Taxation

Taxation in the United Kingdom involve payments to a minimum of three different levels of government: the central government (HMRC), devolved national governments and local government.

 

Central government revenues come primarily from income tax, National Insurance contributions, VAT, corporation tax and fuel duty. Local government revenues come primarily from grants from central government funds, business rates in England and Wales, Council Tax and increasingly from fees and charges such as those from on-street parking. In the fiscal year 2014-15, total government revenue was forecast to be £648 billion, or 37.7 per cent of GDP, with net taxes and National Insurance contributions standing at £606 billion.

Self Assessment Taxation

31/01/2016 - Deadline for submitting your 2014/15 self assessment return (£100 automatic penalty if your return is late) and the balance of your 2014/15 liability together with the first payment on account for the 2015/16 tax year.

 

This deadline applies to individuals who need to complete a self assessment tax return and make direct payments to HMRC in respect of their income tax, Class 4 NI, capital gains tax and High Income Child Benefit Charge liabilities.

 

There is a penalty of £100 if your return is not submitted on time, even if there is no tax due or your return shows that you are due a tax refund.

 

The balance of any outstanding income tax, Class 4 NI, capital gains tax and High Income Child Benefit Charge for the year ended 5th April 2015 is due for payment by 31st January 2016. Where the payment is made late interest will be charged.

 

The first payment on account for 2015/16 in respect of income tax and any Class 4 NI or High Income Child Benefit Charge is also due for payment by 31st January 2016.

 

If we have already dealt with your self assessment return on your behalf you need take no action. If you have not submitted your tax return yet please contact us as a matter of urgency. We will do our best to assist you but time is now short.  


Self Assessment Tax Deadline Almost Here

The deadline for filling self assessment tax returns is almost here! By midnight on 31 January you will need to have submitted your electronic tax return (it is too late for paper submissions – these were due on 31 October 2015), together with payment for any tax you owe for the tax year , and any payment on account due for the 15/16 tax year,

 

An automatic penalty of £100 will become due if you don’ t submit your return on time, even if no tax is due.

It is important that you know whether you need to register for self-assessment. Contact us if you are unsure.

 

If you have "forgotten" or were unable to submit your tax return on time and wish to appeal the automatic penalty, remember NOT to try any of these excuses which have already failed with HMRC and been branded as the top ten "worst excuses" for missing the deadline:

 

1. My tax papers were left in the shed and the rat ate them.

2. I'm not a paperwork orientated person - I always relied on my sister to complete my returns but we have now fallen out.

3. My accountant has been ill.

4. My dog ate my tax return.

5. I will be abroad on deadline day with no internet access so will be unable to file.

6. My laptop broke, so did my washing machine.

7. My niece had moved in - she made the house so untidy I could not find my log in details to complete my tax return.

8. My husband ran over my laptop.

9. I had an argument with my wife and went to Italy for five years.

10. I had a cold which took a long time to go.

 

Although HMRC may not accept any of these excuses, they do recognise some people may have difficulty submitting their return and are taking into account the severe weather conditions and flooding across the UK this year. They have opened a helpline offering practical advice to those affected.

 

 If you need advice on self assessment or would like assistance submitting future returns, please contact us.

 


Right to rent checks for all residential landlords

Immigration status checks to apply to whole of England

 

The Immigration Act 2014 introduced a requirement for residential landlords to conduct checks on new adult tenants and occupiers to ensure that they have the right to reside in the UK. The aim is to make it difficult for illegal migrants to rent property.

 

Landlords in certain parts of the West Midlands have had to carry out these checks since December 2014. From 1 February 2016 the scheme will apply to all residential landlords in England.

 

What is the right to rent?

 

Essentially, a person has the right to rent if they are a British citizen or an EEA or Swiss national or if the person has leave to remain in the UK. Other people are disqualified from renting property in the UK.

 

The implications for Landlords

 

Landlords must not allow properties to be occupied by people who are disqualified from renting. Landlords can be fined up to £3,000 for breaching this rule. However, landlords will not be fined if they can demonstrate that they have carried out appropriate checks on their tenants’ immigration status. Landlords may also avoid liability by appointing a letting agent to carry out the checks. The appointment must be made in writing.

 

What checks are required?

 

The checks are similar to the “right to work” checks that employers are required to undertake. The Home Office right to rent tool can be found here. There is also a User Guide here and a more detailed Code of Practice here.

 

For more complex cases, a check can be requested from the Home Office’s Landlords Checking Service by submitting an online form.

 

Landlords must retain copies of the tenant’s documents for the duration of the tenancy and for one year after. The information must be kept securely and in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998.

 

Implications for letting agents

 

As mentioned above, if a landlord uses a letting agent to negotiate the letting, and the agent is expressly responsible (under a written agreement) for carrying out the checks, the responsibility for carrying out checks and paying any fine falls on the agent rather than the landlord.

 

Other forthcoming changes

 

The Immigration Bill 2015-16 is currently going through Parliament. If it is enacted, which may be as soon as this summer, it will:

 

• Make it harder for illegal migrants to rent property in the UK by giving landlords new eviction powers.

• Create new criminal offences for landlords and lettings agents who deliberately and repeatedly let properties to illegal migrants. Guilty parties will face a fine and/or imprisonment.

 

We will provide further information when the draft legislation has been finalised.