This time we say goodbye to another decade and have a look back at some of the highlights of the year. There are one or two interesting cases too and a Christmas story all about bears.

Our highlights of the year? In 2019, there was no budget due to total mayhem that is British politics. Many of us were so overly immersed in Making Tax Digital for VAT. The disguised remuneration loan charge seems to have had very mixed reactions, predictable or just unfair? The off-payroll working rules extend to private sector engagers from next year and we'll hear more on all of these topics as parliament continues to review them in the New Year. We look forward to a budget in February.

Our main achievement of the year was in building our Entrepreneurs' Relief Virtual Tax Partner tools. Fingers crossed that this relief remains on the statute book for at least another four years. Message to the chancellor: please do not tweek the relief!

On a lighter note we continue to unpack our ‘Christmas Selection Box’ of tax treats. This has the combined advantage of being both low calory and a nearly totally zero emission product.

We also have a Christmassy tale about bears for readers of all ages.

Wishing you all a really fabulous Christmas and looking forward to the new decade, the twenties.

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

Seasonal reading

The Bear Necessities: A Story for Christmas
Deep in the heart of the Black Forest a bear fashion business is born...More

R is for....
'R' is for Rent-a-room relief and our third Christmas treat for those looking to save a few pounds next year.

I is for...
We are celebrating this festive time of year with a Christmas Selection Box of different tax reliefs and exemptions. As it is the time for giving and sharing, we hope that our "Box" will save you pounds rather than adding them!

S is for...
S is for... share exchange and reconstruction reliefs. This 'Christmas Selection Box' treat offers advice and guides. 

Quick news & Guides (freeview)

Government makes changes to Loan Charge
A package of changes to the Disguised Remuneration Loan Charge, this follows conclusion of Sir Amyas Morse’s independent review of the loan charge policy and its implementation.

MTD: Update for Agents December 2019
HMRC have issued their latest Making tax Digital for Agents update. We have summarised the key content for you with links to our detailed guidance on the topics covered.

UK regulator tightens rules for audit firms
The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has issued a major revision of audit and ethical rules in its new Revised Ethical Standards 2019. The FRC says it’s an effort to strengthen auditor independence and prevent conflicts of interest.

The Queen's post-election speech
The Queen’s Speech today set out the government’s agenda at the State Opening of Parliament. Announcements included increases to the National Insurance (NI) threshold, further support to Research and Development (R & D) credits and changes to business rates. 

Tax Guides (subscribers)

Discovery Assessments
UPDATE: When can HMRC issue an assessment outside of the normal statutory time limits? What conditions must be met? What are your rights of appeal and defences?

How to appeal an HMRC decision
What type of a decisions are appealable? What are your different options when you disagree with HMRC? What are the key steps in making an appeal?

TAAR: distributions on winding up (anti-phoenixing rules)
When does the Targeted Anti-Avoidance Rule apply? Who does it affect? Can you apply for tax clearance? What rules affect striking off? 

Surplus cash: CGT & IHT issues
Does having an excess cash balance affect a company's trading status for CGT or IHT relief? What are the issues for each relief? What evidence is considered when reviewing activities? Our subscribers' guide tells you.

Rent-a-room relief
An individual may rent a room in their own residence, and provided that rental income does not exceed the specified limit all rental income is tax-free. 

Case Update (freeview)

Appeal v Discovery: whose proof is it anyway?
In Golamreza Qolaminejite aka Anthony Cooper v HMRC [2019] TC4277, “Cooper” a business tax investigation covered many years. It was the First Tier Tribunal's (FTT's) role to consider the burden of proof from two different angles, from the burden of displacing an assessment and that of demonstrating culpability in order to allow a late assesssment.

The Phantom of the… property results in capital losses
In Lady Lloyd-Webber and Lord Lloyd-Webber v HMRC [2019] TC7488 the First Tier tribunal allowed relief for payments on a failed off plan villa purchase; there was a disposal of contractual rights and the capital losses were allowable. 

VAT Cases (freeview)

Supply of services or staff - Medacy Ltd VAT case
In Medacy Ltd v HMRC [2019] UKFTT 0576, TC 07370, the First Tier Tribunal (FFT) concluded that pharmacist-led clinical services provided to GP practices were supplies of services, not staff, and therefore qualified for VAT exemption.

VAT Guides (subscribers)

Health and Welfare VAT
Goods and services related to medical care and welfare can fall within a number of VAT rate categories. Zero-rating normally takes priority, followed by reduced rating, exempt, and failing these, standard rated.

Buy-to-let & VAT
A VAT registered business that is also letting residential property may be able to reclaim input VAT in relation to the property letting business. See ourt guide for details.

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

Recent additions:

More at CPD Index

Missed last time's Web-update?

SME Monthly Summary Nov 2019
Missed our SME Tax Web-updates in November? Here is a summary of the month.

Nichola's SME Tax W-update 12 December 2019

  • Agent update December 2019/January 2020
  • H is for...
  • The loan charge: 31 January tax return requirements
  • 2018/19 Self Assessment Tax Return toolkit
  • Agency Workers: At a glance (freeview)
  • Loans to traders: no evidence, no allowable loss
  • Invalid rollover claim allowed: discovery was stale
  • Input VAT allowed on directors' remuneration planning scheme
  • Business-splitting to avoid VAT: one or two businesses?
  • More...


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