Marriage Allowances Explained
Married couples tend to pool their resources and share fiscal burdens, but the UK tax system treats every individual as an independent person. This can lead to families paying more tax overall.

Where one person earns the majority of the family income, he or she may pay more tax than if both individuals each earned approximately half of the same total, and hence use their full personal allowance and basic rate bands.

Such inequality can be eased by the lower earner transferring 10% of their unused Personal Allowance to their higher earning spouse. This transferred amount is called the Marriage Allowance, as it can only be claimed by married couples or those in a civil partnership.

The marriage allowance is worth £250 for 2019/20. The person who is transferring their Personal Allowance must claim, and the recipient must be taxed at no more than 20% (21% for Scottish taxpayers). Claims can be back-dated to 2015/16, when the Marriage Allowance was introduced.

If you were widowed in the last four years, you can still claim the marriage allowance for years in which your partner was living from 6 April 2015 onwards. You can claim the Marriage Allowance in your tax return, online, by calling 0300 200 3300, or by writing to HMRC. We can help you with this.
 
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Grant Funding Now Available For Brexit Costs
HMRC have announced that a £16m fund has been made available from which businesses can claim grants to cover certain costs associated with Brexit.
 
Two grants are available, one for training costs and another for IT costs.  The costs must relate to the completion of Customs declarations for imports from or exports to the EU, whether the declarations are (or will be) completed for the business itself or for other businesses.
 
Each business is eligible to receive up to Euro 200,000 for IT costs and up to £250 per person for in-house training or up to £2,250 per course.
 
To be eligible for the grants, your business must have a UK establishment and a good tax record.  For the IT grant,
the business must have under 250 employees and an annual turnover of less than Euro 50 million.
 
Naturally, there are requirements and time limits, so applications should only be made when each business is prepared.  However, speed is of the essence as the opportunity will close once funding is fully allocated (latest 31 January 2020).  Applications can be made and further details can be found here.
 
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Important Information About Tax on Life Insurance
When you cash in a life assurance policy or bond, the taxable amount you receive is treated as the highest slice of your income. The taxable portion won’t be the full proceeds, but it can increase your marginal tax rate so you pay more tax in one year than you would have if you’d made regular withdrawals over the life of the bond.

Top-slicing relief attempts to put you in the position you would have been in, had the lump sum been paid in equal amounts in each year of the bond’s life. It doesn’t exactly achieve that, but it’s a good approximation.

The problem is, HMRC’s computer hasn’t calculated the top-slicing relief correctly in every case. For example, where the taxable part of the bond pushed your income for the year over £100,000, part or all of your personal allowance is withdrawn. However, in the top slicing relief calculation your Personal Allowance should have been reinstated. It is this step the HMRC computer missed.

A recent tax tribunal case has determined that HMRC was wrong. If you received taxable income from a
life assurance bond in the last eight years, or you were an executor of an estate that received income from an offshore bond, ask us to double check the tax due.
 
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Check Your P60
Your employer should have sent you a P60 certificate for 2018/19 by now.

This shows your income from that employer in the tax year to 5 April 2019 and the total amount of tax deducted. If you also received taxable benefits in that year, such as a company car, you should receive a form P11D detailing the value of those benefits.

You will need both of those documents to complete your tax return for 2018/19, which must be submitted online by 31 January 2020, or by 31 October 2019 if you send in a paper tax return.

Don’t just blindly copy the figures from the P60 and P11D on to your tax return, think about what they represent. If your employer makes a mistake when completing the P60, and you reflect that mistake on your tax return, you are responsible for that error.

An incorrect tax return can attract penalties of up to 30% of the underpaid tax, or 70% of the tax for a deliberate error. A tax tribunal recently upheld penalties where a taxpayer didn’t check the P60 figure and as a result understated his salary by 45%. He also failed to declare his taxable benefits.

We can complete your tax return for you, to avoid such drama - just call u son 01462 791079
 
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Get in touch - If you'd like to find out more about how we can help you and your business pay less tax, generate more profits and create long-term wealth for you and your family, please get in touch now