Spring clean your finances

Spring clean your finances

Tuesday, 06 March 2018

With Christmas a distant memory, and January and February out of the way, we can look forward to spring with renewed optimism. The depressing dark days are behind us and we’ve got over ‘Blue Monday’. What else can we do to brighten the outlook? What do you need to start thinking about in terms of tax affairs?

Tax planning

This is the time of year when we’re looking at tax efficiency planning prior to 5 April 2018. At the end of the day, we all want to make sure we pay the right amount of tax. It’s important that you review your affairs and discuss this with your accountant or advisor as soon as possible. Doing this after 5 April will often be too late.

Making Tax Digital

Making Tax Digital (MTD) is not far away! The Government's plan to make tax digital will affect every individual taxpayer and business by 2020. Businesses with turnover above the VAT threshold will be required to keep their records digitally from the beginning of their first VAT quarter starting on or after 1 April 2019. A potential pitfall is that not all software packages are currently MTD compliant. Whilst you may have a software programme for your accounts recording, I recommend that you ensure that it is, or will be, compliant with MTD sooner rather than later.

Beware of fraud

There seems to be a plethora of online attempts to defraud us. Many of these purport to come from HMRC either by email or text. HMRC are working hard with public and private partners with new technology that identifies fraud texts. They are claiming a 90% reduction in such communications. Often messages look legitimate, with HMRC displayed as the sender, and often offering a tax refund for personal or financial details. HMRC have confirmed that they will never use a text or email to contact a taxpayer due a tax refund.

Thank yourself

At  Larking Gowen, we’ve given staff recognition for the hard work that they’ve put in over the last few months. As well as a big ‘thank you’, the Partners are providing funds for a suitable celebratory activity, available to spend on a lunch, drinks or whatever teams agree as a suitable event, just so that we can all take some time to reflect on what we’ve achieved. Whist you may not have staff, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t give yourself a little treat to celebrate your own achievements over the last year.

Motivate yourself

Incentives help staff focus on work in a fun and competitive environment. The more fun you make it, the less employees will focus on the work aspect and, instead, aim to win. Find ways to motivate yourself. A small treat at the completion of the task may help you focus on the job at hand. A meal with family or friends or a visit to the gym could be the target for some.

End the month on a high

Plan an event to take place at the end of a month to help create an encouraging mood during the month. Set a target to achieve and look at innovative but inexpensive ways of rewarding yourself or your team. No cheating though! It could just be a nice bottle of wine or a visit to an exhibition or attraction. It would be great to hear how you do this

If you have any queries or would like more information on tax or staff gifts, you can contact me on 01473 833411 or




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