We have been busy updating the website for all the new developments in tax and cross referencing guides in our own special way. My picks for this week's web-upate are:

Property & letting: CGT and IHT issues - we have three contrasting CGT cases which feature various types of residential property. The potential for tax relief in unusual places cannot fail to buy the interest any client keen on building up a property empire.

Tax planning for marginal rates - this guide started as a table but we increasingly feature some simple but highly effective techniques for postponing, at the very least, a higher rate tax liability or the HICBC charge for another year.

With yet another disclosure opportunity announced by HMRC; this time for "Health Wellbeing professionals", I bet I am not the only person who is suffering from "disclosure opportunity fatigue". To try and wake up I have created a new guide: Top Ten Tips for those making disclosure opportunities.

A VAT case made the recent headlines: online filing was found to be discriminatory for older and disabled people. Well done to the Low Income Tax Reform Group (LITRG) for helping taxpayers out.

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

Quick news

HMRC says that its planned upgrade to its website from Friday 11th Oct (6am) until Monday 14th Oct (6am): is not happening.

Tribunal finds VAT online filing is discriminatory
A judge decides that regulations which required online filing of VAT returns without providing exemptions for older people, those with disabilities or who lived in parts of the country which were too remote for broadband access, were in breach of the appellants’ human rights and were unlawful under the EU law.

NICs: new guidance for entertainers
HMRC has updated its guidance for actors and other entertainers following the decision in the ITV Services case. Fees paid according to national collective agreements are to be treated as salary for National Insurance purposes.

National minimum wage rates
New rates from 1 Oct 2013.

Gift Aid online filing from October 2013
All Gift Aid returns should be filed online, this may be discriminatory following the Tribunal decision reported above.

High Income Child Benefit Charge (HICBC) & penalties The BBC, some of the papers and HMRC all said that if higher earners who are potentially due to pay the HICBC missed the 5 October deadline to register for Self Assessment they are liable to pay a penalty. With all due respect, there will be no late registration penalty if you register for SA and file your 2013 return and pay your tax on time...and of course, don't make a careless or deliberate mistake.

How to work out the High Income Child Benefit Tax charge
UPDATE: the HICBC is payable when the income of the child benefit claimant or their partner exceeds £50,000 p.a.

When an inspector calls

Health & Wellbeing professionals
NEW disclosure opportunity. Notify HMRC by 31 December 2013.

Let Property Campaign
Aimed at property landlords who have failed to disclose rental income. Unlike other fixed term opportunities this one has apparently no deadlines for registration: it will be open for at least 18 months.

Disclosure Opportunities: Top Tips
NEW: advisers make sure that you understand just how the different rules interact. 

Our Subscriber Toolbox

Property & letting: CGT and IHT issues
UPDATE: you will find the three contrasting cases involving business asset CGT relief and residential properties make interesting reading.

Tax planning for income at marginal tax rates
UPDATE: strategies for avoiding higher rates of tax, in general, for the self employed and for employees and directors.

Directors: tax planning toolkit 2013/14
Add this to your favourites bar. This is a rolling planner, so we continue to update this all year as tax law evolves. The 2013 Finance Act made some significant changes to the tax rules affecting directors, our toolkit provides you and your adviser with a heads up on "what's hot and what's not" in 2013/14.

Directors' loan accounts: toolkit (freeview)
A checklist that details the main tax issues surrounding directors' loans.

Close company loans toolkit
Essential reading 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.

Goodwill: trade related properties
Update: this guide explains HMRC's practice in relation to pubs, nursing homes etc updates its new practice note.

Shares and employees

Employee Shareholder Status - tax & planning
UPDATE: a new type of employee and a new type of employee share scheme.

Employment Related Securities
This explains what happens when you give an employee or director shares outside of an approved share scheme or EMI option scheme.

ABC or alphabet shares: directors & employees
This links you to guides for directors, family companies and employers.

Close Company guides and updates for advisers

Will I pay less tax if I trade via an LLP?
An overview and comparison of key points

Running an LLP in tandem with a company
Tax planning suggestions for alternative structures

Do I pay a salary or dividend?
The tax-planning points and pitfalls of using dividends to create a tax-efficient pay package.

Still coming to terms with the new Finance Act and other recent changes?

Limit (cap) on income tax reliefs
UPDATE: yet more examples of situations which are affected by this cap (from our Virtual Tax Partner helpline), surely this measure needs to be amended?

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.

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.

Can I charge my company rent for use of my home?

  • 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.

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.

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

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