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TV presenter Adrian Chiles has cleared the first hurdle in his battle against HMRC’s insistence that his working arrangements with ITV and the BBC amounted to an employer-employee relationship in all but name. The First-tier Tribunal ruled that, considering all factors, Mr Chiles was clearly building a business via his company (Basic Broadcasting Ltd). It then considered whether the activities with the two broadcasters would lead to a conclusion that Mr Chiles was carrying on a business in his own right in the absence of the company. It held that this was the case, and the appeal was upheld. However, it is likely that HMRC will appeal given the reported size of the tax at stake.

Basis period rules amended

In response to criticism of the draft basis period reform provisions of the Finance Bill, an amendment has been made. To recap, 2023/24 will be a transitional year – taxing profits from both the standard basis period, and a transition component from the end of that period to 5 April 2024. This will lead to a long period of account for tax purposes for many unincorporated businesses. The original draft excluded the transition component from net income in order to avoid artificially inflating it above key thresholds, e.g. for the high income child benefit charge. However, this had a further consequence in that certain reliefs could not be used to reduce the tax on that component, including EIS relief. This has been addressed in the amended version.

Late payment interest

Following the Bank of England’s decision to raise the base interest rate by 0.25%, HMRC has followed suit. The new rate of 3% applies to late payments from 21 February.

Student loan repayment thresholds

The level of income graduates and postgraduates can earn before needing to make repayments of student loans for 2022/23 have been confirmed as follows:

Loan type
Income threshold (£)
Rate of deduction
Plan 1
20,195
9%
Plan 2
27,295
9%
Plan 3 (PG)
21,000
6%
Plan 4
25,375
9%

MTD for VAT

Although the new penalty regime to replace the default surcharge has been delayed until January 2023, the expansion of compulsory compliance with MTD for VAT to voluntarily registered businesses is going ahead from 1 April 2022. Businesses will need to be compliant from their first VAT period starting on or after 1 April 2022.

Marriage allowance

HMRC has issued a reminder that married couples may be missing out on up to £252 per year by failing to claim the marriage allowance. As the claim can be backdated for four previous years, a claim can lead to a significant repayment which may be very useful given the forthcoming energy price rises.

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