This time we have a new guide on Employee (share) Ownership Trusts; these may be an interesting idea for some client companies and also an alternative mechanism for succession planning.

Various HMRC and Treasury tax consultations are ending and when the chancellor delivers his Autumn Statement on 3 December we will learn what new powers parliament intends to give HMRC in the 2015 Finance Bill. As many employers are aware, the RTI PAYE reporting system is not functioning as planned. We have an ongoing issue of duplicate records and many employees have had their tax assessed incorrectly by HMRC and are still on the wrong codes. Given the scale of this problem it might be cavalier ofMPs to give HMRC the power to take tax debts directly from people's bank accounts, as outlined in the Budget earlier in the year. One new power which we are all pretty sure will go through is the creation of a new criminal offence for failing to disclose offshore bank accounts. If people do not have their affairs in order (disclosed), now is probably a good time to do so. The link to HMRC's voluntary disclosure helpline is below.

Following Finance Act 2014 we have a penalty for pretty much anything you do or don't do in tax and I have been updating our adviser penalty planners.

On a lighter note, I was disturbed to find that HMRC thought it would waste taxpayer money on trying to work out if a Snowball is a sweet or a cake for VAT purposes. Cakes are zero rated, but confectionary is standard rated. I propose a new test which will save lots of money! In cases where the disputed item is clearly confectionary of some kind but not a biscuit just ask whether the item is one which you would expect served with afternoon tea. 

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

Vans new benefits charge in 2015/16
Act now: employers with zero emissions vehicles asked to contact HMRC by 12 December.

National Minimum Wage
Increased to £6.50 from 1 October.

Let them eat...VAT
Tribunal confirms that Snowballs are cakes.

Consultation watch: failure to disclose offshore bank accounts
This is set to become a criminal offence.

HMRC Credit Card Sales Campaign
The latest disclosure opportunity for those who have not yet registered their business of tax or underdeclared their takings.

Voluntary Disclosure Helpline
How do you disclose taxable income out of time?

Client Briefing

Employee Ownership Trusts: an new exit route for owner-managers?
Briefing for directors and their advisers.

Essential reading

The Advisers' penalty planner
Win friends and scare clients: what penalty applies to what, why and when.

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.

New Penalties

Penalties: Stamp Duty
New penalties for late returns. Don't forget to stamp a purchase of own shares.

Penalties: Employment intermediaries (inc.agencies)
New penalties to accompany new reporting regime. Get systems in place now.

Penalties: employee share returns
Annual filing obligation for gifts of shares to employees/directors and for share scheme reporting. Have you registered via PAYE online yet?

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. 

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

Director's service contract

Shareholders' agreement

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.

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

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

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.

Subscribe now

Come and join our Cloud

Subscribe (and UNLOCK the whole site) A single user annual subscription is £325 (+ VAT)

What do you get?

  • We keep YOU up to date in SME tax.
  • FULL access to www.rossmartin.co.uk: your firm's personal TAX INTRANET containing over 1,200 actively maintained tax guides, briefings, toolkits and checklists.
  • Want to know more? Commission your own articles and checklists.
  • Structured CPD:our detailed SME tax updates "for Advisers Only" provide topical summaries and planning notes.
  • Regular client tax briefings cover the latest business and employment tax issues and are designed to assist you plan meetings and improve your client services.
  • Nichola’s regular SME tax news web-update: we do the reading and cherry-pick the best of the taxpress, magazines and websites for you.
  • You can also commission guides and checklists for your own practice, post comments and upload your own articles.
  • Access to the Virtual Tax Partner ® service provides subscribers with FREE quick calls and a discount of on phone, email and tax support and mentoring.