Tax at Christmas time!

A very Merry Christmas to one and all from Taxfile‘ s Tax Accountants.

Our gift to you all this year is a brand new, free of charge insurance cover.
This cover will provide you with protection against any possible Tax enquiry: In the unlikely event of a random investigation by the revenue, Taxfile have insured its customers against the associated costs incurred in defending such cases thus saving its clients hundreds of pounds. So avoid the stress and have piece of mind this Christmas and call into Taxfile this December.
By way of an extra incentive to think Tax returns before the end of December! Taxfile have also put together some great Christmas prizes.
Bring your details into us before the 31 December and you’ll have a free entry into our Christmas draw.

Prizes available are:

  • 1st Prize: A weekend for two at one of the Meridian Hotels
  • 2nd Prize: Half a case of champagne
  • 3rd Prize: A Marks and Spencer voucher worth £25.00

So let Taxfile take the pressure off, come in and see us before the 31st of December and ensure you have your return filed before the January 31st deadline.

Furthermore Taxfile have now established links with companies offering financial, legal and mortgage advice, further details on these services are outlined in our newsletter which will be arriving on your door step very shortly.

We look forward to seeing you soon.

Tax return deadlines: taxpayers’ worse nightmare

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by not having enough time to cope with your tax affairs in time?
During the tax year (6 April one year to 5 April the next) there are important dates , let’s call them key dates, by which you need to send in your tax return and make certain payments. It’s important to be aware of these dates as HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) imposes penalties, interest and surcharges if you miss them.
• 31 January
This is the formal deadline for sending back a tax return received by the previous 31 October. If it arrives after this deadline you’ll be charged an automatic £100 penalty.This is also the deadline for paying the balance of any tax you owe, referred as ”balancing payment”.HMRC will charge you daily penalties until they receive your payment.
30 September
Paper tax returns for the tax year that ended on the previous 5 April must reach the HMRC by this date if you want them to calculate your tax for you, tell you what you have to pay by the following 31 January or collect tax through your tax code (if possible) where you owe less than £2,000 .
If they receive your paper tax return after 30 September and process it by 30 December, they’ll still calculate your tax and try to collect tax through your tax code; but they can’t guarantee to tell you what to pay by 31 January.
If you file your tax return online the deadline is later (see below) because the system calculates your tax liability for you automatically on-screen.
28 February
If you don’t pay the balancing payment by 31 January, you’ll be charged an automatic 5% surcharge on top of the amount still owing. This is in addition to any interest payments.
31 July
This is the deadline for making a second ‘payment on account’ for tax owing for the preceding tax year.
If you still owe tax that you were due to pay by the previous 31 January, you’ll be charged a second automatic 5% surcharge on top of the amount you owe.
Taxfile‘s tax accountants in South London took a group policy for all their customers in order to protect them from any extensive work generated by an enquiry from the tax office. In order to help us protect you from the taxman you need to send your tax return in time.
Taxfile can also protect new customers for their last tax return, provided they sent their return in time, before the deadline.

Allowable expenses that you can deduct from your lettings income

As promised last week, today we are going to discuss expenses and tax allowances that you can deduct from your rental income when you work out your taxable profit or loss. If you have several UK residential properties you let than you need to add them together in terms of receipts and expenses on the Land and Property Pages provided by HMRC. What you need to bear in mind is that you have to work out your holiday lettings and overseas lettings profits separately.
As i mentioned last week if you choose to use Rent a Room Scheme then you cannot claim any expenses.
The following allowable expenses are deductible in computing your rental business profits, provided they are incurred wholly and exclusively (omnipresent words in the Land and Property tax guides) for the purpose of the business:

• letting agent’s fee;
•utility bills like gas, electricity,water;
•rent which you pay to your own landlord for a property you are subletting;
•cost of insurance , whether of the building or of the contents;
•services you pay for like gardening or cleaning;
•Council Tax;
•maintenance and repairs, but not improvements;
•interest on property loans, provided they incur wholly and exclusively for the purpose of the business;
accountant‘s fee;
•cost of rent collection;
•legal fees for lettings of a year or less, or for renewing a lease for less than 50 years;
•other direct cost of letting the property like advertising, phone calls and stationery.

So, if the tax on property income still leaves you in dark, Taxfile’s tax accountants can help you as a landlord get a better picture of it. Their accountants in South London will assist you with filling in tax forms, preparing your accounts and dealing with Inland Revenue on your behalf.

Rent a Room Scheme

If you’re thinking about letting furnished rooms in your home, you may want to take advantage of the special Rent a Room Scheme . Under this scheme you can be exempt from income tax on profits from furnished residential accommodation in your only or main home if the gross receipts you get (that is, before expenses) are £4,250 (£2,150 if letting jointly) or less. But you can’t then claim any of the expenses of the lettings.
A lodger can occupy a single room or an entire floor of your home. It does not apply if your home is converted into separate flats that you rent out. In this case you will need to declare your rental income to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and pay tax in the normal way. Nor does the scheme apply if you let unfurnished accommodation in your home.
There are certain advantages and disadvantages of using this scheme –Taxfile in South London can help you choose the best option according to your specific circumstances. Their tax accountants will work out whether you’re better off joining this scheme or declaring all of your lettings income and claiming expenses on your tax return.
The main point to bear in mind is that if you are in the Rent a Room scheme you can’t claim any expenses relating to the letting (for example, wear and tear allowance, insurance, repairs, heating and lighting).
If you don’t normally receive a tax return and your receipts are below the tax-free thresholds for the scheme, the tax exemption is automatic so you don’t need to do anything.
If your receipts are above the tax-free threshold, you must tell your Tax Office – you can do this by completing a tax return and claiming the allowance.

That’s all for today. Next week we will discuss, in more detail, the allowable expenses that you can deduct from your lettings income, provided you don’t use the Rent a Room scheme.

PAYE forms: P45, P60, P11D

PAYE (PAY As You Earn) is the HM Revenue and Customs system for collecting income tax from the pay of employees.

As an employer, you need to deduct income tax and National Insurance contributions (NICs) from your employees’ pay and send it to the HMRC.

As an employee, you should receive a P45 or a P60 from your employer that show you the tax you pay on your wages. If you receive benefits or expenses your employer has to send a form P11D to the tax office.

P45 form

You receive a P45 from your employer when you stop working for them. It shows:
•your tax code, tax reference number and Tax Office
•your NI number
•when you were last paid
•your earnings in the tax year from all your jobs
•how much tax was deducted from your earnings

You are entitled by law to get a P45 when you stop working for your employer.

P60 form

P60 is a summary of your pay and the tax and the tax deducted during the year.

Your employer should give you a P60 at the end of every tax year (tax year runs from 6 April to 5 April the next year)

It is very important to keep your P60 safe as you might need it to prove your income if you apply for a loan or to claim back any overpaid tax.

P11D form

Your employer doesn’t have to give you a copy of P11D but he must tell you the details included on the form. This form shows the expenses payments, benefits and facilities provided by the employer.

For more information, you can visit Taxfile‘s tax accountants in South London. Their multilingual staff (including English, Polish, French, Hungarian and Dutch) are ready to help you with any type of tax affair.

CIS Contractor Monthly Return

CIS contractors must complete and file a tax return to the HM Revenue and Customs every month showing the payments made to all subcontractors as well as the tax deducted. The contractor needs also to show the verifications references against all those subcontractors from whom the contractor had to deduct a higher tax rate.
Even if no payments were made to subcontractors, contractors still need to submit a monthly return , in this case a nil return.
Starting from 19th October, HMRC will start charging building contractors penalties for late returns. The contractor monthly returns should be submitted to the Inland Revenue by the 19th of every month. After this date, any return not received from contractors by the due date will be liable to a fixed penalty of £100 and a further penalty for every additional month that the return remains outstanding.
There are three ways to submit the return:
•on paper through the post
•online through the HMRC website
•electronically through Electronic Data Interchange or through approved third-party software.

Yesterday, the 26th October, HMRC showed some sympathy towards contractors’ late returns due to the postal strikes. Those who file electronically have no problem submitting their returns. ”Nil returns can continue to be made by telephone and HMRC are also prepared exceptionally, during continuing disruption, to accept paper returns at their Enquiry Centres.
There are likely, however, to be some contractors whose returns, will not be received by the 19th October, even though posted in what would normally be good time to meet the deadline. HMRC are prepared to consider these cases sympathetically.
Contractors can make nil returns and get further assistance by telephoning the CIS Helpline on 0845 366 7899.”(HMRC)

Taxfile in South London can help you filing your monthly return making sure it is done in due time. Their tax accountants will also be able to verify your subcontractors with HMRC in order for you, the contractor to deduct the right amount of tax.

Confused about your tax code?

A tax code is usually made up of one letter and several numbers, for instance 161L or K567 . A tax code is used by your employer or pension provider to calculate the amount of tax to deduct from your pay or pension. If you have the wrong tax code you could end up paying too much or too little tax.
The letters in your tax code have different meanings:
• L- for those tax payers that are eligible for the basic personal allowance or those that are on the emergency code.
• T-if there are any other items HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) needs to review in your tax code.
• P- for persons aged 65 to 74 and eligible for the full personal allowance.
• V-for persons aged 65 to 74, eligible for the full personal allowance and the full married couple’s allowance (for those born before 6 April 1935 and aged under 75) and estimated to be liable at the basic rate of tax.
• Y-for persons aged 75 or over and eligible for the full personal allowance.

If your tax code has two letters but no number, it normally indicates that you have two or more sources of income and that all of your allowances have been applied to the tax code and income from your main job:
•BR-Is used when all your income is taxed at the basic rate – currently 22 per cent (most commonly used for a second job)
•D0-Is used when all your income is taxed at the higher rate of tax – currently 40 per cent (most commonly used for a second job)
•NT-Is used when no tax is to be taken from your income or pension.

Your employer will use an emergency tax code when you start a new job and your pay is above the PAYE threshold or when you declare on your P46 that this is your only job. Also your employer will use the emergency tax code if you don’t give him/her a P45 when starting a new job.
Taxfile in South London can help you sort out your tax code and make sure you pay the right amount of tax.
If you have paid too much tax under the PAYE code , Taxfile‘s tax accountants in Tulse Hill you will get in touch with the Inland Revenue and request a refund on your behalf.

IHT: Transfer of unused nil-rate band

The Pre-Budget 2007 Report published on Tuesday 9th October announced various changes, one of them referring to the inheritance tax (IHT).
Previously, married couples could transfer an unlimited sum to each other when one died without paying inheritance tax. But when the survivor died, their estate was then taxed at 40% on anything exceeding £300,000.
Couples can now transfer their allowances to each other. When the first person dies, they can transfer their allowance to the second person. When the survivor dies, their beneficiaries can add the two allowances together.
In other words, the change in IHT is concerned with ”the transfer of any unused nil rate band allowance on a person’s death to the estate of their surviving spouse or civil partner.”
It is important to remember that there is a ”permitted period”which is the time limit within which a claim must be made by the personal representative. This is two years from the death of the survivor spouse. If the claim is not be made within the time limit, than a claim may be made by any other person who could be liable to the inheritance tax.
By 2010, the combined tax-free allowance for couples will rise to £700,000.Experts emphasise the need to keep good records, especially where the spouse who dies first does not use the whole of their IHT allowance.
Although this is a great news for married couples or those in civil-partnerships these changes will not help unmarried or non-civil partnership couples, or siblings who share homes.
If you would like to know more details about the way IHT works, you can visit Taxfile’s accountants in South London.

Introduction to Stamp Duty & Stamp Duty Land Tax

Stamp Duty is a type of tax you pay when you buy land or shares. You pay a Stamp Duty Land Tax when you buy property and Stamp Duty Reserve Tax when you buy shares.
You pay Stamp Duty Land Tax on such properties like houses, flats , other buildings and land. There is a threshold of 125,000 which is tax free. If the land or property is up to 250,000 than you pay a rate of 1% Stamp Duty Land Tax. From 250,001 to 500,000 there is a 2% tax rate and a rate of 4% for am amount exceeding 500,001.
If you want to buy a property which is designated by the government as a disadvantaged property than you do not have to pay any Duty Land Tax for an amount of 150,000 or less.
You pay Stamp Reserve tax when you buy shares. There is a tax rate of 0.5% of the value of the shares.
Stamp duty is payable when the shares are transferred to you using a stock transfer form and Stamp Duty Reserve Tax (SDRT) when the shares re transferred to you electronically,also known as paperless transactions, without using a stock transfer form.
When you buy shares from a stockbroker the transaction is usually completed electronically through the electronic settlement and registration system known as CREST. CREST automatically deducts the Stamp Duty Reserve Tax and sends it to the HMRC. If you do not pay for shares using CREST than you have to pay the stamp duty tax to Inland Revenue yourself.
You do not have to pay UK Duty Stamp or SDRT if you buy foreign shares. There will probably be foreign taxes involved that you need to carefully consider.
When buying either properties or shares, carefully tax planning must be considered. Taxfile’s tax accountants in South London always make sure you never pay more than your minimum tax liability.

Is Your Estate Excepted From IHT?

(for UK domiciliaries only)

From 6 April 2004, there are two types of estates are qualified to be excepted from IHT for UK domiciliaries.

1. Low valued estates
When the total value of estates does not exceed the inheritance tax threshold, then those estates do not suffer IHT.

Which threshold should be applied is determined by the date of deceased’s death. If the death was between 6 August and 5 April in any one tax year, or between 6 April and 5 August with the grant of representation taken after 5 August, you should use the threshold of that tax year in which the death happened. If death was between 6 April and 5 August, but the grant of representation was taken before 5 August, the threshold should be used is the one from the tax year of one year earlier.

2. Exempt estates
No IHT is payable when either Spouse/Civil Partners Exemption or Charity Exemption applies and the gross value of the estates is less then £1 million.

Spouse/Civil Partner Exemption can only be deducted if both spouses or civil partners have always been domiciled in the United Kingdom, if one of the spouse/ partners is domiciled outside of UK at the time of transfer of estates, the exemption is limited to £55000. And charity exemption can only be deducted if the gift is an absolute gift to the organisation concerned.

Both types of estates must be subject to the following conditions in order to be exempted from IHT:

• the deceased died domiciled in the United Kingdom,
• if the estate includes any assets in trust, they are held in a single trust and the gross value does not exceed £150,000 (unless the settled property passes to a spouse or civil partner or to a charity when the limit is waived),
• if the estate includes foreign assets, their gross value does not exceed £100,000,
• if there are any specified transfers(transfer the estate to somebody as a gift, the value does not exceed £100,000 if the transfer is within 7 years of death, and this transferred estate does not get involved into any trust), their chargeable value does not exceed £150,000, and
• the deceased had not made a gift with conditions attached
• the deceased did not have an alternatively secured pension fund, either as the original scheme member or as the dependant or relevant dependant of the original scheme member

Well financial planning with the help of Taxfile will significantly save your IHT, just feel free to visit our offices in
South London to get professional advice from our
tax experts.