Tax Guru

This feature is sponsored by: TaxAssist Elgin

Writing exclusively for Moray Life, Elgin-based tax and accountancy specialist Andrew Richardson gives advice on financial matters to small businesses.

If you have a tax query then please submit your questions directly to Moray-Life using this form and Andrew will try to give you a response on this page next month.


Tax Guru 08-2013

Hello again!

My name is Andrew Richardson and I have been running TaxAssist Accountants in Elgin for six years. I am hoping that this tax advice section will become an interactive feature. Submit your tax and accountancy questions to Moray Life and I’ll answer a sample of them each month, along with a brief summary of the tax issues we should be looking out for.

Q: My wife and I have some properties in join names but I stumped-up most of the cash to buy them so I tend to take the lion's share of the income from them too. But I have been told the income HAS to be split 50:50 - is this correct?

A: 50:50 is the position by default. If you live with your spouse or civil partner, the income from property held in joint names will be split into equal shares; regardless of any other circumstances.

However, as this system puts married couples at a disadvantage to those who are unmarried, there is now a way for married couples to apply to have income allocated in an unequal way.

This does involve an application process and you are unlikely to be successful if your motives are solely to shift more income to an individual paying tax at a lower rate ( you can find the form here ).

Q: I originally told HMRC that P11Ds were due for my employees but it turned out that there were no payments or benefits to return. I sent the form back full of zeros and added a wee note. Was that right?

A: You did the right thing. HMRC will expect P11Ds and a P11D(b) from anyone who requests them and if they don't arrive they apply a late filing penalty.

Anyone in the same circumstance should complete the P11D(b) with nil entries and by ticking the appropriate box stating 'No expenses payments or benefits of the type to be returned on forms P11D have been or will be provided'. Sign and date as normal and send it to HMRC.

Alternatively, you could have informed HMRC online that no P11Ds were due. This can be done through Government Gateway or by using your payroll software.

You'll need your national insurance number when you contact them. This can be found on your wage slip or P60. If HMRC agree that your code should be changed, they will contact your employer. The process can take a few weeks to complete.

Q: My first tax credit renewal pack since becoming self-employed arrived last month and I'm still not sure how to fill it in. Do I need to complete my tax return before I fill in the renewal form?

A: Ideally, you should complete your renewal form with the figures entered from your tax return for the last tax year, i.e. year ended 5th April 2013. This will ensure that your tax credits award is as accurate as possible.

However, if you have not completed your accounts and tax return for the most recent tax year, you may submit estimated figures to the Tax Credit Office. This must still be done on the renewal forms and by the 31st of July as normal.

You must supply the Tax Credit Office with the actual figures as soon as possible though - and no later than the 31st of January 2014 (please visit - for more information).


If you have a tax query then please submit your questions to Moray Life and I'll try to give a response next month.  And always remember...

'HMRC slogan: we've got what it takes to take what you've got.'

By Andrew Richardson

TaxAssist Accountants Moray

Andrew’s contact details:

Please see my TaxAssist page for more details.