News

Scott Says - A Budget preparing Britain for a brighter future
09/03/2017 - More...
Phillip Hammond delivered his first and last 'Spring Budget' yesterday, and the statement announced several changes for those who operate via their own Limited Company: The Tax Free dividend amount of £5,000 will reduce to £2,000 from April 2018 Corporation tax rates will decrease to 19% from April 2018 and to 18% from April

IR35 in the Public Sector UPDATE
24/02/2017 - More...
We are pleased to confirm that 1st Option has been invited to join the private beta testing of the HMRC Tool. So far we have run around 25 tests, typifying our normal interim or high-end contractor clients, and the results have been extremely positive. The Tool, which should be used by public sector bodies to assess the IR35 status of an

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

Finance Bill 2017
22/03/2017 - More...
The Finance Bill 2017 was published on 20 March 2017 and runs to a mammoth 762 pages, comfortably taking the record for the longest bill from Finance Bill 2012 which ran to 686 pages. The Bill together with the explanatory notes contains 313,031 words. The Bill contains the legislation for many of the tax measures that have been announced

Emails and letters from HMRC
22/03/2017 - More...
HMRC continues to warn taxpayers about email scams. Phishing emails are used by fraudsters to access recipients’ valuable personal details, such as usernames and passwords. Whilst these messages may appear to be genuine they are potentially dangerous and clicking on a link from within such an email can result in personal information being

Inheritance Tax main residence nil-rate band
22/03/2017 - More...
The new Inheritance Tax main residence nil-rate band (RNRB) comes into effect from 6 April 2017. The new RNRB is in addition to the existing £325,000 Inheritance Tax Nil-Rate Band (NRB) threshold. The initial RNRB will amount to £100,000 for 2017-18, increasing to £125,000 in 2018-19, £150,000 in 2019-20 and £175,000 in 2020-21. The

Tackling money laundering
22/03/2017 - More...
HM Treasury has announced that a new watchdog is to be established to help tackle potential weaknesses in the supervisory system that criminals may be trying to exploit. The new office for professional body anti-money laundering supervision (OPBAS) is expected to be operational from the start of next year. The new watchdog will be tasked

Employer arranged pensions tax-free allowance
22/03/2017 - More...
A new annual £500 tax-free allowance for any adult that receives advice for employer arranged pensions comes into effect from 6 April 2017. The advice provided can relate directly to the pension as well as to the general financial and tax issues relating to pensions. New draft guidance explaining these changes in more detail has recently

VAT fuel scale charges
22/03/2017 - More...
The new VAT road fuel scale charges have been published. The changes amend the VAT scale charges for taxing private use of road fuel to reflect changes in fuel prices. The new fuel scale charges must be used by companies from the start of their next prescribed accounting period beginning on or after 1 May 2017. The fuel scale rates

Employment law changes taking effect in April 2017
22/03/2017 - More...
The following key changes to employment law will come into force in April 2017: The Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017 will require private and voluntary sector employers with 250 or more employees to report on their median and mean gender pay gap figures, their median and mean gender bonus gap figures, the

Salary sacrifice changes
15/03/2017 - More...
There will be changes to the tax rules for salary sacrifice schemes from April 2017. These changes will see the removal of the tax and NIC advantages of certain benefits provided as part of a salary sacrifice arrangement. The following benefits will not be affected by these changes: Employer provided pensions and pensions

Card Transaction Programme disclosure opportunity
15/03/2017 - More...
HMRC’s Card Transaction Programme is a new disclosure opportunity for businesses that accept card payments and have not paid the right amount of tax due. The campaign offers the opportunity for affected businesses to bring their affairs up to date and in doing so take advantage of the best possible terms. HMRC cites examples of

Is a Self Assessment return required?
15/03/2017 - More...
There are a number of reasons why a taxpayer needs to complete a Self Assessment return. This includes if they are self-employed, a company director, have an annual income over £100,000 and / or have income from savings, investment or property. Taxpayers that need to complete a Self Assessment return for the first time should inform

Combatting pension scams
15/03/2017 - More...
In December 2016, the Department for Work and Pensions together with HM Treasury launched a consultation on a package of measures to tackle three different areas of pension scams. Pension scams commonly target those who have not yet reached the minimum pension age. The three areas being considered are: A cold calling ban. This

Reduced Money Purchase Annual Allowance
15/03/2017 - More...
The MPAA applies to individuals who have flexibly accessed their pension benefits and were introduced to stop abuse of the pension system under certain circumstances. The annual allowance that applies in respect of money purchase pension contributions is to be reduced from £10,000 to £4,000 from 6 April 2017. This measure has been put in

Checking IR35 employment status
15/03/2017 - More...
HMRC has launched a new software program to enable interested parties to check an individual’s employment status for tax. The new software will provide HMRC’s view as to whether IR35 legislation applies to a particular engagement and whether a worker should pay tax through PAYE. Whilst the new software will be of most interest to the

New HMRC employment status checker tool goes live
12/03/2017 - More...
HMRC has published a new “check employment status for tax” online tool which you can use to find out if you, or a worker on a specific engagement, should be classed as employed or self-employed for tax purposes. The service will give you the view of HMRC on whether the intermediaries legislation (IR35) applies to an engagement and

Independent review recommends employers publish workforce data
08/03/2017 - More...
The independent Baroness McGregor-Smith review, commissioned by the government, has now published its report on race in the workplace, considering the issues affecting black and minority ethnic (BME) groups at work. The report makes a number of recommendations on how employers in the public and private sectors can improve BME diversity

Spring Budget 2017 - VAT registration and deregistration thresholds
08/03/2017 - More...
The taxable turnover threshold, that determines whether businesses should be registered for VAT, will increase from £83,000 to £85,000 from 1 April 2017. The taxable turnover threshold that determines whether businesses can apply for deregistration will be increased from £81,000 to £83,000 on the same date. Businesses are required to

Spring Budget 2017 - Dividend allowance
08/03/2017 - More...
The new dividend tax allowance was introduced in April 2016. The new allowance replaced the dividend tax credit with an annual £5,000 dividend allowance with tax payable on dividends received in excess of this amount. In his Budget speech, the Chancellor announced changes to this year old allowance. Mr Hammond told the House of Commons