Making Tax Digital – HMRC Case Studies 1

HMRC have 4 fictional case studies, they are on the are on the Overview of Making Tax Digital page of the HMRC website and this was last updated on 13th July 2017

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/485372/Making_tax_digital_-_case_studies.pdf

  • Geeta – the teacher who also does some tuition
  • Richard – the landscape gardener who has just become VAT registered
  • Helen – retired
  • Dave and his Wife – who are directors of a small plumbing company

Basically

Geeta uses a App on her smartphone for record keeping

Richard was using an agent but then moves to a digital tax account

Helen uses a Personal Tax Account

Dave uses an App to provide information to his accountant

So Apps are very popular!

HMRC seem to assume that most people want to do their own record keeping and that small businesses like Geeta and Richard will no longer use accountants or book keepers.

We have an extremely complicated tax system, so how realistic is that, even HMRC struggle to calculate your tax correctly!

The way that allowances are applied for dividends, allowances, savings and other items all impact on each other.

Many tax payers will be working on their 2016/17 returns (to 5th April 2017 due by 31st January 2018) over the coming months and find that they can’t use the HMRC software because it doesn’t work properly.

As reported by Accounting Web

Rob Ellis, CEO of BTCSoftware, can’t remember a year when there have been so many exclusions from filing SA tax returns online. For the 2016/17 tax returns 16 new examples have been added to the online filing exclusions list, which is now in version 4;  there is a version 5 of this list under construction.

You can read the full list of exclusion on this link https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/622426/2017-exc-indi.pdf

There were 62 exclusions! HMRC have fixed some but aren’t intending to fix them all

 

steve@bicknells.net

How much SDLT do you pay on Overage? Reply

What is Overage

http://www.propertylawuk.net/propertytransactionsoverage.html

When land is sold, the vendor will normally do his best to sell at the best possible price – indeed, if the vendor is a public sector authority or a charity, he may be obliged to sell at the best possible price. Sometimes, however, the best possible price may only be available at some time in the future, or not at all. The most common example of this is where planning permission may be granted for a more valuable use of the land, but it is by no means certain that the permission will be forthcoming and, in any event, this is unlikely to happen for some time. Similarly, if land is sold for a particular purpose, such as for the development of 50 houses, and the developer in fact manages to build 60, then the land will obviously be more valuable with 60 houses on it rather than the original 50.

HMRC Rules

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/stamp-duty-land-tax-the-amount-used-to-calculate-whats-payable#cc

Payment depending on the outcome of future events

A transaction could include an amount that the buyer will only pay if some future event happens. This is known as the ‘contingent consideration’.

For example, a developer might agree to pay an extra sum, on condition that they get planning permission for redevelopment.

In these cases you pay SDLT on the assumption that the contingency will happen. The buyer can apply to defer payment of SDLT on the contingent amount. But HMRC still charge the tax at the appropriate rate for the total chargeable consideration.

For example, a builder buys a plot for £400,000 and agrees to pay a further £200,000 if he gets planning permission for a new building. He can apply for deferment on SDLT on the conditional £200,000 but will pay SDLT on the initial payment now. The SDLT due on the initial payment will be at 4%, because the total potential payment is above the £500,000 threshold.

Payment depending on uncertain future events

Some transactions may include a later payment which depends on an unknown variable. This is known as the ‘uncertain or unascertained consideration’.

For example, future payments based on the turnover of a business.

In these cases, calculate the SDLT on the basis of a ‘just and reasonable estimate’ of the amount involved. The buyer can apply to defer payment of the uncertain or unascertainable part. Otherwise, make an appropriate adjustment when the amount of consideration is certain.

steve@bicknells.net

 

WAT a mess! Reply

The Widening Access Training scheme (WAT) was developed for NHS workers to save tax and national insurance.

In fact in many cases the training was free of all tax and NI, the problem has been in its operation.

We have clients in 2 different NHS trusts, they initially got refunds, then had to repay the refunds, and then got refunds direct from HMRC.

Unite have information on their website..

NHS Payroll departments have been contacting staff who may be eligible to receive a refund of Tax and National Insurance (NI) contributions, paid in error, whilst they were in full-time education.

Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have stated that employed staff also in full-time education are exempt from Tax and NI up to an annual allowance on earnings of £15,480, whilst in training, provided they meet the following conditions: 

The claimant must have been:

  • An existing NHS employee when starting a training scheme (this could have been at another NHS organisation). 
  • Looking to widen their knowledge. 
  • In full-time attendance at an educational establishment for at least one academic year, and must have attended the course for at least 20 weeks in that academic year. If the course is longer, the employee must attend for at least 20 weeks on average in an academic year over the period of the course.  

Claims for refunds of tax and NI can be made for the period September 1999 to March 2013.  

HMRC normally only accept refund claims for the previous 6 tax years. However, this restriction has been extended back to September 1999, to coincide with the start of a specific training scheme; the Widening Access Training Scheme

This the advice from HMRC to NHS Payrolls

Responsibility for refunds

Training courses attended before 6 April 2013

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will deal with the refund if your employee attended a qualifying WAT course starting before 6 April 2013.

You should submit claims to HMRC on behalf of your NHS employees, providing full details of all eligible workers.

Trusts/authorities should notify HMRC by submitting a schedule by email to the mailbox. nhswat.mailbox@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk

Workers have been advised to contact you to confirm if you’ve already sent a claim to HMRC on their behalf. You may need to ask them for further information or evidence to support their application for a refund.

Training courses attended after 6 April 2013

If workers attended a qualifying WAT course starting on or after the 6 April 2013 the refund should be dealt with by you through your payroll system.

Training course only

If an employee attended a qualifying WAT course and is entitled to a refund, you should complete a Full Payment Submission (FPS):

  1. Enter the full amount of training income paid to the employee in the field ‘Value of payments not subject to Income Tax or NICs in pay period’.
  2. Enter the tax code for the year.
  3. Don’t complete any of the NICs fields.

Training course and paid work

If the employee did a combination of training and paid work and is entitled to a refund for the training income, you should complete an FPS:

  1. Separate the training income from the earned income.
  2. Subject any additional earnings to Income Tax and NICs in the normal way.
  3. Enter the amount of training income received in the field ‘Value of payments not subject to tax or NICs in pay period’.
  4. Enter the tax code number for the year.

If you’ve already sent your final FPS for the years starting 6 April 2014 onwards, you should complete an Earlier Year Update.

The main HMRC links are

Its easy to see why there is confusion!

Hopefully, all those on the WAT schemes will get the correct refunds

steve@bicknells.net

How should you account for a Property Management Company? 1

Property Management companies, for instance – Letting Agents, manage properties that they don’t own.

Their services are VATable if they voluntarily register or hit the VAT threshold.

Their income should be the fees that they charge to their clients and they can offset the expenses that relate to their business for example:

Office costs

Accountancy

Insurance

Motor Expenses

But as the properties aren’t owned by them they need to keep their client accounts on the balance sheet in control accounts.

Typically

Rent from Tenants

Maintenance Costs

Management Fees

Then the net amount is passed to the landlord with a statement

It is also possible that the Property Management Company may keep their client accounts entirely separate to their own with separate bank accounts and ledgers, this approach is the best option

Sage One makes this easy to account for properties because you can use Projects, Cost Codes and Departments to analyse the costs.

There are also lots of specialist software package for property management companies

steve@bicknells.net

The Second Income Campaign re-visited! what is your side hustle? Reply

Second Jobs or as the Americans call them Side Hustles are very popular, here is a website focused on them

http://www.sidehustlenation.com/ideas/

Almost a third of British workers run some kind of creative business outside their main job contributing an estimated £15bn to the UK economy, according to research from Moo.com. One in ten part-time creative entrepreneurs plans to leave their job to focus on their business full-time within the next year. However, 60% said it was their passion for the business, and not making money, that motivated them. The most popular part-time creative ventures are in food and cooking, gardening, photography and knitting. (According to Law Donut)

So why are micro businesses taking off:

  1. You can start off working at home
  2. Your start up costs are low
  3. You can do it part time when it suits you
  4. With wages frozen and costs rising it can provide a useful additional income
  5. Its easy to be price competitive with low overheads
  6. The Internet makes it easy to sell your goods and services
  7. Your social capital can be used to generate sales ie use your contacts and connections
  8. There could be tax advantages – employees generally pay more tax than sole traders
  9. Some clients prefer the personal touch
  10. It could be start of something big

HMRC orginally launched their campaign in April 2014 and have updated it on 12th June 2017.

The Second Incomes Campaign is an opportunity open to individuals in employment who have an additional untaxed source of income.

Examples could include:

  • fees from consultancy or other services such as public speaking or providing training
  • payment for organising parties and events or providing entertainment
  • income from activities such as taxi driving, hairdressing, providing fitness training or landscape gardening
  • profits from spare time activities such as making and selling craft items
  • profits from buying and selling goods, for example regular market stalls, boot sales etc

 

The criteria used to assess if an activity is a hobby or a business are:

  • The size and commerciality of the activity.
  • The frequency of the activity and transactions
  • The application of business principles.
  • Whether there is a genuine profit motive.
  • The amount of time devoted to the activities.
  • The existence of arm’s-length customers (as opposed to just selling your wares to family and friends).

To take part in the Second Incomes Campaign you should:

  • tell HMRC that you want to take part in the Second Incomes Campaign (Notify)
  • tell HMRC about all income, gains, tax and duties you’ve not previously told them about (Disclose)
  • make a formal offer
  • pay what you owe
  • help HMRC as much as you can if they ask you for more information

To benefit from the reduced penalties offered HMRC will take account of the level to which you have helped them and the accuracy of the information you provided.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/second-incomes-campaign-your-guide-to-making-a-disclosure/second-incomes-campaign-your-guide-to-making-a-disclosure

steve@bicknells.net

Do you have overseas assets and income you haven’t declared? Reply

All accountants and tax agents should now be sending or have sent a letter or e mail to their clients saying

From 2016, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is getting an unprecedented amount of information about people’s overseas accounts, structures, trusts, and investments from more than 100 jurisdictions worldwide, thanks to agreements to increase global tax transparency. This gives HMRC unprecedented levels of information to check that, as in most cases, the right tax has been paid.

If you have already declared all of your past and present income or gains to HMRC, including from overseas, you do not need to worry. But if you are in any doubt, HMRC recommends that you read the factsheet attached to help you decide now what to do next.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/client-notification-income-or-assets-abroad/notes-on-how-and-when-to-send-the-client-notification-letter

Here is a link to the fact sheet

https://bbaltd.sharepoint.com/_layouts/15/guestaccess.aspx?docid=0b2969c05c0b74833bb2c42df251ddfb0&authkey=AQoJsi8KFnP87sNNjN-JK4E

Time is running out, so make sure you declare all your income and assets.

steve@bicknells.net

What if you fail to register for CIS Reply

The Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) applies to anyone who carries out construction work as a trade, in other words developers, contractors, building maintenance and repairs, decorating, property conversion, basically if you use sub-contractors to work on a building its probably within CIS. It does, however, exclude property investors (although this could change soon) and domestic householders.

Tax Aid have a good example of how it works

Rob is asked to undertake some repair work on Ben’s private house. He asks Wendy to help him with the electrical work. Wendy is working on a self-employed basis for this contract. Ben pays Rob without deduction of tax as Ben is a private householder. Rob then pays Wendy.

Rob should register under CIS as a contractor before making the payment to Wendy. Rob should ask Wendy for her UTR and check her CIS status with HMRC. He should then pay Wendy net of 20% tax or net of 30% tax depending on her status with HMRC (exceptionally, if Wendy is entitled to register with HMRC for gross payment, then HMRC would tell Rob that he can pay Wendy without deduction of tax; gross payment will only apply to larger businesses).

If HMRC advises Rob that Wendy is registered under CIS (but not for gross payment), then Rob will keep back 20% tax and pay this CIS tax across to HMRC on Wendy’s behalf.

If Rob failed to register as a contractor under the CIS scheme he could face very big penalties. These include a £3,000 fine for not keeping CIS records, and a £100 per month penalty per missed return (and returns are due monthly).

Failing to register for a number of years could lead to penalties in the tens of thousands of pounds. This can happen even when all the workers are registered as self-employed and have paid the tax due on their income.

In summary the penalties are:

The maximum penalty is currently £3,000 for failing to register then there are late filing penalties

How late the return is Penalty
1 day late £100
2 months late £200
6 months late £300 or 5% of the CIS deductions on the return, whichever is higher
12 months late £300 or 5% of the CIS deductions on the return, whichever is higher

For returns later than this, you may be given an additional penalty of up to £3,000 or 100% of the CIS deductions on the return, whichever is higher.

There is no lower limit for CIS registration and the penalties can be harsh as demonstrated in the cases below

Brian Parkinson a gardner and lanscaper who used occasional subcontractors and got £31,500 in CIS Penalties!

The FTT heard evidence that little or no loss of tax resulted from this omission, as the amount of tax Parkinson ought to have deducted under the CIS was put at £837.90. [Brian Parkinson and the Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs TC04526; Appeal number: TC/2013/00224].
This comprised £6,000 (5 x the £1,200 maximum) charged under the Taxes Management Act 1970 (TMA 1970), s98A(2)(a) and also month 13 penalties of £25,500 charged under TMA 1970, s. 98A(2)(b). – See more at: https://www.accountancylive.com/partial-win-gardener-over-%E2%80%98excessive%E2%80%99-cis-penalties#sthash.zJA59Gjv.AfCNNGRJ.dpuf
Or how about CJS Eastern an installer of lightning conductors

INCOME TAX – subcontractors – appellant company contracted with a third party provider to supply “operatives” – third party provider “net” for CIS purposes – company’s failure to make CIS returns  – fixed monthly penalties of £28,500 – Month 13 penalties of £56,500 – whether reasonable excuse – held, no – whether disproportionate as a breach of A1P1 – Tribunal’s jurisdiction and interaction with mitigation –  Bosher followed – fixed penalties upheld – Month 13 penalties set aside as excessive – appeal allowed in part

https://cases.legal/lang-en/act-uk2-156151.html

If you work in construction make sure you register and comply with CIS!

steve@bicknells.net

How do you complete a Monthly CIS Return? 1

Under the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS), contractors deduct money from a subcontractor’s payments and pass it to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

The deductions count as advance payments towards the subcontractor’s tax and National Insurance.

Contractors must register for the scheme. Subcontractors don’t have to register, but deductions are taken from their payments at a higher rate if they’re not registered.

Every month contractors have to file a CIS return online and issue Deduction Statements to Subcontractors.

But many people are confused as to what to put in the boxes on the return, below is the official guidance.

Deductions at the standard rate

Examples D1 to D3 show deductions at the standard rate of 20% which was the rate in force at the time of writing this guide.

Example D1

Where no materials are supplied (‘labour-only’)
A labour-only subcontractor does work on site for £200
Total payment £200
Amount deducted at 20% = £40
Net payment to subcontractor £160

The contractor calculates the deduction (£40), which has to be paid to our accounts office. The labour-only subcontractor receives the balance of £160.

Entries on the contractor’s monthly return

In example D1, the contractor should enter the following amounts in the appropriate boxes on the contractor’s monthly return:

Total payment £200
Direct cost of materials used £0
Amount deducted £40

Example D2

The following is an example of a calculation where materials as well as labour are supplied (‘supply and fix’) and the contractor has paid the subcontractor’s expenses.

Where the subcontractor isn’t registered for VAT, any VAT they had to pay on materials should be included in the cost of materials when calculating the CIS deduction.

Where expenses, for example accommodation, mobile phone and fuel costs are paid to the subcontractor, the amounts should be included in the subcontractor’s gross payment.

A tiling subcontractor, who isn’t VAT-registered, agrees to tile a wall and to supply the necessary materials for a total payment of £535. The materials cost the subcontractor a total of £235 (£200 + £35 for VAT). The subcontractor is also paid accommodation costs of £50 and fuel of £10.

Labour charge £300
Materials £235
Accommodation and fuel £60
Amount due (invoice amount) £595

Calculation of deduction

Total payment £595
Less cost of materials (inclusive of VAT) £235
Amount liable to deduction £360
Amount deducted at 20% £72
Net payment to subcontractor £523

The contractor deducts the cost of materials from the price for the whole job and calculates the deduction on the difference of £360. The contractor has to pay £72 to our accounts office and pays £523 (£595 – £72) to the subcontractor.

Entries on the contractor’s monthly return

In example D2, the contractor should enter the following amounts in the appropriate boxes on the contractor’s monthly return:

Total payment £595
Direct cost of materials used £235
Amount deducted £72

Example D3

The following is an example of a calculation where materials as well as labour are supplied (‘supply and fix’). Where the subcontractor is registered for VAT, any VAT they had to pay on materials should be excluded from the cost of materials when calculating the CIS deduction.

For the total cost of £600, a subcontractor who is a taxable person for VAT purposes, agrees to paint the interior of a building and to supply the materials. The painter pays £235 for the materials, which includes VAT of £35.

Labour charge £400
Materials £200
Total payment £600
Add VAT £105
Amount due (invoice amount) £705

Calculation of deduction

Total payment (exclusive of VAT) £600
Less cost of materials (exclusive of VAT) £200
Amount liable to deduction £400
Amount deducted at 20% £80
Net payment to subcontractor £625

The subcontractor is paid £625, which is the invoice amount (£705) less the deduction (£80).

Entries on the contractor’s monthly return

In example D3, the contractor should enter the following amounts in the appropriate boxes on the contractor’s monthly return:

Total payment £600
Direct cost of materials used £200
Amount deducted £80

Deductions at the higher rate

Examples D4 to D6 show deductions at the higher rate of 30%. This rate is used for illustration purposes and may or may not be the rate in force at the time of reading this guide.

Example D4

Where no materials are supplied (‘labour-only’)
A labour-only subcontractor does work on site for £200
Total payment £200
Amount deducted at 30% £60
Net payment to subcontractor £140

The contractor calculates the deduction (£60), which has to be paid to our accounts office. The labour-only subcontractor receives the balance of £140.

Entries on the contractor’s monthly return

In example D4, the contractor should enter the following amounts in the appropriate boxes on the contractor’s monthly return:

Total payment £200
Direct cost of materials used £0
Amount deducted £60

Example D5

The following is an example of a calculation where materials as well as labour are supplied (‘supply and fix’). Where the subcontractor isn’t registered for VAT, any VAT they had to pay on materials should be included in the cost of materials when calculating the CIS deduction.

A tiling subcontractor, who isn’t VAT registered, agrees to tile a wall and to supply the necessary materials for a total payment of £535. The materials cost the subcontractor a total of £235 (£200 + £35 for VAT).

Labour charge £300
Materials £235
Amount due (invoice amount) £535

Calculation of deduction

Total payment £535
Less cost of materials (inclusive of VAT) £235
Amount liable to deduction £300
Amount deducted at 30% £90
Net payment to subcontractor £445

The contractor deducts the cost of materials from the price for the whole job and calculates the deduction on the difference of £300. The contractor has to pay £90 to our accounts office and pays £445 (£535 – £90) to the subcontractor.

Entries on the contractor’s monthly return

In example D5, the contractor should enter the following amounts in the appropriate boxes on the contractor’s monthly return:

Total payment £535
Direct cost of materials used £235
Amount deducted £90

Example D6

The following is an example of a calculation where materials as well as labour are supplied (‘supply and fix’). Where the subcontractor is registered for VAT, any VAT they had to pay on materials should be excluded in the cost of materials when calculating the CIS deduction.

For the total cost of £600 a subcontractor, who is a taxable person for VAT purposes, agrees to paint the interior of a building and to supply the materials. The painter pays £235 for the materials, which includes VAT of £35.

Labour charge £400
Materials £200
Total payment £600
Add VAT £105
Amount due (invoice amount) £705

Calculation of deduction

Total payment (exclusive of VAT) £600
Less cost of materials (exclusive of VAT) £200
Amount liable to deduction £400
Amount deducted at 30% £120
Net payment to subcontractor £585

The subcontractor is paid £585, which is the invoice amount (£705) less the deduction (£120).

Entries on the contractor’s monthly return

In example D6, the contractor should enter the following amounts in the appropriate boxes on the contractor’s monthly return:

Total payment £600
Direct cost of materials used £200
Amount deducted £120

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/construction-industry-scheme-cis-340/construction-industry-scheme-a-guide-for-contractors-and-subcontractors-cis-340#appd

steve@bicknells.net

 

What do you do in your garage? Reply

Most small businesses and employees do something in their garage.

The top choices being

Storage

In order to claim a tax deduction for using your garage for storage as part of your business or as an employee you will need to charge rent. If you don’t you will be taxed on it as PAYE.

To do this you will need a licence agreement between you and your company, the agreement might need to have some special rules in it depending on what is being stored including fire prevention and health and safety.

The rent then needs to be declared in the UK Property pages of your self assessment return.

You will be able to offset relevant costs.

 

Cars

Obviously garages are designed for cars and that’s often what they are used for.

Your company may require you to hire a garage to protect your company car and provided this is an employment condition the cost of hiring the the garage should be tax free, even if the employee pays and is reimbursed.

The employer should give the employee a letter insisting that for security reasons the car must be kept overnight in a garage.

So what are you doing in your garage?

steve@bicknells.net

 

The 1614D VAT Dilema Reply

As tax forms go, the 1614D to Disapply an Option to tax is probably one of the most straight forward.

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/461545/vat1614d.pdf

The 1614D is used so that the seller won’t charge VAT when selling a building which has been opted to tax where the buy intends to convert to residential.

Basically it says – who are you, who is the seller and what is the property? – that’s nice and simple, what could possibly go wrong?

Its great for the purchaser as they don’t have to wait to recover the VAT.

The potential downside is for the seller, let say you originally bought the property for your business and only later decided to rent it out and Opt to tax. The issues are:

  1. Because its an exempt supply the seller can’t recover any VAT related to the sale
  2. The biggest potential problem is the Capital Good scheme which have a 10 year adjustment period, if you sell within this period you will have to pay back to HMRC some of the VAT

If you acquire or create an expensive capital asset, or already have one when you register for VAT, you may have to adjust the amount of VAT you reclaim. You do this by using the Capital Goods Scheme, which allows you to spread the initial VAT claimed over a number of years. You can reclaim more if the proportion of your taxable supplies increases, you’ll have to repay some if it decreases. Taxable supplies are the sales that you make which are standard, reduced or zero-rated.

You’ll have to use the Capital Goods Scheme if you spend £250,000 (excluding VAT) or more on:

  • buying land, a building or part of a building or civil engineering work
  • constructing a building or civil engineering work
  • refurbishing, fitting out, altering or extending a building or civil engineering work

Civil engineering work includes things like roads, bridges, golf courses, running tracks and the installation of pipes for connecting to mains services.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/vat-capital-goods-scheme-and-capital-assets

steve@bicknells.net