2011 has been the most interesting year in tax as well as on the economic front. Yet it seems that it has taken the spectre of a double dip recession to make MPs realise that HMRC needs proper management, control and accountability.

On the one hand the House of Commons' Treasury Select Committee has taken new measures to ensure that HMRC's deals with big business are properly scrutinised. On the other the Public Accounts Committee has pushed HMRC's Chairman into working with the tax bodies to improve efficiency.

So, I would like to propose a toast to all those who are working so hard to improve the tax system and we wish the rest of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Please read on for news, new guides and updates.

Best wishes


Nichola Ross Martin FCA
Tax Director

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


MP's condemn HMRC's cosy deals with big business
The Public Accounts Committee recommends new checks on HMRC

HMRC accepts Faster Payments
At long last!

Joint initiative on HMRC service delivery
The tax bodies work with HMRC to improve basic processes

ESC C16: the last chance
From 1 March 2012 most companies will need to appoint a liquidator in order to cease trading


Dividends: index
NEW: start here for our new guide to dividends: minutes, warrants and tax on unlawful distributions

Long-life assets
NEW: solar panels are added to the list

Legal or unlawful dividends: Companies Act 2006
A FREEVIEW mini-guide

Tax relief for Christmas Parties
FREEVIEW guide for employers

Essential reading

for Paid-up subscribers only

Disappearing tax reliefs
NEW: at a glance - tax reliefs that are disappearing in coming months and next year

Subsistence (self-employed)
UPDATE: re-write of this classic: more examples and case law

Enhanced Capital Allowances (ECA) - energy saving plant
NEW: with 100% allowances on ECA it is worth updating clients

Finance Bill 2012: tax planner
Our rolling CPD buster for SME advisers

Autumn 2011 Tax Update
A recent update of interesting cases and updates for SME advisers

New Guides and Updates

Gifts to staff and trivial benefits and business gifts
UPDATED: to clarify tax relief on business gifts

UPDATED: you may obtain tax relief on some costs of entertaining as this guide explains

Recent updates

Close Investment Holding Companies
UPDATE: two recent reports from the Tribunals indicate how easy it is to overlook the rules

Employment status checklist
UPDATE: three new cases add some dimension to the existing tests

Capital Gains Tax: Entrepreneurs' Relief
UPDATE: comparing the disposal of part of a business and its assets

Furnished Holiday Letting
UPDATE: a major rewrite to include 2011 FA provisions including examples on Averaging and Period of Grace reliefs

Most popular

Here is a small selection of our guides (there are now over 700 guides and checklists available to paid subscribers)

Directors' loan accounts: toolkit

ABC or alphabet shares: family companies

Can I back-claim capital allowances on residential property?

Tax Data

Striking off a company

Tax penalties: PAYE: late payment

PAYE late payment penalties buster

Overpayment Relief (formerly error or mistake)

What expenses can I claim?

Goodwill & incorporation: tax issues

Mini-guides and indexes


Tax planning for directors
Index to guides and updates

Retirement: a purchase of own shares
A menu and summary

VAT: a whole new section
Toolkits, practical guides, current reclaim opportunities and updates