SDLT rush

Buyers rush to beat stamp duty changeConveyancing solicitors have been swamped with clients demanding they complete house purchases ahead of the imposition of a stamp duty surcharge. From Friday, higher rates of stamp duty applying to buy-to-let will mean the bill on a £250,000 home will rise from £2,500 to £10,000. Estate agency Haart said…

Tax on business warning

SMALL BUSINESS: Most businesses unready for quarterly online reporting A survey by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales (ICAEW) shows that only 25 per cent of companies maintain their accounts using dedicated accounting software, most of them being medium and large businesses. A further 19 per cent keep electronic accounts using general-purpose…

Tax on builders 

ENFORCEMENT: Retrospective tax charge on contractors’ loans could bankrupt taxpayers Some of the 2016 Finance Bill’s measures against disguised remuneration will introduce an inordinately high retrospective tax charge on historical contractors’ loans, practitioners have warned. Many former contractors could lose their homes or even be made bankrupt by the new tax charge. 

Fraud on Solicitors

UK law firms fall foul of £85m Friday fraud hackers Research by QBE reveals hackers have stolen £85m from British law firms during the past 18 months. The thefts tend to occur on Fridays, when many housing deals complete and solicitors move their clients’ money. John P Hagan Solicitors offer a full range of legal…

TAX POLICY: Budget ‘crackdown’ on personal service companies  This week’s Budget will stop freelance contractors taking their remuneration as dividends from personal service companies instead of taxable income, according to several newspapers’ accounts of a Treasury briefing. It is not clear whether the advertised measure is one of those already announced in last year’s Budget…

Cameras in Court

TV cameras allowed in courts in England  Television cameras are to be allowed into crown courts, including the Old Bailey, for the first time. The government said that judges’ sentencing remarks at eight courts in England and Wales would be filmed in a pilot scheme to start within weeks, The Times reports. If successful, it…

Privacy Injunctions

Court of Appeal signals return of privacy injunctions People in open relationships had their privacy rights reinforced after senior judges ruled yesterday that a well-known figure in the entertainment industry can keep his extramarital “threesome” secret. Appeal judges said that the man, who can only be named as PJS, was entitled to a legal ban…