Archive for June, 2015

Childcare support for working parents to double

Friday, June 5th, 2015

David Cameron announces plans to double free childcare for working parents, with some families set to benefit as early as next year.

  • Parents set to benefit from 30 hours of free childcare, with rollout to start from 2016 – a year earlier than planned.
  • Childcare funding rates to increase, with review promised before summer.
  • New government taskforce will introduce changes as soon as possible.

The Childcare Bill, introduced 2 June 2015 will double free childcare available for all working parents of 3 and 4 year olds to 30 hours a week – available to up to 600,000 families and worth around £5,000 a year – including the £2,500 they can already save from existing free childcare offers.

And, in a move to underline the government’s commitment to support working families with the costs of childcare, plans are being drawn up to introduce the changes for some families a year earlier than planned, with pilots in some areas offering 30 hours worth of free places from September 2016.

On top of this, the government is also committing to increase the average childcare funding rates paid to providers (the hourly funding provided for each free place): the Department for Education is set to begin a review before summer, overseen by Childcare Minister Sam Gyimah.

A new government taskforce, headed by Minister of State for Employment Priti Patel, will also work to drive forward the plans and ensure not a moment is wasted in passing the benefits onto working families.


Over a million more people given the chance to own their own home

Thursday, June 4th, 2015

Communities Secretary Greg Clark is to announce landmark changes to spread home ownership to millions.

  • Government confirmed in first Queen’s Speech measures including a ground-breaking Housing Bill
  • Right to Buy to be extended to 1.3 million housing association tenants
  • Sweeping new measures, including a Right to Build, to also boost house building

Communities Secretary Greg Clark said:

Our Housing Bill will offer over a million people a helping hand onto the housing ladder. That is what a government for working people is about – making sure people have the security they need to build a brighter future for them and their families.

The Bill includes a comprehensive range of measures to offer England’s 1.3 million housing association tenants the chance to benefit from the same opportunities council tenants enjoy, with significant discounts to buy their homes.

Receipts from selling an owner’s current property will help build replacement affordable homes on a one-for-one basis. This means the number of homes across all tenures will effectively double for each home sold, increasing national housing supply and creating a new affordable home for those in need from each sale.

First-time buyers will be further helped by plans to deliver 200,000 Starter Homes, which will be available at a 20% discount to first-time buyers under 40.

A ‘Right to Build’ in the Bill will also help increase housing supply and diversify the housing sector by giving people the right to be allocated land with planning permission for them to self-build or commission a local builder to build a home. Self-build delivers a majority of homes in many other countries and can act as a boost to smaller and medium sized builders.

The Bill will confirm housing as a priority for the government, and ensure home ownership is once again seen as an attainable aspiration.


Tax Diary June/July 2015

Monday, June 1st, 2015

 1 June 2015 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 31 August 2014.

 19 June 2015 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 June 2015. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 June 2015.)

 19 June 2015 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly return for the month ended 5 June 2015.

 19 June 2015 – CIS tax deducted for the month ended 5 June 2015 is payable by today.

 1 July 2015 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 30 September 2014.

 6 July 2015 – Complete and submit forms P11D return of benefits and expenses and P11D(b) return of Class 1A NICs.

 19 July 2015 – Pay Class 1A NICs (by the 22 July 2015 if paid electronically).

 19 July 2015 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 July 2015. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 July 2015.)

 19 July 2015 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly return for the month ended 5 July 2015.

 19 July 2015 – CIS tax deducted for the month ended 5 July 2015 is payable by today.


Attempts to defraud a liquidator punished by courts

Monday, June 1st, 2015

A court order appointing a Provisional Liquidator was made by the High Court in March 2014 against Parkwell Investments Ltd, based in Wilmslow, Cheshire. The order removed the company’s officers and appointed a Provisional Liquidator in their place to protect the company’s remaining assets.

The company’s officers then deliberately and knowingly acted in contempt of court by transferring £450,000 out of the reach of the Provisional Liquidator.

The funds are now very unlikely to be recovered, a point which presiding Judge Mr Justice Norris took into consideration when sentencing. He said the company officers’ actions “were an affront to the rule of law and order”.

Amran Munir, Ali Sami Farooq, and Saif Chaudhry were each sentenced to six months’ imprisonment, of which three months is to be served in prison before being granted unconditional release. Unusually, the prison sentence was given in civil, rather than criminal, proceedings.

The individuals initially defended their actions but at the eleventh hour admitted to breaches of the court’s order.


Reclaiming VAT input tax prior to registration

Monday, June 1st, 2015

Once you have registered your business for VAT the first thing you should consider is the possibility of reclaiming input tax on purchases of goods and services prior to registration.

 This article summarises the issues you will need to consider for the two categories: goods and services.

There’s a time limit for backdating claims for VAT paid before registration. From your date of registration the time limit is:

  • 4 years for goods you still have, or that were used to make other goods you still have
  • 6 months for services

You can only reclaim VAT on purchases for the business now registered for VAT. They must relate to your ‘business purpose’. This means they must relate to VAT taxable goods or services that you supply.

You should reclaim them on your first VAT return (add them to your Box 4 figure) and keep records including:

  • invoices and receipts
  • a description and purchase dates
  • information about how they relate to your business now

If your pre-registration purchases and other costs are significant, this facility can produce a reasonable cash flow benefit. Please call if you would like our help to assess the possible claim you could make.


What is your business staging date

Monday, June 1st, 2015

Pensions’ automatic enrolment is not going to go away. Businesses have begun to receive notification of their staging date: the date on which pension arrangement under the scheme should be in place.

 According to the Pensions Regulator’s commentary on automatic enrolment:

“The law on workplace pensions has changed. Every employer with at least one member of staff now has new duties, including putting those who meet certain criteria into a workplace pension scheme and contributing towards it.

This is called automatic enrolment. It’s called this because it’s automatic for your staff – they don’t have to do anything to be enrolled into your pension scheme. But it’s not automatic for you. You need to take steps to make sure they’re enrolled.”

The stages or tasks you will need to complete by your staging date include:

  • Assessment of your workforce to see who is eligible.
  • Provide a point of contact.
  • Create an action plan.

 This will include choosing a pension scheme or checking that your present scheme will qualify.

If you are still unsure what you should be doing, we would be happy to point you in the right direction. As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, this requirement is not going to go away.


The missing clauses

Monday, June 1st, 2015

In order to process the Finance Bill 2015 through the parliamentary procedures before the recent election, certain clauses were deferred. It is likely that the deferred clauses will be reintroduced in the summer Budget, 8 July 2015.

 As announced, George Osborne will present his first Budget of the new parliament 8 July. The clauses that were deferred are:

  • Tax exemption for travel expenses of members of local authorities.
  • Consortium relief – the “link company” rules.
  • Fuel duty incentives for aqua methanol.
  • Exemption for trivial benefits in kind.
  • Amendments to rules for the Enterprise Investment Scheme and Venture Capital Trusts.

 Speculations about other matters that may be included in a post election budget are rife and may include:

  • The announcement of an increase in Inheritance Tax exemptions for married couples passing on the family home, to a possible £1m, and
  • Loss of higher rate tax relief for pension contributions.