UK’s tax gap continues to fall

Figures released by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) show that the UK’s tax gap – the difference between tax owed and actual receipts – is continuing to fall. The Revenue has revealed that the tax gap for the 2016-17 tax year was 5.7 per cent, down from six per cent in the previous year and 7.3 per cent in 2005-06. It says that, had the

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Small businesses say the Government should simplify business rates

A survey has revealed strong support from the UK’s small business community for measures to simplify business rates. A total of 71 per cent of the small businesses questioned said business rates should be simpler and have a greater degree of flexibility. Meanwhile, 49 per cent of SMEs said the Government is doing too little to assist with business rate relief, with just 36 per

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Professionals call on Treasury not to lower VAT threshold before MTD and Brexit

The Low Incomes Tax Reform Group (LITRG) of the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) has called on the Treasury to resist pressure to reduce the VAT threshold from its current £85,000 until after the implementation of Making Tax Digital (MTD) and Brexit. The call came after the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) urged the Treasury to review the current threshold, prompting it to issue a

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A quarter of dads may be missing out on paternity pay, according to a new report

The TUC has launched a new campaign calling on the Government to extend paternity pay to more workers, after discovering that a quarter of fathers may be missing out. It found that of the 620,000 new working dads last year, more than 140,000 did not qualify for paternity pay, which provides up to two weeks’ paid time off. This figure, it has said, is the

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More than two-fifths of small business owners are still unaware of MTD

According to a new study, Making Tax Digital (MTD) is currently one of the biggest concerns for VAT-registered small business owners. The research, prepared by Intuit QuickBooks, found that more than three-quarters of SME owners found the legislation challenging and difficult to understand. It also reveals that 70 per cent were struggling to find the right new tools to help them comply, including 63 per

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Building contractors will have to comply with complex new VAT rules

Those working in the construction and building industry are being encouraged to get to grips with a new way of accounting for VAT. From 1 October 2019, builders, contractors and other trades associated with the construction industry will have to change the way they invoice supplies of standard or reduced-rated building services between VAT-registered businesses in the supply chain. Under the new Reverse Charge for

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‘Bank of Mum and Dad’ feels the squeeze

The average amount contributed by parents towards home purchases has fallen by 17 per cent over the last year, according to Legal & General (L&G). While buyers who received assistance from their parents in 2017 enjoyed an average contribution of £21,600, those receiving assistance this year can expect an average contribution of £18,000. This equates to a fall in overall lending from £6.5 billion last

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Vigilance urged as fraudsters fake security measures to access bank accounts

Businesses and individuals are being encouraged to redouble their vigilance as fraudsters fake security measures in order to gain the information needed to access and drain bank accounts of funds. In one instance, an academic received a call that was supposedly from her bank saying that her account had been frozen owing to unusual transfers. The call had begun with some initial security questions, which

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Ministers make an about-turn on tax haven transparency measures

In a reverse of its previous position, the Government has backed measures to increase the transparency of offshore tax havens. The measures will compel British overseas territories to make public their records of the true owners of the companies that are registered there. The measures were contained in an amendment to the Anti-Money Laundering Bill that was proposed by Labour MP Dame Margaret Hodge and

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Replace Inheritance Tax with ‘lifetime receipts tax’, argues thinktank

With the issue of intergenerational fairness continuing to be high on the agenda, a thinktank has suggested that the Treasury returns to the drawing board when it comes to taxing bequests and inheritances. Instead of Inheritance Tax (IHT), the Resolution Foundation has floated the idea of a ‘lifetime receipts tax’, which would give individuals a lifetime tax-free allowance, with further thresholds above this amount for

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