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Harries Watkins Jones are a Bridgend and Pontypridd (South Wales) based firm of Chartered Accountants, tax and business advisers. They pride themselves in providing high levels of service. With each and every new client, they never assume their requirements but seek to tailor their services to their individual needs.Their goal is to build a strong and sustainable working business relationship with each client and to offer them real solutions to their business problems.

To find out more please visit their website.

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Friday, 25 February 2011

Taxman to Hassle Tax Cheats

In addition to 50,000 letters being sent about keeping business records, the Taxman is writing to 12,000 self-employed people who claim Tax Credits, to check whether they have been under-stating their income.

As a self-employed person you can claim Child and Working Tax Credits just like an employee, but your self-employed income is likely to be more variable than a regular wage or salary. If the income from your self-employed business has fluctuated wildly during the past recession, you may well get one of those letters from the Taxman. You will be asked to supply evidence of your income, which will normally be your business accounts and possibly bank statements.

Monday, 7 February 2011

Clamp-down on Loan Schemes

There are a number of tax saving schemes marketed to freelancers and contractors, but these schemes can be sensitive to changes in the tax law. One such scheme that involves loans made though particular trusts (known as EBTs) has recently been taken off the market by various suppliers.

Under the EBT scheme the freelancer becomes an employee of the company in the scheme but receives only a small wage, which is subject to tax in the normal way. All his other income is provided as a loan through an EBT. The freelancer pays no tax or NI on the loan capital, but he is charged tax on the deemed interest on the loan, (i.e. on 4% of the value of the loan). The scheme assumes the loan will remain outstanding forever, so the capital value of the loan (which increases with each payment) is never taxed.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

How to Challenge a VAT penalty

If you receive a VAT penalty, perhaps because you have submitted your VAT return late, the Taxman should offer an independent review of the penalty.

You should certainly take up this offer of a review, as this may be the first time that a human (rather than a computer) has looked at the circumstances under which the penalty was imposed. You should reply in writing to the Taxman accepting (or in rare cases rejecting), the offer of the review within 30 days of the date of the penalty notice. Don't delay, as the penalty notice may have been sitting in the Taxman's post area for weeks before it reaches you.

More PAYE Reconciliations

In October and November last year the news was that the Taxman was issuing 6 million tax reconciliations (forms P800), for the tax years 2008/09 and 2009/10. This process is still not complete, but the Taxman has started to issue a further 450,000 forms P800 for the tax year 2007/08.

There are likely to be similar problems with inaccurate data for 2007/08 as have emerged for the later tax years, but you may not have the records to check against the Taxman's figures. If you do not run your own business you are only required to retain your tax records for 2007/08 until 31 January 2010. If you need some help checking a tax calculation for 2007/08, please contact us.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Changes to Tax Credits

The system of Child and Working Tax Credits is due to be reformed over the next few years, and it is expected a new benefit called Universal Credit will replace the familiar Tax Credits from April 2014.

Before then there will be some significant cuts in the benefits paid to many tax credit claimants, phased in over the next three years. The following summarises the rates and thresholds that will be cut or frozen in 2011/12 compared to 2010/11.

February's Questions & Answers

Q. My husband inherited a house in 1986 when it was worth £40,000. He gave me a half share in the property in 2009 when it was worth £450,000. We sold the property in December 2010 for £460,000, but we never lived there. How do I calculate my share of the profit?