Scotland’s got a brand new bag (tax)

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I recently blogged about the vote for Scotland to remain part of the Union, but, as David Cameron promised, Scotland is increasingly being allowed to go its own way on tax.  Only last week, the Scottish Parliament voted to impose a plastic bag tax on Scottish retailers.  To provide some context Northern Ireland has a bag tax, and so does Wales, and England is still debating how to introduce a bag tax later in 2015.

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The latest AISMA Doctors Newsline, Autumn 2014 edition is now available

Tessa Brown

The latest AISMA Doctors Newsline, Autumn 2014 edition is now available. There are a number of articles which provide food for thought and which may be relevant to you.

Kathie Applebee, a regular contributor on practice management topics, has some advice for practices on keeping it simple when introducing the Friends & Family Test which is due to start on 1 December.

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Pensions: Estate planning for the 22nd century

David Missen

We were already quite excited by the announcement in the last budget that the rules on pension drawdown would be relaxed in 2015, so that pensioners could access their pension funds without restriction, which we saw as increasing flexibility for retirement planning purposes.

The announcement in September that residual funds on the death of a pensioner will neither be subject to Inheritance tax nor a special “exit charge” is little short of revolutionary.

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Small Residual Client Balances

Richard Betts

On 1 October 2014, version 11 of the Solicitors Regulation Authority Handbook was published. However, this did not include some of the expected consultation document changes to the SRA Accounts Rules 2011. It was anticipated that rule 20.2 would increase its limit to £500.00.

However, when rule 20.

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Oops they did it again …

Martin Hales

When at BBC Radio Norfolk for one of our regular Thursday morning Business slots I couldn’t help noticing the front page of one of the broadsheets proclaiming that “More than five million British workers face uncertainty after leaked emails revealed that their tax bills for last year may have been wrongly calculated”.

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Is that VAT turnover reconciliation important?

This question has long been one of my concerns as a VAT advisor.  I am talking about the reconciliation of the entries in box six of the VAT return, to the turnover as stated in the accounts of any business.

The simple answer is that of course it is important. It can indicate misstatements of entries on the return, which might be an indication of misstatement of the VAT itself.

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How do you know if you are paying too much National Insurance?

Melanie Garrett

In the medical sector we often come across clients who have problems with National Insurance.

National insurance is payable on most earned income by individuals aged over 16 and under the state pension age. Employees pay class 1 contributions.  If you receive a salary above £153 per week, you will pay class 1 national insurance contributions at a rate of 12 percent on your weekly earnings up to £805, with the balance of your earnings above £805 subject to a 2 percent charge.

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Not for Profit: the problematic world of VAT exemption

We know that tax legislation contains many difficult borderlines.  Here is one that has engaged me many times, and has come into play again in another recent case I have been dealing with.

There are a number of places in the VAT legislation where exemption is available for particular supplies only when they are made by an “eligible body”.

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Jargon and acronyms: explaining accounting terms

Peter Glading

Jargon and acronyms seem to crop up everywhere nowadays; these are special words or expressions often used by a profession or group that are difficult for those not in the know to understand. This is never truer than in the world of finance, where I am sure many take them for granted. Only the other day I mentioned to a client about an “IFA” and he looked very confused until I explained it was an “Independent Financial Advisor”.

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