Newsletter December 2019

Newsletter December 2019

Our newsletter this month highlights: tax planning reminder for 2019-20, government support for those affected by recent flooding, tax and Christmas gifts and how to obtain proof of employment history.

Time is running out for tax planning 2019-20

A reminder that in just a few months the present tax year closes, 5 April 2020.

After this date, a whole raft of 2019-20 tax planning options for individuals will cease to be available.

These cover a multitude of opportunities to reduce your liability to Income Tax, Capital Gains Tax and National Insurance. These opportunities include, but are not limited to:

  • Remuneration choices for director/shareholders of small companies,
  • Pension planning,
  • Tax effective gifts to charities,
  • Repaying certain benefits to employers - for example, repaying any private petrol provided,
  • Reviewing tax efficient use of investment allowances - planning capital expenditure,
  • Maximising use of the “trivial benefits” exemption,
  • Gifting income producing assets to spouse or civil partner,
  • Considering options if your total annual income is approaching 100,000 for the first time. Income over this figure will trigger a gradual reduction in your personal tax allowance.

We cannot list all of the available options here. Each person’s financial affairs are to some extent unique.

If you have not yet considered your options, please call so we can act before it’s too late.

Flood support

The government announced 13 November that it will extend its Farming Recovery Fund to support farmers badly affected by the recent flooding across Yorkshire and the Midlands. Through this scheme, farmers and land managers who have suffered uninsurable damage to their property will be able to apply for grants of between 500 and 25,000 to cover repair costs - whether that’s clearing debris or recovering damaged land.
Householders affected will need to contact brokers and insurers - if supplied direct - to start the weary process of claims for flood damage. This in addition to dealing with the distressing upheaval caused by extensive water damage.

In the past HMRC has been supportive if tax-payers cannot make returns or pay tax due to flood disruption. They will also be sympathetic if business or tax records are lost due to water damage.

There is a pretty comprehensive flood alert service on the Gov.uk website and it is possible to register for a flood alert. These can be sent to your mobile, email address or landline. The service is free to use.

Christmas gifts

You don’t have to pay tax on a benefit (gift) to your employee if all of the following apply:

  • it cost you 50 or less to provide
  • it isn’t cash or a cash voucher
  • it isn’t a reward for their work or performance
  • it isn’t in the terms of their contract

Gifts that fall into this category are known as a ‘trivial benefit’; and whilst they may be much more than trivial in substance, you don’t need to pay tax or National Insurance or let HMRC know you are making the gift.
Any gifts that do not meet this definition will likely be taxable.

Gifts to directors are treated in a similar fashion with one over-riding condition: a director cannot receive trivial gifts of more than 300 in total each tax year. This restriction only applies to the directors of “close companies”. A close company is a limited company with five or fewer shareholders.

Watch out for VAT charge

If you recover the input tax charged when you buy gifts for employees, and if the total value of gifts given to an employee in a tax year exceeds 50, then you will have to account for VAT on the total value of gifts provided. If this is the case, you may be advised to avoid recovering the VAT in the first place.

Obtain proof of employment history

If you need evidence of employment for a claim, the following notes published by HMRC may help.

You can ask HMRC for a record of your employment history, for example if you are making a compensation claim for:

  • an industrial injury (for example asbestosis or industrial deafness)
  • a road traffic accident
  • medical negligence
  • hardship (for example you’re claiming through a benevolent fund or charity)

How to get your employment history

Fill in the application form that is available on the gov.uk website and send it to HMRC. The address is on the form.

Apply for an employment history on behalf of someone who has died

You can also apply to get the employment history of someone who has died if you are legally entitled to claim damages on behalf of their estate.

If you are wary of undertaking the task, we can help.

Tax Diary December 2019/January 2020

1 December 2019 - Due date for Corporation Tax payable for the year ended 28 February 2019.

19 December 2019 - PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 December 2019. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 December 2019)

19 December 2019 - Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly return for the month ended 5 December 2019.

19 December 2019 - CIS tax deducted for the month ended 5 December 2019 is payable by today.

30 December 2019 - Deadline for filing 2018-19 self-assessment tax returns online to include a claim for under payments to be collected via tax code in 2020-21.

1 January 2020 - Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 31 March 2019.

19 January 2020 - PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 January 2020. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 January 2020)

19 January 2020 - Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly return for the month ended 5 January 2020.

19 January 2020 - CIS tax deducted for the month ended 5 January 2020 is payable by today.

31 January 2020 - Last day to file 2018-19 self-assessment tax returns online.

31 January 2020 - Balance of self-assessment tax owing for 2018-19 due to be settled on or before today. Also due is any first payment on account for 2019-20.




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