What if you write off an intercompany or directors loan? 1

with computer

Connected party loans are a problem area especially if the loan is impaired (ie the borrower may not be able to repay the debt)

Individual Loans written-off

If an individual makes a loan to a company and this is subsequently written-off, the company will have a non-trading loan relationship credit equal to the amount written off.

If the loan was made to an unquoted trading company, the individual will crystalise a capital loss equal to the amount of the loan written off. This will be available to set off against capital gains arising in the year of write-off or in subsequent years.ACCA

The situation, however, becomes more complicated where the parties are connected. The general rule is that where the debtor and creditor in a loan relationship are connected in any part of an accounting period and the whole or part of a loan is written off, then this is effectively a ‘tax nothing’, ie the creditor company cannot claim relief for the amount of the loan written off and the debtor company does not incur a taxable loan relationship credit.
There is, however, an exception to the above when the creditor company is in insolvent liquidation; a creditor company may claim an impairment loss in these circumstances.

 

Loans swapped for Shares

Often Loans are swapped for equity and then subsequently a claim for negligible value is made.

A negligible value claim enables you to set a capital loss against your income (or against other capital gains if you have them) for earlier years and claim a tax refund.

Many negligible value claims are made by shareholder directors whose company has failed. Their claim is to offset the loss on the shares in their company against their directors’ wages for earlier tax years.

When a taxpayer owns shares which become of negligible value the taxpayer may make a claim under s24 TCGA 1992, resulting in a deemed disposal and reacquisition, which crystallises a capital loss.

Intercompany Loans

Accounting standards require companies to assess their assets at the end of each period to ascertain whether there is objective evidence that particular assets are impaired.  So if a loan can’t be repaid it would be impaired and may require a provision for bad or doubtful debts at the year-end which may well lead to the eventual release of the loans in question.

The problem is that for connected businesses this can create a double whammy on tax! tax relief is denied in respect of the debit to the creditor company’s profit and loss account.  The credit recognised in the debtor company’s accounts can be taxable.

Where the creditor and debtor are connected companies, the connected party rules will apply to the release. This means that the release debit in the creditor’s accounts will not be allowable, because of CTA09/S354. Similarly, the credit in the debtor company’s accounts will not be taxable, since CTA09/S358 applies, unless the release is a ‘deemed release’ as defined in CTA09/S358(3) (CFM35440) or a ‘release of relevant rights’ under CTA09/S358(4) (CFM35510).

Since the release is, for both parties, dealt with under loan relationships, the priority rule in CTA09/S464 means that the creditor’s loss cannot be claimed, nor the debtor’s profit taxed, under the normal provisions for trading income. Nor can the credit in the debtor’s accounts be taxed under CTA09/S94 (debts incurred and later released).

Trade debts or loans between companies within a group may not uncommonly be released when either the debtor or the creditor company (or both) is dormant, as part of a ‘tidying-up’ exercise to enable dormant companies to be struck off. If this is all that happens, HMRC would take the view that the recording of an accounts profit – which is not taxed – in a dormant debtor company does not result in that company starting to carry on a business, and therefore does not start an accounting period under CTA09/S9. HMRC CFM41070

Two companies are connected for an accounting period if one controls the other or both are under the control of the same person (s 466) and companies are connected for the whole of their respective accounting periods if the control test is met at any time during those periods.

One possible solution could be a Deed of Release or Waiver executed in the accounting period in which the loan is released, but this would need to be properly drafted. The credit to the debtor company’s profit and loss account will then be able to be treated as non-taxable and as such avoid the double tax treatment.

steve@bicknells.net

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How can you avoid charging VAT on Inter-Company Charges? 1

TAX FREE and VAT FREE grunge rubber stamps

There are situations where one company is VAT registered and other related companies are either partially exempt or not registered for VAT, so in these circumstances not charging VAT is an advantage.

The following are not Taxable supplies for VAT:

Common Directors – Notice 700/34 (May 2012)

An individual may act as a director of a number of companies. For convenience one company may pay all the director’s fees and then recover appropriate proportions from the others.

The individual’s services, such as attending meetings or approving expenditure, are supplied by the individual to the companies of which they are a director. The services are supplied directly to the relevant businesses by the individual and not from one company to another. Therefore there is no supply between the companies and so no VAT is due on the share of money recovered from each company.

Joint Employment – Notice 700/34 (May 2012)

Where staff are jointly employed there is no supply for VAT purposes between the joint employers. Staff are jointly employed if their contracts of employment or letters of appointment make it clear that they have more than one employer. The contract must expressly specify who the employers are for example ‘Company A, Company B and Company C’, or ‘Company A and its subsidiaries’.

Paying a Bill on behalf of an associated business

This is basically an inter company loan which will be repayable in full, its not a taxable supply.

Insurance

If insurance is being recharged and both businesses names are on the policy it can be treated as a disbursement of an exempt insurance so that its not vatable.

steve@bicknells.net

Is an SME really exempt from the ‘Arms Length’ inter company pricing? 2

Stress business woman

You might think you can charge related companies whatever you want, but is that true?

First a quick lesson in Transfer/Internal Pricing ….

SME’s do have tax exemptions….

There’s an exemption that will apply for most small and medium sized enterprises. The conditions attached to this exemption can be found in HMRC’s International Manual.

A business is a ‘small’ enterprise if it has no more than 50 staff and either an annual turnover or balance sheet total of less than €10 million.

A business is a ‘medium sized’ enterprise if it has no more than 250 staff and either an annual turnover of less than €50 million or a balance sheet total of less than €43 million.

There are some exceptions:

  • Transactions with Parties in Non Qualifying territories
  • Where HMRC have issued a notice to Medium Sized enterprise
  • Election to remain subject to transfer pricing rules
  • Patent Box

 

steve@bicknells.net

 

 

When should you charge VAT on inter company recharges? 1

3D Vat button block cube text

The answer depends on whether you have made a Taxable Supply or not.

A vatable inter company charge would be where one company buys business services and goods from suppliers and shares them with another related company so for example the invoice might say:

Recharge from Company A to Company B

10% Insurance

5% Rent/Rates

8% Motor/Travel

12% Office Salaries (but check notes below on employment)

As long as the charges have a logical and reasonable basis for them then these costs can be recharged plus VAT (even if the original item such as insurance wasn’t originally vatable)

However, the following are not Taxable supplies for VAT:

Common Directors – Notice 700/34 (May 2012)

An individual may act as a director of a number of companies. For convenience one company may pay all the director’s fees and then recover appropriate proportions from the others.

The individual’s services, such as attending meetings or approving expenditure, are supplied by the individual to the companies of which they are a director. The services are supplied directly to the relevant businesses by the individual and not from one company to another. Therefore there is no supply between the companies and so no VAT is due on the share of money recovered from each company.

http://customs.hmrc.gov.uk/channelsPortalWebApp/channelsPortalWebApp.portal?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=pageLibrary_ShowContent&id=HMCE_CL_000871&propertyType=document#P87_8714

Joint Employment – Notice 700/34 (May 2012)

Where staff are jointly employed there is no supply for VAT purposes between the joint employers. Staff are jointly employed if their contracts of employment or letters of appointment make it clear that they have more than one employer. The contract must expressly specify who the employers are for example ‘Company A, Company B and Company C’, or ‘Company A and its subsidiaries’.

Paying a Bill on behalf of an associated business

This is basically an inter company loan which will be repayable in full, its not a taxable supply.

Why does this matter?

An article in Tips and Advice  – VAT issue 11October 2012 reported that HMRC have applied penalties of up to 30% of the error where incorrect treatment has been applied.

So it is very important to get the VAT treatment correct.

Alternatively you might consider forming a VAT Group so that you don’t need to charge VAT on inter company charges but this isn’t always a practical solution as it means changing the VAT registration and doing a single return for all companies/businesses in the VAT group.

steve@bicknells.net