HMRC suffers defeat in an IR35 case

HMRC suffers defeat in an IR35 case

The presenter of television show Loose Women, Kaye Adams, has become the latest TV personality to win a case against HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) over her employment status.

The Government tax authority had argued that Ms Adams was, in fact, an employee of the BBC instead of a freelancer, due to the fact she presents BBC Radio Scotland’s daily morning show. They claimed that because of this IR35 law should apply.

IR35 law is designed to crack down on tax avoidance by so-called disguised employees who supply their services to clients via a limited company but would otherwise be considered employees.

Earlier this week, the first-tier Tribunal ruled in favour of Ms Adams’ company, Atholl House Productions. They upheld the appeal against a PAYE tax bill of about £81,000 and a further £43,000 in national insurance contributions for the presenter’s work with the BBC between March 2015 and March 2017.

Judge Tony Beare said that Ms Adams’ 20-year career as a freelancer and roles outside the BBC showed the broadcaster was in business on her own account.

He said: “Ms Adams was not entitled under each actual agreement to any holiday or sick pay, maternity leave or pension entitlement. These are also features which are inconsistent with a relationship of employer and employee.”

HMRC’s defeat is the latest setback for the tax authority following defeat in another high profile IR35 case against Lorraine Kelly.

It also highlighted the difficulties businesses are likely to face from April 2020 when they will be required to determine the IR35 status of contractors who use limited companies.

HMRC said it was disappointed the tribunal had decided the IR35 rules did not apply in Ms Adams’ case and it would carefully consider the outcome before deciding whether to appeal.

Making tax digital is live today, yet one million businesses are not registered

Making tax digital is live today, yet one million businesses are not registered

As of today, UK based businesses that have a taxable turnover above the VAT threshold of £85,000 will be required to switch to the new digital tax service to report earnings and calculate VAT owed.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) had previously claimed that 80 per cent of businesses required to join MTD were aware of the changes and had already started preparations for the Government’s new initiative to digitalise the tax returns process.

However, only four per cent (55,250) of UK businesses have registered for making tax digital (MTD), leaving more than one million to sign up.

Figures revealed that more than 3,000 businesses are registering to MTD every day; nevertheless this would mean that only 402,000 will have signed up by August 2019.

Even though MTD for VAT came into force today, most businesses won’t need to file a quarterly return until 1 July 2019 at the earliest.

HMRC has stated that they are starting with a one-year soft landing and there will be some leniencies on how you file your first returns.

Initially, businesses won’t need to have a digital link between how transactions are recorded and how you submit your VAT return. But they will need to use bridge software to submit their figures while continuing with their usual VAT system.

For further advice on making tax digital, get in touch today.

Record number of Self-Assessment tax returns filed by the deadline

Record number of Self-Assessment tax returns filed by the deadline

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has revealed that a total of 93.68 per cent of Self-Assessment tax returns were filed by the deadline.

This equated to a record number of 11.5 million taxpayers submitting their 2017/18 tax returns by 11:59 pm on 31 January.

Statistics indicated that the peak hour for filing was 4 pm to 5 pm on the 31 January, where over 60,000 tax returns were filed.

In addition, more than 10.1 million (93.5 per cent of total filed) taxpayers submitted their returns online.

Nevertheless, 700,000 taxpayers failed to submit their tax returns on deadline day.

Mel Stride, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, said: “It is great to see so many people completing their Self-Assessment by the deadline. Their income tax contributions have helped towards funding the UK’s vital public services including hospitals, schools and the emergency services.”

HMRC’s Director General for Customer Services, Angela MacDonald, said: “Thank you to everyone who filed on time. This year, we had a record number of filers completing their tax returns by the deadline.”

Any taxpayer who has missed the deadline and needs expert advice or support, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today.

Could corporation tax cuts lose the UK £6.2 billion a year?

Could corporation tax cuts lose the UK £6.2 billion a year?

Although the government has stated that cuts in corporation tax will ultimately increase revenue, HMRC has argued that it could actually cost the public around £6.2 billion a year.

In a policy proposed in 2015 by former Member of Parliament George Osbourne, taxes on company profits are set to fall by two per cent. Currently, corporation tax in the UK stands at 19 per cent – which is already one of the lowest globally. This has gradually fallen since 1979 when corporation tax stood at 52 per cent.

There have been steep cuts to budgets for councils and departments, a £20 billion NHS spending shortfall, and a freeze on benefits for the fourth year in a row which has led to high levels of poverty among workers. This perfect storm of issues has brought about this drastic proposed change.

The government argues that a decrease in corporation tax will make the UK a more attractive country for new companies to base themselves while also giving those pre-existing companies more money to invest in UK capital. There is currently no evidence of this being the case, however.

According to Ministers, corporation tax is funding public services better than it ever has done in the past, bringing in £56.2 billion last year – although cause and effect appears to have been implied rather than proven between the lowering of corporation tax and the rising of receipts.

Helen Miller, Deputy Director at the Institute for Fiscal Studies disagrees, stating: “Changes to corporate tax have represented some of the largest giveaways in both parliaments since 2010.”

HMRC wrongly issue fines before the self-assessment deadline

HMRC wrongly issue fines before the self-assessment deadline

It has been revealed that Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has wrongly issued millions of fines to taxpayers, just weeks before the self-assessment deadline on the 31st January.

Currently, 11.5 million workers are calculating their tax to ensure they submit the correct information to HMRC by the end of January.

However, during this month millions of taxpayers have been issued letters with penalty fines of £100, one penalty letter stated that “your tax return for the year ended 5 April 2018 was not sent in on time. Because of this, a penalty of £100 is payable.”

Experts have commented on the issue, saying that this is the last thing people need in January, especially when the deadline isn’t until another week or so.

Meanwhile, HMRC has denied that any notices have been sent out incorrectly.

An HMRC spokesperson said: “No penalty notices have been sent to customers doing their self-assessment online. Those who have sent their paper returns late have been issued penalties as the paper deadline has passed.”

Alongside this recent mistake, many people have experienced a number of technical issues on the site and using HMRC’s calculator. 

HMRC added: “We are aware of an issue with payment reminders for a small number of customers. Anyone who is affected should contact us and we’ll put it right. Nobody will be charged a penalty or additional interest due to this problem.”

If anyone has received these premature penalty notices then they should contact HMRC as soon as possible to rectify the matter.

For further advice or support, then please get in touch with us today.