The ITV drama 'Mr Bates v the Post Office' has been gripping the nation and causing more than a stir in the press. More details will emerge on the Post Office's and Fujitsu's failed accounting and computer systems as the government’s inquiry re-opens. We have every sympathy for victims of the Post Office and its Horizon computer system.

For media watchers, the surge in interest in the dangers of incorrect allegations of accounting fraud reveals the power of TV. The issues which led to the false prosecution of hundreds, if not thousands, of sub-postmasters were well publicised online and familiar to readers of Computer Weekly and Private Eye, as well as Radio 4 listeners.

If you have read about a new ‘side-hustle tax’ we can assure you that no such tax exists. We have created a mini-guide; feel free to share this with concerned clients.

January is such a busy month for us all and we appreciate that you probably do not have time to read all the news each week. We have created a guide to the Hottest Topics of the month for you. We hope that this helps!

Back soon

Nichola & the Team


Your Virtual Tax Partner®: online PRACTICAL support for accountants, tax advisers BY accountants and tax advisers.

Quick News & Tax Cases (Freeview)  

Landlords One-To-Many letters 
HMRC's latest One-To-Many letter campaign targets landlords claiming tax relief on high levels of repair costs.

Online filing exclusions for 2022-23 tax returns
UPDATE: Unable to file a Self Assessment returns online? There are specification issues from HMRC. Filing exclusions for individuals, partnerships, trusts and estates.

Consultation on timescales for repairs in the social rented sector
Government has opened 'Consultation on timescales for repairs in the social rented sector' on 'Awaab's Law' with cost implications for private landlords.

Welsh visitor accommodation registration and licensing scheme 
A new statutory registration and licensing scheme for all visitor accommodation in Wales will be introduced this Autumn.

Side-Hustles & Tax
There is no new tax! Confusion abounds about 'side-hustle' tax. Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis, accidentally overcomplicated the rules and in correcting himself has oversimplified.

Editor's Choice 

Horizon scandal: tax filing issues 
Over twenty years more than 800 sub-postmasters were wrongly prosecuted for fraud by the Post Office. In January 2024 the Government announced a 'mass exoneration' to clear the names of those who had criminal convictions and an upfront payment of £75,000 in extra compensation.

Hottest topics for accountants: January 2024
Subscribers Only: A round of essential dates, topical items and essentials for accountants and advisers.

Tax Tools 

Tax calculators
UPDATED for NICs changes: FREE for subscribers: We have a suite of useful tax tools that help agents, business owners and sole traders calculate their taxes. 

Tax Tools
FREE add-on for subscribers, or available separately

Calendar of tax deadlines and new tax measures
UPDATE: This is a freeview 'At a glance' rolling calendar of common recurring tax deadlines, new tax measures and other tax significant events.

Guides & Updates (subscription content)


Landlords: Start here
Our guides take you step-by-step through planning your business for tax purposes and complying with your different tax obligations during the life of your rental business.

Adviser's guide to Property Business
What is property income? How is it taxed? How are profits calculated? How are losses relieved? Is National Insurance paid on property income? Is property income classed as a business activity?


Pre-trading expenses (self-employed)
What are pre-trading expenses? What tax relief is available for pre-trading expenses? What are the restrictions to relief? What expenses will not qualify?

Checklist: Year-end Accounts & Tax (self-employed)
This is a checklist to assist you in preparing accounts and completing the Self-Employed section of your Self Assessment tax return and to highlight key areas of discussion with your sole trader clients. 

Directors & Companies 

Unlawful, illegal or ultra vires dividends
UPDATE: Is there a tax charge on an unlawful/illegal or ultra vires dividend?

Do I need to file a tax return?
Do I need to file a Self Assessment tax return? What if I am a director? Can HMRC make directors file tax returns? When should I file a Self Assessment return?

Private Client & Estate Planning

SRT: Statutory Residence Test
UPDATE: What is the Statutory Residence Test (SRT)? Why is it important and how does it determine a person's residency?

UK Trusts
UPDATE: What is a trust? What types of trust are there? How are UK trusts taxed?

Trust Registration Service
UPDATE: What is the Trust Registration Service? What trusts does it apply to? What are the requirements and deadlines?

Cryptoassets: How are Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies or cryptoassets taxed in the UK?
How do you tax Bitcoin? Are cryptocurrency or cryptoasset gains or profits, taxable? Can you obtain tax relief if you make losses on Bitcoin? Gains on transactions in cryptoassets are potentially taxable in the same way as other investments. 

Land & Property

PRR: Private Residence Relief
What is Private Residence relief (PRR)? What are the qualifying conditions? Can you claim relief on two homes? How do you claim PRR? Can you claim PRR if you develop your garden?

National Insurance for landlords
UPDATE: When are National Insurance Contributions (NICs) payable by landlords? Can landlords pay Class 2 NICs voluntarily?

Penalties & Compliance

Sch 36 Information Notices
UPDATE: What is a Schedule 36 Information Notice? When can HMRC issue one? What rights does the taxpayer have when an information notice is issued?

Adviser's Tax Penalty Planner
A guide to the key direct and indirect tax penalty regimes for returns and payments, excluding VAT. 

Capital Allowances

Fixtures: Overview
What are fixtures? How do I claim lost or unclaimed fixtures? When must fixtures be pooled? What is the fixed value requirement?

What expenditure qualifies for plant & machinery allowances?
What is plant and machinery? What expenditure qualifies as plant and machinery? What is treated as part of a building? 

VAT News & Cases

Partial exemption & input VAT
UPDATE: How do you calculate the amount of input tax you can recover under the VAT partial exemption rules? What are the de minimis rules?

Cars & Vans: 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? 

Bad debts: VAT recovery
When can you recover VAT on a bad debt? How much VAT is payable to HMRC or recoverable from HMRC when only part of an invoice is paid?  

CPD for Lunch

Byte-sized chunks of lunchtime CPD for subscribers

CPD Workouts

Two hours of CPD: Unravelling the diverse tax rules over a range of topical subjects

Tax Queries?

UK Agent for registration of Overseas Entities
Do you require assistance in the registration and verification of an overseas entity that owns UK land or property?

Virtual Tax Partner© Support
Have a tax query? Need a second option? Open a ticket and ask a question. A team of tax experts with a very wide range of expertise: covering direct and indirect tax, as well as accounting, R&D claims, reorganisations and much more.  

Missed Last Time's Web-update?

Nichola's SME Tax W-update 4 January 2024

  • Spring Budget 2024 date confirmed and representations invited
  • Agent Update: December 2023
  • Consultation: Lifting the veil of secrecy for land-holding trusts 
  • Audio-Visual & Video Games Expenditure Credits
  • Artificial fragmentation: no SEIS
  • No going concern: no RDEC
  • Freemason membership fees subject to VAT 
  • Risk to Capital: EIS, SEIS, VCT UPDATE 
  • How to work out the High-Income Child Benefit Tax charge UPDATE
  • Online sellers: Tax Overview UPDATE
  • Partnerships: How to prepare partnership and partner tax returns
  • Directors' Loan Account Toolkit
  • Investment bonds & tax
  • Furnished Holiday Letting UPDATE
  • VAT fraud: What is the Kittel principle? UPDATE ...More

Come and join our Cloud

Subscribe and UNLOCK the whole site. A single-user annual subscription is £519 (+ VAT) or pay in 12 monthly instalments of £50 (+ VAT). All subscriptions are for a 12-month term.

What do you get?

  • We keep YOU up to date in SME tax.
  • FULL access to www.rossmartin.co.uk: your firm's favourite webservice containing over 5,000 actively maintained tax guides, briefings, toolkits and checklists.
  • Want to know more? Commission your own articles and checklists.
  • Structured CPD our detailed SME tax updates written for Advisers provide topical summaries and planning notes and our webcasts provide you with structured CPD at your desk.
  • Regular client tax briefings: these cover the latest business and employment tax issues and are designed to assist you, plan meetings and improve your client services.