In this Web-update (W-update) we have a mixture of new guides and updates with a focus on tax planning for directors.

Highly contrived tax avoidance schemes have made regular appearances in the press of late and so it is refreshing to report a real "back to basics" case on whether an actor's accommodation costs should be allowable or not.

Scroll on down for the W-updates.

Best wishes


Nichola Ross Martin FCA
Tax Director
Your online Virtual Tax Partner: practical support for accountants, tax advisers and their clients

Essential reading - Freeview

Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS)
UPDATE: with up to 78% tax relief on offer, it is worth updating yourself with the basics.

Business Economics Tests (BETs)
Tips from our investigations blog: when it comes to BETs size can really matter.

Case round-up - back to basics

Was there a trade?
In Eclipse Film Partners No 35 LLP a film partnership is blocked from claiming loss relief: its activities did not amount to trading.

Can actors claim tax relief on accommodation?
In T Healy v HMRC TC01940 an actor rented for 8 months and successfully claimed tax relief.

FREEVIEW tax updates

Directors' loan accounts: toolkit
HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) do a toolkit for advisers but this is our version that includes planning points

Especially for subscribers (pay to view)

Directors: tax planning toolkit 2012/13
NEW: key guidance with essential planning points and pitfalls

Will I pay less tax if I trade via an LLP?
UPDATE: does flexibility outweigh tax savings, now that corporation tax rates are down?

ABC or alphabet shares: family companies
UPDATE: this guide examines the tax consequences of creating new share classes in a family company in order to split income with a spouse or close family members

Accommodation costs (self-employed)
NEW: a mini-guide with a case comparison of when tax relief can be obtained on a flat rental

Subsistence (self-employed)
UPDATE: forget all you learned about "duality of purpose" s57A ITTOIA 2005 provides tax relief for the cost of food. The difficult part is working out just who qualifies.

Living expenses (self-employed)
UPDATE: mini-guide with essential case law.

Recent updates

PAYE late payment penalties buster
UPDATE: essential tips and planning points.

Tax penalties: grounds for appeal
UPDATE: new cases added

Property letting: CGT and IHT issues
NEW: a refresher illustrating the limitations of business asset reliefs and let property.

Surplus cash CGT & IHT relief and Striking Off
Companies: check that changes in trading activities do not compromise business asset tax relief.

Do I pay a salary or dividend?
UPDATE: falling marginal rates of corporation tax will tip the balance for many more companies from 2012/13.

Salary 2012/13 (avoiding NICs)
UPDATE: these tables show the salary levels to pay to secure basic benefits and avoid National Insurance charges.

Tax planning for income at marginal tax rates Changes to Child Benefit and the claw back of personal allowances have created extra tax cliff-edges.

Editor's choice

Finance Bill 2012: tax tracker
UPDATE: our unique tracker provides essential CPD for all subscribers. We keep a rolling summary of all the key tax measures introduced and also track key HMRC changes affecting SMEs and their owners from 2010/11 to 2012/13.

Dividends: index
Worried about formalities or the consequences of an unlawful dividend, start here.

How to check your 2012/13 PAYE Code
New guidance from the Low Income Tax Reform Group.

Transactions in securities (TiS)
UPDATE: selling shares to an associated company or reorganising and starting a new one, each situation might be caught by the TiS rules.

ABC or Alphabet shares: employees
What are the tax and NICs consequences of issuing different classes of shares?

Travel (self-employed)
A complete rewrite comparing and contrasting recent FTT decisions.

Enterprise Management Incentives (EMIs)
Get planning now. New limits for 2012/13 and from 2013/14 options may qualify for Entrepreneurs' Relief.

Company cars
UPDATE: changes to fuel benefit charges from April 2012 and lowering of emissions rates for capital allowances.

CGT Capital Gains Tax rates & allowances
UPDATE: following Budget announcements

Technical support

Stuck on a technical query?
Want a second opinion, or assistance in drafting a response. Have you tried our Virtual Tax Partner support service?...More

Don't forget

Directors' NICs and payrolls
Check your payroll is calculating correctly before you year-end.

Advisory fuel rates (company car drivers)
New rates for diesel drivers from 1 March 2012.

Tax Credits: urgent action required
HMRC is removing families from tax credits before 2011/12 figures are in. As the backdating rules are changing this could lead to a loss of benefits.

Subsistence (self-employed)
A rewrite and update.

Capital allowances case: plant or buildings?
If you missed this last time, look again: have your clients claimed capital allowances on all they should?

New year tax planning

Property profits & losses: toolkit
Property - (PAID subscribers)

Associated companies checklist (new rules)
Companies - (PAID subscribers)

AIA: rules where there is a change of rate
If a business has a year-end other than 31 March 2013.

All about employees

Employee homeworking allowance rises in 2012/13
Those generous folk at HMRC have increased the rate.

Tax-free benefits in kind and perks
UPDATE: a quick guide.

Pensions: carry forward of unused allowances
The mechanics of the carry-forward of deemed allowances from 2008/09.

Collecting Tax Debts through PAYE
From April 2012 debts of up to £2,999 will be added to tax codes.

When a dividend is subject to NICs (Part 3)
A contrived bonus scheme is taxed as employment earnings (taxpayer has appealed to Supreme Court).

Use of home for business purposes
Tax treat mini guide for your staff.

Plug in car and van grants
NEW: the fleet vehicle of the future?

More Subscribers' Guides

Don't miss:

Capital expenditure allowances - signpost
Quick guide to alternative allowances to plant and machinery capital allowances.

Fixtures: overview
Confused about late claims for Fixtures and changes in 2012? Start here.

Disappearing tax reliefs
UPDATE: tax reliefs and changes that will affect your clients in the next 12 months.

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


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

Subscribe now

Come and join us

Subscribe (and UNLOCK the whole site)

A single user annual subscription is £295 (+ VAT) - if you subscribe before 31 May.

What do you get?

  • Open access to this entire Virtual tax database together with bonus material.
  • Structured CPD our detailed SME tax updates "for Advisers Only" provide topical summaries and planning notes.
  • 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.
  • A regular Email update when there are new guides and tax issues that we think you MUST read.
  • Nichola’s monthly SME tax news summary (we do the reading and cherry pick the best of the press, magazines and websites for you).
  • A 25% discount to our Tax W-updates (that is a tax webinar-update service).
  • A 20% discount to our Tax Masterclass.
  • You can also commission guides and checklists for your own practice, post comments and upload your own articles.
  • Access to the Virtual Tax Partner service for FREE quick calls with a discount of 25% on phone, email and investigation tax support from the Virtual Tax Partner helpline.