WE’RE MOVING!

We’re delighted to announce our upcoming move to fantastic new premises!

In February 2019, we will relocate to purposely designed and newly refurbished offices at Carleton Business Park, Skipton.

This is an exciting development for The Shepherd Partnership and we can’t wait to welcome you – our clients and contacts – there in the near future.

Watch this space for further updates…but please get in touch if you have any questions in the meantime.

Please CLICK HERE to download a map of our new location.

Our new address will be:

Carleton Business Park

Skipton

BD23 2AA

HMRC confirm MTD is happening in April 2019…but delays full roll-out as result of Brexit

MTD

HMRC confirmed that MTD for VAT is set to take effect from April 2019, as previously planned. From this time, businesses with a turnover above the VAT registration threshold (currently £85,000) will be required to keep digital records for VAT purposes and submit VAT returns using MTD functional compatible software.

But they have delayed the full roll-out of Making Tax Digital (MTD) while the UK makes preparations to leave the EU in 2019.

MTD for individuals was scheduled to take effect from 2020. However, the government has revealed that the plans have been put on hold to allow HMRC to focus on the UK’s Brexit preparations.

In a letter to tax professionals, HMRC stated: ‘We have made the decision to delay plans to release project capability to EU exit work. This means halting progress on Simple Assessment and real-time tax code changes.’ HMRC proceeded to say that the foundations for MTD for individuals have been laid, which will enable the government to return to the initiative ‘in the future’.

Responding to the news, Yvette Nunn, Co-Chair of the Technical Steering Group at the Association of Taxation Technicians (ATT), stated: ‘Given the unprecedented changes which will result from Brexit, it is only sensible that HMRC seek to prioritise their work. While we welcome the pause . . . we strongly urge HMRC to use the extra time given to iron out the known problems with Simple Assessment and dynamic coding before they hit play on them again.’

Meanwhile, HMRC has added two new software providers to the MTD for income tax pilot scheme, bringing the current total to four.

The software providers signed up to the MTD for income tax pilot will be required to supply reporting tools to those taking part in the pilot, in order for them to send income and expenses summaries to HMRC every three months. Participating sole traders will then be required to submit a final report to confirm all income and expenses for the year, and to claim any allowances or reliefs they may also be entitled to.

OTS calls for ‘urgent review’ into how UK tax system affects businesses

MTD

OTS calls for ‘urgent review’ into how UK tax system affects businesses

In a new report, the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) has called for the government to carry out ‘urgent work’ in order to simplify the business tax system for UK firms.

The OTS report focused on businesses owned by individuals and families, and examined how the tax system affects firms at each of the key stages of their development, from starting-up to disposal or cessation. The OTS’s stated aim was to ‘highlight the complexity entrepreneurs face when seeking to establish or grow a business’.

In the report, the tax reliefs and charges that apply to new and growing businesses were examined in order to ascertain how well they operate and whether they achieve their objectives.

The OTS concluded that the reliefs and charges would ‘benefit from an overhaul to reduce complexity’, which would help to make reliefs ‘more accessible’ to firms.

The regulatory body has urged the government to consider streamlining or simplifying a number of key reliefs in order to better help entrepreneurs in starting up and expanding their businesses.

The OTS has highlighted 12 key observations, focusing on two main areas: the operation of the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS), Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) and Venture Capital Trust (VCT) schemes; and Entrepreneurs’ Relief (ER), capital gains tax (CGT) gift relief and inheritance tax (IHT) reliefs for business.

The organisation has invited the views of businesses and the industry, and will ‘consider some of the areas touched upon in more depth in the future’.

Paul Morton, Tax Director at the OTS, said: ‘This paper takes a significant first step towards meeting the pressing need to undertake a detailed review of the tax system as it operates across the business lifecycle.

‘It is aimed at helping the businesses that are the lifeblood of the UK economy to maximise their opportunities and to make the system clear and simple to understand and use.’

Chancellor invites small firms to contribute views on VAT threshold

Chancellor Philip Hammond has invited small businesses to provide feedback on the impact of the current VAT threshold on their firm.

In November 2017, the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) outlined a range of measures intended to help simplify the VAT system. The OTS suggested examining the current approach to the level and design of the VAT registration threshold, and argued that the current registration threshold of £85,000 is ‘costly’, and has a ‘distortionary impact’ on business growth and activity.

The government has acknowledged that the current design of the VAT registration threshold could be ‘disincentivising’ small businesses from expanding their firm. The consultation will explore the effects of the VAT threshold on small businesses and examine different policy options.

Businesses can contribute their views online at www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/W7TLCZ7. The deadline for firms to respond is 5 June 2018.

Meanwhile, the government recently introduced new rules to combat online VAT fraud. The measures, which were first announced by Mr Hammond during the 2017 Autumn Budget, strengthen the powers to make online marketplaces accountable for VAT fraud perpetrated by sellers using their platforms.

Under the government’s new guidelines, online marketplaces will be liable for any unpaid tax if they do not remove sellers who fail to pay VAT from their sites. The regulations apply to both UK sellers and those based overseas.

Marketplaces are also now required to ensure that sellers using their platforms display a valid VAT number.

New tax year ushers in key business and tax changes

New tax year ushers in key business and tax changes

With the beginning of the 2018/19 tax year, some significant changes to business and tax legislation are taking effect. Here, we take a look at some of the key measures that could affect your business or personal finances.

Increase in employers’ minimum auto-enrolment contributions

Currently the pension auto-enrolment legislation requires employers to contribute at least 1% on qualifying earnings. From 6 April 2018, employers may be required to increase the contribution they pay into their automatic enrolment workplace pension scheme. Affected employers will be required to pay a minimum of 2% from this time, with a further increase to 3% set to take place from 6 April 2019.

Reduction in the Dividend Allowance

The Dividend Allowance is set to reduce to £2,000 on 6 April 2018, from its current level of £5,000. The stated aim is to ‘address the unfairness associated with director-shareholders’ tax advantage’.

Rising National Living Wage (NLW) and National Minimum Wage (NMW) rates

From 1 April 2018, the NLW for employees aged 25 and over will increase to £7.83 per hour.

Meanwhile, the NMW will increase to £7.38 per hour for workers aged 21-24, and to £5.90 an hour for workers aged 18-20. For workers who are aged 16-17, the NMW will rise to £4.20 per hour, and for apprentices, the rate will rise to £3.70 an hour. An apprentice is an individual who is aged under 19, or 19 and over and in the first year of their apprenticeship.

Introduction of the new Welsh Land Transaction Tax (LTT)
1 April sees the introduction of the new LTT, which preserves the essential structure of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT), but with some key differences, including a higher starting threshold for residential properties. For those seeking to purchase a residential property in Wales, there will be no tax to pay on a home worth up to £180,000.

The new Scottish income tax bands

From 6 April 2018, a raft of additional changes will take effect for taxpayers who are resident in Scotland. In the 2017 Scottish Budget, the Finance Secretary for Scotland, Derek Mackay, announced two new income tax bands, bringing the possible income tax rates payable up to five. The new Scottish income tax rates range from 19% to 46%.

Rise in the pensions Lifetime Allowance (LTA)

The LTA has increased in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI), and for 2018/19 it will rise from £1,000,000 to £1,030,000.

For more information on the key changes set to take effect from April 2018, please visit the Hot Topics section of our website.

Congratulations to the Skipton Business Awards winners…

We were delighted to attend, and be involved in, the 2nd Skipton Business Awards ceremony – which took place on Thursday 22nd March.

The awards – which launched (with great success) last year – took place at the Rendezvous Hotel. The room was full to capacity with over 230 attendees – all keen to celebrate the great businesses our area has to offer!

We sponsored the Best Professional/Financial Services Business award… and we’d like to say “HUGE congratulations!” to the winners of the category, Walker Foster Solicitors!

The event was a triumph – expertly coordinated by Wendy Lawson of Skipton Chamber of Trade & Commerce.

Here’s to many more years of the Skipton Business Awards.

 

Picture credit: Stephen Garnett (who was the official photographer at the event).

Survey suggests two thirds of businesses ‘unprepared for GDPR’

Survey suggests two thirds of businesses ‘unprepared for GDPR’

A survey carried out by professional services firm EY has suggested that two thirds of businesses are ‘unprepared’ for the upcoming introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

The GDPR is set to come into effect on 25 May 2018, and will strengthen the obligations on all businesses in regard to the safeguarding of individuals’ personal information. Firms have been urged to review their data privacy and security practices ahead of the introduction of the Regulation, to ensure that they are compliant.

Businesses who fail to take action in respect of the new Regulation will face severe financial penalties, with fines costing up to €20 million, or up to 4% of total annual worldwide revenue, whichever is the greater.

EY found that 78% of firms consider data protection and privacy to be a growing concern: however, only 33% of businesses stated that they have a plan in place for the implementation of the new GDPR.

Meanwhile, a report published by software technology company Senzing suggested that businesses are ‘sleepwalking towards a GDPR abyss’. Senzing believes that 24% of businesses should be deemed ‘at risk’ of receiving significant fines for failing to comply with the new Regulation, and a further 36% are ‘challenged’ when it comes to complying with the obligations.

Worryingly, Senzing’s report also found that 30% of firms believe GDPR fines and penalties ‘will have no impact at all’ on their business, and an additional 15% ‘don’t know’ if fines will have an impact.

Commenting on the findings, Jeff Jonas, CEO of Senzing, said: ‘The fines that can be levied for non-compliance will be potentially terminal to some organisations, and even the largest companies – and certainly their shareholders – will feel a significant impact.

‘A huge number of companies simply don’t understand the dangers of non-compliance, with smaller firms apparently particularly unaware.’

To find out more on this issue, please visit the Hot Topics section of our website