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We offer cloud-based accounting solutions. Using good technology saves time. With the power of cloud accounting in your hands, you can access accurate real-time data on the go, accept instant payments and even automate repetitive tasks like invoicing. Fast, easy, touch-of-a-button software can make a real difference to the way you run your business.
C-19 Grant funding for business
C-19 Time to pay agreement
C-19 Loan Funding
C-19 VAT Deferred Payments
C-19 Business rates
C-19 Company Directors & Shareholders
C-19 IR35 & Off-payroll working
C-19 Insolvency & Directors
C-19 Self-employment income support scheme (SEISS)
C-19 Landlords & tenants
C-19 Late payment interest rate
C-19 Reduced rate VAT
C-19 Deferring Income Tax payments
C-19 Working from home
C-19 Future Fund loan scheme
C-19 Recovery Loan Scheme
C-19 Job Support Scheme - on hold
C-19 Job Retention Bonus - on hold
C-19 Restart Grant Scheme opened
Employer-provided PPE & testing
C-19 Test & trace/isolation support
... a digital firm using the best tech to help our clients
Welcome to Adrian Mooy & Co Ltd
like yours grow and be more profitable.
We offer a personal service and welcome new clients.
We are a firm of Chartered Certified Accountants
and tax advisors in Derby helping businesses
From start-up to exit & everything in-between.
Whether you’re struggling with company formation,
Helping you grow your business
Helping you keep more of your income
We understand your needs
Call us on 01332 202660
annual accounts and taxation, payroll or VAT you can
count on us at every step of your business’s journey. For
VAT & payroll please contact us.
If you are looking for a Derby accountant then please contact us.
If you are starting your own business, running it as a sole trader is the quickest and easiest way to do it. However, you will have unlimited liability which means you are personally responsible for business debts.
Another important aspect is that you are taxed on all the profits with little opportunity for tax planning. This is why most businesses will incorporate as profits increase.
We can support you through business registration and provide advice on all aspects of tax including:
◦ Accounts for HMRC ◦ Self assessment ◦ VAT returns ◦
◦ Payroll services ◦ Tax planning ◦
Partnerships are similar to sole trades, except that they are used when more than one person owns the business.
Each profit share is determined by the partners and best practice is to record this in a partnership agreement.
With partnerships each partner has joint and several liability for the debts of the partnership, so that if one partner cannot pay their share of any business debts, the debt will fall on the other partners.
Setting up a partnership agreement from the outset is essential.
Corporate tax planning can result in significant improvements in your bottom line. Our services will help to minimise your corporate tax exposure.
We are a member firm of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.
Self assessment tax returns are becoming increasingly complex and failing to submit your return on time, or correctly, can result in substantial penalties.
We use the latest tax software to ensure that tax returns are completed efficiently, accurately and on-time.
Self assessment: Taking
away the hassles of tax
We provide a comprehensive personal tax compliance service for individuals that includes:
Invoicing your contracting work through a limited company is tax efficient. We will advise you on how to structure your contract to minimise IR35 risk. We will ensure you claim all the expenses that you are entitled to and work out if you can save money by joining the VAT Flat Rate Scheme. We will complete your accounts and tax returns and provide you with clarity over your tax payments.
Included in the service • IRIS KashFlow + Snap • Annual accounts • Corporate tax return • Personal tax return • Payroll • Dividend administration • VAT returns • Contract reviews • Dealing with HMRC
VAT • is one of the most complex tax regimes imposed on business. We provide a cost effective service including assistance with registration & completing your returns.
Payroll • Administering your payroll can be time consuming. We provide a comprehensive payroll service.
Your Payroll Solution
Construction Industry Scheme • CIS returns & payments
Book-keeping • Maintenance of accounting records
Provision of management accounts
For more about these services please contact us.
Keeping the Books
If your business does not require a statutory audit then our Assurance Service will provide reassurance that your accounts stand up to close scrutiny from your bank or other finance providers.
Work is tailored to your specific requirements and the level of confidence that you are looking to achieve and will provide credibility to your accounts by the issuing of an assurance review report.
Adrian Mooy & Co is a registered auditor with the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.
We strive to provide an auditing service that adds more value than merely the statutory compliance requirement of an audit.
We tailor the audit to meet your circumstances and needs. Using the latest techniques and software we deliver a cost-effective audit that provides real value.
Before starting out you may need help with business planning, cash flow and profit & loss forecasts.
You may also want help identifying the best structure for your business. From sole trades and partnerships to limited companies and limited liability partnerships, we have the experience to advise on the best solution for you both operationally and from a tax point of view.
We also advise on accounting software selection, profit improvement, profit extraction & tax saving.
If you wish to know more about our Business Start-up service please contact us on 01332 202660.
Accountancy and taxation of property is a specialist area. We have the expertise and experience to work effectively with private landlords and property investors. We deal with self-assessment tax, accounts preparation & tax advice for all aspects of property portfolios.
Whether you are a first time buy to let landlord or a long established developer we will discuss and understand your situation in order to advise and recommend the most appropriate medium through which to carry out your property investments. We will guide you through the accounting and tax issues and help you to plan effectively.
We take the time to explain your accounts to you so that you understand what is going on in your business.
Up to date, relevant and quickly produced management information for better control.
As part of our accounts service we prepare your annual accounts and complete yearly personal and business tax returns.
As your year-end approaches we will agree a timetable with you for completion of the accounts that minimises disruption to your business and leaves no late surprises when it comes to your tax liabilities.
We can also prepare management accounts to help you run your business and make effective business decisions. Management accounts are also very useful when approaching lending institutions when no year end accounts are available. We offer:
For a meeting to discuss your requirements please call us on 01332 202660.
We understand the issues facing owner-managed businesses.
We provide advice on personal tax & planning opportunities.
Running a small business places many demands on your time. We can help lift the load with our complete payroll service.
Designed to ease your administrative burden, our service removes what is often a time consuming task, leaving you free to concentrate on managing your business.
We can also prepare your benefits and expenses forms and advise you of any filing requirements and national insurance due. Benefits and expenses can be a complicated area and knowing what to report can be tricky.
We can file all your in-year and year end returns with HMRC and provide you with P60s to distribute to your employees at the year end.
We also offer a solution to meet your auto-enrolment obligations.
Businesses dealing with the requirements of VAT legislation will agree that this is often a complex area.
Our compliance services offer support for all stages of completing your VAT returns, whether you need advice on the treatment of specific transactions or have produced your records and would like verification that they are correct.
We can also advise on the pros and cons of voluntary registration, extracting maximum benefit from the rules on de-registration and the Flat rate VAT scheme.
Our consultancy service guides you through the intricacies of the legislation, pinpointing areas where you may be able to relieve or partly relieve the cost of VAT for your business, for example when purchasing new equipment or undertaking new projects such as property development.
For a meeting to discuss VAT and obtain further advice please call us on 01332 202660.
We can conduct a full tax review of your business and determine the most efficient tax structure for you.
We give personal tax advice to a wide variety of individuals, including higher rate tax payers, company directors & sole traders.
We can assist with:
For a meeting to discuss your requirements please call us on 01332 202660.
Understand your needs
Firstly we listen and gain an understanding of your business and what you are aiming to achieve.
We seek your opinions on the service we provide and respond to feedback in order to upgrade and improve what we do.
Build a relationship
Success in business is based around relationships and trust. Our objective is to develop and build strong relationships with our clients, based on two way trust and respect.
Confirm your expectations
Our aim is to help you maximise your business potential and we tailor our service to meet your requirements and agree a timetable for delivering them.
Communication is important to the success of any commercial venture. It is therefore a vital part of our work with you, sharing the knowledge and ideas that help you to realise your ambitions.
Understand your needs
Confirm your expectations
Build a relationship
Straightforward and easy to deal with Adrian Mooy & Co provide an efficient, friendly and professional service - payroll, tax returns, annual accounts and VAT returns are always done on time. Eddie Morris
Call us on 01332 202660
NL Wage and NM Wage changes from April 2021
Under the minimum wage legislation, workers must be paid at least the statutory minimum wage for their age. There are two types of minimum wage – the National Living Wage (NLW) and the National Minimum Wage (NMW). From 1 April 2021, as well as the usual annual increases, the age threshold for the National Living Wage is reduced.
National Living Wage - The NLW is a higher statutory minimum wage payable to workers whose age is above NLW age threshold. Prior to 1 April 2021, it was payable to workers age 25 and above. From 1 April 2021, the NLW age threshold is reduced; from that date it must be paid to workers aged 23 and above.
National Minimum Wage - The NMW is payable to workers who are below the age of entitlement to the NLW. Prior to 1 April 2021, the NMW applied to workers above compulsory school leaving age and under the age of 25; from 1 April 2021, the NMW must be paid to workers under the age of 23 and over the school leaving age.
There are three NMW age bands:
Workers aged 21 and 22 (prior to 1 April 2021, workers aged 21 to 24).
Workers aged 18 to 20.
Workers aged 16 and 17.
Apprentices - There is also a separate NMW rate for apprentices. It is payable to apprentices under the age of 19 and also to those who are over the age of 19 and in the first year of their apprenticeship.
Accommodation offset - Employers who provide their workers with accommodation are able to pay a lower minimum wage to allow for the cost of the accommodation provided. The amount that you are obliged to pay is found by deducting the ‘accommodation offset’ from the appropriate minimum wage for the worker’s age. The daily accommodation offset rate can be deducted for each full day for which accommodation is provided. For these purposes, a day runs from midnight to midnight. The weekly accommodation offset rate is seven times the daily rate.
Rates from 1 April 2021
NLW: Workers aged 23 and above £8.91 per hour
NMW: Workers aged 21 and 22 £8.36 per hour
NMW: Workers aged 18 to 20 £6.56 per hour
NMW: Workers aged 16 and 17 £4.62 per hour
NMW: Apprentice rate £4.30 per hour
Accommodation offset £8.36 per day £58.52 per week
Check you are paying the correct rates
Employers should ensure that the amounts that they pay workers on the NLW or NMW from 1 April 2021 are in line with the new rates. They should also ensure that they have processes in place to identify when a worker moves into a new age bracket. From 1 April 2021, this will include workers aged 23 and 24 who will be entitled to the NLW from that date.
Can you claim SEISS 4th & 5th payouts during 2021?
If you commenced self-employment after 5th April 2019
If you started your self-employment after 5 April 2019, you were denied support under this scheme from the first three quarterly payouts to 31 January 2021.
The good news is that due to lobbying by tax professionals and self-employed support groups the SEISS is being opened to traders who commenced after 5 April 2019. However, there is an additional hurdle to jump before you can make a claim; your tax return for 2019-20 needs to have been filed by midnight 2 March 2021.
Additionally, your business must be adversely affected by the pandemic and your profits from self-employment must be at least 50% of your income and less than £50,000.
If you commenced self-employment on or before 5th April 2019
If you qualified for the first three grants, you should qualify for the further grants due this year unless your circumstances have changed, for example, if you are no longer adversely affected by COVID disruption.
For those of you who may be claiming for the first time, you will need to claim using your online tax account. HMRC should advise you when the claims process is open for business.
If claiming the fourth grant – 1 February 2021 to 30 April 2021
The fourth grant under the scheme covers February to April 2021. It is worth three months’ average profits capped at £7,500 and can be claimed from late April.
If claiming the fifth and final grant – 1 May 2021 to 30 September 2021
The fifth and final grant covers the period from May to September 2021. The amount of the grant will depend on the impact that Covid-19 disruption has had on your profits.
The final grant can be claimed from late July.
There is a potential misfit in this fifth grant. Although it covers a five-month period (May – September 2021) the actual payout for this period is based on three months. What about the other two months?
RTI penalties and period of grace
Under real time information (RTI), employers are required to report pay and deductions information to HMRC ‘at or before’ the time that the payment is made to the employee. This is done by means of the full payment submission (FPS).
Penalties are charged if the FPS is filed late or if HMRC did not receive the expected number of FPSs or an Employer Payment Summary in a tax month in which no payments were made to employees. However, a penalty is not charged for the first default in the year.
Period of grace
HMRC operates a risk-based approach to penalties and historically have allowed a three day period of grace, not charging a penalty if the FPS is received within three days of the date on which the payment was made to the employee. They are continuing this approach for the 2021/22 tax year and will not charge a penalty where the FPS is received in this three-day window as long as there is no pattern of persistent late filing by the employer.
However, it should be noted that this is a concession, not an extension to the filing deadline. Employers should treat the concession as an occasional ‘get out of jail free card’ and continue to file the FPS at or before the time that they make the payment, unless one of the limited circumstances in which the FPS can be filed after the payday applies. These are listed in the ‘Running payroll’ guidance on the Gov.uk website.
HMRC will monitor employers who persistently file after the statutory deadline and may be contacted or considered for a penalty as part of HMRC’s risk-based approach.
Amount of the penalty
Where a penalty is charged for late filing, the amount of the penalty depends on the number of employees that the employer has.
If an employer has more than one PAYE scheme, penalties are assessed and charged separately for each scheme.
Where penalties arise, these are charged in-year on a quarterly basis.
Hidden benefit of the new extended loss relief
The new extended tax loss relief seems straightforward but a closer look reveals an opportunity for sole traders and business partners to save more tax than first appeared. Is this something you can take advantage of?
Tax relief for trading losses - Trading losses can be used to reduce tax payable on income of the current year, the previous year or both. The trouble is this can mean losing at least some or all of your personal tax-free allowance.
Example 1 - existing rules. In 2020/21 you made a loss of £30,000 and had other taxable income, a salary of £20,000 on which the tax payable is £1,500 ((£20,000-£12,500 personal allowances) x 20% £1,500). The rules say that losses are deducted from your income before personal allowances. Therefore, to get the £1,500 tax refunded you must use £20,000 of the loss relief. This means the £12,500 personal allowance is wasted.
New extended loss relief - The new loss relief rules are different in that you can’t use them to reduce tax payable on your other income. Instead, the loss relief can only be used against profits from the same trade. Ironically it’s this limitation that produces an opportunity for extra tax savings. The following example illustrates this. Bear in mind that to access the new loss relief you must either have no taxable income in the same and previous year as the loss, or have reduced it to nil for at least one of them by making a claim for relief under the existing rules.
Example 2 - existing rules. Jimmy’s sole-trader business shows the following results:
Year 2020/21 2019/20 2018/19
Trading profit/(loss) (£45,000) £26,000 £20,000
Other income £5,000 £12,000 £10,000
If he claims loss relief (under the existing rules)against his other income for both 2020/21 and 2019/20 he’ll have no taxable income in either year. He will have used all the loss but wasted his personal allowance for both years.
Example 3 - new rules. To access the new loss relief Jimmy must make a claim to use the loss in 2020/21 or 2019/20 under the existing rules. While the obvious choice is the year with the highest income, i.e. 2019/20, this would result in only £5,000 of the loss remaining to carry back to 2018/19 under the new extended loss relief rule. A better result is achieved if Jimmy instead claims loss relief against other income for the year of the loss (2020/21).
This seems counter intuitive because Jimmy’s income for 2020/21 is only £5,000 meaning that the claim results in no tax saving for 2020/21 as his income is already covered by his personal allowances. However, by claiming the loss relief for 2020/21 Jimmy uses just £5,000 of it. This leaves £40,000 (£45,000 - £5,000) which can be carried back under the new rules, first against 2019/20 and then 2018/19. The relief can only be used against trade profits and so will cover those for 2019/20, but will leave his personal allowance intact to cover his other income for that year.
Another angle. The “limitation to trade profits” rule can be used to increase loss relief carried forward. Say you made a loss in 2020/21 of £20,000 and had £1,000 other income. In 2019/20 your profits were £10,000 and you had other income of £10,000. Using the existing rules you could carry the £20,000 loss relief and so reduce your taxable income to nil. But if instead you claimed relief against the current year’s income, apparently wasting £1,000, you will limit the loss carried back under the new rules to £10,000 leaving £9,000 of it to carry forward.
Because the new extended loss relief is only set against trading income it can, unlike the existing loss relief, avoid wasting all or part of your tax-free personal allowance. This is done by claiming relief under the existing rules for the tax year in which your other income is lowest.
Is rent-a-room relief always worthwhile?
Rent-a-room relief aims to encourage those with spare rooms in their homes to let them out to increase the supply of furnished rental accommodation. Under the scheme, a person can earn up to £7,500 each tax year tax-free from letting out furnished accommodation in their own home. The limit is halved where the income is shared by two or more people, each person being able to earn £3,750 tax-free a year.
Where rental income is less than the rent-a-room limit of £7,500 (or £3,750 where income is shared), the tax exemption is automatic. There is no need to tell HMRC about the rental income, or claim the relief.
Rental income of more than the tax-free limit
If the rental income that a taxpayer receives from letting a room in their house exceeds the rent-a-room limit of £7,500 (or £3,750 where income is shared), the taxpayer has the option of claiming rent-a-room relief or working out the associated rental profit in the usual way. Where rent-a-room relief is claimed, the taxpayer simply deducts the rent-a-room tax-free limit from their rental income to arrive at their taxable rental profit.
Where rental profit exceeds the tax-free rent-a-room limit, the taxpayer must complete a self-assessment tax return. If the relief is to be claimed, the claim can be made in the tax return. Whether a claim is worthwhile or not will depend on whether actual expenses are more than the rent-a-room tax-free limit.
Maisie lives alone and lets out a furnished room in her home, receiving rental income of £10,000 for the tax year. Her associated expenses are £2,000. If she claims rent-a-room relief, she will pay tax on rental profits of £2,500 (£10,000 - £7,500). However, if she does not claim the relief, she will pay tax on the excess of her rental income over her actual expenses, a taxable rental profit of £8,000 (£10,000 - £2,000). Opting into the scheme is clearly beneficial as this reduces her taxable rental profits by £5,500. If Maisie is a higher rate taxpayer, this will save her tax of £2,200 (£5,500 @ 40%).
Mathew also lives alone renting out a furnished room in his home. His rental income is also £10,000, but his associated expenses are £9,000. In Matthew’s case, opting into the rent-a-room scheme is not beneficial as doing so will increase his taxable profit from £1,000 (£10,000 - £9,000) to £2,500 (£10,000 - £7,500).
The rent-a-room scheme cannot be used to create a loss, and where actual expenses exceed rental income, it will generally be better not to opt into the scheme in order to preserve the loss so that it can be carried forward and set against future rental profits. However, if the likelihood of being able to use the loss is small, it may be preferable to take advantage of the rent-a-room exemption to save work.
Maud lets a furnished room in her own home, receiving rental income of £3,000. The associated expenses are £4,000. If she chooses to use the rent-a-room scheme (which may be attractive due its simplicity) she does not need to report the income to HMRC. However, if she wishes to preserve the loss of £1,000 (£3,000 - £4,000), she will need to complete the property pages of the self-assessment tax return.
No one size fits all
The extent to which it is beneficial to claim rent-a-room relief will depend on personal circumstances.
EIS or VCT - which is right for you?
You’ve come into some money and want to invest in a tax-advantaged scheme, either an enterprise investment scheme (EIS) or a venture capital trust (VCT). The tax breaks for these are similar but with important differences. What are they?
Investing in companies always carries a risk and in enterprise investment scheme (EIS) companies or venture capital trusts (VCT) even more so. If you’re new to these types of investment or are unsure about putting money into higher risk schemes, we recommend that before you take the plunge you speak to a financial advisor. It’s worth comparing the different tax breaks for EISs and VCTs as they might help you decide where to put your money.
Income tax relief
Both EISs and VCTs offer the same rate of income tax relief which is given in the same way. The tax relief is equal to 30% of the amount you invest (this can be proportionately reduced if the company or fund you invest in uses some of the money for a non-qualifying purpose). The tax relief is given as a reduction of your tax bill. This means it doesn’t matter what rate of income tax you pay the amount of tax relief you’ll get is the same. For example, if you invest £20,000 in an EIS or VCT your tax bill is reduced by £6,000 (£20,000 x 30%).
The main differences in EIS and VCT income tax relief are:
you can carry back EIS tax relief from the year of investment to the previous one. Among other advantages this accelerates the tax saving
the tax relief is clawed back if you sell or transfer an EIS investment (unless it’s to your spouse or civil partner) within three years of making it. The claw-back period is five years for VCTs
dividends (distributions of income) from VCTs are tax exempt but those from EIS companies aren’t; they are taxable under the normal rules for dividends.
Capital gains tax deferral
If you have a capital gains tax (CGT) bill for the year of investment, or the year before, EIS investments offer an incentive VCTs don’t. You can claim deferral of the capital gain until you sell or transfer (to someone other than your spouse or civil partner) the investment. For example, if you made a taxable capital gain in 2020/21, you could defer when it’s taxed by investing in an EIS company on or before 5 April 2022 and using the carry-back rule we mentioned earlier to claim the tax relief for 2020/21.
Investment gains and losses
If you sell an EIS or VCT investment for more than you paid for it the gain is tax exempt. For EIS, you must own the investment for at least three years before the exemption applies. If you make a loss from the sale of an EIS investment you can use it to reduce the taxable gains made from other sales or transfers of the same or later years, e.g. from selling an investment property. Conversely, you cannot claim tax relief for losses made from the sale or transfer of a VCT investment.
As a rule of thumb, EIS investments tend to be riskier than those in VCTs but successful EIS investments usually produce greater income or gains. However, there’s no certainty of success.
Take your pick . EIS investments have the added incentive of CGT deferral relief. However, if you’re looking for a tax-free income stream VCTs provide it whereas EISs don’t.
While the rate of income tax relief is the same, EIS relief can also be used to reduce your tax bill for the year of investment or the previous year. EIS investments also allow you to indefinitely defer capital gains tax liabilities. All income and capital gains from VCT investments are tax exempt whereas income from EIS investments is taxable.
HMRC’s new policy on tax debts
Debt collection. Over the last 16 months the government has created schemes to help businesses and individuals spread their tax bills. HMRC has also taken a relaxed approach to demanding and collecting tax. However, in a recent policy paper it says that this is coming to an end shortly as the UK emerges from the pandemic. The document says that HMRC is restarting its debt collection work and will contact everyone who has fallen behind with their tax. It says it will take enforcement action to collect what’s owed but it will take an understanding approach, including allowing more time to pay. It can only do this if you contact it in response to its demands. Regardless of temptation, don’t just file demands in the bin.
HMRC is restarting its more aggressive approach to collecting tax debts. If you receive a demand, don’t ignore it. If you’re struggling to pay, contact HMRC which says it will take an understanding approach.
Capital allowances - optimum tax efficiency
Tax relief for buying equipment used in your business is given as capital allowances. You or your company can claim the capital allowances depending on who buys and owns the equipment. But which is the most tax efficient option?
Capital allowances basics
A tax deduction for the cost of equipment used in a business isn’t calculated in the same way as day-to-day expenses. Because equipment tends to last for more than a year the tax deduction, capital allowance (CA), is spread over a number of years.
For some purchases CAs aren’t spread but given in full for the financial period in which the purchase is made, i.e. like day-to-day expenses. However, this article focuses on tax efficiency ignoring the timing issue. Specifically, whether it’s more tax efficient for you or your company to purchase equipment and claim the CAs .
Equipment used by business in general
The CAs rules for equipment are complex but broadly apply in the same way to purchases made by a director who uses it to do their job or the company.
A director isn’t entitled to CAs for equipment that’s not used directly for doing their job. For example, if a director bought an item of equipment that’s only used by other employees in the company’s business, the director can’t legitimately claim CAs for its cost.
In the circumstances described above, the company should purchase the equipment so it can claim the CAs. If it can’t afford to, but the director can, they should lend or give the money to the company to buy the equipment.
Equipment used by director
Where equipment is used by a director in the course of doing their job, there are two ways to obtain CAs. Assuming the company has the funds to buy the equipment:
it could buy and own the equipment itself and let the director use it; or
the director can buy and own it using money supplied by the company.
Generally, the CAs available to a company and a director will be the same. However, be aware that there are exclusions for some types of equipment, e.g. cars and vans. A director isn’t entitled to CAs for these.
Tax efficiency ratings
Assuming that the company funds the purchase of equipment, the tax advantage for a company purchase compared to one made by the director varies considerably depending on how the company provides the funds to the director. It could pay a dividend (if they are a shareholder), extra salary or make a gift of the equipment (which would count as a taxable benefit in kind). We’ve crunched the numbers to test the tax efficiency of each of these methods.
Our calculations show that as a rule it’s always more tax efficient for a company to purchase and own the equipment. For example, on a purchase of £1,000 the saving could be up to £373. The tax efficiency is greater if the company can reclaim the VAT paid (if any) on the purchase.
The degree of tax efficiency varies widely but as a rule it’s greatest if your company purchases and owns the equipment, and claims the capital allowances. If your company doesn’t have the funds to make the purchase, you should lend it the money rather than make the purchase yourself.
Tax deductions for your buy-to-let property
In between tenants you’re doing some work on your rental property. How you categorise this - repairs or improvements - determines whether or not you’re entitled to an income tax deduction. What factors should you take into account?
In the last decade landlords of residential properties have had to cope with more changes to the tax rules than any other group. The changes have affected the tax treatment of income and outgoings. In this article we will take a close look at repair and improvement costs.
Room for improvement or just repair?
As a general rule, a “revenue” tax deduction can’t be claimed for the cost of improving your property. A revenue deduction reduces the amount of rental income liable to tax. Instead, the cost is “capital” and so deductible when working out the capital gain or loss you make when you sell the property. You might therefore have to wait decades for a tax deduction.
Conversely, the cost of repairing a property is a revenue expense and so reduces the income tax bill on rent for the year of expenditure. Naturally, it’s in your interest to attribute a cost to repairs rather than improvements.
Sometimes the distinction between a repair and an improvement isn’t clear and the tax legislation doesn’t provide any help. For example, if you add a conservatory to your rental property it’s an improvement cost.
But what if you completely replace an existing conservatory that had become dilapidated?
As a rule, an addition to a property, e.g. creating a new room by converting a loft or garage, will always be an improvement.
Partial or total repair?
The replacement of an entire element of a property may be a repair or an improvement. The scale and cost of works aren’t usually a factor. For example, the roof of your property was lost in a storm and replaced with equivalent materials; that would be a repair despite improving the value of the property. At one time HMRC usually argued that a repair that significantly affected the value of a property should be treated as an improvement (and so a capital expense) for tax purposes. These days its approach has softened.
As a rule of thumb, a like-for-like repair or replacement using similar materials to the original counts as a repair regardless of the scale. HMRC’s property income manual (PIM) confirms this. There’s an exception for such expenditure where the repair work is carried out on a property soon after purchase and the cost of the repairs was reflected in the price paid for the property.
Repairing or replacing equipment which is fixed to the property and has effectively become part of the structure, e.g. a heating system including a boiler, is treated in the same way as the structure. For example, a like-for-like replacement boiler and radiators is a repair and the cost qualifies for a revenue deduction . However, if the work included the addition of an extra radiator, the corresponding proportion of the cost would be capital.
Where possible you should categorise works as repairs. As a rule of thumb, a like-for-like repair or replacement using similar materials to the original counts as a repair regardless of the scale. This applies to the structure of the building and to equipment fitted to it such as boilers and water systems.
Why file your tax return early?
You’ve seen HMRC’s recent publicity about the advantages of filing your self-assessment tax return early. It says it can reduce your 31 July tax bill. How does this work and what other advantages might there be to filing your tax return early?
As you know, the usual deadlines for filing your self-assessment returns are 31 October for paper returns and 31 January online. Because of the pandemic HMRC extended the deadlines for 2019/20 tax returns but it has said that it doesn’t plan to repeat this for 2020/21.
Get your tax bill down
A good reason for getting your return done sooner rather than later is to reduce your self-assessment payments on account for 2020/21 (if you’re required to pay them). The second of these must be paid by 31 July 2021. It’s usually equal to half the previous year’s tax bill but if your tax liability for 2020/21 is less than for 2019/20, you can reduce the payment accordingly. While you can estimate and reduce your payment without filing your return, this won’t give you the same level of certainty. If you underestimate your tax payment you will have to pay interest on any shortfall.
If you file before the end of July HMRC will revise the 2021 payments on account to reflect your actual tax liability instead of the provisional figure.
Report coronavirus support payments
Don’t forget that coronavirus support payments like the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) are taxable. The first three SEISS grants are taxable for 2020/21.
Tax returns that don’t show SEISS grants in the right boxes are cause problems for HMRC and may delay it processing them. There are boxes for the SEISS, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, Eat Out to Help Out Scheme, and any other HMRC coronavirus support scheme. This also applies for grants etc. from local authorities which vary depending on which UK country you’re in.
Filing the return means saying you’ve reviewed amounts you’ve claimed under these schemes and that you think they’re correct. Make time to do this properly before you file the tax return.
The second good reason for filing your self-assessment early, even if it doesn’t reduce the tax bill, is that you’ll have certainty about your tax payments for 31 January and 31 July 2022. This means that if you’re concerned that you may not be able to meet the payments, you can start negotiations with HMRC on time to pay sooner.
If your profits have fallen but you don’t file your return by 31 July 2021, do it as soon as you can after this date. HMRC will refund any tax you have overpaid on account soon after it receives your return.
Access to loss relief and refunds
The third reason is an earlier opportunity to claim tax relief for losses under the new rules on carry back loss relief. But check this with your accountant first; they might also need your figures for 2021/22 before you decide what’s best.
If profits or other income have taken a hit for 2020/21, filing your return by 31 July 2021 may reduce the self-assessment payments on account for that year. Don’t forget to factor in tax on coronavirus support.
Collection of tax debts post Covid-19
During the Covid-19 pandemic, HMRC paused much of their tax collection work, both to allow resources to be diverted to other activities, such as administering the various coronavirus support initiatives, such as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, and to provide those whose finances were adversely affected by the pandemic with a bit of breathing space.
However, as the country starts to emerge from the pandemic HMRC have once again turned their focus to the collection of tax debts, publishing a policy paper setting out their approach.
Contact from HMRC - HMRC will generally contact taxpayers who have unpaid tax bills and who have not come to an agreement with HMRC regarding the payment of those bills. The contact may be by post, by phone or by text. Anyone who receives contact that purports to be from HMRC should check that the contact is genuine – HMRC has published guidance on the Gov.uk website containing tips to spot approaches that may be fraudulent.
Any contact from HMRC should not be ignored – HMRC will deal with taxpayers who work with them more favourably than those who resist attempts to get in touch. Those that do resist may be visited by an HMRC officer.
Ideally, taxpayers who are struggling to pay should contact HMRC to broker an agreement rather than waiting for HMRC to contact them.
Pay if you can - The briefing makes it clear that HMRC expect those taxpayers who are behind with their tax bills to pay the tax that they owe if they can.
Being able to pay may involve taking advantage of the financial support packages available and taking out a loan, such as one under the Recovery Loan Scheme, to provide the necessary funds to clear the tax debt.
If a taxpayer needs time to arrange a loan, HMRC may agree to defer the debt for a short period of time until the finance is agreed.
Set up a time-to-pay arrangement - If the taxpayer is unable to pay the outstanding tax in full, they may be able to agree a time-to-pay arrangement with HMRC allowing payment to be made in instalments.
If the client has already been approached by HMRC, they should contact the tax office that sent the communication to discuss setting up a time-to-pay arrangement. Otherwise, they can contact HMRC’s Payment Support Service (0300 200 3825). When making the call, the taxpayer should have their unique taxpayer reference and bank details to hand.
HMRC will want to know the amount of the bill that they are struggling to pay and why they are having problems paying it. They will also want to know what the client has done to try and get the money together. They will also take into account how much the client can pay immediately, and how long they may need to pay the outstanding balance.
Once a time-to-pay arrangement has been agreed, it is important that payments are made on time in accordance with the arrangement. Failure to do so may trigger enforcement action.
Enforcement action - If the taxpayer fails to communicate with HMRC or stick to the terms of an arrangement, from September 2021, HMRC may also take enforcement action to recover the debt. They have a range of powers available, including taking control of goods, summary warrants and court action (including insolvency proceedings).
While HMRC will endeavour to support viable businesses, if they judge that a business has little chance of recovery, they will act to seek to recover any tax that may be due.
Partner note: HMRC Policy Paper Collection of tax debts as we emerge from coronavirus (Covid-19) (see www.gov.uk/government/publications/hmrc-issue-briefing-collecting-tax-debts-as-we-emerge-from-coronavirus-covid-19/collecting-tax-debts-as-we-emerge-from-coronavirus-covid-19).
Pension annual allowance – Making tax relieved contributions
Tax relief is available to encourage individuals to make contributions to registered private pension plans. However, while there is no limit to the amount that an individual can contribute to their pension plans, there are limits on the contributions that qualify for tax relief. One of those limits is the annual allowance.
Tax relieved contributions for a tax year cannot exceed the higher of 100% of earnings or £3,600, and must be covered by the available annual allowance.
Nature of the annual allowance
The annual allowance limits the amount that an individual can make in tax-relieved pension contributions across all their registered pension schemes. The basic annual allowance is set at £40,000 for 2021/22. However, an individual’s annual allowance may be less than this if they are a high earner or if they have already flexibly accessed their pension.
If an individual has not used up their annual allowance in the previous three years, they may be able to make tax relieved contributions of more than £40,000 in 2021/22. However, where earnings are less than the available annual allowance, tax-relieved contributions are capped at earnings (or £3,600 where this is amount is more than earnings).
Only one annual allowance is available regardless of the number of registered private pensions that an individual has. The annual allowance applies to total contributions made to a defined contribution scheme in the tax year and any increase in the value of a defined benefit scheme in the tax year. Pension contributions made by an employer to a private pension scheme count towards the annual allowance.
The amount of the annual allowance is reduced where, for the tax year in question, a person has both adjusted net income of more than £240,000 and threshold income of more than £200,000. Broadly, adjusted net income is income including pension contributions and threshold income is income excluding pension contributions.
Where both tests are met, the annual allowance is reduced by £1 for every £2 by which adjusted net income exceeds £240,000 until the minimum amount of the annual allowance is reached. For 2021/22, this is set at £4,000. No reduction is made to the annual allowance if the threshold income is £200,000 or less, regardless of the level of adjusted net income.
Consequently, anyone with adjusted net income of £312,000 and threshold income of more than £200,000 will have an annual allowance of £4,000 for 2021/22.
Money purchase annual allowance
A lower annual allowance, the money purchase annual allowance (MPAA), also applies if a person has flexibly accessed their pension on reaching age 55 or above. This is to prevent recycling of contributions to secure further tax relief.
For 2021/22, the MPAA is set at £4,000.
Unused annual allowances
If a person has not used their annual allowance in full for a year, the unused amount can be carried forward for up to three years. However, unused allowance for earlier years can only be used once the allowance for the current year has been used in full. Unused allowances from an earlier year are used before those of a later year.
Contributions in excess of the annual allowance
If tax-relieved contributions are made in a tax year in excess of the available annual allowance for that year, a tax charge applies to claw back the tax relief to which the individual was not entitled.
Do I need to register for VAT?
You must register your business for VAT if your VAT taxable turnover exceeds the registration threshold. This is currently £85,000.
You must register if:
at the end of any month, the value of your VAT taxable supplies in the previous 12 months or less is more than £85,000; or
at any time if you expect the value of your taxable supplies in the next 30 day period alone to exceed £85,000.
Different thresholds apply to businesses based in Northern Ireland for buying from and selling to EU countries.
VAT taxable turnover
The VAT taxable turnover is the total value of sales that are not exempt from VAT. Thus, you should include sales that would attract VAT at the standard rate, the reduced rate or which are zero rated, but not sales that are exempt from VAT.
Exception from registration
If you exceed the VAT registration threshold but believe that your VAT taxable turnover will not exceed the deregistration threshold, currently £83,000, in the next 12 months, you can apply to HMRC for an exception from registration. This can be done on form VAT1. This may be case if you have a one-off sale that is particularly large,
Registration is compulsory if your VAT taxable turnover exceeds the registration threshold (unless an exception applies). However, if your VAT taxable turnover is below this level, you may choose to register for VAT voluntarily. This can be advantageous, particularly if you supply goods that are zero rated (such as food) as it will enable you to reclaim any VAT that you pay on purchases.
How to register
Most businesses are able to register online on the Gov.uk website. In certain cases, registration must be done by post, for example, if you apply to join the agricultural flat rate scheme.
You will receive a VAT registration number once you have been registered for VAT. You should receive a VAT registration certificate within 30 days.
Implications of being VAT-registered
Once you have registered for VAT, you will need to charge VAT at the appropriate rate on any sales that you make. You will also be able to reclaim any input tax that you suffer on purchases.
You may choose to join one of the schemes to simplify the process and reduce the associated VAT return, for example, the flat rate scheme for small business.
You must also file VAT returns each quarter and pay any VAT owing over to HMRC and comply with Making Tax Digital for VAT. You can appoint an agent, such as an accountant, to file your VAT returns on your behalf.
Making mileage payments to employees
As the country emerges from the Covid-19 pandemic, business travel is once again on the agenda. Where employees undertake business travel, they will usually be able to claim the associated expenses from their employer. If the journey is by car, the easiest way to do this is for the employer to pay a mileage allowance for the business miles undertaken.
Where a mileage allowance is paid, there may be tax consequences depending on the amount that is paid. The rules differ depending on whether the employee uses their own car for business travel or has a company car.
Employee uses their own car
The Approved Mileage Allowance Payments (AMAP) scheme allows employers to make tax-free mileage payments up to an ‘approved amount’ where the employee undertakes a business journey in their own car. The approved amount for the tax year is found by multiply the number of business miles driven by the employee in their own vehicle in that year by the approved mileage rate for that particular vehicle. The approved mileage rates are set out in the table below:
So, if an employee drives 12,000 business miles in the tax year in their own car, the approved amount is £5,000 ((10,000 miles @ 45p per mile) + (2,000 miles @ 25p per mile).
If the employer pays mileage at a higher rate, the excess over the approved amount is taxable, and must either be taxed through the payroll or reported to HMRC on the employee’s P11D. If the employer pays less than the approved amount (or does not pay an allowance), the employee can claim tax relief for the difference between the approved amount and the amount that they receive, if any.
The employer can also pay the employee a tax-free passenger rate of 5p per mile for each passenger for whom the journey is also a business journey. However, there is no tax relief available if the employer does not pay passenger payments, or pays them at a rate of less than 5p per mile.
For National Insurance purposes, similar rules apply, except that the calculation is performed for each pay period. For cars and vans, an ‘approved’ rate of 45p per mile is used for all business mileage, even if this exceeds 10,000 miles in the tax year. If the amount paid in the pay period is more than the ‘approved’ amount, the excess is included in gross pay. National Insurance purposes only.
If the employee has a company car and the employer does not pay for the fuel, a different set of mileage rates – the advisory fuel rates – apply to determine the amount that can be paid tax-free. These are lower than the AMAP rates, which include an element to reflect the running costs and the depreciation of the employee’s own car.
The advisory rates are set quarterly. The rates applying from 1 June 2021 are as follows:
Payments of 4p per mile can be made for business travel in an electric company car.
Any amounts paid in excess of the advisory rate are taxable and liable to Class 1 National Insurance.
If the employer pays for all fuel, including that for private journeys, a fuel benefit tax charge will arise unless the car is an electric car.
Gifting property to the children
No one likes the idea of the taxman taking a chunk of their estate when they die, particularly if it will be necessary to sell a much-loved property to pay the inheritance (IHT) bill. The introduction of the residence nil rate band (RNRB -set at £175,000) means that a couple can now leave combined estates worth £1 million free of inheritance tax where this includes a residence valued at £350,000 or more, which is left to direct descendants. However, the RNRB is reduced where a person’s estate is worth more than £2 million and lost where the value of the estate exceeds £2.35 million.
If it looks likely that there may be IHT to pay, the idea of taking steps to reduce this is attractive. Where property is given away more than seven years before the donor’s death, it escapes IHT. Giving property to the children may, at first sight, be an attractive option, but there are traps to be aware of.
Giving away the main residence
If the main residence is given away, there will be no capital gains tax to pay as long as the main residence exemption applies in full. However, if the property is retained by the children as an investment property, the capital gains tax clock will start to run from the date that they acquire it. By contrast, if the property is gifted at death, there will be a capital gains tax uplift to the value at death, but there may be some inheritance tax to pay (potentially at 40%).
Problems can arise if the parents give the property to the children but continue to live in it. There are two sets of anti-avoidance rules that can apply – the gifts with reservation rules (GWR) and the pre-owned asset (POA) rules.
The GWR rules apply where a donor gives an asset away but continues to derive benefit from it. An example would be parents who transferred their home to their children but continued to live in it. The rules effectively ignore the transfer for inheritance tax purposes, such that it forms part of the death estate.
The POA impose an income tax charge on the previous owner if they give a property away but continue to live in it, based on a notional market rent of the property.
Seeking to take an investment property outside of the death estate can trigger a capital gains tax charge where a property is given to a child, even if no money changes hands. The child is a connected person and the property is deemed to be disposed at market value. This may trigger a capital gains tax bill of 18% or 28% of the gain (to the extent it exceeds the annual exemption), which must be paid within 30 days (but with no proceeds from which to pay the tax).
Giving away property in an attempt to save inheritance tax can be very complicated and it is easy to get it wrong; professional advice should be taken in advance.
Taxing the SEISS - what’s the latest?
HMRC has published new guidance which explains when you might need to amend your self-assessment tax return if you claimed Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) payments.
HMRC’s notice published on 2 July advises anyone who has claimed and received one or more coronavirus support payments under the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) to check their 2020/21 tax returns. The notice is part of HMRC’s clampdown on incorrect and false claims; it’s currently investigating around 12,000 such cases. However, the latest guidance is to ensure that the correct tax is paid on genuine claims.
Disparities. The new guidance follows HMRC’s discovery that many of the self-assessment tax returns submitted for 2020/21 include entries which don’t match the figures it already has on record. Either SEISS payments haven’t been reported at all or the figures differ from those HMRC has on record.
What to report. Payments from the first, second or third SEISS grants (received on or before 5 April 2021) should be included on your 2020/21 return in the “Self-Employment Income Support Scheme grant” box. If you haven’t yet submitted your tax return remember this.
If you have submitted your 2020/21 return, check you’ve reported the SEISS payments in the right box. If you put them in the wrong place, you must send an amendment to your tax return otherwise HMRC will assume you haven’t reported the payments and will automatically amend your return. This will result in you being taxed twice on the same income.
Mismatched figures. HMRC will also automatically amend your tax return if the amount of SEISS payments you reported doesn’t match its records. It will send you a revised tax calculation which you should check. HMRC explains how to do this in its latest guidance. It also explains what to do if you don’t agree with the amendment made by HMRC.
Make sure you entered any SEISS payments in the right place. If you haven’t you must amend your tax return to show them correctly or you will be taxed twice.
HMRC agrees system for CGT refunds
CGT reporting. Since April 2020 if you make a gain from the sale or transfer of your home or other residential property on which capital gains tax (CGT) is payable, you must report it to HMRC and pay an estimate of the tax due within 30 days of the transaction. After the end of the tax year you must report the transaction on your self-assessment return. It’s not uncommon that the original estimate of the tax due might be over or understated. A problem arises where it was overstated.
HMRC’s self-assessment system ignores the overpayment so that overpaid tax is neither refunded nor set against other tax you owe. HMRC is aware of this problem and following pressure from tax and accountancy bodies has a temporary solution while it works on a permanent one.
If you have overpaid CGT because of the 30-day reporting which cannot or has not been amended using this service, call HMRC on 0300 200 330 to explain that an overpayment has been made. It will then make a manual adjustment to credit or refund the tax.
Amend your PSA for Covid-19 related benefits
A PAYE Settlement Agreement (PSA) enables an employer to meet the tax on certain benefits and expenses on the employee’s behalf. This can be useful to preserve the goodwill nature of a benefit.
Not all benefits are suitable for inclusion within a PSA. To qualify a benefit must fall into one of the following categories:
the benefit is minor;
the benefit is provided irregularly; or
the benefit is provided in circumstances where it is impractical to apply PAYE or to apportion the value of a shared benefit.
A PSA can be used, for example, to meet the tax liability on the provision of an annual party that falls outside the associated tax exemption. Benefits that are exempt from tax do not need to be included.
The tax and National Insurance payable on items included within a PSA for 2020/21 must be paid by 22 October 2021 where payment is made electronically, and by 19 October 2021 otherwise.
An enduring agreement - Once as PSA has been set up, it remains in place until cancelled or amended by the employer or by HMRC. Existing PSAs should be reviewed each year to ensure that they remain valid.
Amending the PSA
If a PSA needs to be altered, this must be done by 6 July following the end of the tax year to which it relates.
The Covid-19 pandemic changed the way in which employees worked and may have changed the mix of benefits that were provided. Where a PSA needs to be amended in light to take account of Coronavirus-related benefits provided in the 2020/21 tax year, this must be done by 6 July 2021.
Normally, HMRC would issue a new P626 (the PSA) when a PSA is amended. However, where amendments to the PSA relate solely to Covid-19 changes, rather than issuing a new P626, they will instead issue an appendix to the existing PSA.
Covid-19 exemptions - To remove the tax charge that would otherwise arise, a number of limited-time exemptions have been introduced in respect of Coronavirus-related benefits. These include an exemption for the provision of Coronavirus antigen tests, and also any reimbursement of the cost of the test where this is initially met by the employee.
Where employees have worked at home during the Covid-19 pandemic and have bought equipment to enable them to do so, any reimbursement by the employer is also tax-free, as long as the provision would fall within the exemption for accommodation, services and supplies if provided directly by the employer.
Coronavirus-related benefits that fall within the time-limited exemptions do not need to be included within a PSA. However, consideration may be given to adding any non-exempt benefits made available to employees during the pandemic to the PSA (for example, antibody tests), as long as they meet the qualifying conditions for inclusion.
A new PSA - If a PSA is not already in place, should an employer wish to set one up to deal with taxable benefits provided as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, if the PSA is to have effect for 2020/21, it must be agreed with HMRC by 6 July 2021.
Extracting profits from a property company
Running a property business through a limited company rather than as an unincorporated business may be an attractive proposition; at 19% the rate of corporation tax is lower than the basic rate of income tax and interest and financing costs are fully deductible in computing taxable profits. However, the tax bill on the company is not the end of the story – if profits are required outside the company, they will need to be extracted, and this may come at a further tax cost.
Take a salary
If your personal allowance has not been utilised elsewhere, it can be tax efficient to take a small salary. As long as the salary is at least equal to the lower earnings limit (set at £6,240 for 2021/22), paying a salary will ensure that the year is a qualifying year for state pension and contributory benefits purposes.
The optimal salary will depend on whether the employment allowance is available to shelter employer’s National Insurance contributions. Where the allowance is not available, as will be the case if the company has one only one employee who is also a director, the optimal salary is equal to the primary threshold of £9,568. If the employment allowance is available, it is tax efficient to pay a higher salary equal to the personal allowance of £12,570.
Once a salary at the optimal level has been paid, it is more tax efficient to take further profits as dividends, than to pay a higher salary. The dividends will be tax-free to the extent that they are covered by any unused personal allowance and the dividend allowance, which is set at £2,000 for 2021/22. Once the allowances have been used up, dividends are taxed at 7.5%, 32.5% and 38.1% where they fall, respectively, in the basic rate, higher rate and additional rate bands.
There are some rules which govern the payment of dividends. They can only be paid out of retained profits (on which corporation tax has already been paid) and must be paid in accordance with shareholdings (although the use of an alphabet share structure allows for flexibility).
Other options for extracting profits from the property company include the provision of benefits in kind, which can be tax efficient where the benefit is exempt from tax and National Insurance, the payment of rent if the business is run from home and making pension contributions on the director’s behalf.
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Adrian Mooy & Co is the trading name of Adrian Mooy & Co Ltd. Registered in England No. 05770414.
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Registered office: 61 Friar Gate, Derby, Derbyshire, DE1 1DJ