Despite the Conservatives' plan to support marriages through tax breaks for couples, these tax breaks are proving difficult to claim.
Nimesh Shah, partner at Blick Rothenberg comments; 'The main issue is that people must register to claim the allowance. People should also check their new PAYE coding notice to ensure the allowance is reflected.'
Source: The Sunday Times
Frank Nash, tax partner at Blick Rothenberg, provides an answer to a reader's question in the Daily Telegraph, Ask an expert.
Source: The Daily Telegraph
Any money you spend keeping a property in a good state of repair is tax deductible. As a landlord you must submit a self-assessment tax return each year. Nimesh Shah, tax partner at Blick Rothenberg, says to always keep receipts and other proof of payments.
'If HMRC decides to raise an inquiry it will want to see written proof of all the costs you have claimed.'
Leading up to the 2015 Government Election, Nimesh Shah, tax partner at Blick Rothenberg, comments on what specific tax pledges are of interest? Labour has pledged to re-introduce the 10 per cent starting rate, but its manifesto doesn't say at which point that will be.
'I question whether this is needed as we have a 0 per cent rate of savings income up to £5,000 and the introduction of £1,000/£500 interest allowance from April 2016.'
Source: The Independent
After the announcement that tax receipts over the five years of the coalition government rose by 23%, driven by the rise in VAT payments which increase more than income tax, national insurance and stamp duty land tax combined, experts from Blick Rothenberg provide comment;
Alan Pearce, VAT partner, said; 'The significant increase in VAT receipts during the period can be traced back to the January 2011 increase in the standard rate of VAT from 17.5% to 20%, as well as increase consumer spending as the economy recovers. However, whether the VAT rate increase equates to claims by some that this has led to the average family paying an extra £1,800 of VAT over the period is questionable as this would mean an annual spend per household of around £21,600 on goods and services that are subject to the 20% VAT rate.'
Nimesh Shah, tax partner, comment; ' Whilst the personal allowance for income tax has increase by £4,000, the NIC band shave barely changed. Couple this with the additionally 1% added across each of the rates in 2011/12, it is easy to see why the NIC receipts are up £13bn.'
Paul Haywood-Schiefer, personal tax advisor, said; 'SDLT's rapid progress can’t just be put down to the increase activity in the property market, but also reflective of the introduction of the 5% and 7% rates on properties over 31m and over £2m respectively. It is still too soon to fully gauge the effects of the change to progressive SDLT rates, introduced in the Autumn Statement, although in January and February of this year, the receipts were down £181m on the same two months of last year.'
Alan Pearce, partner at Blick Rothenberg, comments on the VAT flat rate scheme; 'Take the example of a sole trader with IT consultancy income of £100,000 a year. Under the normal rules, he would charge 320,000 of VAT at 20% and pay this to HMRC. Under the flat rate scheme, he still charges and collects £20,000 from his clients but pays only £17,400 to HMRC [14.5% of the VAT inclusive turnover, this being the flat rate for an IT consultant]. There is an immediate saving of 32,600, subject to any VAT on expenditure that he forgoes.'
Source: The Sunday Times
Speaking on maximising gains in the new tax year, particularly in regards to realising capital gain in this tax year without incurring capital gains tax, Caroline Le Jeune, senior partner at Blick Rothenberg, comments; 'Where you expect to realise a significant capital gain, consider delaying the disposal until after April 5. This will date by which the tax is due by 12 months.'
Following the Budget announcement, freelancers will be better off in the 2015-16 tax year, except for the very highest earning self-employed people.
Blick Rothenberg post-Budget analysis shows that only those freelancers commanding an annual salary of between £125,000 and £175,000 will be worse off.
After the Chancellor outlined a radical overhaul of the self-assessment system in the Budget, Mark Abbs, tax partner at Blick Rothenberg, said this will bring tax collection into the modern age, but warned it will be expensive at first. He comments; 'We have had similar changes to the UK payroll system, and while there were some technology challenges, on the whole it went pretty smoothly and better than most advisers had feared. It became the norm very quickly. Abolishing tax returns is therefore a natural step in the online evolution. A five year time frame is ambitious and there is a lot to do by then to change the rules/framework and especially technology.'
Leading up to the end of the annual tax return, Simon Wagman, partner at Blick Rothenberg, has warned it could lead some to miss out on the reliefs and deductions they are eligible to.
He told ITV News that; 'The banishment of annual self-assessment tax returned may sound like an improvement for those who are self employed, but those claiming reliefs and deductions may no longer see the opportunity and end up paying more tax.'