We sent out our September Tax Tip’s Newsletter last week but here is a list of the article in case you missed it.
Swiss Bank Account Tax Deal
Stashing money in a Swiss bank account is not against the law. As long as you declare all the income and gains from your overseas investments and bank accounts on your UK tax return, there is no problem at all. Unfortunately some individuals have taken advantage of the Swiss laws which permit banks to keep their customers’ details completely confidential, even from tax authorities, and did not declared the income on their tax returns.
To remedy this non-disclosure (AKA tax evasion), the UK Government has reached a unique tax deal with Switzerland. From 2013, investment income from Swiss bank accounts held by UK residents will be subject to a withholding tax of 48%, and gains made on those investments will be subject to withholding tax of 27%. These withholding taxes will NOT apply if the bank account holder authorises the bank to disclose all details of the income to HMRC, and pays any associated taxes in the UK.
Business Exit Planning
Are you thinking about hanging-up your working boots and passing-on your business? This takes a lot of planning to get the best possible tax outcome.
If you have younger relatives who could take on the business it is advisable to get those individuals involved in the management for a considerable period before you go. You may need to restructure the business to make this hand-over easier, perhaps incorporate, or slim-down the enterprise.
Where your business is already run though a company, a neat method of exiting for the founder is to have the company to purchase its shares from you. However, this ‘purchase of own shares‘, as it is called, must be planned and undertaken in a very precise way to ensure the tax charges are as low as possible.
Jointly Held Property Tax Savings
With the threshold for 40% tax reducing every year (£35,000 after deducting allowances for 2011/12), it makes sense to review who pays the higher rates of tax within a family. Can some assets be transferred to the partner who pays a lower tax rate to reduce tax?
For example a let property could be transferred from one spouse into the joint ownership of the married couple or civil partners, or entirely into the other spouse’s name. Joint ownership has advantages, as on the eventual sale of the property up to two annual exemptions (£10,600 each for 2011/12) may be available to reduce the chargeable gain. Transfers between husband and wife or civil partners who are living together do not create a capital gains tax charge at the time of the transfer.
New Mileage Rates
Where your employees use a company car or van, but pay for the fuel themselves, the company can pay a fuel-only mileage rate for business journeys. This fuel-only rate is guaranteed to be tax free when it is equal to or less than the advisory fuel rates set by HMRC. These advisory fuel rates are now revised every quarter. The latest rates applicable from 1 September 2011 are shown below for different engine sizes, with the previous rates that applied from 1 June to 31 August 2011 shown in brackets.
Petrol & LPG Engines
1400cc or less: Petrol 15p (15p), LPG 11p (11p)
1401 to 2000cc: Petrol 18p (18p), LPG 12p (13p)
Over 2000cc: Petrol 26p (26p), LPG 18p (18p)
1600cc or less: 12p (12p)
1601 to 2000cc: 15p (15p)
Over 2000cc: 18p (18p)
Note there is now a different scale for diesel vehicles
Questions and Answers Corner
Q. I received my self-assessment statement and payslip on 17 August 2011, which shows tax due to be paid by 31 July 2011. I paid the tax due as soon as I could, but I am now worried that I will get charged interest and a penalty for late payment.
Q. My son worked for a company that has gone into liquidation. The Tax Office are refusing to acknowledge the student loan repayments which were deducted from his salary in 2010/11 and pass those repayments on to the Student Loans Company. What can he do to get his student loan records corrected?
Q. I recently applied for VAT registration for my business as the turnover had exceeded the compulsory registration threshold. Now I’ve had a call from the VAT office asking to come and see me. What have I done wrong?
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