HMRC are removing a barrier to R&D tax credits

HMRC are removing a barrier to R&D tax credits

Businesses, Corporation Tax, Growth l

Einstein_laughingSince 2000, companies have been able to claim significant tax relief for undertaking qualifying R&D, however the uptake among smaller businesses has been and remains low. This can mean reduced corporation tax, or a cash payment from HMRC.

The main barrier to claiming is thought to be concern that the R&D undertaken doesn’t qualify, leaving the business with additional professional fees to pay for an unsuccessful claim.

To overcome this, from Autumn 2015 HMRC are introducing the ability for smaller businesses who have never claimed R&D tax credits to gain advanced assurance whether an R&D project would/does qualify, ahead of doing any calculations and making the claim. This should reduce the speculative risk of making a claim for these businesses.

HMRC new power to issue pay now, investigate later demands

Accounting, Businesses, National Insurance, Personal Tax, Tax/VAT Cases l

Tax calculatorHMRC are reported to be undertaking a targeted campaign against IT and financial services contractors, using the new “accelerated tax demands” to force tax payers into making payments within 90 days, ahead of the tax payer being able to respond.

* Campaign started August 2014

* £1bn collected to date

* £24m already refunded on appeal

* 64,000 notices expected by 2020

Minimum wage increases from 1 October 2015

Budgets, Law, Payroll l

A wage packetFrom 1 October 2015, the national minimum wage rates increase by between 2% and 20% with our youngest employees being both the biggest winners and losers depending on how they are employed.



– Apprentices * – £3.30 (up from £2.73) – up 20%

– Under 18’s – £3.87 (up from £3.79) – up 2%

– 18 to 20 year olds – £5.30 (up from £5.15) – up 3%

– 21 years and older – £6.70 (up from £6.50) – up 3%

If you have any queries on the minimum wage or running your payroll, please don’t hesitate to contact our team.

Time to review your inheritance and trust fund arrangements?

Budgets, IHT, Investments, Pensions, Property l

Mortgage calculator. House, noney and document.

Thousands of families who set up “discretionary trusts” so they could leave property to children in a tax-efficient manner will miss out on the Government’s valuable new inheritance tax allowance unless they make significant changes to their will, it has been warned.

Homes left to children through a discretionary trust will not benefit from the “family home allowance”, worth up to £350,000 per couple from 2020, because assets do not pass directly to children. Discretionary trusts – the most common form of trust – were widely used in the past to minimise inheritance tax (IHT).

Pension reforms leaves an “open trap door” for 70% tax charge on withdrawals

Accounting, Budgets, Investments, Pensions, Personal Tax l

Thousands of older savers who use the new pension freedoms to pay off debts could be forced to pay 70% tax on withdrawals they expected to be tax-free if they continue to save for retirement, pension experts have warned.

A little-known quirk in the rules designed to prevent pensioners abusing the tax system means that even over‑55s with modest pensions are at risk of unwittingly breaking official savings limits. Tweaks which mean the rules now affect far more people were quietly made in April this year.