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Is salary sacrifice worth it for electric cars?

In January, the UK government introduced a zero emission vehicle mandate, which requires 100% of new cars and vans to be zero emission vehicles by 2035.

Despite this, electric car sales seem to have been stalling recently – perhaps due to difficult economic conditions with high interest rates.

One way to make electric vehicles more accessible to individuals is to use them in salary sacrifice schemes, as the taxable benefit is low for employees.

While it might seem counter-intuitive, opting into a salary sacrifice scheme for an electric car and taking the pay cut could actually boost an employee’s take-home pay, thanks to reduced Income Tax and National Insurance Contributions (NICs).

Why it’s important to have a well-written will

Relying on a homemade will comes with the risk of it being found invalid, as highlighted by the recent legal case of Ingram and Whitfield v Abraham 2023.

In this case, Joanne Abraham’s children were the original beneficiaries of her estate, but a homemade will drafted by her brother claimed that he should be the inheritor. However, the court found this will to be invalid, so Joanne’s estate went to her children after all.

Here’s what you should be aware of regarding invalid wills and the importance of keeping a well-written will up to date with Inheritance Tax (IHT) changes.

Renters Reform Bill update for landlords

The controversial Renters Reform Bill has taken a long time to pass through the House of Commons. After making some concessions in favour of landlords, the Bill must proceed through the House of Lords before becoming law.

So, what are the concessions, and how are leasehold properties affected? Here’s what landlords can expect if the Renters Reform Bill becomes law.

UK general election: 4th July 2024

In a bold move that took everyone by surprise, including members of his own party, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced on 22nd May that the next UK general election will take place in several weeks – on 4th July 2024.

Earlier in the year, Sunak said that he was working with the assumption that the election would be held ‘in the second half of the year’. While most people expected a winter election, the July date technically meets that description.

So, what happens next, and what does this mean for UK tax policies?

Has your tax status changed?

Frozen or reduced tax allowances and rising income – from interest, dividends, or pensions – all provide a recipe for higher tax bills and more taxpayers.

An increasing number of people who hadn’t been liable for tax before are discovering that they are now taxpayers, despite their only income in 2023–2024 coming from a State Pension (whether new or old).

Those who are affected by such tax changes should receive a simple assessment tax bill from HMRC (HM Revenue & Customs), as the DWP (Department of Work & Pensions) provides payment details.

Daily penalties for late self-assessment returns

If you miss the deadline for submitting a self-assessment tax return or for paying outstanding tax, HMRC can charge ongoing interest and financial penalties.

About 1.1 million people failed to submit their 2022–2023 self-assessment returns on time before the deadline of 31st January 2024, and now face daily penalty charges.

From 1st May, HMRC has been applying a £10 daily penalty for late submissions. This can run for up to 90 days, potentially reaching the maximum late fine of £900.

This penalty applies for late tax return submissions even if no tax is owed. For those with outstanding tax payments, HMRC can also charge up to 7.75% late payment interest, on top of a penalty of up to 5% of the outstanding balance.

The longer it takes to file your self-assessment tax return and pay any tax you owe, the more you’ll end up paying – so what should you do if you receive a penalty notice?

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