7c3e2f5e c975 4951 ae93 df9c8b081272 800x380 - Vehicle MOT dates

Vehicle MOT dates

The government has announced that mandatory MOT tests for car, motorcycle and van owners in England, Scotland and Wales are to be reintroduced from 1 August 2020. This means that all drivers whose vehicle is due for an MOT test from 1 August will be required to get a test certificate to continue driving their vehicle. The government is reintroducing this requirement to keep roads safe. Testing capacity has already reached 70% of normal levels and is steadily increasing.

Vehicle owners with an MOT expiry date between 30 March 2020 and 31 July 2020 will continue to receive a 6 month extension. This includes vehicles that are due their first MOT test. The MOT expiry date will be automatically extended about 7 days before it is due to expire. For example, if your vehicle's MOT was due to expire on 3 May 2020, this will automatically be extended to 3 November 2020. It is important to remember that vehicles must be kept roadworthy even if the MOT date has been extended.

If you are not using your car, you can register your vehicle as off the road by obtaining a statutory off road notification (SORN). This will result in any remaining full months of vehicle tax refunded. You could also take advice to see if your car insurance could be cancelled.

Source: HM Government Wed, 01 Jul 2020 05:00:00 +0100
3b5601a1 eb9a 4ac9 8a65 c8da1e1db7d8 800x380 - No extension to Brexit Withdrawal Agreement

No extension to Brexit Withdrawal Agreement

The UK has confirmed that it will neither accept nor seek any extension to the Brexit transition period which expires on 31 December 2020. The EU has formally accepted this position. With just over six months to go before the end of the transition period there remains a lot of work to be done if agreement is to be reached. This move could result in the possibility of a no-deal Brexit.

From 1 January 2021, the UK will have autonomy to introduce its own approach to goods imported to GB from the EU. Recognising the impact of Coronavirus on businesses’ ability to prepare, and following the announcement in February that the UK would implement full border controls on imports coming into GB from the EU, the UK has taken the decision to introduce the new border controls in three stages ending 1 July 2021. This flexible and pragmatic approach will give industry extra time to make necessary arrangements.

The stages are:

  • From January 2021: Traders importing standard goods, covering everything from clothes to electronics, will need to prepare for basic customs requirements, such as keeping sufficient records of imported goods, and will have up to six months to complete customs declarations. While tariffs will need to be paid on all imports, payments can be deferred until the customs declaration has been made. There will be checks on controlled goods like alcohol and tobacco. Businesses will need to consider how they account for VAT on imported goods. There will also be physical checks at the point of destination or other approved premises on all high risk live animals and plants.
  • From April 2021: All products of animal origin (POAO) – for example meat, pet food, honey, milk or egg products – and all regulated plants and plant products will also require pre-notification and the relevant health documentation.
  • From July 2021: Traders moving all goods will have to make declarations at the point of importation and pay relevant tariffs. Full Safety and Security declarations will be required, while for SPS commodities there will be an increase in physical checks and the taking of samples: checks for animals, plants and their products will now take place at GB Border Control Posts.
Source: HM Government Wed, 17 Jun 2020 05:00:00 +0100
803bb6a7 2c87 4ee8 a435 77b09290367b 800x380 - Agent update June 2020

Agent update June 2020

HMRC has released the latest bi-monthly issue of the 'Agent Update' publication which includes summaries of recent changes and updates that have been announced. The document which is aimed at taxation and accountancy practitioners includes links to more detailed information on each of the topics covered.

The topics covered in the latest edition include the following:

  • COVID-19. A reminder that the GOV.UK portal includes details of all the various financial support and other measures available to employers, businesses and employees.
  • HMRC’s Basic PAYE Tools (BPT). The BPT has been updated to version 20.2 to include further guidance on Statutory Payments in the ‘Calculators’ section.
  • Tax rules on waiving your income or donating to charity. Employers, directors and employees have several options to support a business or employer and / or to make donations to charity.
  • Lifetime ISA rules change. A temporary reduction in the Lifetime ISA withdrawal charge to 20% is available from 6 March 2020 until 5 April 2021. This means account holders will only have to pay back any government bonus they have received but will not pay the additional withdrawal charge.
  • Agreed tax postponements automatically extended until the end of June 2020. HMRC has written to taxpayers whose tax payments had already been postponed due to COVID-19 issues, informing them that that the postponement has been extended to 30 June 2020.
  • End of year reporting. The deadline for reporting any Class 1A National Insurance contributions and submitting P11D and P11FD(b) forms to HMRC for the tax year ending 5 April 2020 is 6 July 2020.
  • Links to new Revenue & Customs Briefs.
Source: HM Revenue & Customs Wed, 17 Jun 2020 05:00:00 +0100
1a5710d5 8816 438f a564 8f8dbb9922df 800x380 - Additional funding for charities and social enterprise

Additional funding for charities and social enterprise

The government's dormant assets scheme allows money in accounts that have been dormant for at least 15 years to be made available for certain qualifying charitable and community causes.

The Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden has announced that £150 million from dormant bank and building society accounts is to be unlocked to help charities, social enterprises and vulnerable individuals during the Coronavirus outbreak.

The £150 million charity injection is made up of the accelerated release of £71 million of new funds from dormant accounts alongside £79 million already unlocked that will be repurposed to help charities’ Coronavirus response and recovery.

The money will be used to support urgent work to tackle youth unemployment, expand access to emergency loans for civil society organisations and help improve the availability of fair, affordable credit to people in vulnerable circumstances.

Since the scheme was launched in 2011 over £600 million has been distributed to good causes. However, it is important to note that the original account holder retains the rights to repayment of any monies within the scheme after providing satisfactory proof that the money is theirs.

Source: HM Treasury Wed, 27 May 2020 05:00:00 +0100
9ed15fed 8949 4e65 ab36 ee75e10b477d 800x380 - Businesses that must presently stay closed

Businesses that must presently stay closed

Government guidance on businesses in England that must presently stay closed has been updated. The government is clear that failure to follow the law relating to these closures can lead to the individual responsible for the business being issued a prohibition notice, a fixed penalty notice or prosecution.

The current pandemic has seen most non-essential businesses closed in an unprecedented high street shutdown that started on 24 March 2020. Only a limited number of retailers that sell what have been deemed to be essential goods have been allowed to stay open. Garden centres and plant nurseries were allowed to reopen on 13 May 2020 as part of a number of measures to slowly ease the lockdown.

The government has also allowed takeaway and delivery services to remain open if they are able to safely operate in line with specific guidance. Online retail and click and collect services have also been allowed to continue to operate if social distancing guidance is followed.

The guidance for businesses in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are set by the devolved administrations.

Source: HM Revenue & Customs Wed, 13 May 2020 05:00:00 +0100

New VAT rules coming into effect on 1st October 2019 – are you ready?

The domestic reverse charge (referred to as the reverse charge) is a major change to the way VAT is collected in the building and construction industry.

This will affect you if you supply or receive specified services that are reported under the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS).

vat rules 300x182 - New VAT rules coming into effect on 1st October 2019 - are you ready?It comes into effect on 1 October 2019 and means customers receiving the service will have to pay the VAT due to HMRC instead of paying the supplier.

It will only apply to individuals or businesses registered for VAT in the UK (although it will not apply to consumers).

What you need to do to be ready for the start of the
domestic reverse charge

You need to prepare for the 1 October 2019 introduction date by:
• Checking whether the reverse charge affects either your sales, purchases or both.
• Ensuring your accounting systems and software are updated to deal with the reverse charge.
• Considering whether the change will have an impact on your cash flow.
• Ensuring all your staff who are responsible for VAT accounting are familiar with the reverse charge and how it will operate.

What contractors need to do

If you’re a contractor you’ll also need to review all your contracts with sub-contractors, to decide if the reverse charge will apply to the services you receive under your contracts. You’ll need to notify your suppliers if it will.

What sub-contractors need to do

If you’re a sub-contractor you’ll also need to contact your customers to get confirmation from them if the reverse charge will apply, including confirming if the customer is an end user or intermediary supplier.

For further information please do not hesitate to contact one of the team on 01277 314000.

2017 07 27 866366 800x380 - Credit card transaction charges to be banned

Credit card transaction charges to be banned

The EU second Payment Services Directive (PSDII) was approved by the European Parliament and European Council in December 2015 and seeks to widen the scope of the existing EU Payment Service Directive (PSD) that defines the information that consumers and businesses must receive when making payments. This includes making reforms to the way payments by debit and credit cards, direct debit, credit transfers, standing orders and other digital payments are transacted. 

The UK government is required to implement the PSDII into UK law by 13 January 2018 to meet its legal obligations and avoid the risk of facing infraction proceedings. This work must still be completed as for the time being the UK remains a full member of the EU.

One of the main changes that will come about as a result of this new legislation will be the removal of extra charges for making payments by credit cards. This practice known as ‘surcharging’ is common across a wide range of businesses including some local councils and government agencies. These new rules will bring an end to the practice entirely.

Planning note:

Most of HMRC’s credit card fees were sharply reduced with effect from 1 April 2016. Since then the credit card fees have varied depending on the type of card used and whether it is a corporate or personal credit card. The lowest fees are for personal Visa or MasterCard credit cards and the highest fees are reserved for corporate credit cards.

From January 2018, HMRC will no longer be able to levy any fees for payment by credit card. As HMRC incurs a fee for processing payments by credit card there is a possibility that the option to make payments of tax by credit card may be removed.

2016 07 21 920306 800x380 - New Finance Bill to be published

New Finance Bill to be published

The government has confirmed that a new Finance Bill will be introduced as soon as possible after the summer recess. The House of Commons returns to Westminster on 5 September 2017.

In a joint press release from HMRC and HM Treasury we are told that the new Finance Bill will legislate for all policies that were included in the pre-election Finance Bill but not included in the Act that was rushed through Parliament before the snap election.

It has also been confirmed that all policies originally announced to start from April 2017 will be effective from that date. This includes the corporate interest restriction, changes to the treatment of carried-forward losses, the money purchase annual allowance, changes to the deemed domicile rules and penalties for enablers of defeated tax avoidance schemes.

The introduction of Making Tax Digital (MTD) will also be legislated for albeit with significant changes to the implementation schedule.

A Written Ministerial Statement on the Finance Bill by Mel Stride, Financial Secretary to the Treasury states:

‘Where policies have been announced as applying from the start of the 2017-18 tax year or other point before the introduction of the forthcoming Finance Bill, there is no change of policy and these dates of application will be retained. Those affected by the provisions should continue to assume that they will apply as originally announced.

The Finance Bill to be introduced will legislate for policies that have already been announced. In the case of some provisions that will apply from a time before the Bill is introduced, technical adjustments and additions to the versions contained in the March Bill will be made on introduction to ensure that they function as intended.’

Planning note

There is still a measure of uncertainty regarding the ability of the government to present this second Finance Bill for 2017, and see it through the various committee stages without amendment. It will be September 2017 at the earliest before the Bill reaches the statute books. We will have to wait and see what proceeds to legislation. 

2017 02 21 135190 800x380 - Making Tax Digital – common sense prevails

Making Tax Digital – common sense prevails

A new timetable for the introduction of Making Tax Digital (MTD) has been announced. The new regime was due to start from April 2018, but was delayed by the snap general election earlier this year. The government now appears to have listened to concerns that the roll-out of the MTD was moving too fast. The original proposals would have required most businesses to upload quarterly figures to HMRC.

Under the new implementation plan these obligations have been substantially changed. They are:

  • Only businesses with a turnover above the VAT threshold (currently £85,000) will have to keep digital records and only for VAT purposes. These businesses will only be required to use MTD compliant upload software from April 2019.
  • Other businesses will not be asked to keep digital records, or to update HMRC quarterly, for other taxes (income tax and corporation tax) until ‘at least’ April 2020, and only if their annual turnover is above the VAT registration threshold.
  • HMRC has also confirmed that the use of MTD by smaller businesses and for other taxes will be voluntary. This means that businesses and landlords with a turnover below the VAT threshold will be able to choose when to move to the new digital system. 

As VAT returns are already submitted on a quarterly basis, the change of pace of MTD implementation means that all businesses and landlords will have at least two years to adapt to the changes before being asked to keep digital records for other taxes.

HMRC’s MTD pilot tests will be extended to pilot MTD/VAT for businesses later this year, with a more extensive testing phase starting in the Spring of 2018. This means that there will be far more time to test the system and iron out any issues before the system goes live.

Planning note

We can help by offering you advice on the changes you will need to put in place to prepare for MTD including the software that you will need to use. It is important to note that even this revised timetable could be subject to change as we await the introduction of the second 2017 Finance Bill that will contain the necessary legislation.