With many individuals having tax payments to make at the end of this month it is important to be aware that HMRC have announced that they will no longer accept payments made at the Post Office or by credit card.
HMRC have announced that with effect from 15 December 2017 it will no longer be possible to make payments to HMRC at a post office. The reason for this change is that contract with Santander, which allowed this method of payment, has expired. HMRC are advising that where electronic payment is not possible, payments can still be made at bank branches using a payslip and payments for self assessment income tax can still be posted to HMRC.
From 13 January 2018 it will no longer be possible to pay HMRC using a personal credit card. The timing of this change coincides with the date from which HMRC will no longer be permitted to charge fees for payment by credit card.
Internet link: ICAEW blog
HMRC are urging people to stay safe from a phone scam that is conning elderly and vulnerable people out of thousands of pounds.
The scammers are preying on victims by cold calling them and impersonating an HMRC member of staff. They advise the victim that they owe a large amount of tax which they can only pay off by digital vouchers and gift cards, including Apple’s iTunes vouchers.
The government has announced proposals to extend pensions auto enrolment to include younger workers and to amend the way in which contributions are calculated.
According to the press release:
The Welsh Parliament have announced changes to proposed rates and bands for Land Transaction Tax which is to be introduced in Wales from 1 April 2017.
The rates and bands will be confirmed in January 2018 but details of the proposed rates and bands are included in the following statement.
Internet links: GOV.WALES land-transaction-tax GOV.WALES statement
The Scottish government announced that they will introduce a new Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) relief for first-time buyers of properties up to £175,000. The relief will raise the zero tax threshold for first-time buyers from £145,000 to £175,000, and according to the Scottish government 80% of first-time buyers in Scotland will pay no LBTT at all. The Scottish government also announced that first-time buyers buying a property above £175,000 will also benefit from the relief on the portion of the price below the threshold.
The Scottish government announced that they will launch a consultation on the policy before introducing the first-time buyer relief in 2018/19. The relief for first-time buyers paying Stamp Duty Land Tax on first homes in the rest of the UK was introduced from 22 November 2017.
Internet link: GOV.SCOT publication
Finance Secretary Derek Mackay delivered the 2018/19 Scottish Draft Budget on Thursday 14 December 2017 setting out the Scottish government’s financial and tax plans.
The Scottish government has the power to set the rates and bands of income tax (other than those for savings and dividend income) which apply to Scottish resident taxpayers.