Happy New Year! Writing this year's guide to Tax Planning for the 2015/16 year end has been an enlightening experience following all the changes and proposals to tax over the last 12 months.

It is relatively easy for us to keep up with all the new developments in tax because maintaining and updating this service is what we do for you (almost 24/7 at the moment!). I genuinely would be terrified to be in public practice without this service. Sorry that sounds a bit conceited, but I am grateful for your support and enthusiasm, so keep those queries coming in.

Topical news in the New Year has been the massive opposition to HMRC's proposal to force quarterly digital accounting on the self employed. As if people don't have enough red tape. It seems about time that some civil servants and MPs left their cosy desks and found out what really happens when you run a business. Over 105,000 people have signed a petition against the measure. I love technology but no 'app' is ever going to help me chase debtors, phone BT when the internet does not work, or contact HMRC, so why on earth does HMRC think that a smartphone is capable of maintaining accounts on its own? A robot might help (an accountant would be better!) but an app is no more than software linking more software.

Back soon

Nichola Ross Martin FCA Tax Director


Your Virtual Tax Partner®: online PRACTICAL support for accountants & tax advisers BY accountants & tax advisers

Quick News

Quarterly reporting plans prove unpopular
The government's plans to make all the self employed report to HMRC on a quarterly basis are proving to be deeply unpopular with taxpayers. 

Tribunal fees to be introduced despite opposition
The government is to proceed with the introduction of fees in the Tax Chamber of the Tribunal Service despite the strong opposition to the proposals.

Dividends: new rules from April 2016
Link to this popular guide with workings.

Editor's Choice: Essential reading

Tax planning for the 2015/16 year end
NEW: for private clients, directors and business owners. Year end tax planning, topical tips and planning points for discussion with your clients. Schedule those meetings now.

Buy to let: incorporation
NEW: at a glance guide. 

Buy to let: personal or company
UPDATE: rewritten to include case study to show tax outcomes for higher rate taxpayers.

Practical Tax Guides & Updates - for subscribers

Farmers' averaging relief
NEW: a guide to farmers' averaging relief with worked examples.  Includes details of proposed changes from April 2016.

Companies: interest paid to directors and individuals
UPDATE: guide to receiving interest on loans to limited companies, updated to include worked examples for 2015/16 and 2016/17.

SDLT & residential property: higher rate consultation
NEW: details of the scope of the proposed 3% SDLT surcharge on transactions involving residential property completed on or after 1 April 2016.

Non-domiciles & tax
UPDATE: this guide examines the current tax treatment for non-UK domiciles and reviews the proposed changes to the domicile rules and IHT and non-domiciles from April 2017.

HMRC Powers and Penalties: Updates

Direct Recovery of Debts
UPDATE: HMRC have published a policy paper detailing how vulnerable debtors will be identified

New GAAR penalties
NEW: Proposals to impose an additional 60% penalty for using arrangements which come within the scope of the General Anti Avoidance Rules (GAAR).

Penalties: serial tax scheme use
NEW: HMRC proposes to penalise taxpayers who repeatedly enter into defeated tax avoidance schemes, and potentially to deny them access to certain tax reliefs.

HMRC to extend data gathering powers
NEW: HMRC are seeking to extend their existing data collecting powers to keep up with changing technology and payment methods.

Tackling offshore evasion
UPDATE: draft legislation and consultation responses have been published relating to the four consultations launched in Summer 2015 relating to a new regime to crack down on offshore tax evaders.


Missed last time's update?

Nichola's SME Tax Update 18 December 2015

Features updates for:

  • Land & property
  • Small companies & OMBs
  • Savings Income: Tax on interest
  • Trivial benefits exemption
  • HMRC's latest Employer Bulletin and Agent Update

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