Newsletter March 2018

Our newsletter this month includes: the tax consequences of making loans to employees; news of a wide-ranging review of inheritance tax; an announcement that tax-free childcare scheme has been expanded; and how to claim for business use of your own transport using approved mileage rates.

Tax and making loans to employees

A reminder that making loans to your employees or their relatives can create tax problems for employees and employers. For example, the employer will have an obligation to report a beneficial loan to HMRC and the deemed benefit would be a taxable benefit in kind for the relevant employee. A beneficial loan is one that is interest free or the rate charged is below the “official rate” and the benefit is the difference between these interest rate charges. Further, the benefit would increase the employer’s Class 1A NIC bill at the end of the tax year.

Fortunately, certain loans are exempt from this reporting obligation. These may include loans employers provide:

Loans written off also create a National Insurance Class 1 charge for the employee. They must be reported on a P11D and the employer has an obligation to deduct and pay Class 1 NIC from the employee’s salary, on the amount written off for tax purposes.

Calculating the taxable benefits for chargeable loans can be somewhat complex and readers are advised to take advice if they are unsure of their tax and NIC responsibilities. Don’t forget “employees” includes directors and loans to family members may be caught.

Inheritance tax in for an overhaul?

The Office for Tax Simplification (OTS) has been tasked by government to review key aspects of the inheritance tax (IHT) legislation.

According to information posted to the government’s website recently, the review would appear to be wide ranging. Issues to be examined include:

We will be keeping a keen eye on the outcome of these deliberations as they could turn even the most basic IHT planning on its head. We will keep readers informed when the OTS publishes its report although it may be some time before any changes are enacted and have a direct impact on estate planning. The OTS doesn’t envisage publishing its initial report until the Autumn of this year.

Tax-free childcare support expanded

From 14 February 2018, tax-free childcare is available to all remaining eligible families: parents whose youngest child is under 12. The new scheme aims to help working parents with the cost of childcare.

According to government, it is quick and easy to apply, and parents could save thousands of pounds each year. For every 8 parents pay into their childcare account, the government will add an extra 2, up to 2,000 per child per year. HMRC has been gradually rolling out tax-free childcare since April 2017.

Parents must each expect to earn (on average) at least 120 per week (equal to 16 hours at the National Minimum or Living Wage). If either parent is on maternity, paternity or adoption leave, or you're unable to work because you are disabled or have caring responsibilities, you could still be eligible. 

However, if either you, or your partner, expect to earn 100,000 or more, you can’t get tax-free childcare. Also, you can’t use tax-free childcare at the same time as childcare vouchers, Universal Credit or tax credits. You can use it with the 15 hours and 30 hours schemes.

You can use tax-free childcare to help pay:

Parents, including the self-employed, can apply online for tax-free childcare by visiting Childcare Choices at

Claiming expenses by the mile

A reminder that employees can make a claim for the business use of their own cars, motorcycles or cycles by logging their business mileage and applying an approved mileage rate.

Mileage allowance payments (MAPs) are the HMRC approved rates used by most employers to reimburse employees when they use their own transport for business purposes. The current rates have remained unchanged for some time. They are:

If employers pay at these rates, and no more, any expenses paid are tax free in the hands of the employee.

If the employer is registered for VAT, they can also claim back as input tax the deemed VAT included in the mileage rate. To do this, employers should use the advisory fuel rates. These are published on the website at

If employers pay at rates higher than MAPs, any excess will be treated as remuneration, added to employees’ salary, and taxed accordingly.

If employers pay their employees at less than the MAP rates, employees can make a claim to HMRC to compensate them for any shortfall. In effect, the difference in the MAP rate paid times the business mileage for the tax year can be claimed as an allowable expense.

Tax Diary March/April 2018

1 March 2018 - Due date for corporation tax due for the year ended 31 May 2017.

2 March 2018 - Self assessment tax for 2016/17 paid after this date will incur a 5% surcharge.

19 March 2018 - PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 March 2018. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 March 2018)

19 March 2018 - Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly return for the month ended 5 March 2018.

19 March 2018 - CIS tax deducted for the month ended 5 March 2018 is payable by today.

1 April 2018 - Due date for corporation tax due for the year ended 30 June 2017.

19 April 2018 - PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 April 2018. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 April 2018)

19 April 2018 - Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly return for the month ended 5 April 2018.

19 April 2018 - CIS tax deducted for the month ended 5 April 2018 is payable by today.

30 April 2018 - 2016-17 tax returns filed after this date will be subject to an additional 10 per day late filing penalty.