News

Autumn Statement 2016 – Corporation Tax
05/12/2016 - More...
It had been rumoured that the new Chancellor, Philip Hammond would cancel his predecessors planned cuts to Corporation Tax. However, in his Autumn Statement speech, the Chancellor confirmed that the government would stick to the business tax roadmap set out in March and that Corporation tax will fall to 17% by April 2020. This will

Inheritance Tax main residence nil-rate band
05/12/2016 - More...
The new Inheritance Tax main residence nil-rate band (RNRB) comes in to effect from April 2017. The RNRB will allow for a new £175,000 per person transferable allowance for married couples and civil partners when their main residence is passed down to children after their death. Any unused portion of the RNRB can be transferred to a

Christmas Festivities
05/12/2016 - More...
Remember to Expense your Xmas Party Unlike entertaining customers, the cost of entertaining yourself is allowable against the profits of the business and will reduce your corporation tax implications. HMRC kindly allow each employer to spend up to £150.00 per employee and guest per financial year (i.e. £300.00 for two). Festive Season

Scott Says…..Buy to let property through a Limited Company
05/12/2016 - More...
A question that is frequently asked by clients is how best to purchase Buy to let properties. The best advice depends on your plans, including how frequently you plan to sell and re-buy properties, whether you need the income or wish to defer it, and how the property purchase(s) fit with your long-term objectives. Here at 1st Option we

Scott Says - IR35 in the Public Sector - We need your feedback
29/07/2016 - More...
A Consultation on IR35 in the Public Sector is now underway. The proposals suggest that a hirer, or an agency acting on the hirer’s behalf, will complete a ‘test’ for those working in the public sector. If the test is passed gross payments will be paid to your limited company. However, if the assignment fails (the test) Tax and NIC will

A new partnership with UK's most innovative CRM company
01/07/2016 - More...
1st Option is delighted to announce it has added a CRM solution to its portfolio of products and services. The cloud-based small business CRM solution from UK based Monii, is a winner when it comes to productivity gains, which means more billable hours for you. Monii is your secret weapon to track tasks, contacts, and notes. One of the

Scott Says - How to reduce your Corporation Tax
01/07/2016 - More...
Everyone loves paying taxes right? Well if you don’t, this article provides a few basics every business owner should know to ensure they are not paying too much! Jim Callaghan, the Chancellor of the Exchequer introduced Corporation Tax in 1965. Since 1965 the Corporation Tax rates have ranged from 42% in the seventies to 19% in the

Professional bodies approved for tax relief
27/05/2016 - More...
Many professionals such as accountants, lawyers and health professionals are required to make a subscription to a professional body or learned society. HMRC has recently published an updated list of the organisations that they will accept as valid professional bodies. This list is updated from time to time and a recent update lists all

Healthcare when away from home
27/05/2016 - More...
· Do you work away from home? · Are you often too busy to visit your local GP? We are delighted to introduce i-GP. Designed and run by UK trained family doctors with over 30 years of NHS experience between them, they provide free online assessments for over 20 minor illnesses. They offer instant access to the

New measures to combat phishing emails
07/12/2016 - More...
HMRC has reported that they have reached a milestone in helping to reduce the estimated 500 million phishing emails that are sent to taxpayers every year. HMRC has implemented new controls based on domain-based message authentication, reporting and conformance (DMARC). The security process works by determining which email servers are

Finance Bill 2017 – draft legislation
07/12/2016 - More...
The Finance Bill 2017 draft legislation was published on 5 December 2016. The Bill contains the legislation for many of the tax measures that have been announced by the government. The Bill is open for comment until 1 February 2017 with the final details being confirmed in the spring Budget 2017. The majority of the measures in the Bill

Big changes for non-doms
07/12/2016 - More...
In July 2015, the then Chancellor, George Osborne, presented a special Summer Budget, his first without coalition partners. However, one of the important measures announced at that time was the abolition of non-domicile status. The government first declared its intention to legislate such that, from April 2017, any person who has been

Making a complaint to HMRC
07/12/2016 - More...
Taxpayers may find themselves in a position where they need to make a complaint about HMRC. Complaints can relate to many different issues such as unreasonable delays, mistakes and poor treatment by HMRC’s staff. There is a factsheet published by HMRC entitled Complaints that provides further details. Taxpayers that wish to complain

Government to waive VAT on X-Factor charity single
07/12/2016 - More...
The Chancellor, Philip Hammond has announced that the government will waive the VAT equivalent on the sales of this year’s X-Factor Christmas Charity single. All proceeds from the sale of the single are going to two charities; Together for Short Lives and Shooting Star Chase Children’s Hospice. Both charities provide support for

Statutory maternity, adoption, paternity, shared parental and sick pay to rise from April 2017
05/12/2016 - More...
In a written ministerial statement, the government has announced the proposed new rates for statutory maternity pay (SMP), statutory adoption pay (SAP), statutory paternity pay (SPP), statutory shared parental pay (ShPP) and statutory sick pay (SSP) for tax year 2017/18. The proposed revised rates are as follows: The standard weekly

Changes to salary sacrifice schemes
30/11/2016 - More...
One of the big changes to come out of the recent Autumn Statement was the announcement that there will be a clamp down to the tax benefits of certain salary sacrifice schemes from April 2017. This change is likely to affect millions of employees who have sacrificed part of their salary and are currently paying less tax as a result. A

Budget date changes
30/11/2016 - More...
The Chancellor used his first Autumn Statement speech to announce that it would also be his last. Despite this comment being greeted with delight from the other side of the House all was not as it seemed. The Chancellor was actually referring to the government’s decision to switch to an Autumn Budget and a Spring Statement. This change

Termination payments
30/11/2016 - More...
Following a consultation that took place over the summer, the government confirmed that the £30,000 tax free exemption on termination payments would be retained. However, from April 2018 certain payments will no longer fall within the allowance. It has been confirmed as part of the recent Autumn Statement that from April 2018

Self Assessment deadline reminder
30/11/2016 - More...
The deadline for submitting 2015-16 Self Assessment tax returns online is 31 January 2017. Taxpayers should also be aware that payment of any tax due should also be made by this date. This includes both the payment of any balance of Self Assessment liability for the 2015-16, plus any payment on account due for the current 2016-17 tax

Insurance Premium Tax rate increase
30/11/2016 - More...
Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) is a tax on general insurance premiums. There are currently two rates a standard rate of 10% and a higher rate of 20%. The higher rate applies where insurance is sold in relation to goods and services which are subject to VAT and to travel insurance. As part of the Autumn Statement measures it was announced

Class 2 National Insurance Contributions
30/11/2016 - More...
Class 2 National Insurance Contributions (NICs) are paid by self-employed taxpayers and members of partnerships if their annual profits are over £5,965. Class 2 NICs are payable at a flat weekly rate currently, £2.80. Class 2 NICs count towards payments such as the basic State Pension, the employment and support allowance, maternity

Advisory fuel rates for company cars
30/11/2016 - More...
The latest advisory fuel rates became effective on 1 December 2016. Fuel rates are reviewed four times a year with changes taking effect on 1 March, 1 June, 1 September and 1 December. You can use the previous rates for up to 1 month from the date the new rates apply. The rates are as follows: Engine size Petrol – amount per

VAT Flat Rate Scheme changes
30/11/2016 - More...
HMRC are to introduce an additional test from 1 April 2017, that will determine the flat rate percentage used by traders. Traders that meet the new definition of a 'limited cost trader' will be required to use a fixed rate of 16.5%. This will include traders who are already using the Flat Rate scheme, and many at rates lower than 16.5%.

Scott Says - Keeping Britain in Business
24/11/2016 - More...
Phillip Hammond in his first and to be last Autumn statement, promoted keeping Britain in Business. The statement announced changes for Freelance Professionals who operate via their own Limited Company including: VAT Flat Rate scheme benefits. The government will introduce a new 16.5% rate from 1 April 2017 for businesses with