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The 50 Day Budget and idle speculation

We have a new Government in place and a new fiscal policy which we will learn about in the coming weeks. We know that there are going to be tax rises and we know something of what they will be, as well as of other measures.

  • The National Insurance increase planned for April 2011 will be only for employees. The “jobs tax” element of the increase which would have been imposed by the previous administration is not going to take place; at least not until the economy and jobs market seems to be recovering.
  • The tax free income tax Personal Allowance will … Continue Reading

Budget 2010 – I am not going to say “me too”

One usually annual problem for tax practitioners is that we are expected to have instant knowledge of every bit of information announced in the Budget almost straight away. There was in fact very little of substance in the March Budget of 2010, which is not surprising given that we are having a General Election probably on 6th May, and what Chancellor would announce anything unpleasant and painful in such a situation?There is no point in publishing here a commentary on the Budget announcements. The newspapers have covered what there was in depth, and for a more insightful examination … Continue Reading

Late, late tax planning

The 2009 Pre-Budget Report in December signalled a significant number of tax increases in the UK designed to make up the significant Budget deficit following the banking crisis. For many or our clients there will be a significant impact on their finances.-Income tax rates to rise and personal allowances to reduce for wealthier clients. -Future changes to rates applicable for dividends, trusts and NICs. -New 50% income tax band. There are further complicated rules for pension relief restriction and the end of well-established tax breaks for furnished holiday lettings (currently enjoying business tax advantages). There … Continue Reading

Dodging the Excise Men – encouraging a tax evasion society

In my business we frown upon tax evasion. It is our duty to uphold the law through helping our clients in their self assessment of their income, profits and their company accounts. We have to tread a firmer line than Joe or Jo Public, though unrepresented taxpayers may make mistakes in the Revenue’s favour as well as their own. It is my experience that they do.This week we have seen further hikes in taxation, principally through National Insurance and more obviously the return to 17.5% VAT. Personal Allowances are frozen for next year, so there will be some … Continue Reading

Out with the old…

Like most other people in my business, nearly all things in my office are done online. The tax returns have to be submitted by FBI (file by internet); we can read the Revenue manuals online, download their booklets, read the professional magazines and have website communities of fellow professionals. In other words, we have access to every possible resource of information without resorting to the printed word. Then, if we need something printed, then we print it ourselves,Many readers of this piece will recognise this; some will be fellow tax professionals and others will have found their business … Continue Reading

Property flipping and knee jerk reactions

I must admit that the publicity about some Members of Parliament with two or more residences changing their designated main residence to one they are about to sell has me a little concerned because of all the publicity around it, and because of the public’s ire. The principal residence capital gains exemption is there for good reason, and whilst as with any rule it might be possible to exploit it to one’s advantage, the main purpose of electing as to which is the main residence is actually to prevent hardship or difficulty. Often people acquire a second property through the … Continue Reading

What’s cooking with HMRC, MPs and networking?

It was interesting to meet HMRC representatives at the Essex Branch CIOT/ATT meeting last week, and they seemed a pleasant and friendly bunch. However, of the contingent of six (v attendance of only about 25 members) a couple had come all the way from Yorkshire to Chelmsford. I could not quite see how this was cost-effective.I took the trouble to make notes, but cannot see on re-reading them that I really learned very much. One lady was able to assure us that they were working hard to improve the website, including the deplorable search function (generally it is … Continue Reading

Exorcising ghosts

Whilst on the subject of Hamlet’s father’s ghost, in my post “As ye sow” on 13th of this month, I mentioned the spectre of income shifting legislation and was worried that it might be sneaked in whilst we were looking at the drastic measures being introduced to save the country from ruin. No, it’s not funny.In the PBR we were told:”The Government firmly believes it is unfair to allow a minority of individuals to benefit financially from shifting part of their income to someone else who is subject to a lower rate of tax, known as … Continue Reading

As ye sow…

It is always difficult to write in advance of the Pre-Budget Report, though we understand that it will be happening shortly. In some past years the PBR has been in October, but the Government would say it has had other things on its mind; in other words the “credit crunch” and the apparent impending recession. Of course, it depends on what business you are in as to whether you think there is a recession now, and the effects will bite on different people and businesses at different times. However, clearly the collective spending power of the nation will be affected…. Continue Reading

Post-holiday blues

I have been a bit quiet of late. You could understand that a number of developments in the UK tax world have pretty much left me speechless. We have had the Budget, largely flagged in advance with the capital gains changes etc. but the income-shifting fiasco has been put on hold. Unfortunately it is not a dead duck and will reappear not much changed, I suspect; a serious canard if ever there were one.

We tax advisers have a job squeezing our holidays in these days but we managed a couple of … Continue Reading