This time, new VAT announcements, uncertainty over new budget date, capital allowances on shared communal areas, an employer briefing and lots of updated guides. 

HMRC have announced that for Making Tax Digital for VAT, you may apply to postpone next April's requirement to introduce 'digital links' between accounting systems where you have complicated or legacy IT issues. This is good news for many business although it appears that HMRC are not making it easy for you to apply. 

  • If you wish to keep 'cutting and pasting' or manually imputing from one part of your systems to another: you need to detail why you cannot change your systems and what controls you intend to introduce.
  • Cost is no excuse. 

Thus, if your old digital till does not 'talk' to your accounting software you are probably better off buying a new till rather than trying to do a lot of expensive reprogramming. If you have a non-digital till and you copy totals to a spreadsheet, you will need to link that spreadsheet to your accounting system. This is easier than it sounds as many accounting packages allow you to import CSV files. If you buy a new till, do watch out that your software will integrate. 

The Queen's Speech introduced 26 new bills, only time will tell whether any of these will make the statute book and we look at the highlights from an SME perspective. Brexit changes are likely to dominate government activities for many years and we also have the interactions of devolved taxes and changing technology. The future is looking good for business advisers.

A budget date was also announced this week but again we will have to wait and see what happens in parliament before we can be certain that this will proceed. 

We have picked a couple of topical cases this week. Do have a read of the Employer Bulletin, some really useful things there.

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)

Budget Date 2019 announced
The Chancellor, Sajid Javid, has announced that in the event that we leave the EU on 31 October 2019 with a deal, there will be a budget on 6 November 2019.

The Queen's Speech: SME highlights
Slim pickings for business and climate change as brexit steals the show.

Probate fee hikes are finally dropped
It is being reported that plans to introduce a new probate fee banding structure, originally proposed in 2017 but delayed then revived in 2018, have been dropped altogether as the policy is not 'fair and proportionate'.

Employer Bulletin: October 2019
HMRC have published their Employer Bulletin for October 2019. We summarise the key content for you, with links to our detailed guidance on the topics covered.

EU tax haven blacklist shrinks as cooperation increases
Under recent measures the EU has made changes to its tax cooperation lists, removing the United Arab Emirates and the Marshall Islands from the tax haven blacklist.

Editor's pick

Selling the business: where do I start?
Selling a business can seem daunting. This is a checklist-briefing note for potential sellers: companies and their shareholders.

R & D and Patent Box relief
We have:

  • R & D guides (subscribers) and answers to FAQs for our regular paid subscribers.
  • Our R & D Zone (extra premium content) contains fully worked through case studies together with practical know-how, R & D report templates & our R & D hotline.

Tax Guides (subscribers)

Partnerships: mixed membership and corporate partnerships
UPDATE: we have had a lot of queries on corporate partnerships, we answer some of your FAQs

Reorganisations and demergers
UPDATE: from share for share exchanges to removing an investment company from your trading company, a series of super practical tax guides provide an outline of the tax treatment together with step guides and tax clearance templates.

Director's Tax Planning update Oct 2019
NEW: what's hot and not. Topical tips to add value to your advice.

Case Update (freeview)

IHT valuation: HMRC approach is right but amounts are wrong
In Foster v R&C Commrs UKUT0251 (LC) the Upper Tribunal Lands Chamber partly allowed an appeal against a valuation for IHT purposes of land with development potential; HMRC’s approach was correct but the resulting value was too high.

No legitimate expectation that HMRC manuals were correct
In Aozora GMAC v HMRC [2019] EWCA Civ 1643 the Court of Appeal agreed that the taxpayer did not have a legitimate expectation that it could rely on HMRC’s published guidance; the degree of unfairness and detriment suffered from the change in the guidance was not sufficiently high.

No capital allowances for communal areas of HMO
In Hora Tevfik v HMRC [2019] TC07383 the First Tier tribunal denied claims for capital allowances on the communal areas of HMO properties and found a discovery assessment valid despite oddities in the return.

Making VAT more Digital (freeview)

MTD: VAT blog
Making Tax Digital for VAT the on-going drama. Disappointment that the software is still not working.

Making VAT Digital: extensions for complex IT systems
HMRC has announced that any businesses needing to update particularly complicated or legacy IT systems can apply for an extension to the 2020 deadlines for complying with the digital links requirements under Making Tax Digital for VAT (MVD) .

Virtual Tax Partner Toolkit (freeview)

Virtual Tax Partner © Tax Toolkit© Tax Toolkit
NEW: be a winner with our game-changing tax diagnostics tools. Sign up at Tier 1 prices now.

  • Entrepreneurs' Relief: Sole traders: sale of a business, incorporation, sale of assets
  • Entrepreneurs' Relief: Company owners: rules for sales pre 29 October 2018, sales between 29 October 2018 and 5 April 2019 and after.
  • TAAR: closing your Personal service company? Will your final dividends be taxed as income?
  • Salary or dividend, or a mixture of both. Better to claim the Employers' Allowance?
  • Making Tax Digital for VAT: when do you need to join.

TaxKeep Apps
NEW: these Apps are currently free for subscribers. For a small fee they can be customised with your logo and then distributed to your clients. Complete the form to sign up for your own App.

CPD for lunch 

Byte sized chunks of CPD for subscribers

Allowances: Trading and Property

Reasonable Excuse

see also: CPD Index

Missed last time's Web-update?

Nichola's SME Tax W-update 11 October 2019

  • Directors' tax planning: Update October 2019 
  • Patent box & R&D relief claims rise but drop expected
  • Off-payroll working: fears about powers to transfer PAYE liabilities
  • Easy Eco: ten essential steps to reduce your business' environmental impact
  • Employment Related Securities: What’s New? October 2019
  • Appeals to proceed despite delays, old age & lost evidence
  • Death bed planning fails to save IHT
  • Trader should have known about fraud
  • and much more..


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