September 2019 fuel rates

HMRC have announced new fuel rates which apply to all journeys on or after 1st September 2019. For one month from this date, either the old rates or the new rates can be used. Hybrid cars, for this purpose, are treated as either petrol or diesel.

These amounts can also be used for VAT recovery purposes, but the employer must retain receipts.

In addition, the advisory rate for a full electric car is 4p per mile, and electricity is not a fuel for car fuel taxable benefit purposes.

The new rates are :


Petrol       :    1,400cc or less 12p; 1,401cc to 2,000cc 14p; over 2,000cc 21p

LPG         :    1,400cc or less   8p; 1,401cc to 2,000cc 10p; over 2,000cc 14p

Diesel      :     1,600cc or less 10p; 1,601cc to 2,000cc 11p; over 2,000cc 14p

Grant funding for brexit costs

HMRC have recently announced that a £16m fund is available for businesses to cover certain costs associated with Brexit. The grants cover both IT costs and training costs, relating to the completion of Customs declarations for imports/exports from/to the EU.

A business is eligible to claim up to 200,000 euros for IT costs, and up to £250 per person for in house training or £2,250 per course. Eligible businesses must have a UK establishment and a good tax record, with 250 or fewer employees and annual turnover less than 50m euros.

Applications should only be made when a business is prepared, but the opportunity for funding closes on 31st January 2020 at the latest.

If you feel that a claim may be made by your business then applications are made online at

Domestic Reverse Charge and VAT

The introduction of the domestic reverse charge for construction services has been delayed for 12 months until 1st October 2020.

HMRC made the change after industry representatives raised concerns that some businesses were just not ready. They have stated that where genuine errors occur because some businesses have already made changes to their invoicing, and these changes cannot easily be changed back again, then the change of date will be taken into account by HMRC. Also, if businesses had opted for monthly VAT returns on the back of the change in legislation, then this can be reversed on HMRC website.

So, in summary, it is as you were…………………until next year.

Tax Payable on Sale of Private Residence

It has long been part of the capital gains tax exemptions/reliefs that no capital gains tax would be payable on the sale of a persons sole/main private residence. This principal private residence exemption also included the final 36 months of ownership as deemed occupation, and therefore also exempt from charge, up until a few years ago. This final period of deemed occupation was then reduced to 18 months.

From 6th April 2020 the final period exemption will be shortened further from the 18 months down to only 9 months ( although the 36 month exemption period will continue to be available to disabled persons or those in a care home ). In addition to this reduced period, lettings relief will only apply when the owner of the property is in shared occupancy with the tenant.

It becomes more possible therefore that a chargeable gain could arise where an individual has to sell their home, before they can buy a new one. Any capital gains tax on disposal would also need to be paid within 30 days of completion. A failure to disclose the tax due, and the failure to pay the tax by the due date, would potentially lead to additional penalty costs.

Anyone selling their principal private residence after 5th April 2020 should be conscious of these changes to the exemption.

Private Sector Off Payroll Workers

Off payroll working rules were introduced a couple of years ago with regards the public sector. For off payroll workers you should think contractors/freelancers/IR35. The long awaited ” private sector IR35 ” legislation has now been released in draft form. This new legislation is expected to come into force from April 2020.

The new proposals will apply to private sector engagements where the ” end client ” is a medium or large business, as defined by the Companies Act. The end client is the person/organisation that receives the services of the personal service company ( PSC ) worker, at the end of the supply chain.

The end client now becomes the decision maker as to whether IR35 applies to the engagement or not. They must produce a Status Determination Statement ( SDS ), which provides a conclusion as to whether IR35 applies to the engagement, and the reasoning behind this conclusion. The SDS is then given to the PSC worker, and also the party directly below it in the supply chain. The SDS can then be further passed down the supply chain.

Whichever party is ultimately left ultimately holding the SDS will take responsibility as the ” fee payer ” which is essentially the party responsible for ensuring the correct tax treatment is applied to the PSC. The fee payer would typically be the party closest to the PSC in the supply chain ( i.e the party physically paying the PSC ).

This is complicated legislation, and it still appears to have many unanswered questions that could come out of it. The government has committed to providing further guidance during 2019, and has also accepted that HMRC’s check employment status indicator tool ( CEST ) is woefully inadequate at providing an accurate decision.

As further updates become available, we will post this information on our website, but all contractors/freelancers can expect a shift in attitudes as to their status from next April, as was seen in the public sector previously. This would then increase their tax burdens, and effectively reduce their take home pay!!!!!


NHS Pensions

There has been a lot of talk in the media recently about the pension contribution allowances, both annual and lifetime, and especially how they are adversely affecting certain professions such as the medical profession. As the annual allowance begins to be tapered off above earnings of £150,000 those in the health sector especially are facing the choice of either paying additional income tax bills on the overfunding, or having their NHS pension fund affected.

In a lot of cases, the additional income tax charges are coming as a surprise and shock to the individuals concerned. So much so that within the health sector, it is becoming increasingly concerning that doctors are refusing to work overtime on the grounds that the additional income is creating these penal tax charges.

Good news ( hopefully ) is however on the horizon. The government has recently confirmed that it will consult on proposals to offer senior clinicians a new pensions option. This would allow them to build their NHS pension more gradually over their career by making steadier contributions towards their pension, without facing regular and significant tax charges.

As news develops we will continue to update you on our news section.


June 2019 Fuel Rates

HMRC have announced new advisory fuel rates for company cars, which apply to journeys on or after 1st June 2019. For the one month of June, either the old rates or the new rates can be used.

Hybrid cars, for this purpose, are treated as either petrol or diesel cars, and the amounts can also be used for VAT purposes, as long as the employer retains adequate receipts. The advisory fuel rate for fully electric cars is 4p per mile.

The new rates are :

Petrol    :     engine size 1,400cc or less 12p ; 1,401cc to 2,000cc 15p ; over 2,000cc 22p

Diesel    :     engine size 1,600cc or less 10p; 1,601cc to 2,000cc 12p ; over 2,000cc 14p

LPG      :      engine size 1,400cc or less  8p ; 1,401cc to 2,000cc  9p  ; over 2,000cc 14p

VAT & The Construction Industry Scheme

New legislation will become effective from 1st October 2019 with regards VAT on goods within the construction industry scheme ( CIS ). Construction Operations include activities undertaken within the UK and within 12 miles of its territorial waters, such as construction, alteration, repair, extension, demolition, dismantling etc.

With effect from 1st October 2019 a new VAT domestic reverse charge will apply to such supplies. Under the reverse charge rules, it will be the customer ( i.e the one making payment for the construction services ) in the transaction who will now become responsible for accounting for the VAT.

Sales to an end user ( a business that does not make supplies of construction services ) or a domestic customer will be outside the scope of the reverse charge.In addition, there is no requirement to operate the reverse charge on exempt or zero rated supplies. An end user should make the contractor aware of this fact to ensure that VAT is charged in the normal way. If the end user does not provide the supplier with confirmation of its end user status then it will still be responsible for accounting for VAT under the reverse charge. It is recommended that notification is made in writing and that these records are retained.

The supplier will be required to issue a valid VAT invoice as normal, which includes all the relevant information required. This will include the amount of VAT liable on the supply, however NO VAT is charged by the supplier. Instead, the supplier directly references the fact that the VAT reverse charge applies to the supply.

Failure to follow these rules will result in the customer having to pay over the undeclared output tax, together with penalties and interest.

As this new legislation applies to the CIS, which itself is sometimes difficult to understand, we would strongly recommend that anyone operating in the construction industry firstly ascertain whether they fall within the CIS scheme, and if they do, then they must follow the new VAT rules with effect from 1st October 2019.


MTD for other taxes

For those businesses battling with Making Tax Digital ( MTD ) for VAT, Brexit, extension of IR35 rules, business rates charges, amongst other things, and trying to keep their businesses operating efficiently, there is a little bit of good news.

It has been confirmed that there will be no mandation of MTD for any new taxes or businesses until the earliest of 2021. On the back of MTD for VAT, it was suggested that other taxes could follow the MTD route from as soon as 2020. So, businesses can at least look forward to the next 2 years before they may possibly be forced into MTD for other taxes.

Chancellor, Philip Hammond, has however confirmed that the Government is still committed to the introduction of MTD for VAT purposes from 1st April 2019.

It is likely that HMRC have decided they want to take stock of the VAT position under MTD before they roll out MTD further to income tax and corporation tax. It remains our view here though that MTD for these other taxes will come into force within the next 2-5 years. We will keep clients updated of any new developments.

March Advisory Fuel Rates

HMRC have announced new fuel rates from 1st March 2019. For the one month of March either the old rates or the new rates can be applied. Hybrid cars are treated as either petrol or diesel for this purpose. These rates can also be used for VAT purposes, but the employer must retain receipts. Finally, whilst electricity is not a fuel, a fully electric car is 4p per mile. The new rates are :

Petrol    :     1,400cc or less 11p; 1,401cc to 2,000cc 14p; over 2,000cc 21p

LPG      :     1,400cc or less   7p;  1,401cc to 2,000cc  8p; over  2,000cc 13p

Diesel   :     1,600cc or less 10p;  1,601cc to 2,000cc 11p; over 2,000cc 13p