Budget 2010

Unexciting budget

While the budget did not introduce any VAT changes in its own right, a number of changes will be effective from 1 April. Some of these are fairly important. It is worth reading on in case you are affected.

Stealth taxes

Along with the anticipated increases in duties the standard rate of landfill tax will increase to £48 per tonne.

New tax on telephone landlines begins 1 October @ 50p per month for each line.

Paying your VAT by cheque?

If you submit paper returns & pay by cheque, the cheque will need to clear into HMRC’s bank account, on or before the due date for the return.  Failure to comply can lead to surcharges. Why not go for electronic returns and pay by direct debit. You get to keep your money for 10 days longer.

Partially exempt and deminimis?

There are new deminimis tests that mean you might not have to cope with those quarterly calculations. These supplement, rather than replace, the existing tests.

Time limits for HMRC assessments

Following a transitional arrangement the standard limit is now 4 years; some errors relating to avoidance schemes now fall into the 20-year regime along with failure to notify & evasion.

Land & property subject to an option to tax

There is now some relaxation of the anti avoidance provisions; up to now these have caught far too many innocent taxpayers. There are simplified conditions for the 6-month cooling off period.

New penalties for late returns

Penalties start at £100 and rise to £400. They add to, rather than replace surcharges.

VAT registration limit

The VAT registration limit is up to £70,000.

Fuel scale charges

Rates enhanced from 1st May.