Weekly tax brief | 30 March 2021

Paying dividends – as simple as 1,2,3…or is it?
Tyrone Courtman
For years it’s been common practice for directors of owner-manged businesses to reward themselves through dividend payments rather than through the payroll, largely because of the more attractive taxation treatment. Dividend payments pre-suppose the company has sufficient distributable reserves to do so, but the impact of coronavirus means some may struggle to make these payments.

HMRC’s clock is ticking for collecting offshore liabilities
Sian King
HMRC has issued a further tranche of offshore nudge letters this month, once again stating that it has information which shows the taxpayer may have received overseas income or gains which have not been subject to UK tax. The letters do not always detail the information HMRC has, but normally a brief telephone call to the helpline can shine a light on the data held.

Do you really need to pay your capital gains tax within 30 days?
Elaine Shiels
Property sales have been booming recently with the stamp duty holiday, and while many taxpayers will need to report and pay their capital gains tax on residential property within 30 days, we are urging them to check whether they can submit their self-assessment tax return early instead of using HMRC’s “capital gains tax on UK property” account.

Making Tax Digital for VAT: don’t forget digital links
Tom Gilbert and Richard Holm
Since Making Tax Digital was first introduced for some VAT registered businesses in 2019, the digital links aspect of the new rules was misunderstood and regarded as the hardest to implement. The same remains true today, but for many taxpayers 1 April marks the first day of the first VAT return period that must comply with these new rules.

And finally…hidden history
Sarah Saunders
Most people are unaware they have the right to view privately held inheritance tax-exempt, heritage items. Viewings of such artefacts are currently suspended, but you can now check the register for the hidden historical gems you are entitled to see.