account of any CGT due should be made within 60 days of the completion of the transaction. This applies to UK residents selling UK residential property where CGT is due.

In practice, this change only applies to the sale of any residential property that does not qualify for Private Residence Relief (PRR). The PRR relief applies to qualifying residential properly used wholly as a main family residence. 

HMRC has listed the following types of property sales that are affected:

  • a property that you have not used as your main home;
  • a holiday home;
  • a property which you let out for people to live in;
  • a property that you’ve inherited and have not used as your main home.

There can be penalties and interest if any CGT due on the sale of a UK property is not paid within the stated 60-day time limit. There are separate rules for non-UK residents.

Source: HM Revenue & Customs Tue, 07 Dec 2021 00:00:00 +0100
53a24e8d 5ce8 4697 aa4c 2d11c4d678ba 800x380 - Plug-in grants for electric vehicles

Plug-in grants for electric vehicles

The low-emission vehicles plug-in grant can help you save up to £2,500 on the purchase price of new low-emission vehicles. The scheme was first launched in 2011 and is available across the UK with dealers using the grant towards the price of eligible new cars. The paperwork for the grant application is handled by the dealer. The scheme is open to qualifying purchases by private individuals and businesses.

HMRC publishes a list of qualifying cars and only cars listed are eligible for the grant. There are also grants available for specified motorcycles, mopeds, small vans, large vans, taxis and trucks.

The grant is available for cars with CO2 emissions lower than 50g/km and a 'zero-emission' range of at least 112km. To qualify for the grant, the cars must have an 'on the road' price cap of less than £35,000. This means that many popular environmentally friendly electric cars are not available under the scheme as their sale price exceeds the price cap.

There are separate criteria for other vehicle classes. This includes motorcycles, mopeds, small vans, large vans, taxis, small trucks and large trucks. For example, for motorcycles that have no CO2 emissions and can travel at least 50km between charges.

Source: HM Revenue & Customs Tue, 07 Dec 2021 00:00:00 +0100
a01d45d7 1229 4163 9284 f0e0e5efcf81 800x380 - Claiming tax relief for working from home

Claiming tax relief for working from home

Employees working from home may be able to claim tax relief for certain home-related bills they pay that are related to your work. 

Employers may reimburse employees for the additional household expenses incurred through regularly working at home. The relief covers expenses such as business telephone calls or heating and lighting costs for the room in which you are working. Expenses that are for both for private and business use (such as broadband) cannot be claimed. Employees may also be able to claim tax relief on equipment they have bought, such as a laptop, chair or mobile phone.

Employers can pay up to £6 per week (or £26 a month for employees paid monthly) to cover an employee’s additional costs if they have to work from home. Employees do not need to keep any specific records if they receive this fixed amount. 

If the expenses or allowances are not paid by the employer, then the employee can claim tax relief directly from HMRC. Employees will get tax relief based on their highest tax rate. For example, if they pay the 20% basic rate of tax and claim tax relief on £6 a week, they will get £1.20 per week in tax relief (20% of £6). Employees can claim more than the quoted amount but will need to provide evidence to HMRC. HMRC will accept backdated claims for up to 4 years. 

These tax reliefs are available to anyone who has been asked to work from home on a regular basis, either for all or part of the week including working from home because of coronavirus.

Source: HM Revenue & Customs Tue, 07 Dec 2021 00:00:00 +0100
18d2cf9a 31f9 4118 af6c a88878c9d3a0 800x380 - Income excluded from a property business

Income excluded from a property business

HMRC publishes a list of income streams that are excluded from a UK property business. The list includes fishing concerns, hotels and guest houses, tied premises, caravan sites, lodgers and tenants in your own home, extra services to tenants and letting surplus trade accommodation. In most cases the income from these activities will be taxed as income of a trade and not as property income.

In addition, there are certain receipts that can arise out of the use of land, and which are specifically excluded by statute from a rental business. These include yearly interest, income from the occupation of woodlands managed on a commercial basis, income from mines and quarries and income from farming and market gardening.

There is also a £1,000 property income allowance that applies to income from property (including foreign property). If a taxpayer’s annual gross property income is £1,000 or less the amount is exempt from tax and does not need to be reported on a tax return.

Source: HM Revenue & Customs Sun, 28 Nov 2021 00:00:00 +0100
86ade169 529b 4e79 af0f e986c4be86b7 800x380 - TOGC overview

TOGC overview

The transfer of a business as a going concern (TOGC) rules cover the VAT liability on the sale of a business. Normally the sale of the assets of a VAT registered or VAT registerable business will be subject to VAT at the appropriate rate.

Where the sale of a business includes assets and meets certain conditions, the sale will be categorised as a TOGC. A TOGC is defined as 'neither a supply of goods nor a supply of services' and is therefore outside the scope of VAT. Under the TOGC rules no VAT would be chargeable on a qualifying sale.

All the following conditions are necessary for the TOGC rules to apply:

  • The assets must be sold as part of a 'business' as a 'going concern'. In essence, the business must be operating as such and not just an 'inert aggregation of assets'.
  • The purchaser intends to use the assets to carry on the same kind of business as the seller.
  • Where the seller is a taxable person, the purchaser must be a taxable person already or become one as the result of the transfer.
  • Where only part of a business is sold it must be capable of separate operation.
  • There must not be a series of immediately consecutive transfers.
  • There are further conditions in relation to transactions involving land.

The TOGC rules can be complex, and both the vendor and purchaser of a business must ensure that the rules are properly followed. The TOGC rules are also mandatory which means that it is imperative to establish from the outset whether a sale is or is not a TOGC. For example, if VAT is charged in error, the buyer has no legal right to recover it from HMRC and would have to seek to recover this 'VAT' from the seller.

Source: HM Revenue & Customs Sun, 28 Nov 2021 00:00:00 +0100
5f7f5a6e d9b3 466d 894c 667d42d292d3 800x380 - VAT – driving schools who supplies services?

VAT – driving schools who supplies services?

The VAT liability of the supply of driving lessons is an interesting issue that can be of relevance to other supply scenarios such as hairdressers and other workers in the beauty industry. 

In HMRC’s internal manuals the guidance identifies three possible scenarios that can apply to someone providing driving lessons to the public:

  • The driving school employs its own instructors under contracts of service. HMRC comments that this method is probably only used in a minority of cases. When this is the case, the driving school is supplying the tuition to its pupils and must account for output tax on the full value of fees received. The driving school is making the supply of tuition to its customers and there is no supply by the individual instructors, who are simply receiving remuneration (wages) for their services as employees. 
  • The instructors supply their services to the school under a contract of services. They need only account for output tax on these supplies if the value exceeds the registration limits. The school must account for output tax on the full value of the fees received from pupils.
  • Each individual instructor supplies tuition services directly to their pupils using the driving school as an agent. Output tax is only due on the value of those supplies if an instructor exceeds the registration limits. However, payment made by each instructor to the school is consideration for a supply of agency services by the school, and the school must declare output tax accordingly. 
Source: HM Revenue & Customs Sun, 28 Nov 2021 00:00:00 +0100