Q. I'm thinking of starting a new company. Will it qualify for the NIC exemption?
A. It depends where your business is based. Businesses in the east and south east of England, or London don't qualify for the so-called NIC holiday. The south-east region stretches all the way up to Northamptonshire border, so you need to be quite clear where your principal place of business is. Secondly it must be a new business, not an existing business that has been transferred to a new company. There are also some excluded sectors such as road freight, coal and export businesses. We need to talk though the detailed rules before you apply for the NIC holiday.
Q. My business is VAT registered but the sales have dropped back, so my turnover is less than £75,000 per year. Can I stop charging VAT on my sales?
A. You must not stop charging VAT until you are given permission to do so by the VAT office. You need to apply to deregister for VAT on form VAT7, and send the completed form to the VAT deregistration office in Grimsby. You must continue to charge VAT on your sales until your application to deregister from VAT is accepted, and this has been confirmed by the VAT office.
Q. Last month the Tax Office wrote to me saying I would no longer receive tax credits, but I did nothing about it. Now my wife is expecting another baby so has reduced her working hours. Can I get my tax credits back?
A. You need to make a new tax credits claim as soon as possible, don't wait until the new baby arrives. Your reduced family income may mean that you qualify for working and child tax credits already, and if you don't, you will at least have submitted a protective claim for 2012/13. Under the new rules, from 6 April 2012 couples with children must work at least 24 hours per week between them, and one member of the couple must work at least 16 hours per week. There are exceptions if one person is disabled, incapacitated or a carer.