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Here are just some of the strategies our tax experts are sharing with you this month: 
  • Employed Or Self-Employed - Are You Sure?

    Whether an individual is employed or self-employed is an important question for both tax and National Insurance Contributions (NICs) purposes. Sarah Laing examines a recent case in which the tribunal found the taxpayer to be self-employed...
  • Do As We Say – Not As We Do!

    The UK tax system can seem harsh, hostile, and unforgiving if taxpayers make mistakes when dealing with their tax affairs, such as where tax return errors result in penalties. Mark McLaughlin points out that administrative errors by HMRC will not necessarily provide taxpayers with the escape route they might seek...
  • A Winding Road? From Sole Trader To Partnership

    A partnership can be a simple and extremely flexible way for two or more people to own and run a business together. However, bear in mind that in general partners do not have any protection if the partnership fails. Sarah Laing looks at some of the practical issues to look out for when moving from a sole trader business to a partnership... 
  • A Welcome Change: VAT Recovery On Corporate Acquisitions 

    When businesses undertake a major corporate acquisition, the normal procedure is to set up a holding company (HoldCo) to undertake the acquisition and hold the shares following the acquisition. HoldCo will incur all the professional fees and will manage the trading company, but recovering the VAT on the costs can be a problem if you do not structure the recharges correctly. Andrew Needham looks at VAT recovery on corporate acquisitions following a change in HMRC’s guidance...
  • Capital Reduction Techniques For Owner-Managed Companies (Part 2)

    Owner-managed companies frequently reduce their share capital to remove a profit and loss account ‘deficit’ (i.e. accumulated losses), to enable dividends to be paid. In the second of a three-part article, Peter Rayney examines the practical uses of capital reductions...
  • Company Own Share Purchase And ERS: You Must Be Kidding!

    A gain arising on a company purchase of own shares (PoS) is taxed either as a dividend or a capital gain. So, what have the employment-related securities rules got to do with it? Ken Moody looks at the interaction between a company purchase of own shares and the employment-related securities rules, which may have unexpected and unwelcome results...
  • Tax Breaks: Use Them, Don’t Lose Them!

    Lindsey Wicks looks at various annual limits that taxpayers might want to use before the end of the tax year...
  • Running A Business After The Only Director And Shareholder Has Died 

    A great proportion of the three million registered UK companies are sole director owner-managed businesses, formerly sole traders. Tony Granger highlights some important implications when a company’s only director and shareholder has died...
  • Director’s Tax Returns: Don’t Believe Everything You Read

    The majority of owner-managed or family company directors receive a notice to file a tax return from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) each year. Mark McLaughlin looks at whether company directors who receive no income or gains still need to complete a tax return, and questions whether government guidance is correct...
  • Beware Of The Small Print In The Rules For A TOGC

    When you buy the trade and assets of a business, it can be treated as a '
    transfer of a going concern’ (TOGC) and no VAT need be charged. Andrew Needham looks at some the less well-known conditions you have to satisfy in order to obtain TOGC treatment...
  • Capital Reduction Techniques For Owner-Managed Companies (Part 1)

    Owner-managed companies can now reduce their share capital with relative ease. In the first of a three-part article, Peter Rayney highlights practical uses of share capital reductions...
  • Are Deathbed Gifts Now Dead In The 21st Century?

    In short, the answer to the question in the article title is ‘no’, they are alive and kicking and the conditions which deathbed gifts must satisfy to be valid have recently been clarified by the Court of Appeal. Malcolm Finney looks at an arcane area of law...
  • ISAs - Quite A Line Up!

    Income and capital gains from ISA investments are taxfree. Cash ISAs and stocks and shares ISAs are still available, but innovative finance ISAs, help to buy ISAs and lifetime ISAs have been added to the mix. Lindsey Wicks looks at the growing range of individual savings account (ISA) types on offer...
  • Does Your Business Have A Will?

    In the same way that an individual can preserve assets and direct them through having a will, so can a 
     business. Tony Granger looks at what can happen to a business that has not protected itself, nor prepared itself for the death of a key person, member of staff or a shareholder...
  • Making Gifts And Legacies: Love Letters

    The reason why an individual (e.g. a family member) makes a gift to another is ultimately a matter of fact.  However, it will often be necessary to provide evidence in support of the reason for the gift because the tax treatment might depend on it. Mark McLaughlin highlights a selection of circumstances in which letters from individuals making gifts or legacies might be useful...
  • Making Tax Digital Is On Its Way - Ready Or Not?

    Although there is widespread agreement that the government’s Making Tax Digital for Business (MTD) project is the right approach for the future, many concerns have been raised over recent months regarding the pace and scale of changes. Sarah Laing looks at some of the issues businesses will be facing as they prepare to report digitally for VAT from April 2019...
  • Recovering VAT On Assets With Both Business And Private Use

    What happens when goods have both business and private/non-business use? Andrew Needham looks at methods of recovering and accounting for VAT on assets with both business and private use...
  • Getting To Grips With The New Dividend Tax Regime For Discretionary Trusts (Part 2)

    In the second of his two-part article, Peter Rayney reviews the tax treatment of distributions made to beneficiaries of a discretionary trust...
  • Maximising Residence Nil Rate Band Relief

    Most people will perhaps recall the Conservatives announcing that no-one dying with an estate of up to £1 million will pay inheritance tax (IHT) in future. Well, as so often with politicians, the announcement was only a half-truth. Malcolm Finney warns how easy it can be to lose part of the inheritance tax residence nil rate band...
  • Using Pension Contributions To Reduce The High Income Child Benefit Charge

    The high-income child benefit charge (HICBC) has been a feature of the income tax regime since 7 January 2013. It was introduced following the uproar caused by the plan announced in October 2010 to abolish child benefit for any household with a 40% taxpayer. Lindsey Wicks considers how those caught by the high-income child benefit charge could achieve low-cost pension saving...
  • Ticking Time Bombs And Employment-Related Securities

    As some readers will know, the employment-related securities (ERS) legislation (ITEPA 2003, Pt 7) is very complex. It is also fundamentally flawed in various ways, and it is quite easy to fall into traps which are rather like ticking time bombs, ready to explode when it’s too late to defuse them.  Ken Moody unearths some, perhaps unconsidered but not trifling, issues readers should be aware of...
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