By Lynne Gowers on 11th January 2019

6 things accountants will be talking about in 2019


It’s fair to say 2018 brought its share of tax and legislative upheaval. The previous year’s changes to IR35 in the public sector and the VAT flat rate scheme continued to bite, there was GDPR to contend with, not to mention the ongoing uncertainty over Brexit.

Not to be outdone by its predecessor, 2019 will offer up plenty to keep the conversation going.

Here are 6 things that accountants will be talking about to keep on their clients’ radar over the next 12 months. Watch this space to stay up to date!

1. Self-assessment deadline

Not specific to 2019 obviously, but important to highlight all the same. Midnight on 31st January is the deadline for online filing of self-assessment tax returns for tax year ended 5th April 2018 and also for paying any tax due. This is also the deadline for the first payment on account for 2018/19.

The tax team at Boox will be completing and filing self-assessment tax returns right up to the January deadline. If you are yet to file, and don’t know where to start, email Even if you are not a Boox client, we should be able to help.

2. Personal Allowance increase

In his Budget 2018 speech, Chancellor Philip Hammond announced that the government’s manifesto pledge to raise the Personal Allowance to £12,500 will take effect a year earlier than promised, in April 2019/20. This is compared to the 2018/19 Personal Allowance of £11,850.

At the same time the higher rate threshold will be raised to £50,000.

3. Making Tax Digital for VAT

Making Tax Digital, or MTD, is HMRC’s initiative to modernise the tax system by 2020. The first step in this plan is Making Tax Digital for VAT.

If you are a VAT registered business with VATable turnover over the VAT registration threshold of £85,000, you will will need to comply with MTD for VAT from the start of your accounting period beginning on or after 1st April 2019.

Find out more about MTD for VAT and what you need to do to comply.

4. Contractor loan charge

This was a big talking point in 2018, with even the mainstream media picking up on the controversial loan charge which is due to be introduced by HMRC in April 2019.

The charge is effectively retrospective taxation on anyone who has used a disguised remuneration scheme since 1999, including contractor loan schemes. For further information click on the link below.

What is the contractor loan charge and could it impact you?

5. VAT reverse charge for construction services

To tackle VAT fraud in the construction industry, HMRC will be introducing a domestic reverse charge with effect from October 2019. This means that the customer will be liable to account to HMRC for the VAT rather than the supplier of the construction services – the “reverse charge”.

If you are a business involved in buying and selling construction services (unless you are zero-rated), the VAT reverse charge is likely to apply to you, so keep in mind that it is coming. We will be covering it in more detail later in the year.

6. Preparing for IR35 in the private sector

After months of “will they won’t they” speculation, it was finally announced in the Autumn Budget that changes to IR35 will be extended to the private sector.

However given the disruption these reforms caused when they were introduced in the public sector in 2017, the private sector has at least been given some time to prepare.

It brought some relief that the changes in the private sector will be delayed to April 2020 and that only large and medium sized engagers will be responsible for deciding IR35 status.

The deferred implementation at least allows hiring businesses, recruitment agencies and contractors time to react and take steps to ensure they are in the best position for IR35 come April 2020.

To understand the IR35 legislation and keep up with developments, click on the link below.

IR35 help and advice

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Lynne Gowers Written by Lynne Gowers

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