In the run up to Christmas we have updated our practical tax guides to Christmas Parties and created a new guide on Gifts and trivial benefits. Some of the trivial benefits may amuse you, they did me.

My favourite item this time concerns HMRC's decision to mitigate CIS penalties charged to new CIS contractors post FA 2009. The ability to mitigate is given by s102 TMA 1970. There is more than a whiff of unfairness here as it seems that mitigation is not possible if you are not "new" to CIS. This adds a new slant to the concept of proportionality. Read on...

Another new addition: VAT: a quick guide to the change in rate. But who was the smart alec who decreed 4 January 2011? As if we are not all busy enough on the first working day of the new year.

Bah humbug I might say, but I am saving that for our Christmas special edition.

All the best


Nichola Ross Martin FCA
Tax Director
Your online Virtual Tax Partner: practical support for accountants, tax advisers and their clients

FREEview news summary

Not the Pre-Budget report
The Chancellor's Autumn statement: a 5 year road map for CT reform.

CIS penalty refund offer: act now
Another layer of complexity which might be a good marketing opportunity?


New Guides and Updates


VAT: a quick guide to the Jan 4 change of rate
How to account for VAT when the standard rate of VAT increases to 20%

Staff parties and annual functions
Planning the Christmas party? Read on.

Employing students in term time?
A new mini-guide for employers (abridged from HMRC)

For PAID subscribers (because you are so special :)

Gifts & trivial benefits
UPDATED: all change we have some new trivial benefits and of course changes in the VAT rules.

CIS: penalties
UPDATED: an invaluable guide to the old rules v. new rules, transitional arrangements, workings and much more.

Interest Relief: Loan to Buy an Interest in a Close Company
NEW: part of our directors' series. Pay close attention to a company's activities in these changeable times.

What are earnings for NICs purposes?
NEW: part of our employers' series. Essential know-how for anyone wondering how they can avoid NICs.

Practical Tax Toolkits (part freeview)

Our Practical Tax Toolkits include tax planning tips and advice, essential reading for advisers:

Toolkits for the self-employed
This includes our Tax Healthcheck

Toolkits for companies
From compliance to associated companies to profit extraction.

Samples (freeview)

Property profits & losses: toolkit
NEW: this is our re-write of HMRC's toolkit, unsurprisingly we go into rather more detail on what you can claim!

Directors' loan accounts: toolkit
UPDATED: our popular version of HMRC's toolkit with a new section on NICs, for advisers.

Some more of our favourites

Close Companies: Transactions in securities
A summary of the changes and guidance with particular emphasis on ESC C16.

Tax on leaving payments
UPDATED: for a recent case on compromise agreements...More

Company cars
UPDATED: tax cases on shared ownership & provision of car to a spouse, new section on car schemes and NICs refunds on motoring allowances.

Property profits and losses
UPDATED: revised sections on capital allowances, what expenses to claim and links to our new practical tax toolkit...More

Is it a trade or a business?
UPDATED: good back to basics for advisers, great for tea time reading...More

Pool cars
NEW: a quick guide for employers. There is no taxable benefit to an employee when a company car qualifies as a pool car.

Can I back-claim capital allowances on residential property?
UPDATED: explaining the ins and outs of our complicated capital allowances regime...More

Surplus cash CGT & IHT Relief and ESC C16
UPDATED: a company has large cash surplus: how does this affect Entrepreneurs' Relief, Business Property Relief, and transations in securities?...More

Unlawful, illegal or ultra vires dividends
UPDATED: links to our directors guides...More

Goodwill and the intangibles regime
UPDATED: explanation of rules for connected party trades straddling 1 April 2002. Can you apportion goodwill?

Pensions: tax planning guides
UPDATED: new rules from 2011 restrict tax relief on inputs.

An adviser's guide to Settlements
Tax anti-avoidance rules: crammed full of examples, planning points and pitfalls, together with a summary of the leading tax cases.

Adviser's Tax Penalty Planner
New late filing penalties for CIS, SA and CT are all due to start this time next year. Have you discussed them with your clients and changed your letters of engagement?


Share based incentives (part freeview)


EMI: checklist
This does what it says on the wrapper.

Designing an EMI share option scheme
Need some help? Please ask for details.

Share scheme basics for small companies FREEVIEW
While company values are low a share scheme can be a very tax efficient method of rewarding staff. We explain the basics of an unapproved share scheme.

Enterprise Management Incentive (EMI) FREEVIEW
A share option scheme is ideal for smaller companies.


Buying and selling businesses

Capital Gains Tax: Entrepreneurs' Relief
UPDATED: for Finance (No 2) Act, a succinct guide for OMB advisers with planning points, pitfalls, worked examples.

Capital gains reliefs: disposal of business assets
UPDATED: new links and examples for incorporation.

Selling the business: deferred consideration and earn outs
UPDATED: is our love affair with loan notes over? An overview of the different tax consequences for the seller.

Loan stock: QCBs or non-QCBs? FREEVIEW
UPDATED: for Finance (No 2) a quick guide for advisers.

Selling the business: where do I start?
A guide for you to discuss with your clients.

How to value a business
An advisers' guide that explores the different methods used for valuing private companies with worked examples.

Purchase of own shares – out of capital
Our unique guide explains the fiddly bits.

Tax planning for 2010/11
This is a rolling update for advisers

The Advisers' Guide to the PAYE Fiasco

Our one-off special contains:

  • A Summary of guidance to give to clients who are affected by PAYE by under or over payments
  • PAYE deadlines
  • ESC A19
  • Overpayment relief
  • NIC deadlines
  • Links to LITRG

Hutton on Estate Planning - 3rd Edition

A short plug for Matthew Hutton. Hutton on Estate Planning is published in electronic and paper form, and is regularly updated. The cost of a 12-month subscription for up to 10 Users is just £199 plus VAT (electronic) or £49 plus £5 p&p (book). Have a look at Special deals for our subscribers.

Virtual Tax Partner

Our Virtual Tax Partner service provides one-to-one practical support for accountants and advisers nationally. Need help with an enquiry, a valuation, a share scheme or buy-back? Want a second opinion, or assistance in drafting a difficult letter or computation? The Virtual Tax Partner peer review and mentoring service is discounted for subscribers. Give us a ring.

Like the site? Come and subscribe.

Recommendations: what do our subscribers say about us?

Free guides - take a tour...

You have two options:
1. Explore the site (then click on the menus and you will soon see what is free)
2. See a small sample.

Missed an edition? See Nichola's SME Tax News Archive.

Subscribe to the Practical Tax Database to UNLOCK your internet Virtual Tax partner:

What do you get?

  • Superb value for money and we are a UK company.
  • Open access to the entire Practical Tax Database which contains over 405 tax and legal guides packed full of essential know-how for advisers.
  • Our regular Email update when there are new guides and tax issues that we think you MUST read.
  • Up to 50% off the Virtual Tax Partner helpline.
  • Nichola’s monthly SME tax news summary (we do the reading and cherry pick the best of the press, magazines and websites for you).
  • NEW our Quarterly Tax Refresher (for advisers ONLY) + our Quarterly Employer Briefing.
  • A 25% discount to our NEW tax webinar-update service).
  • You can also commission guides and checklists for your own practice, post comments and upload your own articles.
  • You can access the Virtual Tax Partner service for FREE quick calls, or just a chat.