HM Revenue & Customs has started carrying out PAYE tax investigations remotely

It has been reported that HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has begun carrying out PAYE investigations remotely.

The investigation begins with a phone call, inviting the employer to complete a survey sent by email. There is a concern amongst accountants that the wording of some of these questions could trip up unwary employers and prompt full-scale tax enquiries.

If you receive a call relating to a PAYE tax investigation, please contact us for professional advice before you return any information to HMRC.

25,000 companies receive penalties for the late filing of accounts in just one month

The latest data from Companies House shows that thousands of penalties were handed out for the late filing of company accounts, with more than 25,000 companies missing a deadline on 30 September.

This date marks a common deadline for companies, according to Companies House, with a further 643 companies narrowly avoiding a penalty by filing their accounts in the final hours.

The penalties issued in September are on top of the 223,640 late filing penalties issued in 2018 (the most recent year for which data is held). This includes all corporate bodies to which late filing penalties apply, such as private limited companies and limited liability partnerships.

Limited companies are required to file annual statutory accounts with Companies House. The deadline for this filing depends on when a company incorporated. A company will automatically be assigned a date for the company’s ‘end of financial year’ and this date is the last day in the month that the limited company was incorporated.

Companies House Senior Enforcement Manager, Ian Gronland said: “September can be a busy time for many people. However, if you are a company director you should be aware of your responsibilities to file annual accounts with Companies House on time. Failure to do so will result in a late filing penalty.

“Filing electronically is easier and faster, and our digital services have in-built checks to ensure that any necessary information is provided before accounts can be submitted.”

Link: Thousands of companies missed crucial accounts deadline last year

New figures show a sharp increase in Inheritance Tax (IHT) receipts

New figures published by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) have revealed a significant increase in the number and value of Inheritance Tax (IHT) receipts.

The figures, which relate to the 2016/17 tax year, show a 15 per cent increase in the number of estates paying IHT in comparison with the previous year, rising from 24,500 to 28,100.

At the same time, there was a three per cent increase in IHT receipts from £5.2 billion to £5.4 billion.

The average IHT bill in 2016/17 was £179,000, with 72 per cent coming from estates worth more than £1 million.

The increase follows a trend that has continued since 2009 and which has been widely attributed to the freezing of the £325,000 IHT threshold.

The new figures predate the introduction of the Residence Nil-Rate Band (RNRB) in 2017/18, which provides an additional tax-free threshold to people who leave their main residence to a direct descendant, such as a child or grandchild.

Link: Inheritance tax hits more estates in record receipts of £5.4 bn