Travel to Europe for business

The UK has officially left the EU on 31 January 2021. Consequently, there are new rules for travel to Europe for business or holiday when the COVID restrictions lift. Be prepared, plan ahead and get ready for your trip.

Passport

You must make sure your passport has at least 6 months of validity left and must not be less than 10 years old. If your passport has less than 6 months, you can renew your British passport here. Generally, it takes 3 months to get your new passport if you apply online and it takes longer if you apply by post. Do plan your trip ahead.

Driving to Europe

Check in advance of the countries you are visiting in Europe. you may need to apply for International Driving Permit (IDP). You can obtain the IDP from a post office in the UK. You must already have either a valid UK driving license or a Northern Ireland driving license.

There are different types of IDP. Which IDP you need is dependent on which country or countries you are visiting and how long you are going to drive there.

Click here to see which IDP you need to apply.

Visa or work permit to enter a country

You may need a visa or work permit if you are planning to visit a country in Europe for more than 90 days in a 180-day period.

If you are doing the following then you would need a work permit or visa:

  • Relocating from a UK company or a branch to a branch in a different country. This is called intra-corporate transfer. You would need a visa even for a short period of time.
  • Providing a service according to contracts to your customer in another country in which your employer has no presence.
  • Providing your services in another country as a self-employed person.

Click here for business travel tips to Europe.

Mobile roaming charges

Contact your mobile network provider to enquire about the roaming charges as you do not want to end up with a huge bill. Sometimes, It may be cheaper to use local mobile network in the country you are visiting for a long period of time rather than using a roaming service.

Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC)

Consider applying for the Global Health Insurance Card, especially if your European Health Insurance Card has expired. It is free of charge. You can apply online or by post and it will take 10 days to arrive.

Click here to apply your GHIC.

British embassies in Europe

If you require help while you are in Europe, contact the country’s British Embassy.

Get information about a UK company from EUROPE

You can get information about a UK company from EUROPE through the Companies House website. Ordinarily, you can get the following UK company information for FREE from Companies House.

If you have any questions on how to get information about a UK company while you are in EUROPE, our accountants can help you.

Countries in Europe

Europe include the following countries:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Republic of Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Norway
  • Iceland
  • Liechtenstein

Visit the gov.uk/visit-europe-2021 for further information.

Disclose related party transactions

Related party transactions must be disclosed in your company accounts as required by law. This article focuses on the common related party transactions exist in small companies.

Related party definition

The Financial Reporting Standard (FRS) 102 defined a related party is a person or his/her close family who has control or jointly control, or significant influence over or is key management personnel of a company. Any transactions between this person and the company are classified as related party transactions.

Transaction with directors is a related party transaction

Say, you and your spouse are the directors and also the shareholders of your limited company. During the year, you provided an interest free loan to your company of £18,000 to pay for your office rent of £15,000, bought an office equipment cost £3,000 because your business has yet generated sufficient fund to be independent by itself.

Assuming your company still owe you £18,000 at your balance sheet date, in your company accounts, you would disclosure the following.

The ultimate controlling party of the company are Mr. YOU and Mrs. YOU who are the directors and shareholders of the company.

At the end of the year, the company owed the director, Mr. YOU an amount of £18,000. (2020, £0). It is an interest free loan.

People with significant control over your company

Say, you and your spouse are the directors and shareholders of the company. Your father in law does not legally own the company or has his name put down as the company director or shareholder but he has the authority and responsibility over how your company should operate. In other words, you and your spouse run the company under his instructions. In this instance, your father in law is the person with significant control of your company and you must disclose this fact in your company accounts and also in your confirmation statement.

Correspondingly, you must also keep and maintain the PSC register.

Companies under common control

Say, you are the sole director and sole shareholder of a limited company A and also of a limited company B. During the financial year, you paid a legal fee of £600 on behalf of company B using Company A’s money. You must disclose this transaction in your company accounts as follows:

At the end of the year, the company paid a legal fee on behalf of company B an amount of £600. Company B is also under the common control of Mr. YOU.

VAT tax point

The VAT tax point or time of supply is the date the VAT on the goods you supply and services you provide to your customers become collectable on behalf of and payable to HMRC. Your time of supply for each VAT transaction can vary depending on the situations.

SituationTax point
Where you have issued a VAT invoiceDate of Invoice
Where a VAT invoice is issued after 15 days of the date of supplyDate of supply took place
Where no invoice is issued or needed.Date of supply
Payment or invoice issued in advance of supplyDate of Payment or invoice (whichever is earlier)
Where payment received in advance and no VAT invoice issued yet.Date of Payment
source: HMRC

Your VAT return

Determining your tax point correctly allows you to record your VAT transactions correctly in your VAT return.

For example, if you are a kitchen supplier and installer, you usually issue invoices to your customers after installation is complete. For VAT return purposes, the date of supply is your tax point, not your invoice date.

VAT cash accounting scheme

If your business has joined the VAT cash accounting scheme, your tax point is always the date you received payments from your customers. If you are not using this scheme, generally you follow the situations guideline above to decide your tax point.

Other tax point rules

Further read about tax point rules, click here.

Companies House filings

Additionally, if your VAT registered business is a limited company, you must also deliver your company accounts and confirmation statement to Companies House promptly.

If you require any help with your VAT returns, feel free to contact our accountants, they will be more than happy to assist you.

Keep digital VAT records

VAT registered companies and businesses with sales of more than £85,000 must sign up and follow the Making Tax Digital (MTD) rules for VAT. You must keep digital VAT records afterwards.

VAT companies and businesses with sales less than £85,000 per year can sign up voluntarily. By 1 April 2022, It is compulsory for all VAT registered companies and businesses to enrol for the Making Tax Digital scheme.

VAT records to keep

Here are a list of digital VAT records you must keep under the MTD rules.

Your business details

For your business, you must keep your business name, address and VAT registration number.

VAT accounting scheme

You must have a record of any VAT accounting scheme you use. For example, the margin scheme, annual accounting scheme, cash accounting scheme and/or flat rate scheme.

Your sales records

The VAT on everything you sell, lease, transfer or hire out. In other words, the supplies you made.

Your purchases records

The VAT on goods and services you receive. For instance, everything you buy, lease, rent or hire. Put it simply, the supplies you received.

Adjustments on VAT returns

If you are or have made an adjustment to your VAT return, you must keep a detailed record of the adjustment.

The tax point

Your tax point can vary depending on the goods and services you buy and sell. The tax point is also known as the time of supply. Read more about the time of supply here.

Your VAT rate

The current standard VAT rate is 20%. some businesses charge different VAT rate on their goods and services. For example, businesses that sell baby clothing and footwear charge zero per cent on VAT.

Other transactions for VAT

  • reverse charge transactions – where you record the VAT on both the sale price and the purchase price of goods and services you buy
  • your total daily gross takings if you use a retail scheme
  • items you can reclaim VAT on if you use the Flat Rate Scheme
  • your total sales, and the VAT on those sales, if you trade in gold and use the Gold Accounting Scheme

Companies House filings

Besides, complying and maintaining good digital VAT records and submitting your VAT return on time to HMRC, if your VAT registered business is a limited company, you must also deliver your company accounts and confirmation statement to Companies House promptly.

If you require any help with your VAT returns, company accounts and confirmation statement filing, feel free to contact our accountants, they will be more than happy to assist you.

Stamp duty land tax in Budget 2021

The Budget 2021 announced that Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) temporary relief to be extended to 30 June 2021. Originally, this relief was going to end on 31 March 2021. The temporary relief amount reduces accordingly after 30 June 2021 and will return to the standard amount of £125,000 from 1 October 2021.

If you are buying a home in England or Northern Ireland you will be able to take advantage of this SDLT temporary relief.

  • £500,000 at 0% from 8 July 2020 to 30 June 2021.
  • £250,000 at 0% from 1 July 2021 to 30 September 2021
  • £125,000 at 0% from 1 October 2021.

The stamp duty Land Tax in Budget 2021 does not apply to properties in Wales and Scotland. These countries have their own separate property tax system.

Below is the Stamp Duty Land Tax at a glance.

Stamp Duty Land Tax Temporary relief for the period from 8 July 2020 to 30 June 2021

This temporary relief applies to first time buyers.

ConsiderationSDLT Percentage
Property purchase cost up to £500,0000%
£500,001 to £925,0005%
£925,001 to £1,500,00010%
above £1,500,00012%
Source: GOV.UK

For example, if you buy a house for £1,550,000 in Mayfair, London in May 2021. Your Stamp duty Land Tax will be calculated as follows:

  • £500,000 @ 0% = £0
  • £425,000 @ 5% = £21,250
  • £575,000 @ 10% = £57,500
  • £50,000 @ 12% = £6,000
  • Total Stamp Duty payable is £84,750.

Stamp Duty Land Tax Temporary relief for the period from 1 July 2021 to 30 September 2021

This temporary relief applies to first time buyers.

CONSIDERATIONSDLT PERCENTAGE
Property purchase cost up to £250,0000%
£250,001 to £925,0005%
£925,001 to £1,500,00010%
above £1,500,00012%

For example, if you buy a house for £1,550,000 in Mayfair, London in August 2021. Your Stamp duty Land Tax will be calculated as follows:

  • £250,000 @ 0% = £0
  • £675,000 @ 5% = £33,750
  • £575,000 @ 10% = £57,500
  • £50,000 @ 12% = £6,000
  • Total Stamp Duty payable is £97,250.

Stamp Duty Land Tax standard rate from 1 October 2021

This temporary relief applies to first time buyers.

CONSIDERATIONSDLT PERCENTAGE
Property purchase cost up to £125,0000%
£125,001 to £250,0002%
The next £250,001 to £925,0005%
£925,001 to £1,500,00010%
above £1,500,00012%

For example, if you buy a house for £1,550,000 in Mayfair, London in November 2021. Your Stamp duty Land Tax will be calculated as follows:

  • £125,000 @ 0% = £0
  • £125,000 @ 2% = £2,500
  • £675,000 @ 5% = £33,750
  • £575,000 @ 10% = £57,500
  • £50,000 @ 12% = £6,000
  • Total Stamp Duty payable is £99,750

Go compare

Property valueStamp duty rates to 30 Jun 2021Stamp duty rates to 30 Sep 2021Standard stamp duty rates from 1 Oct 2021
A house cost £1,550,000£84,750£97,250£99,750
Saving£15,000£2,500Standard rate

From the above comparison, buy a property with the value of £1,550,000 before 30 June 2021 will save you a stamp duty land tax of £15,000 compared to buying it in October 2021. Your saving is reduced to £2,500 if you buy a property of the same value between 1 July 2021 to 30 September 2021.

Filing with HMRC

You must send your stamp duty land tax return to HMRC if your property is cost more than £40,000 even though you have no stamp duty to pay.

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