This time: HMRC is consulting a new quarterly reporting requirement for agencies in its efforts to clamp down on "false self-employment". With this comes yet another harsh penalty regime with fines of up to £3,000 for failing to retain records. This all follows HMRC's changes to the agency rules back in April. 

The press has been buzzing in recent weeks with HMRC's "new" power to collect tax debts from PAYE. Strangely some people seem to have missed that this was subject to consultation as long ago as 2013. Unlike HMRC's proposals for the direct recovery of tax debts from taxpayer's bank accounts this measure contains graduated limits and does not apply to PAYE underpayments or SA balancing payments.

Talking of PAYE related matters, late filing RTI penalties now apply to those who employ 50 or more people. 

On share schemes, one year in and the Employee Shareholder Status (ESS) share scheme is turning out to be more popular than its critics expected. It can be an attractive scheme for companies such as accountants to offer their staff as their activities would not be qualifying for say EMI options. We have good practical guides on shares and share schemes and this time many other updates.

Scroll down for news and updates.

Best wishes

Nichola Ross Martin FCA Tax Director


Your online Virtual Tax Partner®: practical support for accountants, tax advisers and their clients.

Quick News

Employment intermediaries: new quarterly reporting requirement
In its continuing efforts to clamp down on the practice of “disguised self-employment” HMRC is proposing the introduction of a new quarterly reporting regime for agencies and intermediaries who supply self-employed workers. New penalties expected to also apply from 2015.

Collection tax debts via PAYE
Tax debts will be collected from PAYE on a graduated scale. If you earn less than £30,000, the maximum adjustment is £3,000 a maximum tax debt of £17,000 could be coded out for a person with earnings of over £90,000.  It will never be more than 50% of earnings. The new limit does not apply to PAYE underpayments and SA instalments.

Changes to the remittance basis
Withdrawal of HMRC concession affects loans raised overseas. 

Illegal state aid? The UK's sweetheart deals for big business
Brussels finds that Apple's tax breaks in Ireland are illegal. Scope for turning the UK into a tax haven now limited.

Calls to stem tax scheme opinions by tax avoidance barristers
A leading tax barrister has criticised the members of his profession who are prepared to accept a fat fee in return for issuing overly favourable opinions on tax avoidance schemes.

6 things to do when employing staff
Top tips for employers (from HMRC)

Quick cases

Special Relief claims fails for unreliable witness
In Donald Fitzroy Currie v HMRC [2014] TC 03997 a taxpayer was denied relief in respect of his out of time appeal against determinations made by HMRC. He changed his evidence and the tribunal took the view that he had undeclared income.

Bad leaver clause: not unfair to shareholder
Cautionary tale : in Richard Anthony Moxton v. Litchfield & Ors [2013] the court confirmed a company's bad leaver provisions when there were conflicts in drafting between the Shareholders' Agreement and Articles of Association and questions as to the legal enforceability of other agreements which might also affect the Articles. 

Opps, a costly error in forgetting about VAT in a contract
In CLP Holding v Singh and Kaur [2014] EWCA Civ 1103 the seller of a VAT opted property was left with a VAT bill after failing to provide for VAT in the sales contract.

Tribunal restricts Sch 36 information notice in business records check
HMRC can only request information on statutory records. A question such as “what do you do with monies at the end of the working day?” is unreasonable. 

Subscriber updates - Essential reading

Schedule 36 Information Notices
UPDATE: a practice guide to HMRC's powers and use of information notices, contains case summaries and practical points on making appeals.

Special Relief
Has HMRC issued a determination and penalties? Are you out of time for normal appeal? Try Special Relief: top tips, case law and practical points.

Employee Shareholder Status (ESS) share schemes
UPDATE: the government's new share scheme is proving more popular than many expected, read on.

Goodwill and FRS102
NEW: briefing on the new standard and tax

How to appeal a tax penalty
Step by step guide to appeals and case management.

Employment-related securites: share scheme basics
Giving shares to a director or employee? They are employment-related, this is a step-by-step guide to employee share ownership.

Finance Act 2014 new guides

Finance Act 2014: tax update & rolling planner
Update: you won't ever feel overwhelmed with the size of the Finance Act with our guide to what's hot in SME taxes.

Shares, securities and options: tax compliance
NEW: employers must register new share schemes online or face large fines, this includes unapproved share schemes, such as the gift of shares to a new director. This contains practical points and examples. 

Accelerated Payment & Follower Notices

NEW: clients who have used tax schemes or have ongoing tax enquiries may find themselves subject to a Follower Notice: comply now or face a fine. If you have taken part in any of the well publicised schemes that have failed in the courts then expect an Accelerated Payment Notice. There is an appeal process.

UK Agencies & Offshore intermediaries
At a glance guide to the changes to the agency rules from 6 April 2014 which are designed to stamp out "false self employment". This guide contains both new and old rules.

Editor's choice

Close company loans toolkit
This guide takes a detailed look at the corporation tax treatment when a close company makes a loan to a participator (director-shareholder). It also provides links to our guides for individuals on the making of loans to companies.

Director's loan account toolkit
HMRC instructs staff to examine directors' private expenditure during the course of an enquiry into a close company's books and records. In most cases, the company will be expected to produce a transaction history of any director's loan or current account.

Director's tax planning toolkit 2014/15
This year's toolkit, like all our maintained guides a rolling planner so we keep updating it when we find practical points that will interest you.

Entrepreneurs' Relief
The latest version of this guide answers your FAQs.If you have any other queries - just ask!

Furnished Holiday Letting
The latest version of our guide considers issues of joint property v partnerships, IHT and ER.

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