Government brings forward state pension age rise

Published on 11th December 2017

The government recently announced that the rise in the state pension age from 67 to 68 will now be phased in between 2037 and 2039 – earlier than originally planned.

Those individuals born between 6 April 1970 and 5 April 1978 will be affected, whilst anybody born 5 April 1970 or earlier will not see a change. David Gauke, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, stated that the government is committed to ensuring a ‘fair and sustainable system’ that is ‘reflective of modern life and protected for future generations’.

Meanwhile, a separate report published by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) revealed that women between the ages of 60 and 62 have been left ‘worse off’ as a result of a recent rise in their state pension age. The IFS found that, as a result of the state pension age increase from 60 to 63, women between the ages of 60 and 62 have experienced a £32 reduction in their weekly household income, leading to a rise in poverty rates amongst women of this age. The government’s eventual aim is to align women’s state pension age with that of men.

We can help you plan for a prosperous retirement – please contact us for advice.

Additional requirements for PSCs

New rules on transparency of ownership introduced in 2016 imposed a series of new obligations on UK companies and limited liability partnerships (LLPs), as well as those holding interests in UK companies.

Since April 2016, most companies have been required to produce and maintain a register of Persons with Significant Control (PSC) register, which provides details of those who ultimately control or exercise significant control over the company. From 30 June 2016, companies were required to submit their PSC information to Companies House via their confirmation statement (which replaced the previous annual return).

However, as part of the implementation of the Fourth Money Laundering Directive (4MLD), additional rules have now been introduced, meaning that PSCs are no longer updated annually via the confirmation statement, but instead must be maintained in real time.

Under the new rules, and in addition to the annual confirmation statement, if a company has reason to believe that details relating to a PSC have changed, it will need to act swiftly to determine the change. The PSC register must be updated within 14 days of the company becoming aware of the amendment, and the changes must be submitted to Companies House within a further 14 days.

The PSC regime has also now been extended to apply to Scottish limited partnerships (SLPs) and Scottish qualified partnerships.

Tax benefits for amateur sports clubs

Amateur sports clubs are being encouraged to make use of the tax exemptions that are available to them. In particular, recent guidance from the Association of Taxation Technicians (ATT) has highlighted that registering as a Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC) could bring the club similar tax benefits to an organisation with charitable status.

Such benefits include an exemption from tax on capital gains, bank interest, trading profits (as long as the club’s trading turnover does not exceed £50,000 per annum) and up to £30,000 of rental income.

Sports clubs seeking to sell their premises, for instance, stand to benefit significantly from the tax exemption on capital gains.

Additionally, and again in a similar manner to a charity, where a CASC receives donations it might be able to top these up with ‘Gift Aid’ repayments from HMRC.

A CASC may also be eligible for charitable rate relief of up to 80%, or discretionary relief (100%) on business rates.

For more information on the tax rules governing CASCs, please get in touch.

New penalties for failure to correct offshore tax matters

Accountancy industry experts are warning taxpayers to consider carefully the government’s proposed new penalties for failing to correct previously undeclared UK tax liabilities in respect of offshore interests.

Under proposals that are due to become law by the end of the year, the government’s ‘Requirement to Correct’ regime obliges taxpayers with such undeclared past UK tax liabilities to correct their UK tax affairs by 30 September 2018 – or face tough new penalties.

The new rules mean that taxpayers could face stringent fines based on both the value of the assets and the tax due.

This builds on a new criminal offence for tax evasion introduced in 2016 for those who fail to declare offshore income or gains. Enforcement
of this has become exponentially more feasible as HMRC now has access to financial information regarding taxpayers from more than 100 overseas jurisdictions, including information relating to overseas interests.

For more information on the taxation of offshore assets and the requirement to correct please contact us.