Tax tips from the practitioner's desk

Tax tips from the practitioner's desk

Feel a bit like they've brought back stocks in the market square?

Start throwing rotten fruit as HMRC regularly updates the Name and Shame list of serious tax defaulters (with settlements of £25,000 or more and bad behaviour).

No hiding for those breaking the national minimum wage laws, with a much lower starting point.

Our mission, alongside world peace, is to make sure that we and our clients understand their affairs well enough to plan and meet their obligations to all stakeholders.

Here are some tips we like to remind our clients about:-

If you have aging relatives who need money – lend it to them so as not to pay IHT when you get it back.

Set aside a credit card for work only expenditure - it simplifies a lot of record keeping.

The tax office will never email you about a refund.

Most museum, gallery and zoo entry tickets are “sold” under Gift Aid – the same with The National Trust and church/synagogue fees. Let us have an annual note of this, your online giving and similar to reduce your higher rate tax bill.

All of the beneficiaries can get together and change a dead person’s Will – often a handy way of reducing an IHT bill.

You may gift a share of just about anything to your spouse tax free. This may often be done prior to selling an asset to double up on the Annual Exemption – also to obtain a lower rate of tax on part or all of the gain.

If you are running a business you will soon be compelled to keep accounts on a system that interacts with HMRC, make sure you are ready.

Mortgage brokers invariably ask clients to obtain a Tax Office summary of their income - form SA302. Most professional tax accountants cannot get these online as it would mean using inferior HMRC software to process and submit tax returns. An alternative has been agreed between HMRC and the Lender's Council, but this is constantly ignored by brokers who insist they be obtained for the application. These can take up to two weeks to receive so please ask us to get them early if you are planning a change in mortgage arrangements.

Limited companies still make tax/national insurance sense for traders with annual earnings above £30,000.

98% of people will think that "ensure that you clear the bank accounts of any company you are closing before it is dissolved" is superfluous advice. Sadly the 2% have to spend time and money while we restore the company to get their money back.

This blog highlights some of our current, curmudgeonly, views on life. See more at or for you lucky ones who already have one, contact the partner dealing with your affairs.