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NEWSLETTER OCTOBER 2013

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NEWSLETTER
OCTOBER 2013

This month’s newsletter articles cover: capital allowance claims for certain property owners, protecting your pension fund lifetime allowance, a brief outline of the new ATED tax, and finally a reminder that HMRC are now accessing credit and debit card transactions.

Capital allowances claims deadline

If you own the property that you trade from, for example a hotel or guest house, the purchase price of the property may have included the cost of certain integral features that it may be possible to submit a claim for capital allowances.

The Finance Act 2012 included provisions that affect the ability to make such a claim and we are now in a transition period ending in April 2014. Accordingly, we recommend that if you think you may be affected to contact us to discuss how the change in rules will affect you and whether a “late” claim for capital allowances can be made if you have not already made a claim.

What sort of integral features can you claim for?

The rules that define what can be claimed vary from business to business. Usually, it should be possible to claim for items that are used in the running of the business. For example: heating systems, security systems, general power, and fire alarms.

HMRC defines integral features, eligible for plant and machinery allowances, as:

  1. An electrical system (including a lighting system),
  2. A cold water system,
  3. A space or water heating system, a powered system of ventilation, air cooling or air purification, and any floor or ceiling comprised in such a system,
  4. A lift, an escalator or a moving walkway,
  5. External solar shading

HMRC’s guidance goes on to say that:

“…the new definition does not extend to any asset whose principal purpose is to insulate or enclose the interior of a building, or to provide interior walls, floors or ceilings which are intended to remain permanently in place.”

What are the advantages of making a claim?

A back dated claim for capital allowances will reduce your tax bills, possibly for a number of years, and if tax has already been paid for those years then you should receive refunds.

Further, if you fail to make this type of claim it may affect the valuation of your business in the event of a future sale since the ability of a purchaser to claim allowances may be restricted.

If you have never explored the possibility that tax allowances may be locked away in the cost of the building you own, and trade from, we would be happy to take a look on your behalf. Time is running out. As mentioned above, you should consider this before April 2014.

Protecting your pension lifetime allowance

From 6 April 2014 the pensions’ lifetime allowance will be reduced to £1.25 million from the present level of £1.5 million. If you have already built up pension savings of more than £1.25 million or have planned to do so in the expectation that the lifetime allowance would not reduce from the 2013-14 level, there is a new form of protection called “Fixed Protection 2014” (FP2014).
 
The legislation for FP2014 applies from 6 April 2014 and broadly follows that for the existing fixed protection which was introduced when the lifetime allowance was reduced from £1.8 million to £1.5 million in 2012-13.

If you expect your pension savings to be more than £1.25 million (including taking into account past benefits crystallised) when you come to take any benefits on or after 6 April 2014 you can use FP2014 to help reduce or mitigate the lifetime allowance charge. FP2014 will allow you to crystallise benefits worth up to £1.5 million without paying the lifetime allowance charge, although the ability to accrue future benefits is very limited.

The application form for FP2014 is available since 12 August 2013 and must be submitted electronically or in paper form by 5 April 2014. However, HMRC will not send out any FP2014 certificates before November 2013.

We will be happy to speak with any pension savers who may be affected: those who have, or intend to have, pension savings in excess of £1.25m.

What is ATED?

The acronym stands for Annual Tax on Enveloped Dwellings. The tax was introduced in April 2013 to discourage ownership of property in an “envelope” that could avoid payment of Stamp Duty Land Tax on a subsequent sale.

ATED is a tax on companies and so-called Non-Natural Persons (NNPs) who have an interest in a residential property in the UK that was valued at £2m or more on 1 April 2012, or with a purchase price over £2m if acquired on or after 1 April 2012.

A Non-Natural Person is an owner who is not an individual and includes certain partnerships and collective investment schemes.

The ATED tax due for 2013-14 depends on the property value:

  • £2,000,001 to £5m – £15,000
  • £5,000,001 to £10m – £35,000
  • £10,000,001 to £20m – £70,000
  • Over £20m – £140,000

For the first year, 2013-14, the ATED return was due by 1 October 2013 and the tax is due to be paid by 31 October 2013. For subsequent years the ATED return and payment is due by 30 April in the year of assessment. Thus, for 2014-15 the return and payment will need to be made by 30 April 2014.

The tax is only due for the period of ownership in a tax year.

A dwelling might get relief from ATED if it is:

  • Let to a third party on a commercial basis and isn’t, at any time, occupied (or available for occupation) by anyone connected with the owner.
  • Open to the public for at least 28 days per annum. If part of a property is occupied as a dwelling in connection with running the property as a commercial business open to the public, the whole property is treated as one dwelling and any relief will apply to the whole property.
  • Part of a property trading business and isn’t, at any time, occupied (or available for occupation) by anyone connected with the owner.
  • Part of a property developers trade where the dwelling is acquired as part of a property development business the property was purchased with the intention to re-develop and sell it on and isn’t, at any time, occupied (or available for occupation) by anyone connected with the owner.
  • For the use of employees of the company, for the company’s commercial business and where the employee does not have an interest (directly or indirectly) in the company of more than 10 per cent. The employee’s duties must not include services for any present or future occupation of the property by someone connected with the company. The relief is also available where a partner in a partnership does not have an interest of more than 10 per cent in the partnership.
  • A farmhouse, if it is occupied by a qualifying farm worker who farms the associated farmland, a former long-serving farm worker or their surviving spouse or civil partner.
  • A dwelling acquired by a financial institution in the course of lending.
  • Owned by a provider of social housing.

There are also a number of exemptions from the tax, most significantly, charitable companies using the dwelling for charitable purposes.

HMRC accesses credit card data

HMRC was given new powers from 1st September 2013 to request information from UK’s merchant acquirers – the companies that process card payment transactions.

This will enable HMRC to data-mine information on all credit and debit card payments made over the last four years.

It would seem likely that HMRC will use their Connect software to make connections within the data obtained that will forward investigations into taxpayers’ affairs.

Tax Diary October/November 2013

  • 1 October 2013 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 31 December 2012.

  • 19 October 2013 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 October 2013. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 October 2013.)

  • 19 October 2013 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly return for the month ended 5 October 2013.

  • 19 October 2013 – CIS tax deducted for the month ended 5 October 2013 is payable by today.

  • 31 October 2013 – Latest date you can file a paper copy of your 2013 Self Assessment tax return.

  • 1 November 2013 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 31 January 2013.

  • 19 November 2013 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 November 2013. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 November 2013.)

  • 19 November 2013 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly return for the month ended 5 November 2013.

  • 19 November 2013 – CIS tax deducted for the month ended 5 November 2013 is payable by today.