Some more interesting news on the 'disguised remuneration' loan charge this week. It turns out that one of the major promoters of self employed disguised schemes did not notify the schemes under DOTAS. By co-incidence, there is a growing realisation that HMRC's estimates that only some 50,000 people are affected by the coming loan charge may be woefully low.

In a week of total political chaos there was one piece of good news; the chancellor stuck to his promise that his Spring Statement was not going to be another budget. We are all grateful that we have no new legislation to write about.

Making VAT Digital: I learned a whole lot of new things today, thanks to a long phone call with HMRC. I have added some to our freeview Agent Services Account tip tips and more to our Making VAT Digital guide for subscribers.

As usual we have a pick of topical cases, and we also have a look at VAT and DIY building, while a case on employee expenses allowances for laundry has prompted us to create a new subscriber guide. 

Meanwhile, aside from Brexit there were some quite interesting tax developments at EU level this week. Plans for an EU digital services tax have been shelved after being vetoed by Ireland, Denmark and Sweden. EU finance ministers agreed that it would be more prudent to wait for a global agreement via the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The UK, like France, Italy and Spain, have already proposed their own digital services tax. None of this is to the liking of some ministers who complain that "the last thing the single market needs is 28 national taxation regimes”. A digital services tax is basically a large company sales tax and in a time of trade wars and tariffs it seems that many countries quite like the idea of sitting on the fence and waiting to see what impact it will have on their neighbours.

If you have any tax queries please do try out our Virtual Tax Partner support portal at www.VtaxP.co.uk.

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 and tax advisers

Quick news (freeview)

Chancellor's Spring Statement highlights
Not another budget more of a 'tax nothing'. The chancellor made a plea to resolve the Brexit deadlock.

EU abandons plans for digital services tax
Disagreement at Ecofin: "the last thing the single market needs is 28 national taxation regimes..."

The loan charge and the NHS
MP’s are claiming that HMRC’s estimate of the number of healthcare professionals who will be affected by the upcoming loan charge is too low. 

Consultation: Protecting your taxes in insolvency
The government has a launched a consultation “Protecting your taxes in insolvency” which looks at making HMRC a secondary preferential creditor for certain tax debts on the insolvency of a business.

An inspector calls

Spotlight 49: Disguised remuneration: schemes claiming to avoid the loan charge
HMRC’s latest Spotlight 49 ‘Disguised remuneration: schemes claiming to avoid the loan charge’ has been released ahead of the loan charge deadline of 5 April 2019.

EU expands its tax haven blacklist
Aruba, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Fiji, the Marshall Islands, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Vanuatu and Dominica all join the EU's tax haven blacklist. 

MPs' concern over delay to introduction of beneficial ownership registers
The government is accused of trying to delay its proposed measures for the British Crown Dependencies of Guernsey, the Isle of Man and Jersey ahead of Brexit negotiations.

GAAR Panel Opinion: film partnership and sale of capital account
The General Anti-Abuse Rule (GAAR) Advisory Panel have published details of an opinion on film-related trading losses and arrangements for the sale of an LLP member’s Capital Account finding that the arrangements were not a reasonable course of action.

Making Tax Digital 

Agent Services Account: top tips (freeview)
UPDATE: several phone calls later we have the answer to many of life's new mysteries: what is the point of the ASA? Wha
t am I meant to see there?

Editor's Choice (subscribers)

Making VAT Digital (subscriber guide)
UPDATE: essential reading for advisers and their clients

Tax Guides and Updates (subscribers)

Employee expenses: laundry costs
NEW: when can you claim tax relief on the costs of laundry or a fixed rate allowance

Loss relief: loans and shares
UPDATE: the deadline approaches for making negligible value claims. Share loss claims may be possible for no-hoper companies that are still trading.

Divorce & separation: toolkit
We get a lot of questions about tax on divorce and separation. Our toolkit covers the key issues.

Tax Returns: 5 April 2019 Deadlines
Last minute planning, what claims and payments have to be made before the end of the tax year?

Directors: tax planning toolkit for 2019/20
NEW: This is the first publication of our 2019/20 directors toolkit. Like all our maintained guides, it is a rolling planner and will be updated throughout the year.

Tax-efficient extraction of profits: toolkit (2019/20)
NEW: This toolkit is designed to help a company and its owner decide how company profits are to be extracted and should be used in conjunction with the Directors tax planning toolkit above.

Case Update (freeview)

No tax relief for laundry costs
In Karl Higginbottom, Karl Critchley & Michael Lyon v HMRC [2019] TC6521 three employed workers were unsuccessful in claiming tax relief on for the costs of launtry and personal hygiene.  They were unable to prove how much they had spent and whether the costs were incurred in performance of their duties as employees.

Contractor Loan scheme should have been notified
In HMRC v Hyrax Resourcing Limited & Others [2019] TC07025 the First Tier Tribunal (FTT) found that a contractor loan scheme should have been notified under the Disclosure of Tax Avoidance Schemes (DOTAS) regulations.

VAT Cases

DIY Housebuilder's nearly blinding success
In David Cosham v HMRC [2018] TC6985 on the FTT considered whether electric blinds were “ordinarily incorporated” in a DIY Housebuilder's new eco house.

DIY Housebuilders: it pays to study the legislation 
In Roy Tabb v HMRC [2018] TC6870 a DIY Housebuilder successfully challenged HMRC's interpretation as to whether the demotion and rebuild of an annex resulted in a new dwelling or was merely an extension.

VAT (subscribers)

Land and Property: at a glance
UPDATE: confused by the different rates? Start here.

Land & Property: DIY house builders scheme
UPDATE: new cases, top tips and planning points

Private Client Update - January 2019

Private Client Update - January 2019

NEW: A webinar covering private client news, legislative changes and interesting cases from the past few months.

Missed last time's Web-update?

Nichola's SME tax W-update 8 March 2019


  • Tax returns: do-to list
  • Tax-efficient extraction of profits toolkit 2019/20
  • Directors' tax planning toolkit
  • Off-payroll working: latest news and settlement
  • Capital allowances: buying a second hand building
  • Entrepreneurs' Relief: new rules
  • 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 favourite TAX INTRANET containing over 3,500 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 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.