With less than a week to go before we reach the deadline for filing Self Assessment returns and the pressure well and truly mounting we are delighted, after last week's Poppadom sensation VAT case, to find yet another amusing First Tier Tribunal (FTT) decision to read over lunch.

We report the case below on a difficult question of whether some 60 different fantasy action figures have the characteristics of a human, and therefore a doll, or those of an animal or non-human and therefore not a doll. 

On a more serious note we have another Agent Update from HMRC, and news of a new consultation on Land and Buildings Transactions Tax (that's the Scottish version of Stamp Duty Land Tax).

For subscribers, we have just introduced our new rolling monthly update of 'hottest' topics for the month. The aim is to assist you in keeping up-to-date in tax if you don't always have time to read our full weekly updates. In terms of other really useful updates, check out our guide to recent Capital Allowances.

We managed to submit our own budget representations on Wednesday, more on that next time.

Back soon

Nichola & the Team


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

Quick News

Agent Update: January 2024 
HMRC have issued their Agent Update for January 2024. We have summarised the key content for you with links to our detailed guidance on the topics covered.

Fujitsu faces questions over other Government contracts 
The Treasury Committee has written to 21 public sector organisations asking them to send details of any contracts awarded by their organisation to Fujitsu since 2019. The organisations include HMRC, the Bank of England and the Financial Conduct Authority.

LBTT: Consultation response on ADS changes 
The Scottish Government has published a response to its consultation on proposed legislative amendments to the Additional Dwelling Supplement (ADS) rules. These changes include extending 18-month deadlines to 36 months and providing relief from ADS on divorce or separation. 

Tax Cases

 Are they human? Tax Tribunal rules on Zombies
The tax tribunal has had the engaging task of deciding whether imported action figures from Game of Thrones, the Marvel comics and the Living Dead are human, non-humans, statuettes or just plastic toys, in an appeal against underpayment of Customs Duty.

Editor's Choice (subscribers)

Capital Allowances: What's new 2023-24
What's new in Capital Allowances for 2023 and 2024? A summary of the different types of capital allowances currently available to UK businesses.

Hottest Topics for Accountants and Advisers: January 2024
A rolling round-up of essential dates, topical news items and tax essentials for our subscribers this January. HMRC's campaigns, Cryptoassets, NICs, Companies House, Landlords, Horizon Scandal compensation and more.

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)


Basis Period reform
What is basis period reform? Who is affected? What is the new basis year for tax? What are the transitional rules?

Self Assessment Return 2022/23: What's new?
2023 Self Assessment toolkit: top tips for completing tax returns for the year ending 5 April 2023.


Mixed members: Partnerships with company members
What is a mixed-member partnership? How are the profits of a mixed-member partnership taxed? What tax adjustments are required? Are there any relieving provisions?

Directors & Companies  

Companies House: What's new
From 3 March 2024, Companies House expects to enact its new powers under the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act to query information provided to its Register. Accountants should review their client's registered details to ensure that they comply accordingly.

Salary 2023/24 (avoiding NICs)
UPDATE: What amount of salary can be paid by an employer to a director/shareholder and avoid or reduce National Insurance Contributions (NICs) in 2023-24? Is it beneficial to pay a slightly higher salary to claim the Employer's NICs allowance and pay some NICs?


Tips, gratuities and troncs
UPDATE: How are tips, gratuities and troncs taxed? What are the rules for National Insurance Contributions (NICs)?

Pecuniary Liabilities
UPDATE: How do HMRC assess an employer's payment of a director's personal expense? Special rules apply to report the benefit for employment tax purposes. This is referred to as the settlement of a Pecuniary Liability.

Private Client & Estate Planning

Estates: Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax
UPDATE: How do executors deal with income and capital gains arising on the deceased’s estate? What allowances and reliefs are available?

Rollover Relief: Exchanges of joint interests in land
This guide outlines the form of Capital Gains Tax (CGT) Rollover Relief available for exchanges of joint interests in land.  

Personal allowance: Who is entitled to claim?
Am I entitled to the UK personal allowance? Are there circumstances when the Personal allowance is not available? 

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?

Capital Allowances

Farming: Capital allowances
What types of expenditure may qualify for capital allowances in farming businesses? What farming-specific points need to be considered?

Enhanced Capital Allowances: Energy saving plant (inc. vehicles)
What are Enhanced Capital Allowances (ECAs)? What is energy-saving plant and machinery? What allowances are available? 

Overseas & Residence

Companies: Permanent establishment & residence
What are the rules for determining a company's country of residence? What is central management and control? When does a company create a permanent establishment in another country?

VAT News & Cases

Refer-a-friend scheme discounts VATable 
In Simple Energy Limited v HMRC [2023] TC08995, the First Tier Tribunal (FTT) found that credits awarded to customers under a refer-a-friend scheme amounted to non-monetary consideration for the supply of energy. Output VAT was due on the value of the credits.

Discounts, Reward Schemes & Vouchers: VAT
Loyalty and reward schemes come in various shapes and sizes and the VAT implications may vary depending on the type of scheme offered. This guide covers some common schemes. 

CPD for Lunch

Byte-sized chunks of lunchtime CPD for subscribers

More at CPD Index

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 18 January 2023

  • HMRC campaign hits service office traders
  • HMRC’s simplification update: January 2024 
  • Luxury watch tax terminates Schwarzenegger's travel plans
  • Simplifying alternative refinancing arrangements for tax 
  • Tax receipts: how is Government is funded?
  • Salary in lieu of dividends did not qualify for CJRS 
  • No Entrepreneurs’ Relief on trust share disposal
  • A cautionary tale of credit cards & loan relationships
  • £20m property was residential for SDLT despite railway vent
  • Walkers ‘Sensations Poppadoms’ were standard rated 
  • Online marketplaces: VAT & selling goods in the UK
  • Directors: Do I need to file a tax return
  • Non-resident Tax toolkit UPDATE
  • Partnerships: How to prepare partnership and partners tax returns UPDATE
  • CGT: Date of acquisition or disposal UPDATE
  • Full expensing & First Year Allowances UPDATE
  • SRT: Statutory Residence Test UPDATE  ...More

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