8 January 2024

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Welcome to our monthly roundup of the latest business news. Please contact your Client Manager if you would like to discuss any of the updates and how they may affect you personally or your business.

NewYear 24

IMPORTANT REMINDER – Online Tax Return Deadline

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The online tax return filing deadline for the 2022 to 2023 tax year is Wednesday 31st January 2024. Any tax owed must also be paid by 31st January.

An important reminder to all our clients, if you haven’t submitted your Tax Return paperwork to us yet, please contact your Client Manager as a matter of urgency.

Budget set for 6th March 2024

The 2024 Budget will set out future tax plans on Wednesday 6 March, 

The 6 March event will be the last Budget before the general election, which has to take place by the end of January 2025.

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The Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has commissioned the Office for Budget Responsibility to prepare an economic and fiscal forecast to be presented to parliament alongside the Spring Budget. We will keep you posted.

Tougher side hustle tax rules come into force

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Anyone selling goods through online platforms needs to make sure they keep within the £1,000 tax free limit as HMRC clamps down on tax abuse

HMRC is clamping down on abuse of the system with new rules requiring online platforms to make an annual report to the tax authority detailing the names of individual sellers and volume of their sales to ensure they do not evade tax.

The owners of websites such as Etsy, eBay, Vinted, Amazon Seller Central, Gumtree and Airbnb have until January 2025 to report sellers’ information for tax purposes to ‘bear down on tax evasion’.

However, online platforms will not have to report individuals with less than 30 sales regardless of the value of the amount sold.

In a bid to clamp down on tax avoidance HMRC said it was investing an initial £36.9m in developing a system for online marketplace reporting and has hired a team of 24 full-time staff to work on the project.

From next year, platforms will be required to report how much individuals are earning through the platforms.

People can earn up to £1,000 a year through self-employment, such as these so-called side hustles, but anything over this figure is liable to tax and must be reported to HMRC or risk a fine. The sellers must also register as self-employed for anything over this threshold.
According to HMRC’s policy paper on the topic these new rules will ‘support the government’s work to help taxpayers get their tax right first time, and to bear down on tax evasion’.

HMRC recognises that these new changes will have a drastic impact on the platforms stating ‘customer experience for digital platforms could be negatively affected as this change is complex and may require them to perform tasks they do not currently perform.

‘HMRC has consulted on the new regulations in the UK and will, in due course, issue clear guidance on how to comply with the new rules.’
This means HMRC will be able to analyse sales of any products online through the platforms, including sites such as Vinted where people sell unwanted clothing items to Etsy where it is easy to set up a webpage and trade quickly.

The online platforms will have until January 2025 to report information on sales. Among the information requested will be the tax ID, bank account details and the total amount of transactions.

The sectors affected by this new reporting requirement are all online platforms, involving a broad array of services. This can range from taxi hire, food delivery, selling handmade items, the re-sale of clothing items and the rental of properties for short-term accommodation.

HMRC’s guidance on selling online and paying taxes provides information on whether someone selling infrequently online will be liable to tax on any profits and examples of what side hustles will be classified as trading, therefore needing to pay income tax.

Child benefit claims go online in digital first

New parents can now claim child benefit online for the first time since it was launched 47 years ago, HMRC has announced, marking an end to paper applications.

Since 1977, families claiming child benefit had to fill out a paper form, post it, and wait as long as 16 weeks for their first payment. Now, the quick and easy claims process on gov.uk takes about 10 minutes and payments could be made in as little as three days.

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Child benefit is worth £24 a week – or £1,248 a year – for the oldest, or only child. The rate for each additional child is £15.90 a week – or almost £827 a year. Claims can be backdated for up to 12 weeks.

Parents or guardians can get child benefit if they are responsible for bringing up a child who is under 16, or under 20 if they stay in approved education or training. There is no limit on the number of children parents can claim for.

Claiming child benefit means that the parent will receive National Insurance credits which count towards their state pension. It also means their child will automatically receive a National Insurance number when they turn 16 years old, which they will need when getting their first job, taking a driving test and applying for university finance.

AJ Bell director of personal finance, Laura Suter, said: ‘Allowing families to claim child benefit online will save time and make the process simpler.

‘Child benefit is a tricky one to get to grips with, however, so don’t expect it to be entirely straightforward just because the process is now online. There are different rates and rules depending on how many children someone has, and whether both parents are living together as a family or they’ve separated.

‘In addition, only some families are eligible, depending on their earnings. Once one partner earns over £50,000, the benefit is gradually eroded, eventually being revoked entirely for those earning more than £60,000. Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter what your household income is, so a family with a single earner paid £60,000 gets nothing, whereas two parents paid £50,000 each can claim the full amount.’

Tips for applying online

  • Parents can claim child benefit from the day after a child’s birth has been registered; make sure to have the birth certificate to hand when claiming.
  • Create a Government Gateway account when making a claim for child benefit, with a passport and other proofs of ID. This can also be done in advance of a child’s birth to save time later on. A full list of the documents needed for proof of identity can be found on gov.uk.
  • When creating a new account, HMRC will send an activation code via email to activate the online application.

When ready to make the claim, applicants should have the following documents to hand:

  • Child’s birth certificate;
  • Your bank details;
  • Your National Insurance number; and
  • Your partner’s National insurance number (if you have a partner).

Celebrating Christmas in style

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Jenny and the Maple team had a wonderful time celebrating Christmas with a 3 course meal, dancing and drinking at the Mickleover Court Hotel in December.

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Contact

Maple Accountancy Ltd.

Carter House, Wyvern Court, ​Stanier Way, ​Wyvern Business Park, Derby. DE21 6BF

01332 207336
success@maple.uk.com

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