This month’s Morris Cook newsletter reviews the following topics: business start ups, tax status if you are subject to the Scottish rate of Income Tax, what we can expect from the summer budget and HMRC’s delivery of tax statements for 2014-15.
Scottish Rate of Income Tax
From April 2016, the Scottish Parliament has devolved powers to set the Scottish Rate of Income Tax (SRIT). Within the last few weeks it has been widely publicised that this may mean a higher rate of Income Tax in Scotland as compared to the Income Tax rates in other parts of the UK.
HMRC have also issued a technical statement that clarifies who will be subject to SRIT.
According to the statement issued, a Scottish taxpayer will be defined using a simple test:
“For the vast majority of individuals, the question of whether or not they are a Scottish taxpayer will be a simple one – they will either live in Scotland and thus be a Scottish taxpayer or live elsewhere in the UK and not be a Scottish taxpayer.”
Factor in the possibility that Income Tax rates in Scotland will be higher than the rest of the UK and tax payers living and working in the border areas may need to reconsider their living arrangements.
For example, a business person living and working in Edinburgh will pay the SRIT from April 2016. If they relocated their family home to say Berwick on Tweed, and continued to work in Edinburgh, they would pay the UK Income Tax and not be subject to SRIT.
Turning this example on its head; consider a person living in Scotland and working in England. They would be subject to SRIT even though their income was earned in England.
Does this mean the north of England will become the UK’s Monte Carlo as wealthy Scots seek to establish tax residence in England to avoid SRIT?
Under and over payments of tax 2014-15
HMRC have started the process of sending formal statements to taxpayers who may have under or over paid Income Tax for 2014-15.
In a recent press release they said:
“We are sending P800s that show an overpayment of tax first, followed by a cheque around a fortnight later. You don’t need to do anything. The whole process should be completed in October.
This automated process ensures those who have had a change in circumstances during the last tax year (2014-15) that was not captured in their tax code have paid no more or less than they should. Any discrepancy could be because the taxpayer changed jobs, had more than one job for a time, a change of company car or received investment income that was not reported during the year.
The vast majority of PAYE taxpayers will have paid the right amount of tax for the year and will not be contacted by HMRC.”
We advise taxpayers who receive a statement, and they are unsure if the figures are correct, to take professional advice – get the numbers checked.
If you are an old hand at setting up a new business most of the content of this article will be a timely reminder of the issues you need to cover in your project to-do list. For first timers, use this article as a guide to see you through what can prove to be an exhilarating and challenging adventure.
Planning and research
Your planning and research should at least cover the following issues:
There is no doubt that at times you will just have to deal with it. Here are a few tips that may make the process less painful.
Red tape seems to be a necessary evil in our highly organised society. If you do find yourself beating your head against a brick wall, save yourself the headache, get some help.
Whatever you do, don’t underestimate the UK tax system. Be very clear what your obligations are and the ways you can organise your business affairs to save tax. There is no point in planning for your tax liabilities after the event! The time to plan is before you act. This is a really important point. Tax specialists, us included, take no joy in advising tax payers that they could have saved themselves tax if only they had acted in a certain way at some time in the past. The tax system is riddled with deadlines that once passed, deny you tax saving opportunities.
Summer Budget 2015
On Wednesday 8th July, George Osborne will present his first budget of the new parliament.
He has indicated that there will be no hikes in the major taxes: Income Tax, National Insurance, VAT and Corporation Tax. We shall see...
What he will be revealing is how he intends to reduce public expenditure in order to meet his commitments to reduce our growing national debt.
We will likely see further legislation to combat tax evasion and the re-introduction of the few issues that were dropped from the March 2015 Finance Bill in order to expedite matters before the general election.
SPEAK WITH MORRIS COOK TO FIND OUT MORE, or CALL 01691 654545.
Member since: 10th July 2012
A quick introduction - I'm John Waine, Director of TheBestOfOswestry. Having lived in this beautiful area for around 20 years now, I have decided to stay. :)
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