Category Archives: Uncategorised

The hidden tax on car benefits for employers

Businesses that provide employees with taxable benefits: company cars, health insurance and so on, will be aware that a benefit in kind charge is added to the employee’s income and subjected to an income tax charge the same as their salary.

Employers will also be aware that the cumulative sum of all the taxable benefits of their employees are subjected to an employers’ National Insurance charge – at present, this Class 1A charge amounts to 13.8% of all taxable benefits provided.

Which means the true cash cost of providing £10,000 of taxable benefits is £11,380.

Unfortunately, some benefits are not based on an identifiable cost, but on a scale rate applied by HMRC. Of particular concern are car...

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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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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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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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