I was thinking that we might have a bit of time to relax post-January, but not a chance. I was working out the top things to do in practice this year and it made me feel slightly ill. I started to write a "top ten" list for this month for SME advisers and came up with the suggestions below, I realise that this is just the tip of the iceberg:

1) Arrange pre-year-end tax planning meetings with: private clients, directors and sole traders and not forgetting any company with a year-end soon.
2) Price up and then set up new Registers of Persons of Significant Control for all incorporated clients.
3) Work out who needs to be notified under the Common Reporting Standard (anyone with an offshore asset).
4) Decide whether to incorporate buy-to-lets before the SDLT increases in April.
5) Set up Employers for the new expenses and benefit reporting.
6) Review Sole traders travel expenses so that they do not get caught out by the Dr Samadian rules.
7) Discuss the impact of the new travel expense and subsistence rules with personal service company owners.
8) Make sure that all clients with multiple homes are reviewed for the more obscure sections of Private Residence Relief.
9) Read "the riot" act to anyone operating a pool car scheme (they all forget the rules, see last week's case write up).
10) Auto-enrol your own firm for pensions lest you have forgotten.

We have a lot of updates and some quick news for you this week. We also have some new guides, including Sole Trader v Limited Company: tax differences and savings (2016/17). This particular one will evolve further once we have the Budget in March, but it is worth a read through as it pulls together a lot of really interesting points for clients. Please do ask if we do not have a guide that you would like.

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

Proposals to require agents to write to clients on HMRC's behalf
From April 2016 HMRC will be requiring us to notify our clients about the "Common Reporting Standard". This measure was included in the 2015 Finance Act (no.2). HMRC will provide the wording. The tax bodies are not too impressed with the fact that this consultation was only open for 12 days.

What is the 2016/17 PAYE code?
HMRC are beginning to issue new employee tax codes to use from 6 April 2016.  We have a quick guide to the 2016/17 PAYE code and rolling forward employee codes for next year's payroll.

Register of persons with significant control (at a glance) 
Slimmed down freeview guide: subscribers, scroll down to see your client briefing below.

Making tax digital: HMRC's "myth buster"
Take this "with a pinch of salt", apparently the self employed won't be reporting to HMRC four times a year after all. We think there is some "spin" as the minister gave a different version of the proposal when he talked to MPs last week. We leave you to judge for yourselves.

Case Update

EBTs' exclusion from the LDF was fair
In R (on the application of City Shoes Wholesale Ltd) v HMRC [2016] EWHX  107 (Admin) an application for judicial review was denied to nine EBT operators who were refused the benefits of the LDF.

Another doctor's travel and subsistence claim fails
In Dr Sharat Jain v HMRC TC 04788 [2015], an NHS consultant who carried on private insurance work at weekends from various hospitals was disallowed his home to travel and subsistence costs. They were not wholly and exclusively incurred: the FTT applied the reasoning from the Dr Samadian decision. 

Practical Tax Guides & Updates - for subscribers

Sole trader v. limited company: tax differences & savings (2016/17 on)
NEW: is it more tax efficient to trade as a sole trader or via a company? This handy guide and client briefing compares one trading structure with the another and provides an excellent set of crib notes for discussion with any start up or sole trader. It is also contains very handy summary of all the tax essentials that you have to consider if you run a company. A good tool marketing.

Register of Persons with Significant Control (PSC) (client briefing)
NEW: company, SE and LLP clients must keep a PSC register from 6 April 2016. This briefing explains their obligations.

Direct Recovery of Debts 
UPDATED: more detail on identifying vulnerable taxpayers

Pensions planning for directors and Pensions tax rules and planning
UPDATED: further details to explain the tapered annual allowance

Employers What's On
UPDATED: with additional guidance about voluntary payrolling, including sample letter to use to notify employees affected by it.  Also an online form to use to apply for bespoke scale rates for paid and reimbursed expenses.

Editor's choice: 

Private Client: Tax planning for the 2015/16 year end
Our unique year-end and new tax year tax checklist for "Private Clients", it can be used in conjunction with our checklists for Directors, Employers and Self-employed individuals.

Buy-to-let ownership: personal or via a company
What works better, considering the above changes? Holding a buy-to-let property investment personally or via a company? 

Share schemes: employment related securities
With the changes to the dividend rules, why not make you employee a shareholder?  Here we compare EMI with ESS with an unapproved scheme. Which one is best, can we combine them? This guide explores the different schemes. If you have a query give us a call to talk it over.

Small Company Tax: What's new?
From dividend tax to proposals to restrict tax relief on liquidation. The latest changes and proposals for 2016/17 affecting small company taxation.

Missed last time's update?

Nichola's SME Tax Update 5 February 2016

Features updates for:

  • Deemed domicile status
  • Employers' NIC for apprentices under 25
  • Share schemes: employment related securities
  • Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS)
  • Planning for the 2015/16 year end
  • Planning ahead for 2016/17

Come and join our Cloud

Subscribe (and UNLOCK the whole site) A single user annual subscription is £349 (+ 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 1,500 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 & our NEW webcasts provide you with structured CPD at your desk.
  • Regular client tax briefings: these 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.