Category Archives: Taxation






Do you have any queries regarding your tax affairs?

In these unprecedented times there are many who may have queries of how their tax affairs may be impacted.  We can answer all of your queries whether they concern the special Covid-19 support measures, or any other matter.

Don’t forget, the end of the tax year is approaching – time for some year-end planning  

Check out our guide to some of the year-end planning tips here: –

2019 – 2020 Year-end tax planning

Contact Paul Southward:



Shake-up of insolvency laws imminent

The government is expected to issue revised insolvency rules this weekend to prevent a slew of company collapses as the coronavirus crisis tears the economy apart. Sources said UK laws could be brought in line with US chapter 11 bankruptcy rules, which enable firms time to pay off their debts over time while remaining in business. Alok Sharma, the business secretary, is expected to amend “wrongful trading” rules, which make it a criminal offence for a company director to keep on trading if they know the business is unable to repay its debts. Roger Barker, head of corporate governance at the Institute of Directors, which has been pushing for changes, said: “A lot of companies will want to carry on and to maintain employment, take out emergency loans with government backing. But if at some future point they could be held personally liable for not putting their firms into insolvency, that may cause them not to carry on. At the current time of emergency we need as many companies as possible to keep going, providing employment and providing goods and services to keep the economy going.”

The Guardian, Page: 7

New guidance for AGMs released

The Financial Reporting Council, the Chartered Governance Institute and a raft of City law firms have published guidance for company annual meetings amidst the coronavirus crisis. Meetings can still go ahead even while the ban on gatherings applies. AGMs can be held with a bare quorum and attendees can travel to the venue because it is “essential” for work, the advice states.

The I, Page: 72


UK to change insolvency rules to protect businesses

The UK government has confirmed that it is to change insolvency rules so businesses unable to meet debts due to the impact of coronavirus are not forced to file for bankruptcy. Business Secretary Alok Sharma said the suspension of the rules would allow companies to “emerge intact the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic”. Mr Sharma added that the wrongful trading law would also be temporarily lifted so company directors would not be personally liable for their decisions during the pandemic. Although business groups welcomed the move, R3, the trade association for the UK’s insolvency industry, believes the rule change could be open to abuse. Mr Sharma also announced that red tape would be removed to allow new producers of hand sanitiser to bring products to market “in a matter of days”.

Financial Times BBC News The Sunday Times The Sunday Telegraph, Page: 3 Sunday Express, Page: 6



Two million self ? employed could be excluded from coronavirus bailout

Tory MP David Davis has criticised the Chancellor’s decision to tie future tax hikes with the bailout for the self-employed saying it was wrong to treat the £3bn package to protect them during the Covid-19 pandemic as a “trade-off” for higher taxes. Mr Davis welcomed the Chancellor’s relief for self-employed workers, but added: “Subsidising all parts of the economy while expecting increased repayment from a single sector is not fair.” Rishi Sunak said on Thursday that self-employed workers would be able to claim a government grant of 80% of their profits up to a maximum of £2,500 a month to cope with the effect of the virus on their livelihoods. The scheme will be open to those with trading profits of up to £50,000 a year and those who earn the “majority” of their income from self-employment. However, as many as 2m people registered as self-employed could miss out on the scheme, including those who became self-employed after the start of the tax year on April 5, those who made too little money to pay tax, and about one million contractors who work through limited companies. Accountants at Blick Rothenberg point out that a single mother earning £51,000 will re ceive nothing, while a couple with two earners on £49,000 each will be eligible to two lots of support.

Daily Mail, Page: 16 The Times, Page: 2 The Daily Telegraph, Page: 34 Financial Times, Money, Page: 6 The Times, Page: 59

Key workers allowed to carry over holiday

NHS workers, supermarket staff, police and delivery drivers and other key workers who are unable to take their annual holiday entitlement because of the coronavirus crisis will be able to carry it over into the next two years. Business Secretary Alok Sharma said rules will be relaxed to help key industries remain well-staffed as the UK battles the outbreak. The changes will amend the Working Time Regulations, which apply to almost all workers including agency workers, those who work irregular hours and workers on zero-hours contracts.

BBC News The Daily Telegraph The Times, Page: 2


Unemployment in Britain set to double

The coronavirus pandemic could lead to a doubling of unemployment at least, economists have warned, with the rise in joblessness in the second quarter expected to be even sharper than during the financial crisis in 2008. Investment bank Nomura forecasts a rise to 8.5% in Q3, equivalent to an additional 1.4m people unemployed and a total jobless level of 2.75m.

The Sunday Times, Business, Page: 1



CBI Scotland in rates call

CBI Scotland has urged the Scottish Government to make more firms exempt from business rates to help combat the economic shock caused by the coronavirus outbreak. It follows a report from the CEBR which warned the economic impact of the pandemic would be worse in Scotland than the rest of the UK. It shows that Scotland’s GDP could drop -17% in the next quarter, and decline by between 5% and 6% this year.

The Sunday Times



Virgin Atlantic set to ask for state aid

Virgin Atlantic is expected to ask for a government bailout worth hundreds of millions of pounds in the coming days, with other airlines also expected to request state aid. The Transport Secretary told MPs he can’t rule out the state taking an ownership stake in UK airlines, but that current shareholders “must be part of the solution”. Elsewhere, aviation services company John Menzies has reduced its workforce by 17,500 worldwide and said it could no longer give financial guidance for this year. The company is attempting to secure emergency government funding to deal with the impact of Covid-19.

Financial Times, Page: 18 BBC News The Times, Page: 52

BrightHouse close to collapse

Rent-to-own retailer BrightHouse is on the verge of collapsing, putting 2,400 jobs at risk. BrightHouse is to appoint Grant Thornton as administrator within days after facing a dramatic surge of compensation claims for selling to people who could not repay. Stricter lending rules had put the business under strain long before shops were closed owing to coronavirus.

BBC News Sky News The Times, Page: 54 The I, Page: 72

Carluccio’s considering insolvency options as coronavirus bites

Italian casual dining chain Carluccio’s has appointed FRP Advisory to look at insolvency options after it was forced to close its restaurants as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Carluccio’s has more than 70 restaurants across the UK but closed around 35 sites last year as part of a CVA.

Financial Times, Page: 18 The Daily Telegraph, Page: 35 The Times, Page: 52 The Guardian, Page: 45 Daily Mail, Page: 17

US investor eyes Laura Ashley

US retail company Authentic Brands has made an offer to buy the Laura Ashley brand out of administration, according to reports. The British retailer hired PwC to find a buyer after collapsing last week, putting 2,700 jobs at risk.

The I, Page: 72


Casual dining sector in freefall

The Restaurant Group, which owns Wagamama, Frankie & Benny’s and Garfunkel’s, has been forced to shelve a £500m debt restructuring as credit markets dry up. The Group appointed RSM last week as administrators to pub business Food & Fuel and is now exploring other options to raise money. Casual Dining Group, which owns high street chains such as Bella Italia and Café Rouge, is also seen by analysts as being vulnerable. Fears for the sector are growing as more companies fold. Chiquito’s and Carluccio’s have both lined up administrators.

The Sunday Telegraph, Business, Page: 1 The Mail on Sunday, Page: 95

Arcadia to suspend pension payments

Arcadia Group, the empire run by retail mogul Sir Phillip Green, is to suspend pension scheme payments. The move has the agreement of trustees and has been done in an effort to preserve cash in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Sunday Telegraph, Business, Page: 1

Talks over nationalising Flybe

Flybe administrator EY is in talks with the government about nationalising the regional airline, which collapsed on March 5th after failing to secure a state bail-out.

The Sunday Telegraph, Business, Page: 1



Treasury to cover employer pension payments for furloughed staff

The government is to cover the employer national insurance and minimum auto-enrolment pension scheme contributions on the wages they pay staff furloughed due to the coronavirus outbreak. The Treasury says the extra cover could save firms £300 a month per employee.

BBC News


Pensions schemes face depleted assets, higher liabilities, and less cash

Pensions experts are warning that companies funding defined benefit schemes in the UK have faced a “triple whammy” of cuts to asset values while liabilities increase due to interest rate cuts and quantitative easing, all while businesses run out of cash for day-to-day running let alone pension contributions. Sources tell the Sunday Telegraph that for most pension funds the combination of falling assets and rising liabilities means they are 10% to 15% further from being fully funded than at the turn of the year. At the end of last week, the Pensions Regulator said trustees can grant contribution holidays for up to three months while companies seek longer-term solutions and promised further updates to help companies battling to stay afloat.

The Sunday Telegraph

Experts call for ban on final salary pension transfers

Baroness Altmann, the former pensions minister, has called for a temporary ban on transfers out of final salary or “defined benefit” pension schemes, warning that any valuations would be “unreliable”. She said: “In the current market turmoil, it is impossible for trustees of pension schemes to be sure of the underlying value of a pension.” However, James Baxter of Tideway Investment Group said a ban on transfers would be an “overreaction” and “ill-informed”. It is in the best interest of some people to transfer and invest in a market where stocks are cheap, he said.

The Sunday Telegraph



Complaints persist of unhelpful banks

Some companies have just six or eight weeks of cash reserves left, warns Caroline Stockman, the chief executive of the Association of Corporate Treasurers, as banks continue to face criticism over their provision of emergency state-backed loans. Mike Cherry, the chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “It feels like the information has been handed over to those at the top and is yet to filter down to relationship managers.” Meanwhile, Royal Bank of Scotland and NatWest’s efforts have both been thwarted by India’s lockdown with teams there told to stay at home. The Sunday Telegraph’s Lucy Burton talks to businesses that have had swift service from banks, and those who have been told that the schemes do not even exist.

The Sunday Telegraph, Business, Page: 1 The Sunday Telegraph, Business, Page: 5

Funding collapses for start-ups

The Enterprise Investment Scheme Association has revealed that overall funding for start-ups through the tax-efficient enterprise investment scheme (EIS) has fallen by 70% since the coronavirus lockdown has been in place. “Start-ups are in freefall as there is no debt or equity support,” said Jasper Smith of Vala Capital, an EIS investor. “If we want the foundation for a recovery to be there after the virus, action has to be taken now.”

The Sunday Times, Business, Page: 1

Insurers to discuss pandemic cover

The Association of British Insurers is set to hold talks with the government about the creation of a state-backed insurance scheme for small businesses to protect them should another catastrophic pandemic occur.

The Mail on Sunday, Page: 95



Virus fears lead to £4bn of dividends being scrapped or deferred

Analysis by online investing platform AJ Bell shows £4.2bn of dividends have been axed or deferred so far this month as hundreds of companies across the economy show prudence in the face of the massive and unpredictable disruption caused by the coronavirus.

Daily Mail, Page: 92

Stocks fall following three-day rally

Major indices in Europe and the United States fell on Friday following a three-day rally. The FTSE 100 in London closed the day 5.3% lower at 5,510 while the CAC in France lost 4.2% and the German DAX was 3.7% off. The Dow was down 4.06% while the S&P 500 shed 3.37% and the Nasdaq finished 3.79% lower.

Sky News CNBC Yahoo! Finance



Insolvency specialist accused

R3 president Duncan Swift is a defendant in a court case where he is alleged to have taken a £30k bung to rig a property sale in favour of Geoffrey Guy, the millionaire founder of GW Pharmaceuticals. Swift is an insolvency specialist and a partner at Moore UK. A spokesman for the accountancy firm said the accusers had an obvious financial interest in making claims about Mr Swift and had done so only after he gave evidence linking them to an unlawful £2m gift.

The Sunday Telegraph, Business, Page: 1

Contact Paul Southward.

Paul Southward's News Roundup



A Guide to the documents available to download from our website

Here you will find summaries and direct links to the documents that are available to download from our website.  This note does not include all the documents available so do check out the downloads available under “Recent News” on the website.  You will also find our guide to this month’s Budget.


Our Business Update publications provides useful insight into topical issues that businesses and individuals may be dealing with.  The two latest editions of this publication can be found here: –

Business Update Jan / Feb 2020


Business Update Winter 2019

Business Update Winter 2019


We also cover more routine topics keeping you updated with relevant changes.  Here we remind you of the changes to auto-enrolment and the interaction with income and National Insurance:-



We also publish important information regarding our firm’s compliance and administration.

Here you will find our diversity statement: –

Diversity Statement

and here our statement on GDPR: –



We also keep an eye out for changes that are to be introduced at a future date.  Here is a summary of the new rules for VAT and workers within the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS):  –

VAT and CIS Workers


Topical matters are also covered.  With a crackdown on the rules for residential landlords, some are looking for alternative investment strategies.  Here are two downloads covering Furnished Holiday Lettings: –

Furnished Holiday Lettings – conditions

Furnished Holiday Lettings – tax advantages

And here are reminders of the restrictions to relief for interest and finance charges for residential landlords: –

Landlords restrictions to interest relief

Restriction to interest relief for landlords

Residential Landlords Interest and finance expenses

Residential Landlords – Interest Relief


We also cover some specialist topics, here is an article on the tax reliefs available to airline pilots: –

Airline Pilots – tax reliefs


There are several downloads for tax changes covering some important tax changes from April 2020: –

National Insurance: –

National Insurance rates 2020/2021

Off-payroll workers in the Private Sector

Off-payroll workers in the Private Sector

Off-payroll workers – small company exemption

Small Company Exemption

CGT new rules for residential property gains

CGT changes from 5 April 2020

You should also check out the Recent Developments tab for regular summaries of the news stories that break during the week.  These contain new stories covering topics such as tax, corporate, pensions, economy, SMEs, property international, personal finance and more.


Were you aware that the Advisory Fuel Rates for company cars were updated from 1st March 2020?  You can find the latest rates in our download section here: –

Advisory Fuel rates from 1 March 2020

We offer a free initial consultation to all prospective clients seeking answers to their business and personal queries. Our services cover all aspects of tax and business advisory matters and we can assist with all your compliance needs as well.

Contact Paul Southward

Paul Southward's News Roundup



A Guide to the documents available to download from our website

Here you will find summaries and direct links to the documents that are available to download from our website.  This note does not include all the documents available so do check out the downloads available under “Recent News” on the website.  You will also find our guide to this month’s Budget.


A handy summary to the rates etc for income tax, National Insurance, capital gains tax, inheritance tax, stamp duties, corporation tax and VAT.  This download also contains information on car and van benefits for employees, capital allowance and social security rates, together with a summary of the key dates in the annual tax cycle.  The KSK Download can be found here: –

2019/20 Tax Tables

Come back later in March to find the new tax table for 2020/21.


There are several downloads for tax changes covering some important tax changes from April 2020: –

National Insurance: –

New rates for National Insurance

Off-payroll workers in the Private Sector

Off-payroll workers in the private sector

Off-payroll workers – small company exemption

Off-payroll workers in the Private Sector- Small Company Exemption

CGT new rules for residential property gains

CGT New rules from April 2020

You should also check out the Recent Developments tab for regular summaries of the news stories that break during the week.  These contain new stories covering topics such as tax, corporate, pensions, economy, SMEs, property international, personal finance and more.


Were you aware that the Advisory Fuel Rates for company cars were updated from 1st March 2020?  You can find the latest rates in our download section here: –

Advisory Fuel Rates 1 March 2020

We offer a free initial consultation to all prospective clients seeking answers to their business and personal queries. Our services cover all aspects of tax and business advisory matters and we can assist with all your compliance needs as well.

Contact Paul Southward

Paul Southward's News Roundup





Here are the latest Updated Key Guides; we have reviewed all of the Key Guides for relevant developments, some have not needed amending but here are the Nine Updated Key Guides for your information and guidance.  Contact us if you need any further guidance and/or assistance.

You can access the whole series of KEY GUIDES through the downloads in the Recent News section of our website here: –

The amended Key Guides are: –

Accessing your company profits

  • An updated introduction advises that the possibility of new, environment-related taxation may be on the horizon for businesses.
  • An example regarding national insurance contribution calculations has been revised for greater clarity.
  • Information is given about the forthcoming changes to personal service company (PSC) IR35 rules for private sector businesses.
  • Updated information about the taxation of company cars, in line with the government’s environmental policies, is given.
  • A warning is also given about the need to keep abreast of Brexit developments over the coming year and its potential impacts on business planning.


Making tax digital

  • Information about the types of roll-out for different areas of tax has been made clearer.
  • MTD for VAT became compulsory in April 2019, with an agreed delay to October 2019 and early 2020 for certain types of business; the key guide has been updated to reflect this deferral, explaining its implications for public sector bodies who use the GIANT system of tax reporting.
  • Fuller details about the MTD VAT situation in general have been given.


Making the most of fringe benefits

  • An update to the introduction makes the point that the Conservative party re-election in December 2019 makes changes to the taxation of benefits in 2020/21 very unlikely.
  • The introduction also reiterates how the company car, traditionally a popular benefit, has become less tax efficient, with the introduction of the UK’s first zero-emissions street a good indicator of the future of motoring.
  • The guide explains one way to improve efficiency is for employees to contribute up to £5,000 for a new company car which may allow them to afford a car with much lower emissions.


Starting and selling a business

  • Updated introduction touches on implications of the UK general election and the consequences of an orderly or disorderly exit from the EU on the UK’s economic growth
  • Updated advice regarding tailoring business plans to take EU exit into account for 2020
  • The latest information on the expansion of the IR35 rules to the private sector set for April 2020.
  • A new mention of the proposed further discounts (to 50%) to retail business rates.
  • Update to regarding the annual 2% write-off for the construction costs of commercial property which is now set to increase to 3%.
  • New mention of an increase to employment allowance.
  • Inclusion of the government’s announcement to conduct a “review and reform” of entrepreneur’s relief.


Strategies for a high tax environment

  • Updated information from the Office for Budgetary Responsibility has been given
  • The latest situation based on the Conservative party manifesto regarding increasing the NICs threshold has been added.
  • An additional comment regarding Entrepreneurs’ relief and the potential ‘review and reform’ it may undergo has been inserted.
  • An update regarding the abandonment of the plan to cut Corporation tax to 17% has also been added.


Tax allowances for business investment

  • An update regarding the upcoming increase in structures and business allowance (SBA) from 2% to 3%
  • Up-to-date example figures used to explain how to calculate the annual investment allowance (AIA)


Taxation of property

  • An updated introduction touches on the performance of the housing market in 2019, the projected rise in house prices and the implications of Brexit following the general election result.
  • A change to the information on corporation tax which is now remaining at 19%.


Working through personal service companies

  • An updated introduction touches on the forthcoming expansion to the private sector of the IR35 rules for personal service companies (PSCs), including the government’s review of the implementation.
  • Further advice on the CEST tool which has been updated by HMRC with 30 new or updated questions, in addition to a contract review process.
  • An additional section on retaining your personal service company.


You and yours – estate planning

  • An update on the shelving of probate fee changes and delays in processing applications.
  • A comment on whether the Office of Tax Simplification proposals on inheritance tax will be integrated into the March 2020 Budget is added.


Contact Paul Southward.

Paul Southward's News Roundup




Sajid Javid  [Now Rishi Sunak] has set the date for his first Budget on Wednesday 11th March 2020.  The Budget is the opportunity for the Chancellor to deliver an overview of how the UK economy is doing based on a five-year forecast for the economy and public finances as produced by the Office of Budget Responsibility, an independent body.

This is Sajid’s [Rishi’s] first Budget and he will be keen to make his mark and set out his personal style for future Budgets to come.  The Conservative party will want to make plans to improve the UK economy, which has been faltering under the Brexit uncertainties.

Of course, we will not know what the full Budget will include but we do have some pointers from the relatively restrained Tory manifesto tax policies.  Against this will be the constraints set by the economy forecast as the Chancellor will need to be seen to be able to “balance the books” between taxes and spending.

Here is a reminder of the Conservative Party’s Manifesto tax policies:

Tax avoidance and evasion

The taxman has been getting tougher on tax avoidance and evasion and the policies are to get even tougher to tackle opportunities for aggressive tax avoidance with a new anti-tax avoidance and evasion law, which will: –

  • Increase the maximum prison term to 14 years for persons convicted of the worst examples of tax fraud.
  • Introduce a single Anti-Tax Evasion task force within HM Revenue & Customs to coordinate their fight across all Duties and Taxes, tackling errors and deliberate non-compliance.
  • Target specific areas of tax evasion such as the construction industry, illicit tobacco sales and multi-national companies whose arrangements avoid paying UK taxes

Business tax proposals

  • Cancel the proposed cuts to corporation tax and maintain the current rate of 19%
  • Review and reform Capital Gains Tax Entrepreneur’s Relief
  • Increase the National Insurance employment allowance for small businesses.
  • No increase to VAT
  • Increase the tax credit rate for Research and Development from 12% to 13%.
  • Implement the digital services tax.
  • Increase the structures and buildings allowance from 2% to 3% and encourage investment in physical building and equipment.
  • Maintain support for creative sector tax reliefs.
  • Abolish VAT on sanitary products (following exit from EU).
  • Reduce NICs for employers that employ ex-service personnel.
  • Conduct a review of the business rates system with the aim of reducing business rates. Cutting business tax rates for small retail businesses and for local music venues, pubs and small cinemas, was specifically highlighted. Extending business rates relief for local and regional newspapers was also noted.
  • Devolve responsibility for corporation tax to Northern Ireland and consider devolving short-haul passenger duty to Northern Ireland.
  • Create up to ten free ports around the UK.
  • Review of the apprenticeship levy.

Individual’s and Taxes: –

  • Guarantee not to increase income tax.
  • Guarantee not to increase National Insurance.
  • To increase the National Insurance threshold to £9,500 in April 2020, with a goal to ultimately increase the threshold to £12,500.
  • Introduce a 3% Stamp Duty Land Tax surcharge for non-UK resident purchasers of UK property.
  • Review and reform Capital Gains Tax Entrepreneurs’ Relief.
  • Review the tax anomaly whereby some workers earning between £10,000 and £12,500 on net pay pension schemes miss out on pension benefits.
  • Maintain the State Retirement Pension triple lock.

As always, the devil will be in the Budget detail.  There are however, some significant changes already planned from April 2020: –

IR35 and off-payroll workers in the private sector

IR35 and the related employed vs self-employed rules have been a pain in the tax man’s side since the rules were introduced in April 2000.  At last the tax man has found some leverage since April 2017 when he introduced new rules for off-payroll workers in the public sector.  The changes saw a shift in the responsibility for determining a contractor’s employment status and liability to PAYE tax and national insurance, from the worker, to the engaging public body.  The result is that many more workers engaged through their own personal service companies on public body contracts have now been forced to suffer PAYE tax and national insurance on their income.

The proposals are to introduce the same rules for personal service companies engaged by large and medium sized businesses from April 2020.  Whilst the government have launched a review of the new proposals, the very best outcome that can be expected would be a postponement until April 2021.

Businesses should still be preparing for the changes as if they will still go ahead from April 2020.

Further information can be found here: –

off-payroll workers

HMRC off-payroll workers rules from April 2020

HMRC Factsheet for Contractors

Capital Gains Tax and residential property

There are several important changes proposed from April 2020: –

Accelerated capital gains tax payment and reporting

For disposals of UK residential property that give rise to a taxable gain after April 2020, a return of the gain and payment of tax must be made within 30 days of the completion.

Restriction on Private Residence Relief

Under the current rules, where there is a disposal of a property that has been someone’s private residence, the last eighteen months of ownership qualify for relief regardless of whether someone has ‘resided’ in the property during that time.  From April 2020 this period will be reduced to 9 months and could bring unwelcome tax charges to the unwary, and perhaps the unlucky.

Goodbye lettings relief

Lettings relief applies where a residential property that qualified for private residence relief had also been rented out during the total period of ownership.  The tax charge arising on the rental period of ownership was relieved by up to £40,000 (per owner).  From April 2020 this relief will all but disappear apart from a few exceptional circumstances.

Contact Paul Southward.

Paul Southward's News Roundup

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

Tax Alert 30th April 2019 – should you invest in Furnished Holiday Letting?

Tax Alert 30th April 2019 – should you invest in Furnished Holiday Letting?



Residential landlords have certainly been taking a tax bashing over recent years.  Many landlords may now need to assess whether they can continue with so many tax charges now levied upon them.  It comes as no surprise that attention is focusing on different ways in which to invest in property.  One area that has been grabbing attention is Furnished Holiday Letting (FHL).


There is no question that if you have a property that can be let under the conditions to qualify for FHL, there are some attractive tax benefits.

Unfortunately, for many existing landlords FHL will not be a quick fix, as there are strict rules for meeting the FHL qualifying conditions.

The main clue lies with the description holiday letting, rather than having a few long-term tenants, the property must have multiple short lets.


Your existing property may not be suitable to qualifying for FHL but if you are a prospective investor or an existing investor looking to invest in a new property, FHL may be worth considering.  Perhaps you already own or have inherited a holiday property that you are not making full use of, with a bit of planning you may be able to turn it into a profitable business.


If you are looking for further information about FHL, Paul Southward has produced two guides to provide you with more information about FHL, the rules and the tax advantages.

The topic of FHL has recently become hot gossip at the moment but as is often the case they may not always be painting the full picture.

For a summary of the qualifying conditions for FHL, download Paul’s guide here:-

FHL – Qualifying Conditions

And for a summary of the main tax advantages see Paul’s guide here: –

FHL – Tax Benefits

For more information contact Paul Southward.

Paul Southward

Tax Alert – proposed changes to Capital Gains Tax and Personal Residences

Tax Alert – proposed changes to Capital Gains Tax and Personal Residences

Capital Gains Tax


Proposed changes to Capital Gains Tax and Personal Residences

Private residence relief consultation

HMRC is consulting until 1 June 2019 on changes announced at Budget 2018 and due to take effect from April 2020, which reduce the final-period exemption from 18 months to 9 months and limit lettings relief to circumstances where owners are in shared occupancy with their tenants. The consultation also considers changes to other ‘ancillary’ aspects of the private residence relief rules.

The changes are to ensure the reliefs are properly targeted at owner-occupiers.

The final-period exemption currently means that where a property has been occupied as the owner’s only or main residence, the final 18 months of ownership always qualifies for relief regardless of the property’s use. The 36-month final exemption for disabled persons and those resident in a care home will not be affected by the changes.

Lettings relief, which applies where part or all of a main residence is let as residential accommodation, will not be available after April 2020 for periods where owners move out of the property and no longer share occupation with tenants, unless covered by one of the ancillary reliefs, such as job-related absences.

The other changes being considered include:

  • extending job-related accommodation relief to service personnel in accommodation not technically provided by the MOD, but rented in the private sector as part of the MOD’s future accommodation model pilot due to take place in 2019;
  • legislating for the concession, which allows an extension of the period for individuals to nominate one property as a main residence, where they have an interest in more than one property having only a negligible capital value, and they were unaware that such a nomination could be made;
  • legislating for concession, which allows for short delays in taking up residence, such as where an individual acquires land on which they have a house built, or have alterations or redecorations carried out before moving into a property purchased as an only or main residence; and
  • reforming the rules on spouse/civil partner transfers, which currently allow the receiving spouse to count any period where the residence was occupied as a main residence by their spouse as their own, and instead treat the receiving spouse as having inherited the ownership period and the use to which the property had been put in the past, regardless of whether it is a main residence at the time of transfer.

Following this consultation, the government expects to publish its response and draft legislation in the summer.

To keep up to date with all the latest tax issues, contact Paul Southward.

Paul Southward

Tax Alert Friday 5th April 2019

Tax Alert Friday 5th April 2019



Non-UK Resident owners of UK property need to be aware of new changes

With effect from 6th April 2019 non-UK residents must pay tax on all UK land disposals – both residential and commercial.

They must file a non-resident capital gains tax return and pay any tax due within 30 days of sale.


All non-UK residents who own interests in UK land or property need to be aware of theses changes.  Professional advisers: Solicitors, Estate Agents and Land Agents need also need to be aware so that they can provide the necessary guidance.  KSK are able to assist with all UK tax matters relating to the disposals of property and should be your first point of call if queries arise.  Prospective sellers need to be aware that they will have to file a non-residential capital gains tax return with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and pay any tax due within a very tight time frame.


HMRC will seek to charge penalties for late returns and payments of tax.


For disposals of commercial property, as the new rules only come into effect from 6th April 2019, it is only the growth in the property value from 6th April 2019 that will be taxable.  Non-UK resident owners of UK commercial property may wish to consider obtaining valuations at 6th April 2019 so as to accurately calculate any future capital gains tax and possibly avoid later disputes with HMRC.


The new legislation applies to all disposals of UK property owned by non-UK residents.  A non-resident capital gains tax return is required even where there is a capital gains tax due.  HMRC will impose penalties even for “NIL” returns.


Professional advisers and non-UK resident owners of UK properties who have any queries regarding the new rules can contact Paul Southward for further guidance.

Paul Southward


The new tax year starts on 6th April and we have reviewed the tax changes that come into effect this April and you can check these out in the downloads below..

Personal tax changes

2019-20 Personal Tax Changes

Business tax changes

2019-20 Business Tax Changes




Tax Changes from 6th April 2019

Tax Changes from 6th April 2019


The new tax year begins on 6th April 2019 and with comes some changes to personal taxes.  In our latest download we highlight some of the more important changes.


The changes include: –

  • Increase to the personal allowance
  • An extension to the higher rate threshold
  • Inheritance tax changes
  • Increases to the student loan thresholds
  • Junior ISA increase
  • Workplace pensions get a revamp,
  • The changes affecting private resident [buy-to-let] landlords continue.


To get a full summary of the changes just click on the link below:

Tax Changes 6 April 2019


Making tax digital (MTD) for VAT officially started from 1st April 2019

MTD is the long-term project to modernise the UK tax system and to bring tax compliance fully into the digital age. The ultimate goal is for all regular transmissions of data between taxpayers and HMRC to be performed digitally, and where possible automatically, through accounting software.

This will take many years to achieve. HMRC needs to improve its own internal systems and provide new digital services to taxpayers for full digitisation of the tax system to be achieved. MTD for business is being introduced tax by tax, not by business size or type. Eventually, each business will have to submit separate MTD reports for the taxes it pays to HMRC.

To find out more about MTD for VAT just click on the link below:



For disposals after 6th April 2019, the minimum period for which certain conditions must be met to qualify for entrepreneur’s relief will be two years.

The one-year rule remains where the claimant’s business ceased, or his personal company ceased to be a trading company before 29th October 2019

Personal Company – new definition (for shares disposed of from 29th October 2018)

In addition to the existing share capital and voting rights conditions, a company will also have to satisfy two further conditions to qualify as an individual’s personal company.

The new conditions require the individual to be beneficially entitled to at least 5% of the company’s distributable profits and at least 5% of its assets available for distribution to equity holders in a winding-up.

The second change, expected to apply to disposals on or after 6 April 2019, is that the minimum period throughout which the relevant conditions (depending on the type of disposal) must be satisfied is to be increased from one to two years, although the new two year rule will not apply to businesses that ceased before 29 October 2018 where entrepreneurs’ relief is claimed in respect of the sale of an asset or shares within three years of the cessation.

Alphabet Shares?

There were concerns that the new rules would create issues for companies with alphabet shares.  After lobbying a late amendment was introduced.

The new test asks: “will the shareholder be entitled to at least 5% of the proceeds in the event of the disposal of the whole company?”

The new hypothetical sale test only applies to disposals made from 21st December 2019.

Entrepreneur’s “banking” from 6th April 2019

  • Applies when individual loses entitlement to ER as holding falls below 5% threshold due to a new share issue.
  • Elect to treat shares as disposed of immediately.
  • Deemed disposal at MV [with no discount for minority holding].
  • Resulting gain eligible for ER.
  • Shares reacquired at same MV.
  • Can postpone the ER gain until the year you actually sell the shares.


Not only are our tax rules complex but they are constantly changing.  To ensure that you do not get caught out with an unnecessarily excessive tax bill you should always consult with an expert before making changes that may give rise to tax charges.  To ensure you do not get caught out, contact Paul Southward.  Initial consultations are without charge or obligation.  You have nothing to lose and potentially lots to gain form talking with us first.