We have a draft Finance Bill for 2019 and some interesting changes coming up.

My highlights of the Bill are the propsed changes to Rent a Room relief, extending the Non-Resident's CGT regime to commerical property, a new 30-day CGT payment window, the introduction of new extended Discovery time limits for offshore offences and new late filing penalties for Making Tax Digital. Not too many! 

Luckily changes will not apply until next year and MTD penalties will not apply before 2020.

Musing over HMRC's litigation and settlement policy, I note this week that India's tax authorities have decided not to litigate on low value cases below Rs 5,600 (about £63). This will wipe out approximately 41% of their outstanding cases. On a cost v benefits basis, this makes commercial sense. Given the huge backlog of low value tax penalty appeals, maybe HMRC might consider a similar measure. 

It is almost impossible not to be enraged by the comments of the US president to the press today on Brexit and the London mayor doing "a bad job" on terrorism. There appears to be popular agreement that disruption is good, however it is blindingly obvious that trade deals are easy to strike if you are the world's no. 1 economy and I find Trump's outspoken form of politics at best unhelpful and at worst verging on racist and misogynist. 

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 CTA (Fellow) Tax Director


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

Quick news (freeview)

Finance Bill 2019 published
The draft bill is open for comment: highlights include restrictions on rent a room relief, changes to discovery assessment limits for offshore matters, new penalties for Making Tax Digital. 

Schedule 36 Information Notices
New consultation proposes extending HMRC's powers in respect of third party and banking data.

Tax Guides & Updates

Discovery: 12 year time limit for offshore non-compliance
HMRC proposes to extends the time limits for Discovery assessments where there is “non-deliberate offshore non-compliance”.

Tax Avoidance involving Profit Fragmentation: condoc response
New measures to prevent offshore ‘Tax Avoidance involving Profit Fragmentation’. 

30 day CGT payment window for residential property
Taxpayers who dispose of residential property will soon have to pay tax on capital gain within 30 days. 

Extending NRCGT to commerical property
Draft legislation and policy notes detail radical changes to the non-resident capital gains regime.  

Allowing Entrepreneurs' Relief on diluted shares: consultation response
Some shareholders to retain ER when a company ceases to be a personal company due to a fundraise.

Rent a room relief - consultation response
The introduction of a new shared occupancy condition.

Case Update (freeview)

Exceptional holiday let just qualifies for BPR
In The Personal Representatives of Grace Joyce Graham (deceased) v HMRC [2018] TC06536 the First Tier tribunal (FTT) agreed that Business Property Relief (BPR) applied to a holiday lettings business; the level of services provided were just enough for it to fall on the “mainly non-investment” side of the line.

Tax avoidance litigation scores: HMRC 23: Taxpayers 0
HMRC have published their tax avoidance litigation decision results for 2017 to 2018 which show 23 cases won by HMRC, none lost and one mixed result.

Editor's Choice (subscribers)  

Points mean penalties
NEW penalty system for Making Tax Digital.

Penalties: deliberate failure to file
NEW ehanced penalty system for those who deliberately withhold information from HMRC by failing to file their tax returns.

Tax Guides and Updates (subscribers) 

Profit fragmentation
NEW: Following the recent consultation response and draft finance bill we have created a new guide explaining how these complex new rules, expected to be in force from April 2019, will work.

Disclosure of offshore income & assets: briefing
UPDATE: there have been so many recent and forthcoming changes in this area that our guide was due a rewrite.


We are giving VAT a rest this week as there is plenty being reported next time.

CPD Webinars

New CPD click here

Missed last time's update?

Nichola's SME Tax w-update 6 July 2018


  • HMRC's CEST tool (IR35) and mutuality
  • HMRC's litigation and settlement strategy
  • SEIS and EIS topical cases and updates
  • Disguised remuneration FAQ update
  • Trusts
  • VAT: mail order retailers 
  • VAT: when you are an agent
  • and much more..

Come and join our Cloud

Subscribe (and UNLOCK the whole site) A single user annual subscription is £365 (+ 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 2,500 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.