Welcome to December 2019 News Update from Prestige Business Management
December 2019 News Update – featuring additional news developments from our newsletter series.
Welcome to the December News Update – This month finds the former boss of HMRC attack his old employer due his unease about the £2bn a year entrepreneurs tax relief, HMRC has issued new guidance to help educate service users about scams during the silly season and they have also released new guidance for businesses who order HMRC stationary, like P60 forms, from them directly.
Former HMRC Boss Calls On Government “To Scrap” Entrepreneur Tax Relief
The former head of HMRC, Sir Edward Troup, has called on HM Government to rethink the “controversial” tax break for entrepreneurs which he believes has cost the country and the Exchequer over £2bn a yea in lost tax receipts. He argues, the controversial scheme, provides “no incentives for real entrepreneurship”.
According to The Guardian:
“Sir Edward Troup, who was executive chair of HMRC from 2016 until January 2018, said whichever party won the general election on 12 December should abolish the “entrepreneurs’ relief” applied to capital gains tax (CGT). Troup’s intervention on Wednesday came in response to a Guardian report on Tuesday showing thousands of the country’s richest people were exploiting the policy to pay as little as 10% tax on billions of pounds’ worth of capital gains. “This inequity would be almost entirely eliminated by the abolition of entrepreneurs’ relief,” Troup, who had been a commissioner of HMRC since 2012, tweeted. “It gives £2bn CGT savings every year to those who have already made their gains and provides no incentive for real entrepreneurship.”
Troup later said that entrepreneurs’ relief – which reduces the tax bill on capital gains from 20% to 10% – had a “minimal impact on encouraging entrepreneurship in the UK”. He suggested that some of the thousands of people who applied for the relief were not in fact entrepreneurs, and that even if the break was being taken up by real entrepreneurs it was “not the best way to spend [government] money”. Troup said: “The point of entrepreneurs’ relief is that it rewards you when you make a lot of money. There are lots of things getting in the way of people becoming great entrepreneurs in this country, but the fear of tax on future gains is not one of them. “Absolutely, the government should be helping [entrepreneurs] set up great businesses here, but the idea that having to pay more tax at the end is preventing their inventing things is nonsense.”
Troup, who is now a consultant at McKinsey, said there was a “very strong case for [whichever party won the election] to ramp down entrepreneurs’ relief immediately.”
HMRC Warns Customers To “Be Aware Of Self-Assessment Tax Scams”
As the silly season begins, HMRC is raising awareness of tax scams as it tries to educate its service users about tax scams and to help them feel a little silly if they do fall foul of a scam. Annually, HMRC get nearly 1 million queries from the public regarding “suspicious” HMRC contact queries – with 100,000 telephone scams and over half a million “tax rebate” phishing scams. The latest advice is designed to keep HMRC customers safe.
According to HMRC:
“HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is warning millions of Self Assessment customers to be aware of fraudsters in the run up to the 31 January deadline. Over the last year, HMRC received nearly 900,000 reports from the public about suspicious HMRC contact – phone calls, texts or emails. More than 100,000 of these were phone scams, while over 620,000 reports from the public were about bogus tax rebates. Some of the most common techniques fraudsters use include phoning taxpayers offering a fake tax refund, or pretending to be HMRC by texting or emailing a link which will take customers to a false page, where their bank details and money will be stolen. Fraudsters are also known to threaten victims with arrest or imprisonment if a bogus tax bill is not paid immediately. HMRC operates a dedicated Customer Protection team to identify and close down scams but is advising customers to recognise the signs to avoid becoming victims themselves. Genuine organisations like HMRC and banks will never contact customers asking for their PIN, password or bank details. Customers should never give out private information, reply to text messages, download attachments or click on links in texts or emails which they are not expecting. Customers are urged to take action by forwarding details of suspicious calls or emails claiming to be from HMRC to [email protected] and texts to 60599. Customers who have suffered financial loss should contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040, or use their online fraud reporting tool. Customers can find out more information on GOV.UK on how to avoid and report scams and recognise genuine HMRC contact. If customers think they have received an HMRC-related phishing email or text message, they can check it against examples on GOV.UK.”
Need HMRC Stationary – New Guidance Issued
Have you run out of P60 forms or P45 forms? Well HMRC has issued new guidance for organisations requesting HMRC forms and documents. The new guidance for employers who need a form or a publication that is not available for download need to do the following:
“Call HMRC if you’re an employer and need a form or publication that you cannot download. If you are calling about an existing order have your order number ready. Tell the orderline adviser if you cannot download forms and publications from the internet but can access them from a disc. Phone the helpline if your order has not arrived after 7 working days. You can use NGT text relay if you cannot hear or speak on the phone: dial 18001 then 0345 300 3900.
Telephone:0300 123 1074
Opening times: Monday to Friday: 8am to 6pm
Closed weekends, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.
Best time to call: Busy times are 10am to midday on Mondays, and around the start of the tax year (6 April).”
Just a reminder of our opening times over Christmas & New Year