Client News

The latest news, launches and awards some of our clients have released and won.

Tracing lost pension plans

Billions of pounds lost in unclaimed funds.

Helping you plan for your retirement is one of our core services, ensuring you are prepared when the time comes to call it a day.

With medical advances enabling more people to live for longer, the average person who retires at 65 lives for another 20 years.

According to the Office for National Statistics, males who retire at 65 can expect to live another 19 years while the average female will be around for 21 years after turning 65.

Considering most people start working in their late teens or early 20s, retirement can be half the amount of time spent working. More…

Tax implications of providing company cars

Does it pay off to provide zero-emission cars?

Offering a company car as a benefit can be a valuable and attractive perk to any valued employee.

Unfortunately, it is not necessarily a tax-free perk and it may be liable for PAYE because HMRC considers the private use of a company car to be a benefit-in-kind.

In some cases it can even be quite costly to the employee, especially if the company also pays for the fuel.

Factors including fuel type, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, the car manufacturer and model, and how long the car is available in the tax year will all affect the amount of tax the employee has to pay. In addition, the employer may have to pay employer national insurance contributions (NICs). More…

Christmas fails to prevent retailers from ‘worst year on record’

Struggling retailers experienced their worst year on record for annual sales in 2019, according to figures published by the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

Total sales among the UK’s beleaguered retailers decreased 0.1% last year and while that sounds fairly modest, it’s a contraction compared to figures showing 1.2% growth in 2018.

The figures showed total sales in November and December – historically buoyant months for retailers – were particularly weak, falling by 0.9% year-on-year.

The period took into account the impact of sales from Black Friday 2019, which was bigger than Christmas for sales of non-food items.

Black Friday, officially later than usual on 29 November 2019, boosted total retail sales in December by 1.9% and distorted the overall retail statistics for the year. More…

Employers to pick up the bill for 6.2% national living wage increas

The hourly national living wage rate for over-25s will increase from £8.21 to £8.72 for 2020/21.

The Low Pay Commission published recommendations for the new rates, which kick in from 1 April 2020.

The national living wage is the Government’s minimum wage for over-25s. The minimum wage for under-25s will also rise.

Workers aged between 21 and 24 will get £8.20 an hour, while staff aged 18 to 20 will see their hourly rate rise to £6.45.

Under-18s will be paid at least £4.55 an hour – up from £4.35, with apprentices being paid at least £4.15 an hour. More…

Report spares taxpayers from last month’s loan charge deadline

An eagerly anticipated report into the controversial loan charge has provided respite for thousands of people.

The Government revealed a string of concessions to lessen the severity of the policy, which seriously distressed those affected.

Up to 50,000 people were paid through so-called disguised remuneration schemes dating back to 1999.

Prior to the publication of the report before Christmas, more than 8,000 of those had already paid backdated taxes to HMRC worth around £2 billion.

Those who had not declared any untaxed income or settled any liabilities had faced a midnight deadline on 31 January 2020. More…

Filing your Tax return at Christmas

Thousands of taxpayers used the Christmas break to file tax returns for 2018/19 through self-assessment.

Statistics from HMRC showed that 34,292 taxpayers submitted tax returns between Christmas Eve and Boxing Day.

Precisely 22,035 taxpayers filed on 24 December 2019, followed by 3,003 on Christmas Day and 9,254 on Boxing Day.

The number of people who submitted their papers to HMRC on Christmas Day 2019 increased by 387 on the previous year, when 2,616 people filed their returns.

The peak filing hour for submissions was between 12pm and 1pm on Boxing Day, when 946 tax returns were filed. More…

Budget set to take place in February once Brexit is resolved

The new government intends to announce the 2020/21 tax rates, bands and allowances in a full Budget next month.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson secured a handsome majority on 12 December 2019, and swiftly returned Sajid Javid to the position of Chancellor.

Javid was poised to deliver his first Budget speech in November 2019, only for it to be cancelled following the decision to call the first December general election since 1923.

While resolving Brexit remains the biggest priority for the new government, time is running out to legislate for any tax changes before the start of 2020/21.

Johnson aims to finalise the UK’s departure from the EU before the end of this month, before holding an early Budget. More…

Complex taper rules could lead to ‘huge’ tax bills for high earners

High earners could face large tax bills if they fail to declare pension contributions on their 2018/19 tax returns, according to a report.

When completing self-assessment, taxpayers are asked if they have put any money into a pension scheme above the annual pensions allowance.

For most people, this allowance is £40,000 – but for every £2 of income above £150,000, a high earner’s allowance is reduced by £1 to give an alternative figure known as the tapered allowance.

The maximum reduction is £30,000, so additional-rate taxpayers who earned more than £210,000 in 2018/19 will see their tapered annual allowance reduced to £10,000.

Pension contributions that exceed an individual’s tapered annual allowance will be charged at the taxpayer’s marginal rate, usually 40% or 45%. More…

Extension of off-payroll rules into the private sector could face delay

The planned extension of the new off-payroll rules to the private sector will be included in a review into how the new government can provide better support to the self-employed.

The pre-election admission by Chancellor Sajid Javid increases the prospect of the controversial tax measure, which was contained in Finance Bill 2019, being delayed.

“In our manifesto, we promise a review of how we can further help the self-employed,” Javid told Money Box on BBC Radio 4 in the run-up to last month’s general election.

“But one thing in particular I want to look at again are the proposed changes to IR35.”

When pressed by host Paul Lewis as to whether the extension of the rules to the private sector may be put off, Javid stopped short of committing to a delay.

“I don’t want to pre-empt the review,” added Javid. “But it makes sense to include the IR35 changes in that review.” More…

Quarter of small businesses in the UK expect to go bust by 2024

A quarter of small business owners in the UK believe their company will fold in the next four years, research has claimed.

Late payments (54%), tax rates (44%) and cyber-attacks (27%) were the biggest concerns among the 500 owner-managers polled by cloud accounting software provider Xero.

Other challenges included Brexit (44%), maintaining or boosting levels of productivity (31%) and recruitment costs (19%).

Around a third (37%) of small business owners said they are experiencing their most turbulent period.

The pressures of running a small business in the current climate also affected more than a third of respondents’ mental health. More…

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