08-01-15 – Devolution to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

As most clients will have seen in the financial news the Chancellor recently announced that the Government has agreed to the devolution of more powers, including the setting of tax legislation, to parts of the UK. Draft clauses are expected to be published soon; however the types of changes are already known: Scotland will have the control of Income Tax rates and thresholds for income other than dividends to all Scottish taxpayers. The Personal Allowance for UK residents, however, will not be affected. Wales will gain the full devolution of non-domestic (“business”) tax rates wit...

02-12-14 – Autumn Statement: Reform of structure Stamp duty land tax and Non-domiciled individuals

In his Autumn Statement today George Osborne made the following announcements: - He has scrapped the single flat rate system on stamp duty for residential property and moved to a simple progressive system. From midnight tonight each rate will only apply to the part of the property price that falls within that band. The new bands will be: no tax on first £125k 2% on portion up to £250k 5% up to £925K 10% up to 1.5m 12% on everything over that The Chancellor says the changes will benefit 98% of homebuyers. However anybody about to purchase a high value property in ex...

26-11-14 – New requirements for transit visas

A national from certain countries (including, for example, Belarus, China and India) from 1 December 2014 will need to have a transit visa to travel via the UK by air. This relates to those travellers who will not need to cross the border of the UK so as to carry out their further travel to their final destination. The following requirements are thus compulsory for citizens of the provided countries: have the option of either applying for a transit visa for making an airside or landside transit, or using one of an extended list of ‘exemption’ documents for example an EEA or Swis...

17-11-14 – Important Changes to TAX on Your Properties

In a little over 5 months time (April 2015) the UK Government are to charge 28% tax on Gains in the value of UK property held by offshore owners. Previously this was exempt from tax. This will directly affect you and there are important decisions that must be made before then as to how you own the property to escape these new charges. We give below the impact of the changes on different types of ownership and the costs of making a change to a new ownership vehicle that will prevent the charges form applying. COMPANY OWNERSHIP If your property is in a company and currently valued at £...

13-11-14 – 24 hour Super Priority Visa Service to be extended

Downing Street has announced plans to extend its 24 hour visa service (currently only available in China and India) to seven further countries. The Super Priority Visa Service is aimed at business travellers and those needing to travel urgently, where a decision will be provided within 24 hours.  The service will be extended to cover applicants in the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, South Africa, Thailand, the Philippines and visa processing centres in New York and Paris. As the service has been a success it is likely that the service will be extended to further countries in the future....

04-11-14 – Report finds economic benefits to the UK from immigration

A report produced by University College London and published today in the Economic Journal (‘The Fiscal Effects of Immigration to the UK’, Christian Dustmann and Tommaso Frattini) has found many financial benefits to the UK from EEA and non-EEA migration. The main findings are as follows: • EEA immigrants made a fiscal contribution of £4.4bn between 1995 and 2011 (compared to British nationals who made a negative net contribution of £591bn for the same period); • Between 2001 and 2011 EEA migrant arrivals contributed £20bn; • Between 2001 and 20...

15-10-14 – Statement of Changes in the Immigration Rules – Tier 1 (Investor) raised to £2 million

Further to our previous article this is to confirm that it has just been announced in the House of Commons that the Tier 1 (Investor) route is being reformed following the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) recommendations from February. The minimum investment threshold is being raised from £1 million to £2 million. It is not yet clear, as the Statement of Changes and the consultation document have yet to be published, however it appears that the Tier 1 (Investor) route will be reformed in two stages: 1. The investment threshold will be raised from £1 million to £2 mi...

15-10-14 – Statement of Changes in the Immigration Rules Published

The Statement of Changes in the Immigration Rules presented to parliament earlier today has now been published. There are significant changes to many of the rules. Please find below a breakdown of the main changes: Tier 1 of the Points-Based System Tier 1 (Investor) The investment threshold of £1 million is being raised to £2 million; The full investment sum must be invested in prescribed forms of investment (share or loan capital in active and trading UK companies, or UK Government bonds) instead of the current 75%; If the investment falls then there is no longer a requirem...

14-10-14 – Tier 1 (Investor) – likely to be increased to £2 million imminently

In February of this year the Migration Advisory Committee’s (MAC’s) report on the Tier 1 (Investor) route investment thresholds and economic benefits recommended that significant changes be made to the route. As the end of the year is fast approaching and now that the Immigration Act 2014 is being implemented it is expected that the recommended changes will be incorporated into the Immigration Rules imminently. To remind you the MAC’s recommendations are as follows: Minimum investment threshold • That the minimum £1 million threshold be increased to £2 mi...

13-10-14 – HMRC launch a new disclosure facility

HMRC have launched a credit card sales campaign. This opportunity gives a business that accepts credit and debit card payments, but that have not declared all their UK tax liabilities, the opportunity to bring their tax affairs up to date on preferential terms.  There is no end date for this campaign. A business that wishes to take part should contact HMRC by completing the notification form or calling the credit card sales campaign helpline (0300 123 9272).  It should then fill in the disclosure form and pay the tax owed within four months from the date HMRC acknowledge the business...