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Staff Christmas parties and gifts

There has, for many years, been an exemption for small and seasonal gifts made by an employer to its employees such as a turkey, an ordinary bottle of wine or a box of chocolates at Christmas. In addition, employers have always been able to rely on the annual staff function to exempt Christmas parties (provided the combined VAT inclusive cost of any such functions remains below £150 per head). But now, following the introduction by HM Revenue & Customs of new trivial benefit rules, from 6 April 2016, other staff gifts  might now qualify as a trivial benefit if the cost per head is below the specified VAT inclusive £50 limit. In order to qualify for the exemption, the gift cannot be part of any reward for services, nor can it be in the form of cash or vouchers capable of being converted into cash.

Don't miss out on Tax Relief on R&D

​The government is concerned that many small companies are missing out on generous R&D tax credits.  For the last year HMRC have been offering companies an advance assurance scheme to check whether or not their activities qualify before they make a claim. So far over 200 applications for advance assurance have been made.

Tax measures contained in 2016 Autumn Statement

This was the first and last Autumn Statement to be delivered by the new Chancellor, as he announced major changes to the timetable under which the annual Budget cycle will operate in future, the main thrust of which is that after  the Spring budget in March 2017 we will be moving to Autumn Budgets and Spring Statements!  In a change of policy from recent years, there were not as many new tax announcements in the speech or the supporting documents as has been the case in recent years, but the tax changes that were announced included the following:

When is a hobby a trade?

We have received enquiries from a number of clients, concerned that HMRC is going to try and tax them for the small amounts of cash that they make from pursuing hobbies. For example, buying and selling on eBay or setting up stalls at their local drive in markets – car boot sales.
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