2018 Spring Statement

Mr Hammond didn’t announce any new tax measures in his Spring Statement yesterday, 13th March 2018, as, under his new system, such changes will wait till the Autumn Budget.

That said, he did announce 13 consultation documents on a variety of topics including international corporate tax issues, cash and the gig economy, business rates, resolving an Entrepreneur’s Relief share problem, some aspects of VAT and steps to tackle the problem of plastic waste.

Two other issues that may be of direct interest to our readers are outlined below.

ENSURING TAX COMPLIANCE

HMRC feel that people who sell online via platforms such as eBay are not filing Tax Returns or paying tax as they should because of deliberate evasion or lack of knowledge.

Either way HMRC is considering how to change this and encourage/compel everyone to file whatever Tax Returns are due and pay their share of tax and Natioanl Insurance.

Watch out for new laws on that with attendant increases in HMRC powers and more interest, fines and penalty charges for defaulters.

TAX RELIEF FOR SELF FUNDED TRAINING

Costs of training to gain new knowledge are rarely tax deductible. We all know this.

For self employed people IF training merely maintains or updates existing knowledge, WITHOUT acquiring new skills,then tax relief is often available.

For employees their costs of training are usually paid by the employer but, sometimes, that isn’t the case. Ocassionally it is the employees who pay to train themselves.

Where this happens, generally speaking, the employee cannot claim tax relief for the cost of the training.

HMRC estimate that around 860,000 employees self-funded their own training in 2016 and the vast majority of them would not have received any tax relief.

HMRC is considering how more relief can be given for training costs so, hopefully, this is good news on the horizon.

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