What's the difference between a Self Assessment return containing a Provisional figure and one containing an Estimate? When did the tax return wording on this change? We wondered too. The answer lies in the guide below, in my Editor's Choice.

HMRC has published its latest Agent Update, it contains some useful advice on correcting payroll errors which might come in handy for many of us employers.

If you are helping out with the payroll for one of the 200 employers recently named by the Department of Business & Trade for failing to pay the Minimum Wage, you might also follow the links in the Agent Update to a handy checklist to help employers avoid this underpaying problem. It’s really something that accountants and advisers could be very proactive about, but of course, the problem is always persuading a client that you are adding value. It takes quite some time to make an effective low-pay audit, depending on staffing levels, however, given the high level of fines involved for those who get this wrong (nearly £ 7 million) I wonder if this is a service that more clients should embrace.

We feature three tax tribunal decisions this week where taxpayers all received penalties for getting their tax basics wrong. These included directors and PAYE and claiming Capital Gains Tax (CGT) deductions for items that did not enhance any asset. I always feel sympathetic to all those who have received penalties for not realising that they were liable for the High-Income Child Benefit Charge (HICBC).

Check out our mini-guide to Close Companies, this is a hot topic now that we have a new main rate of Corporation Tax. 

More news and updates below

Back soon, 

Nichola Ross Martin FCA CTA (Fellow)
Tax Director


Your Virtual Tax Partner®: online PRACTICAL support for accountants, tax advisers BY accountants and tax advisers.

Quick News (Freeview)  

Agent Update: August 2023 
HMRC have issued their Agent Update for August 2023. We have summarised the key content for you with links to our detailed guidance on the topics covered.

Tax Cases

RTI returns due for payments to director 
In Purple Sunset Limited v HMRC [2023] TC08880, the First Tier Tribunal (FTT) found that payments made to a director should have been reported under Real-Time Information (RTI) as a director is included in the definition of an employee for RTI purposes.

Basic CGT principles not understood
In John and Janet Beesley v HMRC [2023] TC08871, the First Tier Tribunal (FTT) found that a tax agent had mistakenly claimed a deduction for Capital Gains Tax (CGT) in respect of payments made to redeem a mortgage and made under a personal guaranteed on the disposal of a property and that no Entrepreneurs’ Relief was due either

No exemption from HICBC for someone else's child 
In Stephen Lee v HMRC [2023] TC08872, the First Tier Tribunal (FTT) upheld two of the four assessments for the High Income Child Benefit Charge (HICBC), as not being a parent of the child did not stop the charge applying. No knowledge of his partner's financial position was, however, a reasonable excuse for preventing penalties from arising.

Editor's Choice (Freeview)

Provisional and estimated figures in tax returns 
NEW: What is the difference between a provisional and an estimated figure in a tax return? When should provisional figures be used? What are the reporting requirements? When can HMRC charge a penalty?  

Close Companies: At a glance
What is a close company? What is a participator? Why does it matter? If you are not sure, start here

Guides & Updates (subscription content)


Incorporation: Partnership: Step-by-step
This guide explains step-by-step how to incorporate a partnership. 


Employer’s What’s On: 2023/24
This is an employer update for advisers and their clients covering measures that are new in 2023-24.

Directors & Companies 

Ceasing trading: What are your options? 
What are your options if you are going to cease trading? What processes must be followed if you want to close down a company? What are the tax, company and insolvency law requirements?

Small Producer Relief (alcohol)
A new alcohol duty regime began on 1 August 2023, including two new reliefs for small producers and products sold on draught. It supersedes Small Brewers Relief.

Private Client & Estate Planning

How to calculate a capital gain or loss
How do you calculate a capital gain or loss? What costs are deductible? Can you set losses against capital gains?

Capital Allowances

What expenditure qualifies for plant & machinery allowances?
What is plant and machinery? What expenditure qualifies as plant and machinery? What is treated as part of a building?

Super-deduction & First Year Allowances
What is the Super-deduction? When does it apply and what is the rate of allowance? What is the SR Allowance? What if I dispose of an asset on which the Super-deduction or SR allowance has been claimed? What happens when an accounting period straddles 1 April 2023? 

Full expensing & First Year Allowances
What is full expensing? When does it apply and what is the rate of allowance? How are disposals of full expensing assets dealt with? What assets qualify for the 50% First Year Allowance (FYA)? How do I deal with disposals of 50% FYA assets? How do I make a claim?

Land & Property

A landlord? Start here... 
Essential reading for landlords: our guides take you step-by-step through planning your business for tax purposes and complying with your different tax obligations during the life of your rental business.

Penalties & Compliance

Named tax avoidance schemes, promoters, enablers
UPDATED: This list retains companies that HMRC have officially removed and was originally compiled from HMRC's April 2022 report, with new updates approximately once a month. The list below includes additions (A) since HMRC's April 2023 list. 

VAT Guides & Cases

Flat rate scheme: Farmers
UPDATE: What is the agricultural flat rate scheme? Who can use it? What are the conditions? What is the benefit? What about non-farming income? 

Food: Catering and takeaway
UPDATE: What is the VAT rate charged on food? How does this differ depending on hot or cold food and food consumed on or off the supplier's premises?  

Business splitting and VAT (single business directions)
What is business splitting and why is it used? What are the pitfalls if not done correctly?

CPD for Lunch

Byte-sized chunks of lunchtime CPD for subscribers

More at CPD Index

CPD Workouts

Taking a deeper dive into a range of topical subjects

Tax Tools 

Tax calculators
FREE for subscribers: We have a suite of useful tax tools that help agents, business owners and sole traders calculate their taxes. 

Tax Tools
FREE add-on for subscribers, or available separately

Calendar of tax deadlines and new tax measures
UPDATE: This is a freeview 'At a glance' rolling calendar of common recurring tax deadlines, new tax measures and other tax significant events.  

Tax Queries?

UK Agent for registration of Overseas Entities
Do you require assistance in the registration and verification of an overseas entity that owns UK land or property?

Virtual Tax Partner© Support
Have a tax query? Need a second option? Open a ticket and ask a question. A team of tax experts with a very wide range of expertise: covering direct and indirect tax, as well as accounting, R&D claims, reorganisations and much more.  

Missed Last Time's Web-update?

Nichola's SME Tax W-update 10 August 2023

  • Another HMRC late payment interest rate rise 
  • HMRC reports record levels of CGT 
  • Agents concerned about MTD despite HMRC concessions
  • Field was residential, although it's hard to tell why
  • SRT: Looking after alcoholic twin is not an exceptional circumstance 
  • CGT reporting: when & how? 
  • Anti-Money Laundering: do you need to register? 
  • Probate: At a glance NEW
  • Trust Registration: At a glance NEW
  • Medical clinic supplies standard rated for VAT
  • Employer’s What’s On: 2023/24 UPDATE
  • Structures & Buildings Allowance (SBA) UPDATE
  • National Insurance for landlords UPDATE
  • Education & VAT UPDATE
  • Penalties (VAT) UPDATE ...More

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