HMRC Post-transaction valuation checks (CG34) and why you need one

Post transactions checks are used in relation to capital gains, they can be used by individuals or companies.

Its a free service offered by HMRC.

HMRC state

If we agree your valuations we’ll not question your use of those valuations in your return, unless there are any important facts affecting the valuations that you’ve not told us about.

But HMRC say it could take at least 3 months to check the valuation.

You can only request a Post Transaction Valuation Check:

  • after disposals relevant to Capital Gains Tax
  • before the date you must file your Self Assessment tax return

Here is a link to the form

CG34 Post-transaction valuation checks for capital gains (publishing.service.gov.uk)

Why are they needed?

There are situation where transactions are not ‘arms length’ in other words they are between connected parties.

For example if you have a development company and sell property to related company.

You can use the CG34 for

  • Shares
  • Goodwill
  • Land
  • Other Assets

The CG34 is not mandatory, you don’t have to get a post valuation check, but if you do, you will gain protection against HMRC questioning your valuation (assuming they agree with you CG34 submission).

You will need to submit supporting documents for example a independent valuation report to justify the value.

For Land valuations you will also need

  • Copy leases
  • Tenancy Agreements
  • Plans of undeveloped land

Where do you send the form?

Taxpayers dealt with by HMRC’s High Net Worth Units, or Public Department 1 should send the completed CG34 to those offices.

Those dealt with by Specialist Trust Offices should send their forms to:

Specialist PT Trusts and Estates Trusts
SO842
Ferrers House
Castle Meadow
Nottingham
NG2 1BB

Other individuals, partnerships and personal representatives should send the completed form direct to:

PAYE and Self Assessment
HM Revenue and Customs
BX9 1AS

Companies should send to the office dealing with the company corporation tax affairs or if they do not have one, to:

Corporation Tax Services
HM Revenue and Customs
BX9 1AX

steve@bicknells.net

Making Tax Digital (MTD ITSA) – what will you have to do?

Making Tax Digital (which some have dubbed ‘Making Tax Difficult’) is coming.

Self-employed businesses and landlords with annual business or property income above £10,000 will need to follow the rules for MTD for Income Tax from their next accounting period starting on or after 6th April 2023. However, its expected that HMRC will encourage businesses to start from 6th April 2022 to gain experience in the process before it becomes compulsory.

Its compulsory! failure to comply will result in penalties – you will have 30 days from the end of the quarter in which to file

Making Tax Digital for Landlords and the Self Employed with income over £10k

When it starts the key issues will be

  1. You will basically have 2 returns to file at the same time one for the previous year and new quarterly reporting
  2. The basis periods are expected to be re-aligned so that all the self employed and landlords start at the same time – 6th April 2023
  3. A single annual self assessment will become at least 6 new filings – 4 quarters, end of period and a new self assessment return

The primary legislation for Making Tax Digital relating to VAT and Income Tax is contained in the Finance (No.2) Act 2017.

Business will have to use HMRC approved accounting software, for example

Xero

Sage

Freeagent – free if your business banks with NatWest/RBS

Quickbooks

When we refer to MTD-compatible software, we mean software that can integrate with HMRC systems to send updates to HMRC.

HMRC is not offering its own software products but has provided the Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) that commercial software developers are using to develop a range of applications that enable businesses to keep their records digitally and integrate with HMRC systems. An API is software that links 2 or more software programmes together, allowing them to exchange data.

So there won’t be a Government Gateway where you can enter the information, you have to use commercial software approved by HMRC.

You have to have all your self employed and property businesses in a single piece of software but be able to report the information separately for each business in the following formats

Furnished Holiday Lets

Income
Accounting Basis (Traditional or Cash)
Rent paid, repairs, insurance and costs of services provided
Loan Interest and other financial costs
Legal, management and other professional fees
Other allowable property expenses
Private use adjustment
Profit or Loss

Residential Property Income

Total Rents and other income from property
Accounting Basis (Traditional or Cash)
Rent, rates, insurance and ground rents
Property repairs and maintenance
Non-residential property finance costs
Legal, management and other professional fees
Costs of services provided, including wages
Other allowable property expenses
Profit or Loss
Private use adjustment
Residential property finance costs

Self Employed

If the turnover is below £85,000 only Turnover and Total Expenses need to be reported otherwise you will need

Turnover
Accounting Basis (Traditional or Cash)
Costs of goods bought for re-sale
Car, van and travel expenses
Wages, salaries and other staff costs
Rent, rates, power and insurance costs
Repairs and maintenance of property and equipment
Accountancy, legal and other professional fees
Interest and bank and credit card etc financial charges
Telephone, fax, stationery and other office costs
Other allowable business expenses
Profit or Loss

What is the process?

Stage One – Sign Up and Software

  • Business that fall within the scope of MTD ITSA (Income Tax Self Assessment ) will need to be signed up before April 2023
  • ‘Digital Records’ need to kept on approved HMRC software
  • The minimum amount of information will be Date, Amount and Tax Category
  • The information needs to be summarised in the format noted above
  • Each property and business activity will need its own reports

Stage Two – Quarterly Reporting

  • An electronic submission of summary totals for specified categories from digital records of each business on a quarterly basis (obligation period) from software to HMRC needs to be made
  • The first submission will include designatory data
  • Updates are due from 10 days before to one month after the quarter end date
  • The update does not need to include a statement that the data is complete and accurate
  • HMRC will return a calculation of the tax liability based on the information sent but payment will due on the current pre-MTD dates (or at least for now)

Stage Three – End of Period Statement

  • Process to finalise the taxable profit or allowable loss for any one source of business income
  • The process will pull together the quarterly submissions and allow you to claim allowances and reliefs
  • You will be able to exclude disallowable expenses
  • This submission does require a declaration that the information is complete and correct
  • HMRC will then calculate the tax due

Stage Four – Final Declaration (New Self Assessment Return)

  • Referred to as crystallisation
  • It will take into account all sources of income and gains not just those from Self Employment or Property
  • Its a replacement for the SA100 tax return
  • The deadline will be 31st January
  • HMRC will provide a Submission Interface

steve@bicknells.net

How does your personal tax allowance get allocated against different types of income?

Every year we are given a personal tax allowance, this year its £12,570 (2021-22) last year it was £12,500 (2020-21).

The allowance is the amount we can earn before we pay tax.

The tax bands are currently (2021-22)

BandTaxable incomeTax rate
Personal AllowanceUp to £12,5700%
Basic rate£12,571 to £50,27020%
Higher rate£50,271 to £150,00040%
Additional rateover £150,00045%

But on your tax return the personal allowance is allocated in a specific order

  1. Non-savings income – comprised of earnings, pensions, taxable social security payments, trading profits and income from property. The highest type gets the first allocation.
  2. Savings income
  3. Dividend income is the top slice.

The Rules are in the Income Tax Act 2007 (legislation.gov.uk)

Section 25 (2) states …deduct the reliefs and allowances in the way which will result in the greatest reduction in the taxpayer’s liability to income tax.

What makes this even more complicated is the the way that other allowances work for example the Savings Allowance and Dividend Allowance.

Your allowances for earning interest before you have to pay tax on it include:

  • your Personal Allowance
  • starting rate for savings
  • Personal Savings Allowance

Starting rate for savings

You may also get up to £5,000 of interest and not have to pay tax on it. This is your starting rate for savings.

The more you earn from other income (for example your wages or pension), the less your starting rate for savings will be.

If your other income is £17,570 or more

You’re not eligible for the starting rate for savings if your other income is £17,570 or more.

If your other income is less than £17,570

Your starting rate for savings is a maximum of £5,000. Every £1 of other income above your Personal Allowance reduces your starting rate for savings by £1.

Personal Savings Allowance

You may also get up to £1,000 of interest and not have to pay tax on it, depending on which Income Tax band you’re in. This is your Personal Savings Allowance.

To work out your tax band, add all the interest you’ve received to your other income.

Income Tax bandPersonal Savings Allowance
Basic rate£1,000
Higher rate£500
Additional rate£0

Dividend Allowance

The Dividend Allowance is currently £2,000

You only pay tax on any dividend income above the dividend allowance.

Tax bandTax rate on dividends over the allowance
Basic rate7.5%
Higher rate32.5%
Additional rate38.1%

Your SA302 Tax Calculation should show you how the allowances have been allocated.

steve@bicknells.net

Do Directors need to list directorships where they had no income? Self Assessment Returns

This question comes up every year.

“I am a director of lots of companies but only get paid by one company, do I need to list them all?”

Some people make up dummy Payroll Numbers and list directorships, some people list them in the notes, some don’t list them at all, what is the right thing to do?

The answer has to be to follow the HMRC Guidance

 

Click to access SA150_2019.pdf

As you can see its says

received income as a company director’

‘held an office, such as chairperson, secretary or treasurer and received income for that work

If you didn’t receive income you don’t need to report it as it will not affect your tax.

steve@bicknells.net

 

 

What if you don’t get your self assessment done in time?

What if you don’t have all the information you need for the return?

Returns which include provisional or estimated figures should be accepted provided they can be regarded as satisfying the filing requirement.

A provisional figure is one which the taxpayer / agent has supplied pending the submission of the final / accurate figure

An estimated figure is one which the taxpayer / agent wishes to be accepted as the final figure because it is not possible to provide an accurate figure for example where the records have been lost. The taxpayer is not required to tick box 20 of the Finishing your Tax Return section of the return page TR 6 (or equivalent in a return for an earlier year) where estimated figures have been used

HMRC SAM121190

Is there a reasonable excuse as to why you can’t file the return?

A reasonable excuse is something that stopped you meeting a tax obligation that you took reasonable care to meet, for example:

1. your partner or another close relative died shortly before the tax return or payment deadline
2. you had an unexpected stay in hospital that prevented you from dealing with your tax affairs
3. you had a serious or life-threatening illness
4. your computer or software failed just before or while you were preparing your online return
5. service issues with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) online services
6. a fire, flood or theft prevented you from completing your tax return
7. postal delays that you couldn’t have predicted
8. delays related to a disability you have

What if you make a mistake?

If you make a mistake on your tax return, you’ve normally got 12 months from 31 January after the end of the tax year to correct or amend it.

White Space

The Self Assessment Return contain additional information boxes, these are known as white space, use these spaces to explain your calculations if you have any doubt about the answers you have given

Penalties for Late Filing

  • 1st Feb 2018 – £100 for missing the deadline
  • 30th April 2018 – £10 per day for 90 days after your are 3 months late (£900 in total)
  • 31st July 2018 – 5% or £300 which is ever is greater if you are 12 months late
  • 31st Jan 2019 – £300 or possibly 100% of tax due if deliberate

On top of these penalties there are also penalties for non payment

steve@bicknells.net

Why do we leave Self Assessment Returns until the last minute?

It seems to me that there are basically two types of taxpayer and the split is pretty even.

The first type are ‘Organised Planners’, they prepare things as early as possible, work out what tax might be due and how they will pay it, look at ways to change things and file early. They will always pay less tax because they have had a chance to consider their options – Pensions, Gift Aid, SEIS, EIS and other things that reduce tax – they also tend to have a full set of records neatly posted on their accounting system.

The second type are ‘Just in Time’, whatever the deadline, they put things off. The problem with this is that often this means things get forgotten and paperwork gets lost, there is no time to prepare or plan and the tax will be payable immediately.

The added problem this year is that Credit Card Payments are no longer an option

In 2016, personal credit card payments for tax numbered 454,000 making of total of £741 million and resulting in £3.2 million in bank fees.

These payments were largely made by small businesses, looking to manage bulk payments by putting them on a credit card that could then be paid off over time.

Below are some statistics from HMRC from 2012, but I think that little has changed and the statistics will be similar this year.

I don’t think anyone would say they enjoy paying tax or filling in forms, so in some ways you can understand why some people put it off and do it ‘just in time’.

Last year HMRC reported

29 January was the busiest day with 513,271 returns completed – that’s more than 21,386 returns received per hour. The busiest time was between 14:00 and 15:00, with 50,358 customers – 14 per second – clicking submit.

If you haven’t done your return, do it now, don’t wait till 11.59 on 31st January.

Steve@bicknells.net

 

Oops! HMRC software not working

We have an extremely complicated tax system, so is it any wonder 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 are 62 exclusions!

Why is tax complicated! Here are the facts:

  • 6,102 pages of legislation (according to Tolleys in 2012)
  • 639 monetary values
  • 425 thresholds
  • 214 penalties

In 2016:

  • 11.26 million SA returns due
  • 10.39 million returns were received in total
  • Around 870,000 SA returns not submitted by 31st January 2016
  • 10.39 million returns received by midnight on 31 January (92% of total issued)
  • 9.24 million returns filed online (89%)
  • 1.14 million returns filed on paper (11%)
  • More than 4.45 million returns received in January 2016 (43% of total received)
  • 823,000 returns received on 30 and 31 January (18% of total returns received in January)
  • Busiest hour: 14:00 – 15:00 on 29 January – 50,358 returns received (839.3 per minute; 13.9 per second).
  • N.B. The figures are sourced from Self Assessment management information from the Computerised Environment for Self Assessment as at 01 February 2016 for the 2014-15 tax year.

Even if the HMRC software is working…

10 most common online self assessment issues

Here are 10 of the most common problems, issues and errors that come up:

  1. Not leaving enough time to register for Self Assessment – It can take 20 working days (this is usually 4 weeks) to complete the registration process, then for online returns, allow 10 working days (21 if you’re abroad) to register because HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) posts you an activation code.
  2. Lost Login details – Your account will be locked for 2 hours if you enter the wrong user ID or password 3 times.If you’ve lost both your user ID and password:
    – individuals in Self Assessment can request new ones (allow 7 days to get them by post) or sign up with the GOV.UK Verify trial
    – contact HMRC for all other online services
  3. Leaving it too late to get help – If you need help from an accountant don’t leave it too late as they will need to carryout AML and other checks before they can file your return, they will also need your UTR
  4. Failing to complete all the parts of the return – For example leaving out PAYE information
  5. Failing to press ‘submit’ – you would be surprised how many people complete the return and then stop without submitting or leave submission and then forget to do it
  6. Missing out details of your Pension Provider
  7. Failing to check the calculation – Most people do a rough calculation of what they owe but fail to check the HMRC calculation only to find out they have made a mistake
  8. Using invalid characters such as # ‘ ” in boxes where these are not allowed
  9. Not paying the tax they owe by 31st January
  10. Failing to explain where estimates and provisional sums have been used

If you don’t already use an accountant, may be 2017 is the year to start?

steve@bicknells.net

Do Directors really have to do self assessment returns? read What happened to a Property Company Director

The official guidance for Directors is…

As a director of a limited company, you must:

You don’t need to register for Self Assessment or send a tax return if your company is a non-profit organisation (for example, a charity) and you didn’t get any pay or benefits, like a company car.

https://www.gov.uk/running-a-limited-company

https://www.gov.uk/self-assessment-tax-returns/who-must-send-a-tax-return

So, basically, if you are a director you must register!

Many accountants think that this one size fits all approach is a little over the top and returns for salaried directors are unnecessary in some cases but the rules are absolutely clear, Directors must register!

So the latest case involving a property company came as a surprise to many accountants

Click to access TC05929.pdf

Mohammed Salem Kadhem (case TC05929) became a director of a property company on 21 May 2014. He received no pay or dividends from that company and didn’t register for self-assessment.

It was reported in full at http://www.accountingweb.co.uk/tax/hmrc-policy/tribunal-company-directors-dont-have-to-submit-tax-returns?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=AWUKPOW210617&utm_content=AWUKPOW210617+CID_b1f3f98189c6021fa5eaf5a489ca5e3d&utm_source=internal_cm&utm_term=Company%20directors%20dont%20have%20to%20submit%20tax%20returns

Basically HMRC made mistakes in their approach to the case basically arguing that a notice to file had been sent but were unable to prove the notice was sent and Mohammed Salem Kadhem won.

The tribunal accepted that he had a reasonable excuse for filing a late return and all the penalties were quashed.

This doesn’t change the fact that all directors must register and a file self assessment returns. Don’t risk it, its better to file returns!

steve@bicknells.net

If your accountant prepares your self assessment return is there a taxable benefit?

Tax Return Mailing Income Envelope 3d Illustration

Over the years I have heard lots of comments on this, some say a tax return is a personal expense some say its a business expense if the cost is incidental to the accounting work.

For example, lets consider a sole trader, he has to prepare accounts and the only way to report the tax due is on a self assessment return. In many cases the only entries will be the self employed boxes.

Company Directors are probably only doing self assessment returns because they are directors and only the Salary and Dividend boxes will be completed.

We actually specify on our engagement letters to clients who have a businesses that we will complete the Self Assessment Return for Free (FOC) as part of an overall package of fixed fee services.

HMRC guidance states [BIM46450]

There is, however, a longstanding practice of allowing normal recurring legal, accountancy etc expenses incurred in preparing accounts, or agreeing the tax liability, see Statement of Practice SP 16/91 reproduced at EM3981. This has been approved by the courts as a reasonable response to the practical difficulties of apportionment…

It is the practice to allow, in computing profits assessable under Part 2 Chapter 4 of ITTOIA 2005 and under Case I & II Schedule D for companies, the normal accountancy expenses incurred in preparing accounts or accounts information and in assisting with the self assessment of tax liabilities.

So having just started working with Croner Taxwise for client tax investigation insurance, I gave them a call to check the rules and in summary, if the Self Assessment is incidental to the main accounting and tax work then it isn’t a benefit in kind and a separate fee does not need to charged (or assessed) to the business owner.

However, if the client doesn’t have a business, or has complicated tax affairs including capital gains, then they should pay a fee personally.

Equally you can’t claim accountants fees if you are an employee who has to do returns as these are clearly standalone costs and not required as part of your employment as explained in this case – Peter Figg v HMRC TC03703 16th June 2014.

On another note Tax Investigation Insurance is not a tax deductible expense, the reason for this is that you can only claim it as an expense if you are successful in any investigation, if HMRC are successful the fee is non deductible for tax. As you don’t know when or what you might be investigated for its impossible to say whether you will be successful so the best advice is not to deduct the cost against taxable income.

steve@bicknells.net

 

Only 8 days left to file your Self Assessment! don’t panic

Red help button concept.

Over 4 Million Self Assessment Returns (over 40%) will be filed in January 2017, last year the 29th January saw the highest level of filing with 50,358 returns filed between 2pm and 3pm on that day!

Its likely that many of those who haven’t yet filed their 5th April 2016 returns will either start to panic now or the panic will set in and increase in the next few days.

Here are some things to ease that panic.

What if you don’t have all the information you need for the return?

Returns which include provisional or estimated figures should be accepted provided they can be regarded as satisfying the filing requirement.

  • A provisional figure is one which the taxpayer / agent has supplied pending the submission of the final / accurate figure
  • An estimated figure is one which the taxpayer / agent wishes to be accepted as the final figure because it is not possible to provide an accurate figure for example where the records have been lost. The taxpayer is not required to tick box 20 of the Finishing your Tax Return section of the return page TR 6 (or equivalent in a return for an earlier year) where estimated figures have been used

HMRC SAM121190

Is there a reasonable excuse as to why you can’t file the return?

Here are some excuses that HMRC have accepted

  1. a failure in the HMRC computer system
  2. your computer breaks down just before or during the preparation of your online return
  3. a serious illness, disability or serious mental health condition has made you incapable of filing your tax return
  4. you registered for HMRC Online Services but didn’t get your Activation Code in time
  5. it was lost in the post HMD Response International v’s HMRC 2011 The accountant produced a contemporaneous note in his office diary for 16 May showing that he had filed the return.

What if you make a mistake?

If you make a mistake on your tax return, you’ve normally got 12 months from 31 January after the end of the tax year to correct or amend it.

What if you don’t know where to send the payment?

For all those struggling to work our whether to make a bank transfer to HMRC Shipley or Cumbernauld

Your payslip tells you which HMRC account to use. If you’re not sure, use HMRC Cumbernauld. You must use your UTR as the payment reference.

Sort code Account number Account name
083210 12001039 HMRC Cumbernauld
083210 12001020 HMRC Shipley

If you make a Faster Payment this will clear the same day if the amount is within your bank’s limits.

https://www.gov.uk/pay-self-assessment-tax-bill

What if you don’t know how much to pay because of payments on account?

You can check the amount by logging onto HMRC or by asking your accountant to check with their Agent Login.

If you make payments on account you will have made payments in January 2016 and July 2016 towards the final payment to be made in January 2017.

What are the penalties for missing the deadline?

HMRC have tool to help you estimate the penalties and interest

https://www.gov.uk/estimate-self-assessment-penalties

steve@bicknells.net