Tax Diary February/March 2020

1 February 2020 – Due date for Corporation Tax payable for the year ended 30 April 2019.

19 February 2020 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 February 2020. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 February 2020)

19 February 2020 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly return for the month ended 5 February 2020. 

19 February 2020 – CIS tax deducted for the month ended 5 February 2020 is payable by today.

1 March 2020 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 31 May 2019.

2 March 2020 – Self assessment tax for 2019/19 paid after this date will incur a 5% surcharge.

19 March 2020 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 March 2020. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 March 2020)

19 March 2020 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly return for the month ended 5 March 2020. 

19 March 2020 – CIS tax deducted for the month ended 5 March 2020 is payable by today.
 

Transporting goods out of the UK by road to or through the EU

HMRC has published a useful list to help businesses transport goods commercially when driving from the UK to or through Europe. In the short-term there will be a transition period during which all rules remain the same. The Government expects to have a trade deal in place with the EU by the end of the year.

The six points of action listed below are likely to be relevant once a trade deal with the EU is in place or in the case that negotiations falter.

  1. Make sure the vehicle operator has applied for all relevant operator licences and permits.
  2. Make sure the driver is eligible to drive abroad. You must also ensure the driver has a valid passport, a valid Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) card and an international driving permit (IDP). An IDP will be required in some EU countries if there’s a no-deal Brexit.
  3. Check the rules for the goods being carried. There are rules for transporting certain goods. The driver may need to follow set routes or stop at specific check points if they are transporting mixed loads or specific types of goods.
  4. Make sure the driver has the right export documents.
  5. Find out what vehicle documents the driver needs to carry.
  6. Check local road rules.

Exporting goods to EU after 31 January 2020

In tandem with the list for importing goods, HMRC has published a useful list to help businesses be prepared to export goods from the UK to the EU after the 31 January 2020 Brexit date. In the short-term there will be a transition period during which all rules remain the same. The Government expects to have a trade deal in place with the EU by the end of the year.

The seven points of action listed below are likely to be relevant once a trade deal with the EU is in place or if negotiations falter.

  1. Make sure your client has an EORI number that starts with GB. They will need an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number starting with GB to continue exporting goods. It is also important to ensure that the importer has an EU EORI number.
  2. Decide who will make the export declarations. Your client can hire someone to deal with customs or if properly prepared, can do it themselves.
  3. Check the rate of tax and duty. Your importer will need to pay customs duties and VAT on all imports.
  4. Check what you need to do for the type of goods you export. There might be other things required, depending on what they are exporting. For example, check if the export licences or certificates needed will change. Check the rules for exporting alcohol, tobacco and certain oils. Check the labelling and marketing standards for exporting food, plant seeds and manufactured goods.
  5. Find out how changes to VAT will affect you. This includes understanding how your clients will claim VAT refunds from EU countries and how they will pay VAT when selling digital services to EU customers.
  6. Deciding how to transport goods outside the UK. Your client can hire someone to do this or if properly prepared, do it themselves.
  7. Get help and support. HMRC has setup a Brexit imports and exports helpline. The helpline can help with queries about customs declarations and procedures, duties and tariffs, importing and exporting different goods, transporting goods to and from the EU and product safety regulations.

There will be different rules if your clients are moving goods from Ireland to Northern Ireland.

Importing from EU after 31 January 2020

HMRC has published a useful list to help businesses be prepared to import goods from the EU to the UK after the 31 January 2020 Brexit date. In the short-term there will be a transition period during which all rules remain the same. The Government expects to have a trade deal in place with the EU by the end of the year.

The six points of action listed below are likely to be relevant once a trade deal with the EU is in place or in the case that negotiations falter.

  1. Make sure your client has an EORI number that starts with GB. They will need an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number starting with GB to continue importing goods.
  2. Decide who will make the import declarations. Your client can hire someone to deal with customs or if properly prepared, can do it themselves.
  3. Apply to make importing easier. Your clients can apply to use 'transitional simplified procedures' to reduce the amount of information they need to give at the border. They should also ensure they have a duty deferment account if they want to be able to make one payment of customs duties a month instead of paying for individual shipments.
  4. Check the rate of tax and duty they’ll need to pay. They will need to pay customs duties and VAT on all imports.
  5. Check what you need to do for the type of goods you import. There might be other things required, depending on what they are importing. For example, check if the import licences or certificates needed will change. Check the rules for importing alcohol, tobacco and certain oils. Check the labelling and marketing standards for importing food, plant seeds and manufactured goods.
  6. Get help and support. HMRC has setup a Brexit imports and exports helpline. The helpline can help with queries about customs declarations and procedures, duties and tariffs, importing and exporting different goods, transporting goods to and from the EU and product safety regulations.

There will be different rules if your clients are moving goods from Ireland to Northern Ireland.

Brexit coin issued

The Government has announced that a new 50 pence coin entered into circulation on 31 January to mark the UK’s departure from the European Union. The new coin, which was unveiled by the Chancellor, Sajid Javid, who is also the Master of the Mint bears the inscription "peace, prosperity and friendship with all nations" as well as the Brexit date of 31 January 2020.

Commenting after seeing the coin for the first time, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sajid Javid said:

'Leaving the European Union is a turning point in our history and this coin marks the beginning of this new chapter.'

The Government has confirmed that about 3 million of the coins will be distributed from banks, post offices and shops from Brexit day with another 7 million entering circulation later in the year.

The launch of the coin underlines the long running Brexit saga as this is the third time that the launch of a special Brexit coin has been announced. The first launch of the coin was planned for the original Brexit date of 31 March 2019 and the second launch for the delayed 31 October 2019 Brexit date when an estimated 1 million coins had to be melted down. 

Reminder to keep company records

A recent County Court case serves as an important reminder to comply with the requirements to preserve and maintain proper company accounting records. The case concerned a fast food takeaway company in Walsall. The sole director of the company was found to have failed to submit adequate accounting records to the tax authorities. This resulted in his disqualification from acting as a director for 7 years during which he cannot be involved, directly or indirectly, with the formation, promotion or management of a company without prior permission of the court.

Dave Elliott, Chief Investigator for the Insolvency Service, said:

'The company director's duty was to maintain and preserve his company’s financial records. If he had done this, he would have been able to provide information to the tax authorities and also the liquidator attempting to wind-up the company’s affairs. This should serve as a reminder to all directors to comply with their statutory duties.'

There is a requirement to hold company records for 6 years from the end of the last company financial year they relate to, or longer if:

  • they show a transaction that covers more than one of the company’s accounting periods
  • the company has bought something that it expects to last more than 6 years, like equipment or machinery
  • you sent your Company Tax Return late
  • HMRC has started a compliance check into your Company Tax Return.

If your company records have been lost, stolen or destroyed you must do your best to recreate them. You are also required to tell your Corporation Tax office straight away and include this information in your Company Tax Return.

New tax deadline for property sales

The 6 April 2020 will see a seismic change in the deadline for UK residents that sell a residential property when Capital Gains Tax (CGT) on the sale is due. Currently, the due date for paying any CGT you owe to HMRC is the 31 January following the end of the tax year in which a capital gain was made. This deadline gave taxpayers between 10 and 22 months to settle their CGT bill.

The deadline will change for UK residents from 6 April 2020. This change will mean that any CGT due on the sale of a residential property will need to be reported and a payment on account of any CGT due (an advance payment towards their tax bill) made within 30 days of the completion of the transaction.

This means that there will be a significant difference in your CGT payment date if you sell a residential property before the end of the current tax year compared to making a sale in the new tax year. The payment date for any CGT due on residential property sales made before 6 April 2020 will be 31 January 2021. Any CGT due for residential property sales on or after 6 April 2020 will be due within 30 days of completion.

For non-UK residents, these CGT changes came into effect from 6 April 2019.

In practice, this change will apply to the sale of any residential property that does not qualify for Private Residence Relief (PRR). The PRR relief applies to qualifying residential properly used wholly as a main family residence. The new deadline will mainly apply if you are disposing of a second / holiday home, an investment rental property or a home that does not qualify or only partially qualifies for PRR.

New guidance on sexual harassment and harassment at work

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has published new technical guidance on sexual harassment and harassment at work. It replaces previous guidance published in December 2017.

The new guidance explains employers’ legal responsibilities and the practical steps they should take to prevent and respond to harassment and victimisation at work. It also provides advice for workers to help them understand the law and their employer’s obligations to prevent harassment and victimisation, or to respond to their complaint.

The guidance sets out the different forms that harassment and victimisation can take under the Equality Act 2010 and reiterates that certain types of behaviour, such as physical gestures, jokes or pranks, banter and physical behaviour towards a person or their property, can amount to harassment or sexual harassment even if that is not how it was intended by the perpetrator.

Finally, the guidance provides employment tribunals and courts with clear direction on the law and best practice steps that employers could take to prevent and deal with harassment and victimisation. It is expected to become a statutory code of practice in due course.

Alongside the technical guidance, the EHRC has published seven steps every employer should consider taking to ensure they are doing all they can to prevent and deal with sexual harassment in the workplace. These are:

  1. Developing an effective anti-harassment policy
  2. Engaging staff with regular one-to-ones and having an open-door policy
  3. Assessing and mitigating risks in the workplace
  4. Considering using a reporting system that allows workers to raise an issue anonymously or in name
  5. Training staff on what sexual harassment in the workplace looks like, what to do if workers experience it and how to handle complaints
  6. Acting immediately when a harassment complaint is made
  7. Treating harassment by a third party just as seriously as that by a work colleague.

New taskforce to target waste criminals

A new taskforce has been launched to tackle serious and organised waste crime, such as dumping hazardous materials on private land and falsely labelling waste so it can be exported abroad to unsuspecting countries.

This will be the first time that law enforcement agencies, environmental regulators, HMRC and the National Crime Agency have worked together to help stamp out waste crime as part of the work of the new Joint Unit for Waste Crime (JUWC).

Serious and organised waste crime is estimated to cost the UK economy at least £600 million a year. The new unit will share their intelligence and resources to take swifter action when investigating criminal waste operations and other connected illegal activities, such as money laundering and human trafficking.

Actions taken will include conducting site inspections, making arrests and prosecutions, pushing for heavy fines and custodial sentences.

Toby Willison, Chair of the JUWC Board, said:

'The war against waste crime just took a giant step forward. The launch of this new unit means we now have a full complement of partners across law enforcement as well as our counterparts in Scotland and Wales to bring down waste criminals for good. We will target serious and organised criminals across the country as they try to illegally exploit the waste industry and the environment. These criminal gangs need to know that we have them in our sights.'

Scottish 2020 Budget

Derek Mackay, Scotland’s finance secretary has announced that the Scottish Government’s Budget will be published for 2020-21 on 6 February 2020. The date has been selected in order to allow the Scottish Government time to prepare for the new tax year.

This is the first time that Scotland has held a Budget before the rest of the UK. The delay in the UK Budget until 11 March had left the Scottish Government in a quandary and with no time to wait until after the UK Budget to deliver their Budget and have it approved before the start of the next tax year.

In fact, Mr Mackay unequivocally said:

'The UK Government’s approach to the Scottish Budget has been completely unacceptable and has shown a disregard for devolution and a lack of fiscal responsibility.

The timing of the UK Budget made it impossible for us to publish our own budget after the UK Government’s without drastically restricting the time for parliamentary scrutiny.

In these exceptional circumstances, created by the UK Government, it is vital we give local authorities and public services clarity on their budgets. That is why we have made the decision to publish our budget in February which will allow local authorities to set their budgets and council tax before the legal deadline of 11 March.'

The Scottish Parliament sets the Income Tax rates and bands for non-savings and non-dividend income in Scotland. Scottish taxpayers therefore, pay Income Tax at separate rates and bands to the rest of the UK on their non-savings and non-dividend income.