Welcome. Croeso.


Here are some thoughts on tax, money, accountancy, financial stuff and, to lighten the mood,  music and maybe some humour.

Please join the conversations with whatever is on your mind but keep it courteous and “family” rated.  Everything is moderated so comments will be expunged if they go too far.

Take care and good luck to everyone in whatever you choose to do in life.


the end is near

This is NOT advice of any kind but simply a “heads up” to highlight an issue.

The “Help To Buy” ISA investment opportunity ends on 30th November 2019.

If you don’t get one before that date then you won’t be able to.

Open an account with just £1 in it, to keep your foot in the door, and you can add more later if you want.

This from Martin Lewis will explain……


Good luck and pass on the tip to any family or friends who may benefit from it.

“Making Tax Digital” update

The chancellor’s statement on 13 March confirmed two things about the timing of Making Tax Digital (MTD)………….

1. MTD for VAT will go ahead as planned from April 2019….BUT ….

2. MTD will NOT be made mandatory for any other taxes or businesses in 2020 as was originally feared.

My guess is not that HMRC are being generous in any way. More likely they know they cannot possibly be ready for any more MTD upheavals that soon.



For those of you in the construction industry who may not know. This is a BIGGIE.

A new VAT “reverse charge” will be introduced in the UK for building and construction services with effect from 1st October 2019.

It is designed to combat VAT fraud in the building and construction sector.

From 1st October 2019 a customer within the construction industry CIS scheme, who purchases a supply of construction services, will have to pay the supplier’s VAT charge directly to HMRC rather than paying it to the supplier.

This prevents the supplier from charging the customer what purports to be VAT then absconding with the VAT, not paying it to HMRC.


Example of new rule – NOW, you carry out CIS work for another company. You send them an invoice plus VAT. They pay you.

AFTER the change your invoices will need to be worded according to the new rules and the paying company must pay your VAT charge straight to HMRC, not to you.


Supplies made to “end users”/final customers, supplies made between “connected parties” and supplies between landlords and tenants will all be excluded from the new rules.

This reverse charge will only affect supplies made at the standard or reduced rates where payments are required to be reported through the CIS.

The construction services covered by the reverse charge are those falling within the usual definition of “construction operations” in CIS. This is a wide definition which includes construction, alteration, repair, extension, demolition or dismantling of buildings or structures and infrastructure such as roads, railways and waterways. It also includes painting and decorating.

The process involved, the way in which VAT invoices are to be worded and the way these invoices are recorded in your VAT Returns will change from the start of this new rule.


Please take whatever steps you believe are necessary so you don’t forget. Perhaps some diary notes would be helpful.

NB: a few specified services are excluded from this change including professional services of architects, surveyors and certain consultants.

Good luck and do call us if you need any help with this.

a little light BUDGET news


  • Hammond said austerity is “finally coming to an end”
  • Growth forecast for 2018 was downgraded to 1.3% from 1.5% in March
  • Growth forecast for 2019 raised from 1.3% to 1.6% and annual forecasts raised to 1.4%, 1.4%, 1.5% and 1.6% in 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023 respectively.
  • Most economic commentators describe these figures as anything from “poor” to “woeful”

There is much Budget news online. Some of the aspects impacting on individuals and small companies listed below in bullet points.

Remember …other new tax legislation was already planned to come into effect so what’s mentioned below is the new stuff from yesterday.

Hammond had plenty of “will be”, “in the future” and so on. Very little “now”.

Budget plans dependent on a Brexit deal. If no deal then who knows what will happen? Most likely some sort of “emergency” Budget speech next March.

For now …….

Personal tax

  • The tax free personal allowance threshold increases from £11,850 to £12,500 in April 2019 (a year earlier than planned).
  • The 40% higher rate income tax threshold also increases from £46,350 to £50,000 in April 2019.
  • Both rise in line with inflation thereafter.
  • Starting tax rate for savings remains kept at £5,000 for 2019/20.

Comment …these tax changes put more in the hands of the higher paid than the basic rate taxpayer though this is mitigated somewhat by increases in National Insurance.

Good examples of that the Budget may mean in individual situations……


  • National Living Wage increasing by 4.9%, to £8.21 an hour, from April 2019.

Capital Gains Tax

  • “Lettings relief” can reduce the CGT on the sale of a property that was, at some point, used as your main home but which you have since rented out as residential accommodation.
  • In future this relief will only apply where the owner of the sold property was in shared occupancy with their tenant.
  • This means that landlords will probably no longer be able to claim the £40,000 lettings relief on their Capital Gains Tax (CGT) bill when selling a qualifying property.
  • The change will apply from April 2020.
  • In a further tax hike, from April 2020, the 18 months’ “PPR main residence relief” exemption period, on sale of your main home, is to be reduced further to 9 months.

(No changes to the 36-month final period exemption available to disabled people or those in a care home.)

Pensions and ISAs

  • The maximum lifetime investment into pensions – the “lifetime allowance” – increases 2019/20 in line with CPI to £1.055 million.
  • (no changes to pensions tax relief)
  • Individual Savings Account (ISA) annual investment limits remain unchanged at £20,000.

Business equipment investment

  • The “Annual investment allowance” (AIA) increases for two years to £1 million for qualifying expenditure on plant and machinery between 1st January 2019 and 31st December 2020.


  • VAT registration threshold frozen for a further two years meaning it will remain at £85,000 until 2022.

Other business note

  • Reforms too on business rates and the apprenticeship levy.

Stamp duty and housing

  • All first-time buyers purchasing shared equity homes of up to £500,000 are to be exempt from stamp duty.
  • £500m to be provided for the Housing Infrastructure Fund designed to enable a further 650,000 homes to be built.
  • New partnerships with housing associations in England intended to deliver 13,000 homes.
  • Guarantees of up to £1bn for smaller house-builders.

Universal Credit

  • Work allowances for universal credit to be increased by £1.7bn.
  • Hammond says “2.4 million working families with children to benefit by £630 a year”.
  • An extra £1bn to be provided to help welfare claimants transfer to the new benefit.
  • Chancellor insists this controversial system is “here to stay”.

Other general Budget notes …..

  • Beer, cider and spirits duties to be frozen.
  • Wine duty to rise by inflation, 8p, in February 2019.
  • Tobacco duty will continue to rise by inflation plus 2%.
  • A packet of 20 cigarettes up by 33p at 18.00 GMT on Budget day.
  • A 10g pack of cigars goes up by 17p.
  • Fuel duty frozen for ninth year.
  • Remote Gaming Duty increases to 21% for online gambling on “games of chance” from 2019.
  • New 2% “digital services tax” from April 2020 on UK revenues of profitable companies with global sales of more than £500m.
  • Private finance initiative (PFI) contracts to be abolished in future. New centre of excellence to manage existing deals “in the taxpayer’s interest”.
  • An extra £160m for counter-terrorism police.
  • An extra £1bn for armed forces, for cyber-capabilities and the UK’s new nuclear submarine programme.
  • £10m for mental health care for veterans, to mark the centenary of the Armistice which brought World War One to an end.
  • £1m to fund school trips to World War one battlefields.
  • £1.7m in Holocaust education programmes to mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in northern Germany.


  • Confirmation of an extra £20.5bn for the NHS over the next five years.
  • A minimum extra £2bn a year for mental health. New mental health crisis centres, providing support in every accident and emergency unit in the country. More mental health ambulances and a 24-hour mental health crisis hotline.
  • All ONLY if the UK leaves the EU with a deal.
  • £10m for air ambulances.
  • A £30bn package for England’s roads, including repairs to motorways and potholes BUT ONLY a one-off £400m “bonus” to help schools buy “the little extras they need” “this year”.
  • NO announcement of extra funding for main school issues such as staff salaries/recruitment/retention, building repairs or for front line policing.
  • Opening the use of e-passport gates at airports, currently available to people from Europe, to those from the USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Japan.
  • Air Passenger Duty to be indexed in line with inflation.
  • A new tax will be introduced on certain plastic packaging.
  • £60m will be provided for planting trees in England.
  • £10m will be provided to deal with abandoned waste sites.
  • Extra £500m will be provided for preparations for leaving the EU.


Lastly ….a new commemorative 50p coin to be issued to mark the UK’s departure from the EU. No comment.


MTD news

This is another Making Tax Digital (“MTD”) update  …..the taxman has FINALLY agreed what a good idea it would be to contact all VAT registered taxpayers, advisors and others to warn them about the upcoming start of MTD.

Only 6 months to go before kick off but, hey, better late than never I suppose. I know some will say “too little, too late”.

Their tweet said …”VAT registered businesses with a taxable turnover above the VAT threshold (£85,000) will need to keep digital VAT records and send returns using #MTD compatible software from April 2019.”


There are exceptions and workarounds to make this MTD journey simpler than it sounds but the main issue is that the necessary software to do the job is STILL not available. Many software companies say their products will be “ready” for launch day but who knows what will happen between now and then?

For example Jon Thompson (Chief Exec and Permanent Secretary of HMRC) says that HMRC will make a decision, at their October board meeting, as to whether or not MTD for VAT goes ahead as planned next April.

It might not even happen. (Gets my vote)

Taxman proposes new powers to check bank accounts without notice

 Amongst a raft of “consultation documents” published by HMRC for discussion is this >> new powers enabling HMRC to get your personal financial information without telling you.

No notification would be provided and there would be no right of appeal to the data access.

The bank or any other third party possessing the data to be accessed (including building societies, solicitors, accountants, estate agents and more) would be legally prohibited from telling you that HMRC requested and was given access to your private data.

These powers are not just for tax assessment but also proposed for debt collection purposes and other (unnamed) functions.

These proposals are at the consultation stage before implementation. Any responses from “stakeholders” will be accepted until October 2018.

Interested in the detail? It’s here……

Might be a good idea to lobby your MP if you don’t agree with this.


…..for those if you who have – or are going to get – a Personal Tax Account be VERY CAREFUL and AVOID the Capital Gains Tax add-on for voluntary “Real time reporting”.

This add-on has NO legal standing, it makes you pay Capital Gains Tax earlier than necessary and causes utter confusion with the Self Assessment Tax Return system.

I could continue listing many more things wrong with this barking mad idea but, hey, that’s put simple enough.

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