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  • How can I check my residence status?

    Your residence status depends partly on the number of days you spend in the UK during the tax year and partly on certain other factors.

    A Statutory Residence Test (SRT) must be applied to each tax year from 6 April 2013 onwards. If you were visiting or living in the UK before 5 April 2013, you will need to consider two sets of rules when you check your residency status.

    To add to the complications, your residence position in one tax year can affect the conditions that apply to your residency in a future year. If you want to retain non-residency status – and the tax benefits that go with it – seek advice from a suitably experienced tax professional.

    Do you still have questions? Get in touch with our private client tax team to find out more about how they can help you.

  • As tax becomes digital, will I still need to do an annual tax return?

    The government’s ‘Making tax digital’ strategy is being rolled out gradually between 2016 and 2020. The self-employed as well as unincorporated businesses and landlords with a turnover/income above the VAT threshold are the first to be affected.

    Under the new regime, affected taxpayers must provide income information to HMRC each quarter. HMRC will only accept the information in a digital format so, if you are affected, you will need to use a software package to maintain your records throughout the year.

    If you fall within this group of taxpayers, you will start submitting quarterly updates to HMRC in the second half of 2018 (based on current government guidelines). Get ready for digital reporting by finding the right software now, so you are familiar with recording the right information and have made any necessary tax planning adjustments before quarterly reporting starts. We can advise you on what you will need to record and help you choose the right sort of software for your needs.

    Each year, you will be required to submit an end of year activity report within nine months of the end of your accounting period. This is a final opportunity for you and your tax adviser to make adjustments to your income statement. In this respect, it is similar to an annual tax return as it will finalise your tax position for the year.

    Do you still have questions? Get in touch with our private client tax team to find out more about how they can help you.

  • What does your tax return service include?

    Preparing and submitting a tax return is much more than a compliance task. If it’s done well, a tax return is also a milestone in your annual tax planning and an opportunity to save money.

    Before you become a personal tax return client, we’ll discuss your needs with you so that we understand how we can best help you. We will then be able to give you a bespoke proposal and an accurate fee estimate.

    We’ll provide you with a checklist of the documents and information that we need to prepare your tax return and remind you when we need it. Different sorts of tax payers need to provide different types of information. For example, if you are landlord, the information you provide will be different from a business owner or an employee.

    Once we have your information, we will review your overall tax position before discussing any available allowances and reliefs with you, as well as any longer-term tax planning ideas.

    You’ll receive your completed tax return for review, along with supporting information that shows how we have arrived at the final figures. If you have any queries on your tax return, we’ll be on hand to answer them.

    When you’ve signed your tax return and sent it back to us, we will:

    • Submit your tax return to HMRC and provide you with a copy
    • Notify you of the amount of tax you need to pay and when you need to pay it.
    • Remind you when your tax payments are due and provide a ‘how to pay your tax online’ guide which will help you to make payments quickly and easily.

    Throughout the year, we’ll let you know of any changes to tax law that may affect you. We will also be on hand answer your queries on HMRC correspondence such as their tax calculations, statements or PAYE coding.

    Do you still have questions? Get in touch with our private client tax team to find out more about how they can help you.

  • What has happened to wear and tear and renewals allowances?

    The 10% per annum wear and tear relief available to those letting furnished residential property, was abolished in April 2016, along with the renewals allowance. They were replaced with a new relief which allows a deduction based on the ‘actual costs of replacing furnishings’ on a like for like basis, less any proceeds from selling the items you have replaced.

    The not-so-snappily named new Tax Relief for Replacing Furnishings in Let Residential Dwelling-Houses affects expenditure incurred on or after 6 April 2016 for income tax and 1 April 2016 for corporation tax. It applies to items for domestic use including furniture, furnishings, household appliances and kitchenware, but excluding fixtures. It is not applicable to dwellings that you rent out (in whole or in parts) as holiday lets or that generate income under the rent a room scheme.

    The legislation to enact this change is expected in the Finance Act 2016. WMT can advise you on how to transition between the old regime and the new so you can make the most of this relief.

    Do you still have questions? Get in touch with our private client tax team to find out more about how they can help you.

  • What is the ‘restriction of interest relief’?

    If you are a residential property lettings landlord, the amount of interest relief you can claim on financial costs will gradually reduce between 6 April 2017 and 5 April 2020.

    You will be affected by this change unless you are:

    • letting a residential property that meets all the criteria for a furnished holiday let; or
    • are running a property business through a company, including a non-resident company subject to income tax.

    Your finance costs include mortgage interest, interest on loans to buy furnishings, and fees incurred when you take out or repay mortgages or loans. No relief is available for capital repayments of a mortgage or loan.

    If affected, the proportion of finance costs you can offset against rental income from your residential buy to let properties will gradually reduce from April 2017. By tax year 2020/21, you will only be able to claim a tax deduction for these costs at the basic rate of income tax in your annual tax computation.

    From 6 April 2017 to 5 April 2020, a restriction will apply as follows:

    • 2017/18 – 75% interest full deduction: 25% interest relieved at basic rate of income tax;
    • 2018/19 – 50% interest full deduction: 50% interest relieved at basic rate of income tax;
    • 2019/20 – 25% interest full deduction: 75% interest relieved at basic rate of income tax;
    • 2020/21 – 100% interest relieved at basic rate of income tax.

    These rules apply to ‘costs’ of a dwelling-related loan, so they extend to other deductions including the incidental costs of obtaining loan finance.  A loan taken out to acquire a motor vehicle used in the management of a property business will also have a restriction on the allowable interest.

    Tax planning advice from WMT’s specialists can help reduce the impact of the loss of relief and protect your cashflow.

    Do you still have questions? Get in touch with our private client tax team to find out more about how they can help you.

  • Which UK assets give rise to IHT?

    If you are ‘deemed domiciled’ in the UK, all of your worldwide assets will fall under the UK inheritance tax (IHT) regime. Under the regime, you may be eligible for certain reliefs and exemptions, depending on your particular circumstances.

    If you are neither UK domiciled or deemed domiciled for IHT purposes (a ‘non-dom’), you are only liable for IHT on assets owned in the UK.

    From April 2017, the government intends to bring all UK residential property held directly or indirectly by non-UK domiciled persons into the inheritance tax regime. This will apply whether the property is owned directly or through a structure such as an offshore company or partnership.

    Do you still have questions? Get in touch with our private client tax team to find out more about how they can help you.

  • When should I elect into the Patent Box?

    To maximise your Patent Box relief, you can elect into the Patent Box:

    • at the same time as you apply for your patent, or
    • up to two years after the end of an accounting period to claim relief on profits in that period.

    Once your company enters the Patent Box regime, your income from the trade that falls under the regime will be taxable at a lower rate. You will need to review how you record income and expenditure so you can identify the profits for each patent that meet the criteria for Patent Box relief.

    Once you have opted in, you can qualify for relief on profits for up to six years before your intellectual property (IP) right – usually a patent – is granted. You will only be able to claim the tax back once your IP right has been granted.

    It is possible to make a Patent Box loss, especially if you elect to join the regime too early, so it’s important to plan the timing of your election. You can revoke an election, but then you won’t be able to re-elect for another five years.

    Do you still have questions? Get in touch with our tax team to find out more about how they can help you.

  • What is Investors’ Relief?

    This is a new relief that enables investors to benefit from a 10% capital gains tax rate when they sell their shares in a company.

    To benefit from Investors’ Relief (IR), investors must have obtained the shares on or after 17 March 2016, held them continuously for three years, and dispose of then on or after 6 April 2019.

    As with ER, there is a £10 million lifetime limit for the relief.

    The investment must be in an unlisted trading company and the investor must not be an officer or an employee of the company. The rules also apply to qualifying beneficiaries of trusts.

    Conditions are included to ensure that the relief only applies to new shares issued for genuine commercial purposes. Also, only investors who are not connected to officers or employees of the company are eligible for the relief.

    Tax incentives for investors through the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) and Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) are still available in qualifying businesses. IR allows companies to raise additional funds outside these schemes, as well as potentially being attractive to investors who have exceeded the limits for EIS and SEIS.

    Do you still have questions? Get in touch with our tax team to find out more about how they can help you.

  • It’s easy to qualify for entrepreneurs’ relief, right?

    If you take a look at the general guidance on HMRC’s website, you might get the impression that qualifying for entrepreneurs’ relief (ER) on the sale of a business or business asset is quite straightforward. This relief ensures you only pay 10% capital gains tax on the disposal of your business.  If you delve a little deeper, you will find that it is easy to be caught out.

    ER is a very generous relief that a lot of people connected to a business can benefit from – shareholders, family members, employees, investors – under the right circumstances. As a consequence, there are a lot of conditions to meet in order to qualify. It is important you check that you and your company meet the qualifying conditions.

    Qualifying for ER on the sale of a business

    Once you have met the very strict criteria that allow you and your business to qualify for ER, you will need to maintain them for at least a year before you dispose of the business. This means that some careful business planning has to be put in place. Any significant business decisions in the year leading up to the sale must be made with your ER criteria in mind to ensure you still qualify for the relief if you sell.

    You will also have to consider the impact of the terms of the sale. Share buy-backs and earn outs can affect whether you can capture capital treatment, or if ER is available.

    Qualifying for ER on the sale of an asset

    Assets that you own and are used by your business can also potentially qualify for ER relief if the business has used them for at least a year. You must also have sold at least 5% of your shares in the business or the business has closed.  The receipt of income or rent for the asset can restrict the relief, so care is needed in this area.

    Do you still have questions? Get in touch with our tax team to find out more about how they can help you.

  • How will I benefit from your advice on my corporation tax return?

    All active (and some dormant) companies must file a corporation tax return each year by a specified date (usually 12 months after the end of their accounting period).

    Most responsible individuals and businesses want to contribute the tax that they owe – but equally, don’t want to pay more than they have to.

    Preparing the tax return is an ideal time to look for tax saving opportunities and identify planning opportunities that can help you in future years. If you are a shareholder in the business, compiling your corporate tax return is also an opportunity to think about extracting your reward from the business as tax efficiently as possible.

    Saving you tax

    The key to making sure you pay no more corporation tax than you have to is making sure you take advantage of every allowable deduction, expense, exemption and relief to give an accurate picture of your profits.

    We will review your expenditure and prepare your corporation tax return, checking that you have:

    • Claimed all allowable expenses appropriate for your industry and business activities
    • Identified opportunities to claim corporation tax relief, available if your company makes a loss, gives to charity or sells shares to employees at a discounted rate
    • Made use of all reliefs and exemptions such as:
      • Annual Investment Allowance and Capital Allowances for plant and machinery
      • Research and Development Relief
      • Patent Box Relief

    Do you still have questions? Get in touch with our tax team to find out more about how they can help you.

  • What is corporation tax?

    You must pay corporation tax on profits from doing business as a limited company, a foreign company with a UK branch or office, or as a club, co-operative or other unincorporated association. Your company will pay tax on profits from trading, investments or the sale of assets.

    You must work out, pay and report your tax on time each financial year.

    1. Register for corporation tax when you start doing business or restart a dormant business. Unincorporated associations must write to HMRC.
    2. Keep accounting records and prepare a company tax return to work out how much corporation tax you need to pay.
    3. Pay corporation tax or report if you have nothing to pay by your deadline – this is usually 9 months and 1 day after the end of your ‘accounting period’.
    4. File your company tax return by your deadline – this is usually 12 months after the end of your accounting period – whether you make a profit, a loss or have no tax to pay.

    Your accounting period is normally the same 12 months as the financial year covered by your annual accounts.

    Do you still have questions? Get in touch with our tax team to find out more about how they can help you.

  • How will changes to the taxation of dividends affect me?

    Changes to the way dividends are taxed and the dividend tax rates were introduced on 6 April 2016. A tax credit is no longer applied to dividends.

    Every individual can receive dividends of £5,000 per annum without any tax charge applying, no matter how much non-dividend income you have.

    New rates of dividend tax

    The following table shows the rates of tax on dividends from April 2016 with a comparison to the effective rates before April 2016.

    Dividend income tax band Rates from 6 April 2016 Rates before 6 April 2016
    First £5,000 of dividend income 0% n/a
    Basic rate band 7.5% 0%
    Higher rate band 32.5% 25%
    Additional rate band 38.1% 30.56%


    In general, this has meant a 7.5% increase in tax on dividends across all the tax bands, subject to the first £5,000 of dividends for all taxpayers being at a 0% rate of tax.

    It is important to note that the first £5,000 of dividend income still forms part of your taxable income in determining the following:

    • the rate of tax on other sources of income
    • income levels for considering child benefit charges
    • the availability of personal allowances.

    Winners and losers

    If you take a salary that is within your annual personal allowance and receive dividends within your basic rate of tax you will incur a modest increase in tax charge under these new arrangements.

    As a taxpayer receiving large dividend payments and paying higher rates of tax, your dividend tax liability will increase substantially – close to 7.5%.

    At the other end of the scale, if you are a higher rate tax payer and have dividends of up to £20,000 may find there is a tax reduction. This is due to £5,000 of dividend income being taxed at 0% despite the increase in tax on the balance of dividends.

    Many owner-managed businesses will still find dividends to be a very tax efficient way of taking income from the business, but tax efficiency isn’t the only factor to consider. For example, corporation tax at 20% is due on profits after costs, including salaries, have been deducted. Paying a salary reduces profit and therefore reduces the corporation tax bill.

    We can advise on the most suitable and tax-efficient way to extract funds from your business. Our advice takes account of your personal and business goals so you can strike the right balance between cash in your pocket and cash in the business.

    Do you still have questions? Get in touch with our tax team to find out more about how they can help you.

Tax advisory

Effective tax planning from our specialist tax accountants helps individuals, businesses and other organisations to ensure that tax does not become a barrier to their ambitions. As our clients often benefit from both personal and…

Business consulting

Our business advice service provides you with guidance throughout the whole of your business’s lifecycle. We develop a deep understanding of your key business drivers, which enables us to provide advice and support at every…

Audit services

WMT’s external audit services go beyond ensuring that your business is compliant with the Companies Act and other regulatory requirements. It offers you a greater insight into the way your business functions and where improvements…

Accounts services

We provide a comprehensive range of cost effective accounts services including accounting, bookkeeping and management information services. These are designed to supplement any internal resources or to be a fully outsourced solution. You will benefit…

Payroll & employment

Dealing with the ever-increasing range and complexity of employment taxation, alongside constant changes to legislation makes it challenging for employers to stay on the right side of the rules. WMT will answer your day-to-day queries…

Corporate finance

With our extensive commercial experience and technical know-how, our corporate finance team are well-equipped to help you with your corporate transactions. Having established a deep understanding of your business needs and goals, we are able…

Tronc & hospitality

Whether you are a start-up or an established company, our hospitality experts can work with you to manage and develop your business. They can take the hassle out of compliance, set up and manage your…