Emergency Summer Budget

Here is a link to our summary of the Chancellor proposals. The changes to taxation of dividends is going to need to be carefully considered. There was also a major increase in the minimum wage (now living wage).

Emergency Budget 8 July 2015

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Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

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Save up to £212 in tax with the Marriage Allowance

I have uploaded our client guide to the Marriage Allowance.

Marriage allowance

Our client guides cover many of the tax and accounting issues faced by owner-managed businesses and tax-payers. Please contact us for further details.

Please be aware HMRC have not got the online registration process completely sorted for the Marriage Allowance. As explained by http://www.thisismoney.co.uk

“There is then an application process to go through and claimants are invited to complete their application online.

It has recruited three private operators to conduct ID checks for the system – Experian, Post Office and Digidentity.

This is being introduced gradually and HMRC admits there are restrictions at the moment that mean it may not work for everyone.

The restrictions you encountered are part of that. In order to transfer personal allowance, HMRC needs to verify who you are.

This requires evidence of the documents you were asked for. If you have them, HMRC says you can complete the process online in about 20 minutes.

If you don’t have these you’ll have to wait longer, although HMRC says it is taking phone applications for those who have tried the online application but hit a snag.”

Read more: http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/experts/article-3086308/Why-wait-Marriage-Allowance-tax-break-promised-Government.html#ixzz3cSw6kr3Y

 

Keeping your business records secure

Many business owners have a loft/garage/spare bedroom  full of business records.

Business records have to be keep for 6 years. HMRC can levy fines if the records cannot be produced. These records can also get lost, damaged, muddled and key information lost. The link between the figures on the tax return and these  documents may then become unclear.

We have a simple, inexpensive solution to for you.

When we receive your records, we scan them for you. Then, using advanced software and our skills, we produce your accounts together with schedules of items making up the figures and an image of the documents themselves.  This will satisfy even the most demanding HMRC Inspector.

 

We will send you a copy of the file (which will be in PDF format) and show you how to store it in a free Dropbox or GoogleDrive account.

Price for this additional service depends on the volume of records. Prices start at £30 plus VAT.

HMRC Tax Investigations Yielding Greater Returns

HMRC has boosted returns from its investment into tax investigations carried out by local compliance teams, which focus on individual taxpayers and small businesses (a new report from The 2020 Group has found). For every £1 spent by local compliance teams in 2013/14, £18 was collected in additional tax. This is up from £16 per £1 invested during the previous year.

In total, £8.9 billion in extra tax was collected via local compliance investigations in 2013/14, up from £7.8 billion in 2012/13.

This high return on investment means that HMRC is likely to continue to pour resources into tax investigations undertaken by these teams. A growing number of ‘everyday’ taxpayers, including more SMEs, are likely to find themselves under scrutiny as a result.

This increased efficiency serves as a reminder that HMRC is broadening its range of targets. HMRC is no longer focusing solely on high net worth individuals with money held offshore or traditional cash businesses. The attempt to increase revenue has led to a greater focus on ordinary taxpayers.

HMRC has launched a range of campaigns in recent years targeting everyday taxpayers. The ‘Second Incomes Campaign’, for instance, means  that private tutors and even online traders are amongst those under more intense scrutiny. Voluntary disclosure schemes have also been launched to target specific job sectors, with solicitors being one of the most recent targets.

The 31st January filing deadline typically triggers a wave of new tax investigations. HMRC’s increased efficiency means that taxpayers should be ever more diligent when completing self-assessment tax returns.

The new aggressive approach adopted by HMRC means it is much more likely that tax-payers may end up on the receiving end of a tax investigation.

Here at TaxAssist Accountants we give peace of mind to clients by offering an insurance policy to pay our fees if a client is selected for enquiry.

30 Ways to Reduce Your Tax Bill

Here is a really useful guide to reducing your tax bill.

Please contact us if you need any further infomation

TaxAssist_30_Ways_14.15_Tax_Year

A thought for landlords to mitigate HMRC’s withdrawal of tax relief on some repairs

We have been having a lot of discussions internally about HMRC’s withdrawal of concession ESC B47. This means that (in an unfurnished rented property), there is no tax deduction available for the replacement of carpets and free standing white goods.

It makes sense, therefore, to  take out an accidental damage insurance policy for these sort of items. The cost of the insurance policy will be tax-deductible.

Other alternatives include – making the tenant responsible for replacements and considering furnishing (to HMRC’s definition) an existing unfurnished property thereby getting the wear and tear allowance.

Please feel free to contact us for further advice.

Nigel Lomax explains how the VAT Flat Rate scheme operates

The Flat Rate VAT scheme (FRS) is available to all small businesses. The FRS differs from standard VAT accounting as you pay a percentage of turnover rather than paying VAT on the difference between sales and purchases. So, while you continue to charge clients the standard 20% VAT rate, you can potentially give a smaller percentage to HM Revenue and Customs.

The FRS helps to simplify VAT calculations and record keeping. This is particularly helpful to smaller organisations that may not have the time to conduct their accounting in the traditional way. This is important bearing in mind the increasingly severe penalties that can be charged for errors. It shortens the process, removing the need to keep a record of VAT charged for each individual sale or that paid on purchases. However, you do still need to show a 20% VAT amount on each sales invoice.

It might also save you money. Example:

Standard VAT Calculation

Total Billings £50,000
Output VAT 20% £10,000
Total invoiced £60,000
VAT reclaimed through purchases £750 (this figure is arrived at by adding up the VAT on all your business costs)
Total payable to HMRC £9,250

With this scheme, you are acting as an unpaid tax-collector on the VAT generated by you business.

Flat Rate Scheme Calculation

Total Billings £50,000
Output VAT 20% £10,000
Total invoiced £60,000
Total payable to HMRC at 14.5% of total invoiced £8,700

In addition, while you are in your first year of vat registration you can benefit from a 1% reduction to your FRS rate.

If you make use of the scheme, you cannot reclaim VAT on purchases, except in certain circumstances. As a result, the FRS works best for people who have few expenses compared to their fee income. VAT on expenses can only be recovered if they are capital items costing £2,000 or more or if the assets are still within the business on the date of VAT registration.

I must credit http://www.contractoruk.com for their article which contains further information for IT Contractors

Please contact us if you need further advice. The FRS scheme means that it can make sense to voluntarily register to be VAT-Registered where your customers are VAT-registered.