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Who pays Inheritance Tax?

Inheritance Tax (IHT) is levied on a person’s estate when they die and can also be payable during a person’s lifetime on certain trusts and gifts. The rate of Inheritance Tax payable is 40% on death and 20% on lifetime gifts. IHT is payable at a reduced rate on some assets if an individual leaves 10% or more of the ‘net value’ to charity of their estate.

There is a nil-rate band, currently £325,000 below which no Inheritance Tax is payable. In addition, there is an IHT residence nil-rate band (RNRB) which relates to a main residence passed down to a direct descendent such as children or grandchildren. The RNRB of £175,000 (where available) is additional to the £325,000 Inheritance Tax nil-rate band.

Funds from the deceased estate are usually used to pay IHT. If there is a will, it is usually the executor who deals with paying any IHT due to HMRC. IHT can be paid from funds within the estate, or from money raised from the sale of the assets. Payment of any IHT due is often made using the Direct Payment Scheme (DPS) whereby some or all of the IHT is paid from the deceased person’s accounts directly to HMRC. The deceased may also have used a life insurance policy to fund the payment of some / all the IHT due.

Once the IHT and any outstanding debts are paid, the executor or administrator can distribute what remains of the estate. The beneficiaries of the will do not normally need to pay IHT on their inheritance, but there are exceptions.

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Tax and accounts

If you are self-employed, as a sole trader or in partnership, the profits from your business are treated as part of your income for Income Tax and self-employed National Insurance purposes. As a consequence, the amount of tax payable on your self-employment is difficult to define in isolation and is why your trading accounts do not include a calculation of Income Tax and NIC payable.

Accordingly, if you are self-employed, any balance on your capital account (the amount of money you have introduced plus profits less any drawings made) is most likely overstated as you will need to pay any taxes due as increased drawings in the following accounting period.

Contrast this with limited companies.

Companies pay Corporation Tax (CT) on company profits. Company profits are not added to shareholders’ income to determine tax due. Which is why company accounts do include a charge for CT in the year end accounts.

In most cases, this computation of CT is made annually, at the end of each trading year, but it is perfectly possible to estimate CT monthly and include those estimates in your management accounts. In this way you can keep an eye on CT liabilities and how they affect your company retained profits position.

You can also use the estimates to consider how you will pay these future CT liabilities.

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Tax Diary July/August 2020

1 July 2020 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 30 September 2019.
6 July 2020 – Complete and submit forms P11D return of benefits and expenses and P11D(b) return of Class 1A NICs.
19 July 2020 – Pay Class 1A NICs (by the 22 July 2020 if paid electronically).
19 July 2020 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 July 2020. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 July 2020)
19 July 2020 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly return for the month ended 5 July 2020.
19 July 2020 – CIS tax deducted for the month ended 5 July 2020 is payable by today.
31 July 2020 – Self-assessment second payment on account for 2019-20 is due. The government has announced measures that will allow many tax payers to delay this payment until January 2021, if they wish.
1 August 2020 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 31 October 2019.
19 August 2020 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 August 2020. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 August 2020)
19 August 2020 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly return for the month ended 5 August 2020.
19 August 2020 – CIS tax deducted for the month ended 5 August 2020 is payable by today.

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Corporation Tax – carrying back losses

Corporation Tax relief may be available where a company or organisation makes a trading loss. The loss may be used to claim relief from Corporation Tax by offsetting the loss against other gains or profits of the business in the same or accounting period.

Where the amount of a trading loss exceeds the profits of the same accounting period, the company may claim to carry back the excess against the profits of preceding accounting periods. The preceding accounting periods are those falling wholly or partly within the preceding period.

Losses may only be carried back against profits of a preceding accounting period if the company was carrying on the trade (in which the loss was incurred) at some time in that accounting period.

Any claim for trading losses forms part of the Company Tax Return. The trading profit or loss for Corporation Tax purposes is calculated by making the usual tax adjustments to the figure of profit or loss shown in the company’s or organisation’s financial accounts.

If a company ceases to carry on a trade, the preceding period is three years preceding the accounting period in which the loss is incurred. Accounting periods must be taken in order, most recent first.

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Expenses and benefits filing deadlines

The deadline for submitting the 2019-20 forms P11D, P11D(b) and P9D is 6 July 2020. Employees must also be provided with a copy of their P11D by the same date.

Employers pay Class 1A National Insurance contributions on most benefits. If you provided taxable benefits to staff or directors your business is likely to have a Class 1A employers’ NIC liability. The deadline for paying class 1A NICs is 22 July 2020 (or 19 July if paying by cheque).

P11D forms are used to provide information to HMRC on all Benefits in Kind (BiKs), including those under the Optional Remuneration Arrangements (OpRAs) unless the employer has registered to payroll benefits. This is known as payrolling and removes the requirement to complete a P11D for the selected benefits. However, a P11D(b) is still required for Class 1A National Insurance payments regardless of whether the benefits are being reported via P11D or payrolled.

Where no benefits were provided during 2019-20 and a form P11D(b) or P11D(b) reminder is received, employers can either submit a ‘nil’ return or notify HMRC online that no return is required. Employers should ensure that they complete their P11Ds accurately, including the full details of cars and loans provided. There are penalties for late filing of returns.

Any tax or National Insurance due for 2019-20 under a PAYE Settlement Agreement (PSA) needs to be paid electronically to clear into HMRC’s bank account by 22 October 2020 (19 October 2020 for payments by cheque).

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