How to minimise Inheritance Tax bills as house prices surge

More and more people are being drawn into paying Inheritance Tax (IHT), as the price of property soars. This is because former Chancellor Rishi Sunak froze the nil rate thresholds for paying the tax at £325,000 until 2026, while the value of homes has rocketed, potentially drawing more people into paying the tax. There are some exceptions, which are listed below, but generally, people are

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‘Umbrella’ contracts firm loses £11m tribunal case against HMRC

A company has lost an £11 million dispute with the taxman over whether contract construction workers were entitled to claim travel costs tax-free. As many as 600,000 temporary workers in the UK are thought to be employed by umbrella companies, used by recruitment agencies and companies to cut temporary payroll costs. Exchequer Solutions Limited (ESL) is an umbrella company that supplies workers to the building trade

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Britons lose millions in penalty charges as they cash in LISAs

Thousands of Britons facing a cost-of-living crunch have been withdrawing funds from their Lifetime ISA (LISA) accounts and getting hit with significant penalty charges. According to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), a record 77,500 LISA savers were issued over £33 million worth of early withdrawal charges in 2021/22. Early withdrawal from LISAs attracts a 25 per cent penalty. During the pandemic, the Treasury cut the

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National Insurance thresholds are changing – Are you ready?

From 6 July 2022, the Primary Threshold (PT) for National insurance will increase to £12,570. This is the threshold at which employees begin paying National Insurance contributions (NICs). This will bring the rate in line with the current rate of personal allowances for income tax and means those earning below this amount each year will pay no tax or NICs. It also means that a

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‘New deal’ for tenants to be delivered in Renters Reform Bill

The ‘biggest change to rent law in a generation’ will be delivered with the Renters Reform Bill (the Bill). The Government says it says it will improve the lives of millions of renters by driving up standards in the private and social rented sector, delivering on the Government’s mission to level up the country. Levelling Up and Housing Secretary Michael Gove said: “This is all

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Take action – Loans to small businesses drop to record low

Research from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) shows that successful applications for finance among members have dropped to the lowest level on record. Conversely, figures from the Bank of England show the annual growth rate of lending to big corporates has increased significantly since the start of the year. It has led to the accusation that banks are “pulling up the drawbridge” on lending

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Managing costs to offset spiralling inflation – Our top tips for cutting your bills

A leading business organisation has highlighted the problems faced by industry after new figures show a steep rise in business costs. According to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), producer input price inflation stands at a record-high 18.6 per cent, and the consumer prices index at nine per cent and could go higher. It says the disparity between the two figures shows how businesses are having to

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Penalties for misuse of Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

New legislation allows HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) to recover Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) grants that have been overclaimed. Those who fall foul of the legislation could face interest charges, financial penalties and even be named and shamed. If a business overclaimed a CJRS grant and has not repaid it, it needs to inform the tax authority within 90 days. The new legislation allows looking for

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Be prepared for changes to VAT penalties and VAT interest charges

Changes to charges and penalties applied to late submission of VAT returns will kick in from January next year. For the VAT period starting on or after 1 January 2023, new penalties will replace the default surcharge for returns submitted or paid late. Any VAT returns received late will also be subject to late submission penalty points and financial penalties. What happens if I submit

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How hard-pressed SMEs can obtain business support

Small businesses are the lifeblood of the UK economy, but with rapid inflation and other economic headwinds making trade difficult, they can struggle to access support. There is a wide range of important tax reliefs available to SMEs, which could provide some much-needed financial assistance. These include: Employment Allowance claims This scheme allows eligible businesses to reduce their National Insurance contributions (NICs) bills by claiming

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