The Blue Badge regulations will be amended from 30th August 2019, in England, for those with a hidden disability which limits their ability to walk safely. The Blue Badge regulations will be amended from 30th August 2019, in England, for those with a hidden disability which limits their ability to walk safely. Blue Badge holders are able to park closer to their destination, either as the driver or passenger, in disabled parking bays, usually for free on streets with parking meters or pay-and-display machines, and on single or double yellow lines for up to 3 hours in certain circumstances. The eligibility criteria for a Blue Badge has been extended beyond those with a physical disability to now include those who: • cannot undertake a journey without there being a risk of serious harm to their health or safety or that of any other person; • cannot undertake a journey without it causing them very considerable psychological distress; • have very considerable difficulty when walking (both the physical act and experience of walking); and • scored 10 points under the 'planning and following journeys' activity of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) by virtue of being unable to undertake any journey because it would cause overwhelming psychological distress to them. This will lead to automatic entitlement in much the same way as scoring 8 points under the ‘moving around’ activity of PIP which is already in place. The regulations also amend the current requirement that the disability be 'permanent and substantial', changing it to 'enduring and substantial'. Those who do not meet the automatic eligibility criteria linked to PIP awards, can still apply and go through the standard assessment process. Under the new regulations, ‘expert assessors’ with specialist experience of non-physical impairments, can be appointed by the local authority to undertake the assessment to determine eligibility.
What’s mine is yoursApr 13th, 2018
Simple, inexpensive and easily claimed tax-saving practices are fairly thin on the ground, but Marriage Allowance ticks all of these boxes, despite it not being used as widely as it probably ought to be.
Marriage Allowance allows a non-taxpaying individual to transfer a sum equivalent to 10% of the Personal Allowance (i.e. £1,150) to a taxpaying husband, wife or civil partner. The non-taxpayer must have an income of £11,500 or less.
Transferring this additional Personal Allowance of £1,150 will reduce the taxpayer’s income tax liability by up to £230 in the current tax year.
Additionally, a claim can be backdated to include any tax year since 5th April 2015 during which the couple were eligible to claim Marriage Allowance.
In order to be eligible to claim Marriage Allowance all of the following must apply:
- The couple must be married or in a civil partnership;
- The non-taxpayer must have no income, or income of £11,500 or less; and
- The taxpayer must have income of between £11,501 and £45,000.
As an example:
- Mrs Smith is a non-taxpayer, with a full personal allowance of £11,500.
- She elects to transfer the unused Personal Allowance of £1,150 to her husband, Mr Smith, who earns £35,000 per annum.
- Mr Smith’s Personal Allowance therefore increases from £11,500, to £12,650.
- This saves Mr Smith tax of £230 in the current tax year.
- Additionally, Mr Smith will also receive a tax rebate of £432 in respect of backdated entitlement for the previous two tax years.
Making a claim (which must be made by the non-taxpayer of the couple) is very straightforward and can be done via the HMRC website, a link to which is below:
Once a claim has been made and accepted by HMRC, the Personal Allowance will automatically be transferred each tax year.
As with most matters such as these, HMRC will need to be informed of any changes in circumstances (i.e. a change in income, divorce, death etc.) as they occur.
In summary, for very little effort it is possible to achieve a reasonable tax saving each and every year.