Tax update – Finance Bill should now proceed

Now that the General Election is out of the way, the tax changes in the draft Finance Bill scheduled to take effect from April 2020 are now more likely to go ahead.

The key tax measures “in limbo” until legislated in Finance Act 2020 are:

– Extending the “off-payroll” working rules to the private sector

– Restricting R&D repayable credit for SMEs

– The proposed 2% reduction in P11d car benefits

– Limiting CGT private residence letting relief

If the changes to CGT private residence letting relief go ahead from 6 April 2020, it may be worth considering the disposal of a property that currently qualifies for this relief before 6 April 2020.  The “off-payroll” working rules will almost certainly proceed, even if not from 6 April 2020, and thus businesses and workers affected should prepare for the planned changes.

Contact us if you want to know how likely this is to impact on your business by calling 01522 815100


Tax update – you may have to pay Tax on your dividends in January

The rules for taxing dividends changed radically from 6 April 2016 with the removal of the 10% notional tax credit and the introduction of new rates of tax on dividends. For many taxpayers that means more tax to pay on dividends on 31 January each year.

If you are a higher rate taxpayer and received £22,000 of dividends in 2018/19 only £2,000 of those dividends are tax free now, leaving £20,000 of those dividends to be taxed at 32.5% meaning £6,500 due on 31 January 2020, and possibly payments on account of your 2019/20 liability, unless your tax liability is likely to be lower in 2019/20.

If you would like to discuss this further please call Richard Grayson on 01522 815100.

 


No capital allowances for equipment in a “Dwelling House”

As a general rule, there are no capital allowances available for expenditure on plant and machinery in a dwelling house.

In a recent Tax Tribunal case it was decided that only equipment installed in the “common parts” of a dwelling house qualifies for tax relief. This would typically comprise a common entrance lobby, corridors, stairs or lifts and those parts of the building which do not provide any living facilities.

A major exception to this rule is where the property qualifies as furnished holiday lettings where the business is treated as if it is a trade. Consequently, assets such as beds, sofas, televisions and white goods would qualify for capital allowances as plant and machinery in such a business.

Note also that the new Structures and Buildings Allowance is not available in respect of “dwellings” nor structures in the garden such as a garden office.


Tax update – passing on the family home

The Labour party were proposing to reverse the recent Tory party inheritance tax cuts if elected. They were referring to the additional nil rate band for passing on the family home. This additional relief should be taken into consideration when drafting your Will and we can work with your solicitor to make sure your Will is tax efficient.

When fully phased in from April 2020, an additional nil rate band of up to £175,000 is available on death where your residence is left to direct descendants.

This is on top of the normal £325,000 nil rate band.

The residence nil rate band is however restricted if your assets exceed £2 million. The rules are fairly complicated but we can review your personal circumstances to enable you to take advantage of all the relief that you are entitled to.

Note that the additional inheritance tax relief is available even when you downsize to a smaller property or move into care, provided assets of equivalent value are left to direct descendants in your Will.

If you would like more help or information on the above contact Richard Grayson on 01522 815100.

 


New Year’s Resolution – to save tax

At this time of year we think about New Year’s resolutions. It is also a good time to start planning your tax affairs before the end of the tax year on 5th April.

An obvious tax planning point would be to maximise your ISA allowances for the 2019/20 tax year (currently £20,000 each).

You might also want to consider increasing your pension savings before 5 April 2020 as the unused annual pension allowance is lost after three years.

For those looking to do some inheritance tax planning it would be a good time to review (or make) your Will.

Good tax planning can save you money, so it’s time to get your affairs into order.  Our team at Nicholsons will be able to help you.  Contact Richard Grayson on 01522 815100.


Boris Johnson to delay 17% rate of Corporation Tax

Corporation tax is scheduled to be reduced from 19% to 17% from 1 April 2020.

However, in a speech to the CBI on 18 November Boris Johnson announced that, if elected, the Conservative Party would keep the rate at 19% to provide an extra £6 billion for the NHS.

Despite Jeremy Corbyn telling the CBI that the Labour party is “not anti-business” the party have previously announced that they would reverse the recent cuts in corporation tax. Note that the rate of corporation tax was 28% back in 2010 at the end of the last Labour government.

If you need any help with you corporation tax then give us a call today 01522 815100.


Christmas Gifts of up to £50 to Employees

Remember that certain gifts to staff at Christmas are tax free if structured correctly. Ever since April 2016 employers are allowed to provide their directors and employees with certain “trivial” benefits in kind tax free.

The rules were brought in as a simplification measure so that certain benefits in kind do not now need to be reported to HMRC, as well as being tax free for the employee. There are of course a number of conditions that need to be satisfied to qualify for the exemption.

Conditions for the exemption to apply

  • the cost of providing the benefit does not exceed £50
  • the benefit is not cash or a cash voucher
  • the employee is not entitled to the benefit as part of any contractual obligation such as a salary sacrifice scheme
  • the benefit is not provided in recognition of particular services performed by the employee as part of their employment duties (or in anticipation of such services)

This exemption will generally apply to small gifts to staff at Christmas, on their birthday, or other occasions and includes gifts of food, wine, or store vouchers.

Note that where the employer is a “close” company and the benefit is provided to an individual who is a director or other office holder of the company, the exemption is capped at a total cost of £300 for the tax year.

Please feel free to contact us if you are considering taking advantage of this exemption. Call our team on 01522 815100.