a87025f6 f5b2 4544 a67b cc4c4b020523 800x380 - Lost your tax reference number?

Lost your tax reference number?

Your unique taxpayer reference (UTR) is the primary identifier for tax purposes. The number is also sometimes known as your taxpayer number or tax reference number and should be used whenever you contact HMRC or when you file your tax returns. The UTR is a unique 10 digit code. You automatically receive a UTR when you set yourself up to file Self-Assessment tax returns or form a limited company.

If you have mislaid your UTR you should be able to find the number on previous tax returns and other documents from HMRC, such as notices to file a return and payment reminders. You can also find your UTR in your HMRC online account.

If you are unable to locate your UTR you can call the Self-Assessment helpline to request your UTR on 0300 200 3310. The lines are usually open from Monday to Friday: 8am to 8pm, Saturday: 8am to 4pm and Sunday: 9am to 5pm. However, the hours are currently shortened due to impact of coronavirus and the lines are open Monday to Friday only from 8am to 4pm.

If you have mislaid your Corporation Tax UTR this can be requested online and HMRC will send a copy of the number by post to the company’s registered address as shown on Companies House.

 

Source: HM Revenue & Customs Wed, 02 Sep 2020 05:00:00 +0100
e0a698c6 e9a4 4844 be93 4cf3d3eb507d 800x380 - New payments for people self-isolating

New payments for people self-isolating

The government has announced the launch of a new trial scheme that will pay people on low incomes who need to self-isolate and are unable to work from home. The trial will start in Blackburn, Darwen, Pendle, and Oldham to ensure the process works. The trial scheme started on Tuesday, 1 September 2020. The scheme is then expected to be rolled out in other areas of England with high coronavirus infection rates.

The new scheme will only be made available to people currently receiving either Universal Credit or Working Tax Credit. The benefits payment will allow for payments of up to £182 to be made to people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and their contacts.

Individuals who test positive with the virus will receive £130 for their 10-day period of self-isolation. Other members of their household, who have to self-isolate for 14 days, will be entitled to a payment of £182.

Non-household contacts advised to self-isolate through NHS Test and Trace will also be entitled to a payment of up to £182, tailored to the individual length of their isolation period. Any payments made under the scheme will not reduce any other benefits for the recipient.

The scheme will help support people on low incomes who are unable to work from home while self-isolating, either after testing positive, or after being identified by NHS Test and Trace as living in the same household as – or coming into contact with – someone who has tested positive.

Source: HM Government Wed, 02 Sep 2020 05:00:00 +0100
3bcc07f8 6c18 45d3 ad8e a946d2b6111d 800x380 - Teenagers to get access to Child Trust Funds

Teenagers to get access to Child Trust Funds

Children born after 31 August 2002 and before 3 January 2011 were entitled to a Child Trust Fund (CTF) account provided they met the necessary conditions. These funds were long-term saving accounts for newly born children. The first of these children will begin turning 18 from 1 September 2020.

HMRC has confirmed that millions of teenagers are set to benefit as their accounts mature. Approximately 6.3 million CTF accounts have been set up since the scheme was launched in 2002, roughly 4.5 million by parents or guardians and a further 1.8 million set up by HMRC where parents or guardians did not open an account.

From September, an estimated 55,000 accounts will mature each month and HMRC has created a simple online tool to help young people find out where their account is held.

Economic Secretary to the Treasury, John Glen, said:

We want to make sure all young people can access the money which has been set aside for them, to invest in their future and continue a savings habit, as they turn 18.’

If you’re unsure if you have an account or where it may be, it’s easy to track down your provider online.

The actual CTF accounts are not held by HMRC, but by a number of CTF providers who are financial services firms. Anyone can pay into the account, with an annual limit of £9,000, and there’s no tax to pay on the CTF savings interest or profit.

Source: HM Treasury Wed, 26 Aug 2020 05:00:00 +0100
6d21cf29 3247 41b2 9b01 038830423083 800x380 - Eviction ban extended by 4 weeks

Eviction ban extended by 4 weeks

The government has announced a further four-week extension to the eviction ban for tenants affected by the Coronavirus pandemic. This means that landlords in England and Wales will be banned from evicting tenants until at least 20 September 2020. This takes the total ban to 6 months.

The government has also announced plans to give tenants greater protection from eviction over the winter by requiring landlords to provide tenants with a new 6 months’ notice period (extended from 3 months’) in all bar those cases raising other serious issues such as those involving anti-social behaviour and domestic abuse perpetrators, until at least 31 March 2021. The Scottish government has also introduced a ban on evictions until March 2021 and there is currently an extended 12-week notice period in Northern Ireland.

The government has said it will keep these measures under review with decisions guided by the latest public health advice.

When courts do resume eviction hearings they will carefully prioritise the most egregious cases, ensuring landlords are able to progress the most serious cases, such as those involving anti-social behaviour and other crimes, as well as cases where landlords have not received rent for over a year and would otherwise face unmanageable debts.

According to independent research, 87% of tenants have continued to pay full rent since the start of the pandemic, with a further 8% agreeing reduced fees with their landlords. However, landlords and tenants continue to face situations where tenants are unable to pay their bills resulting in lost rental income.

Source: HM Revenue & Customs Wed, 26 Aug 2020 05:00:00 +0100
924ed832 34e0 4326 92ef bb22b8d83b4e 1 800x380 - Agent update August 2020

Agent update August 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, that 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.
  • VAT payment deferrals period. The option to defer your VAT payments ended on 30 June 2020. The Coronavirus VAT payment holiday gave businesses the chance to defer the payment of any VAT liabilities between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020. VAT payments now need to be made as normal. 
  • Confirmation of Payee process. Some UK banks have introduced Confirmation of Payee (COP) as a new way of giving individuals or businesses greater assurance that they are sending payments to the intended recipient. When you request a repayment from HMRC you must ensure that the details you provide match the details of the recipients account.
  • Top Slicing Relief (TSR) on life insurance policy gains. New legislation has been introduced that changes how reduced personal allowances interact with the calculation for top slicing relief. It will provide additional relief for taxpayers whose entitlement to the personal allowance has reduced because a gain is included as part of their income. The new legislation to TSR cases will apply from tax year 2018-2019.
  • Disguised Remuneration Loan Charge. Taxpayers that have outstanding disguised remuneration loans that are subject to the loan charge need to file their 2018-19 Self-Assessment tax return by 30 September 2020, including a report of any loan balances subject to the loan charge, and put in place any arrangements they need to pay the charge due on that date. Taxpayers can now elect to spread the loan balance over 3 tax years.
  • Links to new Revenue & Customs Briefs.
Source: HM Revenue & Customs Wed, 26 Aug 2020 05:00:00 +0100
480ec1bc 5d7a 402f 93ea 0adfcdfd8ff2 800x380 - Green Homes Grant Scheme

Green Homes Grant Scheme

One of the measures announced by the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak in his Summer Economic update on 8 July 2020 was the launch of the new £2 billion Green Homes Grant scheme.

From September 2020, home owners and landlords in England will be able to apply for a grant to make their home more energy efficient. The Green Homes Grant will cover at least two-thirds of the cost up to £5,000 per household. For low income households these grants will cover all costs up to £10,000. The scheme will run until 31 March 2021.

The Green Homes Grants will give homeowners, including owner occupiers and social/private landlords, vouchers to install one or more of the following primary measures:

  • solid wall, under-floor, cavity wall or roof insulation
  • air source or ground source heat pump
  • solar thermal

In addition, households can apply for a further voucher to install secondary measures for additional energy saving. Households will need to install at least one of the primary measures above to qualify for further funding for secondary measures. These secondary measures include the following:

  • double or triple glazing/secondary glazing, when replacing single glazing
  • upgrading to energy efficient doors
  • hot water tank/appliance tank thermostats/heating controls

Secondary measures can only be subsidised up to the amount of subsidy provided for primary measures. (e.g. if a household receives £1,000 for primary measures, they can only receive a maximum of £1,000 towards secondary measures).

The government is urging suppliers of the above-mentioned improvements to sign up for TrustMark or Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) accreditation in order to take part in this scheme.

Homeowners and landlords will need to apply for a voucher online. Once the works are agreed, vouchers will start to be issued from the end of September.

Source: HM Revenue & Customs Wed, 19 Aug 2020 05:00:00 +0100
a6819dc7 4d14 46d0 a6db 8c5b6ea5c7ff 800x380 - Myths and Student Loans

Myths and Student Loans

Student Loans are part of the government’s financial support package for students in higher education in the UK. They are available to help students meet their expenses while they are studying. The Student Loans Company (SLC) is a non-profit making government-owned organisation that administers loans and grants to students in universities and colleges in the UK.

As many students have started securing a university or college place, the SLC has published a press release aimed at helping dispel some common myths on student finance and Clearing 2020. Clearing is the process by which universities and colleges fill any remaining places they still have on their courses by matching students looking for a university place with unfilled places. This represents the last opportunity to apply for a place at university before the start of the academic year.

The press release ‘busts’ the following myths:

  • Myth: If I get a place through Clearing it’s too late to apply for student finance.
  • Myth: If I’ve already applied for student finance and my course changes through Clearing, I don’t have to do anything.
  • Myth: I need to send my Passport and a signed terms and conditions to receive my student finance.
  • Myth: It takes ages to apply for student finance because my parents or partner need to send paper forms and evidence.
  • Myth: There’s no information available on student finance and Clearing.

For more information on any of these issues search for the press release on the GOV.UK website.

Source: HM Revenue & Customs Wed, 19 Aug 2020 05:00:00 +0100
d108b32c fcfb 4a43 9c36 d5c2f81703e7 800x380 - Connected persons CGT and other taxes

Connected persons CGT and other taxes

The definition of a connected person for tax purposes can be complex and varies depending on the circumstances.

A statutory definition of “connected persons” for tax purposes is set out in Section 839 of the Income and Corporation Taxes Act (ICTA) 1988.

The general situation in Section 839(2) of ICTA 1988 states:

"A person is connected with an individual if that person is the individual’s wife or husband, or is a relative, or the wife or husband of a relative, of the individual or of the individual’s wife or husband."

Section 839(8) of ICTA 1988 states that, in this context, "‘relative’ means brother, sister, ancestor or lineal descendant." Married partners are connected with each other.

The term 'relative' does not cover all family relationships. In particular it does not include nephews, nieces, uncles and aunts.

However, the definition of connected persons is extended for Inheritance Tax to include the individual’s uncle/aunt, nephew/nieces and their spouse, spouse’s uncle/aunt and spouse’s nephew and niece.

There are further categories of connected persons in respect of trustees, acquisitions and disposals of partnership assets and in relation to companies.

Source: HM Revenue & Customs Wed, 19 Aug 2020 05:00:00 +0100
61bd3b63 c5de 4429 b06c 7ed8e137104e 800x380 - HMRC credit card fees

HMRC credit card fees

New credit card fees for paying HMRC are to be introduced from 1 November 2020. These changes will mean that HMRC will be able to charge anyone using a business debit card a fee for making certain payments.

The fee for using a business debit card from 1 November 2020 is difficult to calculate but is essentially comprised of three elements. These are the merchant acquirer fee, the interchange fee and the scheme fee. The charge is designed to cover the costs incurred by HMRC in accepting payment by a business debit card. 

There are already rules in place where charges are levied for payment by corporate, business and commercial credit cards. HMRC has not accepted personal credit cards since January 2018 when credit card surcharges on personal credit cards were banned. Payment by personal debit card is currently fee-free. There is also no charge for payment by Direct Debit, bank transfer or cheque.
 

Source: HM Revenue & Customs Tue, 11 Aug 2020 05:00:00 +0100
14f19e3b 3cab 443b ab07 17db88dc24c0 800x380 - Renewing your MOT

Renewing your MOT

Vehicle owners with a MOT expiry date between 30 March 2020 and 31 July 2020 were given a 6 month extension. This measure was designed to help motorists as the Coronavirus pandemic began to take hold. Mandatory MOT tests for car, motorcycle and van owners in England, Scotland and Wales were reintroduced from 1 August 2020. This means that any driver whose vehicle is due for an MOT test from 1 August 2020 is required to get a test certificate as normal in order to continue driving their vehicle.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has issued a timely press release encouraging drivers whose MOT is due this autumn to get their vehicle’s MOT done as soon as possible in order to beat the expected rush for tests. This is because vehicles that were given an extension and those that would normally be due their MOT will both need to be tested.

The DVSA is predicting that September, October and November 2020 are likely to be very busy months for MOT centres. If your MOT is due in September, you can get it done in August (up to a month minus a day before its due) and keep your renewal date. You cannot use your vehicle if your MOT runs out and there are fines of up to £1,000 for driving without a valid MOT.

It is also 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 see any remaining full months of vehicle tax refunded and you could also look into cancelling your car insurance (with a SORN). The rules are different in Northern Ireland where a phased return to MOT testing is underway.

Source: HM Government Wed, 05 Aug 2020 05:00:00 +0100