Tax Champion Blog

The Queen's Speech May 29, 2015

Today, the Queen travelled to the House of Lords and, amid the obligatory pomp and ceremony, gave her first formal speech of the new Conservative government. With almost twenty years since the last Conservative-only Queen’s Speech, the eyes of the country were on the monarch as she announced the programme of new laws that this government have promised to bring in over the next five years. The proposed legislation includes: Full Employments and Welfare Benefits Bill Government will work to achieve full employment, and will be required to report annually on job creation and apprenticeships. The Troubled Families Programme will expand, and benefits will be capped, encouraging young people to “earn or learn”. Enterprise Bill Red tape will be cut for small businesses, allowing them......Read More

Who will appear on the new £20 banknote? May 29, 2015

There’s a lot of change coming to our pockets in the next few years, and it’s definitely a good thing. With the design for the new £1 coin  being chosen as 15-year-old David Pearce from Walsall’s artistic rendering of four well-known symbols of the British Isles; the rose, the thistle, the leek and the shamrock, all rising from the same stem within a crown, symbolising unity under one monarchy, it’s a good job the Scottish voted to stay in the United Kingdom! The new polygonal £1 coin will go into circulation in 2017, and is designed to prevent forgeries by way of state of the art technology built into the coin that can be authenticated throughout the cash handling process. The current £1 coin is thought to be the......Read More

Student Loans – Taxing the Intelligent May 29, 2015

With the cost of a University education constantly on the up, many prospective students, and their parents, are worrying about graduating with a mountain of debt that they will be repaying for the rest of their lives. While this isn’t exactly untrue, it isn’t quite as bad as it sounds. In fact, those of us who went to University before 2012, when the Tuition Fees began to climb, could end up paying more back than many students who start their course in September this year. And anyone who has student debt from before 1998 could be in an even worse position than today’s teens. How will I repay my loan? The loans offered to students prior to 1998 functioned like mortgages, and repayments were made by Direct......Read More

Changes to VAT Prompt Payment Discounts Apr 9, 2015

From April 1 st , businesses who offer their customers a discount for prompt payment must change the format of their VAT invoices. Currently, suppliers are permitted by law to offer a prompt payment discount (PPD) and show this amount on the invoice before calculating VAT, for example an invoice for £1,000 with a 5% PPD would incur VAT of only £190, not £200. Suppliers are currently advised to assume that customers will take the discount, even if they pay too late to qualify, so only the VAT on the net value after the discount is charged. But from April 1 st , the law is changing; suppliers will have to account for VAT at the actual amount they receive. The government is worried that some suppliers......Read More

Non-Dom Status: the Facts Apr 9, 2015

As part of their election campaign, Labour is promising to scrap non-dom status and force all UK residents who work overseas to pay UK income tax. Currently, those who live abroad for a certain number of days per year do not pay UK tax on their foreign income, depending on several other factors; but some of them do pay tax in the country where they earn the money. They also pay an annual fee of £30,000-£90,000 for living in the UK part time , alleviating some of those lost taxes. You can read about the current arrangement  here . Ed Miliband has said that the existence of non-dom status is linked to tax avoidance and makes the UK an “offshore tax haven”. According to the Labour leader, this change could bring......Read More

General Election 2015 Apr 9, 2015

Dissolution of Parliament took place on March 30 th , in preparation for the General Election on May 7 th . Under the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act 2011, Parliament must be dissolved 25 working days before a General Election. The time between dissolution of the previous Parliament and the election is called purdah, or the pre-election period. Whilst the Prime Minister retains his role and responsibilities during this time, MPs do not. They lose all their parliamentary privileges and revert to being members of the public. They are also prevented from accessing the facilities of the Palace of Westminster from 5pm on the day of dissolution, and are encouraged to exercise discretion in any and all dealings that may extend beyond the pre-election period; however, this has not always happened......Read More

Budget 2015 Apr 9, 2015

On Wednesday 18 th March, George Osborne stepped up to the plate and announced what could be his last Budget as Chancellor of the Exchequer. This was Osborne’s sixth Budget since the coalition government was formed in 2010, and it could be the most significant as we prepare for the upcoming General Election in May. With the UK economy on the up, having achieved the highest growth rate in the G7 at 2.6%, and a low inflation rate of 0.3%, it was a positive Budget for British taxpayers. Here’s a summary of the key points: Tax Paper tax returns will be replaced by “digital tax accounts” by 2020. Individuals and small businesses will be expected to submit throughout the year via computer, tablet or smartphone; rather than......Read More

Taxpayers Have 1 in 4 Chance of Winning at Tribunal Mar 5, 2015

According to an article on Accounting Web , taxpayers have a one in four chance of successfully appealing an HMRC decision at tribunal. Government figures show that, in the tax year 2013-14, 7,081 appeals were made against HMRC decisions, and 6,626 were settled. Of the remaining 455, only 113 appeals were successful. Wolters Kluwer  VAT expert, Glyn Edwards, has advised accountants to warn their clients about the difficulty of appealing against a decision by HMRC. “Only a few hundred appeals get to tribunal and those that do are more likely to be won by HMRC than the taxpayer.” According to Edwards, even if the taxpayer wins their case at first tier tribunal, they cannot claim back any costs, so they should avoid spending more than the......Read More

Universal Credit: What You Need to Know Feb 17, 2015

The government began a phased roll-out of its new Universal Credit on Monday, with the aim of all recipients of benefits in England, Scotland and Wales being on the new credit by 2016. After a series of delays, the new benefit has been introduced at a further 150 job centres today, following a pilot at 100 job centres across Britain which began in April 2013. There has been plenty of criticism from the Labour party, which called it a ‘failing programme’ that would take years to implement, and the National Audit Office, which accused the scheme of being badly managed and failing to deliver on its targets. However, Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith has said that the roll-out of Universal Credit will cost £600m less than expected......Read More

Latest Tax Evasion Scandals Involving HSBC and PwC Feb 13, 2015

The latest financial giants to be embroiled in tax evasion scandal are HSBC and PricewaterhouseCoopers. HSBC’s Swiss private bank has been found to have helped wealthy clients worldwide evade hundreds of millions of pounds worth of tax, according to the BBC . In documents leaked by whistleblower Herve Falciani in 2007, there are accounts from 106,000 clients in 203 countries, including almost 7,000 clients based in the UK. The documents were stolen by a computer expert who worked for HSBC in Geneva in 2007, but the data was only handed over to HMRC in 2010. The Revenue has identified over 1,100 account holders who have not paid their taxes, but only one has been prosecuted for tax evasion. The report even suggests that HSBC helped its clients evade......Read More

890,000 Miss Tax Return Deadline Feb 6, 2015

According to a report by the BBC , around 890,000 people failed to file their self-assessment tax return by midnight on January 31 st , and now face a fine of at least £100. The number of people who failed to meet the deadline has increased by 190,000 since last year; however, the number who did manage to file their return in time has also increased, with 210,000 more than last year submitting their returns on time. 85% of all tax returns were filed online this year; January 31 st was the busiest day, as usual, with 980,000 returns filed on Saturday alone. However, the busiest hour was between 1pm and 2pm on January 30 th , with returns being filed at a rate of 830 per minute! 4.3......Read More


If you’re looking to start, grow or improve your business, don’t miss Britain’s biggest business exhibition and conference, The Business Show. The two-day event has 350 exhibitors, 250 seminars, and 10 workshops running across two days, drawing more than 10,000 aspiring entrepreneurs and small-medium business owners looking for inspiration, advice and networking. The next event will be held at ExCeL London, 13 th and 14 th May 2015. Book your free tickets now at   What’s At The Show? Exhibitors: The Business Show has hundreds of pioneering exhibitors, from software suppliers to business advisors and market leading ecommerce companies, ready to help develop your business in every aspect.   Seminars: The leading lights of industry deliver keynote seminars on topics ranging from inspiring stories......Read More

R&D Tax Credits - Could Your Business be Eligible? Nov 5, 2014

You may have heard some of the recent buzz around R & D tax credits, but you might be wondering what it means and how it could benefit your business. Well, let us give you the lowdown on the government’s latest initiative to help UK businesses:   Research and Development (R & D) Relief is a Corporation Tax relief that could reduce your  company’s tax bill  For SMEs, it can also be received as a tax credit instead, via a cash lump sum  Your business can only claim R&D relief if it is liable for Corporation Tax (CT)   What is R&D? You might think that research and development has nothing to do with your business, but almost every company spends at least......Read More

Tax Champion comes to the Business Show 2014 Oct 10, 2014

  If you’re in business – or want to be – then you need to be at The Business Show at Olympia London, 27 th & 28 th  November 2014   If you’re looking to start, grow or improve your business, don’t miss Europe’s biggest business exhibition and conference, The Business Show. The two-day event has 350 exhibitors, 250 seminars, and 10 workshops running across two days, drawing more than 10,000 aspiring entrepreneurs and small-medium business owners looking for inspiration, advice and networking. The next event will be held at Olympia London, 27th & 28th November 2014. Book your free tickets now at   What’s At The Show?   Exhibitors:  The Business Show has hundreds of pioneering exhibitors, from software suppliers......Read More

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Siobhan* was a driving instructor who had turnover of £25,000.00 per year and did her own tax return. HMRC thought that she should be achieving more than she had shown on her tax return and opened up an enquiry into...

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