This time, I recommend you have a speed read of the items in our 'Being Digital' section. Even if you don't like a conspiracy you will shudder at some of the findings in the Common's Culture, Media and Sports committee. MPs also recommend further education on the 'dark ways' of social media, and so I have created a FAQs on what happens to your data.

Normally this time of year is known as 'the silly season' as everyone is on holiday and so the press have to make up stories. Yesterday's rise in interest rates seems to have put paid to that and an interview with the Bank of England's Mark Carney this morning indicates the prospect of further rate increases. One for the economists: I cannot see that our economy is overheating (ignoring the weather) I was wondering if anyone else thinks that we are moving into a time of a new variant of 'stagflation'? Basically, low economic growth, high levels of low paid employment (with rising low paid self employment) and rising prices. Interested to know what anyone else thinks. I try not to be politically biased but the prospect of a no deal Brexit fills me with gloom. 

On a more cheery note, as the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) notes in its new paper on taxing digital platforms, digital platforms are a rising area of the economy. We can testify to that, millions of you are visiting this site and I have to say a massive 'thank you very much' for your continued and loyal support. It is also interesting from the OTS report (link below) that the highest growth in terms of workers on digital platforms is in professional work, not taxi drivers. We are recruiting again and so if what we does interests you, ping me.

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)

Decline in number of non-UK domiciled taxpayers
Non-dom taxpayers in the UK decreased by 24% for 2016/17 compared to the previous year. 

Draft 'Registration of Overseas Entities' bill released for consultation
The government have issued draft legislation for consultation on the creation of a register of beneficial owners of overseas entities owning UK property intended to take effect from 2021.

Tax Credits: Contact HMRC 
The Low Incomes Tax Reform Group (LITRG) is urging people to contact HMRC if they have missed the 31 July 2018  tax credits renewals deadline

Being Digital (freeview)

OTS: new PAYE rules for online platforms?
Should platforms deduct tax at source? A bit like PAYE or maybe more like CIS and, what about the difference in NICs rates for the self employed v. employees? The independent Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) considers the case for a new tax system to keep up with the new tech.

Social Media: Disinformation and Fake News
Are the major social media platforms nurturing malignant and dark forces that aim to disrupt our democracy? Yes, quite possibly, according to the findings of the House of Commons select committee for Culture, Media and Sports in their Interim report, ‘Disinformation and ‘fake news’’.

Social Media: FAQs on data, disinformation & being savvy on the net
Doing Social Media? What's Fake News? Should I still do surveys? What happens if I like your posting? What happens if I share your post? Is my news feed real? FAQs answered on data mining, social media and generally being savvy about what you do on the net.

Editor's Choice (subscribers)  

How to appeal a tax penalty
Start here if you have a tax penalty

Grounds for appeal toolkit
You must list your grounds for appeal, this resource covers the key areas and shows you how to tell whether a penalty notice is flawed.

Discovery assessments 
One of these pops up nearly every week on our helpline. HMRC's current litigation and settlement strategy often seems to involve ignoring the legislation. This guide takes you through conditions that allow HMRC to make a tax assessment out of time. With illustrative examples from topical cases.

Tax Guides and Updates (subscribers) 

Finance Act 2018 and Finance Bill 2019: tax update and rolling planner
UPDATE: this invaluable resource shows you what is new and proposed for each tax and taxpayer this year and the next.

Employers' New Starter checklist
UPDATE: our much improved version of HMRC's list. Ours covers casuals, harvest workers and students and employment checks.

SDLT: What is residential property?
UPDATE: what is a dwelling? Is there any difference? Essential if you are buying and also for considering the higher rates.

Offshore income and gains: equirement to correct
UPDATE: With the deadline less than two months away we have added more details on how to use the Worldwide disclosure facility to disclose undeclared offshore tax liabilities.

Non-resident trusts
UPDATE: Clarification around protected status for settlor interested overseas trusts under the Finance Act 2018 rules.

Case Update (freeview)

Court of appeal reduce tax-related penalties
In Tager & Anor v HMRC [2018] EWCA Civ 1727 the Court of Appeal reduced tax-related penalties imposed by the Upper Tribunal for failure to provide information from £1,075,210 to £220,000.

When is a loan a Loan Relationship?
In C J Wildbirds Food Ltd v HMRC [2018] TC06556 the First Tier tribunal agreed that a loan which could not be repaid and was written off by the lender was a loan relationship and a deduction was allowed for the impairment debit.

VAT (freeview)

VAT news & cases: explore VAT 

VAT (subscribers) 

VAT & Buy-to-Lets
Are you missing the partial exemption rules?

Making VAT Digital
We summarise the most important VAT Notice of the year


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Missed last time's update?

Nichola's SME Tax w-update 27 July 2018


  • CGT reliefs: Private Residence relief and business assets relief
  • Restriction on losses on uncommerical trades: the tax avoidance rule
  • Hertigage assets: leaving your valuables to the nation
  • Business property relief: creating a trade
  • Key research on MTD and PAYE taxpayers
  • and so much more..

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