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Tax Benefits Of Getting Married

Does getting married reduce your tax bill?

We all know about the romantic ideals of marriage – but can you save money at the same time by paying less tax?

The answer broadly speaking is “yes” – but the government often changes things so keeping up to date is important.

So, if the excitement and passion dies at least you know you’re paying less income tax!

 

Good news for older couples

Even without the proposed changes being made concrete, marriage and civil partnership can have significant financial benefits for many older people. Keeping your money out of the taxman’s coffers and in your bank account! Keep reading for a list of marriage money benefits.

 

Reduced capital gains tax bill

Put simply, you will be taxed on any gain worth more than £10,900 when you sell an asset such as shares or property. But a couple will be able to realise a figure of £21,800 before tax through asset transfer, because they both have a capital gains tax exemption. If this transfer were occurring between two unmarried people the capital gains tax liability cannot be shared meaning you pay more tax.

 

Inheritance tax

The largest financial positive for most married couples is being able to pass on the assets you have earned to your family after you die without paying inheritance tax.

 

The current Inheritance Tax rate is 40% on every estate that is worth more than £325,000. If you are married or in a civil partnership all of your inheritance can be passed on to your spouse without any inheritance tax to pay at all. The regulations also state that when the second spouse dies more of your inheritance can be left to your children because both of the couple’s allowances can be applied. In effect, this means that you can leave a massive £650,000 to your children before any Inheritance Tax is claimed if you are married.

 

Obviously this tax benefit applies to young and old couples. But older couple usually have property and savings to leave, rather than mortgages and debt.

 

Pensions

If you are married then you should inherit any final salary pension from your partner. This could be up to half the amount that the pension holder received. Although there are less final salary pension schemes around now, many older couples have earned large entitlements from their employers, especially if they were employed by the public sector.

Given the construction of society, the theory underpinning these schemes was sound at their inception.

But in modern times, less people are staying married for life and more people are living together rather than marrying at all. This means that many people could be losing out on substantial amounts of pension money.

 

Modern pension schemes have been revised to reflect these societal changes and each scheme has its own set of regulations. Some pension schemes will only allow payment to a legally married spouse, some allow people to nominate a partner they are not married to, some leave it up to the trustees and some state that it will only be paid if the remaining partner can prove they are financially dependent on the deceased. As things have become more confusing, many people are missing out on money they are entitled to at an already distressing time.

 

Income Tax

In general the tax office takes a firm ‘anti-avoidance’ stance stating – if you give assets away to someone else you can’t derive any benefit from them, So if you handed the ownership of a property to a partner, so they didn’t have to pay tax on the rental income, you couldn’t then spend, invest, or benefit in any way form this rental income. THE GOOD NEWS! HMRC does NOT apply this regulation to married couples!

 

So what?!

Everyone is taxed as an individual, but married couples can switch assets between each other so they are owned by the spouse who earns less money, thereby reducing the income tax paid on these assets.

 

Note of warning!

If you do give away an asset to your partner and you are not married then they own that asset free and clear. This means that if you split up at a later date, then you have absolutely no claim to that asset. If you are married then all assets become part of the divorce settlement conversation, whoever’s name they are in.

 

Bad news for newly-weds.

There is a lot of current political chat about introducing a tax break worth £150 for married couples and those in a civil partnership. As of November 2014 no decisions have been made on this yet but, even if it is agreed, it won’t actually make much difference to young couples who are getting hitched especially when you factor in the cost of the wedding itself!

Tony Shanks

The Taxman is Watching

HMRC’s top ten ‘big brother’ checks on your tax affairs.

Her Majesty’s tax inspectors relentlessly pursue those they suspect of submitting a fabricated tax return. As the Treasury puts more pressure on HMRC to recoup more tax, they are increasingly using  a greater variety of sneaky beaky tactics to pursue their suspicions.

Here’s a top ten list showing some of the tools used by HMRC which go beyond just your receipts and bank statements.

 

  1. Informers

In the tax year to April 2011 HMRC paid £309,620 to informers according to Reynolds Porter Chamberlain, the city law firm. This increased by 21% in the year to April 2012. These sums reflect the fact that informers provide the Tax Office with essential information which usually leads to the largest amounts of money. These rewards for information are not fixed at a percentage of the amount of tax recovered. But they are only paid once the claims are investigated and proven to hold fruit for the Tax Office. Informants can make themselves from hundreds of pounds to thousands.

 

There are many reasons why people rat out others to HMRC. The more understandable are divorcees or ex-employees exacting revenge for a perceived slight. Others feel more underhand, such as reporting someone’s conversation in a pub or a high level of cash-in-hand work.

 

HMRC seem to have changed their dealings with people snitching on others. Andrew Watt of Watt Busfield explains, “When I was a revenue inspector we used to get regular letters naming people. If they were anonymous we tended to throw them away. Today, the Revenue keeps this information on file and uses it to cross reference to other information about that individual.” This more sinister attitude is attributed to the higher pressure that is being applied to HMRC to raise more money through taxes.

So – be very wary of where and with whom you discuss your financial matters!

 

2. Raids on private property.

In the tax year 2011-12, tax inspectors raided 499 homes of people they suspected of not paying tax. According to Pinsent Masons this is an increase of 155%  on the previous year.

These considerable powers can only be used in certain circumstances and are being focussed on people who run a business from home. It is being reported by accountants that they are targeting anyone who failed to use “Disclosure opportunities” to declare income – mainly lawyers, teachers, plumbers and doctors.

HMRC are proud of their ‘success’ saying, “We are already seeing positive results from these increased investigations and searches: during 2011-12 criminal investigation activities resulted in 545 individuals being charged and 413 being convicted, with a success rate in court of 92%.”

The most worrying statistic of all is that HMRC have a target to achieve five times more criminal prosecutions by the 2014-15 tax year.

 

3. Mystery Shoppers

This involves tax inspectors working in undercover teams, in disguise, to carry out investigations on businesses. For example, posing as a couple out for a meal in a restaurant and then seeing if their bill has been properly recorded in the restaurants books. Or going in for an ‘ordinary’ haircut in order to check out how the salon is operating.

Andrew Watt is a partner at Watt Busfield tax investigations and explains how far reaching these secret surveillance tactics can be. “On the same night as these mystery shopping exercises, inspectors are also likely to have an observation van carrying photographic equipment outside the business, counting the number of people going in or out. If they have seen 150 go in, but the books only account for 100, they could have a case of fraud against the business.”

Restaurants are a particularly fertile ground for HMRC because there is a high volume of small value cash transactions taking place. Also, if cash tips are just taken by wait staff then the employer has not applied income tax and national insurance to that amount as they are required to.

 

4. Information on computer systems.

It is the plurality of this point that makes it so powerful. HMRC has access to a range of databases and systems throughout the UK such as Companies House, the Land Registry and the electoral role. “We have more data than the British Library”, boasts Mike Wells, the director of risk and intelligences services at HMRC.

In 2010 HMRC paid £45 million to BAE Systems for their new Connect computer system. Put simply, this system automatically analyses a mass of seemingly unrelated information in 26 databases to identify connections that were previously impossible to find. This mathematical technique is called social network analysis and removes the cloak of invisibility from determined fraudsters. By 2011 this system had earned the Treasury £1.4 billion, as reported by the National Audit Office.

Connect speeds up the investigation process exponentially and 6 out of 10 inquiries in HMRC use it to get information. There are 3,000 expert Connect analysts working with tax investigators in the UK.

The modern technology combined with access to the variety of Britain’s databases means that HMRC can check the details on any tax return easily and speedily. For example, around 200,000 of the 300,000 paper inheritance tax returns claim that their estate is under the taxpaying threshold. Using Connect, all of the possible pieces of necessary information are found and analysed to reveal where estates are under-declaring. This raised £26 million in inheritance tax in its first year.

 

5. Other public information.

From the ‘old-school’ newspaper to the new Twitter and Facebook sites, the tax office doesn’t miss any opportunity to find information about suspect taxpayers.

They are looking for a mismatch between a person’s lifestyle and their declared income. And, if they have reason to suspect you, they consider all of the places they can get information. For example, there are reports that several people were caught after publically spending thousands on massive weddings on ‘My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding’ whilst not declaring in income. It has also been reported that individuals have been caught out by HMRC after they posted pictures of an expensive holiday on Facebook.

Even a local newspaper story of a wedding can lead HMRC to question the father of the bride about how he could afford it when his declared earnings are much less.

 

6. Fiddling the books!

HMRC have a new equation to deal with this enduring problem. It is called the ‘chi squarred’ test of ‘Benford’s Law’. It is a way of testing the randomness of a set of figures presented to HMRC. It is based on the theory that the number one is the first digit 30% of the time in any data and that there will be less frequency of larger numbers. As people submitting deliberately fraudulent books are unlikely to know of this theory, they will probably give themselves away by not fitting the pattern.

There is some argument against this tool though. Derek Allen is a tax director with ICAS and said it was a “pseudo-scientific” argument as he questioned the logic that a restaurant’s results should be random.

 

7. Good, old-fashioned, guilt and fear.

HMRC used to work a sanction and reward system of tax amnesties and taskforces in their advertising campaigns. This has recently changed to the guilt trip of ‘How could you cheat us when we are all feeling the pinch of recession?’. This is combined with the fear inducing language of paying the correct tax “before it’s too late” and the public humiliation of appearing on their website for tax evasion. Yes, if you avoid paying more that £25,000 you and all of your personal and financial details will appear on HMRC’s website for all to see.

Again, reaching high targets is cited as the reason for this change of attitude.

 

8. International Tax Collecting Co-operation.

As countries around the world strive to increase their tax revenue, more agreements about sharing information are being reached. This makes an offshore bank account much less secure than it used to be, even with previously renowned tax havens such as Switzerland and Liechtenstein. Our government has seen an 18% increase in requests for information about taxpayers from other countries in the last year.

In 2006 there was an important legal ruling that made high street banks reveal the records of their clients who had offshore accounts to HMRC. The tax office also had massive gains of leaked information, mainly from HSBC Jersey.

 

9. Information from Third Parties.

Even more recent powers have been given to HMRC which allows them to get “bulk” information from other government agencies and businesses.

This means that the tax office can zoom in on particular professions and use this information to trawl for tax evaders. For example it turned its attention to the medical profession in 2008. It was looking for professionals who were not declaring fees for consultations, examinations and other services. The new powers meant that it could get information from medical insurance companies, NHS trusts and private hospitals.

When plumbers and heating engineers were under the spotlight, HMRC used information from the Gas Safe register to secure five arrests.

All of our information is now interconnected and HMRC has access to it all. For example, being able to use the Land Registry and DVLA data means that HMRC can compare the price of their expensive car with their relatively small flat and alarm bells ring. It also means they can see what property you own and check if you have declared rental income on your tax return.

 

10. The ‘Affluence Unit’.

This section of HMRC is staffed by 200 people who have been set the target of raising £560 million in four years. They are to do this by checking that those who are worth less than 20 million but pay the 50% tax rate are following the tax law.

They focus their attentions on people who own property abroad, offshore accounts and commodity traders. They use all of the technology at their disposal to find people who are overseas property owners, use risk assessment to find those who seem unable to afford this property legally and those who have not declared the income and gains from the property.

Just goes to show, from using old-fashioned whistle blowing to the most modern technology, the taxman really is watching everyone everywhere!

Tony Shanks

 

 

 

 

Cyprus UK Pension Tax Relief

 

Sun, sea and tax breaks?! Why Cyprus is popular with British expats

 

Are you planning to enjoy your retirement in Cyprus? Have you already escaped British weather and are living there now? Sun-soaked, superb quality of life and sole taxing rights treaty – who wouldn’t want the Cypriot retirement dream?

Although Cyprus is in the E.U. and the Eurozone, it is one of the best tax systems in Europe for the British expatriate. Spend 183 consecutive days in Cyprus and you are counted as a ‘tax resident’. This means that you must pay tax on your world wide income but a tax treaty between Britain and Cyprus means that you should never pay tax on the same thing in both countries.

This means you can stop paying UK tax on your UK pension income and start paying tax on it in Cyprus. The difference in percentage terms is huge – read on…

 

Avoid UK income tax on your pension Income

On your UK pension income, you can choose to follow the income tax scale below or pay 5% on the entire amount  (If it is currently over 3,420 euros).

Handy facts!

  • You can claim back your UK for the last four years, so if you having been living in Cyprus for more than one tax year it’s worth considering claiming back for as many years as you can
  • You can claim the tax you have paid on both private and government pensions. With many expats receiving a government pension for example from the MOD this is important to remember

 

What are the income tax rates in Cyprus?

What rate of income tax will I pay in Cyprus?

The usual Cypriot income tax scale, in Euros, is:

  • 0-19,500 pay 0%
  • 19,501-28,000 pay 20%
  • 28,001-36,000 pay 25%
  • 36,001 and over pay 30%

 

What other financial positives are there about being an expat in Cyprus?

 

Other income

All worldwide income is taxable in Cyprus, so offshore savings and investments must be declared. BUT if you have property rental or other income in the UK on which you have paid UK tax then, thanks to the Cyprus-Britain treaty, it will not be taxed again by the Cypriot government. You could even move investments offshore and avoid the British tax entirely!

 

Capital gains

Capital gains on qualified funds and securities are not taxed in Cyprus.

 

Dividend income

Dividend income is tax exempt, but you do still pay the 20% Defence Contribution on that money.

 

Avoid 40% UK Inheritance Tax

If you are staying in Cyprus forever then it may be worth becoming ‘domiciled’ there. This means that your family could avoid the massive 40% Inheritance tax charges on your UK assets. You are not liable to pay Inheritance tax on worldwide wealth and you can by domiciled in Cyprus and still own property in the UK. This could make an enormous difference to the value of the estate you leave your family. For example, there is a personal allowance of £325,000 which can be left before the 40% levy is applied. For example, imagine a couple, who are domiciled in Cyprus, leave £800,000 in UK property to their children. Between them they have personal allowances of £650,000. The Inheritance Tax of 40% would only be applied to the difference between the two amounts – £800,000 – £650,000 = £150,000. So the loss to the family in tax is about £40,000 in this instance. If the couple had remained in the UK the family would lose out on 40% of the whole £800,000. A substantial difference!

 

Any downsides?

ISAs and PEPs.

In Britain, the advantage to these savings schemes is that they are tax free. Unfortunately they are all considered for tax purposes in Cyprus and each case is looked at individually.

 

How we can help you

If your just moving to Cyprus or you’ve been there for a few years we can help you reduce the amount of tax you pay in the UK legitimately.

We can reclaim what you have missed out on for the last four tax years and complete any tax returns that are needed on your behalf.

The UK tax system is complex and each person’s tax affairs are individual to them. We invite you to get in touch to let our experts review your UK tax position.

Call us today on +44 (0)1228 520477

Email us at support@taxrebateservices.co.uk

Fill in a contact form here

Tony Shanks

HMRC Apologies For P800 Errors

HMRC apologises to taxpayers for their massive tax statement mistakes.

Since mid-September, HMRC has been sending inaccurate tax statements and tax rebate cheques to taxpayers. They have finally apologised for these errors and officially state that only a small number of the P800 tax statements have been incorrect. Although this does contradict the internal department note to stakeholders which said that they didn’t know the exact figure and that it could be many thousands of employees.

The official statement given reads, “HMRC is urgently investigating this matter to resolve the issue. In the meantime, customers who think their 2013/14 P800 may be wrong should contact our helplines for further advice before making repayments or cashing cheques. We are sorry for any worry or inconvenience caused.”

Not just important to the individual tax payer

This situation has provoked serious responses from those working in the financial sector. For example, a KPMG tax director said urgent investment in HMRC systems was needed and the ATT demanded an ‘urgent review’ of the Real Time Information system.

Problems may have been avoided, if only HMRC had listened.

It was also reported that the ATT’s president Natalie Miller said that this huge system error demonstrates how important it is for all those with a stake in the success of RTI to work together. “We have been drawing HMRC’s attention to the quirks and complexities of RTI in meetings and correspondence from its inception. We have also highlighted the significant burdens it places on employers and agents. What we are seeing now are real and serious practical problems for possibly many thousands of employees at a time when building confidence in the system is crucial. Some of those difficulties might have been avoided if HMRC had heeded advice from ATT and similar bodies at an early stage.

What MUST be done now?

The president of the ATT calls for an immediate review of the Real Time Information system “to ensure that it is fit for purpose”. Not only should we be able to trust the system which processes our tax payments, but it is also a major part of the new Universal Credit system which will take over delivering state benefits. Miller suggests that a review includes understanding why employers had not sent in final payment statements for 2013-14 (as stated by HMRC) and why HMRC acted on incomplete information. Are employers struggling to understand the system? Can the system “identify when important information is missing”? If they did know, why did HMRC issue tax statements based on only partial information? These are fundamental questions which HMRC must answer in a timely fashion in order to restore taxpayers’ faith in the department.

Steve Wade, tax director at KPMG, gives us his take on what needs to be done. He said HMRC systems were “not designed to deal with all the complexities of PAYE” and so “there are some fairly major issues with the IT and HMRC systems and fixing them requires significant investment be the tax authorities”. He says that there needs to be “urgent investment” in the “processing and back end software….which collect and process data to generate the operational efficiencies when the whole RTI initiative was conceived”. Wade said that “more and quicker feedback” to employers’ agents and software developers about any issues that come up would also improve the system.

HMRC needs to restore faith of British taxpayers

This entire mess has led to greater frustration with the Tax Office and their seeming inability to process accurate tax statements for ordinary tax-paying workers. As Jason Piper, technical manager at ACCA, said, “Yet again, we are seeing errors in the operation of PAYE, and HMRC must learn the lessons from earlier problems and be transparent and accountable this time round.” If only…!

Tony Shanks

HMRC Sending Incorrect Tax Refunds

Have you received a P800 form from HMRC saying your due a tax rebate or owe them money?

If yes you could be one of thousands of UK tax payers who HMRC have sent ‘corrected’ tax statements to – which have now been found to be incorrect!

This means tax refunds are being banked and spent which HMRC will want back in the coming months. On the other side some have got the worry of being told they actually owe tax when they don’t.

The public are again questioning the competence of HMRC to administer the UK’s tax system as thousands of taxpayer’s receive incorrect revised tax statements. This also leaves us doubting the wisdom behind proposals to give HMRC the authority to directly access taxpayers’ bank accounts as part of their already considerable powers.

As it stands, our PAYE system of tax collection involves over 5 million workers paying too much or too little tax every year. There are many reasons for the miscalculation such as having a second income or moving jobs. Every individual must then be contacted by HMRC with a new tax statement which tells them how much they are owed by HMRC due to over payment, or how much they owe to HMRC due to underpayment recouped through a change of tax code.

A recently leaked email reveals that it has sent incorrect tax statements to thousands of British taxpayers during the 2013-14 tax year. This massive mistake has only been realised by HMRC as workers queried their worrying letters. This email was sent to staff and accountants and admits, “We currently do not know the scale of the issue but some large employers are involved, so several thousands of employees may be affected.” They advised to pass on guidance “not to pay any underpayment” or to cash any cheques from HMRC for an overpayment until the situation was resolved. It also expresses that they are “very sorry” and were “urgently investigating these cases”.

An HMRC spokesperson passed the blame to employers saying, “The majority of errors have happened because an employer failed to make a final payment statement for 2013-14 tax year, meaning our records were incomplete despite reminders that these submissions had to be made.” They also said that although they did not have an exact figure, less than 100,000 people were affected and new tax statements should arrive in 6-8 weeks.

This finger pointing gives an interesting reference to the HMRC’s ‘all singing all dancing’, new, £270 million Real Time Information System – which was designed to eliminate mistakes of this sort! It changed the system to make employers report its staff payments more frequently than before. Moving to weekly and monthly figures going to HMRC, which should mean any changes to the employees’ circumstances were more quickly picked up by the system. But experts are citing this most recent debacle as evidence that the system is still not fully operational because there has been neither adequate planning nor time for its successful implementation.

Jason Piper of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants comments, “Yet again we are seeing errors in the operation of PAYE. Public patience is wearing thin with government IT failures and one like this, which hits so close to home for taxpayers, is bad news for a department trying to extend the reach of its powers into every aspect of our collective financial lives based on the power of its computer systems.”

Here Mr Piper is referring to the latest proposals from the government to reduce tax avoidance. These include a rather Sherriff of Nottingham style recommendation to let HMRC have direct access to the bank or building society accounts of people who owe tax without seeking court approval. This is unassumingly named ‘direct recovery of debt’ and would mean that the taxman could get his hands on money belonging to people who owe at least £1,000 and have been contacted at least 4 times for the payment. Thankfully, they are obliged to leave people with at least £5,000 in their accounts.

There is legitimate, heightened concern when this idea is combined with HMRC’s enormous failings using their currently available powers. As Stuart Philips, Chief Executive of The Private Office, summarises, “This is bad timing for HMRC. They should only be given more powers if they can prove they can confidently deliver accurate information. This clearly calls into question their ability to do so and their faith in the Real Time System.”

Tony Shanks

 

 

GMB Members Tax Relief

We help a lot of members of the General Municipal Boilermakers or GMB to claim tax back and often get asked if tax relief can be claimed on their membership fee to the GMB. The answer unfortunately is no, there is no current agreement between the GMB and HMRC to allow for tax relief to be claimed back on GMB union fees.

Will this change?

This may be surprising to some especially when so many other major unions like UNISON and professional bodies have secured agreements with HMRC to give tax relief on their membership fees.

You never know this may change in the future, and would be a welcome tax break for countless GMB members who don’t have much money spare each month.

The good news

The GMB is huge with over 617,000 members from a whole host of industries including teachers, Nurses and healthcare workers. This means we can still help many GMB members get a tax refund for other costs they have because of their jobs.

Who can claim?

It doesn’t matter what your job is, if you have expenses because of your job which are allowable for tax relief you can claim back a tax rebate.

We’ve helped Nurses claim for NMC fees and washing their protective clothing, Teachers claim back relief on fees into the NUT and workers from almost every other industry claim a uniform rebate for work uniforms or protective clothing.

It doesn’t stop there, a tax rebate can be claimed for work travel, tools bought for work and working from home.

How to check and make a claim

Our service can help you review what you are entitled to claim back for the last four tax years. With an average tax refund secured for our clients of over £900 can you afford not to find out?

Tony Shanks

Uniform Tax Rebate Expenses EIM32476

What uniform expenses can I claim?

When talking about what uniform expenses you can claim you need to understand HMRC legislation and in particular EIM 32476.

EIM 32476 basically explains that anything bearing a company name or logo is considered a uniform. If an employee has to buy these items themselves, a deduction on the cost is permitted. Other required clothing without a company name is not considered in the same way and therefore these items are not deductible.

A good example of a legitimate uniform tax rebate claim is:

cabin crew member who wears a uniform of blue jacket, skirt or trousers and a scarf all with the airline name sewn on them would be classed as uniform. The other uniform requirements to wear a generic white shirt or blouse, blue socks or dark tights and black shoes would not have an allowed uniform deductible amount.

Knowing what is and isn’t allowed before you make a claim can save you the time and effort. It’s also important to remember that your tax code may already include the uniform allowance without you actually knowing.

We offer a comprehensive Tax Rebate Service which can claim back tax relief on your uniform and other work related costs. We’ll check your tax code and make sure you claim back everything you’re entitled to.

Tony Shanks

 

 

Find Out How Much Tax Refund You Can Claim

If you’ve ever wondered how much tax you could be owed you can use our tax refund calculator to find out – for free!

Many people think they might have overpaid income tax but don’t do anything about it. It’s vital to act sooner rather than later because there are time limits on how long you have to make a claim.

The tax refund calculator let’s you enter your total gross pay, tax paid and expense figures to work out what you can claim back in each of the last four tax years.

It’s worth remembering that a tax refund claim can be back dated for the last four tax years. Checking each tax year is worth it to make sure you don’t miss out on tax you are owed.

Tony Shanks

Teacher Tax Relief Working From Home

As a teacher you can claim a tax rebate for lot’s of your work related costs. One of them is called working from home tax relief. We’ve been helping teachers and other other education professionals for many years, and are often successful in claiming back tax relief on expenses where others have failed.

The current regulations generally state that teachers are not entitled to claim for any costs incurred whilst working at home because it is a choice, rather than a requirement of the job. It’s stated that teachers have access to the school facilities at either end of the official school day so are simply making a personal decision to do this work at home.

While this is true, teachers usually use this time in school to do things like display work, resource preparation and meetings with other staff which requires access to the premises. The bulk of other paperwork and research cannot be completed during the hours the school building is open and therefore has to be done at home.

There are several points which dispute the idea that ‘individual choice’ is the only reason for home working.

Before and After School Clubs

Increasing numbers of teachers are asked to allow their classrooms to be used for breakfast or after school clubs to meet targets of ‘wrap-around’ care. This means they are no longer a quiet space in which to concentrate.

Week-end working

Most teachers complete their weekly planning and assessment paperwork at the week-end when there is no access to school premises.

Holiday Access

School buildings are often not open to staff during school holiday periods due to big cleaning jobs, the site manager being on holiday, updates to computer servers or building works being done. Often this means staff can be in the school buildings but have reduced facilities. Such as no computer access, no water (which means no toilet!) or no heating. Therefore it becomes necessary to work at home. Teachers have to use ‘holiday’ periods to do subject co-ordinator work, write reports or physically put their classrooms back together cleaning or construction work so they are ready for the children.

Restricted Heating

Many schools have heating systems that are centrally controlled. This means that they are timed to come on and off to heat the building when the children are present. If heating goes off at 4.00pm in the middle of winter, Victorian buildings or the ‘temporary for 30 years’ classrooms become very cold very quickly. It is quite difficult to type efficiently wearing gloves, so most staff choose to go home and use their own resources.

Tony Shanks

 

HMRC Mileage Tax Refund Legislation

Claiming a mileage tax refund can be a tricky business. The rules surrounding what can and cannot be claimed for are sometimes hard to understand. In basic terms if you have to travel to one place of employment for 24 months or less you can potentially claim mileage tax relief. But there are lot’s of variables which can mean you aren’t entitled to claim.

 

History of Temporary Workplace Legislation

Income tax was first introduced in the UK in 1799 and has been enforced since then, apart from a period of suspension between 1815 and 1842. This has included the premis that if an employee has had to spend money on anything that is “wholly, exclusively and necessarily” for their work, then in should be tax deductible. Initially this did include such expenditure as keeping and maintaining a horse! In 1998 the rules were updated to include the modern methods of travel to and from work for employees that are continuously employed. We claim travel expenses under sections 336-339 of the Income Tax (Earnings and Pensions) Act of 2003.

 

Reliable Service

All of our advisors are based in the U.K. and have in depth knowledge of current legislation. We are proud of our commitment to honesty and integrity when dealing with each individual’s tax claim. We know exactly what you are entitled to and never submit a claim for anything you are not allowed. If you have given us accurate information then we make a legitimate claim and you never have to worry about HMRC asking for their money back.

 

Cutting through the jargon

Everyone wants to pay enough, but not too much, tax. You can fill in your self assessment tax returns yourself. But they cost time to decipher the forms and money if you make particular mistakes. Even a judge recently described the rules around commuting to permanent or temporary workplaces a “labyrinth”! We can remove the time and stress cost to you by submitting your forms on your behalf. We already understand the regulations so you can relax in the knowledge that you will be submitting an accurate claim that encompasses all of your entitlements. The average 4 year tax refund for a PAYE client is over £2,500.

We have the reputation of providing a totally professional service with customer service that is second to none. We have been working with HMRC for many years and know that every detail matters when working within their regulations. We understand the rules so you don’t have to!

What are you waiting for? Start your claim today.

Tony Shanks

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