Latest news from HCA – June 2017

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Dividends - What changed?

There continues to be confusion about the tax position in relation to dividends, which are often used by small company shareholders to withdraw profits or reserves instead of a salary or similar. 

Previously, as long as you were a basic rate tax payer and your total earnings from all sources (including dividends) kept you below the higher rate threshold, dividends were effectively tax free.

However, the government has now introduced a £5,000 tax allowance on dividends irrespective of how much you earn. Any dividends you take above this allowance will be taxed as follows: 7.5% for basic rate tax payers or 32.5% for higher rate tax payers.

If you would like to discuss your personal circumstances, then please contact us.

Fuel rates changes for company cars

Each quarter on 1st March, June, September and December, HMRC review and advise the fuel rates for employees who use company cars for travel.

These Fuel rates only apply when:

•a company reimburses employees for business travel using their company car

•the employee is required to repay the cost of fuel for private travel.

For more details of the updated rates, please click here

A statutory system of Approved Mileage Allowance Payments (AMAPs) applies for employees using their own vehicles for business journeys.

The Tax: rates per business mile remain as 45p per mile for the first 10,000 miles and 25p thereafter. Other rates apply for Motorcycles and Bikes.

Celebrities lose £700m tax case

Some of the best known celebrities in the UK are among more than 1,000 people who invested in the Ingenious film financing schemes in the hope of securing tax relief. 

HMRC said Ingenious claimed relief on artificial losses from its films and a legal bid to overturn their decision was lost at a tax tribunal.

To read more please click here

It is considered that such schemes are not legitimate investment opportunities but actually a means of avoiding tax.

If you are approached with such ways of saving tax, please take professional advice and be aware of the risks involved as much as the rewards.

 

HMRC - New Phishing Scam

In view of the continued news about more cyber attacks, we wanted to share the latest 'phishing scam' warning from HMRC.

If you get an email with the subject, “Your 2016 Tax Report”, with an attachment, DO NOT open it. Please forward it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and then DELETE it.

For more advice, please visit GOV.UK and search “phishing”.

 

What to consider when setting up a home or office network

Our IT-tech team are often asked to set up new networks or reconfigure existing networks for greater efficiencies.

Here are some things to ask yourself when considering your network set up;

•What is the purpose of your network and what is your priority? (eg speed, security, ease of use)

•What devices do you need to include?

•Will all devices need a wired connection or will some use Wifi? 

•Will you also need remote access?

•Who will be using the network and what for?

•How much data will be stored, shared or moved across the network?

•What is your budget?

•What security will you need to protect your network and data?

•Do you envisage any future extension of the network or its use?

If we can assist with your network configuration, set up or maintenance, then please contact us.

 

Your Personal Tax Account

HMRC continue to encourage us to register and set up our personal tax account.

Your personal tax account allows you to manage your tax affairs online, quickly and simply, whenever you want.

As well as filing your self assessment return, you can also do things like:

•check and change your address

•see what tax code you’re on, and how your tax is calculated

•check your state pension and your National Insurance record

•go paperless – get texts and emails from us rather than letters

•manage your tax credits and Child Benefit payments

•allow a family member or friend to manage your tax affairs on your behalf

•track the progress of any forms you’ve submitted to us

For more details on how to register please click here