Thursday, 08 November 2018

HMRC spend on tax investigations brings in even higher returns

New data shows that HMRC’s tax take has been bolstered by more successful investigations into individuals and SMEs. The investigation units that focus on those small businesses and individuals collected £16 extra in taxes for every £1 spent on their investigatory staff in 2016/17, up on the £15 collected the year before.


Thursday, 08 November 2018

A millennial's take on financial lingo

A recent accountancy survey highlighted that 60% of college and university students can’t explain terms like: ISA, bonds, shorting, hedge funds, index tracker fund and derivatives.


Monday, 05 November 2018

Tax tips

When it comes to personal tax, there are always issues that get us accountants excited (well relatively!). Three current hot topics are: Claiming for tax deduction of clothing, Making Tax Digital (MTD) and VAT campaign  reduce the VAT rate in the hospitality and tourism industries.


Friday, 02 November 2018

Autumn Budget Summary

The Chancellor delivered his Budget speech this week and what a speech it was! There were new taxes introduced, threshold amendments, brilliant-one liners and more. 


Thursday, 01 November 2018

Trust registration service – round two!

The trust registration service (TRS) last year caused all sorts of issues. So, we’re disappointed that the scope of the existing Trust Register is to be extended in 2020 by yet another EU directive.


Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Charity fundraising – what are a trustee’s responsibilities?

Fundraising is difficult, especially with more and more demand on donors’ income. However, there are opportunities; 70% of potential donors indicated they would be more inclined to give to a charity if they knew how their money was directly helping.


Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Preliminary thoughts on Budget 2018

Most of the immediate reaction to Phillip Hammond's 2018 Budget statement dwelt on the headline grabbing increase in personal allowances and the question of whether or not the Budget marked an end to austerity.


Tuesday, 30 October 2018

What does the Autumn Budget mean for the world of insolvency?

You may have read a Budget summary and have a good idea of the key policies that are set to affect the UK. However, less reported are the impending changes that will affect the insolvency landscape.


Monday, 29 October 2018

Solicitors Accounts Rules – overcoming problems

In my recent blog, Solicitors and SAR audits – common problems, I discussed some common problems I’d noticed in this year’s SAR audits. Here, I’ll discuss how to tackle other key issues.


Friday, 26 October 2018

Possible Budget changes - Capital Gains Tax Entrepreneurs’ Relief

Given the current political situation and the furore caused by the removal of the Business Asset Taper Relief (BATR) in 2008, it may be a surprise if Capital Gains Tax Entrepreneurs’ Relief (ER)  is abolished next week. However, don’t rule out some tinkering with the existing rules.


Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Making Tax Digital – delay for some VAT businesses

We previously reported that from 1 April 2019, VAT registered businesses with a turnover above the VAT registration threshold (currently £85,000) will be required to keep digital records, and submit their VAT returns via the Making Tax Digital for Businesses (MTDfB) system.


Thursday, 11 October 2018

Pension contribution changes for NHS GPs, hospital doctors and staff

Changes have been introduced to the annual allowance for pension contributions. This change has had significant impact on medical practitioners who are contributing to the NHS scheme.


Tuesday, 09 October 2018

Are you an older worker?

I hadn’t given it much thought until last year but, up until about 2011, the Default Retirement Age (DRA) was 65 for men and 60 for women. The ending of the DRA, and the requirement for age equality, has had a significant impact on older workers. The exception is for those lucky enough to be able to retire early due to having a significant pension pot!


Friday, 05 October 2018

Do you have the right software package for upcoming HMRC changes?

Like many businesses, you’ve been filing your VAT returns online and have kept your records in line with HMRC requirements. However, HMRC are changing those requirements and introducing Making Tax Digital (MTD).


Monday, 01 October 2018

HMRC crackdown on underpayment of tax by individuals

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) collected £832 million in extra tax through investigations into inheritance tax, charitable donations and trusts last year. This shows how HMRC are approaching non-compliance from all possible angles and, as a result, almost all taxpayers are at risk of investigation from the taxman.


Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Changes to tax rules on remortgaged buy-to-let property

The scenario is a common one: Mr Smith owns some rental properties. During a tax year he wanted to buy a new home for himself. He raised the funds by remortgaging one of his rental properties. The interest charged on the new loan was claimed as a deduction against his rental income.


Monday, 24 September 2018

Solicitors and SAR audits – common problems

As another season of Solicitors Accounts Rules (SAR) audits draws to a close, I’ve observed some trends and key problem areas that keep cropping up. In this blog and my next, I’ll discuss how to avoid or overcome these common problems.


Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Farm-saved seed – a warning

As we move into the period of autumn cultivations, and clients continue the search for ways to cut a cost here and there, some will look in the barn, consider the cost of fresh seed, and decide that maybe this year they’ll take some of their own best sample, have it dressed and save a few pounds.


Tuesday, 18 September 2018

VAT domestic reverse charge – how does this affect the construction sector?

HMRC recently held a consultation requesting views on the proposed introduction of a reverse charge mechanism to combat VAT fraud in the construction sector.  Following its conclusion and analysis of feedback, HMRC have published draft legislation in the form of a Statutory Instrument, which will become section 55A of the VAT Act 1994 with effect 1 October 2019.


Monday, 17 September 2018

Should a charity pay trustees’ expenses?

Making a payment of any sort to a trustee of a charity can be fraught with difficulties, especially when one of the defining aspects of the charitable sector is that trustees aren’t (usually) paid.


Friday, 14 September 2018

Sale of shares – food for thought

It may seem obvious but selling shares in a company will generate either a gain or a loss, which means you need to think about Capital Gains Tax. Calculating the capital gain on shares sales is very straightforward.


Friday, 14 September 2018

Choosing the right business structure

Is your current business structure still right for you? Circumstances may change so it’s important to review your structure from time to time. In recent years, the driver might well have been saving ‘tax’, which prompted many businesses to become limited companies. 


Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Tax avoidance and evasion

Over recent months, we’ve seen a variety of media reports of tax avoidance and evasion; from global international businesses not appearing to pay their fair share of tax, to celebrities who become involved in “schemes” that promise that no tax will be payable in exchange for a management fee. 


Thursday, 06 September 2018

HMRC get tough on self-assessment taxpayer errors

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) have taken to highlighting their recent success rate in court actions and litigation in warning letters to taxpayers, deterring them from letting the case reach court. This has led to more and more taxpayers settling up with HMRC to avoid lengthy and expensive court cases.


Friday, 31 August 2018

Flexible working: employee phone and internet costs

Communication in the workplace has changed and video conferencing, skype, laptops and mobile phones have made flexible working the new normal. It isn’t at all unusual for employees to work from home using their existing personal phone and internet connections for business. So, is it possible for employers to reimburse them for any extra costs?


Thursday, 30 August 2018

Is my charity managing risk effectively?

Not managing risk effectively can have dramatic consequences for an organisation. Tragedies such as Grenfell Towers demonstrate the severity of not having a robust process that can react to the concerns of beneficiaries.


Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Good news and bad in the run-up to the Agriculture Bill

In June, Michael Gove announced that the 2018 Agriculture Bill was likely to be presented in July. However, as we now know, this has been delayed until September, presumably with a view to clearing the decks in one area of Brexit as soon as possible


Monday, 20 August 2018

Why should law firms be looking at business structure now?

Have you noticed that a number of legal firms are changing or talking about changing their structure and have you wondered why? From the conversations we’ve had with legal firms, there seem to be several reasons.


Tuesday, 07 August 2018

HMRC’s crackdown on card payments

HMRC have been targeting restaurant and takeaway businesses as they believe they are more likely than most to under-declare income. 


Tuesday, 24 July 2018

Preparing for a new world in agriculture

Following the conclusion of the “Health and Harmony” consultation the Government will, amongst other minor issues on its agenda, “introduce an Agriculture Bill that breaks from the CAP, providing the United Kingdom with the ability to set out a domestic policy that will stand the test of time.”


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