Your questions on tax answered by Nick Casson of TaxAssist

Nick Casson
Nick Casson

What is the threshold for VAT registration?

As of 1st April 2017, the VAT registration threshold has risen to £85,000 from £83,000. If your turnover is nudging around the registration threshold, it is vital that you update your bookkeeping records regularly. By doing so, you will be able to predict and prepare for when your business is due to go over the £85,000 mark and can register on time and prevent any late registration penalties.

Having registered on time, you can then start accounting for VAT, so you’re not facing any large, backdated payments to HM Revenue & Customs. If you need advice or help about VAT registration, the VAT schemes available to you and how to manage your affairs when you have registered for VAT, don’t hesitate to contact us. We can put you in touch with your local TaxAssist Accountant who will be delighted to help.

The National Living Wage will increase from £7.20 to £7.50 per hour from April 2017. For each member of staff working full time, this increase could cost an employer on average of over £500 per year. Workers aged 25 or over and who are not in the first year of an apprenticeship, are legally entitled to the National Living Wage.

The National Minimum Wage rates (which were last increased in October 2016) from April 2017 will increase as stated below.

• Aged 21 to 24 - an increase from £6.95 to £7.05 per hour

• Aged 18 to 20 - an increase from £5.55 to £5.60 per hour

• Aged 16 to 17 - an increase from £4.00 to £4.05 per hour

• Apprentices – an increase from £3.40 to £3.50 per hour

What is a Personal Tax Account?

A Personal Tax Account is a HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) system that puts an individual’s tax details in one place so they can register, file, pay and update their tax information online whenever they want. Eight million people are already using their personal tax account to complete a variety of tasks, from simply updating an address to filing their self-assessment return.

With your Personal Tax Account, you can:

• Check your address and correct it if the information is not correct

• See what your tax code is and how your tax is calculated

• Check your National Insurance and state pension record

• Replace paper by receiving texts and emails from HMRC rather than letters

• Manage tax credits and Child Benefit payments

In addition to the Personal Tax Account for individuals, there is also an Online Tax Account for Businesses, which gives small and medium-sized businesses similar access to their HMRC account, as well as being able to process taxes including PAYE for employers, VAT, Corporation Tax, and Self-Assessment. When the Government’s Making Tax Digital project is complete by 2020, individuals and small business will no longer need to submit the same details to numerous places as the information about pensions, employment, PAYE codes will all be gathered together to calculate tax. By 2020, this all-encompassing online portal is predicted to be providing more than 50 million individuals and small businesses with the possibility of making voluntary quarterly payments. This may avoid having to make large biannual payments on account and balancing payments, therefore making it easier to manage cash flow.