Archive for September, 2015

Dividend Allowance, wake up call for shareholder directors

Monday, September 14th, 2015

HMRC have published the following fact sheet regarding the wide ranging changes to the taxation of dividends from April 2016:

From April 2016 the Dividend Tax Credit will be replaced by a new tax-free Dividend Allowance.

The Dividend Allowance means that you won’t have to pay tax on the first £5,000 of your dividend income, no matter what non-dividend income you have.

 The allowance is available to anyone who has dividend income.

 Headline rates of dividend tax are also changing.

 You’ll pay tax on any dividends you receive over £5,000 at the following rates:

  • 7.5% on dividend income within the basic rate band
  • 32.5% on dividend income within the higher rate band
  • 38.1% on dividend income within the additional rate band

 This simpler system will mean that only those with significant dividend income will pay more tax.

 If you’re an investor with modest income from shares, you’ll see either a tax cut or no change in the amount of tax you owe.

 Dividends received by pension funds that are currently exempt from tax, and dividends received on shares held in an Individual Savings Account (ISA), will continue to be tax free.

From April 2016 you have to apply the new headline rates on the amount of dividends you actually receive, where the income is over £5,000 (excluding any dividend income paid within an ISA).

 The Dividend Allowance will not reduce your total income for tax purposes. However, it will mean that you don’t have any tax to pay on the first £5,000 of dividend income you receive.

Dividends within your allowance will still count towards your basic or higher rate bands, and may therefore affect the rate of tax that you pay on dividends you receive in excess of the £5,000 allowance.

 All company directors that have a dividend policy that favours dividends over salary should take tax planning advice as soon as possible as they may need to change the mix of dividends v salary from April next year.

 The clock is ticking…

Charities, making the most of tax reliefs

Monday, September 14th, 2015

There are now a number of ways that charities can encourage donations by promoting the various tax schemes available.

Over the last five years the government has brought in a range of changes to the tax system to make it simpler for charities to make the most of tax reliefs, so that more money can go to good causes.

It’s now easier for charities to receive gift aid

Charities online, a system that helps charities to claim gift aid faster, was introduced in 2013. Instead of having to submit paper claims for tax reliefs through the post, charities can now submit them online.

Almost 95% of charities now use charities online to claim gift aid. The majority of claims are processed within five working days, down from around 15 days.

It’s now simpler for charities to receive government support on small donations

If someone donates a small amount of money to a charity – for example, by giving it to a charity vendor in a high street – it’s often not possible (or practical) for the donor to provide formal consent for gift aid to be claimed on that donation.

Through the gift aid small donations scheme charities can now claim a gift aid-style top-up on these small donations, up to a limit of £5,000 per year. This limit will increase to £8,000 per year from April 2016.

An outreach team now helps charities claim tax relief

To date, HMRC’s outreach team has delivered face-to-face presentations to over 650 represented charities to spread awareness, increase take-up, and help charities to successfully claim tax relief.

Works of art donated to the nation now receive tax relief

The cultural gifts scheme was introduced in 2013 and allows taxpayers to pay a tax bill by donating eligible works of art to the nation.

People donating to charity in their will can now benefit from a lower rate of inheritance tax

If people leave at least 10% of the net value of their estate (its worth, minus any debt, other liabilities and reliefs) to charity, then 36% inheritance tax can be paid instead of 40%. This was introduced in 2012.

Local amateur sports clubs can now claim gift aid on donations too

The government has amended the law so that local sports clubs registered as community amateur sports clubs can receive corporate gift aid, to help these clubs to benefit their local communities.

A new tax relief has been created to encourage investment in social enterprises

The social investment tax relief scheme has been created to encourage people to invest in social enterprises, including charities.

Individuals making an eligible investment will be able to deduct 30% of the cost of that investment from their income tax liability.

Keep your records up to date at Companies House

Thursday, September 10th, 2015

 If you're late telling Companies House about changes to your officer's details, it could come at a cost.

Searches of company officers account for 47% of all public searches of our database, but only 53% of companies notify Companies House within the legal timescale when their officer details have changed.

 Filing your documentation late can affect your credit standing as this is one of the indicators to your company’s reliability. If your bottom line is being affected it makes sense to keep your documentation up to date.

 You must tell Companies House about changes to your officers within 14 days of the change.

Make sure that you let Companies House know when your company officers change as soon as possible. The reliability of the UK register is part of the reason why it’s held in such high regard – making the UK one of the most trusted places in the world to do business. People want to know that the companies they’re dealing with are in good standing and keeping company information up to date is key to that.

The speed of online filing and ease of access means you can immediately update your company information as soon as decisions are made, so there’s every reason to take advantage of this. There’s a role for every company to have a positive impact on the economy by filing on time.

 Companies House require information updates on a range of issues. These include:

  • directors and company secretaries, e.g. new appointments, resignations or changes to their personal details
  • changing your company name
  • changing your registered office address
  • changing your accounting reference date
  • changing where your company records are kept, if different from your registered address
  • which records you’ll keep at an alternative address
  • changes to your company’s share structure, e.g. if you issue new shares
  • details of any new mortgages it has or mortgages it has paid off

 Some of these changes require the filing of formal resolutions, and in most cases, as noted above, notification forms can be filed online.

Self assessment payments on account

Wednesday, September 9th, 2015

If you are self-employed (as a sole trader or in partnership) you will normally make two payments on account of your self assessment tax liability at the end of January and July each year.

Normally, these payments on account are based on your total self assessment dues for the previous tax year. So, for 2015-16, you will be making payments on account at the end of January and July 2016, based on your total liabilities for 2014-15.

As long as your taxable income does not change significantly, year on year, this system will ensure that your tax liabilities are settled by the on account payments you make (plus or minus small differences if your income varies slightly).

But what happens if you know that your income for 2015-16 is going to be much lower than 2014-15? In this case any payments on account based on the previous tax year’s income will likely result in an overpayment of tax.

If your income is likely to be lower in 2015-16 you should elect to reduce the payments on accounts that you make January and July next year. Your advisor should be able to estimate the amount due, and the necessary reduction in your payments next year. In this way you can avoid overpayments of tax and minimise the cash flow impact on your business cash flow or savings.

If the opposite applies, your taxable income is likely to be more in 2015-16, there is no obligation to offer a higher payment on account. However, you will need to reserve funds to cover any underpayment for this year which will be payable 31 January 2017. 

Tax Diary September/October 2015

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

 1 September 2015 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 30 November 2014.

 19 September 2015 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 September 2015. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 September 2015.)

 19 September 2015 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly return for the month ended 5 September 2015.

 19 September 2015 – CIS tax deducted for the month ended 5 September 2015 is payable by today.

 1 October 2015 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 31 December 2014.

 19 October 2015 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 October 2015. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 October 2015.)

 19 October 2015 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly return for the month ended 5 October 2015.

 19 October 2015 – CIS tax deducted for the month ended 5 October 2015 is payable by today.

  31 October 2015 – Latest date you can file a paper version of your 2015 Self Assessment tax return.

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