Thursday, 19 September 2013

Double taxation - are you paying too much tax ?

Are you being taxed twice ? I had two recent cases where individuals were being taxed twice, in the UK and Norway.

There are many double-tax treaties between the UK and other countries, both inside and outside the EU. These are in place to stop individuals and companies being taxed twice for working and operating in a different country and their home country. This can especially adversely affect individuals who do not know that there are such treaties and do not have access to information to help them. There are also agreements in place in respect of National/Social Insurance. Even less is know by individuals about these.

Most responsible employers do try to help their employees but what about the self-employed, contractors and small businesses who do not have accountants to hand to research and give advice and assistance ?

Overseas workers should check with their employers to be sure they are being taxed correctly or consult an independent professional.

Self-Assessment tax returns & Child Benefits

Those earning over £50,000 per year and claiming Child Benefits must now declare these benefits through the Self-Assessment tax return process. Failure to do so could result in a penalty.

High income earners must register by 5 October 2013 to avoid a penalty.

HMRC has added the Child Benefit declaration to the self-assessment tax return process but it seems that it has not been widely advertised. High income earners who are employed under PAYE schemes and who may not have filed self-assessment tax returns before may not be aware or prepared for this.

If you are in this category then you must call the HMRC helpline as soon as possible and request a Unique Tax Reference (UTR). It will take HMRC up to two weeks to issue the UTR so this should be done immediately.