Other News.

19 February 2016 - 3% stamp duty for landlords buying a new - buy to let or anyone buying a second home.

Currently, buyers pay no stamp duty on the first £125,000, then 2 per cent on £125,000 to £250,000 and 5 per cent above £250,000 to £500,000, rates continue to step up above this.

For those buying a buy-to-let property or second home, stamp duty will now be (from April 2016) 3 per cent on homes between £40,000 and £125,000, 5 per cent to £250,000 and 8 per cent to £500,000. 

For those snapping up a £275,000 home, the current rate of stamp duty means a £3,750 stamp duty bill.

This is worked out by:

0% on the first £125,000 = £0

2% on the next £125,000 = £2,500

5% on the final £25,000 = £1,250

Total SDLT = £3,750

But adding the 3 per cent surcharge will see the price of the tax rocket for landlords.

3% on the first £125,000 = £3,750

5% on the next £125,000 = £6,250

8% on the final £25,000 = £2,000

Total SDLT = £12,000 

30 October 2015 - Crowd Funding - new way to raise cash for your new home.

In 2016 it is expected that first time buyers will have the chance to crowdfund their deposit for a new home. While parents have up to now have been seen as a "bank" or "mortgage lender" by their children to fund their deposit on a new home, next year (2016) they will be able to "pitch" for funding from new social enterprise platforms.

Hopeful homeowners will be able to make videos etc explaining why friends and strangers should give them money to buy their new home. It is expected that no financial returns will be given to investors - except maybe free meals for a given length of time or the investors car washed now and again.

15 April 2015 - Some Pension Schemes do not have HMRC approval!

HMRC estimate that up to maybe 90 employers in the UK have placed their employees into a pension scheme that does not have HMRC approval. There maybe thousands of workers who are not aware that under currect rules their pension plan is not eligble for tax relief and as such they could have a large tax bill in the future as they would have to repay all the tax relief they claimed while paying into their pension.

HMRC have stated they will be writing to these employers to make them aware of the current rules and to ensure that the employers either amend their pension schemes to make them legal or move the pension scheme to another legal scheme.

08 January 2015 - This summer June 30th will be an extra second longer

Not sure if that means more sunshine but 30th June 2015 will be one second longer - its offical name is "leap second" and all atomic clocks around the world will show midnight on 30 June 2015 as 11:59:60 for one second.

What does this mean for computer software etc? The last time a "leap second" was added back in 2012 there were some crashes in software and on websites as that software was built to take the time from the atomic clock but had no instructions on how to deal with the added second. Google has adapted its systems to gradually add milliseconds prior to a "leap second" being added.

For those who like facts and figures this will be the 26th time a "leap second" has happened, or put another way the Earth has slowed by 26 seconds, according to the atomic clocks, since 1972.

22 November 2013 - Employee shareholder status takes effect

This is a new employment status, available from 1 September 2013.  Employee shareholders have different employment rights to employees, and can be awarded at least 2,000 worth of shares in their employer or a parent company.

There are special tax rules for shares received under an employee shareholder agreement, which will also apply from 1 September 2013.  (Ref: mm0913)  Tax planning for employee share schemes used to be about  avoiding income tax and paying only Capital Gains Tax.  However two recent developments, both activated by FA 2013, will give a large number of employees the opportunity to be more ambitious.

Most holders of enterprise management incentive (EMI) options should in future pay CGT at a rate of only 10%, whereas the gains made by employees with the new "Employee Shareholder Status" will mostly be CGT excempt.

10 March 2014 - Data payments - tax evasion.

To assist HMRC with tax evasion - information on all credit and debit card payments to UK businesses will be made available to HMRC for the first time.  Under these new powers HMRC can now access information from the UK's merchant acquirers - the companies that process card payment transactions - to find out the number and value of transactions completed by the specific trader.

No personal data identifying the card owners or card numbers will be obtained, but according to HMRC, the data will be used to ensure that traders have correctly accounted for all taxes due.  These powers say HMRC may reduce fraud by over 50 million per year. (Ref: mm0913)

8 November 2013 - Public register of companies.

Prime Minister, David Cameron, has announced that details of who owns and controls UK companies are to be made public in order to boost corporate transparency.

18 August 2013 - Pension contributions checker launched

The Finance Act 2011 required Pension providers to issue annual allowance pension statements for all members contributing more than 50,000 a year to a pension scheme. This includes contributions made by your employer or anyone else into your pension scheme.  Should the contributions be more than 50,000 in a tax year you may have to pay a tax charge and details must be shown on your Self Assessment tax return.

18 August 2013 - Employers not currently operating RTI must do so

From 6 April 2014 nearly all employers will be required to operate RTI payroll scheme.  Excemptions are; employers who are examiners or returning officers and those who have a special arrangement with HMRC. 

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