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Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarms Compulsory from 01 October 2022

Posted on May 20th, 2022 -

New Regulations drafted state, that all rented properties in England must provide a carbon monoxide alarm in rooms used as living accommodation where there is a fixed combustion appliance, such as gas heaters and boilers, from the beginning of October 2022.

The new draft rules amend the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 where previously the requirement only applied to solid fuel combustion appliances, such as wood burners. The rules will, however, not extend to gas cookers.

The amended rules (Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (Amendment) Regulations 2022) include a new requirement to ensure when a tenant reports to the landlord or letting agent that an alarm may not be in proper working order, the alarm must be repaired or replaced.

The Draft Statutory Instrument was laid before Parliament on 11 May 2022 and once approved will come into force on 1 October 2022.

Article from PropertyMark https://www.propertymark.co.uk/resource/smoke-and-carbon-monoxide-alarms-compulsory-from-1-october.html


SWLA Attend West of England Landlord Expo in Bristol

Posted on May 19th, 2022 -

It was great to see some of our members at the Landlord Expo at Ashton Gate, Bristol on Tuesday. We also spoke to lots of landlords who are keen to sign up to the SWLA and attend our Landlord Accreditation and Training courses. The training courses are currently running online – which is great for our members who live further afield.

The day was well attended by exhibitors and delegates. It was good to be back to the hustle and bustle after all of the online meetings of the last couple of years!

 


Queen’s Speech 2022 – A Recap for Landlords

Posted on May 11th, 2022 -

Renters Reform Bill

The Queen’s Speech included reconfirmation of the government’s commitment to legislating on the Renters Reform Bill. This will include;

  • Abolishing Section 21 (known as no fault evictions)
  • Strengthening Section 8 grounds (for when landlords want to move in or sell, or have tenants with rent arrears/anti social behaviour
  • Creation of an Ombudsman for private landlords (to help resolve disputes before they reach the courts)
  • Creation of a property portal for landlords (to help landlords understand their obligations so tenants can hold their landlord to account)

The Bill was first proposed in 2019 so landlords have been expecting this change for a long while.

The Renter’s Reform Bill white paper will be ‘published shortly’.

Reforming the UK’s Data Protection Regime

As the UK is no longer a members of the EU, the government are looking to reform the UK’s Data Protection regime, a Bill is expected, due to be published in summer 2022.

 

For the full speech contents; https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/queens-speech-2022


1/2 Day Landlord Training Course – Legal Update 2022 – Online

Posted on May 10th, 2022 -

½ Day Landlord Training Course – Legal Update 2022 

Thursday 16th June 2022 – 1:30pm – 4:30pm 

Venue – Online

If you are accredited this will count towards your CPD hours, but the course is open to all.

Cost for SWLA members – £35

Cost for non-SWLA members – £40 

Course will cover 

  1. Right to Rent changes
  2. Update on Section 8 and Section 21 Notices
  3. Material Information
  4. Fire Safety Act
  5. New smoke and carbon monoxide regulations
  6. Rent repayment orders
  7. New regulations 

Places secured upon receipt of payment, book your place through the office 01752 510913.

Course will be instructed by Stephen Fowler from Training for Professionals.


West of England Landlord Expo

Posted on May 5th, 2022 -

Free to Attend! – Tuesday 17th May 2022 – 10am to 5pm – Ashton Gate Stadium, Bristol – Come and join us!

 

 


Landlords – Ditch the Tax Jargon – Self-Assessment Explained

Posted on May 5th, 2022 -

Understanding Self Assessment can be challenging for many self-employed people. The technical information can be difficult if not impossible to understand, while – let’s face it – it’s hardly the most interesting subject.

And the use of tax terminology rather than plain English can literally leave many people scratching their head when they’re reading information that should guide them.

Here are a few basic facts that you should know about how Self Assessment works if you’re self-employed, as well as plain English explanations of key Self Assessments terms that’ll you’ll often read or hear.

 

What is Self Assessment and how does it work? 

  • Self Assessment is the system that UK tax authority HMRC (HM Revenue and Customs) uses to collect Income Tax
  • The UK tax year runs from 6 April until 5 April in the following year. If you need to declare income via Self Assessment and didn’t file a tax return in the previous tax year, you must register by 5 October in your second tax year. Otherwise – you could be fined.
  • Self-employed people – AKA Sole Traders – and others with income that is subject to Income Tax, must report it to HMRC each year via a Self Assessment tax return (SA100 and any supplementary pages that are required), so that HMRC can work out how much Income Tax and National Insurance is payable.
  • You file your Self Assessment tax return after the end of the tax year it applies to and you have until midnight on 31 January to file it online.
  • You’re required to maintain accurate financial records, so that you can fill in your tax return correctly. You must retain proof of business expenses that you claim.
  • You can claim tax reliefs and tax allowances, which reduce your profits and tax bill. Many of the costs you pay when running your business can be claimed as “allowable expenses”.
  • HMRC can charge you interest and a penalty if you do not file your Self Assessment tax return and pay any tax due before the deadlines.
  • You must submit a Self Assessment tax return if HMRC has asked you to do this (via a “notice to file”) and hasn’t cancelled or withdrawn that request, regardless of whether you believe your income is taxable.
  • The deadlines for paying your Income Tax bills are:-
    • – 31 January for any tax you owe for the previous tax year (called a “balancing payment”) and your first payment on account
    • – 31 July for your second payment on account.
  • Software and apps can make managing Self Assessment far easier. You can pay others to complete and file your Self Assessment tax return or get them to check it if you complete your own Self Assessment tax return. This can provide added peace of mind.

 

 Self Assessment glossary – what does the jargon actually mean?

Accounting year – the 12-month period covered by your business’s accounts, which may or not be the same as the UK tax year (ie 6 April-5 April).

Allowable expenses – business costs that HMRC allows you to deduct from your profits. These reduce your profits and resulting Income Tax bill.

Annuities – a long-term investment issued by an insurance company that’s designed to protect you from the risk of outliving your income. If applicable, details must be given in your Self Assessment tax return.

Balance sheet – a report (usually produced by accounting software) showing a business’s assets and liabilities at a specific time or at the end of the trading or tax year.

Capital allowances – to reduce your profits and Income Tax bill, you can claim capital allowances when you buy capital assets that you keep for use in your business (eg equipment, machinery and vehicles).

Capital Gains Tax – a tax on the profit you make when you “dispose of” (ie sell) an asset (eg property) for more than you paid for it. You provide details of your gain via Self Assessment and pay tax on the gain.

Gross profit – your total sales (also called your “turnover”) minus your cost of sales and direct costs. Your cost of sales are your day-to-day business running costs (ie your overheads or fixed costs), while direct (or variable) costs are those linked directly to the production/supply of specific goods or services.

Income – money your business receives for the products and/or services it sells to its customers. The money you receive is your personal income.

Late-filing – when you fail to submit your Self Assessment tax return before the deadline. You’ll pay a late-filing penalty of £100 if your tax return is up to three months late (more if it’s later or if you also pay your tax bill late).

Marriage Allowance – enables you to transfer £1,260 of your Personal Allowance to your husband, wife or civil partner, thereby reducing their tax by up to £252 in the tax year.

National Insurance contributions – contributions you pay to qualify for certain benefits and the State Pension. Self-employed people pay Class 2 and Class 4 National Insurance contributions (NICs).

Net profit – your gross (ie total) profit minus indirect costs and expenses.

NINO – National Insurance number; ensures that your National Insurance contributions (NICs) and tax are only recorded against your name.

Ordinary partnership – a business formed by two or more self-employed people. In law, the people and their business are the same thing, so the partners are both liable for the partnership’s debts.

Personal Allowance – the standard Personal Allowance is £12,570 (2022/23 tax year). This is the amount of income that you can earn without having to pay tax.

Revenue – total income generated by the sale of goods and services that your sole trader business makes.

SA100 – the main Self Assessment tax return that you need to fill out and file. Sole traders often have to complete and file supplementary pages to provide more details about their income or expenses.

Self Assessment – the system that the UK tax authority HMRC (HM Revenue and Customs) uses to collect Income Tax.

Self-employed – working for yourself as a freelancer, contractor, agency worker or business owner, rather than being employed by an employer.

Simplified expenses – a quicker and more convenient way of calculating some business expenses using flat rates instead of working out the actual cost. HMRC allows this. Can be used for vehicle and fuel costs.

 Sole trader – an alternative term for being self-employed. In law, there’s no distinction between you and your business. You can keep all of the profits after you’ve paid tax on them – but you’re personally liable for business debts.

Tax relief – these enable you to pay less tax to cover money you’ve spent on business expenses or costs if you’re self-employed or to get back tax or have it repaid in another way (eg into a personal pension). You get some types of tax relief automatically, but you must apply for others.

Tax year – 12-month period covered by a Self Assessment tax return. It’s the same for everyone who pays tax via Self Assessment – 6 April until 5 April the following year.

Trading allowance – the first £1,000 of income that you earn from self-employment is your trading allowance and it isn’t subject to tax.

UTR – Unique Taxpayer Reference – a 10-digit code HMRC uses to identify self-employed people and their businesses for tax purposes. You need to include it in your Self Assessment tax return.

 

Article by GoSimpleTax

GoSimpleTax is jargon free software which allows you to record income, expenses and submits directly to HMRC.

It is a solution for the self-employed landlord, sole traders, freelancers and anyone with income outside of PAYE.

The software will provide you with hints and tips that could save you money on allowances and expenses you may have missed.

 

Discounts for SWLA members;  GoSimpleTax


Cladding: Building Safety Bill Becomes Law

Posted on May 5th, 2022 -

The Building Safety Bill received Royal Assent on 28th April and was passed into law – however it won’t come into force for two months. The conclusion of the bill process sees confirmation about the level of funding available for the remediation of unsafe cladding in medium-rise buildings (11-18 metres high) in England.

The UK Government reversed its original suggestion to completely exclude leaseholder landlords from plans for developers to cover the cost of cladding remediation in medium-rise blocks.

Under the new legislation, owners of up to three properties in the UK will qualify for the protections. This includes all properties, not just those which require remediation – for example, an owner-occupied principal home plus two let properties.

Landlords with larger portfolios will be excluded from the protections unless the affected property is their primary residence, despite widespread support across the political spectrum for provisions to be extended.

Non-cladding defects

For non-cladding remediation, developers and then building owners will be expected to cover these costs where possible. Building owners will be legally required to prove there are no other sources for funding before passing any costs onto leaseholders.

Building owners will not be able to pass costs onto qualifying leaseholders where they are, or are linked to, the developer or where they have sufficient net wealth.

In the remaining cases, the cost of remediation of non-cladding defects and interim measures, such as waking watches, will be shared between the building owner and leaseholders. Qualifying leaseholders (as outlined above) will be protected by a cap:

  • Outside London: no cost for properties valued less than £175,000; £10,000 cap for properties valued £175k-£1m
  • Within London: no cost for properties valued less than £325,000; £15,000 cap for properties valued £325k-£1m
  • Across England: £50,000 cap for properties valued £1m-£2m; £100,000 cap for properties valued over £2m.

The costs will be spread over 10 years, and any payments for non-cladding defects or interim measures made in the last five years will count towards the cost cap. The building owner will be responsible for any costs above the cap.

There will be no protections for leaseholders in buildings less than 11 metres high, as the Government considers there’s “no systematic fire risk”. Buildings over 18 metres high continue to be covered by the Building Safety Fund.

The Government guidance on the leaseholder protections is available on the GOV.UK website.

Other measures

The Building Safety Bill is an extensive piece of legislation, addressing issues raised by the Grenfell Tower fire and subsequent inquiry. Other provisions include:

  • Requiring building owners to manage building safety risks, including involving residents in decision-making
  • Residents have legal obligation to respond to requests for information from accountable person and to ensure their actions don’t create safety risks
  • New Building Safety Regulator within the Health and Safety Executive to implement and enforce regulations for residential blocks over 18m high
  • National regulator for safety of construction products
  • Extension of limitation period for build and refurbishment defects to 30 years.

Implementation of the full scope of the legislation is expected to take 12-18 months.

Article abridged from; NRLA

Further information; Building safety leaseholder protections factsheet


Those in Receipt of Legacy Benefits & Tax Credits to move to Universal Credit

Posted on May 5th, 2022 -

  • Government outlines plans to resume helping claimants move to Universal Credit by end of 2024
  • Universal Credit successfully supported millions during the pandemic

All benefit claimants will be moved over to Universal Credit by the end of 2024, with moves from legacy schemes resuming next month, the Department for Work and Pensions announced today.

Today’s announcement reaffirms the Government’s target to complete the programme. The restart follows a pause to the process during the pandemic when staff were focused on supporting the surge of new claimants to Universal Credit.

The six benefits being replaced all have complex and inefficient systems based on aging, inflexible IT. Universal Credit uses a modern, digital system which stood up to the test of Covid-19 where it quickly ensured three million new claimants were protected from the financial impact of the pandemic.

Universal Credit also provides claimants with one to one individually tailored support to help them into employment or to further their career, and people with a health condition or disability who cannot work could receive almost £350 a month on top of the Universal Credit standard allowance.  Additional support remains available for those in need, including the Household Support Fund and Discretionary Housing Payments.

The process will resume on 9 May and will be carefully managed. Claimants will gradually be notified of when they will be asked to move to Universal Credit so as to complete the process by 2024.

Everyone moving over from legacy benefits will have their entitlement to Universal Credit assessed against their current claims, with top up payments available for eligible claimants whose entitlement would have been reduced because of the change – ensuring they receive the same entitlement as on a legacy system. These will continue unless their circumstances alter.

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Thérèse Coffey said:

Over five million people are already supported by Universal Credit. It is a dynamic system which adjusts as people earn more or indeed less, and simplifies our safety net for those who cannot work.

Parliament voted to end the complex web of six legacy benefits in 2012, and as this work approaches its conclusion we are fully transitioning to a modern benefit, suited to the 21st century.

Although notifications will be gradually sent out across the country, people who are currently claiming legacy benefits do not have to wait to be moved to Universal Credit. Anyone who thinks they will be better off can move straight away. Claimants can check their entitlement for Universal Credit using an independent benefits calculator.

People who are unsure whether they would be better off should wait to be moved as the transitional protection top up payments only apply to claimants moved by DWP, and people cannot reclaim their old benefits after switching to Universal Credit.

Claimants can also use the separate Help to Claim service for support.

A dedicated helpline – signposted on the notice claimants receive – will provide support to make their Universal Credit claim, and guidance will also be available online. Those in need of further support can also visit their local jobcentre.

Claimants moving to Universal Credit will receive a two-week run-on of their Income Support, Income-Based Jobseeker’s Allowance, or Income-Related Employment and Support Allowance. Those moving from Housing Benefit will receive a two-week Transition to Universal Credit Housing Payment.

Additional Information

  • All legacy benefits will be coming to an end. These are: Income-Related Employment and Support Allowance, Income-Based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, Income Support and Housing Benefit for those of working age.
  • The Department today published its Completing the move to Universal Credit document.

Article from; https://www.gov.uk/government/news/managed-move-of-claimants-to-universal-credit-set-to-restart


Temporary Pause on Energy Usage Deductions from Benefits

Posted on May 5th, 2022 -

The Fuel Direct Scheme enables energy suppliers and benefit claimants to apply deductions for energy arrears from benefits. In light of the significant increase in energy bills, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has written to UK energy suppliers about plans to temporarily pause requests to pay for ongoing energy usage from benefits from 1 April.

The DWP will no longer facilitate requests from energy suppliers for new or increased ongoing consumption payments in an effort to ease the cost of living pressures for those on lower incomes.

From 1 April, only claimants will be able to request an increase or decrease in ongoing consumption payments for a period of one year. By doing so, they will have greater control over the amount that can be deducted directly from their benefits. If they are able, claimants can contact the DWP and request an increase in payments.

Energy suppliers have been provided with reassurance that existing ongoing consumption payments will be maintained at their current levels.

Article from; National Housing Federation – Temporary pause on energy usage deductions from benefits


Landlord Accreditation Training

Posted on May 3rd, 2022 -

Landlord Accreditation Training Course – ONLINE

Wednesday 3rd August 2022 – 9:00 – 4:30pm

Venue – Online

Price – £65 for members of SWLA, £75 for non – members for one day course.

Course covers ASTs, Deposits, Section 21s, Section 8s, HMOs, Gas and Electrical Safety, Inventories and much more.

The course will provide you with all the skills to start, manage and finish a tenancy.

Places still available. Contact the office on 01752 510913 or info@landlordssouthwest.co.uk to book your place, places only secured on receipt of payment.

Over 1100 landlords have already completed this course since September 2011.

Course can lead to Accreditation, if required.

We are proud to announce Landlord Accreditation South West (LASW) are founder members of the West of England Rental Standard.


TradePoint Bank Holiday Deal – 10% Off ‘The Great Outdoors’ Plus an Extra 10% Off for SWLA TradePoint Members

Posted on April 28th, 2022 -

From Thursday 28th April – Monday 2nd May

For all deals including 20% off bathrooms, kitchens and bedroom furniture – see the TradePoint website – www.trade-point.co.uk


SWLA General Speaker Meeting – A Full House!

Posted on April 21st, 2022 -

On Wednesday 20th April we welcomed over 60 members to our General Meeting at the Future Inn Hotel.

Thanks to our brilliant speakers – Mick Quick from Tech Surveys who discussed forthcoming changes to EPC legislation and what landlords can do about it. Also Annette Stone & Ian Pring from Thomas Westcott Chartered Accountants who advised on all landlord tax matters with a focus on Making Tax Digital, Capital Gains Tax and Stamp Duty Land Tax.

We had lots of interesting queries raised from the audience – if anyone did not have a chance to ask their question at the meeting, please email into the office and our speakers will happily provide an answer.

Thank you to Adrian Feeney from Trade Point who had a stand, and was on hand to answer members TradePoint discount queries. Remember – SWLA members get 10% of most items in B&Q via the TradePoint SWLA membership discount.

We look forward to seeing you all again at our next General Meeting on 19th October 2022.



What April 2022 tax changes should UK landlords know about?

Posted on April 1st, 2022 -

Article by GoSimpleTax

 April marks the start of the 2022/23 UK tax year, while also being the month when HMRC introduces some important tax changes.

These can affect landlords just as much as other taxpayers and in some cases they can have a significant impact on your tax bills. With prices rising sharply seemingly across the board, you should be aware of how much more tax you’ll have to pay as a landlord, so that you can better budget for the year ahead. The April 2022 tax changes could also affect income you receive from other sources.

So, what key tax changes are being introduced for the 2022/23 tax year and how could they affect you and other landlords?

 

National Insurance Contributions

As widely reported when announced in the government’s October 2021 Budget, from 6 April 2022, National Insurance contributions (NICs) will increase by 1.25 percentage points (which is much higher than a 1.25% increase). The government says the additional tax revenue will be spent on the NHS and social care.

Rental income is not subject to NICs unless you’re a professional landlord running a property rental business (ie being a landlord is your main job, you rent out more than one property and buy new properties to rent out, etc). If you are a professional landlord running a property rental business, currently you must pay NICs if your earnings exceed the Class 2 and Class 4 NIC thresholds.

Obviously, if you’re not a professional landlord but you earn income from other sources upon which you currently pay NICs, for example, if you’re an employee, sole trader or member of an ordinary partnership, your NICs will increase by 1.25 percentage points. If you employ people, your share of their Class 1 NICs will also increase, while any Class 1A and 1B payments employers pay on employee expenses and benefits will also increase.

 

What about Income Tax?

Not much will change when it comes to Income Tax. The personal allowance (ie the amount upon which no Income Tax is payable) remains at £12,570 a year (ie £1,048 a month or £242 a week). Beyond this figure, in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, 20% Income Tax (ie the basic rate) is payable on taxable earnings between £12,571 and £50,270 a year, then 40% (the higher rate) on £50,271 to £150,000 and 45% on annual earnings over £150,000. The tax rates in Scotland are different, but the personal allowance is the same.

 

Other tax-related changes for landlords

 Tax on dividend income will also increase by 1.25% from 6 April. If you earn any income from dividend payments, after your £2,000 annual allowance, if you’re a basic rate Income Tax payer you’ll pay 8.75% tax on dividend payments (7.5% was the previous percentage). If you’re a higher rate Income Tax payer, from 6 April you’ll pay 33.75% (up from 32.5%) and additional rate Income Tax payers will pay 39.35% (up from 38.1%) on their dividend income.

A reminder that Capital Gains Tax rules changed in October 2021 in a way that could benefit you if you choose to sell property this year. Previously, you would have had just 30 days to report any taxable gains made from the sale of property and pay the CGT you owed to HMRC, but you now have up to 60 days. The same amount of Capital Gains Tax is payable, it’s just that have twice as much time to report and pay tax on any taxable gains.

 

Making Tax Digital for landlords

From April 1 2022, landlords with a VAT-registered business with a taxable turnover below the VAT threshold of £85,000 will need to comply with Making Tax Digital for VAT requirements. These mean you must maintain digital records using MTD-compatible software and report figures online to HMRC each quarter. More information about Making Tax Digital for VAT is available from HMRC via government website gov.uk.

It’s still some way off, but all current Self Assessment taxpayers will need to comply with Making Tax Digital for Income Tax requirements when they are introduced. Beginning in April 2024, this will also require you to use MTD-compatible software to maintain digital records of your income and outgoings. You’ll need to send quarterly updates to HMRC online and submit an end-of-period statement and final declaration, so that your tax liability can be calculated. You’ll no longer need to complete a Self Assessment tax return once MTD for Income Tax Self Assessment is introduced.

 

About GoSimpleTax

Income, Expenses and tax submission all in one.

GoSimpleTax will provide you with tips that could save you money on allowances and expenses you might have missed.

The software submits directly to HMRC and is the solution for the self-employed, sole traders and anyone with income outside of PAYE to file their self-assessment giving hints and tips on savings along the way.

GoSimpleTax does all the calculations for you saving you ££’s on accountancy fees. Available on desktop or mobile application.

 


A Handy Guide to Income Related Benefits and Schemes

Posted on March 31st, 2022 -

The following ‘easy to use’ guide breaks down all benefits and schemes available in the UK – click on each topic for more information.

IncomeMax-X-BGET-BounceBack-Checklist-BGET-2021.pdf (britishgasenergytrust.org.uk)

 

 


Free MEES/EPC Improvement Advice & Support for Plymouth Landlords

Posted on March 24th, 2022 -

For the attention of landlords with properties in the Plymouth area, please note that there is information, guidance and support available on energy performance improvements. Plymouth City Council and Plymouth Energy Community are working together to support landlords to meet Minimum energy Efficiency Standards, without the need for enforcement. Please check out the link below or contact Plymouth Energy Community directly to find out more;

https://plymouthenergycommunity.com/business/mees?r=11154

https://www.landlordssouthwest.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/PCC-and-PEC-Advert-180222.pdf



Cornwall Landlords & Tenants – Please Take Part in PRS Survey

Posted on March 24th, 2022 -

Cornwall Council is proposing to change its ‘Private Sector Housing Enforcement Policy’ to incorporate new legislation and to improve how the Council currently uses its enforcement powers.  Much of the draft policy is unchanged from the previous version, but where changes are proposed they wish to make sure that they consult fully.

To facilitate this consultation they have launched a survey.  The survey will be live until 27/05/2022 and it can be found here:  Private Landlord and Tenant Consultation | Let’s Talk Cornwall

The survey contains questions to help the Council gather current opinion on discretionary licensing. This survey is not a discretionary licensing statutory consultation, and the questions have been added to the survey to help Cornwall Council understand opinion on discretionary licensing at this moment in time, and to help them get the most value out of the exercise.

The survey also asks whether Cornwall Council should be doing more tenant engagement work, please also encourage tenants to complete the survey in any way that you can. If you have any questions, or would like to meet to discuss any part of this consultation exercise then please do not hesitate to contact Joe Roberts Joe.Roberts@cornwall.gov.uk or Stuart Kenney – stuart.kenney@cornwall.gov.uk


SWLA – General Speaker Meeting

Posted on March 24th, 2022 -

Notice of a General Meeting

 Wednesday 20th April 2022

Future Inn Hotel, William Prance Road, Plymouth PL6 5ZD

7:00pm for a 7.30pm start

Speakers will include:-

Mick Quick – Tech Surveys:

Forthcoming changes to EPC legislation and what landlords can do about it

Annette Stone & Colleagues – Thomas Westcott Accountants:

Updates on all tax matters relating to the PRS with a focus on Making Tax Digital, Capital Gains Tax & SDLT

Wine & orange juice will be served during the evening. We hope to see you there, guests are very welcome.

Please remember to register your car at the hotel reception upon arrival.


Spring Statement – Chancellor Announces Tax Cuts

Posted on March 24th, 2022 -

Chancellor announces tax cuts to support families with cost of living – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

  • Chancellor announces tax cut for nearly 30 million UK workers through rise in National Insurance thresholds – saving the typical employee over £330 in the year from July.
  • Unveiling a Tax Plan to give families further help with the cost of living, Rishi Sunak reduces fuel duty on petrol and diesel by 5p per litre for the next year – and announces a £5 billion income tax cut from 2024.
  • Spring Statement also sets out measures to boost investment, innovation, and growth – including a £1,000 increase to Employment Allowance to benefit around half a million SMEs.

Rishi Sunak announced that National Insurance starting thresholds will rise to £12,570 from July, meaning hard-working people across the UK will keep more of what they earn before they start paying personal taxes.

The cut, worth over £6 billion, will benefit almost 30 million working people with a typical employee saving over £330 in the year from July. This means the UK now has some of the most generous tax thresholds in the world.

Mr Sunak also announced that fuel duty for petrol and diesel will be cut by 5p per litre from 6pm tonight (23 March) to help drivers across the UK with rising costs – a tax cut worth £2.4 billion. This is the biggest cut ever on all fuel duty rates and means a one-car family will now save on average £100.

To let people keep more of what they earn, the basic rate of income tax will also be cut by 1p in the pound in 2024, when the OBR expect inflation to be back under control, debt falling sustainably and the economy growing. The cut is worth £5 billion for workers, savers and pensioners and will be the first cut to the basic rate in 16 years.

The Chancellor also set out a series of measures to help businesses boost investment, innovation, and growth – including a £1,000 increase to Employment Allowance to benefit around half a million smaller firms.

Delivering the Spring Statement, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said:

This statement puts billions back into the pockets of people across the UK and delivers the biggest net cut to personal taxes in over a quarter of a century.

Like our actions against Russia, I have been able to do this because of our strong economy and the difficult but responsible decisions I have had to make to rebuild our finances following the pandemic.

Cutting taxes means people have immediate help with the rising cost of living, businesses have better conditions to invest and grow tomorrow, and people keep more of what they earn for years to come.

Delivering the statement, the Chancellor made clear that our sanctions against Russia will not be cost-free for people at home, and that Putin’s invasion presents a risk to our economic recovery – as it does to countries all around the world.

However, announcing the further measures to help people deal with rising costs, he said the extra support could only be provided because of the UK’s strong economy and the tough but responsible decisions taken to rebuild our fiscal resilience.

The immediate help for people with the cost of living and support for businesses comes as part of a wider Tax Plan announced by the Chancellor that will also create better conditions for growth and will share proceeds from growth more fairly – ensuring people can keep more of what they earn.

Help with the cost of living

The Chancellor said that global supply chain issues following the pandemic, as well as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, are driving up the cost of living for families across the UK.

To combat this, he announced that from 6pm this evening (23 March) fuel duty will be cut by 5p per litre for 12 months – worth £2.4 billion for hard-working families across the UK.

To ease cost of living pressures for almost 30 million employees, the Chancellor announced that from July 2022, National Insurance thresholds will rise to £12,570 to align with the income tax personal allowance. This simplification means that, from July, 70% of workers who pay NICs will pay less of it, even after accounting for the Health and Social Care Levy. Of those who benefit from the threshold increase, 2.2 million people will be taken out of paying NICs altogether.

To ensure more people can keep more of what they earn for years to come, the Chancellor also announced plans to cut the basic rate of income tax from 20p to 19p from 2024. The historic £5 billion tax cut for workers, pensioners and savers will be worth £175 on average for 30 million people and will be the first cut to the basic rate in 16 years. This will be delivered in a responsible and affordable way, while continuing to meet our fiscal rules.

Mr Sunak also announced that there will be an extra £500 million for the Household Support Fund, which doubles its total amount to £1 billion to support the most vulnerable families with their essentials over the coming months. The Chancellor also reduced the VAT on energy saving materials such as solar panels, heating pumps and roof insulation from 5% to zero for five years, helping families become more energy-efficient. This cost of living support comes on top of the measures that the Chancellor has already announced over the recent months to support families. This includes a £9 billion energy bill rebate package, worth up to £350 each for around 28 million households, an increase to the National Living Wage, worth £1,000 for full time workers, and a cut to the Universal Credit taper, worth £1,000 for two million families.

Boosting Investment, Innovation and Growth

To lift growth and productivity among UK businesses, Mr Sunak set out plans to boost private sector investment and innovation and bring in a new culture of enterprise.

He increased the Employment Allowance – a relief which allows smaller businesses to reduce their employers National Insurance contributions bills each year – from £4,000 to £5,000. The cut is worth up to £1,000 for half a million smaller businesses and starts in two weeks’ time, on 6 April. As a result, 50,000 of these businesses will be taken out of paying NICs and the Health and Social Care Levy, taking the total number of firms not paying NICs and the Levy to 670,000.

The Chancellor also announced two new business rates reliefs will be brought forward by a year to come into effect in April 2022. There will be no business rates due on a range of green technology used to decarbonise buildings, including solar panels and batteries, whilst eligible heat networks will also receive 100% relief. Together these will save businesses more than £200 million over the next five years.

Ahead of the end of the super-deduction, the government will work with businesses and other stakeholders to consider cuts and reforms to best support future investment. And with UK employers spending just half the European average on training their employees, the Chancellor said he will examine how the tax system – including the operation of the Apprenticeship Levy – can be used to encourage employers to invest in adult training.

The Chancellor committed to improving R&D reliefs too. UK business R&D investment is less than half of the OECD’s average as a percentage of GDP, so R&D tax reliefs will be reformed to deliver better value for money for the taxpayer while being more generous where they can make the most difference. The scope of reliefs will also be expanded to cover data, cloud computing and pure maths.

The support for SMEs comes on top of 50% business rates relief for eligible retail, hospitality, and leisure properties, also coming in this April and worth £1.7 billion for small businesses. The Help to Grow Management and Digital schemes, worth thousands of pounds per business, and the £1 million Annual Investment Allowance are also available to continue supporting UK businesses.

Further announcements

The Spring Statement also confirms that:

  • A new Efficiency and Value for Money Committee will be set up to cut £5.5 billion worth of cross-Whitehall waste – with savings to be used to fund public services.
  • £50 million new funding will be provided to create a Public Sector Fraud Authority to hold departments account for their counter-fraud performance and to help them identify, seize and recover fraudsters money.
  • Local residents across the UK will benefit from a fresh set of infrastructure projects as we open the second round of the £4.8 billion Levelling Up Fund. It will continue to focus on regeneration, transport and cultural investments.



‘Homes for Ukraine’ Scheme Launches

Posted on March 17th, 2022 -

UK individuals, charities, community groups and businesses can now record their interest in supporting Ukrainians fleeing the war through the government’s new Homes for Ukraine scheme.

launched a webpage for sponsors to record their interest, ahead of Phase One of the scheme opening for applications this Friday.

The Homes for Ukraine scheme will allow individuals, charities, community groups and businesses in the UK to bring Ukrainians to safety – including those with no family ties to the UK.

Phase One of the scheme will allow sponsors in the UK to nominate a named Ukrainian or a named Ukrainian family to stay with them in their home or in a separate property.

Individual sponsors will be asked to provide homes or a spare room rent-free for as long as they are able, with a minimum stay of 6 months. In return, they will receive £350 per month.

Those who have a named Ukrainian they wish to sponsor should contact them directly and prepare to fill in a visa application, with the application launching on Friday 18 March.

Charities, faith groups and local community organisations are also helping to facilitate connections between individuals, for potential sponsors who do not have a named contact.

Ukrainians arriving in the UK under this scheme will be granted 3 years leave to remain, with entitlement to work, and access benefits and public services.

Applicants will be vetted and will undergo security checks.

For further information please see here; https://homesforukraine.campaign.gov.uk/

 

Frequently Asked Questions

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/homes-for-ukraine-scheme-frequently-asked-questions

 



Final Chance for Landlords to Have Their Say on Income Tax Self Assessment (Making Tax Digital)

Posted on March 17th, 2022 -

The government has published a call for evidence on Income Tax Self Assessment registration for the self-employed and landlords. You can find it at: Open consultation overview: Call for evidence: Income Tax Self Assessment registration for the self-employed and landlords – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

The closing date for the call for evidence is 22 March 2022


Bank of England Increase Base Rate to 0.75%

Posted on March 17th, 2022 -

Interest rates have increased for the third time in four months as the Bank of England tries to calm the rise in the cost of living.

The rise to 0.75% from 0.5% comes as prices are climbing faster than pay, squeezing household finances.

It means interest rates are now at their highest level since March 2020, when the Covid pandemic began.

Energy bills and food costs are increasing and there is concern the war in Ukraine will push prices up further.

Inflation, the rate at which prices rise, is currently at 5.5%, well above the Bank of England’s 2% target. The Bank expects inflation to reach 8%, and possibly higher, in coming months.

The Bank’s policymakers cited rising prices and strong employment as the reasons for the latest rise.

The members of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) felt that “given the current tightness of the labour market, continuing signs of robust domestic cost and price pressures, and the risk that those pressures will persist,” an interest rate rise was justified.

The MPC voted by a majority of 8-1 for the measure, with deputy Bank governor Jon Cunliffe the only member to vote for keeping rates unchanged. He said this was because of the impact of rapid price rises on household incomes.

The committee said that more interest rate rises “might be appropriate in coming months, but there were risks on both sides of that judgement depending on how medium-term prospects evolved.”

The invasion of Ukraine was likely to push prices up even faster than the Bank expected at its last meeting in February, it said.

“The economy had recently been subject to a succession of very large shocks. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was another such shock,” it wrote.

Mortgage costs

About two million households will see an immediate increase in their mortgage payments as a result of the rise in rates, according to UK Finance.

The increase will add about £26 a month to the cost of a typical tracker mortgage, and £16 to the cost of a typical standard variable rate mortgage.

The Bank said that higher global prices for energy and other goods were responsible for the faster rise in inflation than the MPC predicted at its last rate-setting meeting.

However, it expects inflation to “fall back materially” once prices stop rising and the impact of inflation on household incomes starts to bite.

Article from BBC News; https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-60763740