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Complying with Law Society accounts regulation is a not only daunting, but can be time consuming. Shipleys aim to take the burden of compliance away from your shoulders leaving you free to concentrate on your practice.

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  • VAT management
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Latest news & blogs…

Death of The Queen

Solicitors Shipleys Tax Advisors

A SAD, SOMBRE DAY for the UK and Commonwealth.

Most of us have only known the reign of Queen Elizabeth for as long as we can remember. Whatever your views on the monarchy she was arguably a remarkable woman – working tirelessly almost to her last day it seems. Spanning over 70 years she was a constant presence in the background of political, economical and natural change.

In an age where upstanding figureheads are painfully uncommon, she was an inspiration to many; her dignity, humility and graciousness won many hearts here in the UK and around the world. At times the Royal Family was controversial yes, but she was arguably the Queen for the people and the people loved her back.

A personal moment of loss for the Royal Family and many who felt they knew her, an era defining moment for the UK and its future.

Office Closure

Bank Holiday Monday 19th September 2022

As a mark of respect, the Shipleys Tax team will be taking the day off on the day of The Queen’s funeral, Monday 19th September and our office will be closed.

Normal business will resume on Tuesday 20th September.

BEWARE OF STAMP DUTY SCAM 

Solicitors Shipleys Tax Advisors

ANYONE THAT has recently purchased a property needs to be aware of stamp duty scam doing the rounds. HMRC is warning housebuyers to be wary of cold callers, or social media ads,  claiming that they are owed a refund of stamp duty land tax.

While such firms in many cases may be legitimate, they tend to charge a sizeable fee on any refunds receivable. This is almost always disproportionate to the work undertaken as such claims can be made directly by completing a simple form.

So what do homeowners need to watch out for?

HMRC has long warned taxpayers about so-called “high volume” tax repayment companies. These are companies that have a very limited purpose – usually attracting people in with the promise of large tax refunds of unclaimed allowances, e.g. for uniforms or the marriage allowance.

While such firms in many cases may be legitimate, they tend to charge a sizeable fee on any refunds receivable. This is almost always disproportionate to the work undertaken as such claims can be made directly by completing a simple form.

However, some supposed refund firms are actually fraudsters with questionable motives. HMRC is now warning about a recent spate of stamp duty tax refund claims that have not met the criteria for a refund. These usually prey on the unsuspecting public via cold calling or social media ads.

One such method that Shipleys Tax have encountered appears to be where the scammer approaches a homeowner claiming that they could be eligible for “multiple dwellings relief” for extremely spurious reasons, e.g. because a bedroom has an en-suite bathroom or a built-in wardrobe which “could be used as a kitchen” etc. While these claims may simply be rejected outright, the worry is that in some cases the refund is initially processed, the scammer takes their “fee”, and the homeowner then receives a demand for repayment of the refund, with interest and possibly even penalties. Naturally, by then the potential scammer has then disappeared.

Anyone receiving such a letter or being approached should refer it to the professional that handled their conveyance to ensure nothing has been missed. We also advise them to contact a tax specialist for guidance. We would also reiterate that are also many legitimate firms who genuinely work to recover tax refunds and provide a thoroughly professional service.

If you are affected by any of the issues above and would like more information, please call 0114 272 4984 or email info@shipleystax.com.

Please note that Shipleys Tax do not give free advice by email or telephone.

Getting VAT back on Electric Cars

Solicitors Shipleys Tax Advisors

CLIMATE CHANGE and sustainability are currently on everyone’s agenda, with society being encouraged to take steps to reduce its carbon footprint wherever possible.

As part of this, the Government has introduced various tax reliefs and favourable treatments for electric cars, encouraging business owners and individuals to opt for the new Tesla or Porsche Taycan as opposed to the petrol or diesel alternatives.

In today’s Shipleys Tax blog, we consider one of the most frequently asked VAT question: whether VAT can be reclaimed on the purchase or lease of electric cars. Note, the comments below are intended only to be a general guide and not advice on a VAT reclaim.

…we consider one of the most frequently asked VAT question: whether VAT can be reclaimed on the purchase or lease of electric cars.

VAT reclaim on electric vehicles

From a VAT perspective there are no special reliefs relating to electric vehicles. So currently, electric vehicles are subject to the same rates of VAT as their diesel or petrol counterparts, i.e. 20%. Further to this, the rules for reclaiming VAT incurred on an electric vehicle depends on whether it is purchased or leased and is the same as for non-electric vehicles:

  • Leased cars – where an electric car on lease is available for any private use, only 50% of the VAT paid can be recovered. This is to take into account the private element of the vehicles use. Note however, VAT paid on any servicing or maintenance charge can be recovered in full. As such it is more tax efficient to ensure that a service contract is taken separately to the lease.
  • Purchased cars – where an electric car is purchased but available for private use (e.g., has private insurance, is kept at home over night etc) no VAT is reclaimable. This includes cars purchased outright, hire purchase cars and generally personal contract purchases.
  • Commercial vehicles – commercial electric vehicles such as vans, lorries etc with incidental private use are entitled to full VAT recovery. It is worthwhile noting that for VAT purposes commercial vehicles also include certain types of pick-up trucks and modified cars.

…where an electric car on lease is available for any private use, only 50% of the VAT paid can be recovered. This is to take into account the private element of the vehicles use.

How to reclaim all the VAT on electric cars

This is a complex area and quite beyond the scope of this blog. However, in some very specific circumstances, businesses may be entitled to recover full VAT on electric cars. This is where businesses can show that the car is used wholly for business and NOT available for private use. Typically this applies only to “pool cars” and cars use in a trade (e.g., taxi or vehicle leasing business). Whilst in theory it may be possible to argue 100% recovery on other cars under the “wholly for business” case, in practice it is a different matter altogether. Detailed evidence would need to be maintained proving the car is only available strictly for business and no private use is allowed. This could be for example ensuring the car is only insured for business journeys, or the car is only kept overnight at business premises, or contractual restrictions provide that the business only journeys are allowed. There is no standard process here and HMRC would certainly look to challenge the VAT treatment, as such this is an exception rather than the rule and would need careful planning.

…in some very specific circumstances, businesses may be entitled to recover full VAT on electric cars. This is where businesses can show that the car is used wholly for business and NOT available for private use.

Charging electric vehicles: Reclaiming VAT

HMRC currently allow recovery on VAT on electric charging costs on the following basis:

Home charging

VAT incurred on charging an electric vehicle at home for sole traders and or partners in a business can be recovered on the business miles only. As such, HMRC expect detailed mileage records to be kept showing the private use.

This does not apply to employees of a business as the supply of the electricity in this case is made directly to the individual employee and not the business, therefore does not meet the business test.

Public charging

Business miles incurred by sole traders, partners and employees can reclaim the VAT they incur when charging their vehicles at a public charging point. Mileage records detailing the business usage should be kept supporting the reclaim.

VAT incurred on charging an electric vehicle at home for sole traders and or partners in a business can be recovered on the business miles only.

Charging at a business premises

Where vehicles are charged at the business’s premises, and are used for business and private mileage, a record detailing business and private use should be kept.

The business has two options in this case as follows:

  • The business can restrict the VAT it claims on electricity and reclaim VAT only on the electricity used for business purposes; or
  • Reclaim all VAT on the cost of electricity and pay output VAT to HMRC on any electricity used privately.

HMRC to ease VAT burden?

Currently, these methods for VAT recovery involve significant amount of record keeping and administration for what is potentially small amounts of VAT recovery. HMRC have taken note of this and are considering simplifications which may reduce the burden of evidence on currently imposed – so watch this space.

If you are planning on purchasing or leasing an electric vehicle and would like to know whether you can recover the VAT, please call 0114 272 4984 or email info@shipleystax.com.

Please note that Shipleys Tax do not give free advice by email or telephone.

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