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October Question and Answer Corner

Newsletter issue - October 07.

Q. I'm selling part of my business, and the buyer has asked for the VAT records relating to purchases and sales made by that section. It would be difficult to separate out those records, so do I have to hand them over?

A. If the assets you are selling can be operated as a separate business the whole sale should be treated as a transfer of a going concern to avoid charging VAT on the sale, in which case you as the seller should hang on to the VAT records. The law was changed on this point for sales of businesses made from 1 September 2007. You need to provide the buyer with any information that may affect his VAT returns, such as details of assets under the capital goods scheme. Otherwise you should only hand over VAT records if you are also transferring your VAT number, but that is very unlikely with the sale of only part of your business.

Q. I have heard the state pension age has increased again. When will I get my state pension? I am a woman aged 42.

A. The state pension age, when you receive your state retirement pension, has already been aligned at 65 for both men and women who retire from 2020, but the Pensions Act 2007 has increased this age to 68. The change is applied in stages so if you are currently aged 42 you will get your state pension from age 66. There is an online calculator to help you work out your new state pension age on The Pension Service website at:

Q. Can I claim the cost of travelling to work against my taxable income?

A. If you are a permanent employee based at one site the cost of commuting to work is not tax deductible. However, if your work requires you to travel to different sites and you attend each site for a limited period or temporary purpose, and you do not attend one site for more than 40% of your time for more than 24 months, the cost of travel may be tax deductible. Strictly you should claim the cost of the travel from your employer, which may be your own company. The Taxman sometimes treats a large area as 'one site', so it is best to ask for special advice for your circumstances.

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