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Filing deadlines for a company confirmation statement

As well as filing accounts with Companies House, there is a further requirement to check that the information Companies House holds about your company is correct every year. This is facilitated by the filing of an annual company confirmation statement. The confirmation statement was introduced in June 2016 and replaced the annual return form.

A confirmation statement must usually be filed at Companies House once every 12 months and rather than resubmitting data every year, the confirmation statement only needs to be updated if you have changes to report. If there are no changes then you just need to confirm the information is correct and submit the statement.

The following details need to be checked:

  • the details of your registered office, directors, secretary and the address where you keep your records
  • your statement of capital and shareholder information if your company has shares
  • your SIC code (the number that identifies what your company does)
  • your register of 'people with significant control' (PSC)

Any necessary updates to the statement of capital, shareholder information and SIC codes can be made when submitting the confirmation statement. However, the confirmation statement cannot be used to report changes to your company’s officers, the registered office address, the address where you keep your records and people with significant control. These changes must be filed separately with Companies House and this should be done at the same time or prior to submitting the confirmation statement. The confirmation statement can be filed online (at a cost of £13) or by post (at a cost of £40).

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New advisory fuel rates published

Advisory fuel rates are intended to reflect actual average fuel costs and are updated quarterly. The rates can be used by employers who reimburse employees for business travel in their company cars or where employees are required to repay the cost of fuel used for private travel. HMRC accepts there is no taxable profit and no Class 1A National Insurance on reimbursed travel expenses where employers pay a rate per mile for business travel no higher than the published advisory fuel rates.

Employees can also use the advisory fuel rates to repay the cost of fuel used for private travel. In this case, HMRC will accept there’s no fuel benefit charge. The advisory rates are not binding if you the employer can demonstrate that employees cover the full cost of private fuel by repaying at a lower rate per mile.

The latest advisory fuel rates became effective on 1 September 2019. Fuel rates are reviewed four times a year with changes taking effect on 1 March, 1 June, 1 September and 1 December. You can use the previous rates for up to 1 month from the date the new rates apply.

The new rates are as follows:

 

Engine size Petrol – amount per mile LPG – amount per mile
1400cc or less   12p 8p
1401cc to 2000cc    14p 10p
Over 2000cc    21p  14p

 

 

Engine size   Diesel – amount per mile
1600cc or smaller       10p
1601cc to 2000cc    11p
Over 2000cc       14p

 

Hybrid cars are treated as either petrol or diesel cars for this purpose.

Advisory Electricity Rate

HMRC accepts that if you pay up to 4p per mile when reimbursing your employees for business travel in a fully electric company car there is no profit. While electricity is not considered a fuel for tax and NICs purposes, the Advisory Electricity Rate is now published quarterly alongside the other advisory fuel rates.

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Filing deadlines for company accounts

The normal deadline for filing private limited company accounts is 9 months after the company’s financial year end, known as the accounting reference date. For example, many companies have a year-end date of 31 March and are therefore required to file their accounts by 31 December. For public companies, the time limit is 6 months from the year end.

The deadline for filing your first set of accounts with Companies House can be complicated. If the first set of accounts cover a period of more than 12 months, the filing deadlines are as follows:

  • Within 21 months of the date of incorporation for private companies
  • Within 18 months of the date of incorporation for public companies
  • Or (for either company type) 3 months from the accounting reference date, if this is longer than the above time limits. 

For example, a private company incorporated on 1 January 2019 with an accounting reference date of 31 January, has until midnight on 1 October 2020 (21 months from the date of incorporation) to deliver its accounts.

If the first set of private company accounts cover a period of 12 months or less, then the normal filing deadline applies.

There are automatic late filing penalties if your company accounts are delivered late. The penalties depend on how long has passed from the due date for payment and whether the company is private or public.

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Simplified expenses use of home

If a taxpayer is self-employed and running a business from home, there are simplified expense rules available for claiming a fixed rate deduction for certain expenses where there is a mix of business and private use. The simplified expenses rules are not available to limited companies or business partnerships involving a limited company.

The use of the flat rate expenses for core business activities carried out from the home eliminates the need to calculate the proportion of personal and business use for certain bills in the home; usually, this applies to various utility bills. Instead, a monthly deduction is allowable. The use of the simplified expenses regime is optional, and businesses can claim the trade proportion of actual costs.

The current monthly rates are based on the business use of the home as follows:

  • 25 or more hours worked per month can claim £10.00
  • 51 or more hours worked per month can claim £18.00
  • 101 or more hours worked per month can claim £26.00

There is no issue if the number of hours worked varies from month to month as different amounts can be claimed for each month. The minimum number of hours worked in any month must be 25 or more. The flat rate doesn’t include telephone or internet expenses and the business proportion of these bills can be claimed by working out the actual costs. In addition, use of the flat rate deduction for household running costs does not prohibit a separate proportional deduction for fixed costs such as council tax, insurance and mortgage interest.

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Merchandise in Baggage in case of no-deal Brexit

There are special customs requirements for commercial goods or samples which are imported or exported by passengers in their accompanied baggage (hand carried) or in a small motor vehicle (carrying less than 9 passengers and weight 3.5 tonnes or less). This is known as Merchandise In Baggage or MIB.

MIB goods include the following:

  • goods for commercial sale
  • spare parts
  • trade samples

whether or not they are:

  • permanently imported/exported
  • temporarily imported/exported
  • in transit
  • liable to customs charges

HMRC has announced how these rules will be applied in the EU if we have a no-deal Brexit. This will include the introduction of transitional simplified procedures for the import or export of goods valued at below £900 and weighing less than 1,000kg. This simplification will not apply to licensed, controlled, or excise goods. For all other goods a full declaration will be required before the goods enter or leave the UK.

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Simplified expenses motor vehicles

There are simplified arrangements in place for the self-employed (and some partnerships) to claim a fixed rate deduction for certain expenses where there is a mix of business and private use. The simplified expenses regime is not available to limited companies or business partnerships involving a limited company.

The fixed rate deduction can be used instead of working out the actual costs of buying and running your vehicle, e.g. insurance, repairs, servicing, fuel. The use of the simplified flat rates is entirely optional. However, once a decision is made to use the simplification for a specific vehicle, this must continue to be used for a vehicle as long as that vehicle is used for business purposes.

Under simplified expenses, the following flat rates per mile available.

  • Cars and goods vehicles first 10,000 miles 45p
  • Cars and goods vehicles after 10,000 miles 25p
  • Motorcycles 24p

The number of people in the vehicle does not affect the rates above. The rates are only available for journeys, or any identifiable part or proportion of a journey, that are wholly and exclusively for business purposes. For example, travel from home to work is not a qualifying journey.

The self-employed can continue to claim for other costs not covered by the flat rate for mileage such as parking, tolls, and congestion fees as well as other separate travel expenses such as train journeys.

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State Pension update for recipients living in the EU

If you live or move abroad, you are entitled to claim the State Pension if you have met the necessary qualifying criteria. This is based on your UK National Insurance record. You require a minimum of 10 years of UK National Insurance contributions to be eligible for the new State Pension. The New State Pension can be claimed if you reached your State Pension age on or after 6 April 2016.

If you reached the State Pension age before 6 April 2016, you will continue to receive the Old State Pension and not the New State Pension. The Old State Pension is made up of two parts, the basic State Pension and the additional State Pension. Both the basic and New State Pension payments are up-rated annually by either 2.5%, average wage growth or by prices growth as measured by the Consumer Price Index – whichever is highest.

In a recent announcement by the Work and Pensions Secretary, Amber Rudd, it has been confirmed that recipients of a UK pension living in the EU will continue to have their payments up-rated until March 2023, in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

This announcement should offer some comfort to almost 500,000 UK pensioners living in the EU. The Government has also confirmed that during this 3-year period they would seek to negotiate a new arrangement with the EU to ensure that up-rating continues.

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Trading income priority rules

There is specific tax legislation that seeks to determine which charge takes priority where two different charges could potentially apply to the same income. These rules are known as the 'priority rules'.

HMRC manuals state that for Income Tax purposes, savings and investment income, and income otherwise within one of the charges on miscellaneous income, which also falls to be treated as a trade receipt is dealt with under the trading income rules. For Corporation Tax purposes, distributions from unauthorised unit trusts and income from the sale of foreign dividend coupons, which are also trade receipts, are dealt with under the trading income rules.

There are a number of exceptions to these rules. For example, a receipt or other credit item which would otherwise be treated both as a trade receipt and as a receipt of a UK property business is dealt with under the property income provisions.

The Income Tax priority rules must be considered together with other rules of law about the scope of particular provisions or the order of priority to be given to them. For example, there are particular rules which expressly require certain activities to be treated as a trade.

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Help to Save accounts

The Help to Save scheme can help those on low incomes to boost their savings. The scheme was launched in September 2018, and new figures published by HMRC have revealed that over 132,000 people have signed up, depositing more than £31.4 million into Help to Save accounts. These savers are now eligible for bonuses totalling around £14 million.

Under the scheme, those receiving Working Tax Credit or entitled to Working Tax Credits and in receipt of Child Tax Credits, can save up to £50 a month for two years and receive a 50% Government bonus. The scheme is also open to those who are claiming Universal Credit and had a household or individual income of at least £569.22 for their last monthly assessment period. Payments from Universal Credit are not considered to be part of household income.

Payments under the scheme can be made by standing order on a weekly, fortnightly, or monthly basis and one-off payments by debit card are also possible. Account holders will then be able to continue saving under the scheme for a further 2 years and receive another bonus. This could see those on low incomes receive a bonus of up to £1,200 on maximum savings of £2,400 for 4 years from the date the account is opened. After the 4 years, the Help to Save account will be closed and savers will not be able to reopen or open another Help to Save account. The account balances are expected to be rolled over into successor accounts.

There are no limits on how the money used can be spent, but it is hoped that the money will be saved for urgent costs. Money paid into the account can be withdrawn at any time, but this could affect the size of the bonus payment. The Government is urging anyone else eligible to use the scheme, to look at the benefits as the take-up of the scheme has been far less than expected. It is estimated that some 3.5 million people could use the scheme.

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Government to end free movement if a no-deal Brexit

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal in place on 31 October 2019, EU, EEA and Swiss citizens (and their family members) who are living in the UK by this date will still be eligible to apply for settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme and they will have until 31 December 2020 to do so.

Under Theresa May’s Government, in the event of a no-deal Brexit, temporary transitional arrangements were to be put in place for those EU, EEA and Swiss citizens arriving in the UK after exit day but on or before 31 December 2020. Under those transitional arrangements, EU, EEA and Swiss citizens would be able to come to the UK for up to three months to visit, work or study without applying for a visa. However, those who wished to stay in the UK for more than three months, would need to apply to the Home Office for the new status of “European Temporary Leave to Remain” (ETLR) and they would need to apply within three months of entry. ETLR was to be valid for a maximum of three years and would allow work and study, but it would not lead to indefinite leave to remain in the UK. A new immigration system would then take effect from 1 January 2021. Irish citizens do not need to obtain settled status and would not need to apply for ETLR.

However, the new administration, under new Prime Minister Boris Johnson, has now stated that the UK is leaving the EU on 31 October 2019 come what may, and that free movement will end immediately if the UK leaves without a deal. In the event of a no-deal Brexit, it is therefore seeking to introduce a new immigration system to take effect immediately from exit day, abandoning the proposed ETLR arrangements set out above. With only just over two months to go until exit day, there is no indication yet about what the requirements of this new immigration system will be. The Home Office has said that the new plans are being developed and will be announced shortly. In the meantime, it has confirmed that EU, EEA and Swiss citizens will still be able to come to the UK on holiday and for short trips, but what will change is the arrangements for them to come to the UK for longer periods of time and for work and study. 

As a precaution, if you currently employ any EU, EEA and Swiss citizens who have not yet applied for settled or pre-settled status, you should advise them to do so before 31 October 2019, particularly if they intend to travel outside the UK after that date, so as to reduce possible difficulties in verifying their UK immigration status on re-entry. At the same time, in the event of a no-deal Brexit, any EU, EEA or Swiss citizens proposing to relocate to the UK for work after 31 October 2019 should not assume they will be able to do so without prior immigration permission. This means UK businesses currently have no idea whether they can recruit EU, EEA and Swiss citizens for vacancies with a start date after exit day. Finally, it is also not now clear how right to work checks are to be made on EU, EEA and Swiss citizens immediately after exit day in the event of a no deal.