HMRC have just updated their Check Employment Status for Tax tool (CEST). They seem to be quite tight lipped about the exact nature of the changes. Is that unhelpful or just careless? 

There has been quite a lot in the press recently about NHS doctors and their pensions. Some of those affected will have already applied for Fixed Protection back in 2016. We fact check the issues. Would the public be sympathetic if an accountant or a tax adviser complained about their pay package? I doubt it. Mind you, we are not in short supply and although tax advice may save later stress during a tax enquiry, we don't save lives.

I felt sorry for the firm of accountants who were the subject of a reasonable excuse claim in relation to a late filing penalty (see the Pettitt case). They got befuddled by the new agent registration process. I have suffered from similar issues, clients appearing and disappearing from our lists and then next thing you know is that there is a penalty. 

On penalties, we have just evidenced a software failure, filed returns have become unfiled. Do check out our appeals guides, they are very carefully researched and updated. 

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 & Guides (freeview)

HMRC warning for self assessment of pensions annual allowance charge
In its latest 'Pension schemes newsletter 115' – November 2019, HMRC has warned pension scheme administrators that they must remind their members to declare details of their annual allowance charges in their self-assessment returns.

CEST gets new zest
HMRC has recently updated its Check Employment Status for Tax (CEST) tool although it seems unwilling to provide a concise list of the changes. Instead, it merely tells us that on 25 November 2019, the CEST tool "has been updated so if you do not know the worker, the tool will not ask questions about their circumstances".

Advisory fuel rates from 1 December 2019
HMRC have published new advisory fuel rates for company car drivers which will apply from 1 December 2019.

NHS pensions emergency: fact or fiction?
Doctors may have done other high earning UK taxpayers a favour by pushing the issue of the Annual Allowance Taper up the political agenda. What are the issues? Are doctors really being treated badly?

Scottish Budget is delayed
The Scottish Budget was originally scheduled for election day, 12 December 2019. It has therefore been delayed and no new date has yet been set.

Editor's pick (subscribers)

Trusts & Estates: Ten-year charge reporting requirements
What is the ten year charge (or principal or periodic charge) and when does it apply? Changes in the tax treatment of trusts, means many trusts have reporting obligations and potential IHT liabilities to consider.

Schedule 36 information notices
Mini guide to HMRC's power's with topical tips and case summaries.

Index to reorganisations and demergers
This series of super practical tax guides provide an outline of the tax treatment together with step guides and tax clearance templates.

Tax Guides (subscribers)

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.

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

Can I charge my company rent for use of my home?
How to recharge the company and set up a licencing agreement.

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

Case Update (freeview)

Agent’s online filing fiasco was not a reasonable excuse
In John Pettitt v HMRC [2019] TC7451 reliance on a tax agent was not a reasonable excuse and late filing penalties of £1,935 were upheld by the FTT.

EIS: no relief for shares with preferential rights
Foojit Ltd v HMRC [2019] TC7467the FTT dismissed a claim for EIS relief on shares with preferential dividend rights; someone had to decide when the dividends would be paid and this made them excluded shares for the relief.

VAT cases (freeview)

Dating agency is not a consultancy
In Gray & Farrar International LLP v HMRC [2019] TC6507 a dating agency was narrowly unable to convince the First Tier Tribunal (FTT) that its full services fell within the definition of consultancy for VAT. As a result it should charge its non-EU customers VAT. 

VAT guides

Van or Car for VAT?
What is a car for VAT? What is a van for VAT? What VAT can be recovered on a car that is bought? Leased? What about fuel? Or mileage reimbursements? 

VAT errors: how to correct
How to correct VAT errors or mistakes, which process to use.

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..

CPD for lunch 

Byte sized chunks of CPD for subscribers

Scottish Income Tax

VAT registration

VAT on invoices and credit notes

see also: CPD Index

Missed last time's Web-update?

Nichola's SME Tax W-update 21 November 2019

  • Employee training & course fees
  • Where there’s a will there’s a valid interest in possession
  • What a Relief: in the end he was a farmer
  • Entrepreneurs' Relief: property partnership not a trade
  • Stop playing planning officers and refund DIY VAT
  • Construction of sports pavilion by a CASC not VAT-exempt
  • More...


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