Do You Want To Maximise Your ClaimFor Childcare Costs?

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If you are currently paying childcare costs or will do in the near future, are you aware that the scheme for claiming tax relief is changing in the Autumn of 2015?

Currently you may be claiming relief through the childcare voucher scheme. The childcare voucher scheme enables the parent to claim £55 per week of childcare vouchers if entering the scheme before April 2011, reducing to £28 or £25 depending on whether you are a higher rate taxpayer for those joining the scheme after this date. These vouchers are tax and NI free, providing savings of £933 on £55 per week reducing to £623 for the lower amounts.

The tax credits system pays up to 70% of childcare costs but is, of course, dependent on the claimants’ income.

The new system will give tax relief at 20% on childcare costs of up to £10,000 per child.

Both parents need to be working and neither parent must be an additional rate taxpayer.

Parents who already receive child care vouchers don’t have to switch to the new system unless they want to. So the question is “do I switch or do I not switch?” There is no easy answer to this as it will vary from person to person depending on their individual circumstances. Factors such as how many children you have, coupled with the level of childcare costs involved, will feature heavily in any decision.

It is important to note:

  • Once a claimant leaves the childcare voucher system he/she cannot rejoin it.
  • In Autumn 2015 the scheme will be closed to new entrants who will only be able to participate in the new scheme

For anyone in receipt of childcare vouchers or considering the scheme, it is important to review which option is the most beneficial to you.

For more information contact Green & Co.

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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Green & Co’s Expanding Services

Coverage of our new payroll and bookkeeping recruits in today’s South Wales Argus.

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If you would like to meet our new recruits, please come to our Auto-Enrolment seminar tomorrow (Wednesday 22nd October) from 9am-11am at GreenMeadow Country & Golf Club.

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6 Ways To Create A Happy Workforce

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A happy workforce is a productive one, as people who are happy at work are more creative, motivated, and achieving.

So it makes sense that business owners wishing for a successful business should strive to create a happy workforce. But how?

  1. Make your employees feel valued – A little bit of appreciation goes a long way towards motivating staff. Take the time to praise employees when they do a good job and they will feel more confident and motivated to do just as well, or better, in the future.
  2. Communicate – Regular communication about the business as a whole and where it’s going will mean employees feel that they play an important role in the business and that their work contributes towards the bigger picture. Employees also need to feel that their ideas are heard and valued, so encourage them to voice their opinions and think creatively. Involving your staff in your business will motivate them to work hard to help you achieve your goals, whilst giving them a greater job satisfaction.
  3. Create a friendly, relaxed working environment – It’s not just about the job, it’s about the people you work with and the environment you work in. Your employees spend more time at work than at home, so try to ensure that they can enjoy their work time. Encourage an environment in which it’s important that the job gets done, and gets done well, but in which staff can laugh and have fun at work. You could also organise social activities such as team building days and charity events, or provide impromptu rewards for good work like a team lunch.
  4. Encourage work/life balance – An employee who has time for friends, family and outside interests is more likely to remain loyal to you and be focused at work. Flexible working hours and offering time off in lieu when overtime is necessary are both possible solutions, as well as showing an interest in your employees’ lives outside of work – demonstrating that you value them not just as employees, but as individuals too.
  5. Help staff reach their full potential - Provide your staff with the resources, training and support they need to grow, develop new skills and update existing ones, which will benefit your business, as well as helping them to realise their ambitions.
  6. Lead by example – It really is as simple as that. Providing a top down approach will set the tone for the whole firm.

Implementing just a few of the above strategies could have a significant impact on the happiness and productivity of your business.

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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Free Auto-Enrolment Seminar

Coverage of our free Auto-Enrolment Seminar in today’s South Wales Argus.

Reserve your place by phoning 01633 871122 or emailing katie.williams@greenandco.com

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HMRC Takes The Driving Seat

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Having lost out at the first tier tribunal, HMRC took racing giant McLaren all the way to the upper tribunal to see a judgement in their favour, in a recent tax case.

Back in 2007 a (one can only imagine, disgruntled) former Ferrari engineer passed confidential design and performance information onto McLaren regarding Ferrari’s Formula One cars, which McLaren possessed and in some way used. Upon discovery of this misdemeanour the motor sport governing body, Federation International de L’Automobile, issued McLaren with a £32 million fine for breach of the International Sporting Code.

What business of this is HMRC’s, you ask? Well, McLaren deducted this fine as a trading expense, thus receiving tax relief and HMRC disputed this on the basis that the fine was not wholly and exclusively incurred in the performance of McLaren’s trade. The first tier tribunal found that the penalty was a business expense as it was a result of contractual obligations McLaren entered into for the purposes of its trade.

The upper tribunal, however, overturned this original judgement and declared that obtaining information by breaching regulations did not class as normal business activity and therefore the ‘wholly and exclusively’ criteria was not satisfied. Thus, the fine was not an allowable deduction.

The lesson? All might be fair in love and war – but that doesn’t make it tax deductible!

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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Green & Co Gains New Trainees

Today’s South Wales Argus introduces our new trainees:

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Prize Draw Winner – September 2014

 www.greenandco.comThe winner of the feedback prize draw for September 2014 is Martin Peters. A box of chocolates is on its way to him.

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