100% First Year Allowances on Low Emission Cars Extended

Up until 31 March 2015 it was possible for businesses to claim up to 100% of the cost of cars purchased for use in the business if they had CO2 emissions of 95g/km or less.

This is known as first year allowances (FYA) and HMRC have extended the deadline for claiming FYA on low emission cars, from 31 March 2015 to 31 March 2018. However, the regulations have also lowered the permitted limit of CO2 emissions for qualifying cars, so from 1 April 2015 cars must have CO2 emissions of 75g/km or less in order to qualify for FYA.

Another advantage of cars with low CO2 emissions is a lower benefit in kind charge, as an employee’s company car benefit is based on list price and CO2 emissions.

It just goes to show – the future isn’t orange, it’s green!

For more information please contact Green & Co.

Please note: This article is a commentary on general principles and should not be interpreted as advice for your specific situation.

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Summer Newsletter 2015

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Our Summer 2015 Newsletter is now available:

Green & Co – Summer 2015 Newsletter

This edition focuses on:

  • 2015 Budget Round-up
  • The Taxing Side of Property
  • New UK GAAP – how it affects your accounts?
  • Tax Round-up
  • Reminders for your Summer Diary
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Road Fuel Scale Charges From 1st May

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The VAT Road Fuel Scale Charges have been amended with effect from 1stMay 2015. The new rates can be found here.

If a business is VAT registered and purchases road fuel for business use, but there is also private use of a vehicle, then an adjustment needs to be made to ensure that VAT is not reclaimed on the private element of the fuel consumed. To simplify this process, a business may use Scale Charges to add back a fixed sum to account for this private use. This can be done monthly, quarterly or yearly.

As is the same with car benefit, CO2 banding of the vehicle is used to dictate the amount of the Scale Charge to be applied.

However, for some businesses, claiming input VAT on fuel and then having to apply the Scale Charges may not be financially beneficial.

To see whether this would be applicable for you, contact us at Green & Co.

Please note: This article is a commentary on general principles and should not be interpreted as advice for your specific situation.

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Tax Credit Changes For New Claimants

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HM Revenue & Customs have announced changes to working tax credits for new claimants who are self-employed, with effect from 6 April 2015.

If you are self-employed and claiming tax credits for the first time, you will now have to meet a qualifying remunerative work test.  The test will need to show that you are trading commercially and that your business is carried on with a view to achieving profits. This relates to working tax credit only and will not affect any claim for child tax credit.

The test will be based on working hours and the national minimum wage. HMRC are likely to request receipts for expenses and records of sales and purchases. They may also ask for supporting documents such as a business plan, planned work, cash flow and profit projections.

For more information contact Green & Co.

Please note: This article is a commentary on general principles and should not be interpreted as advice for your specific situation.

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Online Map Pinpoints Tax Cheats

An online map pinpointing tax cheats around the country, together with their crimes and sentences, was launched earlier this year by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). The map allows people to see the impact of HMRC’s enforcement work.

It shows convictions resulting in jail sentences since April 2013, and the locations of HMRC taskforces since they were introduced in 2011. It is planned to be expanded to include non-custodial sentences since April 2013.

The interactive site also features the results of HMRC taskforces targeting specific trades and professions, as well as details of people caught and jailed as a result of investigations by HMRC’s Criminal Investigation teams.

The Financial Secretary to the Treasury, David Gauke, said “HMRC’s investigators are catching tax cheats in every corner of the country and we want people to be able to see the outcome of this enforcement action.” He called it “yet another example of how the government is making HMRC’s work more transparent.”

HMRC’s Chief Executive, Lin Homer, said “This map shows the scale of our criminal investigation operations, so tax cheats should be seriously worried that HMRC is coming for them next.”

The site is being launched as a pilot. This will allow HMRC to add further information and seek customer feedback. It can be found at: http://hmrcdigitalpilots.com.

Please note: This article is a commentary on general principles and should not be interpreted as advice for your specific situation.

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Free Auto Enrolment Seminar

All UK employers must enrol their workforce in a workplace pension scheme by their ‘staging date’. It is important that you start to prepare now for Auto Enrolment so that you can control costs and minimise disruption to your business.

We would  like to invite you to a free Auto Enrolment Seminar to be held on Wednesday 10th June 2015 from 9-11am at Greenmeadow Golf and Country Club

www.greenandco.com

 

The seminar will cover:

  • What is Auto Enrolment and why is it being introduced?
  • When will Auto Enrolment be introduced and who will it affect?
  • How does it differ from current processes?
  • The 7 steps of Auto Enrolment including what you need to do now.

If you would like to book a place on this free seminar, please contact the office on 01633 871122 or email sally@greenandco.com.

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New Pension Rules – The Downside

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New pension rules came into effect on 6 April 2015 which have brought many welcome changes. But what about the changes which are not so good? Careful consideration needs to be made with regard to how the changes may affect you.

The most significant change is probably the removal of pension funds from Inheritance Tax. This, together with the ease with which tax relief can be lost, means that individuals will need to seek financial advice.

So what are the pitfalls?

Certain events, including a payment from a flexi access draw-down, will trigger the “money purchase annual allowance rules”. Triggering these rules will reduce the annual allowance on which pension tax relief can be claimed from £40,000 to £10,000 and will also result in the loss of any unused relief from earlier years. Clearly, if you intend to make pension contributions in excess of £10,000 in future years, you will need to take financial advice before making any alterations to your existing pension provisions.

From the age of 55, you used to be able to take 25% of your fund tax-free but under the new rules you are able to draw the whole of the remaining fund in one lump. This will be taxed as income and could push you into the higher rate tax bracket or even worse push your income to such a level that the personal allowance is no longer due. Careful consideration needs to be given to when and how much income is withdrawn at any one time in order to minimise the amount of tax due.

If you spend all your pension savings in the early years, you could run out of money long before you anticipated. This could also be the case if the fund does not perform as well as expected. Again financial advice needs to be taken before any decisions are made.

Please contact Green & Co for further information.

Please note: This article is a commentary on general principles and should not be interpreted as advice for your specific situation.

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