HMRC time limits extended

From 2019, offshore matters could be raised by HMRC 12 years afterwards, even if the taxpayer has made an innocent error.

ie

Taxpayer behaviour    Earliest tax year caught    ordinary assessment time limit    Extended Offshore time limit

Reasonable Care taken      2015-2016                        Four years, ie to 5 April 2020                 12 years, ie to 5 April 2028

Carelessness                        2013-2014                        Six years. ie to 5 April 2020                     12 years ie to 5 April 2026

 

Currently, the time limit for HMRC to make an assessment to income tax and capital gains tax is four years if the taxpayer took reasonable care. This is from the end of the tax year.  (six years for careless behaviour and twenty years for deliberate behaviour).

It is important to note:

  • it applies to income and capital gains tax and to inheritance tax;
  • personal representatives are excluded from the changes, with the time limits in TMA 1970, s40 continuing to apply;
  • the extension will not be made for corporation tax;
  • the draft legislation prohibits an assessment being raised to the extent that lost tax arises due to transfer pricing adjustments; and
  • the extended time limit will not apply if, through receipt of information by way of automatic exchange arrangements, it was reasonable to expect HMRC to be aware of and have assessed the lost tax before the end of the normal time limit.

Taxpayers and their advisors must keep adequate records to defend their position should HMRC seek to raise an assessment.  However, the law is not being amended to require taxpayers to keep records for the extended limit.  It should be noted that failure to do so could leave the taxpayer struggling to defend a later assessment.

We would advise all out clients with offshore interests to keep records for the full 12 years.

If you would like to talk to someone about this more, or need addition advise, please contact us at info@bennewith.co.uk

MTD (Making Tax Digital)

Or otherwise known as ‘Making Tax Difficult’.

MTD comes into effect as of April 2019.  In HMRC’s recently published VAT Notice 700/22 Making Tax Digital for VAT it has become apparent that once registered for MTD companies are always registered for MTD even when they de-register from VAT.

In the Stakeholders communication pack clarity is found to the question: ‘What if my taxable VAT turnover is below the threshold?’ The answer states: ‘Businesses already have to check their turnover for the last 12 months at the end of each month so see if it exceeds the VAT threshold.  If it does then MTD applies from the first day of the following month.’

So as long as a business has sales of less than £85,000 for the 12 month period ending 31 March 2019 and every rolling 12 month period thereafter, they have no MTD worries.

The bad news is that is a VAT-registered business goes over the £85,000 threshold in any rolling 12 month period after April 2019, even if only temporarily, then it must join MTD and cannot withdraw if turnover subsequently falls below the threshold.  So once you are in, you have to stay.

Contact us at info@bennewith.co.uk is you need more assistance, or advice, with regards to MTD.

2019 Loan charge legislation – deadline 30 September 2018

  • The 5 April loan charge will apply to third-party employment loans made since 6 April 1999
  • Details may have been reported to HMRC even if the loans have been repaid
  • There are other options: settle with HMRC before 5 April 2019 or repay the loans
  • HMRC must be approached with information before 30 September 2018 if settlement is sought before the loan charge applies

Contact us immediately if you need assistance with the above.  There is still two weeks to approach HMRC

The legislation requires an individual (or related party) who borrowed from an EBT (employee benefit trust, or similar) to repay funds before 5 April 2019.  Failure to do so will trigger income tax and National Insurance liabilities.  The loan charge rules now form part of the disguised remuneration rules.

While the disguised remuneration rules seek to apply to an action, the loan charge rules focus on a failure to take action, such as a failure to repay.  In this sense, companies, individuals, trustees and advisors should be aware that a lack of action or pretending not to notice cannot provide a means of escape from the income tax and National Insurance charge.

Privacy Notice

PRIVACY NOTICE

1.   PURPOSE OF THIS NOTICE

This notice describes how we collect and use personal data about you, in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the Data Protection Act 2018 and any other national implementing laws, regulations and secondary legislation, as amended or updated from time to time, in the UK (‘Data Protection Legislation’).

 

Please read the following carefully to understand our practices regarding your personal data and how we will treat it.

2.   ABOUT US

A J Bennewith & Co. is an accountancy and tax advisory firm with an independent examination and audit function.  Our office is located at Ynot House, 3 Wey Court, Mary Road, Guildford, Surrey  GU1 4QU.

 

For the purpose of the Data Protection Legislation and this notice, we are the ‘data controller’. This means that we are responsible for deciding how we hold and use personal data about you. We are required under the Data Protection Legislation to notify you of the information contained in this privacy notice.

 

We have appointed a Data Protection Manager.   Our Data Protection Manager is our Data Protection Point of Contact and is responsible for assisting with enquiries in relation to this privacy notice or our treatment of your personal data. Should you wish to contact our Data Protection Point of Contact you can do so using the contact details noted at paragraph 12 (Contact Us), below.

3.   HOW WE MAY COLLECT YOUR PERSONAL DATA

We obtain personal data about you, for example, when:

  • you request a proposal from us in respect of the services we provide;
  • you OR your employer OR our client engages us to provide our services and also during the provision of those services;
  • you contact us by email, telephone, post or social media (for example when you have a query about our services); or
  • from third parties and/or publicly available resources (for example, from your employer or from Companies House).

4.   THE KIND OF INFORMATION WE HOLD ABOUT YOU

The information we hold about you may include the following:

 

  • your personal details (such as your name and/or address);
  • details of contact we have had with you in relation to the provision, or the proposed provision, of our services;
  • details of any services you have received from us;
  • our correspondence and communications with you;
  • information about any complaints and enquiries you make to us;
  • Information we receive from other sources, such as publicly available information, or information provided by your employer OR our clients.

5.   HOW WE USE PERSONAL DATA WE HOLD ABOUT YOU

We may process your personal data for purposes necessary for the performance of our contract with you OR your employer OR our clients and to comply with our legal obligations.

 

We may process your personal data for the purposes necessary for the performance of our contract with our clients. This may include processing your personal data where you are an employee, subcontractor, supplier or customer of our client.

We may process your personal data for the purposes of our own legitimate interests provided that those interests do not override any of your own interests, rights and freedoms which require the protection of personal data. This may include processing for business development and management purposes.

 

We may process your personal data for certain additional purposes with your consent, and in these limited circumstances where your consent is required for the processing of your personal data then you have the right to withdraw your consent to processing for such specific purposes.

 

Please note that we may process your personal data for more than one lawful basis depending on the specific purpose for which we are using your data.

 

Situations in which we will use your personal data

We may use your personal data in order to:

 

  • carry out our obligations arising from any agreements entered into between you OR your employer OR our clients and us (which will most usually be for the provision of our services);
  • carry out our obligations arising from any agreements entered into between our clients and us (which will most usually be for the provision of our services) where you may be a subcontractor, supplier or customer of our client;
  • provide you with information related to our services and our events and activities that you request from us or which we feel may interest you, provided you have consented to be contacted for such purposes;
  • seek your thoughts and opinions on the services we provide; and
  • notify you about any changes to our services.

In some circumstances we may anonymise or pseudonymise the personal data so that it can no longer be associated with you, in which case we may use it without further notice to you.

 

If you refuse to provide us with certain information when requested, we may not be able to perform the contract we have entered into with you. Alternatively, we may be unable to comply with our legal or regulatory obligations.

 

We may also process your personal data without your knowledge or consent, in accordance with this notice, where we are legally required or permitted to do so.

 

Data retention

We will only retain your personal data for as long as is necessary to fulfil the purposes for which it is collected.

 

When assessing what retention period is appropriate for your personal data, we take into consideration:

 

  • the requirements of our business and the services provided;
  • any statutory or legal obligations;
  • the purposes for which we originally collected the personal data;
  • the lawful grounds on which we based our processing;
  • the types of personal data we have collected;
  • the amount and categories of your personal data; and
  • whether the purpose of the processing could reasonably be fulfilled by other means.

Change of purpose

Where we need to use your personal data for another reason, other than for the purpose for which we collected it, we will only use your personal data where that reason is compatible with the original purpose.

 

Should it be necessary to use your personal data for a new purpose, we will notify you and communicate the legal basis which allows us to do so before starting any new processing.

6.   DATA SHARING

Why might you share my personal data with third parties?

We will share your personal data with third parties where we are required by law, where it is necessary to administer the relationship between us or where we have another legitimate interest in doing so.

 

Which third-party service providers process my personal data?

“Third parties” includes third-party service providers. The following activities are carried out by third-party service providers: IT and cloud services, professional advisory services, administration services and banking services.

 

All of our third-party service providers are required to take commercially reasonable and appropriate security measures to protect your personal data. We only permit our third-party service providers to process your personal data for specified purposes and in accordance with our instructions.

 

What about other third parties?

We may share your personal data with other third parties, for example in the context of the possible sale or restructuring of the business. We may also need to share your personal data with a regulator or to otherwise comply with the law.

7.   TRANSFERRING PERSONAL DATA OUTSIDE THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AREA (EEA)

We will not transfer the personal data we collect about you outside of the EEA.

 

8.   DATA SECURITY

We have put in place commercially reasonable and appropriate security measures to prevent your personal data from being accidentally lost, used or accessed in an unauthorised way, altered or disclosed. In addition, we limit access to your personal data to those employees, agents, contractors and other third parties who have a business need to know. They will only process your personal data on our instructions and they are subject to a duty of confidentiality.

 

We have put in place procedures to deal with any suspected data security breach and will notify you and any applicable regulator of a suspected breach where we are legally required to do so.

9.   RIGHTS OF ACCESS, CORRECTION, ERASURE, AND RESTRICTION

Your duty to inform us of changes

It is important that the personal data we hold about you is accurate and current. Should your personal information change, please notify us of any changes of which we need to be made aware by contacting us, using the contact details below.

 

Your rights in connection with personal data

Under certain circumstances, by law you have the right to:

 

  • Request access to your personal data. This enables you to receive details of the personal data we hold about you and to check that we are processing it lawfully.
  • Request correction of the personal data that we hold about you.
  • Request erasure of your personal data. This enables you to ask us to delete or remove personal data where there is no good reason for us continuing to process it. You also have the right to ask us to delete or remove your personal data where you have exercised your right to object to processing (see below).
  • Object to processing of your personal data where we are relying on a legitimate interest (or those of a third party) and there is something about your particular situation which makes you want to object to processing on this basis. You also have the right to object where we are processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes.
  • Request the restriction of processing of your personal data. This enables you to ask us to suspend the processing of personal data about you, for example if you want us to establish its accuracy or the reason for processing it.
  • Request the transfer of your personal data to you or another data controller if the processing is based on consent, carried out by automated means and this is technically feasible.

If you want to exercise any of the above rights, please email our data protection point of contact Chrissie@bennewith.co.uk OR click here mailto:chrissie@bennewith.co.uk.

 

You will not have to pay a fee to access your personal data (or to exercise any of the other rights). However, we may charge a reasonable fee if your request for access is clearly unfounded or excessive. Alternatively, we may refuse to comply with the request in such circumstances.

 

We may need to request specific information from you to help us confirm your identity and ensure your right to access the information (or to exercise any of your other rights). This is another appropriate security measure to ensure that personal information is not disclosed to any person who has no right to receive it.

10.   RIGHT TO WITHDRAW CONSENT

In the limited circumstances where you may have provided your consent to the collection, processing and transfer of your personal data for a specific purpose (for example, in relation to direct marketing that you have indicated you would like to receive from us), you have the right to withdraw your consent for that specific processing at any time. To withdraw your consent, please email our data protection point of contact Chrissie@bennewith.co.uk OR click here mailto:chrissie@bennewith.co.uk.

 

Once we have received notification that you have withdrawn your consent, we will no longer process your personal information (personal data) for the purpose or purposes you originally agreed to, unless we have another legitimate basis for doing so in law.

11.   CHANGES TO THIS NOTICE

Any changes we may make to our privacy notice in the future will be updated on our website at: www.bennewith.co.uk.

 

This privacy notice was last updated on 25 May 2018.

12.   CONTACT US

If you have any questions regarding this notice or if you would like to speak to us about the manner in which we process your personal data, please email our Data Protection Point of Contact Chrissie Bacon at Chrissie@bennewith.co.uk or telephone Chrissie Bacon on 01483 539777.

 

You also have the right to make a complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the UK supervisory authority for data protection issues, at any time. The ICO’s  contact details are as follows:

 

Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

 

Telephone – 0303 123 1113 (local rate) or 01625 545 745

 

Website – https://ico.org.uk/concerns

Death and Taxes

Are you struggling with you responsibilities as a Personal Representative (PR) due to someone’s death, or are you getting prepared?

It is now, in most cases, possible to arrange for HMRC, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and most other government departments to be notified of a death at one and the same time through the Tell Us Once (TUO) service with is available in most parts of England, Wales and Scotland.  Normally the registrar will offer the service to anyone registering a death, but it can also be accessed at tinyurl.com/TX-GOV-TUO.  In Northern Ireland the Bereavement Service (tinyurl.com/TX-NIGOV-BS) offers bereaved relatives a single point of contact for the Social Security Agency but not for any other department.

If TUO is not used or not available, the PRs must themselves notify HMRC of the death via the bereavement helpline 0300 200 3300.

After being notified via TUO, HMRC should make contact with the PRs to settle the deceased’s tax affairs.  If this does not happen, the PRs may themselves have to initiate contact.  Even if HMRC does respond, the PRs should check that the information on which any assessment or repayment is based is correct.

For PRs administering the estate themselves, there is a useful checklist at tinyurl.com/TX-HMRC-CHKLST which is adequate for straightforward cases.  The Low Income Tax Reform Group (LITRG) has also published a Tax at bereavement factsheet which is available at tinyurl.com/TX-LITRG-FAQ.

If you would like more advice, or wish us to check any assessments produced by HMRC, please do not hesitate to contact us.  We can also complete the Personal Tax Returns to the Date of Death for you, and any necessary reporting requirements for the Estate.  Please contact us at Chrissie@bennewith.co.uk.

on 6 April the minimum amount employers must pay into workplace pensions is going up

On 6 April, by law, the minimum amount employers have to pay into a workplace pensions goes up to 2% of qualifiying earnings, whilst staff will now contribute 3% – making a combined total minimum contribution of 5%.

Automatic enrolment has so far out more than nine million workers into workplace pension schemes.

All of these people are now on the road to saving for a better retirement, but it’s only the start.

Now that they’re saving for their future, the next step in automatic enrolment is for the amount of staff pay into their pensions to increase, helping them to gradually adjust to saving money for their pension pot.  Employers pay more in too, growing it even further.  In fact, if they want to, employers can contribute more than the minimum amount they’re required to, meaning staff don’t need to pay in quite so much – as long as the total contribution is still at least 5%.

Please do contact us as A J Bennewith & Co if you have any queries, or would like us to take over your payroll for you.

It is recommended that all employers write to their staff to let them know about the increase in contribution, and you can find letter templates at the following address: http://www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/doc-library/automatic-enrolment-letter-templates.aspx?ed2f26df2d9c416fbddddd2330a778c6=kxijvkxsj-kxlxrribl

Minimum contributions will increase again on 6 April 2019, to 3% for the employer and 5% for staff, making a combined total minimum amount of 8% of qualifying earnings. Rates will then stay at this level, unless the government makes changes to automatic enrolment in the future.

This information was taken from The Pensions Regulator and you can find out more on their website:    http://www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/en/employers

You can also possibly reduce the amount of income tax you pay by making Voluntary Contributions to a pension.  Please contact us at info@bennewith.co.uk if you would like more information.

 

National Minimum and Living Wage rates change on 1st April 2018

On 1st April 2018 the National Minimum and National Living Wage rates change.

This includes the largest increases in a decade for the rates that apply to 18-20 and 21-24 year olds.

You can view the new rates on the GOV.UK webpage National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage rates and see if you need to make any changes.

Contact us at A J Bennewith & Co to update your payroll.

If you don’t use us for your payroll, contact us for competitive quotes for Payroll and other services we can supply.

Are you expecting a tax repayment? Check HMRC repayment arrangements

In April 2015, HMRC systems were brought in line with banking industry standards so that, where possible, repayments are made back to the latest credit or debit card used to make a payment on the self assessment accounts.

Although it does mention this in the notes of the tax return, and during the process, many taxpayers are at risk of being caught out and suffering hardship as a result.

There are discussions taking place, but they suggest that there is no way of stopping HMRC’s system automatically attempting to repay a card.  In such circumstances it is very important that taxpayers are aware of this and that they understand that their tax repayment may not be made where they are expecting it to be.

At A J Bennewith & Co we will ask you to check for your repayment and let us know if there have been any issues.  It is important that you have informed us of any bank details when a repayment needs to be issued.  We will ask you to check the information on page TR6 of the return, before signing it and returning it to us.

If you use an online self assessment account please watch out for this.  If necessary you can contact us to complete your self-assessment on your behalf.  Please email, or telephone us for a quote if necessary.

Remember the deadline is 31 January 2018, for the return and any liabilities due.

Interest Rate Rises for First Time in Ten Years: What Does it Mean for You?

For the first time in ten years, the Bank of England has increased the UK’s interest rate from 0.25% to 0.5%.  But what does the change mean for you?

Who welcomes the change?

Savers are the biggest winners from this announcement as they are likely to see a higher return on their savings.  Some banks are holding off putting their own rates up, but others are following suit.

House Owners with Mortgages

This is where the sting is in the tail.  An increase in interest rates will see mortgage repayment rates increase.  It is thought that nearly four million households will face higher mortgage interest repayments.

Interest from savings may help towards the cost but in a lot of cases it will not be enough to cover it unless you have a lot put away.

Winners

For retirees buying an annuity, that rate rise is good news.  Annuity rates follow interest rates or yields of long-term government bonds, known as gilts.  As the base rates rise, these yields do too, giving retirees better value for money.

Businesses

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) criticised the decision, saying that this could not come at a worse time for small businesses.  The rate rise will mean yet more cost pressures for small firms as they battle spiralling prices and flagging consumer demand.

National Chairman Mike Cherry suggested that the rate rise could lead to businesses viewing borrowing as more risky which could ‘threaten investment, growth and job creation.’

At the end of the day it has only taken the rate back to the level seen in August 2016 and at 0.5% it is still very low.

The pound has also suffered a dip in value, falling by more than a cent against both the dollar and the euro.

Mark Carney defended the decision by saying it was time to ‘take the foot of the accelerator’.  He said, ‘To be clear, even after today’s rate increase, monetary policy will provide significant support to jobs and activity.  And the MPC continues to expect that any future increases in interest rates would be at a gradual pace and to a limited extent’.

Making Tax Digital

The Government recently announced that the start date for digitalisation of the UK tax system has been pushed back to April 2019.

There has been intense lobbying from businesses and professional bodies (some on which Tony and Chrissie stand) and the concerns raised by the Treasury Select Committee regarding the pace of change.  Whilst it is clear that MTD (Making Tax Digital) is here to stay, we welcome the news that our clients will be given more time to  make the transition to the new digital tax system.

Under the Government’s new timeline only unincorporated businesses and landlords with a turnover above the VAT threshold (currently £85,000) will have to keep digital records and for VAT purposes only from April 2019.  Businesses will now not be required to keep digital records for income tax until April 2020 at the earliest.

We will be contacting our clients that this will effect as we can assist you to prepare for the transition to MTD for VAT reporting from April 2019.

If you are not one of our clients you can still contact us for assistance and advice.  We offer a complimentary 1 hour consultation to help you decide the correct way forward for you.  Contact us at info@bennewith.co.uk