How was Self Assessment for you? I bet you have the same issue: a small band of taxpayers who bring their books in at the last minute.

Well, it's happened for so long now that I can confirm that we were prepared and I kept three days free for them. I also had a number of clients who could not work out how to pay their Self Assessments bills. I thought that was a bit strange and so did a payment walk-through for them and put it on this site. Forty-five people read that yesterday, not all my clients I add! 

A dramatic moment on the 31st came with our Self Assessment software. When you submit a return you receive a message to confirm that it has been submitted to HMRC. You are told then that page will update and you do not need to wait there. I noted that I had several returns which had not been marked as 'Accepted by HMRC' in my master list. I went in to the return submission page which was still refreshing (it was 8.30pm by then!) and it was announced on the same page that the returns were rejected as they had an incorrect ID. Shock horror! As I was looking at a partnership I found that the same applied for the partners. I followed the guide to unlock and resubmit the main return. Rejected again. Feeling defeated I decided to do what I should have done first: to check HMRC online. Lo and behold, all the offending returns had been submitted and accepted in July 2023. Annoyingly all the returns on my SA software advise me that the submissions have failed and I have a string of rejection emails from the later duplicated filings too. Memo to self: report this issue.

In terms of news to report this week, there is an ongoing technical consultation on the new rules to prevent double collection of tax from deemed employers when the off-payroll working rules apply. If you have an employee ownership trust (EOT), that is a useful way to buy out a shareholding tax-free. HMRC has updated its manual to confirm that a temporary departure from the 'limited participation' rules may be acceptable if it is outside the EOT's control. We also have a mini-summary of our selection of interesting case write ups, should you prefer some lighter reading!

We have a piece on tax clearances. Why bother with one? We quite often have to advise in cases where tax clearance for a share based transaction has not been obtained, typically in situations where with hindsight, it would have been rather handy to have one now on file. I am a big fan of advanced tax clearance. I can see reasons why you might not bother, but my feeling is that it's a false economy. You decide.

Finally, a number of subscribers to the website have queried the disappearance of the 'Print' button. You can still print out articles by highlighting the desired text on screen, right clicking the mouse button and selecting Print in the dialog box.  

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

Tax Clearance: Why bother?
Taxpayers can apply to HMRC for advanced tax clearance ahead of implementing a range of different transactions and topics. It can be seen as a 'belt and braces' approach for many transactions, and buyers always check for it, so why do so many advisers not insist on it? Is it a matter of cost or is it just an attitude that if you follow 'the letter of the law' in a transaction, clearance is overkill?

Hot briefs, January's case round-up
Too busy with Self Assessment to keep up with the new? Our pick of useful cases for accountants to discuss with their clients focused mainly on tax appeals by companies or their directors, we also have a selection of VAT, SDLT and customs duty appeals.

PRR: No evidence, no relief 
In Sabbir Patwary v HMRC [2024] TC09035, the First Tier Tribunal (FTT) found that a taxpayer gave "remarkably little" evidence to demonstrate that he occupied a property as his only or main residence. Private Residence Relief (PRR) was denied.

What is the 2024/25 PAYE Code?
What is the 2024-25 PAYE tax code? What do the different types of tax code suffixes mean? 

Editor's Choice (subscribers)

Sale to an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT)
Company owners may sell their controlling interests in the ordinary share capital of their trading companies to a type of Employee Ownership Trust (EOT) free of Capital Gains Tax (CGT) and Inheritance Tax (IHT).

An Index to Share Transactions incl. Reorganisations, Demergers & Share Exchanges
What tax relief applies in a share transaction? When do you need a company reorganisation or reconstruction? What tax reliefs apply to a company reorganisation, a share for share exchange, reconstruction or other transaction involving shares?
You can reorganise or separate company activities and different subsidiaries using a variety of different methods. The super-practical tax guides in this index provide an outline of the tax treatment together with step by step guides, case studies and tax clearance templates.

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)


Accountancy & tax fees 
Is tax relief available on accountancy and tax advisory fees? What costs need to be disallowed? 

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?

Website and e-commerce costs
What tax relief is there for the costs relating to designing, creating, and maintaining a website, software or e-commerce development?

Directors & Companies 

Do I pay a salary or dividend? 2023/24
This guide explores the tax-planning points and pitfalls of using dividends to create a tax-efficient pay package. 

Employment status & tax: Directors & non-executive directors
What is the tax status of a director? How are non-executive directors taxed? 


Off-Payroll Working
UPDATE: HMRC is consulting on changes to the legislation to allow HMRC to account for tax and NICs already paid by a worker and their intermediary against the deemed employer’s Pay As You Earn (PAYE) liability.

Travel (employer's guide)
UPDATE: How do employers apply the tax rules to travel costs? What is available for subsistence costs? What are the rules on home-to-work travel?

Termination, redundancy and leaving payments
How are redundancy and termination payments taxed? What amounts can be paid tax-free? What amounts are taxable as earnings?

Private Client & Estate Planning

Investment bonds & tax
How are investment bonds taxed? What is an investment bond? What is a chargeable event gain and how is it calculated? How do notional tax credits work? How is top slicing relief calculated? What is deficiency relief?

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? 

Land & Property

Rent-a-room Relief
UPDATE: What is rent-a-room relief? When does it apply? What are the limits and restrictions?

Adviser's Guide: Property Business, profits and losses
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?

Capital Allowances

Plant & machinery: Allowances
What capital allowances are available on plant and machinery? How do you calculate them? What are qualifying activities?

Overseas & Residence

Transfer of Assets Abroad
UPDATE: What are the TOAA rules? When do they apply? How is the tax charge calculated? Is there any defence against the rules?

Non-domicile status, deemed domicile & tax
Who is non-UK domiciled? What does this mean for UK Income Tax, Capital Gains Tax and Inheritance Tax? What reliefs are available to non-doms? 

VAT News & Cases

Groups (VAT)
UPDATE: What are the conditions for forming a VAT group? What rules apply once a VAT group is in place?

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 25 January 2023

  • Agent Update: January 2024 
  • Fujitsu faces questions over other Government contracts 
  • LBTT: Consultation response on ADS changes 
  • Are they human? Tax Tribunal rules on Zombies
  • Calendar of tax deadlines and new tax measures
  • Refer-a-friend scheme discounts VATable 
  • Capital Allowances: What's new 2023-24
  • Hottest Topics for Accountants and Advisers: January 2024
  • Basis Period reform
  • Mixed members: Partnerships with company members
  • Companies House: What's new
  • Salary 2023/24 (avoiding NICs) UPDATE
  • Tips, gratuities and troncs UPDATE
  • Pecuniary Liabilities UPDATE
  • Estates: Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax UPDATE
  • PRR: Private Residence Relief  ...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 TAX INTRANET 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.