Prize Draw Winner – July 2014

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The winner of the feedback prize draw for July 2014 is Mr E Weavin. A box of chocolates is on its way to him.

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The Big Question…

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

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Couldn’t Stop, Wouldn’t Stop – Our Sponsored Walk Success!

Coverage of our sponsored non-stop walk for Headway Cardiff in yesterday’s South Wales Argus:

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Nick leads his team on the first walk of the day.

Accountancy firm Green & Co has raised more than £1,500 for the brain injury charity Headway Cardiff.

The non-stop walk around Cwmbran was a huge success, with members of the firm walking more than 110 miles between them.

Nick Park, director of Green & Co, has a personal connection to the charity as his nephew, Nathan, spent six weeks in a coma after being assaulted in Cyprus. Doctors gave him little chance of survival but since receiving help from Headway, Nathan has achieved a remarkable physical recovery. This year Nathan competed in the London Marathon and raised £5,000 for the Headway and Green & Co wanted to continue his fundraising effort with their sponsored walk.

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It’s As Easy As That With Flat Rate VAT!

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Flat rate VAT is a scheme introduced by HMRC to help businesses simplify their VAT accounting, in turn reducing the amount of time spent on calculating their liabilities.

Many business love the sound of a reduced rate in VAT…but is it worth it?

The flat rate VAT scheme allows businesses with a VAT inclusive turnover of under £150,000 to calculate their VAT liability by applying a percentage to their VAT inclusive turnover. The rate is lower than the standard 20% and can vary between 4% and 14.5% depending on the sector in which your business operates. HMRC also offer a 1% reduction in the reduced rate for the first year of VAT registration, which is a great benefit for those new to the scheme. The downside is that you won’t be able to reclaim VAT on any purchases, except for capital assets worth more than £2,000.

The flat rate scheme can offer many benefits for businesses such as:

  • Smoothing your cash-flow as you know what VAT you need to pay on your takings.
  • You don’t have to record the VAT you charge on every sale and purchase, reducing the time spent on the books.
  • A first year discount if you are in your first year of VAT registration until the day before the first anniversary you became VAT registered.
  • Fewer rules, so less time working out what you can and can’t reclaim.
  • Less chance of mistakes, so peace of mind that you are doing it right.

An assessment would need to be conducted to calculate whether the reduced rate compensates for not reclaiming the input VAT. The results could vary from business to business as most businesses operate differently to others even in the same sector. As a general guideline, the scheme may not benefit you if:

  • You buy mostly standard-rated items, as you cannot generally reclaim any VAT on your purchases.
  • You regularly receive a VAT repayment under VAT accounting.
  • You make a lot of zero-rated or exempt sales.

Green and Co have helped many businesses to comply with VAT regulations as efficiently and effectively as possible for many years and are always considering different ways for our clients to save money. If you are interested in how best to tackle VAT in your business, or for more information on other services we provide, please call us on 01633 871122 or visit our website.

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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FCA-Regulated Companies

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In the current economic climate there is now increased scrutiny of companies regulated by the FCA. This means that a thorough knowledge of the rules and requirements in place is vital for these companies, as the FCA has the power to intervene and potentially stop companies trading if a serious breach is discovered. With this in mind, compliance is an issue that should be prioritised and given due attention by FCA-regulated companies.

There are two main methods of ensuring your company is complying with all relevant rules and requirements: the use of an in-house member of staff or director who has a comprehensive understanding of these issues, or the use of an external compliance consultant.

One of the responsibilities imposed on FCA-regulated companies is the submission of various reports throughout the financial year, including ‘GABRIEL’ online reports, and the CASS report (in relation to the holding of client assets), if the company exceeds certain thresholds. The expert on the topic will be able to identify the compliance requirements of the company based on its individual circumstances.

Green & Co have experience in the preparation of CASS reports. If you would like to find out more on this topic please 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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Residential Care Fees Planning

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If you have a relative in a residential care home suffering with Dementia or Alzheimer’s you may be able to take advantage of a little known rule that could mean you qualify for free residential care.

Under section 117, aftercare services must be provided for patients sectioned (compulsory detained) under section 3 of the Mental Health Act 1983. This would result in funding being provided to allow for patients to receive care home fees.

To be admitted under section 3, their illness must pose a risk to their own health or safety, or to that of others.

Section 117 aftercare means if a patient needs to be moved from a hospital to a care home, their fees must be paid for.

How the law works

Patients with dementia must be sectioned under section 3 of the Mental Health Act 1983 to qualify for free aftercare. The act has different relevant sections.

Patients can be held in hospital for 28 days under section 2. This can be extended by transferring the patient to section 3. By detaining someone under section 3, they can be detained for up to six months, which can be extended.

If the patient needs to be moved from hospital to a care home their care home fees must be paid for.

If someone is sectioned under section 3, even if they are later ‘downgraded’ to section 2 they are entitled to free aftercare funding.

From day 29 they must either be discharged or re-sectioned under section 3 which means they receive free aftercare.

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

Written by guest blogger Andrew Tucker, Financial Planning Solutions Ltd.

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Best Foot Forward To Help Raise A Sum For Charity

Coverage in today’s South Wales Argus of our sponsored walk taking place tomorrow from 9am-5pm.

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If you would like to sponsor us, please visit our JustGiving page:

www.justgiving.com/GreenandCo

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