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April Question and Answer Section

Newsletter issue - April 2012.

Q. I am about to move abroad, for what I hope will be a permanent relocation. Can I continue to contribute to my tax-free ISAs in the UK?

A. To open an ISA you must be resident and ordinarily resident in the UK for tax purposes. This broadly means that you normally live in the UK. There are exceptions for members of the military and government employees who are sent to work abroad. Once you have emigrated, you will not be permitted to open a new ISA, or contribute to ISAs already held. Also the interest paid on the ISAs you already hold may be taxable in the country you live in.

Q. If a company pays for private medical insurance for its employees and the contract is between the employer and the insurance company, is there a tax charge on the employees? Can the company deduct the cost of the insurance from its profits?

A. Where the employees earn £8,500 or more a year, or are directors, there is a tax charge for the individuals based on the cost to the company of the insurance. There are exceptions to this tax charge for eye-tests required by health and safety legislation, annual medical checks or health screenings. The company can deduct the cost of the insurance from its profits, as it is part of the cost of employing staff.

Q. I bought an investment property about 6 years ago and after expenses I have a surplus of about £250 per month. I have never declared this income or paid tax on it. How do I go about putting this right?

A. The Taxman is running a series of campaigns to encourage people to come clean about unpaid tax, the latest of which is aimed at people who sell through online markets. Although this is not your situation, you can make a disclosure of your rental profits. You will have to work out how much tax you owe and the interest due on that late paid tax, but we can help you with this. There will also be a penalty to pay, but as you are volunteering the information without being asked, the penalty should be minimal. The penalty could possibly be about 10% of the tax due.

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