Newsletter - Spring 2015

The Autumn Statement announced changes to the Stamp Duty Land Tax rules for residential property. We consider the implications of the new bands and percentages and the introduction of the Scottish equivalent, Land and Buildings Transaction Tax.

We also remind employers to check they have claimed the Employment Allowance, worth up to £2,000 in reduced employer National Insurance contributions (NICs) and explain the changes to employers NICs for under 21s which take effect from April this year and changes for NICs for apprentices which take effect from April 2016.

With many owner managers choosing to operate their businesses through a company we look at the recent changes in the rules which restrict some reliefs available on goodwill. These changes affect the tax write off on goodwill and the availability of Entrepreneurs' Relief on the disposal of goodwill by an individual when they transfer it to a related company.

Improvements are being made to the operation of the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) following a period of consultation. The changes include reducing the limit for the entity turnover test and simplifying the compliance tests. Both tests are relevant for achieving and maintaining gross payment status.

Existing pensioners and those who reach State Pension age before 6 April 2016 will have the opportunity to purchase up to a maximum of £25 per week extra State Pension. We look at the options available and who may want to consider taking up this opportunity.

We also review the rules on repairs and renewals including some examples as illustrations. The article considers the distinction between replacing the 'entirety' rather than carrying out an expensive repair. We also consider the rules for residential lettings on the renewal of furnishings and what types of expenses are allowable.

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