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Archives for Tax Advice

Certificates of Tax Residence

HMRC have updated their guidance on how to apply for certificates on tax residence which is applicable for individuals and companies that have overseas income. In order to be taxed in the UK, the overseas tax authority will ask for proof of UK tax residence which is in the form of a “Certificate of Residence” issued by HMRC. Here is a link to the updated guidance on tax residence on HMRC’s website.

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Capital Gains Tax Boston UK

Capital gains tax planning for properties

This client came to us seeking advice on mitigating capital gains tax on a property. We considered the client’s personal and professional circumstances in detail and explored various options allowing for the potential tax liability to be mitigated. We finally developed a strategy using legislation, HMRC’s guidance and extra statutory concessions which if carefully implemented would allow for the majority of the capital gains tax liability to be eliminated.

Our analysis: This was a complex case and required specialist knowledge of the legislation and HMRC guidance on various reliefs and exemptions. Seeking tax advice from a specialist firm may cost a little but the tax savings are very much worth it.

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Tax Investigations and Planning Seminar – 29 November 2018 – Glasgow

We will be hosting a free tax seminar at the Double Tree by Hilton, Strathclyde, Glasgow on 29th November. The following topics will be covered:

  • Tax investigations – latest developments
  • Tax case update
  • Budget 2018
  • Property tax planning

The seminar will provide specialist insight into the above areas. We are expecting bankers, business persons, solicitors and accountants to attend the seminar. The seminar qualifies for CPD points if these are relevant to you.

Refreshments and snacks will be provided.

If you would like to attend, please send an email to to book a place.

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Budget 2018

Here are some of the selected key budget announcements from a tax adviser’s perspective:

Annual Investment Allowances (AIA): AIA have been increased from £200,000 to £1 million from 1 January 2019. This increase is being allowed for a period of 2 years. The AIA gives 100% tax relief on plant and machinery in the year of acquisition instead of the normal capital allowances that reduce each year. Transitional rules will apply for periods spanning 1 January and any periods ending after 1 January 2019 will receive a proportionate increase. This relief can be very useful for companies that invest in plant and machinery each year or are planning to incur significant costs in the coming two years.

Entrepreneur’s Relief: There will be two important changes to Entrepreneur’s Relief:

a. The qualifying period of 12 months ownership has been extended to 24 months from 1 April 2019. Entrepreneur’s relief allows individuals to be taxed at a reduced rate of 10% instead of the         normal capital gains tax rates on disposal of an interest in a business or shares in a trading company.

b. To qualify for the relief, an individuals must be an employee or a director of company and own 5% or more of the voting rights and share capital of the company. From 29 October 2018, they must also be entitled to 5% of the company’s distributable profits and net assets.

Principal Private Residence Relief: There will be two important changes to PPR relief with effect from 6 April 2020

a. Currently, the final 18 months of ownership of a property which had previously been used as a main residence were deemed as the period of residence. The final period of deemed residence will now be restricted to 9 months

b. The letting relief which allows up to £40,000 of the gain (relating to a period the property was let) to be exempted will be restricted to the periods where the owner jointly occupies the property

Non resident landlords:

a. Currently non resident landlords are chargeable to capital gains tax on sale of residential properties only. This will be extended to commercial properties from 6 April 2019

b.Non resident corporate landlords will be subject to corporation tax at 17% instead of the normal 20% from 6 April 2020

Research & development tax relief:

Currently small and medium businesses that are not paying any tax can surrender their tax losses to HMRC in exchange for an unrestricted cash credit. Under the proposed changes, this cash credit will be limited to three times the PAYE and NICs liabilities of the business for the accounting period in which the qualifying research and development cost has been incurred. This change is proposed to come into effect from 1 April 2020.

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Corporation Tax Boston UK

McFarlane [2018] TC 06512 – Tax Tribunal case lost for deliberate behaviour

The First Tier Tribunal judge found in this appeal that there was a valid discovery and the appellant’s actions were considered deliberate. The appellants agents FTR Accountants Company Limited had made a series of mistakes and errors in the appeal process and did even turn up to the hearing with the excuse that they had got their diaries wrong. This case demonstrates the importance of cooperating with HMRC from the outset and to ensure the formal appeal process is adhered to by the agents as any mistakes could prove to be costly.

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VAT Boston UK

Tax fraudster jailed for VAT repayments

David Handley, aged 43, from Leicester has been jailed for four years for VAT repayment fraud. Mr. Handley was the mastermind behind a gang of 18 people using forged identities to set up businesses and claim more than three hundred fraudulent VAT refunds. In his supervision, Mr. Handley had set up almost 46 illegitimate businesses purely to claim tax from HMRC. Read more…

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Positive ruling from HMRC on capital gains tax liability

This client came to us on recommendation from East London. The client had transferred a property to their relative as part of an ongoing internal family arrangement. On the face of it, there was a transfer between connected people and therefore subject to a substantial capital gains tax liability. We considered the case and background and found that the person to whom the property was transferred had retained beneficial ownership of the property throughout the period of ownership by the nominee owner and that there was a deemed trust in place. We discussed the idea with our client and applied to HMRC for a ruling that there was no tax to be paid considering the structuring of the ownership. After waiting for approximately 8 weeks, we received a positive ruling from HMRC confirming that our technical analysis of the ownership structure and of deemed trust was correct and therefore no capital gains tax was payable. This was great news for our client as a potentially substantial tax liability was no longer payable in accordance with the tax legislation.


Our analysis: This was a complex matter and required in depth specialist knowledge of the tax legislation and legal/ beneficial ownership structures. Whilst a tax specialist will no doubt cost more than an ordinary accountant but can bring much larger savings in tax. In this case the additional fee was a fraction of the tax savings brought for our client.

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Capital Gains Tax Boston UK

Inheritance tax and capital gains tax planning for a large estate

This client came to us through another firm of accountants from London. The client had a significant portfolio of investment properties as well as a high value main residence. The client was seeking advice to mitigate capital gains tax on transferring the investment properties to their children and also to reduce their estate for the purposes of inheritance tax at death. Our client had been to a number of accountants and tax advisers previously but had not been able to find a solution. Our tax specialists were able to propose a tax strategy that allowed capital gains tax on transfer of properties to children to be eliminated as well as significantly reduce or eliminate the potential inheritance tax liability. Our firm also helped with complete implementation of the strategy achieving capital gains tax, income tax and inheritance tax savings.

Our client had previously been advised on transferring the investment properties into a limited company to achieve income tax savings. In our view, this approach carries a significant risk that HMRC may seek to charge capital gains tax on the transfer. The advisers rely on the Ramsay case) and hope that HMRC will not challenge. Firstly, the risk of significant capital gains tax becoming payable is there and has become reality in many cases. Even if the case went to the Tax Tribunal and was won by the taxpayer, it does not achieve significant inheritance tax savings or capital gains tax savings on transferring of properties to children. Furthermore, as the property prices keep increasing and if the limited company was to sell one of the investment properties, it would pay capital gains/ corporation tax on the disposal and the shareholders would pay income tax on extracting the profit from the company. This means that transferring properties into limited companies are subject to double taxation.

Our analysis: Our firm specializes in capital gains and inheritance tax planning strategies and we have advised on a number of cases involving a large portfolio of investment properties. There are several strategies available and being marketed by accountants and tax advisers. One needs to be careful before going ahead with a strategy and think through right to the end of the tax implications i.e. capital gains tax, income tax and inheritance tax. We have seen that some clients only aim to mitigate income tax but forget the capital gains or long term inheritance tax planning.

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Probate valuations and Capital Gains Tax

This case was referred to our firm by another firm of accountants in London. The client had inherited some properties a few years ago that they wanted sell. The issue was that the valuation used for probate purposes was quite low compared to market value at the time of death which meant that the capital gains tax on sale would be significantly higher. Our team of tax specialists took on the case an applied to HMRC’s valuation team to get a correct valuation. HMRC initially objected to our proposals but having provided sufficient supporting evidence comprising property valuations and sold prices, we were able to agree a figure with HMRC that was much closer to our initial proposal. The agreement by HMRC’s valuation office meant that our client’s capital gains tax liability was reduced to a fraction of the initial figure before we took on the case. The client was over the moon with the savings.

Our analysis: At the time the case was referred to us, our clients or their accountants had not even thought about getting a valuation agreed from HMRC’s specialist unit in order to reduce the liability. Due to our long running experience in our dealings with HMRC, this strategy was discussed with the client and they were quite happy with the idea. The tax savings achieved by our client were far higher than their expectations. It is always a good idea to seek advice from a tax specialist as this can bring substantial savings compared to costs.

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