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Help-to-Buy scheme

The Help-to-Buy scheme has helped 146,753 property transactions between its start in December 2015 and the end of March 2018. A total of 196,007 bonuses were paid, not all of which were used to buy homes. The mean average price of a property bought under the scheme is £172,448, compared to an average £188,429 for a first-time buyer and £224,144 for an average home. HMRC says that 67% of s...
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Cryptocurrency fraud

In the two months of June and July 2018, there were 203 reports of fraud involving cryptocurrencies involving £2 million, according to Action Fraud. The body warns the public about the danger of Get Rich Quick schemes, whatever they see on Dragons Den. [18.08]
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Katie Hopkins faces insolvency

Controversial commentator Katie Hopkins applied for an individual voluntary agreement (IVA) in May 2018, it has recently been revealed. This follows losing a libel case against food writer Jack Monroe. In 2015, Hopkins sent tweets which falsely stated that Monroe backed the defacing of war memorials. She had confused Hopkins with Laurie Penny. Monroe originally said she would accept an apolo...
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Same roof rule to end for abuse compensation

The government is to scrap the "same roof" rule for crime compensation, it was announced on 9 September 2018. The rule denied compensation to victims of any kind of abuse who lived under the same roof as the abuser. The rule was abolished in 1979 prospectively but not retrospectively. In July 2018, the Court of Appeal was unable to award compensation to a woman who was sexually abused by her...
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Bicarbonate reclaims

Companies that charged VAT when selling bicarbonate of soda for cooking may claim a refund. In the case Phoenix Foods Ltd [2018], it was held that bicarbonate of soda was zero-rated when sold as a baking agent rather than as a cleaning product. The usual rules about the four-year time limit and unjust enrichment apply. A claim must be made in writing. Revenue and Customs Brief 8 (2018).
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Ground for late appeal

A late appeal against beer duty was not allowed, following the five principles of Data Select [2012] UKUT 187. The upper tribunal so decided on 24 April 2018. The delay of 15 months was a "significant and serious delay" requiring good reason to allow a late appeal. In this case, the delay was caused because the taxpayer could not afford legal representation earlier. The taxpayer could bring the...
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Late appeal allowed after four years

The first tier tribunal allowed an appeal that was four years late. Under Taes Management Act 1970 s29, an appeal must be made within 30 days unless there is reasonable excuse. A late appeal may be allowed by HMRC or a tribunal. The case related to discovery assessments for inheritance tax in respect of Mark Collins who died suddenly, without a will, in August 2013. Collins had a buy-to-let ...
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Waiver is remuneration

Waiver of a loan account is remuneration, the first tier tribunal decided. The issue was tested in six related appeals. This was not a "release" within the meaning of Income Tax (Trading and Other Income) Act 2005 s415. A release means releasing a director from the obligation to repay a loan. If the employer and employee exchange something of equal value, there is no release but a set-off. ...
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Caste discrimination

The government has decided not to make caste discrimination a distinct offence. Instead it will use existing equality laws. Caste discrimination is not expressly prohibited. Equality Act 2010 s9 (as amended) allows the government to introduce secondary legislation making caste an aspect of race. The coalition government of 2015 said they would do this. The Conservative Government reviewed it...
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First release of new Customs software

.On 14 August 2018, HMRC successfully implemented the first software release for the new Customs Declaration Service (CDS). This replaces the current Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) which is now 25 years old. CDS is being introduced in three phases between August 2018 and spring 2019. Further roll-outs are expected in November and December 2018. CDS can be scaled up to ...
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