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August Questions and Answers

Newsletter issue - August 2014

Q. In July 2011 I sold a property which had been used for my business. I planned to reinvest the proceeds in another property, but that acquisition never happened. I know I should now pay Capital Gains Tax on the gain made in July 2011. How do I go about doing that?

A. The period in which you should have reinvested the proceeds ran out in July 2014, so you do need to pay the CGT due for 2011/12 unless you get the tax inspector to agree to extend the period for reinvestment. He will only agree to an extension if you were prevented from reinvesting by circumstances beyond your control.

The disposal made in July 2011 should have been reported on your 2011/12 tax return as part of your provisional claim for roll-over relief. You should now write to the tax office to withdraw that provisional claim and declare the full taxable gain. The tax will be payable immediately and interest will run from 31 January 2013.

Q. I work as a self-employed courier for a large courier company who operates self-billing for VAT purposes and pays me monthly. I have just registered for VAT which has been back-dated to 1 May 2014. What should I do to collect the VAT due for May, June and July?

A. You should ask your customer if it is acceptable for you to issue a VAT only invoice to them. Calculate the VAT due as if the total amounts you have received in May to July under self-billing are the net amount of your fees for the period. You should also supply your customer with a copy of your VAT registration certificate, so the company knows to add VAT to your self-billing invoices in the future.

Q. My personal service company is about take on an IT servicing contract in Belgium. The customer will pay me a rate for every day I attend their premises, on top of my fee for the whole contract. This 'per diem' rate is less than HMRC's benchmark rate for expenses when working in Belgium. Can it be paid directly to me personally or should it be paid to my personal service company?

A. The 'per diem' rate should be paid to your company and be included in its turnover for VAT purposes, so treat it as a gross receipt including VAT. Your company can pay you expenses for working abroad, at or below the HMRC agreed benchmark rates. Do not short circuit this by accepting the per diem rate straight into your personal bank account as this will create a VAT mess.

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