Landlords warned over tax on Income from lettings & property investments

Buy-to-let Changes Are Coming — Landlords Beware

Landlords warned over tax on Income from lettings & property investmentsA warning and reminder to landlords: the Chancellor’s Summer budget back in July will hit buy-to-let investors’ profits once the changes kick in, so now is the time to start planning ahead. Not all landlords will be affected though; if their rental property is mortgage free or if they sell within the next 2 years these changes won’t affect them. However those landlords that are Higher and Additional taxpayers will notice their tax relief reduce by 2020. Also, investors near the tax threshold could find themselves in the next tax bracket, which could have a knock-on effect and increase their tax exposure.

So what are the proposed tax changes?

There are basically two:

  1. Firstly, the amount of tax relief landlords can claim on their mortgage interest will now be capped at basic rate and;
  2. Secondly, landlords will no longer be able to subtract their mortgage interest from their rental income before they calculate their taxable profit.

One in five landlords are expected to have to pay more tax because of these changes, however the new rules will not be phased in until between 2017 and 2021 according to the latest information.

What steps can landlords take?

There are several steps that investors can take to conserve as much profit as possible and to limit the amount of any extra tax payable. For example: Read more

Sage One Cashbook accounting package

Get Sage One Cashbook (online accounts package) FREE!

Sage online accounts package - free![UPDATE: Please note that this offer has now expired]. Get Sage One Cashbook FREE, only with Taxfile. If you are a Taxfile customer you can currently get this excellent online accounting and cashflow package totally free of charge. This is better than any special offer you’ll find online for the same product and an additional benefit is that it allows us, your accountants and tax advisors, to collaborate with you within the package (with your permission of course), making managing your income, expenditure, tax accounting and bookkeeping absolute child’s play. You can stop at any time; it’ll cost you nothing either way.

Features & Benefits of Sage One Cashbook online include:

  • It allows you to record income & expenditure for your business quickly and easily;
  • Access your records from anywhere with an internet connection, any time;
  • No accountancy experience is necessary – it’s simple;
  • Perfect for small businesses, sole traders, etc;
  • It allows you to Read more
Tax bomb

Avoid Significant HMRC Penalties – file your tax return on time!

File your tax return in time or face severe fines[UPDATED AUGUST 2020] Did you know that you get an automatic £100 minimum penalty if you file your Self Assessment tax return (or pay any tax owed) even one day late? After 3 months you can add £10 per day extra to that fine (up to 90 days/£900 max) and after 6 months it gets significantly worse. And remember that you need to file your return on time even if you don’t owe any tax, or if you have already paid it! Latest indications are that there are also no warnings given by HMRC. See the table below for the detail.

Late return penalties by HMRC

So our message is simple: don’t file late, and don’t pay late! Taxfile are here to help you, of course. We know Self Assessment Tax Returns back to front and we can help you file accurately, and on time. If you’re late, we can help to sort things out quickly and so keep any HMRC penalties to a minimum.

Read more

Taxfile Autumn Newsletter Now Available

Taxfile Newsletter Autumn 2014Download our jam-packed Autumn Newsletter right here for up-to-the-minute news, ways to save money, tips, new developments and tax information from Taxfile. Includes important news regarding tax return deadlines, refunds for C.I.S. sub-contractors working in the construction industry, key dates, ways to save money, HMRC tax news for landlords, imminent price changes plus an interesting mind map showing information about our lovely multi-lingual staff! Download the newsletter here (Acrobat PDF format – right-click to save the PDF to your hard drive then open it in Acrobat Reader or alternatively left-click the link to view the newsletter directly in most browsers).

Save Money, Beat the December Price Increase!

Beat the price increaseWhere possible, Taxfile customers are urged to submit their records to Taxfile before December 1st 2014 so as to beat the price increases which will come into effect from that date. Taxfile has held its prices for several years now, and unusually long for our industry, however every so often we have to take stock and catch up with inflation and the ever-increasing costs of operating a business inside London. At time of writing, Taxfile customers still have time to submit their paperwork and records for professional tax and accountancy help – for example for tax returns – so can totally avoid the price increases this year if they act reasonably fast and get their figures and records etc. to us before December 1st. This will also avoid bottlenecks as we fast approach the busiest time in the tax year. Taxfile will also be sending out reminders to its active customer database.

** New – Early Bird Reduction **

* If you miss the December 1st deadline, don’t worry because we’re offering a 5% ‘Early Bird’ reduction on prevailing Taxfile prices if you submit all your records to us before the end of December.

Call 020 8761 8000, click here to contact us or book an appointment online.

Taxfile would like to thank its customers for their loyalty and custom throughout the years, and for their understanding when occasionally we have to make these increases so as to keep pace with the rising cost of operating in London.

(For tax returns, figures and records are required for the year ending 5 April 2014).

New HMRC Service to Replace Closing Enquiry Centres

Tax adviceHer Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (‘HMRC’) have now completed a 7 month pilot scheme, held across the North East of England, whereby they closed existing HMRC Enquiry Centres and instead offered those requiring extra help with tax-related issues assistance in a different, more tailored way. With the pilot scheme now complete and deemed a success, all Enquiry Centres across the UK will be closed by 30 June 2014 (just a few days away at time of writing) in favour of the new, more tailored system.

Since the end of May, HMRC have already been rolling out the replacement service, being “a new way to support people who need extra help to get their taxes, tax credits and child benefit entitlements right”. The new service will be more tailored to individual needs and will apparently be more efficient than the Enquiry Centres, which have seen demand drastically falling over recent years. So evidently the new service is also about saving the Government money, which is good to see as it helps to reduce the UK’s overall tax burden and mitigates possible tax increases.

The Replacement Service

The replacement service will be available by telephone or face-to-face via a mobile squad of advisers, who will deal with you on the telephone, visit your home or meet you within your local community, if preferred. The HMRC specialist involved will try to resolve, as fully as possible, all tax and tax credit-related queries during the course of the initial session. This will be aided by liaison, during that session, between the adviser and other experts from different departments within HMRC; the aim being to Read more

So are you one of the 6.6% who missed the tax return deadline?

Despite it being an all time record year for receipt, on-line, of ‘on time’ tax returns this year, of the 10.74 million tax returns which were due by 31 January 2013, about 708,740 were – or still are – late. That represents a shortfall of 6.6% and, at a starting penalty of £100 per late return, that’s quite a hefty total penalty. However, one could argue that an additional £71 million in the HMRC coffers in these troubled economic times is very welcome for the exchequer, even if it’s small change in the big scheme of things.

So did you miss the deadline? Here’s what you can expect in terms of additional penalties:

Late return penalties by HMRC

Remember: you still have to submit a tax return even if you do not owe any tax. Taxfile are Read more

It’s official: thousands are on the wrong tax code!

With the tax return deadline being only hours away (midnight 31 January 2014) there is still time to get professional help if you need it – particularly because HMRC  often get it wrong according to new research by UHY Hacker Young.

In just one example, HMRC sent a tax bill to a pensioner which demanded over £576k in tax! With an income of only £11k per annum this was clearly incorrect but what if it had been only hundreds of pounds wrong – would the pensioner have noticed and, if so, would he have been confident enough to question it with the might of HMRC?

According to the research, HMRC employees have been making ‘basic’ errors which have led to problems such as people being on the wrong tax code and consequently underpaying or overpaying tax. While underpaying it may sound attractive on the face of it, chances are the system will catch up and then a correction will need to be made later on, leaving the taxpayer with an unforeseen bill to pay – a real blow for cashflow.

While the UHY Hacker Young research cites an error rate in 2013 of 37% in the sample tested, HMRC are arguing that the research is wrong and that their PAYE coding notices are 99% accurate. Either way, when you consider that Read more

New brochure available for download

Taxfile's BrochureHave you ever wondered what other services the Taxfile group can help you with? Well, find all the answers in the new downloadable brochure, which outlines services undertaken at the various different offices in both South London and Exeter, Devon. From accountancy and bookkeeping for SMBs to simple tax returns for individuals and right through to the most complex of complicated tax issues – we’re here to help and the new brochure gives you all the contact details for each office including address, email, telephone, Skype ID, how to book appointments on-line and, finally, what discounts are available – both to new and existing customers – it’s all there … or rather I should say … it’s all here! (A4 PDF format, less than 1MB).

Venture Capital Trust (VCTs) and tax

Venture Capital Trusts were schemes introduced in 1995 to encourage individuals to invest in high-risk trading companies.

With a VCT the risk of the investment is spread over a number of companies.

VCTs must be approved by HMRC and must meet a certain qualifying conditions.

If you have subscribed for shares in Venture Capital Trusts and you are 18 or over when the shares were issued you are entitled to a few tax reliefs.

According to HMRC, these are the tax reliefs for investing in VCTs:

Income tax relief:

One of the income tax reliefs of VCTs is that you are exempted from income tax on dividends from ordinary shares. This is called dividend relief;

Another very important tax relief when investing in a VCT is called income tax relief .

The amount of the tax relief will be the smaller of the amount subscribed up to a maximum of £200,000 at 30% or the amount that reduces the tax bill to zero for the year.

The rate of 30% applies in the tax year 2006/07 and onwards and for subscriptions for shares issued in previous tax years the rate is 40%.

Capital gains tax (CGT) relief :

One of the CGT reliefs when investing in VCT schemes is called disposal relief as you may not have to pay CGT on any gain you make when you dispose of your shares. In order to qualify for the reliefs certain conditions need to be met. You can find more about them on HMRC website.

As there are no guarantees that VCT investments will be successful, Taxfile‘s tax agents recommend that you seek professional advice from financial advisers beforehand.