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How to Work Out Your Transitional Profit if You’re Self-Employed

With the new tax year basis reforms coming into effect for the 2023 to 2024 tax year, the self-employed must understand these changes to ensure they get their transitional profits right. This blog is here to help. We’ll walk you through figuring out your transition profit, splitting your profits, deducting Overlap Relief, and understanding how much of your transitional profit will be taxed in the 2023 to 2024 tax year.

Understanding Transitional Profit

Transition profit comes from the Basis Period Reform, which changes how self-employed people report their income. Before, you might have reported your profits based on an accounting period that didn’t align with the tax year. 

This reform aims to make the whole process more straightforward. So, getting the transition period right is key for accurate tax reporting and making sure you comply with the new regulations. It might seem a bit daunting at first, but understanding these changes will make managing your taxes much simpler in the long run.

Standard Part vs. Transitional Part

Let’s break down the standard part and transitional part of your basis period so you can better understand how to handle them:

  • Standard Part: This is the 12-month period right after the end of your basis period for the 2022 to 2023 tax year. It usually lines up with your accounting period from 2022 to 2023.
  • Transitional Part: This begins right after the standard part and goes until the 5th of April 2024, or your accounting date in 2023 to 2024 if it’s between the 31st of March and the 4th of April 2024. For example, if your accounting year ends on the 31st of December your transition period would run from the 1st of January to the 5th of April 2024.

Deducting Overlap Relief

Overlap Relief is important for reducing your taxable transition profit. If you’ve previously reported profits for overlapping periods, you can deduct these amounts from your transition profit to lower your tax bill. This figure may have been reported on the first tax return you declared your self-employment/partnership profits, which may have been long in the past, so the best way to check the amount to provide to your accountant is to use the HMRC service https://www.gov.uk/guidance/get-your-overlap-relief-figure.

Spreading Your Transitional Profit

After deducting Overlap Relief, your transitional profit will be spread over five years, starting from the 2023 to 2024 tax year. This means in the first year (2023-24), you’ll need to include at least 20% of those transitional profits in your taxable income. You have the choice to include more if it suits your financial strategy. The rest will be spread evenly over the following four years. This gives you flexibility in managing how these profits affect your taxes over time.

It’s important to carefully consider the impact on your tax obligations for the 2023/2024 tax year. By spreading out the taxable amount over five years, you can potentially reduce the immediate tax burden while making sure you stay compliant with HMRC guidelines. 

If you opt to accelerate the recognition of transitional profits into an earlier tax year, you must make this election by the first anniversary of your normal Self Assessment filing date for that tax year. This strategic approach allows you to align your tax liabilities with your business’s financial circumstances more effectively.

Reporting on Your Tax Return

When filling out your Self Assessment tax return, you’ll need to include:

  • Your transitional profit
  • Your Overlap Relief
  • The amount of your transition profit after Overlap Relief that should be taxed in 2023 to 2024

If you decide to tax more than 20% in the first year, mention this amount and explain it in the ‘Any other information’ section.

Special Considerations

  • If your business ends before the 5th of April, 2027, any remaining transitional profits yet to be declared, after Overlap Relief, must be taxed in the year your business ceases.
  • Farmers and creative artists should remember that transition profit doesn’t count when calculating averaging adjustments.

Need Help?

Calculating your transition profit can be tricky, especially with needing to split profits accurately and deduct Overlap Relief. If you’re self-employed, use the HMRC transitional profit calculator for detailed help.

It’s a good idea to prepare your annual accounts to the 31st of March or the 5th of April to simplify future tax returns. Aligning your accounting period with the tax year removes the need for complex apportionment and makes tax reporting smoother. It will also reduce the complexity of your tax returns meaning you’ll be more likely to actually understand the figures you’re sending to HMRC.

By following these guidelines and using the available resources, you should be able to confidently handle the Basis Period Reform and ensure your tax return is accurate for the 2023 to 2024 tax year. Should you need any further guidance with the above, you can always get in touch with one of our in-house Tax advisors who are specialists on this subject.

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What you need to know about the Spring Budget 2024

It’s the time of year again when the Chancellor of the Exchequer has unveiled the much-anticipated Spring Budget, outlining the Government’s plans for taxation and spending. Let’s dive into the highlights of the 2024 Budget to help you understand what it means for you.

National Insurance Cuts

One of the headline announcements in this year’s Budget is the reduction in the main rates of National Insurance contributions (NICs) for both employees and the self-employed. Effective from April 2024, the Class 1 employee NICs will see a significant cut from 10% to 8%, while Class 4 employee NICs will drop from 8% to 6%. This move aims to put more money back into the pockets of workers and self-employed individuals.

High-Income Child Benefit Charge (HICBC)

Families across the UK will welcome the changes to the High Income Child Benefit Charge (HICBC). The threshold for HICBC will rise from £50,000 to £60,000 starting in April 2024. Also, the rate at which this charge is applied will be halved, making sure that Child Benefit is not entirely withdrawn until individuals earn £80,000 or more. These changes give families some relief while ensuring that benefits are taken away more fairly.

Taxation of Non-Doms

A big change in the Budget is the end of the tax rules for those not from the UK (‘non-doms’). From April 2025, a new residence-based tax regime will be introduced, making sure that all UK residents pay the same tax on their foreign income and gains after living in the UK for over four years. This move aims to simplify the tax system and promote fairness for everyone living here.

Capital Gains Tax and Stamp Duty Land Tax

Great news for property owners. The Budget is cutting the higher rate of Capital Gains Tax for selling residential properties from 28% to 24% starting in April 2024. And if you’re into buying multiple properties, get ready because Multiple Dwellings Relief in the Stamp Duty Land Tax system is being axed from June 2024. These changes are all about boosting the property market and encouraging people to invest.

Furnished Holiday Lettings

For landlords, changes are on the horizon concerning furnished holiday lettings. From April 2025, the Government will end a tax advantage for landlords who let short-term furnished holiday properties over those who let residential properties to longer-term tenants. This aims to create a level playing field in the rental market.

Fuel Duty and Alcohol Duty

Good news for motorists and drinkers alike – not to be done at the same time, obviously! Fuel duty will remain frozen for another year, extending the temporary 5p cut and making sure that duty rates are not increased with inflation. Similarly, alcohol duty will be frozen from August 2024 until February 2025, providing relief for consumers.

Tobacco and Vaping Duties

In a bid to incentivise healthier choices, a new duty on vaping products will be introduced from October 2026. Tobacco duty will be increased from the same date, maintaining the financial incentive to choose vaping over smoking.

Air Passenger Duty and VAT Threshold

Passengers flying premium economy class, business, and first class, and those travelling by private jet, will see increased rates in Air Passenger Duty from 2025/26 to account for recent high inflation. What’s more, the VAT threshold will be increased from £85,000 to £90,000 in April 2024, providing relief for small businesses.

Energy Profits Levy and Household Support Fund

The Energy Profits Levy, introduced in response to the rise in oil and gas company profits, will be extended to 2028/29. Also, the Household Support Fund, aimed at helping those most in need with rising costs of living, has been extended to September 2024.

Spring Budget 2024: A Diverse Mix of Tax Measures

The Spring Budget 2024 presents a mixed bag of tax measures and announcements aimed at encouraging economic growth, supporting families, and ensuring the tax system is fair for everyone. From cuts in National Insurance contributions to reforms in property taxation and incentives for healthier choices, the Budget sets the stage for a more inclusive and fruitful future. As these changes occur, it’s important to remain up-to-date and adjust to the shifting world of taxes and government spending.

Get Expert Guidance

If you’re eager to optimise your tax strategy, don’t miss out on this chance to make a difference. Reach out to us today for expert advice and support. Whether you prefer a personalised phone call or the convenience of filling out our user-friendly online form, we’re here to help you every step of the way. Call 01603 630882 now to connect with our team or simply complete our online form to kickstart the process. Let’s work together to transform your tax strategy into a powerful catalyst for growth post-budget and beyond. 

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How the 2024 Paternity Leave and Pay Amendments Benefit UK Families and Employers

We’ve got some exciting news to share that will make a difference to families and employers across the UK. The government has recently announced some big changes to Paternity Leave and Pay, set to come into effect from the 8th of March, 2024. These amendments aim to provide more flexibility and support for fathers and partners while also offering advantages for employers. So, let’s dive in and explore how these changes will benefit everyone involved.

Flexibility for Fathers and Partners

One of the key changes is that paternity leave no longer has to be taken in one consecutive block of one or two weeks. Instead, dads and partners now have the flexibility to split their leave into non-consecutive blocks, giving them greater control over their time off. This means they can better accommodate the changing needs of their family while still taking the time needed to bond with their new baby. Whether it’s attending doctor’s appointments, helping with childcare, or simply being there to support their partner, this new flexibility means that fathers and partners can be more present and engaged during this important time in their family’s life.

Reduced Notice Period

Another big change is the shorter notice period for taking Paternity Leave. Before, employees had to give their employers more notice. But now, dads and partners only need to give four weeks’ notice before taking leave. This makes it easier for them to decide when to take time off, helping them to better adjust to their family’s needs with less stress during a busy and emotional time.

Support for Early or Premature Births

The changes also provide support for families when babies arrive earlier than expected. If dads and partners’ babies are born prematurely or before the 6th of April, 2024, they can still receive Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP) under the new rules. This safety net means that families can access the financial support they need, offering peace of mind when things don’t go as planned.

Transitional Guidance for Employers

With changes to Paternity Leave and Pay, employers need to know what to do. Even though HMRC’s PAYE payroll software will be updated by the 6th of April, 2024, employers may face the issue of babies born before this date. They’ll need to work out how to get back any payments made for Paternity Leave under the new rules before the software is updated. This means they’ll need to plan carefully and take action to follow the rules.

Claiming Repayment

If employees take Paternity Leave before the 6th of April, 2024, employers can recoup the money they paid, whether it was one long period or two shorter ones. Also, small and medium-sized businesses that are struggling financially can ask for an advance payment to cover these costs.  Businesses can then focus on their employees’ well-being without worrying about money.

Benefits for Families and Employers

So, what does all of this mean for families and employers? It means that new parents receive an added layer of flexibility and support during a challenging period of adjustment. By being able to split Paternity Leave into separate parts and with reduced notice requirements, families can better juggle the demands of work and caring for their new arrival. This flexibility can significantly ease the stress and pressures of balancing work and family responsibilities.

For employers, these changes demonstrate a commitment to prioritising the well-being of their workforce. By providing clear guidance on navigating these changes, employers show they value their employees’ needs and are willing to support them during important life events. This can create a positive work environment and contribute to employee satisfaction and loyalty. Overall, these changes benefit both families and employers by promoting a healthier work-life balance and creating a more supportive workplace culture.

Building a More Inclusive and Supportive Society

The 2024 Paternity Leave and Pay changes benefit everyone involved. With these amendments, dads and partners gain increased flexibility in managing their time, allowing them to be more present for their families during important moments. Meanwhile, employers benefit from streamlined processes that make it easier to support their employees through big life events. This demonstrates a genuine commitment to encouraging a healthy work-life balance and ensuring families receive the support they need.

Ask an Expert

To find out more about the new Paternity Leave and Pay changes, reach out to us on 01603 630882 or fill out our online form. Our expert team will be happy to help you get the ball rolling. Let’s ensure families and employers reap the rewards of these positive updates. Start your journey to increased flexibility today.

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Merging R&D Schemes: What Changes in 2024

We’re diving into some exciting developments in Research and Development (R&D) tax schemes. Get ready to explore the changes shaking things up in 2024 and how they might impact your business. Let’s delve into the details.

A New Era for R&D Tax Relief

The Autumn Statement 2023 dropped significant news for businesses engaged in R&D activities. One of the biggest announcements was the merger of the Small or Medium Enterprise (SME) scheme and the Research and Development Expenditure Credit (RDEC) scheme. This change kicks in from the 1st of April 2024 for accounting periods and aims to make life easier for businesses like yours when seeking R&D tax relief.

The Two Schemes: What You Need to Know

With the merger in full swing, here are the two options that businesses have:

  • The Merged Scheme: Think of this as the all-in-one package deal. With elements from both the SME and RDEC schemes, it’s your go-to for claiming R&D tax relief in a streamlined way.
  • Enhanced Relief for Loss-making R&D Intensive SMEs: This one’s tailored for R&D pros. If your business is about pushing boundaries in research and development, this scheme’s the one for you. Plus, it gives extra relief for those whose R&D game makes up a big chunk (30% or more) of their spending.

Consistency in Contracted-Out R&D

To ensure everything is fair across the board there are some new rules in place. Now, when figuring out who can claim relief for R&D work, there’s a clear set of guidelines for both customers and contractors. These rules kick in for accounting periods starting on or after the 1st of April, 2024, bringing some much-needed clarity and consistency to the whole process. It’s all about making sure everyone’s on the same page.

Subsidised Expenditure: Streamlining the Process

With these fresh contracted-out R&D rules in play, some old rules about subsidised expenditure in the SME scheme aren’t as important anymore. As a result, they’ve taken those sections right out of the legislation for the merged scheme, simplifying the process for businesses wanting R&D tax relief.

Enhanced Tax Relief for R&D Intensive SMEs: A Lower Threshold and Grace Period

Starting from the 1st of April, 2024 the bar for qualifying as an R&D-intensive SME will be lowered from 40% to 30% of total expenditure. Plus, there’s a one-year grace period to help businesses transition smoothly to the new threshold requirements. This adjustment provides added flexibility while maintaining the focus on encouraging innovation.

Claiming the Enhanced Rate: Revised Forms and Procedures

From the 1st of April, 2024, an extra revamped information form will be available for businesses wanting to claim the improved SME rates. This form, which will streamline the process for submitting claims under the SME-intensive scheme, will be accessible after the Finance Bill receives Royal Assent.

Limiting Nominations and Transfers: Payments Go Straight to Your Company

From the 1st of April, 2024, HMRC will send R&D tax credits directly to the company making the claim, where the company will need to provide their payment details. There are some exceptions, though; if you want the payment sent to someone connected to your company, you’ll need to explain how they’re connected. 

Cancelling New Assignments: Making Sure Things Are Fair and Clear

To make things fair and transparent, any new deals to transfer R&D tax credit payments after the 22nd of November, 2023, won’t count once the Autumn Finance Bill becomes law. But if the deal was completed before that date it’s fine. HMRC will still accept nominations for claims made before the 1st of April, 2024, keeping everything straightforward and consistent.

Embracing Change for a Brighter Future

In a nutshell, prepare for some exciting shifts in the world of R&D tax schemes, set to shake things up for businesses in 2024 and beyond. With the merger of the SME and RDEC schemes, claiming R&D tax relief should be much smoother. Businesses now have two main options, the Merged Scheme and Enhanced Relief for Loss-making R&D Intensive SMEs, both geared towards sparking innovation while simplifying the process. Also, revised forms and procedures and direct payments to companies making a claim aim to improve business efficiency and transparency. While changes are underway, the goal to create an innovative and successful environment is clear. So, embrace these changes, stay informed, and continue pushing the boundaries.

Ask for Help

If you want to make the most of these R&D tax relief changes but are unsure where to start, give us a call on 01603 630882 or fill out our online form, and we’ll be happy to help. 

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Exploring Tax Reliefs and Allowances for Businesses and the Self-Employed

Tackling taxes can sometimes feel like trying to solve a puzzle, especially for businesses and the self-employed. However, tapping into the wide range of tax reliefs and allowances available can turn this task into a valuable opportunity. These benefits not only lower your tax bill, helping you keep more money in your pocket, but also support innovation, job creation, and business growth.

Imagine using the savings from tax deductions to invest in your business, like upgrading equipment, growing your team, or launching new offerings. The secret lies in staying up-to-date with tax benefits that match your business needs and knowing how to leverage them effectively. While this may sound overwhelming, our guide is here to simplify the tax landscape for you. We’ll cut through the technical terms and shed light on the opportunities you can use to your benefit.

Dive into Tax-Deductible Business Expenses

Firstly, let’s talk about tax-deductible business expenses. Imagine almost everything you spend to keep your business up and running can help lower your tax bill. We’re talking about everything from your office’s pens and paper to the cost of keeping the lights on. For those who work from home, this also applies to you. These necessary expenses can be deducted from your annual tax bill, so make sure to keep those receipts.

Unleash Innovation with R&D Tax Credits

For those of you who are constantly cooking up the next big thing, Research and Development (R&D) tax credits are your best friend. Whether your project succeeds or not, you can claim these reliefs for trying to make advancements in your field. It’s a fantastic way to fuel your innovative projects while easing your financial burden. And it’s not just limited to industries like science and tech; if you spend money on enhancing existing services or developing new products your project could be eligible. 

Boost Your Giving with Gift Aid

If your business supports charities, Gift Aid can amplify the impact of your donations. This scheme allows companies to get tax relief on charitable donations, making your generosity go even further. It’s a win-win – you support a good cause and reduce your tax bill at the same time.

Cut Your Costs with Business Rates Relief

Did you know that some properties are eligible for discounts on their business rates? This could be a game-changer for small businesses, shops, cafés, etc. As this relief can significantly lower overheads, it’s worth checking if your premises qualify, as it can make a big difference to your annual bills.

Cut Corporation Tax with Reliefs and Allowances

Corporation Tax relief allows you to deduct the costs of running your business from your profits before tax. This includes an Annual Investment Allowance on purchasing machinery or tools, which can be a major advantage for manufacturing or engineering businesses. This allowance reduces the amount of profit you’re taxed on, lowering your Corporation Tax bill. There are also a number of industry-specific reliefs such as Creative Tax Reliefs, which are beneficial.

Claim Pre-Trading Expenses

If you’re setting up a new business, you might be able to claim back some of the expenses incurred before you started trading. This can include research, financial, and legal costs, giving you a financial head start as you begin your entrepreneurial journey.

Reclaiming VAT: Your Cash Flow Booster

For VAT-registered businesses, reclaiming VAT on business expenses is key. It’s a way to improve your cash flow by recouping some of the money spent on business purchases. This can cover a wide range of expenses, from equipment to services, ensuring your business maximises all the reliefs and allowances available.

Planning Ahead with the Budget Payment Plan

Tax bills can be daunting, but HMRC’s Budget Payment Plan allows you to make regular payments towards your next tax bill, spreading the cost over the year and reducing the financial pressure. It’s a proactive way to manage your finances, helping you avoid surprises come tax time.

Innovate with the Patent Box

For businesses that create patented inventions, the Patent Box scheme offers a reduced Corporation Tax rate on profits earned from these patents. It’s an incentive to innovate and protect your intellectual property, potentially reducing your tax rate to just 10% on these profits.

Boost Your Business: Smart Tax Planning for Growth

Tax reliefs and allowances are designed to support businesses and the self-employed in their growth and innovation efforts. By taking advantage of these opportunities, you can significantly reduce your tax burden, invest more in your business, and support your employees and the community. Remember, it’s not just about saving money; it’s about making smart decisions that fuel your business’s future.

Get the Help You Need

If you want to unlock the full potential of tax reliefs and allowances for your business, that’s where we come in. Our team of experts is here to help you navigate these opportunities, making sure you’re taking advantage of every allowance and relief available. Whether you’re innovating, expanding, or just looking to optimise your finances, we’re here to guide you every step of the way. Call us now on 01603 630882 or fill out our online form to start transforming your tax strategy into a powerful tool for growth.

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Salary Sacrifice Arrangements for Employers Explained

We’re diving deep into the world of salary sacrifice arrangements. If you’ve ever wondered what they are, how they work, and what benefits they can bring to your business, you’ve come to the right place. Salary sacrifice arrangements can be a great tool to attract and retain talent, all while saving you and your employees some money. 

What is a Salary Sacrifice Arrangement?

In simple terms, it’s an agreement between you as an employer and your employees to exchange part of their cash pay for non-cash benefits. These non-cash benefits include things like childcare vouchers, pensions, or even cycle-to-work schemes. The key here is that employees willingly agree to this arrangement.

How to Set Up a Salary Sacrifice Arrangement

To set up a salary sacrifice arrangement, you’ll need to change the terms of your employee’s employment contract. This change should be made clearly, and your employee must consent to it. It’s important to note that a salary sacrifice arrangement should never drop an employee’s cash earnings below the National Minimum Wage (NMW) rate. As an employer, it’s your responsibility to ensure this doesn’t happen and to cap salary sacrifice deductions if needed.

When to Alter a Salary Sacrifice Arrangement

Life happens, and circumstances change. Sometimes, you might need to adjust a salary sacrifice arrangement due to life events like marriage, divorce, or changes brought about by unforeseen events like the COVID-19 pandemic. These changes can affect an employee’s financial situation, and salary sacrifice arrangements can be flexible enough to adapt to these circumstances. Always remember to update the employment contract when changes happen.

Exceptions and Considerations

While flexibility is great, there are some rules to follow. If employees constantly switch between cash earnings and non-cash benefits, the expected tax and National Insurance contribution advantages may not apply. But, there are exceptions to this, detailed in the Employment Income Manual 42755.

Calculating the Impact on Tax and National Insurance Contributions

One of the key aspects of salary sacrifice arrangements is understanding their impact on taxes and National Insurance contributions. This depends on the mix of cash and non-cash benefits within the arrangement. For the cash part, make sure you’re correctly operating the PAYE system through your payroll.

For non-cash benefits, you’ll need to calculate their value. If it’s a new salary sacrifice arrangement, calculate the value by using the higher amount of salary given up or the earnings charge under the usual benefit-in-kind rules. It’s worth noting that some non-cash benefits, like pension scheme contributions and workplace nurseries, are exempt from valuation and reporting.

Reporting Requirements

Reporting non-cash benefits differs from cash earnings. Generally, you’ll need to report benefits to HMRC at the end of the tax year using the end-of-year expenses and benefits online form. Plus, you can use the payrolling benefits and expenses online service to show that you’re collecting taxes and benefits through your payroll.

Consulting with HMRC

If there’s any legal uncertainty or you’re unsure about a particular salary sacrifice arrangement, you can contact HMRC’s clearance team.  Bear in mind that HMRC won’t comment on a proposed arrangement before it’s implemented. To keep HMRC happy, be prepared with evidence of the variation of terms and conditions, payslips before and after the variation (if there’s a written contract), and any other relevant documentation.

Examples of Salary Sacrifice

To make things more tangible, let’s look at a few examples. 

  • Employee A sacrifices £50 of their £350 weekly salary for childcare vouchers of the same value. In this case, only £300 is subject to tax and National Insurance contributions, as childcare vouchers are exempt up to a limit of £55 per week.
  • Employee B sacrifices £100 of their £350 weekly salary for childcare vouchers. Here, £295 is subject to tax and National Insurance contributions, and £45 is reported as a non-cash benefit at the end of the tax year.
  • Employee C receives a £5,000 bonus and decides to sacrifice the full amount for an employer contribution to a registered pension scheme. In this case, no employment income tax or National Insurance contributions are charged to the employee, and the total amount goes into the pension fund.

Other Considerations

Remember, salary sacrifice can affect various aspects of your employees’ financial lives. This includes earnings-related payments, benefits, contribution-based benefits, statutory payments, and workplace pension schemes. Always communicate any changes clearly to your employees so they understand the impact on their finances.

Unlocking mutual benefits

Salary sacrifice arrangements can be a win-win for both employers and employees. They offer flexibility, potential tax benefits, and the chance to provide valuable non-cash benefits to your team. It’s important to navigate these arrangements carefully, following legal guidelines and ensuring employees’ cash earnings stay above the National Minimum Wage. With the right approach and communication, salary sacrifice arrangements can be a valuable tool in your organisation’s toolkit. 

Get expert guidance 

If you want to explore the benefits of salary sacrifice arrangements for your business and discuss your options, get in touch today by calling us on 01603 630882. You can also fill out our online form to get started. Let’s improve your employee benefits and financial flexibility together.

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Guidance on Selling Online and Paying Taxes

If you’ve ever dabbled in selling goods or services through an online marketplace in the UK, this blog is for you. We’ll break down the ins and outs of paying taxes on your online earnings in an easy-to-follow way so you can confidently navigate the tax world.

Understanding the Basics: Are You Trading or Making a Capital Gain?

First things first, when paying taxes on your online sales, you need to determine whether you’re trading or making a capital gain.

  • Selling Unwanted Items: If you’re just clearing out your attic or garage and selling personal possessions you no longer need, you’re probably not considered a trader. For example, if you’re like Sally, who sold some items from her attic for about the same price she bought them, you likely won’t have to pay tax on those sales.
  • Buying for Resale: On the flip side, if you’re actively buying items intending to sell them at a profit, like Josh, who hunts around car boot sales and charity shops, you’re in the trading game, and those profits are taxable.
  • Creating and Expanding: Now, if you’re like Gina, who started by making greeting cards for friends and family but expanded to sell them online with the intent of making a profit, you’re likely considered a trader. Gina’s profits would be subject to tax because she’s running her activities like a business.
  • Collecting with Purpose: Even collectors like David, who buys and sells model cars to complete sets for profitable resale, are often classed as traders because they’re buying and selling for profit.
  • Importing for Profit: If you’re importing goods like Steve and selling them online for a profit, you’re probably trading, too.
  • Offering Services: And then there’s Adam, who offers online language tuition. If you’re promoting and organising your services like a business, it’s likely considered trading, and you’ll need to pay taxes on your earnings.

Trading and Miscellaneous Income Allowance

Now, here’s a little ray of sunshine for those of you with a small online income. If your total earnings from online trading or providing services amount to less than £1,000 (before expenses) in a tax year, you won’t need to inform HMRC or pay any tax on the profits. This is thanks to the Trading and Miscellaneous Income Allowance. So, if you’re just getting started or selling on a smaller scale, you have some breathing room.

The Role of Online Marketplaces

In recent years, tax regulations have evolved to adapt to the digital age. From the 1st of January, 2024, digital platforms, like websites and mobile apps, have been required to collect and report seller information and income to HMRC. They must report this information by January 2025, in line with international agreements.

So, what does this mean for you as a seller? You’ll receive a copy of this information, which can help work out your income and expenses incurred through these platforms. This data can help you calculate whether you owe any tax on your profits.

Registering and Paying Taxes

If you have to pay taxes on your online earnings, you might wonder how to get started. Well, it’s not as daunting as it may seem.

  • Self Assessment Tax Return: For starters, if you’ve never declared income through a Self Assessment tax return, you’ll need to register. Don’t worry; it’s a straightforward process, and you can find all the information you need on the HMRC website.
  • Using the HMRC App: Once registered, you can easily check what you owe and pay your Self Assessment bill using the HMRC App. It’s available for both iOS and Android devices, making it super convenient.

Mastering Online Sales: Navigating Taxes with Confidence

In a nutshell, selling goods or services online can be a great way to earn extra income, but it’s important to be aware of your tax obligations. Whether you’re selling vintage treasures, crafting homemade goods, or providing services, it’s important to understand when you need to pay taxes.

Remember, if you’re selling a few items here and there for a bit of pocket money, you may not need to worry about taxes. But if you’re actively trading and making a profit, it’s time to consider your tax responsibilities.

Stay informed, keep track of your income and expenses, and make good use of the information provided by online marketplaces.  If you’re unsure about your tax situation, it’s a good idea to consult a tax professional who can provide personalised guidance.

Selling online can be rewarding, and with a bit of tax knowledge under your belt, you can navigate this digital marketplace confidently. Happy selling, and remember to pay your taxes on time.

We’re here to help
If you’re ready to take control of your online business taxes, give us a call today on 01603 630882, or take a moment to fill out our online form. Let’s make sure your online ventures are tax-savvy and hassle-free. Your financial peace of mind is just a call or click away.

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Navigating HMRC’s Latest Off-Payroll (IR35) Compliance Guidelines

If you find dealing with tax laws overwhelming, especially with all the changes happening, you’re not alone. Therefore, we’re committed to making tax matters more manageable for you. The introduction and reform of the off-payroll working rules, commonly known as IR35, have added a layer of challenges to the mix. Luckily, HMRC’s Guidelines for Compliance (GfC) aim to help you understand and implement these rules. To help you, this blog explores the essentials of these guidelines. We’ll also share some insights to ensure your business remains compliant while keeping things running smoothly.

Understanding the Scope and Purpose of IR35

IR35 can sound like a mouthful, but it’s all about ensuring workers who provide their services through intermediaries like personal service companies or partnerships pay the correct taxes and National Insurance contributions. These rules mainly affect medium and large-sized clients in the private and public sectors.

Who Should Be Concerned?

If you’re a client or employer operating these off-payroll working rules, or you hire workers through personal service companies, limited companies, or partnerships, this concerns you. It’s also relevant for agencies in the supply chain and professional bodies advising clients on these rules.

Why Comply?

Compliance is more than just following the rules. It’s about understanding the legislation to make sure your business stays on the right side of the law and runs efficiently and ethically.

Three Key Components of the Guidelines

  1. Preparing and Making Status Determinations: One of the big things with IR35 is correctly identifying and classifying workers. The guidelines stress the importance of preparing for and making accurate status determinations for off-payroll workers. This means figuring out if a worker should be considered employed or self-employed for tax purposes, based on their situation.
  1. Collaboration in the Supply Chain: Working together is important for compliance. All entities in the supply chain need to share information and understand their responsibilities, especially when it comes to identifying workers covered by the off-payroll working rules.
  1. Systems and Processes for Compliance: The guidelines offer examples of systems and processes that can help you avoid errors when determining a worker’s status. This includes understanding different scenarios and organisational structures that may fall under IR35.

Practical Steps for Compliance

  • Use these guidelines alongside existing off-payroll working guidance to get the full picture.
  • Tailor your approach to your organisation’s unique situation and scale in off-payroll working engagements.
  • By following these guidelines diligently, your organisation can significantly reduce the risk of errors and, consequently, the likelihood of incurring penalties.

Understanding Your Responsibilities

  • For Medium and Large-Sized Clients: If you’re in this category, you’re responsible for determining the employment status for tax purposes of workers who provide services through intermediaries.
  • Issuing Status Determination Statements: When a worker falls under the IR35 rules, you must clearly communicate this decision via a status determination statement, giving clear reasons for your determination.
  • Handling Taxes and Contributions: If a worker is considered employed for tax purposes under IR35, you’ll need to handle the deduction of Income Tax and employee National Insurance contributions. Also, you’ll have to pay employer National Insurance contributions and, if applicable, the Apprenticeship Levy.

New Policy Change: Opportunity to Pause Settlement

There’s some good news, as, from the 6th of April, 2024, HMRC will let organisations with open compliance checks under IR35 offset taxes already paid by workers or intermediaries against what’s owed. This applies to Income Tax and National Insurance contributions assessed since the 6th of April, 2017, for off-payroll working errors.

Implications for Your Organisation

You can consider pausing the settlement of your open compliance check until after the 6th of April, 2024, under specific conditions. This includes acknowledging an error and agreeing on the gross liability. Providing HMRC with the necessary information is important.

Proceeding with Compliance Checks

HMRC will keep doing compliance checks as usual, but you can opt to pause the settlement. However, it’s advisable to make a payment on account to avoid accruing statutory interest.

Achieving Ethical Compliance with HMRC’s Off-Payroll Rules

Navigating HMRC’s off-payroll working rules might seem daunting, but it’s all about understanding the law, having a solid plan, and doing business responsibly. By following these guidelines, your organisation not only complies with the law but also sets an example of ethical business conduct. Remember, compliance isn’t just a legal obligation; it’s a mark of a forward-thinking and responsible business.

Seek Guidance 

If you’re ready to take the first step toward seamless compliance and ethical business practices, embrace HMRC’s off-payroll working rules today. Still have questions? Reach out to us on 01603 630882 for help or advice. 

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Guidance On Claiming Capital Allowances For Business Cars

As a business owner or finance professional, finding out about the facts for capital allowances for business cars is a must if you want to make the most of your company’s tax efficiency. In this blog post, we’re diving into the world of capital allowances, with the spotlight on how they play out when it comes to business vehicles. We’ll be looking at key factors like CO2 emissions, purchase dates, and the various rates of allowances available. Think of this as your trusty GPS for making savvy decisions about car purchases and navigating tax planning.

Capital Allowances 101

First things first, let’s establish a clear understanding of capital allowances. They’re a form of tax relief available to businesses in the UK. They allow you to deduct a portion of the value given to qualifying assets from your profits before tax. This deduction can help reduce your tax bill, making it an important consideration for any business.

Capital Allowances on Cars

Now, let’s shift gears and talk about the specifics of capital allowances for business cars. Your four-wheeled friends have their own set of rules. Here’s what you need to know:

1. Writing Down Allowances (WDAs): WDAs are the most common way to claim capital allowances on cars. The rate you can claim depends on the CO2 emissions of the car:

  • Main rate allowances (18%): Applicable to environmentally friendly cars emitting 50g/km or less.
  • Special rate allowances (6%): Reserved for vehicles with CO2 emissions exceeding 50g/km.

2. First-Year Allowances (FYAs): If you’re eyeing low or zero-emission cars, you’re in for a treat as you can claim a 100% FYA, allowing you to offset the entire cost against your taxable profits in the year of purchase. Welcome news for electric car enthusiasts.

3. Exclusions: It’s important to note that cars don’t qualify for the Annual Investment Allowance (AIA), which offers a 100% write-off in the year for other types of assets.

For Sole Traders and Partnerships

If you’re a sole trader or in a partnership, there’s an alternative route: simplified mileage expenses for business vehicles. It’s like taking the fast lane, but remember, you can’t have this and claim capital allowances for the same vehicle.

For Employees

Employees, we haven’t forgotten you. Unfortunately, you can’t claim capital allowances for cars, motorbikes, or bicycles used for work. However, you may still be eligible for reimbursement of your business mileage and fuel costs.

What Counts as a Car?

For capital allowance purposes, a ‘car’ is a vehicle designed for personal use, not primarily intended for transporting goods. This includes motorhomes but excludes the heavyweights – lorries, vans, trucks, and motorcycles (unless purchased before April 6, 2009).

Claiming Rates for Cars

The rate you can claim depends on your car’s CO2 emissions and the purchase date. Here are the key points for different periods:

  • Cars Bought from April 2021 Onwards:
  • New and boasting zero emissions (including electric cars) qualify for 100% first-year allowances.
  • Second-hand electric cars join the main rate allowances club – good for the environment and your finances.
  • If your car’s emissions are ≤ 50g/km, you’re still eligible for main rate allowances.
  • If your car’s emissions are > 50g/km, you’ll fall into the special rate allowances category.
  • Cars Purchased Between April 2018 and April 2021: Similar rules as before, but with adjusted CO2 limits.
  • Purchases Made from April 2015 to April 2018:  Again, the same CO2 rules apply, just tweaked for that timeframe.
  • Cars Acquired Between April 2013 and April 2015: It’s like a rerun of the previous rules, but now tailored to the CO2 emissions during this period.
  • Cars Bought Between April 2009 and April 2013: No surprises here – the CO2 limits stay the same, maintaining consistency for this time period.
  • Cars Purchased Before April 2009: If you own a car that was bought before this date, you’ll have to shift its balance into your main rate allowances pool when you’re working out your claim. 

Using Cars Outside Your Business

If you use your car for business and personal purposes, you must allocate the capital allowance claim based on your business usage.

Providing Cars to Employees

If your business provides a car to an employee or director, you can claim capital allowances based on the full cost. But, if the employee uses the car for personal reasons, you may need to report it as a company benefit to HMRC.

Maximising Your Business Car Tax Perks

Getting the hang of the capital allowances game for business cars might feel complicated, but it’s worth it to supercharge your tax efficiency. Don’t forget to keep a close eye on those CO2 emissions and the purchase date of your vehicle – they’re the factors that can improve the allowances you can get.

And here’s a tip: When in doubt, speak to a tax professional to guide you. They can give you the personalised advice you need to stay on the right track, ensuring you follow the rules and excel in optimal tax planning. 

If you’re ready to make the best use of your tax savings and would like some help, give us a call today on 01603 630882 or complete our online form here

 

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Guidance On Recent Changes In Reporting Self-Employment Income

If you’re self-employed or running a trading partnership, navigating tax regulations can be daunting. The UK’s tax reporting system has had some recent changes, which began with the 2023 to 2024 tax year, so it’s important to stay informed and be prepared. This blog will walk you through these new changes, especially if your business’s financial year doesn’t align with the usual tax year (from the 31st of March to the 5th of April).

This year is a transitional phase. You’ll report profits from just after your last financial year-end in 2022 to 2023, to 5th April 2024. This could mean considering two financial years to figure out your taxable income.

If you end up with profits for more than 12 months, that’s your ‘transition profit’. You can shrink this down with Overlap Relief, and the remaining profit gets spread out until the tax year 2027 to 2028.

Here are the steps you’ll need to take: 

  1. Calculate your overlap relief
  2. Work out your transition profit
  3. Include these figures in your 2023 to 2024 self-assessment tax return

Specific Cases

If your financial year ends close to the tax year, between the 31st of March and the 4th of April, you can treat it as ending on the 5th of April, saving you the hassle of splitting profits for a few days.

Reporting Profits from the 5th of April 2024

From the 2024 to 2025 tax year onwards, your profit reporting will align with the tax year (the 6th of April to the 5th of April the following year). This involves combining profits from the 6th of April up to your financial year-end and the start of your new business year to the 5th of April the following year. In a leap year, count 366 days instead of 365.

Examples of Dividing Up Your Profits

You can split up your profits daily, monthly, or in any way that makes sense. Let’s look at a couple of examples:

  • Daily Splitting: Say your business year is from the 1st of October 2025 to the 30th of September 2026, with a profit of £45,000, and then from the 1st of October 2026 to the 30th of September 2027, making £75,000. For the 2025 to 2026 tax year, you’ll calculate profit from the 1st of October 2025 to the 5th of April 2026, and so on.
  • Monthly Splitting: If your business runs from the 1st of January 2026 to the 31st of December 2026 (making £50,000), and then from the 1st of January 2027 (earning £15,000), you’d divide the profits based on the months in each tax year.

Estimating Profits

Sometimes, you might not know your exact profit for the entire tax year when you file your return. In that case, use provisional figures and update your return when you get the exact numbers. Doing it this way keeps everything neat and accurate, ensuring your tax records truly mirror what’s happening in your business. 

Keeping Up With the New Tax Year Basis

These changes are fairly big for self-employed individuals and partnerships. It’s crucial to understand them, how they’ll impact your tax returns, and what you need to do. Staying informed and maybe even getting some advice can really help. Preparing for tax changes can make your life easier and avoid unwelcome surprises later on.

If you’d like to prepare for these changes, start now to make your future tax experience smooth sailing. You can call us at 01603 630882 or fill out our online form. Taking steps today will secure your financial future and keep you up-to-date with these evolving tax rules.