Blog

Free guides, news, and expert advice to help you get the most out of your business.

  • Help-to-Save scheme launched

    The new Help to Save scheme for people on low incomes was launched with effect from 12 September 2018 following an 8-month trial. The new scheme allows those in work entitled to Working Tax Credit, and in receipt of Working Tax Credits or Child Tax Credits to save up to £50 a month for two years […]

  • MTD (Making Tax Digital) Overview

    After MTD for VAT has been implemented, MTD for income tax (for the self-employed and those with income from property) and MTD for corporation tax are expected to follow, but not before April 2020 at the earliest. From 01 April 2019 all VAT registered businesses and organisations with taxable turnover above the VAT threshold (currently […]

  • Self-Assessment Deadlines

    The 2017-18 tax return deadline for taxpayers who continue to submit paper Self-Assessment returns, is 31 October 2018. Late submission of a Self-Assessment return will become liable to a £100 late filing penalty. The penalty usually applies even if there is no liability or if any tax due is paid in full by 31 January […]

  • Capital Gains Tax Rollover Relief

    Capital Gains Tax (CGT) Rollover Relief is a valuable relief that allows for a delay in the payment of CGT on gains when you sell or dispose of certain assets and use all or part of the proceeds to buy new assets. The relief means that the tax on the gain of the old asset […]

  • Fraudulent Emails

    HMRC continues to warn taxpayers to be aware of email phishing scams. Phishing emails are used by fraudsters to access recipients’ valuable personal details, such as usernames and passwords. Fake email messages can appear to be genuine but clicking on a link from within the email can result in personal information being compromised and the […]

  • Date announced for Autumn Budget 2018

    The Chancellor has announced that the Autumn Budget 2018 will be held on Monday, 29 October 2018. The announcement was made on the GOV.UK website. The Treasury said the Budget will set out the government’s plan to build a stronger, more prosperous economy, building on the recent Spring Statement and last year’s Budget. Earlier this […]

  • Employer Pension Contributions

    Employer contributions to any type of pension arrangement in a registered pension scheme are always paid gross. Tax relief is given by deducting the gross amount of the contributions from an employer’s taxable profits before Corporation Tax is calculated. Employers’ contributions can normally be treated as a deduction for the accounting period in which the contribution […]

  • Tax Free Health Benefits

    There is no requirement for employers to pay tax and National Insurance on certain health benefits covered by tax concessions or exemptions. For example, there is no requirement to report employees’ medical or dental treatment or insurance if they are a part of a salary sacrifice arrangement. In addition, the following health benefits can be […]

  • Late Filing PAYE Penalties

    There are late filing penalties in place for employers that don’t report payroll information on time. The size of the late filing penalties depends on the number of employees within the PAYE scheme. Number of employees Monthly filing penalty per PAYE scheme 1 to 9 £100 10 to 49 £200 50 to 249 £300 250 […]

  • HMRC Security Deposit Regime to be Extended

    The security deposit legislation is to be extended to both Corporation Tax and Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) deductions from April 2019. The security deposit regime allows HMRC to require security from high-risk businesses where there is a serious risk that taxes owed will not be paid. At present HMRC’s security deposit powers only apply to VAT, PAYE […]

  • Claiming Employment Allowance

    The employment allowance of £3,000 per year, is available to most businesses and charities to be offset against their employers Class 1 NIC bill. The allowance can be claimed as part of the normal payroll process. An employer can claim less than the maximum if this will cover their total Class 1 NIC bill. Eligible […]

  • Allowable costs for property businesses

    Costs that can be deducted by individuals that have a property rental business, depend on the type of property that is being rented out. There are three main categories of property business that need to be considered. Residential properties This is by far the most common type of investment property held by individuals. Tax relief can be […]

  • ISA – HELP TO BUY

    The Help to Buy: ISA scheme launched in December 2015 and allows savers to claim a government bonus of 25% on monthly savings of up to £200 towards their first home. The bonus translates to: an extra £50 added to every £200 saved up to a maximum governmental contribution of £3,000 on £12,000 worth of […]

  • Non-taxable payments and benefits

    Although the government is continually clamping down on non-taxable payment and benefits for employees, there remains an eclectic list of expenses that are tax exempt. Some of the non-taxable benefits include the following: Annual parties. An annual Christmas party or other annual event offered to staff generally is not taxable on those attending, provided that […]

  • Claiming Marriage Allowance

    The marriage allowance allows couples to share part of their personal tax-free allowance in certain circumstances. The marriage allowance is available to married couples and those in a civil partnership where one partner has an unused personal allowance and their spouse/partner only pays Income Tax at the basic rate. HMRC has published a press release […]

  • Rent a Room Relief to be Modified

    The publication of the draft Finance Bill 2018-19 includes legislation to change the way the rent-a-room relief scheme works. Following last year’s Budget, a consultation was launched by HM Treasury to examine the design of the rent-a-room scheme. When the relief was first launched it was intended to be used where one bedroom in a […]

  • Maternity Allowance

    The maternity allowance is a financial benefit for pregnant women who are self-employed, who are working but do not qualify for statutory maternity pay (SMP) or who have recently stopped working. The maternity allowance is paid directly by the Department for Work and Pensions for up to 39 weeks for qualifying applicants. An application must be […]

  • Gifts with Complications

    Most gifts made during a person’s lifetime are not subject to tax at the time of the gift. The lifetime transfers are known as ‘potentially exempt transfers’ or ‘PETs’. These gifts or transfers achieve their potential of becoming exempt from Inheritance Tax if the taxpayer survives for more than seven years after making the gift. […]

  • Employee expenses covered by exemption

    There is no longer a requirement to report certain routine expenses to HMRC. The types of expenses and benefits covered are referred to as exemptions and have replaced dispensations which can no longer be applied for. The business expenses and benefits that no longer need to be reported (since April 2016) include reimbursed costs to […]

  • VAT reverse charge could hit the construction sector

    HMRC has launched a new consultation inviting comments from interested parties regarding the introduction of new VAT reverse charge legislation for certain construction services. The new legislation will make the supply of construction services between construction or building businesses subject to the domestic reverse charge. This move is part of the government’s measures to combat […]

  • Tax-Free childcare in the school holidays

    HMRC is reminding parents that the Tax-Free Childcare (TFC) scheme can help balance work and school holiday childcare. The TFC scheme helps support working families with their childcare costs and can be used to pay for regulated holiday clubs during the school holidays. The TFC scheme provides for a government top-up on parental contributions. For every […]

  • National Minimum Wage & Living Wage

    An HMRC investigation has discovered that for 2017/18 £15.6 million back pay is owed to over 200,000 UK workers, this was an increase from £10.9 million to 98,000 workers for 2016/17. Employers who don’t pay their staff the legal requirements are subjected to penalties. If an employer realises that they have underpaid their worker they […]

  • Are You Due A Tax Refund?

    HMRC has a guidance that lets you know if you are due and tax refund and how to claim that refund. According to HMRC you may be able to claim a refund if you: are employed and had too much tax taken from your pay; have stopped work; sent a tax return and paid too […]

  • Claiming Tax Relief on Pensions

    The annual allowance for tax relief on pensions is £40,000 for the current tax year. There is also a three year carry forward rule that allows taxpayers to carry forward unused annual allowance from the last three tax years if they have made pension savings in those years. Qualifying taxpayers can get tax relief on […]

  • The Pensions Regulator to Seize Assets

    The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has announced that employers who refuse to pay workplace pension fines could have their assets seized to pay their debts. TPR can issue fines to employers who fail to meet their automatic enrolment duties and can secure court orders if the debts are not then paid. TPR is to now appoint […]

  • Tax On Lodger’s Rent

    The rent-a-room scheme is a set of special rules designed to help homeowners who rent-a-room in their home. Homeowners pay no tax on lodger’s rent up to £7,500. This tax relief applies to the letting/renting of furnished accommodation and is usually used when one bedroom in a home is rented out to a lodger for an […]

  • Protect Your Home Address

    New laws have come into effect (from 26 April 2018) to help tackle the problem of identity fraud and personal harm for company directors. The new laws, which were introduced into parliament on 22 February 2018, allow company directors and others such as secretaries, people with significant control (PSC) and LLP members, to remove their […]

  • Making Money From A Hobby

    The ‘badges of trade’ tests whilst not conclusive are used by HMRC to help determine whether an activity is a proper economic / business activity or just a money-making side line to a hobby. However, there is a point where careful consideration needs to be given to deciding whether your hobby has in fact become […]

  • Company Van Use

    There are various tax consequences involved when employees are provided with company vans and fuel. A company van can be described as a van made available to an employee by reason of their employment. There is usually nothing to report to HMRC if the van is used solely for business use, as a pool van […]

  • Keeping up with Payroll & Auto- Enrolment

    Staying on top of payroll can be a huge task for all businesses of different sizes – which is why we advise you seek specialist advice to ensure everything is correct and running smoothly. Tax & National Insurance Contributions legislation are always changing, as are the National Living Wage (NLW) and auto-enrolment pensions contributions. These […]

  • Dividend Allowance

    Dividend allowance cut from £5,000 to £2,000 From 6 April, the tax-free dividend allowance will be cut from £5,000 to £2,000, this was introduced in the 2017 Budget. The move will impact employees and directors of small businesses who pay themselves partly or wholly through dividends rather than a salary. It could also impact investors […]

  • Spring Statement 2018

    Philip Hammond, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, stood up in Parliament at 12.34pm on Tuesday 13th March, to deliver his first – already heralded as ‘slimmed down’ – Spring Statement. He had forewarned the media and Parliament that he would not be making any specific tax or spending changes. These, together with any new governmental […]

  • Preparing for the General Data Protection (GDPR)

    10 steps to take now 1 – Awareness You should make sure that decision makers and key people in your organisation are aware that the law is changing to the GDPR. They need to appreciate the impact this is likely to have. 2 – Information you hold You should document what personal data you hold, […]

  • Dates To Remember April – June 2018

    2018/2019 financial year starts 7 April 2018 Deadline for VAT returns and payments of Accounting Quarter period ending 28 February 2018 14 April 2018 Income tax due date for CT61 period to 31 March 2018 17 April 2018 March inflation figures released The inflation figures from March 2018 will be released today. This will be […]

  • MTD (Making Tax Digital) Update

    WHAT’S GOING ON? Two years ago, it was proposed that Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) was to move to a fully digital based tax system. By the end of the 2020/21 tax year the way that businesses, including landlords, currently interact and liaise with HMRC will change beyond all recognition. This initiative is known […]

  • SOLE TRADER VS LIMITED COMPANY

    THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN A SOLE TRADER AND A LIMITED COMPANY This document should help you answer some important questions, including; “what is a sole trader business?” and “what is a limited company?” and the differences between the two. Starting up as a sole trader is without doubt the simplest way to start a business in […]

  • Dates to Remember October – December 2017

    05 October 2017 Deadline to register with the HMRC if you became self-employed or started receiving income from property. You should submit a form CWF1 for self-employment or form SA1 for non-self-employed income to HMRC. 05 October 2017 Deadline for notifying HMRC of new sources of taxable income or gains or liability to the High […]

  • Making Tax Digital (MTD)

    The government has announced a revised timetable for the introduction of Making Tax Digital for Business (MTDfB). MTDfB introduces extreme changes to how taxpayers record and report income to HMRC. Unincorporated businesses, including landlords, were expected to be the first to see significant changes in the recording and submission of business transactions but the government […]

  • Time for a New Accountant

    It can be difficult to know what you expect from your accountant. This makes it hard to decide if it’s time to look for a new accountant Do you get on with your accountant? Although this may seem irrelevant, it’s essential. Feeling at ease with your accountant is important. You should feel that you can […]

  • How to get those invoices paid quickly …

    The problems faced by small businesses due to late payments have been very much in the news lately, as a business owner you are very aware of the importance of getting paid on time and that payment delays can seriously disrupt cash flow. When searching for ways to speed up payment, keep in mind that […]

  • 5 Easy Ways to Improve Cash Flow

    Ever felt like you’ve got plenty of work but not enough cash coming in? Achieving good cash flow is not a black art. Here are some easy ways to improve cash flow. The goal is always to make sure you’ve got more money coming in than you have going out.

  • How to Pay Yourself Efficiently

    If you’re a limited company, the amount of money you pay yourself determines the size of your tax bill. When you pay a salary, this cuts into profits and therefore lowers the amount of Corporation Tax you pay each year. A combination of salary, dividends and bonuses is a way of ensuring you pay yourself enough to live on as an owner-manager or a contractor. But how do you know how much to take in salary and dividends? What’s the most tax efficient way to pay yourself and when do you do it? There are a few different options to consider. Ultimately, your accountant will look at your business closely and advise on the way that best suits you. As the government tinkers with the rules most years, it’s always wise to check before going ahead.

  • How to Make Smart Business Decisions

    Decisions, decisions! How do you make smart business decisions? Do you use your head, your heart or both? What if your gut instinct is pushing you in a certain direction? Do you follow it or stick to the facts?

  • 5 Tax-Efficient Ways to Reward Your Employees

    Increasing salary is far from the only way to make employees feel valued. If you want to reward your employees in tax-efficient ways, explore what’s commonly known as benefits in kind (BiKs) and salary sacrifice. The idea is that instead of an increase in salary, the employer offers benefits and other options specifically intended to improve the working lives of the employees. Here are five suggestions that could help. It’s also worth remembering that being known as an employer that rewards employees is a great way of attracting and keeping the best talent.

  • Do I Need Management Accounts?

    Well, yes! Ok, so as accountants maybe we’re a teeny bit biased but we’re prepared to back up this answer with some good, solid reasons that will give you plenty of food for thought. The first of which is this: to become a management accountant and produce a set of accurate and useful management accounts that actively seek ways to boost profit, you need qualifications backed up by hands-on experience. So, your management accountant will know the theory, rules and regulations, and be able to put it all into practice in a way that best suits your business because he or she has plenty of real world experience doing exactly that.

  • 5 Simple and Legitimate Ways to Make Tax Savings

    Everyone has to pay tax on earnings and assets. But how do you make tax savings? When inflation rises or National Insurance contributions go up, so does your tax bill. Here’s the good news: if you abide by the rules but take time to do some financial forward planning, you can stop those bills getting completely out of control. Here are 10 ways you can make tax savings without upsetting the taxman, and legitimately not pay any more than you’re actually required to.