HMRC say that a third of self assessment returns (that is something approaching 3 million returns) are still outstanding this year. Given that there are more self employed people than there have ever been before, and that HMRC also appear to require some taxpayers who do not need to file, to file,  I wonder how many are really outstanding.

We are often asked the question 'Do I need to file a tax return?' The answer to that depends on whether you have been asked to file a return or whether you need to notify chargeability or need to claim some kind of relief. I am not mad about HMRC's guidance on this topic, and if you are a regular reader of our tax case summaries you will note that the tribunals have something to say on that too. We have new guides on this for you this week.

Anyway, as the deadline looms, do remember that if you are going to be late filing a return, if you pay the tax you owe (or as best an estimate as you can manage) on time, you may save yourself substantial penalties and interest. Many types of penalties are charged on the basis of outstanding tax, i.e. failure to notify, late payment and penalties for error or mistake. My other top tip is that if you make an estimate in your return, you can save yourself the potential cost of an investigation and penalties by ticking the use of estimates box and detailing what you have done in the white space of the tax return. 

We will give self assessment a rest next week!

If you have any tax queries please do try out our Virtual Tax Partner support portal at www.VtaxP.co.uk: subscribers you are entitled to free quick queries so do ask.

Enjoy the guides and updates and the news is below. 

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 (freeview)

Help to Save start date delayed
The new government backed Help to Save scheme, offering up to £1,200 tax free bonuses to low income savers, is to be delayed and will now open to eligible persons from 15 October 2018.

High Income Child Benefit Charge: authorising agents
A new form has been published for use by taxpayers who want an agent to deal with HMRC on their behalf in relation to the High Income Child Benefit Charge (HICBC).

Case Update (freeview)

No penalty: HMRC issued the Return for the wrong reason
In Goldsmith v HMRC [2018] TC06284, the First Tier Tribunal (FTT) held that no late filing penalties could be charged as the tax returns were issued for the wrong reason. They had been issued to create an enforceable debt not to establish liability.

Penalties: LLPs not required to file tax returns
In Margott as representative member of MDL Property Consultants LLP v HMRC [2017] TC06278, the First Tier Tribunal held an LLP is not required to file a partnership return, but also gave a number of alternate judgments removing late filing penalties on the basis that the taxpayer had a reasonable excuse.

"Hopeless" Personal Liability Notice quashed
In Darren Cresswell v HMRC [2017] TC06274, the First-Tier Tribunal quashed a 'hopeless' Personal Liability Notice which was out of time and not backed up by any evidence.

Editor's Choice (subscribers)  

Do I have to file a tax return?
NEW: There is often confusion about who has to file a self-assessment return so we have created a new guide to explain it all.

Do I have to file a tax return? (Directors)
UPDATE: version for directors with case law.

2016/17 Self asssessment toolkit
A summary of top tips for dealing with last minute tax returns; what not to forget, and how to protect against enquiries.

National Insurance: what is the maximum payable?
We have received a number of queries where HMRC seems to be substituting an incorrect computation of the Class 4 NIC due, which ignores the limit on annual NIC, on submitted tax returns. This guide sets out the computation to check the correct NIC is being paid.

Tax Guides and Updates (subscribers) 

SDLT: Exempt Transfers
Certain transfers are exempt from SDLT due to their nature and we have now created a short guide to these.

Disguised Remuneration: applying to postpone your tax charge
Following the introduction of the disguised remuneration loan charge with effect from 6 April 2019, HMRC have now released the required form (DR100) to make an application to postpone the charge. This is a guide on how to complete the form.

Welsh Income Tax
From April 2019, Welsh Taxpayers will be subject to Welsh Tax rather than UK rates on most income.

Welsh Taxpayers
ollowing on from the above, who is a Welsh Taxpayer?

Help to save scheme
Help to Save is a new Government backed scheme to help working people on low incomes build up their savings. It works by giving them up to £1,200 in tax free bonuses over a four year period. 

Offshore Evasion: Requirement to Correct
UPDATE: the new requirement to correct rules are in full flow despite the legislation not yet receiving Royal Assent. The 30 September 2018 deadline will quickly come around.

VAT (freeview)

Crowdfunding triggers VAT registration
In Lunar Missions Limited v HMRC [2018] TC06286, the First-Tier Tribunal (FTT) concluded that the receipt of funds raised on Kickstarter triggered an obligation to register for VAT.

VAT (subscribers)

Time of supply
UPDATE: the time of supply rules will influence when you have to register for VAT and when you have to pay VAT.

Flat rate scheme
UPDATE: now includes a table showing what to include in each box of the VAT return.

UPDATE: the draft secondary legislation is undergoing consultation and includes software requirements, retention of records, what must be kept, and using spreadsheets.

CPD Webinars

New CPD click here

Cleansing Relief
Cleansing relief can be used by non-UK domiciliaries to separate out mixed funds so as to avoid inadvertent remittances.

Non-resident Landlords update
A guide to non-resident landlords and recent cases.

Missed last time's update?

Nichola's SME Tax w-update to 18 January 2018


  • Self-employed: what expenses can I claim?
  • Personal allowance: who is entitled to claim?
  • Non-resident CGT: UK residential property
  • VAT: Land and Property (notes)
  • and much more..

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