Landlord forum to discuss legislative changes and holiday lets

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This weeks edition of the South Wales Argus features an article on our Gwent Landlord Forum.

Cwmbran-based Green & Co Accountants and Tax Advisors, QualitySolicitors Rubin Lewis O’Brien and lettings agency SerenLiving are set to hold the latest Landlord Forum on Wednesday 28th September; hosting key speakers who will give informative talks to current and potential landlords in South Wales.

The evening, which starts from 6pm, will be held at the Parkway Hotel in Cwmbran and will feature two expert guest speakers who will present on current developments within the private lettings sector. Topics will include the legislative changes that landlords in Wales will soon be facing and holiday lets.

Due to both speakers having a lot to cover organisers have decided to keep the number of speakers at two for this event.

The first speaker will be Douglas Haig, Residential Landlord Association (RLA) Vice Chairman and Director for Wales, a private sector association who offer tailored support for landlords. Mr Haig will be discussing the upcoming legislative changes and the impact these will have on landlords.

The second speaker will be Phil Hathway of Hathway Estate Agents who will be discussing holiday lets.

Katie Williams of Green & Co Accountants said “We hope the event will be another success and that all landlords will be correctly informed on the changing legislation and the opportunities surrounding holiday lets. The forums are a great way to communicate with private landlords.

“We hope to help spread the word of bodies such as the RLA and the important service that they can offer landlords.”

Penny Jarman of QualitySolicitors Rubin Lewis O’Brien said the forum aims to build an ethos of support: “We want landlords to be as informed as possible when it comes to the continual changes in legislation and the different opportunities that are available within the rental market. We hope that through the forum all landlords are continually updated on the ever changing legal and administrative aspects of the buy-to-let market.”

Green & Co Accountants and Tax Advisors specialise in business growth and tax minimisation for businesses across Wales and the South West of England.

For proactive advice, contact Green & Co Accountants and Tax Advisors on 01633 871 122, follow @Green_and_Co on Twitter or email ed@greenandco.com.

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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Get In, Go Far with Apprenticeship Schemes

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Since May of this year, the government’s ‘Get In Go Far’ advertising campaign has sought to encourage more young people to consider an apprenticeship. The four year campaign is in line with the government’s commitment to create 3 million apprenticeships by 2020.

The aim is to inform and inspire young people to consider apprenticeship as a credible route to a rewarding career, while at the same time encouraging employers to run apprenticeship programs.

Can your business benefit?
Hiring an apprentice could provide many benefits to an organisation, offering employers the opportunity to diversify their workforce and provide a pipeline for future talent aimed at their business needs. Apprenticeships are for ambitious people of all ages, who can learn while gaining real skills on the job.

For more information on hiring an apprentice, visit www.getingofar.gov.uk and see the ways your business could benefit.

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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HMRC Not So Fine with Parking Fines

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HMRC’s position on parking fines is reinforced in the recent case of G4 Cash Solutions (UK) Ltd v HMRC [2016] TC5015. The first tier tribunal decided in favour of HMRC and disallowed tax relief for car parking fines imposed.

The issue arose as the company’s drivers incurred parking fines which G4S claimed were due to the awkward location of the customer’s premises. Rather than lose the custom, G4S accepted the fines and claimed them as an expense in their accounts.

G4S argued that the fines were incurred when exercising the trade; they were unavoidable and it was a commercial decision to pay them.

The tribunal countered that although breaching the law was as a result of the trade’s activities, it was not part of the trade and the fines incurred were therefore not tax deductible. G4S received 10,000 penalty notices per year from 2008 to 2010 which had resulted in tax relief of £580,000. One would hope that G4S has a “back-up” plan.

Green & Co have a dedicated tax department who can advise on allowable expenses, to speak to one of our team, contact us on 01633 871122.

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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Tax Relief When Home is The Office

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When a business is operated through premises that are owned or let by the business, claiming for rent, rates and utilities, etc., is all relatively straightforward. However, when the business is run from the home of the proprietor or director (if a limited company), then the expense claim requires a little more thought.

If you wish to claim an apportionment of the household bills, as opposed to the flat rate allowance set by HMRC, then a number of factors should be considered for the calculation.

The area of the home used for business purposes (this can be expressed in terms of floor space or number of rooms) and the time in which that area is used for work should be established in order to apportion the bills.

If a room is used exclusively for the business, then it will not qualify for private residence relief so capital gains tax could be due when the house is sold. Therefore the room should also be used for domestic purposes to ensure the capital gains exemption.

Directors cannot claim any proportion of rent, mortgage interest, or council tax.  However, they can charge the company rent for using their home and claim allowable, apportioned expenditure against the rental income. The rental income would have to be declared on the director’s self-assessment tax return.

Certain occupations have specific allowances and thresholds which have been agreed with HMRC, for example child minders, and these should be observed where applicable. For help and advise on this, please contact our tax team on 01633 871122.

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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HMRC clamping down on offshore tax evaders

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On 5th September, HMRC opened its Worldwide Disclosure Facility (WDF). The WDF was initially announced in the Budget 2015, and allows those with outstanding tax to pay to put their affairs in order and will offer no special terms.

HMRC has been clear that that not paying tax by failing to disclose your offshore income and investments is illegal. In 2014-15 HMRC brought in over £26 billion from tackling tax evasion and avoidance, and has raised more than £2.5 billion from offshore evasion initiatives since 2010.

Those who chose to ignore the new disclosure facility and who do not come forward and pay the outstanding taxes from offshore investments and accounts, could face penalties of up to twice the tax they try to evade, and increase the risk of potential criminal charges.

HMRC will be even better able to target evaders from October 2016, when it starts to receive an unprecedented amount of data on those with offshore accounts in the Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories – one year ahead of even more data coming in from across the globe, when the Common Reporting Standard comes into force.

If this affects you, or to find out more, visit HMRC.

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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Gwent Landlord Forum – 28 September 2016

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The summer holidays are over and the new season of Landlord Forums are back with our first event taking place on Wednesday 28th September at The Parkway Hotel and Spa between 6pm and 8pm.

If you are a landlord and currently letting properties or thinking about buying to let in South Wales and you have not previously attended, pop this in the diary. If you know someone who is a landlord and might be interested, please do pass this invitation on to them – we are always happy to welcome new guests. 

Speakers include:

Douglas Haig – Vice Chair and Director for Wales of the Residential Landlords Association (RLA)

Douglas will be discussing the new legislative changes facing landlords in Wales. This includes an update on Rent Smart Wales, the Renting Homes Act, Stamp Duty, the Wales Bill and what we can expect form the new programme for Government in the coming years.

Phil Hathway – Hathways Estate Agents

Phil will be discussing holiday lets so if you use one of your properties in this way don’t miss this update.

Eventbrite - Gwent Landlord Forum

For any enquiries about this event, please contact Katie Williams at Green & Co on 01633 871122, Email: katie@greenandco.com.

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5 Key Ways To Take Charge Of Your Bookkeeping

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Bookkeeping can be an overwhelming task but having a system in place can make it a lot less daunting! Here are five ways to take charge of your bookkeeping:

  1. Create a list of important tax-related dates and place it where it’s easily visible. If you have a permanent reminder of key dates you’ll have a better overall picture of what needs to be done by when.
  1. Implement a system that ensures you can maintain three sets of records:
  • Cash book: keep a record of all the transactions into and out of your business account.
  • Purchase invoices: keep a chronological record of how and when you pay your invoices.
  • Sales invoices: again, maintain a chronological record of when and who you have invoiced, and when you get paid.

This can be done either using a paper-based method, a more progressive approach such as a spreadsheet in Excel, or an accountancy based computer package like Sage or Xero. A good system will help you keep on top of all your income and outgoings.

  1. Keep your personal and business accounts entirely separate. If you use your business account to pay for private items of expenditure or vice versa with your personal account, your accounts will be much harder to reconcile.
  1. Set time aside to do your accounts regularly and try to do your books in the morning – It’s tempting to do them at the end of the day or week, but this is when you’re likely to be most tired and potentially make mistakes.
  1. Get help and advice whenever you feel things are going astray. It’s counter-productive to let your accounts get on top of you as you’re more likely to make mistakes. If you feel like it’s too much, approach your accountant – they may provide a bookkeeping service for a reasonable price which takes the stress away from you.

Green & Co have a dedicated bookkeeping department who are trained on a number of different bookkeeping packages including Sage and Xero. If you would like to discuss your situation with one of our team, contact us on 01633 871122.

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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