Team Davis Grant Bowling Championship 2018

Last night our expert team let their hair down with a night of ten pin bowling and social fun at Rollerbowl at the City Pavillion.

The winning team was made up of Hutaib, Dylan, Sunil and Luke. The winner of the best average score over the 2 games was Gareth. Congrats to the winners and for everyone for having a great night!

Many thanks to Carly for organising and making the evening run so smoothly. The next team event will be the Christmas Party in December.

Are you interested in advancing or starting your career with us?
Learn about our Team and opportunities.

Budget 2018 – 1 week to go until tax annoucement, changes and reactions

As you may be aware, there’s only one week to go until this year’s Autumn Budget. As a pro-active, modern firm, we’re making sure that you are kept up-to-date with the breaking headlines and announcements.

Our Free App

We’ll have all of the tax announcements and news in one place. We’ll will notify you on the day of the Budget when it’s ready and updated via immediate alerts. You don’t need to spend time searching the Internet. Check our App throughout the day for all of the Chancellors key tax announcements, changes and reaction.

If you haven’t already downloaded our App, do so by searching for Davis Grant in the App store on your device.

Full Downloadable Report

The morning after the budget our summary report of all the key announcements will be available for you to download, print or share.

Resource Library


We are recognised as “Making Tax Digital Ready” by Xero

Davis Grant is now listed on Xero’s Advisor directory as specialists in “Making Tax Digital Ready”. This means you can be sure our team is prepared to help you deal with the challenges of Digital Tax in addition to our status as a Xero Gold Champion Partner and Xero migration certified.

What is Making Tax Digital?

By 2020, HMRC has set out that all tax returns will be made digitally. From next April all VAT registered businesses will be expected to keep digital records on a system that can submit data to HMRC directly.

Why computerise?

When advocating Cloud Accounting solutions we are often (quite rightly) asked by you to justify our recommendation that you move your accounting online. “What’s in it for me?” you ask, well don’t take our word for it check out the survey results below.

These 11 benefits are waiting for you…

  1. Data not lost if computer fails
  2. Less time to manage accounts
  3. Cost effectiveness
  4. More immediate information on financial position
  5. Easier interaction with advisor
  6. Fewer data-entry errors
  7. Good data security
  8. Better invoice management, enabling faster payment
  9. Help pay suppliers on time
  10. Ability to record transactions immediately from different devices
  11. Easier internal collaboration on accounts

Source: 673 accountants and 1,001 SME owners surveyed by Censuswide between 22.08.2017 – 29.08.2017

Learn more about Xero and our Solution…

Accounting Software Solutions

Speak to us about finding the right solution for you!

Tax Tips and News – October 2018

Welcome to October’s Tax Tips & News, our monthly update letter designed to bring you tax tips and news to keep you one step ahead of the taxman.

We are committed to ensuring none of our clients pay a penny more in tax than is necessary and they receive useful tax and business advice and support throughout the year.

October 2018

  • Class 2 NICs to remain
  • Help-to-Save accounts go live
  • VAT on holiday accommodation
  • HMRC launch MTD campaign
  • October questions and answers
  • October key tax dates
Please contact us for advice in your own specific circumstances. We’re here to help!

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Tax on residential property

Tax on residential property

Has devolution affected what tax you pay?

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First-time buyers in England, Northern Ireland – and for a short time in Wales – were the biggest winners in the most recent shake-up to affect property taxes in Autumn Budget 2017.

Philip Hammond’s headline measure was to abolish stamp duty for first-time buyers on homes worth up to £300,000, and the chancellor didn’t stop there.

He also introduced a reduced rate of 5% on the portion worth from £300,000 to £500,000, providing a welcome boost for many aspiring homeowners in London where the average residential property sold for £556,146 in 2017.

But while the chancellor received plaudits for a move that helped 121,500 people take their first steps on the property ladder up until 30 June 2018, existing homeowners still have to pay property taxes – most notably in the form of stamp duty and capital gains tax (CGT) – while devolution means that where you live in the UK also affects the property tax you pay. Read More

Insider – Policy News Digest – September 2018

Keeping you up to date with the top financial policy news stories, rumours and talking points you need to know this month.

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HMRC confirms ‘soft landing’ for Making Tax Digital

HMRC has confirmed that digital reporting requirements will be relaxed during the first year of Making Tax Digital (MTD) for VAT-registered businesses.

From April 2019, businesses with annual taxable turnover of more than £85,000 will be required to maintain digital records for VAT and submit quarterly returns alongside the annual tax return.

Under the requirements of MTD, any transfer of data between software programs must be carried out using digital software.

However, for VAT periods starting in the 2019/20 tax year, businesses will not need to have digital links for all software, and will be able to manually transfer or cut and paste their records instead.

This does not include the submission of the VAT return itself, which must be shared with the Revenue using an application programming interface (API).

In December 2017, HMRC said it anticipated there would be a “soft landing period without application of record-keeping penalties” in 2019/20 to give businesses time to adjust to the new system.

Its VAT notice, published in July 2018, legally confirmed the relaxed reporting requirements but made no mention of how the soft landing on penalties will apply.

“It would have been completely inadequate for the law to require you to do one thing, but then for HMRC to say informally that they would not enforce it.

“Most businesses want to comply with what the law requires them to do, and this approach from HMRC helps ensure that is the case.”

John Cullinane, tax policy director at the Chartered Institute of Taxation

We can help you get on top of digital reporting with our Cloud Accounting Solution.

Get in touch or download our factsheet if you would like to get ahead of the changes!

Stamp duty tax break saves first-time buyers £284m

Philip Hammond’s decision to abolish stamp duty land tax (SDLT) for most first-time buyers on all properties worth up to £300,000 saved homeowners £284 million in the first half of 2018.

The chancellor scrapped SDLT in Autumn Budget 2017 for most people taking their first steps on the property ladder in England, Northern Ireland and for a limited time in Wales.

Speaking at the time, Hammond expected the move to cut SDLT for 95% of first-time buyers and abolish it for 80% of them.

SDLT was axed on the first £300,000 of all purchase prices up to a value of £500,000, with a 5% rate chargeable on the portion between £300,000 and £500,000.

Those who bought their first home in Wales could have benefited from the move between 22 November 2017 and 1 April 2018, at which point the devolved land transaction tax replaced SDLT.

More than 121,500 first-time buyers have been able to get on the property ladder in the six months between 1 January 2018 and 30 June 2018.

“Our cut to stamp duty for first-time buyers is helping to make the dream of home ownership a reality for a new generation.

“In addition, we’re building more homes in the right areas and have introduced generous schemes such as the Lifetime ISA and Help to Buy.”

Mel Stride, financial secretary to the Treasury

We are committed making sure our clients don’t pay a penny more in tax than they have to. Talk to us about personal tax planning or download our factsheet below.

Inheritance tax receipts reach record high of £5.2bn

The Treasury fetched a record high of £5.2 billion in inheritance tax receipts last year, according to statistics published by HMRC.

Inheritance tax receipts increased 8% year-on-year in 2017/18 to continue a long-term trend, which began when the nil-rate band was frozen at £325,000 with effect from 6 April 2009.

Since then, inheritance tax receipts have grown by an average of 10% a year, with the latest increase £388 million higher than in 2016/17.

“The amount of money raised from inheritance tax has doubled in less than a decade, and a steadily rising proportion of estates are now caught within the inheritance tax net.

“Even the introduction of an additional nil-rate band for families passing on a home to their children was not able to stem the growth in inheritance tax revenues, yet it remains riddled with anomalies.

“Inheritance tax is a complex tax, and the sooner it is overhauled the better.”

Steve Webb, director of policy at Royal London

Rising residential property prices are a contributing factor to the ongoing rise in inheritance tax receipts, with house prices soaring above the rate of inflation over the same period.

However, the most recent statistics do not take into account the full impact of the residence nil-rate band (RNRB), which was introduced on 6 April 2017 in addition to the £325,000 nil-rate band.

Eligible estates qualify for an extra £125,000 through the RNRB in 2018/19 if the deceased owned a home, or a share of one, that was included in their estate and left to their direct descendants.

It enables someone to pass on a family home worth £450,000 without incurring inheritance tax liabilities in 2018/19 – and will increase a further £25,000 in each of the next two years.

“We’ve seen in recent years a more aggressive approach from the taxman that has driven a surge in inheritance tax receipts.

“Simplification of this can’t come soon enough for many families, but taking financial advice should be a priority for anyone with a potential inheritance tax problem.”

Sean McCann, chartered financial planner at NFU Mutual

If you are concerned about the implications of passing on your wealth, get in touch to plan your estate. Out friendly team personal tax team are waiting to take your call.

SMEs cite VAT as ‘biggest administrative headache’

VAT creates the biggest administration burden for around two-thirds of businesses in the UK, research from the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has claimed.

The report, which polled more than 1,100 businesses of all sizes, found that 64% were bamboozled by an array of rates and rules to comply with VAT legislation.

This percentage is likely to increase in the near future as VAT-registered businesses with taxable turnover of more than £85,000 prepare for Making Tax Digital to take effect from April 2019.

“It’s time to tackle the huge costs and complexities of the UK tax system, which sap away time and resources that could be better spent raising business productivity and growth.

“We want to see more investment in frontline HMRC support that’s geared towards making compliance easier for SMEs.

“There should also be greater independent scrutiny of new tax proposals with the aim of minimising the administrative burden on business.

“HMRC must be given both resources and a clear remit to focus more on supporting, rather than pursuing and punishing, small and medium-sized firms as they work to get tax right.

“Making tax administration simpler would provide businesses with more time and headroom to focus on investment and growth.”

Adam Marshall, director-general of the BCC

More than half (54%) said payroll tasks were the next biggest compliance burden, with many firms confused by the national insurance contribution thresholds and rates they are required to pay.

Corporation tax (41%) proved to be the third biggest administration headache for businesses in the UK, while three in four (75%) respondents feel HMRC red tape has increased in the last five years.

Speak to us about your business challenges. We pride ourselves on getting to know you and helping to resolve what keeps you awake at night.

Accounting Software Solutions

Tax Tips and News – September 2018

Welcome to September’s Tax Tips & News, our newsletter designed to bring you tax tips and news to keep you one step ahead of the taxman.

We are committed to ensuring none of our clients pay a penny more in tax than is necessary and they receive useful tax and business advice and support throughout the year.

This month’s stories (Sept ’18)

  • Employee benefit changes – HMRC consultation
  • Digital Tax is welcomed – even ‘expected’
  • VAT due on vouchers and gift cards
  • New online PAYE platform for the self-employed?
  • September questions and answers
  • September key tax dates

Please contact us for advice in your own specific circumstances. We’re here to help!

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Here’s why HMRC care deeply about kids blankets…

The VAT treatment of children’s clothing has always been a source of confusion. According to HMRC sales of clothing designed for young children are zero rated. No VAT is payable by the supplier or manufacturer of the item.

When is a blanket an item of clothing?

APenalties recent case between HMRC and a supplier of fleeced blankets with sleeves hinged on whether such items are indeed clothing. We can imagine that a hefty tax bill was riding on the outcome of the decision.

The taxman argued that the product was not clothing as it lacked fastenings and was not intended for use when moving. HMRC also said the size range of ages 3-10 years and 10-13 years are more consistent with blankets.

But the seller of the product insists that the product is indeed clothing.

So what was the decision?

The decision by Judge Jonathan Cannan at the First-tier Tribunal agreed that the item is in fact clothing.

Clothing generally refers to items made of fabric or some other material which are worn to cover the body parts of the body in order protect the wearer from the elements, to preserve modesty and/or for the purposes of fashion.

All clothing may be said to be worn.

An item of clothing is worn where it is appropriately shaped to accommodate the contours and movement of the body, having regard to the functions it is intended to fulfil.

Given this definition the defining factor of the fleece was the fact it has sleeves. A blanket cannot reasonably be said to be worn in contrast to this product.

Therefore no VAT was payable to HMRC!

If you need help with your VAT Returns get in contact with us – our expert team is waiting to answer your questions.

How to make marriage work for you

Explore how the marriage allowance tax break can benefit you.

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Millions of married couples and civil partners in the UK are eligible for the marriage allowance, but take-up has remained subdued since the tax break came into force on 6 April 2015.

Almost half of the UK’s eligible couples failed to claim their slice of £1.3 billion in marriage allowance cash in 2016/17, with many couples either unaware of the tax break or forgetting to claim it.

It’s designed for couples where one partner pays the basic rate of income tax and the other is a non-taxpayer.

More than four million married couples and 15,000 civil partners are eligible to claim a tax break worth up to £238 in 2018/19, but how do you go about it?

Marriage allowance entitlement

Whichever person doesn’t pay tax can choose to reduce their personal allowance by £1,190 in 2018/19 and transfer it to their husband, wife or civil partner.

It’s possible for the taxpaying spouse or civil partner to increase their tax-free personal allowance to £13,040 in 2018/19.

You may benefit from the marriage allowance if:

  • your spouse or civil partner has elected to reduce their personal allowance for the tax year and transfer it to you
  • you are a basic rate taxpayer in 2018/19
  • you meet the residence requirements and have the right to claim a personal allowance
  • neither you nor your partner submits a claim to the married couple’s allowance (MCA) in 2018/19.

You can only benefit from one tax reduction in any tax year.

Elderly exclusion

You may have noticed the exclusion of the MCA for elderly taxpayers in the list above, although this is only available to people born before 5 April 1935.

In cases where both the marriage allowance and the MCA are available, it is usually preferable to claim the MCA.

The MCA provides a potential tax deduction of between £336 and £869.50 a year, while the maximum benefit from the transfer of the marriage allowance in 2018/19 is restricted to £238.

Personal allowance

As long as you’re married or in a civil partnership with the same person for the whole or part of the tax year at the time the claim is made, you can choose to reduce your personal allowance.

You must also only be liable to pay income tax at the basic rate, dividend nil or ordinary rate or the basic or starting rate for savings after your personal allowance has been reduced by the transfer.

You must elect to use the marriage allowance within four years after the end of a tax year, and it will remain in force until you give notice to withdraw it.

However, an election made after the end of a tax year applies only to the year of election.

This is the easiest way for us to operate the allowance for you, as it can be made when your tax return is prepared and once we know your income and your partner’s for 2018/19.

Separation and divorce

If you and your spouse or civil partner separate between the end of a tax year and the date your tax return is due, there’s a slight chance you’ll lose your eligibility for the marriage allowance.

Cancelling the marriage allowance normally takes effect from the next tax year unless the marriage or civil partnership has come to an end through:

  • divorce (decree absolute)
  • order of judicial separation
  • decree of nullity
  • in the case of a civil partnership, a dissolution order, order of nullity or order of separation.

In these circumstances, the withdrawal of the marriage allowance can be backdated to the start of the tax year.

Death of a partner

If a spouse or civil partner dies, it’s possible to make a backdated claim for the marriage allowance providing the deceased spouse or civil partner was eligible for it when they were alive.

A claim can be made for any tax year in which you were both alive, including the tax year of death, although no claim can be made thereafter.

How does it work?

Working part-time

Tom’s on an annual salary of £16,000 and is married to Isobel, who works part-time and earns £5,000 a year.

Isobel elects to reduce her personal allowance, which is transferred when Tom claims the marriage allowance. The benefit is 10% of the personal allowance rounded up to the next £10.

So the transferable amount is £1,190 in 2018/19, giving a tax saving of £238. This transfer does not impact on Tom’s national insurance contributions.

Dividends income

Dicky is a director who pays himself an annual salary of £8,000 and receives a dividend payment of £30,000. His spouse, Katie, earns £10,000 a year.

Katie elects to reduce her personal allowance, enabling Dicky to submit a claim and increase his personal allowance by £1,190.

As Dicky’s dividend income is taxed at 7.5%, the tax saved is £1,190 x 7.5% = £89.25.


Non-residential spouse

If your spouse or civil partner is a non-UK resident, but hails from the European Economic Area (EEA), an extra restriction requires the transferee’s annual income to be less than the personal allowance.

Scottish rate of income tax

Scotland introduced additional rates of income tax for 2018/19 that do not apply anywhere else in the UK, including the intermediate rate of 21% tax on income between £24,001 and £43,430.

Married couples in Scotland can continue to receive the allowance, despite the introduction of these new income tax bands.

The only noticeable difference is that the transfer of the allowance isn’t possible for income tax bands that exceed £43,430 in Scotland – despite the basic-rate threshold in the rest of the UK stretching further to £46,350.

Income from dividends and savings are not liable for the Scottish rate of income tax, so Westminster’s basic-rate threshold and 20% rate applies.


Less than a year before the UK is due to leave the EU an additional concern surrounds whether or not the UK retains membership of the EEA.

Should the UK withdraw from the EEA, the marriage allowance may be made redundant if your spouse or civil partner comes from an EEA nation.

The EEA countries comprise all 28 member states of the EU plus Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland.

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How can you reduce your capital gains tax bill in 2018/19?

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Whether you’re a buy-to-let landlord, a shareholder, an art dealer or you fall somewhere in between, the chances are you will be familiar with paying capital gains tax (CGT).

CGT is payable when you ‘dispose’ of a certain item and make money from the sale, with the amount you’re liable for depending on your income and the asset in question.

These could be personal items worth more than £6,000, a second home or even shares you own in a limited company.

CGT is due when you sell or give these assets away, classed as ‘disposing’ of an asset in the eyes of HMRC.

For example, you buy a house for £170,000 with the intention of letting it out to tenants and manage to sell it for £210,000 three years later.

This will leave you with £40,000 of profit before deducting the annual exemption, which is potentially liable for CGT.

However, it’s possible to reduce your tax bill through careful CGT planning and there are several reliefs out there to help you and your business form a tax-efficient strategy in 2018/19.
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