A short news update this week, we have:

  • new advisory rates for employers,
  • an update on "that service company question" and
  • bad news for those using HMRC's CT software.

For subscribers, we have added "Top tips and tax traps" on Goodwill following some recent HMRC enquiry cases, together with various new guides and updates. Please do scroll down to check these out.

Next time we have one of our regular Adviser updates together with details of our new Tax Masterclass programme.

Best wishes


Nichola Ross Martin FCA
Tax Director

Your online Virtual Tax Partner: practical support for accountants, tax advisers and their clients



The service company question: P35s and SA tax returns
UPDATE: Do tax penalties apply, what happens if you make an error or fail to answer?...More

Budget changes and CT returns
You cannot use HMRC's CT software for post 31 March year-ends until October...More

Consultation on the abolition of 36 tax reliefs
The end of late night taxis, flat conversion allowances and cyclists breakfasts? You help decide...More

Register now for Agent Account Managers
Mobile assistance for agents...More

Adviser's essentials (FREEview)

Advisory fuel rates (company car drivers)
From 1 June: all change...More

Salary 2011/12 (avoiding NICs)
What is the optimal salary without incurring a liability for the employer or employee for National Insurance (NICs)?...More

PAYE tolerances

The tolerance for adjustments to tax has decreased from £300 back to £50...More

What is an associated company?
Our summary of the rules from 1 April with links to checklists...More

Guides and updates

For PAID subscribers (because you are so special :)

Recent updates

Goodwill & incorporation: tax issues
UPDATE: Tax traps and tips: HMRC may challenge goodwill where it is overvalued, or when it is written off too quickly.

Mobile phones
NEW: guide for employers; which phones are too smart to be phones?

Tax-efficient extraction of profits
UPDATE: an essential and handy summary for all those advising companies: from service company issues, ESC C16 , repurchase of shares and capital reductions.

Business Property Relief: holding companies
NEW: Is a holding company “in business”? New guidance agreed with HMRC.

Business Property Relief (IHT)
UPDATE: A summary for the key issues for estate planners.

Capital reduction: tax treatment
UPDATE: capital or income? It all depends on many different variables.

Research & Development Relief
UPDATE: claims for prototypes and trials.

Residency: coming to the UK
UPDATE: HMRC 6 revised again.

Residency: working full time abroad
UPDATE: new guidance (a ten day rule) on the extent of duties that can be performed back in the UK.


Popular updates for 2011-12

Do I pay a salary or dividend?
UPDATE: illustrations include the optimal figures for 2011-12, with comparison to the previous year.

Will I save more tax if I trade through a company?
A summary and discussion of the key issues to go over with clients.

Will I pay less tax if I trade via an LLP?
Although partnerships offer flexibility, following changes to the main Corpororation Tax rates the answer may depend on the level of your income.

Transfer of income streams
NEW: anti-avoidance provisions that could apply when you start creating business combinations in order to avoid higher-rate tax.

Sale of occupational income
UPDATE: more anti-avoidance provisions but with an exemption for sales of going concerns.


Keeping up to date:

Finance Act 2011: tax planner
Click here for Budget updates. This is a CPD powerbooster: our rolling planner keeps you abreast of key changes in tax legislation as they are made and proposed in each Finance Act and Bill for 2010/11, 2011/12 and 2012/13.

New Practical tax guides

ABC shares: family companies
NEW: a guide that examines the tax consequences of creating new share classes.

A NEW section of the site with NEW guides on valuation of goodwill, tax avoidance issues, and worked examples to help you choose the right CGT relief.

Valuation (of goodwill) for incorporation
NEW: methods vary considerably from business to business.


"Back to basics": what expenses can I claim for?

Use of home as office calculator
UPDATE: there is no statutory basis for this type of calculation: it requires a combination of common sense and judgement.

Can I charge my company rent for use of my home?
UPDATE: setting up a licence agreement for the new tax year.

Entertaining (business guide)
UPDATED: new definitions for VAT on overseas customers.

Entertaining (employer's guide)
UPDATE: new definitions for VAT on overseas customers.

Business gifts
NEW: we examine the rules including a useful concession that allows a firm to donate to local associations.

What expenses can I claim: guides for the self-employed
Take a tour: a summary of our guides and updates

Tax penalties and compliance

"Spot the difference"

Reasonable excuse
NEW: this is needed to mitigate penalties for compliance failures

Reasonable care
UPDATE: prove that you have taken reasonable care in order to avoid tax geared penalties

Tax penalties: grounds for appeal
ESSENTIAL READING: recent decisions feature taxpayer carelessness and HMRC's judgement in suspending penalties.

Adviser's Tax Penalty Planner
A summary of the late filing penalties for CIS, SA and CT.

Private client specials

Tax planning for the 2010/11 year-end
NEW: for private clients

Pensions: tax rules and planning
With so little time remaining to contribute in 2010/11, pay heed to the transitional rules for the Annual Allowance. Note also carry forward measures.

Companies and directors

Running an LLP in tandem with a company
NEW: an interesting topic that brings with it a whole range of tax issues.

Company and shareholder year-end tax planner
UPDATE: a summary of the key planning points - don't just save this for the year-end these apply all year too.

Dividends: formalities for companies
NEW: essentials for discussion with directors.

Is it worth restructuring to save tax?
UPDATE: a five minute tax briefing designed to add value to meetings.

PAYE & Settlement Agreements - (how to gross up for)
Do you pay an employee's personal bill, or do you provide the benefit and pay the tax on that instead?

Recently added and updated:

Purchase (repurchase) of own shares
NEW: tips and practical points together with detailed links

Purchase of own shares out of capital (checklist)
UPDATE: a step by step guide to the Companies Act and tax requirements.

PAYE & NICs review
NEW toolkit/selling opportunity: perform a PAYE and NICs review on your clients before HMRC do.

What are earnings for NICs purposes?
UPDATE: when remuneration planning goes wrong and we have NICs on dividends and loan write offs.

Entrepreneurs' Relief
UPDATED: planning points and pitfalls with illustrations to make qualifying conditions clearer.

Accounts health check (self-employed)
UPDATED: a general re-write with more interactive links.

Know your client & money laundering checks
UPDATED: this now comes with new "prompts". Essential reading.

Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS)
UPDATE: recent decisions: EIS not denied on an MBO, clarification on values for shares/loan stock.

What is a small company?
NEW: a handy little aid memoire, should you ever be worrying about tax rates, transfer pricing or are just curious.

NIC repayments on motoring allowances
UPDATED: HMRC to appeal case on NICs refunds on motoring allowances.

Take a tour of the site...

Private client & estate planning
This section covers personal and family tax matters as well as CGT and estate planning.
Directors: tax-efficient remuneration
These guides consider the different methods for extracting funds from a company.



Joint property elections
Including a note on transfer of legal title and beneficial ownership.

Company cars
UPDATED: new tax Tribunal cases on shared ownership and new section on car schemes.

Selling the business: deferred consideration and earn outs
UPDATED: the 2010 changes to Entrepeneurs' Relief moved the goalposts. This is a handy quick guide and overview of the different tax consequences for the seller.

CGT: Main Private Residence Relief
UPDATED: this is so topical that we have added a "quality of occupation" checklist.

Furnished Holiday Letting
UPDATED: new loss rules from 2011/12 and new measures from 2012/13

Subscribe now

Come and join us .

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

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

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

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

Tax on leaving payments
At a glance guide to this difficult topic...More

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

Pool cars
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?
An explanation of the ins and outs of our complicated capital allowances regime...More

Unlawful, illegal or ultra vires dividends
A look at the tax treatment for directors and shareholders...More

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

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.

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 reliefs: disposal of business assets
What relief to use where and how to incorporate a business.

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

How to value a business
An adviser's 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.

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

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.

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