Recent Posts by Dev10

When does a hobby become a trade

An example may illustrate the answer to this question.

Harry updates his iPad and decides to sell his old one – he does not use the iPad for his employment or any business, it’s used purely for recreational purposes. He sets up an account on eBay and manages to sell for a reasonable price. Encouraged, he sells a number of other, no longer used, personal items on the same eBay account.

At this point, it would be difficult for the tax office to argue that Harry was engaged in a trade.

Harry then has an opportunity to buy an iPad from a friend, and the price his friend wants is reasonable, so reasonable that Harry is tempted to...

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What happens if you can’t pay your tax on time

Following on from the previous article, we thought readers might be interested in the consequences if they fail to pay their Self Assessment tax on time.

If you are facing cash-flow issues, and cannot see how you can afford to settle part, or all of your tax payment due 31 July 2017, what is the best strategy to avoid confrontation with HMRC and minimise any penalties and interest charges?

Firstly, let’s take a look at penalties. The trigger dates for penalties are 30 days, 6 months and 12 months after the tax became due for payment. On each of these trigger dates you will be charged a 5% penalty based on the amount of tax outstanding.

The current...

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Tax due next month

Are you self-employed? If you are, you may need to make your second payment on account for 2016-17, due date for payment is 31 July 2017.

This second payment on account will have been based on 50% of your combined Self Assessment tax and Class 4 NIC liability for 2015-16. Which raises an interesting question.

What if your actual Self Assessment liability for 2016-17 is higher or lower than the liability for 2015-16? From a cash flow perspective, the outcome is win-win in both cases. Let’s consider the two options in more detail:

2016-17 liability is higher than 2015-16

In this case your taxable profits will have increased, year on year, and after your January and July 2017 payments...

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Are you missing out on a �662 tax rebate

Apparently, over 4 million tax payers are eligible to claim the new marriage allowance, but only 2 million have done so. If our math is correct, this add up to £1.3bn in unclaimed tax refunds.

The allowance has been available since 6 April 2015 and is worth £212 for 2015-16, £220 for 2016-17 and £230 for 2017-18; a cumulative tax rebate of £662. The allowance is only available to the following couples:

  • Couples must be married or in a formal civil partnership, living together does not qualify.
  • One spouse/partner needs to be a non-tax payer. i.e. their income must be below the personal tax allowance. (£10,600 for 2015-16, £11,000 for 2016-17, and £11,500 for 2017-18).
  • The other spouse/partner needs...
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