This week we have been updating some of our "old favourites" such as "Do I pay a salary or dividend for 2014/15?", and "Salary for 2014/15 to avoid NICs and penalties", as well as much of our tax data sections. Of course these things may change following the budget in a couple of weeks but we will just have to wait and see what happens.

Tax planning these days is as much about managing compliance risk as saving tax. Having wasted many hours in this office trying to track where HMRC has allocated some of our PAYE payments this year, it strikes me that if you are an owner-managed company and want an easy life the best bet is to register for an annual payroll scheme under RTI. One return, one payment and then possibly a small panic at the year end - by that stage you will have forgotten that you had an annual scheme!

Scroll on down for more news, my highlights of this edition are the SDLT aspects of renewables leases (I know a lot of firms have clients who have been undertaking some quite large renewables schemes), and also the outcome of the Secret Hotels VAT case which concerns whether a website is acting as principal or agent. An interesting read.

Follow the links below for summaries and briefings.

Best wishes

Nichola Ross Martin FCA
Tax Director

Your online Virtual Tax Partner®: practical support for accountants, tax advisers and their clients

News and freeview

Employee benefits: backdated laundry allowance for MOD
HMRC confirms back-dating to 2008: a claim is required

Employees and pool cars: risk of vandalism no excuse
The tribunal confirmed (yet again) that security and the avoidance of vandalism are irrelevant when it comes to satisfying the conditions for a car to be a ‘pool car’.

VAT: an interesting case for online marketing
In HMRC v Secret Hotels2 Limited [2014] UKSC 16, the Supreme Court held that a holiday company (SH2) was an agent for a disclosed principal (or “intermediary”), rather than a principal; and was not liable for the £7.1 million of VAT that HMRC had claimed.

SDLT: grant of land or roof space lease for renewables
Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) may apply in connection with the grant of a lease for airspace or roof-space for the installation of solar panels where the landlord is given a right to receive energy in return.

SDLT and Scotland
New taxes for Scotland. From April 2015 Stamp Duty Land Tax will no longer apply to land transactions in Scotland. It will be replaced by Land and Buildings Transaction Tax.

TV company wants your views on investigations
Tiger Aspect, a London-based television production company, is working on a three-part documentary series about tax. It is looking to talk to accountants and advisers to understand their views on tax and investigations and HMRC.

Subscribers: new guides and updates

Salary 2014/15 (avoiding NICs & penalties)
NEW: what is the optimal monthly or weekly salary that can be paid by an employer without incurring a liability for the employer or employee for National Insurance (NICs)?

Do I pay a salary or dividend? 2014/15
NEW: this guide explores the tax-planning points and pitfalls of using dividends to create a tax-efficient pay package.

Employee benefits: pool cars
UPDATE: a summary of the qualifying conditions and update on case law.

Editor's choice

Tax planning for 2013/14 year end
A handy aide memoire for "Private Clients", Directors, Employees and Self-employed individuals.

Wholly and exclusively…update
ESSENTIAL READING: if you are slightly baffled by the decision in the Dr Samadian doctor's travel case then start here and it will all become quite clear. We explain why the tribunal came to different decisions for the different journeys.

RTI Annual Schemes
UPDATE: don' forget to register at the start of the new tax year.

Partnerships: new tax rules for 2014/15
Salaried members and profit allocations, with anti-forestalling measures affecting year ends which span 6 April 2014.

The General Anti-Abuse Rule: agent briefing (subscriber view)
NEW: this briefing note looks at the key features of the General Anti-Abuse Rule (GAAR) contained within the Finance Act 2013, what areas of tax it covers and what you need to know about the provisions it contains when considering tax planning.

Top Tips for directors

Converting part of a home into an office 
How to create a tax-efficient home office.

Directors' tax planning toolkit 2013/14 
Our rolling planner which is updated throughout the year

Employee Shareholder Status - tax & planning
NEW: the new measures introducing a new category of employee share owner are interesting for all sizes of companies. Our guide explains all.

Disincorporation relief
New: a summary of the proposed rules. You may also sign up for our new Masterclass.

ABC or alphabet shares: directors & employees
UPDATE: essential reading for directors.

Essential basics

Purchase (repurchase) of own shares
Step-by-step guide to ensure Companies Act and tax compliance is met to allow a repayment to be treated as capital in the hands of the outgoing shareholder.

Working from home (directors)
UPDATE: the same rules apply to home working directors as other employees. However, a directors is more likely to be able to charge rent and there may be some additional issues and complications by virtue of their office.

Can I charge my company rent for use of my home?

  • Recharging the company, on the same basis as a conventional home working employee for a proportion of your bills and running costs. This is explained in Working from home (directors) or
  • Formalising a licence agreement with your company in order to allow it to occupy part of your property. It then pays you rent and service charges and you then claim all your expenses under self-assessment...More

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