- About Us
Accountancy & Audit
- News and Resources
What is a Benefit in Kind?
Benefits in kind (BIKs) are benefits that employees or directors receive from their employer which aren’t included in their salary or wages. BIKs are popular elements of many people’s salary packages and can be used by an employer to structure an effective and tax-efficient salary package.
Some BIKs aren’t taxed, but most are. As well as the impact on an employee’s personal tax, national insurance contributions are payable by companies, such that the tax treatment is broadly similar to that when paying a salary (although employer pension contributions are not due on BIKs).
What is Payrolling Benefits?
We are encouraging employers to take advantage of using payroll facilities for the purpose of reporting expenses and benefits. Rather than filing an annual P11D, an employer can report and deduct tax on the value of benefits provided to an employee each pay period though PAYE. This means doing away with the end of year P11D process, as taxes are submitted in real time.
HMRC will issue an employee with a new tax code to automatically account for the benefit provided and charge the correct amount of tax, in real time.
An employer will still need to complete and submit a P11D(b) form and pay Class 1A National Insurance on the value of the benefit provided to employees.
Once an employer has registered to payroll benefits, they must give employees written notice explaining which benefits will be payrolled, the cash equivalent of the benefits, and details of benefits that will not be payrolled. Details on communicating with existing and new employees are set out on gov.uk.
Working out the taxable amount of a benefit in kind
The taxable amount of the benefit is the same as its cash value. This is then divided by the number of paydays the employee has in each pay period, so that tax is applied appropriately.
What if the value of the benefit changes?
It’s fairly common for benefits such as gym memberships and car costs to change during the year. If this happens, it’s simple to process the change. You must however ensure to keep us updated with changes when you communicate with us in the normal course of operating payroll. Examples of changes to the value of the benefit provided to the employee include:
We recommend you discuss any benefit you plan to offer your company’s directors and employees with one of our expert accountants. As you can see, the rules around benefits in kind are complex and each example needs to be looked at based on its individual circumstances to see if any tax is payable by the employee and/or your company.
Certain companies owning UK residential property need to submit an Annual Tax on Enveloped Dwellings (ATED) return every year. ATED is payable by companies that own properties valued at more than £500,000 if none of the various reliefs apply.
Valuation dates and the 2023-24 ATED return
Valuation dates are relevant for determining a company’s ATED position. It is the value of the property on the most recent of these valuation dates which is relevant for determining the annual chargeable amount due on the property. The previous “valuation date” was 1 April 2017, which applied for the 2018-19 ATED year and all ATED years up to and including this 2022-23 ATED year.
For the forthcoming ATED year 2023-24 and all ATED years up to and including the 2027-28 ATED year, ATED charges will be rebased to 1 April 2022 property values and so a revaluation of properties will be required as at 1 April 2022. ATED Returns are due within 30 days of the start of the relevant chargeable period i.e. by 30 April 2023 for the 2023/24 period.
If a revaluation has not been carried out on properties, directors should consider doing so as a matter of urgency to ensure that future ATED liabilities are based on the correct valuation. This is especially important if the property is valued close to the ATED bands detailed below. Even if the company’s property is currently relieved from ATED, it would be prudent to have a 1 April 2022 valuation should circumstances change.
Property values were particularly volatile post-Brexit and there were instances where values actually fell when the April 2017 revaluation exercise was undertaken. Given the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on property values, similar considerations may apply when the 2022 valuation exercise is undertaken, although different considerations will apply to different regions and properties.
Directors can ascertain the property value or a professional valuer can be used. Valuations must be on an open-market willing buyer, willing seller basis and be a specific amount.
ATED Annual Chargeable Amounts
Annual chargeable amounts can be found on gov.uk.
Pre-return banding check
If your property falls within 10% of the above value bands and you can’t take advantage of a relief to reduce your ATED charge to nil, we can ask HMRC for a pre-return banding check (PRBC) in advance of submitting your return. If HMRC complete your PRBC after you’ve submitted your return and they don’t agree with your valuation, you’ll need to complete an amended return.
Back to the Future
Following the “Growth Plan” mini budget delivered by Kwasi Kwarteng on 23 September 2022, Jeremy Hunt took centre stage for the second time on 15 March 2023 to deliver a…”Budget for Growth”.
Fiscal policy can be assessed in three measures: efficiency, effectiveness and equity and whilst the announcements were fairly safe, a handful are poorly timed or likely to be ineffective:
As regards equity, the Budget is fairly safe and business-focused, but it does not appeal particularly to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) who now face a rise in corporation tax and who are unlikely to benefit from the full expensing capital allowances policy. In addition the chancellor has failed to take any action to make it easier for small firms to recruit people locked out of the labour market.
In other news regarding:
Visit our Budget Highlights and tax data for a summary of the Spring Statement 2023.
In the latest decisive swoop of indecisiveness, Jeremy Hunt performed a 180 degree turn from the Mini Budget delivered less than two months ago by his predecessor. If the Mini Budget was dubbed “The Growth Plan”, can the Autumn Budget also be a plan for growth?
It was a step in the right direction: re-implementing fiscal discipline in an effort to re-galvanise trust in HM Treasury. Notwithstanding, it’s disappointing that fairer and more creative means of collecting taxes were not applied, rather than manipulating the tax bands in a move which fiscal-drags one and all. The 40% band no longer applies to the wealthiest. The capital gains tax rates on investment income are still only 50% of those paid on working income.
There were surely opportunities missed to rebalance the tax-system in a much-needed fairer way. Especially now in the face of a looming recession – or potentially depression, when the smallest tweaks in taxes and spending will have knock on effects on the amount of money that is spent on our high streets.
Taxes aside, there is risk of a continued disintegration of public services – this will come home to roost in two years if inflation continues its current trajectory amidst public spending cuts of £28bn.
Visit our Budget Highlights and tax data for a summary of the Autumn Statement 2022.
A pay rise or bonus that takes one’s annual income above £100,000 is cause for celebration. Tread though carefully these muddy waters, for additional income earnt up to £125,140 attracts the highest rate of marginal tax across all other taxpayers, including those richer than you. Read on for tax-saving tips on how to navigate the 60% Tax Trap…
One’s Personal Allowance goes down by £1 for every £2 earnt over £100,000, increasing the amount of income that is taxed at the higher rate of 40%. One loses their Personal Allowance in full when their income reaches £125,140. The graph below illustrates how tax payable accelerates as income increases in the Tax Trap Band. Note the steepest gradient for income earnt in this range.
Avoiding the 60% Tax Trap
The incentive effect, or disincentive effect rather, of working to receive income in the Tax Trap Band, is punitive. For every £1 earnt, 60 pence are paid to the exchequer. Fortunately, there are several ways of avoiding or mitigating the 60% Tax Trap Band:
If you anticipate that your income will exceed £100,000, talk to your employer about strategies to manage your tax position. As ever, Contact Mouktaris & Co Chartered Accountants for expert advice or click here to subscribe to our Newsletter.
With the dust still settling on the Mall following a triumphant celebration of Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, one may begin to consider the tax deductibility of hosting Diana Ross, Ed Sheeran and the like – a figure reported to be around £28m.
As a general rule for tax, expenditure on entertainment or gifts incurred in the course of a trade or business is not allowed as a deduction against profits, whether incurred directly or paid to a third party such as an events organiser. HMRC are not however completely devoid of holiday spirit and provided conditions are met, certain types of entertainment are allowable. Hurrah.
Events which publicise a business’ products or services are not deemed to be entertaining expenditure and so direct costs are allowable for tax if they meet the “wholly and exclusively” test. The cost of related food, drink or other hospitality is however disallowed. For example if a car manufacturer organises a golf day at which test drives are available, only the direct costs of the test drives and of any publicity material provided are allowed, together with any immaterial costs such as teas and coffees.
Costs are allowable where gifts incorporate a conspicuous advertisement, do not exceed £50 in value (for all gifts made to the same recipient in a year) and are not food, drink, tobacco or tokens or vouchers exchangeable for goods. This could be merchandise branded with the business logo.
Entertaining staff is allowable provided that it is not merely incidental to customer entertaining. Regardless of any deduction allowed against the profits of the business, a tax charge may arise on the employee personally. Employers may need to report the event costs to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) on each employee’s form P11D and pay class 1A National Insurance. Generous employers can though opt to pay the Income Tax and National Insurance Contributions on behalf of employees by entering into a PAYE Settlement Agreement (PSA).
To avoid this complicated scenario and to ensure that staff entertainment is allowable, an event would need to meet the following conditions:
To avoid a tax charge, the event would need to meet the additional condition of taking place annually! If an event were to include entertainment for staff as well as customers, the apportionment of expenditure on staff would be fully allowable, whilst the apportionment of expenditure on clients would generally be disallowable (with the exception of any gifts).
Recovering VAT on Entertainment
As a general rule, a business cannot recover input VAT related to client entertainment. VAT incurred on staff entertainment is however recoverable provided the following conditions are met:
1. Entertainment is not only provided for directors/partners
2. Costs incurred are not related to entertaining non-employees. For events which entertain both employees and non-employees, an apportionment of employee-related expenses and VAT would again be made.
A Targeted Budget
Amid soaring inflation of 6.2% and forecasts of the sharpest fall in living standards since records began (according to the UK’s fiscal watchdog), Rishi Sunak presented a Budget which he argued would support the UK economy, businesses and families in both the short and the medium term. In contrast to the profligate Budgets of very recent times, which were arguably necessary to address a pandemic that affected all areas of the economy from all angles, this was a targeted Budget with a laser beam pointed at the erosion of disposable incomes that is likely to pursue at least in the short term.
The key measures were as follows:
Rishi Sunak saved the “crowd pleaser”, or “low-tax-Conservative-MPs-and-commentators pleaser” until the end – his virtual rabbit out of the hat, by promising to cut the basic rate of income tax to 19p in the pound in April 2024, conveniently a few weeks before many Tory MPs expect to face a general election. Rishi has kept what looks to be substantial powder for more election-fighting fireworks. Has he done enough for the poorest people in society? Having banked most of the fiscal good news he received – higher than expected growth and tax revenues this year – he could have gone further. He is building up a war chest for the autumn. Momentum politics.
Facing an almost empty House of Commons yesterday lunch-time (television viewing numbers yet to be announced!), the Chancellor presented his long-awaited second full Budget.
The challenge the chancellor faced was double edged: begin to recoup the £407bn state bill for tackling the pandemic (comparable to the two world wars), without choking the economy just as the cogs might begin to turn.
The headline was the only apparent increase in tax rates, being the raise of the Corporation Tax rate from 19% to 25% for companies with profits over £250,000, with effect from 1 April 2023. The 19% rate is retained for trading and (most) property investment companies with profits up to £50,000 – but even for those companies, once profits exceed £50,000, a tapered rate will be introduced until profits reach the £250,000 limit. To avoid avoidance, profits between group companies under common control are proportionately reduced, akin to the mechanisms prior to Budget 2015.
The effect will mainly hit larger companies, but the change will also discourage the incorporation of profitable sole trades or partnerships. No reduction of the dividend tax rates to reflect the additional underlying Corporation Tax is afforded, meaning that the effective overall rate of tax on profits earned in a company and extracted by way of dividend could now be as high as 54.5% in some circumstances, though more commonly 49.4% (for a higher-rate taxpayer).
Other taxes were increased by stealth – that is to say, in an indirect manner. Allowances and tax bands have been increasing over the past several years to reflect inflation, however yesterday the Chancellor gleamed when he announced the removal of indexation and fixing of allowances, tax bands, or both for the next five years. This applies to the following, with the effect of dragging taxpayers to higher tax brackets as they get richer – more commonly known as “fiscal drag”:
Other rules did lend themselves to favouring trading businesses, be they companies or individuals:
The wider economy
Whether you’re an existing client or don’t yet use our services, we would be pleased to help you. Contact Mouktaris & Co Chartered Accountants for expert advice or click here to subscribe to our Newsletter. Budget Highlights and tax data following Budget 2021 can be viewed on our website here.
Under the right circumstances, which can of course be shaped, intercompany loans are an effective means of funding further profit or not-for-profit motives. Consider Mr Trader, who is director and sole shareholder of Company T, a trading company. Company T has grown with accumulated profits in excess of £2m, matched by substantial cash balances. Mr Trader has decided to set up a not-for-profit organisation, ReMobly Ltd, aimed at rehabilitating injured athletes back into competitive sport. In addition to Mr Trader, two other directors will be appointed to the board of ReMobly Ltd and each of the three persons will own 33% of the ReMobly Ltd share capital.
ReMobly Ltd is seeking to raise capital to begin its operations and Mr Trader is considering the most apt means of lending money to the not-for-profit organisation. There are three issues which spring to mind…
Loans to participators
In view of the large cash balances that have accumulated in the company, Mr Trader considers lending money from Company T to ReMobly Ltd. CTA10/S455 applies to loans/advances made by a close company to its participator, or an associate of its participator. Broadly, where a close company makes any loan to an individual who is a participator (or an associate of a participator) in the close company, then the close company is due to pay tax under CTA10/S455. The not-for-profit is not classed as an associate of Mr Trader (so far as section 448 of Part 10 of the Corporation Tax Act 2010 is concerned), therefore the loan can be made by Company T without corporation tax implications under CTA10/S455.
It is also important to analyse CTA10/S459, which applies if there are arrangements made by a person whereby a close company makes a loan or advance that is not subject to tax under CTA10/S455, and another person makes a payment to a relevant person who is either a participator of the company or an associate of such a participator. In this case there is a proposed “loan or advance” from a close company. However, there is not then a payment by a person other than Company T to a relevant person who is a participator in Company T or is an associate of such a participator. Indeed ReMobly Ltd is not a relevant person who is an associate of Mr Trader, because a relevant person has to be an individual or a company acting in a fiduciary or representative capacity (CTA10/S455(6)). Therefore the loan can be made without corporation tax implications under CTA10/S459.
Loan write off
There is a possibility that the future activities of ReMobly Ltd will be inadequate to allow for the repayment of the loan made by Company T, under the terms of the loan agreement. If both parties are companies and both are found to be under the common control of another person, company or individual, at any time in the accounting period, then no bad debt relief will be available on the release of the loan, and no taxable credit will arise to the company whose indebtedness is forgiven. Company T and ReMobly Ltd are not under the common control of another person and are therefore not considered to be connected. The debit for the loan write off will be allowable for Company T (most likely as a non-trade loan relationship deficit). The corollary is that a taxable credit will arise to the not-for-profit.
The main anti-avoidance rule will also need to be considered in FA 1996, Sch 9 para 13, the ‘unallowable purposes’ rule. This will deny relief for so much of a debit where the loan or part of the loan is attributable to an unallowable purpose. An unallowable purpose is any purpose which is not amongst the business or other commercial purposes of the company, Company T. If taken literally, this would seem to be cast fairly widely. In general however, if the loan relationship rules are seen to be fairly applied to both parties, HMRC seem content in leaving matters undisturbed.
Whether you’re an existing client or don’t yet use our services, we would be pleased to help you. Contact Mouktaris & Co Chartered Accountants for expert advice or click here to subscribe to our Newsletter.
The following scenario often arises with our client Mr Investor, who is considering investing in an early-stage business. Wonderful Ltd is an established FinTech company which has developed a track record of an established user base, consistent revenue figures and other key performance indicators. Wonderful Ltd is now seeking to raise Series A funding of £1.5 million in order to further optimize its user base and product offerings. Mr Investor has received an Investment Memorandum for the funding round and is considering allocating a small proportion of his investment portfolio. Mr Investor has asked his accountant to run through the Investment Memorandum with him and has identified five reasons why he wishes to invest. Being an early-stage business, Mr Investor acknowledges that the investment is inherently high-risk, but he really believes in the founder Mrs Wonderful, who attended the same university. The generous Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) tax breaks “cushion” the risk element of the investment (see below) but nonetheless, the minimum investment of £75,000 is punchy for Mr Investor.
Mr Investor has an idea. Can he pool together capital from two other friends in order to meet the £75,000 minimum investment? Will each investor still be eligible for the EIS tax relief for joint investment?
Joint Investment – A Problem Shared is a Problem Halved
In short, there is a way to pool funds in order to meet one investment clip of £75k. EIS relief is available for an individual who makes the subscription on his or her own behalf, with two notable exceptions:
Mr Investor can therefore form a bare trust with his friends (as in point 2) in order to make a direct investment jointly. Where shares are issued to a bare trust on behalf of a number of beneficiaries, each beneficiary is treated as having subscribed, as an individual, for the total number of shares issued to the bare trustees divided by the number of beneficiaries. This creates an important limitation in that each of the three friends should invest an equal percentage in Wonderful Ltd.
Wonderful Ltd should provide each subscriber form EIS3 showing the total number of shares subscribed for on Page 1 of the form. Form EIS3 Page 3 should show the amount on which each owner is entitled to claim the tax relief for the shares, that is the fractional amount of the total subscribed.
Whilst joint investment does not preclude EIS tax relief, Mr Investor and his associates must of course check that all the other EIS eligibility criteria are met for EIS tax relief to apply. Mouktaris & Co can provide a checklist of questions to ask in order to determine whether tax relief under EIS is available to an investor in shares. The target company may produce an Advance Assurance document to potential investors demonstrating that HMRC accepts the investment under the scheme, however Advance Assurance will not tell you if an investor would meet the conditions of the scheme.
EIS Investment Funds
A different route (via point 1 above) would be for Mr Investor to invest via an EIS investment fund, which is structured as a nominee vehicle which invests funds in EIS-qualifying companies on behalf of investors. This vehicle would provide Mr Investor with a more diversified risk exposure to early-stage businesses, as his £25,000 investment would be spread across a number of target companies identified by the fund manager. Wonderful Ltd may seek to market its strengths to the EIS investment fund manager so as to be included in the fund’s equity holdings. So in fact Mr Investor could in the future invest in Wonderful Ltd through an EIS investment fund without necessarily being reliant on his friends’ capital.
EIS for Investors: Advantages
Whether you’re an existing client or don’t yet use our services, we would be pleased to help you. Contact Mouktaris & Co Chartered Accountants for expert advice or click here to subscribe to our Newsletter.