You may have seen some information in the press or heard from HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs) with an invitation to sign up to use your ‘personal tax account’. The reason for this is that HMRC are beginning to phase out tax returns as we know them. Instead, they plan to bring in “real time” reporting for taxpayers. It’s early days so we don’t yet know the finer details of the scheme but we’ll let you know about developments as soon as we know what they are.
What we do know is that taxpayers will be able to access and manage their Personal Tax Accounts via mobile devices such as tablets and smart phones as well as from PCs and laptops. HMRC will populate each personal tax account with information already available to them, which may help with the reporting of income. Eventually, as the system develops taxpayers will need to report their income and capital gains quarterly. It may come as no surprise that in time taxpayers will also need to pay the tax due every quarter – which is one of the attractions of the new system for HM Treasury.
Survey reveals a positive year for hospitality and tourism businesses, but some still lack crucial online presence
This month MHA, the UK-wide association of independent accountancy and business advisory firms, released the results of its annual Hospitality and Tourism survey. The survey provides in-depth sector specific knowledge, thus enabling association members to provide expert business advice to attraction owners, restaurateurs and accommodation providers.
The survey results revealed a positive financial year for hospitality and tourism businesses, with 67% of respondents reporting increased turnover in the past 12 months and 58% expecting an increase in 2016-17. Profits also increased for 64% of respondents, although the majority reported growth figures of less than 5%.
MHA, the UK-wide association of independent accountancy and business advisory firms, has produced a report identifying ten issues currently facing charities and organisations in the Not-for-Profit (NfP) sector.
The association’s not-for-profit specialists have drawn up the list of key challenges based on the issues raised regularly by its client base of over 1600 charity and NfP organisations.
Sarah Case, Head of the Charity and Not-for-Profit sector at MHA, said: “The sector is dealing with continued challenges from numerous directions. Changing legislation is placing a cost burden onto organisations already struggling with funding issues. Governance continues to be key in maintaining and developing a successful organisation, being alive to taxation issues has become imperative and the charity regulators (Charity Commission and the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR)) are adopting a more rigorous approach.”
Taxpayers in dispute with HMRC will now have to pay a fee if they wish to take the Revenue to tribunal. This recent government decision has provoked criticism from lawyers and accountants concerned that the introduction of fees may prevent some from accessing justice over their tax bills.
The proposed fees range from £20 for appeals against fixed tax penalties of £100 or less, to £2,000 for an appeal hearing in the Upper Tribunal or Chancery Court. Although fees at the lower end of this scale are relatively small, fears have been raised that the existence of a fee at all may deter taxpayers from appealing against HMRC and may be increased in the future.
Indeed, when fees for employment tribunals were introduced in 2014, the number of claims fell by 80%.
The date for the highly anticipated referendum on the membership of the EU has now been set for the 23rd of June. This is only 6 weeks after the Welsh Assembly elections so Welsh voters have a lot of deciding to do in the coming months.
The prospect of a Brexit has already had exchange rate and share price implications for the UK as a result of the uncertainty around the result of a vote. There will be increasing levels of debate with potential implications set out by both sides as we approach the vote and here we will look at some of the specific issues impacting on the agricultural sector.
The National Minimum Wage has been in force for a number of years now. However, agricultural businesses in Wales also have to abide by the Agricultural Sector (Wales) Act 2014, which sets minimum wage rates for staff at different grades of skill and responsibility.
Following the most recent Order, the minimum levels increased by 6% to the following rates, which came into force on 26 February:
FRS102 isn’t something most businesses are going to get excited about. Even for those that have heard of it, many may not know what it means in practice.
In summary FRS102 is a set of rules that looks to standardise the accounting treatment that accountants use to represent the financial affairs of a company. The idea is that when looking at financial reporting across the spectrum of business, anyone looking will be comparing apples with apples because the treatment will be the same.
Small companies do have different disclosure requirements to large companies. There is also a class of companies called micro-entities – very small companies and they also have different rules.
The past year has seen a number of announcements changing the way in which landlords are taxed on their property income. In particular, the letting of residential property will be adversely affected and following recent Budget announcements, George Osborne is making himself look like “the big bad wolf”.
Restriction on mortgage interest from April 2017
Perhaps the biggest change is to the way landlords claim tax relief on mortgage interest. We are finding that awareness of it, and how much damage it can do, is still not widely known.
A new £25 million Welsh Government fund will provide ambitious Welsh managers and management teams with the funding they need to buy established Welsh small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) when their current owners retire or sell up.
Launched today by Economy Minister Edwina Hart, the 5-year Wales Management Succession Fund aims to help 20 Welsh SMEs create and safeguard over 1,000 jobs under new ownership.
The key change in the recent budget was an unexpected reduction in Capital Gains Tax from 28% at the higher rate and 18% at the basic rate to 20% and 10% respectively. Whilst this excluded residential property that does not benefit from Principal Private Residence relief, it will be a welcome reduction for anyone with items held for investment purposes.
Even more surprising was an extension to Entrepreneur’s Relief to external shareholders, i.e. those that are not officers or employees, but who own more than 5% of the voting share capital. The intention is to encourage long term, stable investment in unlisted companies and improve the flow of capital by increasing the return available to investors. The further reduction in Corporation Tax rates announced will also increase the earnings available for distribution as dividends which should provide further incentive for investors and enable private companies to increase their attractiveness to them.