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Minimising your personal tax liability

With Self Assessment deadlines rapidly approaching, no one wishes to pay more tax than is necessary. Everyone’s situation is different, and tax rates, allowances and legislation change every year. Good tax planning is an essential component in stopping you paying more than is necessary. Here are some of the key personal tax issues to consider.

Self Assessment Advice & NSPCC Challenge

Can you provide advice on areas such as buy to let properties, capital gains & self assessment & NSPCC challenge figures

Loopholes in the new Pension Rules

Plenty of publicity recently about loopholes in the new pension rules which were announced to great enthusiasm by the Chancellor in his Budget in March.

Loopholes in the new Pension Rules - Follow Up

I recently wrote about the loopholes in the new pension rules announced in the Budget which would allow workers from their late 50s to make huge tax and NIC savings by routing their salaries through a pension scheme.

Is Mansion Tax the right way to go?

More details coming out about another proposed new tax – Mansion Tax, a special levy aimed at those with properties valued at £2m or more and now hijacked by Labour from the Lib Dems (who thought it up a few years’ ago, but haven’t been allowed to introduce it by their “partners”).

Tax on inherited pensions to be scrapped from April 2015. What does this mean?

The Chancellor announced last week that he will scrap ‘tax on inherited pensions’ from April 2015 – what does that actually mean for most people?

Understanding High Income Child Benefit Charge

As many of us know to our cost, the application of the High Income Child Benefit Charge for those earning over £50,000 per year has been in place since 7 January 2013. In essence, we are talking about the partial or complete loss of child benefit for some tax payers.

Tax Efficient Savings for Children

Parents wishing to give substantial sums to their children meet a tax ‘stumbling block’ because all income over £100pa earned by children under 18 from parental gifts is taxed on the parent.

Budget 2015 - Phasing out of Tax returns – how will this affect you?

No doubt there was a sigh of relief from a lot of people when the phasing out of tax returns was announced in the Budget (“our Christmas/New Year/skiing holiday will no longer be interrupted by thoughts of the 31 January tax return deadline”)

Budget 2015 – Inheritance Tax Anticipation

There was plenty of anticipation of changes to the inheritance tax regime before yesterday’s Budget, in particular a possible increase in the lifetime allowance from the £325,000 where it has been stuck for the last 6 years, given the potential popularity for such a change amongst voters.

Are HMRC dropping the £100 penalty?

A lot of news space was devoted this weekend to the apparent dropping by HMRC of the £100 automatic penalty for failing to meet the 31 January 2015 deadline


The other day I had a client tell me that their credit rating was excellent, that it is 999 and as good as it can get, all as if it meant something. However, here in the good old UK there is no such thing as a credit rating.

Twice as nice: Free childcare available to families doubles from September 2017

The government’s pre-election pledge to support hard working families was somewhat contradicted by the announcement of a two child policy limit for receiving child tax credit and universal credits.

Buy to Let Properties - The comings and goings of tax relief

The rules for claiming expenses against property income changed in April 2013 and for the time being there is no tax relief available on replacement furnishings, carpets, free-standing appliances etc. in unfurnished or partly furnished properties. A wear and tear allowance is available for these items in fully furnished properties.

Digital Tax Accounts – Making Tax Easier?

HMRC are publicising the new Digital Tax Accounts as “Making Tax Easier” but will this be the case?

By early 2016 five million small businesses and ten million individuals will have access to their own digital tax accounts. According to HMRC, these accounts will be like an online bank account and be simple, secure and personalised.

Self-assessment tax returns – An Overview on Penalties and Surcharges

No-one enjoys incurring penalties for late payment or filing and it is in everyone’s interest to avoid such fines. However, unfortunately it is sometimes inevitable due to unforeseen circumstances or events.

Pensions are Changing Again – Do You Need to Take any action before 5 April 2016?

The amount you can pay into a pension scheme each year has been reducing and the limit is currently at £40,000. However from this April those with income over £150,000 per year will have this limit cut and once income is above £210,000 the annual limit is only £10,000.

Furnished Properties - Wear and Tear Allowance

From April 2016 the wear and tear allowance available on furnished properties will be abolished.

Restricting Tax Relief for Mortgage Interest - what is the position?

From April 2017 the government will restrict tax relief for mortgage interest payments to individual landlords to the basic rate of tax. The restriction will be brought in over four years.

And finally………….. Some good news for Property Owners?

Since April 2013 landlords of partly furnished properties have not been able to claim for the cost of replacing items such as furniture, carpets, or stand-alone white goods.

Dividend Tax - An “interesting” opportunity

With the introduction of the new 7.5% tax on dividends coming into effect from 6 April 2016, now is the time for the most tax efficient method of remuneration to be reconsidered.

Inheritance Tax and the Home

The well-known headline rule for the exemption of a couple’s main residence is that it is being increased to £1m per couple. However, the rule is not that straightforward and the detail contains some hurdles to clear.

Gift Aid – Unexpected Tax Liability

Gift aid has always been a way for individuals to make donations to the charity of their choice and for the charity to benefit where gift aid has been claimed.

Statutory Residence Test – Are you resident or not?

When it was introduced on 6 April 2013, the Statutory Residence Test was the first time the UK had any legislation on the area of residence and how to determine whether you are resident or not-resident for UK taxation.

Split Year Treatment and the Statutory Residence Test

The general premise when the Statutory Residence Test was first introduced on 6th April 2013, was that you are either considered as UK tax resident or not resident for UK taxation.

Split Year Treatment and Leaving the UK

If you are considering leaving the UK to go overseas then it may be possible for you to claim split year treatment. You have to be UK tax resident during the UK tax year concerned to be able to consider a claim being made.

HMRC – Survey on Inheritance Tax

Earlier this year, the Government announced that the Office of Tax Simplification had been tasked with a review of inheritance tax with a view to…making it more simple!

Brexit and your Holiday Home

Anyone with a holiday home in Spain who rents it out when they are not using it is likely to face additional tax charges when the UK is no longer part of the EU.

Child benefit tax refunds

In 2013 HMRC introduced the controversial scheme to make high earners repay some or all of their child benefit, even where the high earner (over £50k annual income) in a couple does not receive the benefit.

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