Mike Tombs's Blog

This blog provides information about tax, accounting and other issues affecting small owner-managed businesses in the UK. It is intended as a general source of information but you should not assume that everything applies to your specific circumstances. We are always happy to discuss providing tailor-made solutions to suit your individul needs. Visit www.tlaservices.co.uk to sign up for our free monthly Tax Tips and News newsletter.

Monthly Archives: May 2015

Cancelling VAT or VAT/MOSS Registration

If you registered for UK VAT in order to operate VAT-MOSS for your overseas sales of digital services to non-business customers, you may now find that the administration for such sales is just not worth the hassle. If so you may want to deregister for both UK-VAT and VAT-MOSS, and restrict your sales to UK-based consumers, or businesses located anywhere outside the EU.

The deregistration process for VAT-MOSS must be done online and it will take effect from the end of the calendar quarter in which notice to deregister is given. Thus to deregister from VAT-MOSS with effect from 1 July 2015 onwards, notice must be given by 15 June 2015. Note that once deregistered for VAT-MOSS your business can’t use VAT-MOSS again for two calendar quarters.

The deregistration application for UK-VAT can be done online, and we can do this for you. The paper form VAT 7 can also be used to apply for deregistration from UK VAT. For a voluntarily deregistration the effective date is the date HMRC receives the application to deregister or a later date as agreed with HMRC.

Auto-enrolment Exemptions

Have you received a letter from The Pension Regulator (TPR) telling you to “ACT NOW” to prepare for auto-enrolment? The letter gives you just a few weeks to nominate a contact to receive communications about auto-enrolment, with the threat of fines or prosecution if you don’t take action.

The “staging date” for your business will be stated in the letter. This is the date by which you must have a pension scheme ready for your employees to join, if you do indeed need one.

A large number of small companies will be exempt from auto-enrolment, if they don’t technically have any “workers” at their staging date. A company director is not a “worker” if he or she does not have a contract of employment with the company. A company with no staff other than directors has no obligations under auto-enrolment if any of the following apply:

  • It has only one director; or
  • It has a number of directors, but none of those have an employment contract; or
  • It has a number of directors, only one of whom has an employment contract.

TPR doesn’t know which directors in which small companies have employment contracts. If you receive a TPR letter asking for a contact to be established for auto-enrolment, you can get TPR off your back with one email to: customersupport@autoenrol.tpr.gov.uk . This should open a structured email in which you need to insert your: PAYE reference, Companies House reference and the letter code from the TPR letter.

If your company does have staff other than its directors, we should talk about what preparations you need to make to get ready for auto-enrolment.

May 2015 Q&A

Q. I live in France and I am about to sell my former home in the UK, which has been let out since I emigrated in August 2001. Do I have to pay tax in the UK on the gain?

A. As you have lived abroad for nearly 14 years you will probably be treated as “non-resident” in the UK for tax purposes, but we need to check that with a few more questions. If you are a non-resident, the gain would generally be exempt from UK capital gains tax (CGT).

However, a new non-resident CGT applies to gains made on the disposal of residential property for 6 April 2015. This new tax only applies to the property of the gain falling after 5 April 2015. So if you sell the property fairly shortly after April 2015 there should be little gain to tax, and the first £11,100 of the gain will be exempt from tax.

Q. I am the sole director of my own company and will take a salary of £10,600 this tax year. How much dividend can I extract from the company this year without paying higher rate tax?

A. Assuming your company makes sufficient profits you can take out net dividends of £28,606 (90% of £31,785), without breaking into the 40% tax band.

Q. My Dad is nearly 90 years old and has an income of £26,000. My Mum who is 85, has an income of less than £10,000. Can my Mum transfer some of her unused personal allowance to my Dad in 2015/16?

A. Unfortunately, the transferable allowance of £1,060, doesn’t apply to people who were born before 6 April 1935. Your father will already receive the married couple’s allowance, which is worth up to £816.50 for 2015/16. The transferable allowance is only worth £212 (£1,060 x 20%), so he is better off with the married couple’s allowance.