This is just a short web-update. The first thing is to warn you all to check your Professional Indemnity insurance policy wording...

you may have a policy for "accountants" but if it contains (as many policies now do) an exclusion for mergers and acquisitions that precludes you from giving any advice on incorporation, disincorporation and certainly don't mention "Entrepreneurs' Relief"! I brought this up recently at a meeting of the ATT Technical Steering Committee and some people were so surprised that I thought I would share it with you. Scroll down, its the first article link.

Other news is that HMRC has formally announced that it is clamping down on individuals who have been working in the UK and avoiding income tax and NICs by having their wages paid to an offshore agency which then makes a loan back to them. This is of course not dissimilar to the type of scheme that embarrassed both comedian Jimmy Carr and DJ Chris Moyles last year. HMRC has in fact been trying to clamp down on these for a while now, the problem historically has been not only tracing the individuals but also that our crown dependencies have acted as breeding grounds for this type of activity. Whilst this is something addressed in part by HMRC's agreements with some of the islands the use of loans made by offshore entities remains a deep problem for HMRC despite the General Anti Abuse Rule.

Scroll on down for more news, toolkits, briefings, and updates on Finance Act 2013.

Best wishes


Nichola Ross Martin FCA
Tax Director
Your online Virtual Tax Partner: practical support for accountants, tax advisers and their clients


PI policy alert: check your small print
This is a warning about Professional Indemnity insurance for accountants. We advise you to check the small print on your policy. If you are excluded from advising on 'mergers and acquisitions' you will not be able to advise businesses on incorporation, disincorporation as well as share sales and reorganisations etc.

CIS repayments: top 10 tips for companies
HMRC have updated their "Top 10 tips" for companies who make repayment claims under the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS)

There's no such thing as bad publicity?
ICAEW's David Heaton forced off the GAAR panel after being secretly filmed by Panorama.

When an inspector calls

Contractor loan schemes
HMRC is clamping down on what has proved to have been a highly popular PAYE and NICs avoidance scheme favoured by many UK agency workers but there still may be  time to use HMRC's My Tax Return Catch-Up disclosure opportunity. 

Subscribers: our new rang of Close Company guides and updates

Employee Shareholder Status - tax & planning
NEW: a new type of employee and a new type of employee share scheme. Next time we consider valuation issues.

Employment Related Securities
UPDATE: explaining what happens when you give an employee or director shares.

Fixtures: overview
UPDATE: start here for the new rules, with guides for seller and buyer:

Close company loans toolkit
UPDATE: essential reading if you advise private companies, with a focus on new rules for "bed and breakfasting" loans to participators and measures affecting loans to LLPs. Review of latest consultation for reforming the loans to participator rules.

Loss relief (income tax) disposal of shares
NEW: summary of the conditions for obtaining relief with pitfalls and planning points.

CGT relief: loans to traders
UPDATE: tax relief when a company gets into difficulty and cannot repay your loan account. 

Editor/writer required

We have a vacancy for an editor/writer. If you like writing about tax or business law or think that you can do that in an interesting way...more

Coming to terms with the new Finance Act and other recent changes

Disincorporation Relief
The new relief applies from 1 April 2013. It may be useful for small companies which decide that it is administratively easier to scale down and become sole trades or partnerships.

Limit (cap) on income tax reliefs
UPDATE: new examples of situations which are affected (from our Virtual Tax Partner helpline).

IR35: changes from 2013
From April 2013 under measures introduced in the 2013 Finance Act office holders will become within the scope of IR35.


IHT: non-domiciled spouses
From 6 April 2013 a non-dom spouse may elect to be treated as UK domiciled, this might be a dangerous election to make without some careful consideration.

IHT: restrictions on liabilities against the estate
Provisions were introduced by the Finance Act 2013 that restrict to what extent certain liabilities may be deducted against an estate on death. HMRC has now updated its manuals to reflect the changes which may catch out advisers and taxpayers alike.

'Simpler' Accounting for tax

Accounting: Simpler Income tax (cash basis) / fixed expenses Start here (self-employed taxpayers) to decide which of (or both) the new measures to adopt.

Board and lodging adjustments All change from 5 April 2013.

Cash or accruals accounting toolkit At a glance summaries with planning points and examples for all advisers in this new guide.

Flat rate expenses or actual cost toolkit Essential briefing for advisers and clients.

Land and Property

Furnished Holiday Letting
UPDATE: our detailed guide contains a summary of all the recent changes which is useful for talking over with clients.

Wear and tear allowance and the renewals basis
The rules changed on 6 April 2011 and then again on 6 April 2013: this updated guide explains the different tax treatments year by year.

Annual Tax on Enveloped Dwellings (ATED)
The first self-assessment return for ARPT will be due in 2013/14 and made by 1 October 2013. 

Joint property: legal v beneficial ownership This guide provides you with a concise summary of the differences between legal title and beneficial ownership and explains what elections or actions are necessary to ensure that tax treatment matches your intentions.

Free-view guides

Travel and tax UPDATE: this is our sign-post to our guides in this area. If you are ever short of something to say to a client start here - the new rules for simplification of accounts make this whole topic quite fun.

Tax-free benefits and perks UPDATE: can you spot the changes? (scroll to the bottom to find the answers).

Staff parties and annual functions UPDATE for 2013.

Directors' loan accounts: toolkit An essential guide for directors and companies on the income tax and NICs treatment of overdrawn loan accounts.

Editor's choice

Schedule 36 information notices
Mini guide to HMRC's power's with topical tips and case law

Purchase (repurchase) of own shares Step by step guide to ensure Companies Act and tax compliance is met to allow a repayment to be treated as capital in the hands of the outgoing shareholder.

 Top Tips for directors

Converting part of a home into an office 
 How to create a tax-efficient home office.

Directors' tax planning toolkit 2013/14 
Our rolling planner which is updated throughout the year

Can I charge my company rent for use of my home? UPDATE: you may consider:

  • Recharging the company, on the same basis as a conventional home working employee for a proportion of your bills and running costs. This is explained in Working from home (directors) or
  • Formalising a licence agreement with your company in order to allow it to occupy part of your property. It then pays you rent and service charges and you then claim all your expenses under self-assessment...More

Working from home (directors)
UPDATE: the same rules apply to home working directors as other employees. However, a director is more likely to be able to charge rent and there may be some additional issues and complications by virtue of their office.

Do I pay a salary or dividend? 2013/14
UPDATE and re-write of last year's highly popular guide: this is designed to save you having to do all these workings yourself.

Tax masterclass: running an LLP & Co structure 
A guide is for trading companies and professional practices: we see many different structures and so we are constantly updating this guidance.

ABC or alphabet shares: directors & employees
UPDATE: essential reading for directors.

Annual Investment Allowance
NEW: a handy summary with planning points.

Tax free benefits and perks
Changes - did you spot them? Additions for relocation, travel to and from abroad, employee status, and we have at last added the link to Van benefits!

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