In this week's web-update we investigate a couple of intriguing issues. Can you obtain Research & Development (R&D) Relief if you create a sensory garden? And, is tax relief on the business cost of London's Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) charge allowable? Employer Advisory fuel rates also change from tomorrow.

HMRC sends out what it terms as ‘nudge’ letters from time to time. If you receive one you need to take it seriously and conduct a suitable review of the relevant subject matter. Our ears pricked up this week when we heard that HMRC is contacting nursing and care homes to warn them about the activities of rogue R&D agents. 

From HMRC's perspective, rogue agents are the ‘ambulance chasers’ of the tax world. They tend to offer ‘no win, no fee’ deals and then take a large cut of any tax refund that they claim for you. As most clients love a tax refund, (and with R&D you can claim an enhanced 186% deduction for your qualifying expenditure), unfortunately that claim can subsequently be rejected by HMRC which may render the client severely out of pocket. It's big business for R&D specialists and it can be a difficult for HMRC to police.

Our first thoughts on hearing about the nudge letter were that it is improbable that many care homes are involved in any substantial R&D as constructing a sensory garden or a super specialised meal plan means, in all probability, that they are conducting experiments on their residents! Working for HMRC in its R&D unit must be a fascinating experience.

More news and updates below

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)  

R&D Relief for your sensory garden
According to HMRC some Nursing and Care Homes are stretching the bounds of belief with their claims for Research & Development (R&D) relief and is asking claimants to watch out for rogue tax agents.

Advisory fuel rates from 1 September 2023
HMRC have published new advisory fuel rates for company car drivers which apply from 1 September 2023. The most notable change this quarter is that the rates, which had been coming down, now appear to be starting to increase, although only for larger-sized engines and electric cars. 

Charges like ULEZ are tax deductible
Self-employed and employed drivers are entitled to claim tax relief on clean air charges in all UK cities, including the newly expanded Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in London, providing that they meet the basic 'wholly and exclusively' conditions for tax deduction.

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Named tax avoidance schemes, promoters, enablers
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Penalties: Senior Accounting Officers
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Missed Last Time's Web-update?

Nichola's SME Tax W-update 24 August 2023 

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  • Employer Bulletin: August 2023 
  • Tax in the 'silly season': UK IHT pipped by cow 'burp tax'
  • High-End Television claim half of creative industry reliefs 
  • Loan relationships: Look to wider group for unallowable purpose
  • At a glance: How to calculate Inheritance Tax
  • A new company? Start here
  • Tax planning for university (parent's guide)
  • Divorce & Separation: Toolkit UPDATE
  • Share for Share exchanges UPDATE
  • Goods or services for VAT UPDATE
  • Groups (VAT) UPDATE
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  • NEW: CPD: Landlords Update 2023 ...More

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