The government are concerned that a small number of businesses choose not to pay the tax they owe or seek to unfairly reduce their tax bill. One of the ways available to HMRC to tackle this is the power to require high-risk businesses to provide an upfront security deposit where there is a serious risk of non-compliance. Currently, these powers only apply to certain taxes and duties, but the non-compliant behaviours which warrant security action will be typically found across other aspects of these businesses’ tax affairs. Read More


If you drive a personal vehicle for business purposes, the business mileage deduction is a great way to save money on your tax bill. But the HMRC won’t just take your word for it, it needs proof. Here’s what the HMRC will want in your mileage log.

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treatyTypical Double Tax Agreement (DTA) or treaty issues we face on a daily basis can be summarised as follow:

United Kingdom / South Africa DTA

1. Tax residency change not timeously reported to either SARS or HMRC
Most client suggest that they need file or report their SA income to the UK tax authority as they were non-domiciled in the UK and as the lump sum was not remitted to the UK, they need to pay UK tax on the lump sum income. No, says HMRC although you are non-domiciled you are subject to UK tax on lump sums received in SA, albeit not remitted to the UK, as lump sums are taxed on the arising basis and not on the remittance basis. In short, you cannot defer UK tax on the lump sum arising in SA, by sending said lump sum to Channel Islands, USA or EU nor can you escape the UK tax exposure by keeping the lump sum in your blocked account in South Africa.

2. The treaty dictates that lump sum received from South African fund managers on retirement annuity fund (RA) lump sums or pension/preservation funds, are tax exempt in SA and UK taxed only
This argument is most often presented to us by clients having called the HMRC call centre. We do not know how the client explained the situation to the HMRC call centre but suffice to say the answer is incorrect. The fact that HMRC refers you to Article 17 of the treaty is not adequate as the said article does not deal with lump sums. Article 17 specifically states that for purposes of the agreement an annuity taxable in the new home country only, is a fixed amount paid on a regular basis. You need not be tax lawyer to understand why the lump sum will never fall into this category of treaty exempt (in SA) annuity payments. Read More

Have you received an e-mail from HMRC? Watch this video to determine whether or not it is legitimate and what you should do about it.

 In accordance with Circular 230 Disclosure

Video Post on HMRC’s Campaign to get you up to date if you are behind with your taxes.

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Now this summer there was a consultation published by HMRC…  See Video

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TaxConnections Picture - Tax MagnificationWhen the brown envelope from HMRC lands on the doormat, most people don’t need to read the letter in great detail to know that there are difficult times ahead; guilty or innocent HMRC are going to give you a hard time. Here are some tips on how to deal with a tax investigation.

Whilst we talk about a Tax Investigation HMRC use soft words instead such as enquiry, review or check. Regardless of the language they all mean you are being investigated by HMRC.

So what are the key things to do (or not to do).

Don’t Panic

For many here will be an initial knee jerk reaction such as fear, denial and anger or a desire to have a chat with the Inspector to show you are a good person and willing to help or to assure HMRC there is nothing wrong.

This is a time for cool heads, planning and contemplation as to what could be the problems and taking stock of the situation. Do not do anything rash and:

Take Expert Advice

Your fist discussion may be with your accountant. Some are good at tax investigation work, many are not specialists. Engaging a specialist can make all the difference in time taken to deal with the issues and the eventual outcome. You must have an open and honest conversation about what may or may not have gone on and sometimes this is difficult with existing advisors. Read More

As you approach your year-end, whether this is aligned with the UK tax year, it could be time to invest in the business – tax relief on purchases can make a welcome addition:


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The new systems should have already been adopted, particularly with the advertising campaign that HMRC ran.

In this video I discuss the changes:


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It can sometimes be difficult for people to contact HMRC, in this video I share some statistics and also discuss why using an adviser can save people time and hassle:


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