Tax Champion Blog

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

PCG evolves to become IPSE, the UK’s new association for self-employed professionals Sep 2, 2014

PCG, the membership organisation for freelancers, has today announced it is rebranding in order to represent all independent professionals working in the UK’s growing self-employed sector.   From 1st September 2014, PCG will become IPSE, the Association for Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed.   The consistent rise in people choosing to become self-employed over the last ten years means the sector reached a record 4.59million strong in July, according to the latest figures from the Office of National Statistics.   Chris Bryce, Chief Executive of IPSE, said:   “By next year, the number of self-employed people in Britain is predicted to outnumber those working in the public sector. Individuals in business on their own account need representation and with our history fighting......Read More

Collective Defined Contribution Pensions: is the UK ready? Sep 1, 2014

With auto-enrolment at the forefront of everyone’s minds, you might be looking into the options available to you for your pension. In the past, the trend was for “defined benefit”, or final salary, schemes, which allowed you to pay in monthly and know exactly what you would get when you retired - a percentage of your final salary. However, these types of schemes have become incredibly rare and difficult to find in recent years, so more and more people are paying into “defined contribution” (DC) schemes instead. This means that you know exactly how much you are paying in each month, but you can’t be sure how much you will get out on retirement.   Now, according to an article on the BBC News site, the government wants......Read More

Companies House to make data free of charge Aug 1, 2014

From April 2015, digital data from  Companies House  (CH) will be free to access, in a move to “improve corporate transparency”, according to the government. Accountants will be able to research clients’ and potential clients’ businesses without having to pay the usual £1 per document to download. In 2013/14, Companies House made £8.7m from selling information alone, but as part of a Public Data Group Summer Statement for the 2014 G8 Statement, the government has decided to offer this data free of charge. The Summer Statement is part of an updated Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) Open Data Strategy, supporting open data across the department and its partner organisations. CH is just one of a number of government data bodies affected by planned data releases; including......Read More

CIS: An Update Jul 28, 2014

After an initial 27 year period of content, the Construction Industry Scheme has seen several changes over the last 15 years. Now, HMRC is looking to make another update to the scheme; this time loosening the reigns rather than tightening them. HMRC have proposed a series of changes, some of which are fundamental. Here is a summary:   Softening of compliance test for gross payment status Mandatory online filing (possibly via RTI) Ability to amend CIS returns online No more nil CIS returns Mandatory online verification Improved verification process Up to date online CIS account accessible to subcontractors   The aim of the proposed changes is to make the scheme more efficient without negatively affecting its integrity;......Read More

Penalty Shoot Out Jul 7, 2014

Filing your company tax return late could now incur an escalating penalty based on the size of your business, and increasing monthly until the return is filed and the debt paid. As part of the government’s new penalties system, which will apply to tax returns from the 2013/14 period onwards, businesses who file late tax returns will be fined £100 per 50 employees for each month that the return is outstanding. In addition, due to the implementation of RTI (real-time information) and penalties for late and non-filing, HMRC has changed its approach to late PAYE return penalties. Now, when a late return is received by the Revenue, it will issue a revised penalty notice with the correct amount due. This new process will also affect tax years 2012/13......Read More

Steve Knowles does Funny Business! Jun 19, 2014

On October 23rd 2014, eight men and one woman will take to the stage at Sheffield City Hall to be funny for money. Tax Champion founder and MD, Steve Knowles is one of those people. Funny Business is an annual event run by Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity, that allows average Joes to get their 15 minutes of fame, all whilst raising money for a very worthy cause. Before being let loose on the stage, the fledgling comedians are put through their paces in a 5 week training course by Sheffield-born policeman turned comic,  Alfie Moore :     So, if you love comedy and hate Cancer, support Steve and his 8 fellow charity comics by joining us at Sheffield City Hall on October......Read More

HMRC outsource overpaid tax credits to debt collectors Jun 19, 2014

Have you been overpaid tax credits? You could soon be visited by private debt collectors, hired by the Revenue to recover money paid into people’s accounts in error. According to an investigation by  False Economy , HMRC has hired twelve third party debt collectors to call, text and write to millions of UK taxpayers who have been overpaid tax credits. It is believed that in some cases they have even visited recipients at home. There are reportedly around 4.7 million outstanding cases of tax credit overpayments. The government is hoping to recoup the £1.6billion of overpayments and bring down the benefits bill. Many of the effected have been overpaid through no fault of their own, and cannot afford to give back the total amount owed immediately. In......Read More

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