• JOHN H.F. KING

    CHARTERED CERTIFIED ACCOUNTANTS

    We are a small firm specialising in giving advice to small to medium sized owner managed businesses.

    We aim to ensure that all clients receive a friendly personalised service relevant to their needs.

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18-09-2018
Budget date remains to be confirmed

The Chancellor Philip Hammond, has stated before the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee, that he is not yet in a position to announce a date for the Autumn Budget 2018 saying it was 'difficult to fix'. Last year, the Chancellor had used his annual meeting before the Economic Affairs Committee to announce the Budget date.

Now the Chancellor has said he is unable to fix a date at this time due to the significant political events currently taking place in relation to Brexit, including continued speculation that there may be a special European Council summit in November. The Chancellor also commented that he was 'acutely conscious of the danger of creating precedent' by announcing a date for the Budget this year at the Committee meeting.

The Chancellor has asked the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) to begin planning for an Autumn Budget. In response to a question from the Committee Chairman, he also commented that the required 10-week notice period given to the OBR is a minimum, not a maximum. Mr. Hammond has confirmed that he will announce a date to Parliament for the Autumn Budget as soon as it can be fixed in the calendar.

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18-09-2018
Help-to-Save scheme launched

The new Help to Save scheme for people on low incomes was officially opened with effect from 12 September 2018 following an 8-month trial. The new scheme allows those in work entitled to Working Tax Credit, and in receipt of Working Tax Credits or Child Tax Credits to save up to £50 a month for two years and receive a 50% government bonus.

The scheme is also open to UK residents who are claiming Universal Credit, and have a household or individual income of at least £542.88 for their last monthly assessment period (though note that payments from Universal Credit are not considered to be part of household income).

The scheme allows those eligible to save up to £50 a month for two years and receive a 50% government bonus. Account holders will then be able to continue saving under the scheme for a further 2 years, and receive another bonus. This could see those on low incomes receive a bonus of up to £1,200 on maximum savings of £2,400 over 4 year. After the 4 years, the Help to Save account will be closed and savers will not be able to reopen it or open another Help to Save account. The account balances are expected to be rolled over into successor accounts.

The new scheme could benefit an estimated 4 million people across the UK. There are no limits on how the money used can be spent but it is hoped that the money will be saved for urgent costs. Money paid into the account can be withdrawn at any time, but this could affect the size of the bonus payment.

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18-09-2018
CGT record keeping

The annual Capital Gains Tax (CGT) exemption for individuals is £11,700 for 2018-19. A husband and wife each benefit from a separate exemption. Same-sex couples who acquire a legal status as civil partners are treated in the same way as married couples for CGT purposes.

CGT is normally charged at a simple flat rate of 20% and this applies to most chargeable gains made by individuals. If taxpayers only pay basic rate tax and make a small capital gain, they may only be subject to a reduced rate of 10%. Once the total of taxable income and gains exceed the higher rate threshold, the excess will be subject to 20% CGT. A higher rate of CGT applies (18% and 28%) to gains on the disposal of residential property (apart from a principal private residence).

It is important that any individuals keep proper records of any capital gains for at least a year after the Self- Assessment deadline. They may need to keep records for longer, if the tax return was submitted late or HMRC has started a check into the return. Businesses must keep records for 5 years after the deadline.

HMRC suggests that taxpayers keep receipts, bills and invoices that show the date and the amount:

  • paid for an asset,
  • of any additional costs such as fees for professional advice, Stamp Duty, improvement costs, or to establish the market value,
  • received for the asset - including payments made by instalments, or compensation if the asset was damaged

It is also recommended to keep any contracts for buying and selling the asset (for example from solicitors or stockbrokers) and copies of any valuations. If records are no longer available for any reason, you must try and recreate them letting HMRC know if the figures are estimated or provisional.

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