Archive for April, 2015

Annual Investment Allowance

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

The most generous tax allowance presently available to businesses that encourages direct investment in new plant, equipment and commercial vehicles, is the Annual Investment Allowance (AIA).

If you buy qualifying assets you can write off the expenditure against your taxable profits in the same accounting period. The present limit to this allowance is generous, £500,000.

The AIA is due to reduce from 1 January 2016, and unless Parliament set a new limit from that date, it will revert to a paltry £25,000.

Consequently, business readers who are contemplating an investment in new plant and equipment should take this AIA into account when making a decision to invest.

Entrepreneurs that stand to gain the greater advantage are the self-employed: sole traders, partnerships and LLPs, who may be faced with income charges at the 40% or 45% rates in the tax year 2015-16.

For incorporated businesses and self-employed traders paying tax at the standard rate of income tax, the tax savings will be limited to 20% of qualifying expenditure.

Certainly, we do not advise making investment decisions based solely on any tax advantages that may flow from the investment. Due regard should be taken of the effects on profitability, cash flow and future business growth.

If you would like to discuss how this relief could benefit your business, we would be happy to discuss your options. Planning for large investments is key. Do not make decisions without considering all the effects. Please call if you would like to discuss these matters in more detail.

Jamie Harrison race update – 10th/11th April, Oulton Park

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

Jamie Harrison at Oulton Park

Friday 10th April

The Friday morning saw Jamie out for a practice at a sunny Oulton Park, a drastic change from the last race at Anglesey

After the practice session and some small set up changes he was happy and ready for the qualifying session planned in the afternoon. Unfortunately though the qualifying was postponed until the following day, due to a lack of circuit Doctors.

Saturday 11th April

Saturday morning was wet and windy so the wet tyres were back on and somehow the team forgot to fit the timing transponder to the bike which meant they didn’t record a lap time and would have to start from the back of the grid again.

Not the best start for the team.

Race one

By the time the first race was due to the start the weather had changed again and the track had dried out all though it was still cool and with a strong wind.

Jamie made some great progress the first few laps and attacked the race head on, trying to pass any many riders as he could to make his way up the grid. However it was soon apparent that there was a strong cross wind as the riders came over Hill Top and the wind caught Jamie and blew him off line knocking his feet off his pegs in the process.
He kept it steady though and continued to move up the field, finishing the race in 4th place.

Race two

Jamie started race two from 4th place. He was able to get a strong start and work his way up to second place coming out of the first corner, however by the end of the first lap he had gone back down to 4th place.

All the riders were fairly close together, and all looking at passing which was making it difficult but he was getting good drive out of Cascades which enabled him to pass up the inside at the fast Island bend .

A couple of laps later, and after making the same move, he was up to 2nd and closing on the leader. The gap was coming down but after catching some back markers in the wrong place his challenge was over and he finished the race in 2nd place.


Overall another positive race, which saw Jamie build on his good start from the first race of the season.

Mike Lyne, from Crewe Guardian, was also at the Track.

Click here to read his full article, complete with picture.

Jamie Harrison update – 28th/29th March, Anglesey

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015
Jamie Harrison racing at Anglesely, sponsored by Slaters Chartered Accountants

Photo of Jamie taken at the Wirral 100 race at Anglesey

Saturday 28th March

The plan for the Saturday had been practice and qualifying sessions, but Anglesey was very cold, wet and very windy meaning that the conditions were very poor for any practice or qualifying.

Due to the bad weather the day was mainly written off. The officials had no choice but to show red flags out on the track, which meant we had to keep stopping so the day only saw us get out for one 20 minute session at the end of the day.

Sunday 29th March

The Sunday morning was much the same weather wise with heavy rain and strong winds.

First up was a combined practice qualifying. Full wet tyres has been fitted to the bike in preparation, however before Jamie could even get out onto the track his visor had steamed up completely so he had to return to the garage.

After cleaning and re-spraying his visor with anti fog spray he tried again, but the problem still continued so he made a quick decision to change the visor completely. Fortunately this worked and he was out onto the track, however due to the delays it meant he only managed to get one lap in before the end of the session.

The session was plagued with yet more problems, as when he got back in the garage there were reports that the circuit timing system had gone down towards the end of the session which meant he hadn’t got a lap time and would have to start from the back of the grid.

Not the best start!

Race One

By the time the first race came to start the rain had stopped, but the track was still wet in places so Jamie stuck with wet tyres.

Jamie managed to get a good start and made some places up in the first couple of corners. He managed to get up to sixth place and had a good battle with the rider in 5th place, changing positions four or five times, before running out of laps and finishing in sixth place at the flag.

Race Two

By the second race the track had dried out so the bike was fitted dry tyres. Starting from sixth place, Jamie was able to get another good start and settled into fifth position right behind fourth place.

Jamie and the fourth place rider were both lapping at the same pace and although Jamie was faster in places, he was unable to make the pass and finished the race in fifth position.

Race Three

As the third race was about to start there was a light shower, but fortunately the track stayed mostly dry so Jamie stuck with the dry tyres.

Jamie started from 11th place this race, and had yet another good start and by the end of the first lap he was up to 3rd place.

As the race continued Jamie did slide a couple of times on damp patches on the track, so wasn’t quite able to make the ground up he needed to catch up with the first and second place riders, and Jamie finished the race in third place.


Overall not a bad start to the race season, especially given the bad weather on the first day.

A full race report can be found on the Wirral100 web site –

A few miscellaneous effects of holding ISAs

Monday, April 27th, 2015

If you move abroad

If you open an Individual Savings Account (ISA) in the UK and then move abroad, you can’t put money into it after you move (unless you’re a Crown employee working overseas or their spouse or civil partner).

However, you can keep your ISA open and you’ll still get UK tax relief on money and investments held in it.

You can pay into your ISA again if you return and become a UK resident (subject to the current annual ISA allowance of £15,240).

If you die

Your ISA ends on the date of your death. There will be no Income Tax or Capital Gains Tax to pay up to that date but ISA investments will form part of your estate for Inheritance Tax purposes.

Your ISA provider can be instructed to sell the investments and either:

  • pay the proceeds to the administrator or beneficiary of your estate
  • transfer the investments directly to them

If your spouse or civil partner dies

If your spouse or civil partner died on or after 3 December 2014, you can inherit their ISA allowance.

As well as your normal ISA allowance, you can add a tax-free amount up to the value they held in their ISA when they died.

Contact your ISA provider or the provider of your spouse or civil partner’s ISA for details.

Black taxis urged to go green

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

On 26 March 2015 the government announced a new initiative to support taxi owners to convert to lower emission vehicles. The initiative is £45 million to support the rollout of greener taxis. A £20 million fund will be made available to local authorities to support the rollout of ultra-low emission taxis across the UK. The money will be available to reduce the upfront cost of purpose built taxis and to install charging infrastructure for taxi and private hire use.

A further £25 million has been set aside specifically for the Greater London Area to help taxi drivers cover the cost of upgrading to a greener vehicle.

All taxis will also qualify for the government’s plug-in car grant, which currently offers up to £5,000 off the cost of an eligible low emission vehicle.

From 26 March local authorities are invited to bid for feasibility studies to prepare for the rollout of these vehicles in their fleets. The news follows Geely’s recent announcement outlining plans for a new £250 million state of the art facility to produce the next generation of low-emission London Black Taxis. Geely, who owns the iconic London Taxi Company, was awarded £17 million from the government’s Regional Growth Fund to build this facility, which will create 1,000 local jobs and ensure the London black taxi continues to be designed, developed and made in the UK.

These new taxis will comply with the new regulations being introduced by the Mayor of London that will require all London taxis to be zero-emission capable from January 2018.

Business Minister Matthew Hancock said:

This is a historic moment for the automotive sector and goes to show that it is thriving in Britain today. Low emission vehicles are the future and show that we can meet our climate change obligations in a way that enhances technology. I’m looking forward to the roll-out of greener taxis across the UK and have no doubt that with the support of Geely this will happen very quickly.

Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said:

As London strives towards the greenest taxi fleet from 2018, it is essential to support the taxi trade in the transition to cleaner vehicles. With the additional funds announced today, more help is on the way for taxi drivers to upgrade to the latest technology in zero-emission capable cabs. Alongside the world’s first Ultra Low Emission Zone from 2020 these measures will boost jobs and growth in the development and manufacturing of ultra low emission technologies, secure the long-term future of the taxi industry, and ensure everyone who lives, works in, or visits our city has the cleanest possible air to breathe.

Emergency tax codes

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

You’re on an emergency tax code if your payslip says your tax code is one of the following:

  • 1060L W1
  • 1060L M1
  • 1060L X

Emergency tax codes are temporary. While you’re on an emergency tax code, you pay tax on all your income above the basic Personal Allowance (£10,600 for the 2015 to 2016 tax year).

If your tax code is just 1060L it’s not an emergency tax code.

Tax code 0T can also be used as a temporary code. It means you don’t get any Personal Allowance you’re entitled to until your tax code is updated.

When you might get an emergency tax code

You may be put on an emergency tax code if you’ve started:

  • a new job
  • working for an employer after being self-employed
  • getting company benefits or the State Pension

Getting the right tax code

Your tax code is usually updated automatically after you’ve given your employer details of your previous income or pension. This is usually from your P45 – if you don’t have one, your employer may ask you to fill in a ‘new starter checklist’.

You’ll be sent your new tax code in a PAYE Coding Notice. HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will also tell your employer or pension provider. Your next payslip should show:

  • your new tax code
  • adjustments to your pay if you were paying the wrong amount of tax

Please contact us if you are concerned that you may have the wrong tax code and be paying too much tax, or if you receive a Notice of Coding that you don’t understand.

The following tax changes came into effect Monday 6 April 2015

Monday, April 20th, 2015

Following on from our previous blog posting: tax changes that were effective from 1 April 2015 (and that mainly affected Companies), we have included below tax changes that affect individuals from 6 April 2015, the start of the 2015-16 tax year.

  • Individuals over the age of 55 have flexible access to their defined contribution pension savings
  • The Income Tax Personal Allowance increases to £10,600
  • The higher rate income tax threshold increases to £42,385
  • The new Marriage Allowance comes into effect
  • The starting rate of savings income tax reduces from 10% to 0% for savings up to £5,000
  • The cash ISA limit increases to £15,240
  • Child Trust Funds can now be transferred into Junior ISAs
  • Spouses can now inherit their deceased partner’s ISA benefits
  • If an individual dies before the age of 75, they can now pass on their unused defined contribution pension savings free of income tax
  • Beneficiaries of individuals who die under the age of 75 with a joint life or guaranteed term annuity can now receive any future payments from such policies free of income tax
  • Employers will no longer have to pay employer NICs for employees under the age of 21
  • Class 2 NICs for the self-employed can now be collected through Self-Assessment
  • The Employment Allowance extends to include people employing care and support workers to look after themselves or family members
  • A new annual remittance basis charge of £90,000 is introduced for non-domiciled individuals who have been resident in the UK in at least 17 of the last 20 years, and the charge paid by non-domiciled individuals who have been resident in the UK in at least 12 of the last 14 years has increased from £50,000 to £60,000
  • Non-UK resident individuals, trusts, personal representatives and narrowly controlled companies are now subject to Capital Gains Tax on gains accruing on the disposal of UK residential property
  • Capital Gains Tax annual exemption amount has increased to £11,100
  • The Capital Gains Tax charge on disposals of properties liable to ATED extends to cover residential properties worth £1 million – £2 million
  • The requirement that 70% of Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme money must be spent before EIS or VCT funding can be raised is removed
  • The Fuel Benefit Charge multiplier for both cars and vans increases by RPI
  • The Van Benefit Charge increases by RPI – in 2015-16 the Van Benefit Charge rate paid by zero emission vans is 20% of the rate paid by conventionally fuelled vans
  • Tax Credit payments are stopped in-year where, due to a change in circumstances, a claimant has already received their full annual entitlement

Please contact us if you need more information on any of the above changes.

Shared Parental Leave law became effective on 5 April 2015

Friday, April 17th, 2015

Parents in work can now share responsibility for looking after their newborn or newly adopted child as Shared Parental Leave law becomes effective 5 April 2015.

Eligible couples whose child is due on or after Sunday 5 April 2015 can now share up to 50 weeks of leave and 37 weeks of pay in the first year of their child’s life. Couples who adopt a child can share the same benefits as parents to the first year of the child’s adoption.

Parents can take the time off at the same time as each other or separately. An estimated 285,000 couples a year will be able to take advantage of this change in the law. Shared parental leave and pay are only available in England, Scotland and Wales.

To work out what you may be entitled to you’ll need to know:

  • your employment status (eg employed or worker)
  • the date you started your current job
  • the date you finished work (if you’ve finished)
  • how much you earn
  • when you want your leave to start
  • how much leave you want to take

You’ll need the same information about your partner if you plan to share the care of the child with them.

The following tax changes came into effect Wednesday 1 April 2015

Thursday, April 9th, 2015
  • The Corporation Tax rate has been reduced to 20%
  • The new Diverted Profits Tax has been introduced
  • The bank levy has increased from 0.156% to 0.21%
  • Air Passenger Duty has been restructured – abolishing bands C and D
  • Hospice charities, blood bikes, search and rescue, and air ambulance charities will be eligible for VAT refunds
  • Business rates changes (England only):

    • The business rates multiplier has increased from 48.2p to 49.3p (47.1p to 48.0p for small business multiplier). This includes the 2% inflation cap
    • The Small Business Rate Relief scheme has doubled for a further year – providing 100% relief for businesses with a single property with a rateable value of less than £6,000, and tapered relief with a rateable value of £6,000 – £12,000
    • The business rates discount for shops, pubs, cafes and restaurants with a rateable value of £50k or below has increased from £1,000 to £1,500
  • The cultural test for high-end TV tax relief has been modernised and the minimum UK expenditure requirement for all TV tax reliefs has reduced from 25% to 10%
  • A new tax relief on the production of children’s television has been introduced
  • The amount of banks’ annual profit that can be offset by carried forward losses has been restricted to 50%
  • Two new bands for the Annual Tax on Enveloped Dwellings (ATED) have been introduced
  • Capital Gains Tax exemption for wasting assets will only apply if the corporate selling the asset has used it in their own business
  • An investment allowance for North Sea oil and gas, replacing the existing offshore field allowances and simplifying the existing regime, has been introduced
  • A reduced rate of fuel duty to methanol will apply – the rate is 9.32 pence per litre
  • Fuels used to generate good quality electricity by CHP (combined heat and power) plants for onsite purposes are exempt from the Carbon Price Floor
  • Climate Change Levy main rates have increased in line with RPI
  • The VAT registration threshold has increased from £81,000 to £82,000 and the deregistration threshold from £79,000 to £80,000
  • Scottish government’s Land and Buildings Transactions Tax (LBTT) will replace Stamp Duty Land Tax in Scotland
  • The associated companies rules have been replaced with simpler rules based on 51% group membership
  • The standard and lower rates of landfill tax have been increased in line with RPI

Auto Enrolment guidance for small employers

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has launched a new step-by-step guide to help small businesses get ready for their automatic enrolment duties.

According to TPR the online guide has been written specifically for employers with between one and 50 staff.

The guide which is broken down into 11 steps, considers the legal requirements and what employers need to do to comply with their obligations.

Executive director for automatic enrolment Charles Counsell said:

‘We are determined to do all we can to reach out to all small and micro businesses preparing for their automatic enrolment duties. We want to make the process as simple as possible so that employers can avoid the risk of non compliance.’

‘Our new online 11-step guide is a key part of a wide package of measures we are rolling out to give more than a million employers all the information they need, written and produced in a way they makes sense to them.’

‘Our message to employers is ensure you know when your automatic enrolment duties begin and start planning in good time. The regulator’s website should be the first port of call for all employers and their advisers as it offers essential information about each task an employer will need to accomplish in order to comply and avoid penalties.’

Click here to view the step-by-step guide

If you would like help with Auto Enrolment please do get in touch.