Tax Return Deadline is Approaching

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It comes around almost as fast as Christmas, and here we are again. The 31 January 2017 marks the deadline for filing of the 2015/16 Self-Assessment Tax Return (SATR).

Individuals who are required to submit a SATR include, the self-employed and some landlords, investors, company directors, high earners and people who have worked overseas.

Those taxpayers who fail to file their Return online by midnight on Tuesday 31 January will be subject to an automatic penalty of £100. This applies even if there is no tax to pay, or the tax is paid on time.

Tax Returns which are not filed after a further three months will be subject to daily penalties, and additional penalties will apply to Returns which remain unfiled after six and 12 months, adding up to a potential penalty of £1,600 or more.

Penalties and interest charges also apply for the late payment of tax, and these will continue to be applied until HM Revenue & Customs receives payment.

Green & Co can help with all your tax planning needs, including filing your Tax Return – please contact us for further assistance.

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

UK Weather ‘Snow’ Joke for Businesses

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With the winter season upon us, the importance of businesses to prepare for emergencies is thrust upon us again.

Businesses should be prepared to manage the risks associated with extreme snowfall, flooding or similar and are advised to prepare a grab bag with essential items such as insurance documents and staff contact information, which can be easily accessed should the premises be evacuated or is unable to be accessed.

Employers should also be aware that harsh weather could leave staff unable to travel to work and they should evaluate the risks and provide solutions to being understaffed during this time.

More helpful information can be found online at GOV.UK

 

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from Green & Co

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As we sit in a food coma after eating way too much food, almost ready to bow out 2016 and welcome a fresh new year, we would like to take this opportunity to thank you, our loyal blog readers! Whether you are already a client, a prospective client, or just like to read our informative articles each week, it is you who keeps this blog going.

Working with our clients in 2016, has also helped to grow Green & Co’s services, allowing us to assist our clients in both setting and achieving their goals. Our services span from general accounts to business goal setting and much more…

  • Year-end and management accounts
  • Tax returns and tax planning
  • Auditing
  • VAT and bookkeeping
  • Payroll (Including Auto Enrolment)
  • Construction Industry Scheme (CIS)
  • Sage and Xero Training
  • Business forecasting and goal setting
  • Exit strategies
  • Profit improvement
  • Profit extraction
  • Corporate re-structuring
  • Inheritance tax review and estate planning
  • Virtual office services
  • Probate
  • Research & Development Tax Relief

Green & Co also specialise in accounting for a number of fields:

  • Doctors
  • Property developers
  • Independent financial advisors
  • Solicitors
  • Insurance brokers
  • And of course, farming!

If you would like to know any more about any of the above, please give our friendly team a call on 01633 871122 once we are back from our Christmas break – refuelled and recharged to combat another year together!

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‘Tis The Season Of Giving – Some Christmas Cheer From The VAT Man

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Here we are again – can ‘yule’ believe it’s that time of year when businesses like to ‘present’ their staff with a reward for all their hard work? Did you know that certain gifts can be tax efficient? The VAT man won’t entirely ‘reindeer’ on your parade.

First off, we have employee gifts. It doesn’t have to be ‘deer’, in fact as long as the value of gifts given to each employee doesn’t exceed £50 (exclusive of VAT) within a 12 month period, then you don’t have to declare output tax. If however, you’re feeling overly generous, and exceed the £50 limit, then you have to declare output VAT on the total amount of those gifts. He’s not a total Grinch though, you will be entitled to reclaim input VAT on the purchase cost. The £50 limit does not include administrative expenses, e.g. postage and packaging, and the offering must meet the gift criteria in order to qualify.

Then we have the Christmas parties. If you decide to ‘wrap’ up 2016 with a Christmas party for employees, you can reclaim VAT on all the costs. If guests are invited along too (since Christmas is a family affair) then you must apportion the VAT reclaimed to reflect this.

And that’s a Christmas Wrap, we hope you have a Happy Holly Day, from all at Green & Co.

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

Changes to the VAT Flat Rate Scheme

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As announced in the Autumn Statement, there are significant changes ahead for companies using the Flat Rate Scheme (FRS) for VAT. The FRS will continue to run, however many businesses will find it is no longer economical to use.

Under the FRS, a business ignores VAT incurred on purchases when reporting VAT, with the exception of capital items costing over £2,000. The business simply multiplies the gross turnover for the period by a percentage set for that particular trade sector, for example accountancy and legal services are 14.5%.

The government believes many have been abusing the system and so is changing the rules to make it less attractive. From 1st April 2017 a ‘low cost trader’ will be required to use the higher percentage of 16.5%.

Will this affect you? A ‘low cost trader’ is a business whose expenditure on goods is less than 2% of its gross turnover, or if more than 2% of its turnover, the amount spent on goods is less than £1,000 per year (Not including capital items, motor expenses or food and drink for consumption by the business).

Green & Co have a dedicated VAT department who can advise on how the changes may affect you, 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.

 

7 Essential Tips for Start-ups

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Starting a business doesn’t come as easy as some people think; there are many things which can try and test you, but if you stick it out and follow these simple tips, you can be sure you are heading in the right direction.

When starting up you need to ask yourself the following questions:

1. Do I have a plan?

Firstly, have a business plan and of course test it out. It’s no good having a business plan, if it doesn’t work! Testing your plan can help you come across any boulders in the road early on to ensure that when going into business, these teething problems have already been sorted. (Check out our top tips for writing a business plan.)

2. What should my business structure be?

There are numerous ways of forming and structuring your business. What best suits your needs? This would be a good time to consult us at Green & Co, and speak to one of our partners to discuss maybe starting a partnership, a sole trade, an LLP or a Limited Company. This is something we specialise in – helping clients choose what is best for them.

3. What shall I call my business?

Choosing a name and coming up with a logo for your company can be a challenging task, but a very important one. The name you choose is not only a name, but a brand, and once you become well established, it is something you want to be happy with and not resenting.  Changing the name down the line can be very costly.

4. How much will this cost me?

Saving money is extremely important when starting a business. You need to make sure that you cut costs as effectively as possible and that you do your research on getting the best deals. Starting a business is a very expensive time and the last thing you want to do is to spend all your money straight away when you may need it further down the line.

5. Can I get any financial help?

There are numerous grants widely available and with enough research, you will be able to see if you are eligible for any of them. There are many conditions with grants, including location, what type of business you have and how many people you employ, but there are more organisations out there willing to help you than you might think.

6. What space am I going to use?

Getting a premises can also be extremely difficult, as you need to ensure that you have the right amount of business space and that it’s in the right location. You don’t want to be opening a bakery next door to a bakery that has been open and established for years. Research is the key.

Do you even need a premises to start with? Can you work from home and save on costs until further down the line when the business is more established? Maybe look into a Virtual Address, so as to appear as though you are based at another location.

7. Are there any rules or regulations I should be aware of?

There are a number of things that some people don’t realise which come with the joy of staring up a business, such as abiding by laws and restrictions and making sure you have the right insurances/licenses/council permissions. These are essential to start-up businesses, as the last thing you want is an unexpected fine for, say, not abiding by fire regulations!

And lastly of course, make sure you choose a good accountant :)!

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

Landlords:  Have You Claimed Your Pre-letting Expenditure?

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If you’ve incurred qualifying expenditure at some time prior the letting of your rental property, you can still offset this expenditure against rental income (once it’s received) as long as it meets certain criteria.

You cannot claim for expenses, such as repairs or council tax bills, which you paid while the property was your private residence, as this expenditure is not for the purpose of the rental business. There are also restrictions on expenditure incurred when a full market value rent is not charged.

In order to qualify, pre-letting expenditure must meet the following:

  • It must be incurred wholly and exclusively for the purposes of the rental business
  • It has to have been incurred no more than seven years prior to the commencement of the rental business
  • It cannot otherwise be allowable as a deduction for tax purposes
  • If incurred after the rental income commenced, the expense would have been allowable, and
  • It cannot be capital expenditure.

The expenditure, if allowable, will be treated as incurred on the day in which the rental business commenced.

For queries relating to this or any other Landlord tax matters, please contact Green & Co.

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

 

 

Gwent Landlord Forum – 30 November 2016

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Rent Smart registration and another Autumn Budget will take place before our next event! We hope you have sorted out the first, but why not come along to The Parkway Hotel and Spa on Wednesday 30th November between 6pm and 8pm to have a breakdown of the Autumn Budget and specifically its impact on you as a Landlord?

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:

Leanne Flanagan – Tax Senior at Green & Co Accountants & Tax Advisors

Leanne has updated our attendees about the tax implications for landlords as a result of the budgets in the past and she will be focusing on the Autumn Budget and any changes for Landlords at this meeting.

David Vieria – Go Commercial Finance Limited

David will be speaking about ‘alternative lending solutions’ for the buy-to-let market.

 

Eventbrite - Gwent Landlord Forum

 

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

Funding for Research and Innovation in Wales

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Does your business have an innovative proposal that can successfully convert research and innovation into new and improved commercial products, processes and services? EU funds of around £40million are now available for Welsh businesses to aid in the process.

Your project proposal should build on areas where Welsh businesses and research organisations have already established, or are beginning to establish, internationally significant expertise, with a strong industrial influence.

When completing your proposal, you should also focus on the delivery of key outcomes, such as increasing employment and delivering new products, and clearly add value to existing public and private sector activity.

Applications need to be submitted before 31 January 2017. Further details can be found here.

Please note that funding could affect any Research & Development (R&D) Tax Relief claims so be sure to speak to your accountant before making any decisions.

Green & Co specialise in R&D relief so if you would like to book a meeting to discuss your project, please 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.