Winter Newsletter 2014

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Our Winter Newsletter is now available here:

Green & Co Winter 2014 Newsletter

It focuses on:

  • VAT for the digital business
  • Salary sacrifice and pensions
  • Your key tax dates for 2015
  • Tax round-up
  • Reminders for your winter diary
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Company Director – A Position Of Responsibility

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There are several reasons why you and your business may benefit by trading as a corporate entity.  These include tax efficiency, prestige or credibility within the business world and, of course, limited financial liability.

In all cases however, you should remember that being a director of a company carries with it certain obligations and you as an individual can be penalised if those responsibilities are not met.

What is a Director?

A director is a person who has been appointed to take charge of the running of a company.  There is no limit to the number of directors who can hold office, but there must be at least one, and they must be over 16 years of age.  Individuals who are un-discharged bankrupts are not permitted, nor can anyone who has been previously disqualified as a director.

What are the Statutory Responsibilities of a Director?

A director is responsible for preparing and filing certain documentation relating to the company’s activities.  Companies House requires that directors file by a given deadline:

  • Annual Returns – giving details of the directors, company secretary, shareholdings and registered office.
  • Annual Accounts – showing the company’s financial position and trading activities (even if none have taken place).
  • Reports of any change in details such as allotment of shares, change of address, appointment or resignation of directors or company secretary.

It is possible to delegate these duties to someone else but the ultimate responsibility for them still lies with the director.

What are the Legal Responsibilities?

Company law states that a director MUST:

  • Ensure the company complies with the terms set out in its Article of Association.
  • Act with the intention of making the company a successful enterprise, using his skills to benefit the company and not himself.
  • Ensure that the company complies with Employment Law, Health and Safety Regulations and that it meets its obligations to HMRC with regard to Taxation, VAT, National Insurance, etc.
  • Declare any beneficial interest in any activity undertaken by the company.
  • Keep adequate records of the company’s activities including trading transactions, monies withdrawn from company funds, and declaration of dividends paid to shareholders.
  • Hold director’s meetings and keep minutes of any decisions made on any matter concerning the company or its shareholders.

What if I Don’t Carry Out These Duties?

There are legal and financial penalties for directors who fail in their duties.  These depend on the circumstances and the severity of the non-compliance but can range from fines to criminal charges and can result in disqualification at court or even being made personally liable for company debts, if they are deemed to be as a result of a director’s negligence.

Green & Co are always happy to advise and assist directors in the course of their duties and offer company secretarial and registered office services for all corporate clients. For more information contact us.

Please note: This article is a commentary on general principles and should not be interpreted as advice for your specific situation.

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Newly Qualified Accountant Wins Awards

Coverage in yesterday’s South Wales Argus of achievements by Lucy Whittington, one of our newly qualified accountants:

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The Big Question Gets Festive

Ed Gooderham answers this week’s Big Question in the South Wales Argus:

“It is six weeks until Christmas and many businesses are already getting into the festive mood. Business Argus has been asking the local business community what they have planned in terms of a festive treat for their staff…”

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7 Reasons Why Entering Awards Is Good For Business

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For any business, entering awards requires time and energy, but the investment can bring many benefits.

Here are 7 reasons why entering an award could be good for your business:

  1. Boost your profile: Winning or being short listed for a business award gives you the opportunity to share your success with the local press, boost your standing in the local business community, and increase your brand awareness. If you have a website or blog, make sure you publicise your achievement, and share it across social media platforms such as LinkedIn and Twitter.
  2. Win new business: Business awards are a great way to drive home the fact that you are the best, or one of the best, in your field, differentiating your company from competitors, cementing your reputation as a trusted authority in your field and attracting new customers.
  3. External benchmarking: The application process for entering a business award can often force you to fully appraise your business and compare yourself to your competitors, challenging you to identify strengths and weaknesses, and encouraging you to find new and innovative ways to be the best.
  4. Expert feedback: It is often possible to receive feedback on your award application, meaning you benefit from an independent assessment of your company from knowledgeable business experts. Some awards use employee feedback as part of the application process, which you can later use to identify areas needing improvement, ensuring staff satisfaction.
  5. Employee motivation: Achieving recognition in business awards can have a positive effect on staff morale, motivation and retention. Employees enjoy working for successful companies and winning or being shortlisted for an award to have this officially recognised can really motivate your team and give them a boost.
  6. Networking: Award ceremonies give you the opportunity to build contacts, meet and network with other business leaders and professionals, and build an all-important network of contacts within a forum for business development and best practice knowledge exchange.
  7. Attract talent: Business awards validate your hiring stature among new recruits. By pitching yourself as the best, you can attract the talent you need to push your business forward.

There are a huge variety of awards around from local to national, industry based or with specific criteria such as best employer. Whether you win or are shortlisted, make sure you update your corporate literature with the award logo, including business cards, newsletters, website, email and sales material, so that customers and potential customers are aware of what you have achieved.

Please note: This article is a commentary on general principles and should not be interpreted as advice for your specific situation.

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Are You Feeling Guilty?

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Psychologists help HMRC by inspiring guilt in taxpayers!

HMRC has employed a team of psychologists and ‘behavioural economists’ to make taxpayers feel guilty if they don’t pay on time.

Danny Alexander, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, revealed that the Revenue has subtly changed the wording of thousands of reminder letters in a bid to encourage people to pay up.

One approach has been to highlight the importance of taxes in funding public services and how the “great majority” of taxpayers pay up on time.

HMRC found response to letters was significantly higher when it told recipients that most people had paid up already, and even higher when they made a comparison with other people in their post code or town.

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Danny Alexander has threatened: “We are using psychologists and behavioural economists in HMRC to get the money quickly. Tax dodgers beware – we know where you live, we know how much you owe, and now we know how you think. Your behaviour is unacceptable, and we are coming for our money.”

HMRC said the letters were developed through a series of large-scale trials in which 100,000 taxpayers were tested to see which wording was most likely to encourage them to pay up. The tests revealed that phrases like “9 out of 10 people in the UK pay their tax on time” provoked the best response, closely followed by references to public services.

HMRC said that the changes should lead to an estimated £210 million of additional tax revenue each year.

Please note: This article is a commentary on general principles and should not be interpreted as advice for your specific situation.

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Prize Draw Winner – October 2014

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The winner of the feedback prize draw for October 2014 is Rose Jones of Pont Kemys Caravan Park Ltd. A box of chocolates is on its way to her.

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