Accountancy Blog

Residential property tax

How has devolution affected what tax you pay?

First-time buyers in England, Northern Ireland – and for a short time in Wales – were the biggest winners in the most recent shake-up to affect property taxes in Autumn Budget 2017.

Philip Hammond’s headline measure was to abolish stamp duty for first-time buyers on homes worth up to £300,000, and the chancellor didn’t stop there.

He also introduced a reduced rate of 5% on the portion worth from £300,000 to £500,000, providing a welcome boost for many aspiring homeowners in London where the average residential property sold for £556,146 in 2017. More…

Use Capital allowances to reduce tax

How to minimise business tax in 2018/19.

If there’s one thing that keeps us awake at night it’s the thought of how many British businesses are failing to claim capital allowances to which they are entitled – worth billions of pounds across the board, according to some estimates.

Capital allowances provide the mechanism for tax relief on certain types of capital expenditure (the purchase of assets such as office furniture, or equipment) essentially providing a deduction against profits.

Depending on the nature of the allowances, the deduction may be up to 100%, providing full write-off against profits in the year of purchase. More…

VAT – a big issue for SME’s

VAT creates the biggest administration burden for around two-thirds of businesses in the UK, research from the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has claimed.

The report, which polled more than 1,100 businesses of all sizes, found that 64% were bamboozled by an array of rates and rules to comply with VAT legislation.

This percentage is likely to increase in the near future as VAT-registered businesses with taxable turnover of more than £85,000 prepare for Making Tax Digital to take effect from April 2019. More…

Inheritance tax – make sure you plan ahead

The Treasury fetched a record high of £5.2 billion in inheritance tax receipts last year, according to statistics published by HMRC.

Inheritance tax receipts increased 8% year-on-year in 2017/18 to continue a long-term trend, which began when the nil-rate band was frozen at £325,000 with effect from 6 April 2009.

Since then, inheritance tax receipts have grown by an average of 10% a year, with the latest increase £388 million higher than in 2016/17. More…

Stamp duty for first-time buyers

Philip Hammond’s decision to abolish stamp duty land tax (SDLT) for most first-time buyers on all properties worth up to £300,000 saved homeowners £284 million in the first half of 2018.

The chancellor scrapped SDLT in Autumn Budget 2017 for most people taking their first steps on the property ladder in England, Northern Ireland and for a limited time in Wales.

Speaking at the time, Hammond expected the move to cut SDLT for 95% of first-time buyers and abolish it for 80% of them. More…

Making Tax Digital

HMRC has confirmed that digital reporting requirements will be relaxed during the first year of Making Tax Digital (MTD) for VAT-registered businesses.

From April 2019, businesses with annual taxable turnover of more than £85,000 will be required to maintain digital records for VAT and submit quarterly returns alongside the annual tax return.

Under the requirements of MTD, any transfer of data between software programs must be carried out using digital software. More…