There has been a definite shift in how HMRC carry out employer compliance enquiries, moving from face to face site visits to desk-based enquiries. This may be down to HMRC centralising in their move to regional Centres, an attempt to save money on travel and subsistence or a combination of both. Nevertheless, this certainly does not mean that HMRC are more trusting than ever and this new approach adopted by HMRC should be treated with the same importance and caution as one would an Inspector arriving at the business premises.
Farmers and their families will most likely be aware of the important Inheritance Tax (“IHT”) reliefs currently available on the value of their businesses. Agricultural Relief (“AR”) and Business Relief (“BR”) can relieve the full value of the farming operation and it has long been recognised that the policy objective behind these reliefs is to prevent the breaking up or sale of farms (and other businesses) on death.
Whilst I was flying down to London this morning I wondered if the aeroplane was on the balance sheet yet? Prior to the introduction of IFRS 16 airlines by leasing their planes meant that the plane as well as its related lease liability was an off-balance sheet item.
Selling a business is a topic of much debate and discussion but despite this, it is rarely planned with serious consideration typically only crystallising then an approach is made, market factors change, the owners near retirement age or perhaps have a shift in their life objectives.
We are living in uncertain times and the current financial climate, alongside the turmoil in British politics caused by Brexit, is making it harder and harder for businesses to survive, as shown by the recent high-profile insolvencies of Thomas Cook; Debenhams and Jamie’s Italian.
Unless you have been hiding under a rock you will be aware that back in July HMRC issued draft legislation on their proposed changes to the current IR35 Off Payroll Working rules in the Private Sector from April 2020, bringing the rules in line with those implemented to the Public Sector in April 2017. While HMRC are looking to introduce these changes due to their estimate that they will bring in excess of £1billion additional taxes, there is still a lot to be learned from when these changes were introduced to the Public Sector and actions to be taken to ensure businesses are ready for carrying out their new obligations from next year and that HMRC’s tools are fit for purpose.