With less than 100 days until the self assessment tax return deadline of 31 January 2019, HMRC is urging taxpayers to complete their tax returns early, in order to avoid the last minute rush.
The deadline for submitting 2017/18 self assessment tax returns online is 31 January 2019. An automatic penalty of £100 applies if the return is late.
HMRC advise that last year, more than 11 million taxpayers completed a 2016/17 Self Assessment tax return, with 10.7 million completing on time. There were 4,852,744 taxpayers who filed in January 2018 (44.8% of the total), and 758,707 on 31 January, the deadline day.
HMRC is advising taxpayers not to leave the completion of their 2017/18 Self Assessment tax until the last minute.
Angela MacDonald, HMRC’s Director General for Customer Services, said:
‘The deadline for completing Self Assessment tax returns may be 100 days away, yet many of us wait until January to start the process. Time flies once the festive period is underway, yet the ‘niggle’ to file your tax return remains.’
‘We want to help people get their tax returns right – starting the process early and giving yourself time to gather all the information you need will help avoid the last minute, stressful rush to complete it on time. Let’s beat that niggle.’
Contact us for help with your self assessment tax return.
Internet link: GOV.UK news
The government announced, as part of the Budget, that some changes are being made to the rules for Entrepreneurs’ Relief (ER) with immediate effect for disposals on or after 29 October 2018. Two new tests are to be added to the definition of a ‘personal company’, requiring the claimant to have a 5% interest in both the distributable profits and the net assets of the company. The new tests must be met, in addition to the existing tests, throughout the specified period in order for relief to be due. The existing tests already require a 5% interest in the ordinary share capital and 5% of voting rights.
Minimum qualifying period
The government will legislate in Finance Bill 2018-19 to increase the minimum period throughout which certain conditions must be met to qualify for ER, from one year to two years. The measure will have effect for disposals on or after 6 April 2019 except where a business ceased before 29 October 2018.
Where the claimant’s business ceased, or their personal company ceased to be a trading company (or the holding company of a trading group) before 29 October 2018, the existing one year qualifying period will continue to apply.
Dilution of holdings below 5%
Draft legislation has already been issued to provide a potential entitlement to ER where an individual’s holding in a company is reduced below the normal 5% qualifying level (meaning 5% of both ordinary share capital and voting power). The relief will only apply where the reduction below 5% occurs as a result of the company raising funds for commercial purposes by means of an issue of new shares, wholly for cash consideration.
Where a disposal of the shareholding prior to the issue would have resulted in a gain which would have qualified for ER, shareholders will be able to make an election treating them as if they had disposed of their shares and immediately reacquired them at market value just before dilution. To avoid an immediate CGT bill on this deemed disposal, a further election can be made to defer the gain until the shares are sold. ER can then be claimed on the deferred gain in the year the shares are sold under the rules in force at that time.
The new rules will apply for share issues which occur on or after 6 April 2019.
Please contact us if you would like further information on how this may affect you.
Internet link: GOV.UK ER
At the Budget, the Chancellor announced that increases to the personal allowance and basic rate band for 2019/20.
The personal allowance is currently £11,850. The personal allowance for 2019/20 will be £12,500. Also for 2019/20, the basic rate band will be increased to £37,500 so that the threshold at which the 40% band applies is £50,000 for those who are entitled to the full personal allowance. The additional rate of tax of 45% will remain payable on taxable income above £150,000.
The government had pledged to raise the thresholds to these levels by 2020/21.
Internet link: GOV.UK income tax
A number of changes to capital allowances were announced at the Budget, including an increase in the Annual Investment Allowance (AIA), for two years to £1 million, in relation to qualifying expenditure incurred from 1 January 2019. The AIA is currently £200,000 per annum. Complex calculations may apply to accounting periods which straddle 1 January 2019.
Other changes to the rules include:
- a reduction in the rate of writing down allowance on the special rate pool of plant and machinery, including long-life assets, thermal insulation, integral features and expenditure on cars with CO2 emissions of more than 110g/km, from 8% to 6% from April 2019. Complex calculations may apply to accounting periods which straddle this date
- clarification as to precisely which costs of altering land for the purposes of installing qualifying plant or machinery qualify for capital allowances, for claims on or after 29 October 2018
- the end of the 100% first year allowance and first year tax credits for products on the Energy Technology List and Water Technology List from April 2020
- an extension of the current 100% first year allowance for expenditure incurred on electric charge-point equipment until 2023.
In addition, a new capital allowances regime will be introduced for structures and buildings. It will be known as the Structures and Buildings Allowance and will apply to new non-residential structures and buildings. Relief will be provided on eligible construction costs incurred on or after 29 October 2018, at an annual rate of 2% on a straight-line basis.
Internet link: GOV.UK Budget 2018
The Chancellor Philip Hammond presented his second Autumn Budget on Monday 29 October 2018. In his speech he stated that ‘austerity is coming to an end – but discipline will remain‘. He also promised a ‘double deal dividend’ if the Brexit negotiations are successful but stated that there may be a full-scale Spring Budget in 2019 if not.
We will keep you informed of developments.
Internet link: GOV.UK Budget 2018