This week the “Office of Tax Simplification” issued a report suggesting that the VAT registration threshold  – currently £85,000 – be LOWERED perhaps down to £26,000, the so-called “official” national average wage.

That would mean any self employed person or buiness at that level of sales – BEFORE deducting expenses – would be required to register for VAT, charging their customers and submitting quarterly VAT Returns.

Official estimates say that would cause another MILLION businesses to register.

Would you, or anyone you know, be amongst them?

Then there is the prospect of “Making Tax Digital” (MTD).

At the moment only VAT registered taxpayers are required to join MTD from April 2019 and start making quaterly Returns. If you are not VAT registered then you won’t be required to make quaterly Returns until at least 2020.

So what happens if the VAT registration threshold is lowered to the point where you have to register? Looks like you will also have to join MTD in April 2019.

Make no mistake. Both will be huge burdens on the small buisness.

Maybe lobbying your MP may be the way to go.

I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions and ponder what action you would need to take if all this goes ahead as suggested.



Making Tax Digital (MTD) for VAT is announced

On 13th July 2017 the Financial Secretary to the Treasury and Paymaster General announced that Making Tax Digital for VAT will come into effect from April 2019.

From that date all businesses with a turnover above the VAT threshold (currently £85,000) MUST:

•keep their VAT records digitally and

•provide their VAT return information to HMRC by using new MTD functional compatible software which will need to be bought externally as HMRC will not provide it (and it’s not available yet)

He also confirmed that MTD will be available on a voluntary basis to other businesses for both VAT and Income Tax (as if….).

So there you have it ….be ready for mandatory online filing using your new software from April 2019. Or else.

Making Tax Digital – next moves announced

HMRC makes new announcents about the impositon of this new system.

At the heart of it under the new timetable:

  • only businesses with a turnover above the VAT threshold (currently £85,000) will have to keep digital records and only for VAT purposes
  • they will only need to do so from 2019
  • businesses will not be asked to keep digital records, or to update HMRC quarterly, for other taxes until at least 2020

Making Tax Digital will be available on a voluntary basis for the smallest businesses, and for other taxes.

This means that businesses and landlords with a turnover below the VAT threshold will be able to choose when to move to the new digital system.

Full text here ….



Lord help us all.

Making Tax Digital postponed

The government has bowed to pressure from all sides and announced that its infamous quarterly filing system “Making Tax Digital” is postponed from April 2018 until AT LEAST 2020 (ex. for VAT from April 2019).

That’s it. Nothing more to add really.

Let us know if you’ve got any questions or comments on it though.

Lords – they say “NO”

The brakes should be put on MTD say the House of Lords Finance Bill Sub-Committee. It’s all going to fast and has not been properly tried and tested. And so say all of us……

Lord Hollick, Chairman of the Sub-Committee, said……..

“Many small businesses and landlords are simply unaware of or not ready to cope with the additional administrative and financial burdens that will be imposed by digital taxation.

“We welcome the Government’s announcement in the Spring Budget that the scheme would not apply to businesses with a turnover below the VAT threshold until April 2019. However, this does not go nearly far enough and it needs to further delay the scheme’s implementation, and take a more incremental and gradual approach based upon the evidence from the pilot.

“This scheme coincides with changes to business rates and dividend taxation, all of which will impact some small businesses.

“A full pilot will ensure the software works and provide hard evidence of the additional financial and administrative burdens on businesses. It will also provide evidence in place of the widely disbelieved assessment of costs and benefits of the introduction of Making Tax Digital.

“We are sceptical of the benefits to small businesses of regular digital reporting. We recommend that the scheme remains optional for businesses with a turnover below the VAT threshold.”


That said….will the government listen …. IMO two chances of that ….. slim and none.



Most importantly …..as things stand now MTD will NOT be required if your income/turnover is under £10,000.

Above £10,000 then …….

April 2018 MTD starts for landlords and self employed with turnover £83,000 or OVER

April 2019 MTD starts for landlords and self employed with turnover UNDER £83,000

April 2020 MTD starts for companies.

Stay in touch. This is likely to change over the coming months.

more Budget thoughts


Another Budget speech yesterday, 8th March 2017, starting with many statistics, graphs, pie charts and so on.

Here’s my snapshot of the main items likely to be of interest / concern to you ……..


My post yesterday is confirmed …… Hammond said [quote] …. “I have decided that, for businesses with turnover below the VAT registration threshold, I will delay by one year the introduction of quarterly reporting”

This means that “Making Tax Digital”, which I have been warning everyone about, will now be introduced a year later, April 2019, NOT April 2018 as originally planned, for people with gross income under £83,000.

To quote HMRC …..”Those with annual turnover above the VAT threshold will still be required to keep digital records and send HMRC quarterly updates from April 2018.”


Other news …..

Personal allowance – increased from £11,000 to £11,500 in April 2017.

Higher rate tax 40% – the starting point for the higher rate tax band, currently £43,000, is raised to £45,000 (no change to the 45% “additional rate” band which starts at £150,000). This doesn’t apply fully to Scotland.


Dividend allowance – the amount of non taxed dividends, currently £5,000, falls to £2,000 in April 2018.


New £1000 “small income” allowances – starting April 2017 two new income tax allowances are introduced of £1,000 each for trading and property income.

The allowances are optional only and may be deducted from income instead of actual expenses.

(There will be anti avoidance measures for these new allowances to prevent their misuse / abuse).


Let property – from April 2017 it will no longer be possible for landlords letting out residential property to get full 100% tax relief on all interest paid on mortgages.

The 100% deduction in the past gradually morphs over the next few years to a 20% flat rate relief 20% by 2020.

NOTE the words used …. “deduction” changes to “relief”. There is a pivotal difference which may not be obvious. The two words do NOT mean the same thing. Be very careful.


National Insurance – Hammond said he intends “To address the taxation differential between the employed and self employed”

Apparently, this does not mean reducing the burden on the employed. Oh no. It means – as if you didn’t know – INCREASING the burden on the self employed. Wonderful.

Self employed people have always paid less National Insurance because their benefits were not as good.

We are told that the changes reflect the fact that the self employed now qualify for the same state pension as employed people but from when? Previously they did not receive earnings related top ups to the state pension.


Capital Gains Tax – no new announcements/ changes except a  small rise in the capital gains tax annual exemption to £11,300.


Inheritance tax – the new additional “family home allowance” comes into effect but it is HIGHLY complex to use.


Corporation tax – rate falls from 20%  to 19% in April 2017 then down to 17% by 2020.


ISA – the limit for investment is raised from £15,240 to £20,000 from April 2017.

Relaxed rules on passing existing ISA on death to beneficiary.

LISA – starts April 2017. An investment available ONLY to those aged 18 to 39. Maximum investment £4000 p.a.


Investment in pensions – one change previously flagged – from April 2017 the Money Purchase Annual Allowance (MPAA) is reducing from its current £10,000 to only £4,000 in an attempt to reduce the “recycling” of invested cash to get tax relief twice on the same money.


Non domiciled persons “non doms” – many changes/ restrictions announced previously are coming into force in April 2017.

A NEW CHANGE – from April 2017 non doms holding UK residential property in a foreign company will be within the scope of UK IHT.

This Budget changed the limit below which “minor” interests in UK property are disregarded from 1% to 5% of an individual’s total property interests.


Termination payments – all contractual and non contractual payments in lieu of notice (PILONS) will be taxable as earnings.

Tax and employer NIC treatment of termination payments will be aligned so that NIC will be payable by the employer on the elements of a termination payment exceeding £30,000 on which income tax is due.

The first £30,000 of a termination payment will remain exempt from income tax and NIC.

Foreign Service Relief is to be abolished.


QROPS – a 25% tax charge will be imposed on pension transfers made out of the UK to QROPS on or after 9th March 2017.

Exceptions will be made to the charge allowing tax free transfers if people have a genuine need to transfer their pension.


Anti avoidance – the government previously announced that it will introduce a new penalty for “…..a person who has enabled another person or business to use a tax avoidance arrangement which is then later defeated by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC)”.

New legislation will be introduced to ensure that promoters of tax avoidance schemes (POTAS) cannot circumvent the laws by “reorganising” their business.

“Promoters” caught by all the above new rules are likely to include everyone in the chain of events including financial advisers, wealth managers and the like.


National Living Wage – rises to £7.50 per hour from April 2017.


New NS&I bond– paying 2.2% from April 2017 but on a maximum investment of £3000 ONLY.


And finally ……Pub news…….the government has announced a cap on rate rises for firms losing Small Business Rate Relief with extra help for pubs.

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