Category Archives: Business Update

Business Update November 2019

Business Update November 2019


The latest edition of our Business Update is now available

In the face of Political Turmoil, the people do what they do best – they get on with it

It is a shame that our politicians seem incapable of doing just that.  We hope that the forthcoming General Election will bring back some certainty and stability to assist businesses and individuals to get back on track.  There is no better time to focus on change, real and potential, legislative and personal.

Latest Business Update

Self-employment in today’s environment

In our feature for this edition, we highlight some of the issues around changing your working life and becoming self-employed. The numbers of people characterised as self-employed rose from around 12% of the workforce in 2001 to just over 15% in 2017 according to the Office for National Statistics. While it’s difficult to measure accurately, particularly with the increase in gig-economy roles, there is still an attraction to the idea of being your own boss and calling your own shots. But there are pitfalls and organisational issues which can make the difference between success and failure.

IR35 and Off-Payroll

For those already on that path as freelancers or contractors, another potentially major change is on the offing with the planned roll out of the off-payroll (IR35) rules to the private sector from April 2020. This will mean that end users hiring those working through personal service companies will become responsible for determining their employment status and potentially paying the relevant taxes. With some major companies already reviewing their use of such workers, some may find their employment status questioned or revised in the new tax year.

Company Cars

Change is also in the air for company car users as a substantial overhaul of the company car tax regime comes into play next April. The new WLTP emissions standards mean revised benefits in kind tables. Figures from 2016/17 showed a huge 79% of company cars were diesel, despite the diesel supplement, so the new tax rates are set to encourage greater take up of electric vehicles.


Amid the upheaval, you have to keep your eye on business as usual, so we also look at the knotty issue of getting it right on VAT to avoid penalties, or worse, tribunal cases. And if you’re a small employer, you will soon need to comply with pension re-enrolment rules.

As usual in life, there’s a balance to strike between continuity and change. We appear to be tipped further into the change side of the equation for now. Our next newsletter is due out in January and by then, the landscape may have changed again.

If you have any queries regarding an article covered in our latest Business Update contact Paul

The latest Business Update can be found here: –

Business Update November 2019

Southward or your usual KSK contact.


Business Update August 2019

Business Update August 2019


The latest edition of our Business Update series is now available

Whilst our politicians revel in their own inabilities to govern, just like father time tax changes march on.


Our latest July/August newsletter address several work-related issues. In our feature story, we highlight recent changes in employment law including the right of all workers to detailed payslips recording their hours worked, helping to enforce compliance on weekly and nightly working limits. The status of EU nationals, consultation on the role of non-disclosure agreements in the workplace and pay and gender gap reporting are also under the spotlight.


The IR35 rules have also come under scrutiny as some major tribunal cases have found against HMRC and in favour of contractors. Although the examples we’ve seen are for TV presenters, the principles in each case set a precedent for workers in other industries. With IR35 still pegged to roll out to the private sector next year, there are still serious questions about the accuracy of HMRC’s tools and processes.


There are important changes for individuals who supply their services through a personal service company and the contractors who engage them.  Read our article outlining the changes and making recommendations in preparation for them.  Download here: –

Off-Payroll Workers


Meanwhile Making Tax Digital for VAT has taken off, but not without a few complications. Some software packages may not deliver all you require for your digital reporting so make sure your IT system has the functionality you need.


  • Could you be using simplified expenses? – Sole traders and partnerships can opt to use the simplified expenses rules. Find out if it could work for your business.
  • A question of property – Cuts to the tax relief rules for principal private residence and letting relief are coming in from next April in the latest round of changes to hit landlords.

Download a copy of our latest Business Update here:-

Business Update – Autumn 2019

If you have any queries arising ion connection with any of the issues covered, contact Paul Southward or your usual KSK contact.

Paul Southward

Business Update – Summer 2019

Business Update – Summer 2019



What with the Brexit fiasco continuing to drag on it is quite understandable that some people may be thinking that we are all caught up in some interminable Groundhog Day.

In our latest edition of Business Update we remind you that unlike Bill Murray’s character stuck in a Punxsutawney time-loop, there are plenty of tax issues and changes happening to keep individuals and businesses on their toes.

So just as Bill Murray’s character, Phil Connors eventually learned to turn his predicament to his advantage, we provide information and tips to help you keep moving forward.


Our lead article highlights some of the tax gains and losses that arise from the tax changes introduced from April 2019.

For summaries of the main changes made from April 2019, you may wish to consult our earlier articles published here:-

Personal tax changes

Personal tax changes 2019/20

Business tax changes

Business Tax Changes 2019-20


This article reminds parents with higher income of the potential tax charges, and also highlights how you may be able to protect your rights to State Pension.


A reminder about the changes to employer and employee pension contributions under auto-enrolment.


The feature story in our newsletter looks at ways in which employers may be able to help improve employees work-life balance.

“Flexing your business” considers how the concept of flexible working is now extending to other benefits for employees – from flexible payment structures, the opportunity to trade holidays for increased salary (or vice versa) or control over their working hours which could be over a monthly or even annual cycle.

The ‘one size fits all’ solution is no longer the only approach.

If you think your business would benefit from a flexible benefits policy, you should contact Paul Southward or your usual KSK contact.


In this article we remind you of the changes to capital gains tax for non-UK resident landowners.  You can also read more on this in our tax alert issued on Friday 5th April 2019 – here

Tax Alert Friday 5th April 2019


A reminder that businesses (and landlords) with an annual turnover greater than £85k need to consider registering for MTD for VAT.


Cases of fraud remain high, so we suggest ways to make sure your business isn’t leaving windows open to allow staff or associates to steal.


Here: KSK Business Update – Summer 2019

As usual, contact Paul Southward for more information.

Paul Southward

Business Update Winter 2018

Business Update Winter 2018


The latest edition of our Business Update series is now available

Unsettled weather ahead!

The weather this year continues on its topsy-turvy course very much like the current economic climate with all the political shenanigans and continued uncertainty over Brexit.

Making Tax Digital

Given the wide-ranging potential consequences of the negotiations with the EU, it is perhaps understandable that HMRC has just announced a new delay in the timetable for Making Tax Digital (MTD).

New horizons

As announced on 16 October 2018, the filing deadline for MTD for VAT has been moved to October 2019 for certain specialist and complex businesses. The April 2019 deadline is still in place for some VAT-registered businesses to submit their first reports using the digital system. At the same time, HMRC opened up the VAT pilot scheme for most businesses.

Unsettled front ahead!

With the Brexit deadline set for 29 March – and the possibility of a no deal departure still in the mix – this could mean that businesses are making their first filings at the same time as the VAT rules affecting customers and suppliers change. With such a potent mix of change, it is perhaps understandable that HMRC are taking some more time to prepare for the more difficult cases.

Business Update Highlights

The feature story in the new Winter 2018 edition of our newsletter, Making Tax Digital starts to take shape, looks at the new system, which will apply to all businesses whether they face the April or October deadlines. The sensible thing is to prepare your systems now. Being ready for MTD for VAT will leave you free to deal with whatever next year brings, when it brings it.

Other articles:

Other stories we cover include:

  • Closing loopholes around write-offs of director loans – If you are writing off a director’s loan, make sure you don’t incur unnecessary tax.
  • Intestacy and business continuity – We all know it is very important to make a will, but do you know what will happen to your business if you don’t?
  • Government cracks down on phoenixing – After some high-profile collapses, directors will have new responsibilities to failing companies.
  • Transforming remuneration in disguise – HMRC is bringing new controls to crack down on disguised remuneration schemes.


You can download the latest edition of Business Update here:-

Business Update Winter 2018

We will bring you another update in a few months. Please do get in touch with Paul Southward or your usual KSK contact if you think you may be affected by any of the topics raised.

Paul Southward

Business Update August 2018

Business Update August 2018


The latest edition of our Business Update series is now available

Just as the unusually balmy weather appears to be breaking storms are also brewing up on the political front that could set the scene for higher taxes. With consultations underway on inheritance tax and savings and investment income, we have some indication of what could be reviewed in the Budget later in the year. But in the meantime, smaller changes are affecting the here and now.

Ahead of a review of the IR35 regime intended to improve compliance with the off-payroll working rules, key tribunal cases are providing insight in to how the complex system should be applied. Alongside this, Universal Credit is causing issues for some self-employed workers. Meanwhile, new rules will bring more property sales into the capital gains tax system. With the government needing to raise more income for the Treasury, these may be the first of many changes.

In the new Autumn edition of our client newsletter, we explore defining your employment status for IR35. Reform is potentially coming to the private sector and off-payroll working rules. Alongside the government’s consultation, high-profile tax tribunal cases are offering insights into how the rules, including around mutuality of obligations, should be applied.

Other stories we cover include:

  • Don’t end up in hot water over VAT We look at the complicated issue of VAT, its very specific applications and the large penalties for getting it wrong.
  • Using Enterprise Management Incentives to retain talent Share option schemes can provide employers with a tax-efficient way to recruit and hold on to talent.
  • Fluctuating incomes impact on Universal Credit Self-employed workers with irregular income will potentially face reduced payments under Universal Credit rules.
  • The increasing burden of property ownership Forthcoming changes will make selling property more complicated for individuals and companies.

You can download the latest edition of Business Update here:-

We will bring you another update in a few months. Please do get in touch with Paul Southward or your usual KSK contact if you think you may be affected by any of the topics raised.

Paul Southward

News Roundup Thursday 28th June 2018

News Roundup Thursday 28th June 2018



Nine in 10 lawyers don’t understand stamp duty

The Telegraph’s Sam Meadows reports that home buyers are routinely paying too much stamp duty because their solicitors fail to understand complex rules. Research by Nimesh Shah, a partner at Blick Rothenberg, found that as many as nine in 10 solicitors were incorrect in the advice they gave. Paul Falvey of BDO, said many “high street” conveyancers limited their research to simply completing the HMRC online calculator. Marc Selby, of law firm Laytons, who is also a member of the CIoT, said large firms were making errors too. He had recently won a client a refund of around £70,000 after the original solicitor failed to realise they were entitled to “multiple dwelling relief”.

The Daily Telegraph, Money, Page: 1, 2

US tax ruling hits online stores

Online retailers such as Asos and Boohoo have been hit by the decision from the US Supreme Court to allow individual states to collect more sales tax from ecommerce firms. Web firms were on Thursday put on the same footing as their bricks-and-mortar rivals, meaning they will have to charge consumers the rate of sales tax which applies in the state where they buy the product.

Daily Mail, Page: 106 The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 36 Daily Express, Page: 62 The Times, Page: 51

How to cut tax on your dividends

The Times’ Mark Atherton provides readers with advice on how they can reduce taxes on their dividends, after the Government slashed the annual dividend allowance from £5,000 to £2,000. Tips include: using your Isa allowance; using your spouse’s allowances; using the pension allowance and allocating some of the personal income allowance to dividends in your tax return.

The Times, Page: 58

Taxman probes transfer deals at Premier League clubs

HMRC is coming down hard on Premier League football clubs, the Mirror says, with the taxman probing big-money players transfers across the League, with one club facing investigations into three deals.

Daily Mirror, Page: 66


Creditors approve HoF CVA plan

Creditors have backed department store chain House of Fraser’s plans to close more than half its stores and also impose huge rent cuts on 10 others that it intends to keep. Up to 6,000 jobs are set to go as a result of the closures. High Street landlords were unhappy with the plan as they will have to shoulder the burden of financial losses. Mark Fry of Begbies Traynor and Charlotte Coates of JLL, who had been advising a group of the affected landlords, said: “It is disappointing that the CVA has been agreed without proper engagement”.

The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 37 Daily Mail The Independent Financial Times, Page: 17 Daily Express, Page: 62 The Times, Page: 51


Buy-to-let landlords cool on property purchases

Research by Residential Analysts shows a dip in sales of homes typically favoured by landlords, with a 10% year-on-year fall in the number of flats purchased in England and Wales in the year to December 2017.

Financial Times, Page: 3


Late payment crackdown

The Sun reports that Cabinet Office Minister Oliver Dowden has promised to consider a raft of measures to halt the late payment culture that is so damaging to small businesses, including splitting up huge contracts and stopping late payers getting work.

The Sun, Page: 2


Britain more exposed to China than thought

Britain’s financial links to Hong Kong make the UK economy more exposed to a downturn in China, Bank of England analysis has asserted. The ties to Hong Kong and Britain’s links with the eurozone, which does more trade with China, means the risk a Chinese recession poses to the UK is around 50% bigger than previously thought.

The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 37 Financial Times, Page: 2 The Guardian, Page: 40 The Times, Page: 47

Contact Paul Southward if you have any queries.

Paul Southward

KSK Business Update April 2018

KSK Business Update April 2018


KSK Business Update April 2018

KSK are pleased to bring you the latest edition of our Business Update publications.

We have entered the 2018/19 tax year with, for the first time in years, no new tax changes. This new, and much more relaxed, state of affairs was introduced by the Chancellor, who used his Spring Statement to review forecasts and announce consultations.

With the clock ticking on Brexit negotiations, and two full Budgets delivered in 2017, it’s easy to see why Mr Hammond decided to focus on future changes rather than continue to make changes. With this spirit in mind, we are taking the opportunity to look ahead to key events such as the impact of Brexit on businesses and what rising pension contributions mean for you.

Finally, furthest ahead of all, our feature this edition is Don’t put off your inheritance tax planning. Sir Ken Dodd delivered one final punchline to HMRC when he married his long-term partner just before he died. The inspiration to take is that that Sir Dodd had made clearly proper plans to leave the best for his family.

Other topics we’re covering include:

  • Pension contributions offset tax gains Despite tax changes for 2018/19 reducing the amount paid n tax, the increases to auto-enrolment pension contributions will wipe out the gains.
  • Is import VAT coming after Brexit? With less than a year to go before the UK leaves the EU, what will happen to businesses importing goods from the EU?
  • Good news and bad news for the EIS and VCTs New risk-to-capital rules are changing the way investments in venture capital work.Closing the gap on equal pay With organisations now required to publish their gender pay gap data, how can employers improve the situation?


We will bring you another update in a few months.  Meanwhile take in the full Business Update publication here:-

Business Update Summer 2018

If you have any queries about your tax or business, contact Paul Southward or your usual KSK contact.

Paul Southward

Business Update – Spring 2018

Business Update – Spring 2018

Just as we near the final deadline for filing 2016/17 tax returns our thoughts turn to year ahead and the developments that are likely to affect individuals and businesses. With these thought in mind we have prepared our latest Business Update publication highlighting some of these developments.

Some of the changes were announced in the November Budget where we saw “spreadsheet” Phil take a more cautious approach after the spin and backtracking that marred his Spring Budget.

Amongst the high-profile announcements were the abolition of stamp-duty for first time buyers, coupled with more investment in construction for the housing market, a cash injection of £2 billion for the NHS, a promise to look at how taxation can reduce plastic waste and an extension of the Young Person’s Railcard up to age 30.

But as well as these friendly soundbites, there were significant changes announced in specific areas. The feature story in our Spring newsletter, Company car costs to increase with new emissions charges, looks into the details of the increases to emissions charges over the coming years. With benefit-in-kind taxes paid on 960,000 company cars in 2015/16, lots of companies will be affected. The changes also show the government’s efforts to encourage companies to reduce their carbon footprint, but could lead to significantly increased costs for employers. If you’re looking to replace a company car over the coming years, or a car fleet, there may be some surprises in store.

Other topics we’re covering include:


  • Indexation changes hit corporate capital gains The Budget introduced a freeze on indexation relief which affects corporate capital gains from January 2018, which means larger tax bills for incorporated landlords looking to sell property.


  • Making bullying and harassment a thing of the past After countless very high-profile allegations it is clear this issue needs to be properly addressed, so have you got robust policies and procedures in place?


  • VAT registration thresholds frozen from April 2018 Ahead of a major consultation on the VAT rules, the government is freezing registration thresholds for two years.


  • More holiday rights for self-employed workers More developments from the ‘gig economy’ are seeing rights to paid annual leave guaranteed for all workers.


  • We will bring you another update after the Chancellor’s Spring Statement. Please do get in touch if you think you may be affected by any of the topics raised here.

You can access the Business Update Spring 2018 here:-

Business Update

If you have any queries relating to your business or personal tax affairs please do not hesitate to contact Paul Southward or your usual KSK contact.

Paul Southward

Business Update – Winter 2017

Business Update – Winter 2017

Our Winter Business Update

Trick or Treat?

Arrives just as the days are drawing in and the first chills of Northern winds sweep across the lands.

This could be a somewhat fitting backdrop for the Chancellor’s Budget due to be delivered on 22nd November 2017.

Having ridden the weakening storms brought about by a series of hurricanes that wreaked havoc across the Caribbean and southern US, we now have to contend with a Budget delivered in the maelstrom of political and economic climate shaped by Brexit negotiations and political weeping and wailing.

As rumours swirl around whether Mr Hammond’s Budget speech will include measures to help young people in the housing market, our feature this edition is Are you getting it right on rent?. Up to 2 million people act as landlords, renting out property in a variety of situations. Not all of them realise the tax responsibilities that come with that position, however, and HMRC has been looking into some common errors and misunderstandings

Check out our Winter Business Update here:-

Business Update – Winter 2017 download

Business Update – Winter 2017

Our other stories include:

  • Keeping up with employment changes The September Finance Bill includes new rules around termination payments, plus backdated confirmation of the cut to the money purchase annual allowance.
  • Wherever you lay your hat? New domicile changes Some non-doms may be classed as deemed domiciled across all taxes without realising their status had been changed from April 2017 in legislation contained in the second, September Finance Bill
  • Planning for the dividend allowance cut Also reappearing in the second Finance Bill is the cut to the dividend allowance from £5,000 to £2,000 scheduled for April 2018. Director/shareholders are likely to be affected
  • Making Tax Digital moves again The government appears to have listened to concerns around the implementation of Making Tax Digital and extended the timetable.

We will cover the outcome from the Autumn Budget in our next, Spring, edition. Meanwhile, if you’re affected by any of the issues we explore here, do get in touch with me.

Paul Southward

Business Update Autumn 2016

Business Update Autumn 2016

This year has been extremely significant with the surprise referendum result to leave the European Union on 23 June. The country has entered a period of uncertainty in terms of the economy so keeping up with the latest news is vital. In the autumn edition of our newsletter, we explore the most important news in the world of taxation and business and we hope you enjoy reading it.

We cover one important area in our feature this edition on changes to entrepreneurs’ relief. Entrepreneurs’ relief is important for all business owners but there have been changes that could affect directors so it’s key that you know what they are.

Our other stories include:

Tax on investments: new opportunities –

Valuable opportunities have opened up recently to save tax on investments.

Loans rates rise for close companies –

The rate of ‘temporary’ tax charged on loans to participators in close companies has been increased from 25% to 32.5%, with the increased rate applying to loans made on or after 6 April 2016.

Implications of Brexit for tax and business – The vote to leave the European Union has triggered a period of uncertainty for the UK economy. The UK’s future relationship with the EU will not be clear for some time.

As usual, there is plenty of information in the newsletter to absorb, so let us know if you’d like more information on any of these topics – we’d love to hear from you.

The link to our latest edition of Business Update can be found here.

Record increase in Inheritance Tax takings by the taxman hits Middle England

Inheritance tax receipts have soared to a whopping £4.7bn but as can be seen from the Dukes of Westminster you can have a billion pound estate and still be able to avoid the taxman’s clutches.

See how you can start planning to avoid inheritance taxes by checking out these articles:-

IHT Planning:-

Estate Planning Guide:-

Contact Paul Southward or your usual KSK contact for more information.

Paul Southward