What a week! So much for the first days of Spring.

It feels like Armageddon has arrived: the 'Beast from the East' nearly brought the country to a standstill, the Brexit negotiations leave no one any the wiser as to a) what they want and b) whether we would want it anyway. Putin is going to blow us all up and North Korea is going to brain-zap its cheerleaders. One bit of cheer is that Walmart is going to stop selling guns to teenagers. Can things get worse? I bet they can!

Tax seems a pretty mundane topic in comparison to the woes of the world, however a few things to note this week.

HMRC have just published the new form R43. This is the form that you can use to 'claim your personal allowance and tax refunds if you are not resident in the UK'. It looks like a short tax return, it requires the same details, however if you are a non-resident landlord and have had tax deducted don't fill this in and expect a refund! It seems that HMRC ignores you. I have a string of these cases and I am as baffled as to the purpose of the R43 as HMRC's staff are who write to me on this topic.

HMRC have now updated their guidance on what amounts to reasonable care; this follows the changes made in 2017 to Schedule 24 Penalties for Errors. Worth a read if you have taken part in a defeated tax avoidance scheme.

On the subject of tax avoidance, the new anti-disguised remuneration measures will result in a very high tax charge unless you tidy up your affairs. This applies to almost anyone with an outstanding EBT loan.

We have a Land and Property update for you this time.

Onto one of my favourite topics, tax appeals; I have created a new delux tax appeal form. This is based on the template that we use and links to our topical guidance on appeals. 

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)

Advisory Fuel Rates from 1 March 2018
HMRC have published new advisory fuel rates for company car drivers which will apply from 1 March 2018.

Further clarification for online trust registrations
With the deadline for online registration of existing trusts approaching, HMRC have provided further clarification in respect of trusts created by wills and deeds of variation, corrections to online registrations and trusts paying stamp duty.

Employee reward schemes: HMRC wins fifth GAAR case
In 2017 the General Anti-Abuse Rule advisory panel has released its fifth opinion in respect of employee reward schemes. 

Consultation: Extension of Offshore Time Limits
HMRC have published a consultation on Extension of Offshore Time Limits, which looks at giving HMRC 12 years in which to raise assessments where there is “non-deliberate offshore non-compliance”.

Case Update (freeview)

HMRC penalty double fail
In Bells Financial Services Ltd v HMRC [2018] TC06326 HMRC’s system was confused by a leap year and HMRC’s arguments about when accounting periods begin and end were “simply wrong”. Further, a penalty automatically issued by a computer was invalid: it was not issued by 'an officer of the board'.

Software excuses are not without limit
In Khalid Bhatti v HMRC [2018] TC06332, payroll software issues were not a reasonable excuse for late filing of PAYE returns under Real Time Information (RTI): software issues had been claimed in earlier years with promises of future compliance

CIS filing is stressful (reasonable excuse)
In BTN Flooring Ltd v HMRC [2018] TC06323, the First Tier Tribunal (FTT) cancelled penalties for late filed Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) returns as a combination of not having access codes and chronic stress gave the taxpayer a reasonable excuse for their failure.

The right to ask is an offer
In HMRC v NT Ada Limited [2018] UKUT 0059 (TCC), the Upper Tribunal (UT) found that HMRC failing to offer a Statutory Review would not invalidate a penalty notice, though one was offered in this case. 

Editor's Choice (subscribers)  

Client guide: what is reasonable care?
UPDATE: HMRC have now updated their guidance on this topic following changes made by Finance (No 2) 2017 Act. You can be automatically deemed to be careless if you participate in a defeated tax avoidance scheme.

Property profits & losses: toolkit (2018-19)
NEW: Guide for dealing with property businesses in the 2018/19 tax year.

Tax Guides and Updates (subscribers) 

Scottish tax: Land and Buildings Transaction Tax
UPDATE: From 1 April 2018 returns will be required for the first time in respect of the requirement for a three year review of the NPV of leases on Scottish properties. Our guide now has more details in this respect.

Disguised remuneration
UPDATE: The April 2019 loan charge could result in an effective tax rate of nearly 61%! See our guide for more detail on how the charge works.

Disguised remuneration (final?) settlement opportunity
UPDATE: Users of disguised remuneration schemes now only have three months to register for the settlement opportunity and settle with HMRC before the April 2019 loan charge is due. This is likely to reduce in a lower tax rate than paying the loan charge.

Savings income: tax on interest
UPDATE: For 2018/19 tax rates, allowances and examples. 

Tax Appeals 

Self Assessment: Appeal Form (SA307 enhanced)
NEW: This is our enhanced version of HMRC's SA307 Penalty Appeal form. Please read in conjunction with our Grounds for Appeal Toolkit and our guide How to Appeal a Tax Penalty.

How to Appeal a Tax Penalty
UPDATE: a treasure-trove of useful and practical know-how to assist you in your drafting.

Grounds for Appeal
UPDATE: Make sure that if you appeal you clearly state your grounds for appeal. We summarise your options and link to useful cases on each topic.


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Nichola's SME Tax w-update to 23 February 2018


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