Local professional support - October 2016

Will the latest HMRC nudge initiative help plug the tax gap?
A recent article with a headline suggesting that HMRC was sending ‘threatening’ text messages warning taxpayers to pay up turned out to be rather less sinister than it first appeared.

New disclosure facility offers ‘last chance’ for those with undeclared offshore interests 
Recently HMRC launched its new Worldwide Disclosure Facility (WDF) – a new online facility which provides a ‘last chance’ to those who want to disclose a UK tax liability that relates wholly or partly to offshore interests. 

Lifetime ISA limit is welcome, but could go further 
There was some uncertainty whether the Lifetime ISA, announced by the former Chancellor, George Osborne, would go ahead as planned. However, HMRC has now updated its technical note and confirmed that the new account will be available from April 2017.

Yet another stealth tax? 
Over the last couple of weeks there has been much discussion over the possibility that buy-to-let landlords may find themselves subject to income tax at rates up to 45 per cent on any gain they make when disposing of property.

National minimum wage is changing – watch out for the pitfalls 
National minimum wage (NMW) rates will increase on 1 October by between 3 and 4.7 per cent, and employers need to make sure the new rates are implemented for all hours worked from that date.

Tackling the hidden economy – the next big thing? 
With all the recent focus on measures to combat tax avoidance and offshore evasion, it’s easy to overlook those that take a more basic approach of not paying their taxes by either failing to register with HMRC (‘ghosts’) or declaring only part of their activities (‘moonlighters’). Together these make up the hidden economy.

What advisers of distressed businesses need to know
It can be a stressful for directors when their business experiences financial difficulties. As their attention moves from growth to survival, concerns about wrongful trading and personal liability come to the fore.