Top Tips: Organising Networking Events

top tips organising networking events.jpg

Networking events are more or less everywhere, whatever your field or location. Thanks to social media, it’s easier than ever to set up, plan and run a networking event. But what are our top tips for achieving a successful one?

Keep it personal

As your events may start to grow, remember to still try and talk to everyone, thank them for coming, connect with them on social media and say goodbyes.

Keep a familiar format

Familiarity is useful when it comes to networking events; the same structure means regulars know the score, how things run and feel relaxed, and also makes it easy for newcomers to get to grips pretty quickly.

Choose the right venue

Choosing the right venue is the most important part, as it will go some way to dictating the tone, mood and direction of the whole event. Pick a central location that is easy for all to access.

Promote the event

Use social media, blogs, even a newsletter to market your event. Don’t delay, start as early as you can and execute it to the full.

Follow up

It’s really important that you keep the conversation going after a networking event, so keep in touch on social media or through emails. Send out any relevant information from the event too, such as speaker’s talks and contact details.

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

Tax Free Childcare

Tax Free Childcare.jpg

The Government’s new Tax-Free Childcare scheme will be phased in across the UK from 28 April 2017, and will replace the current Childcare Voucher Scheme.

For the first time, the scheme will not only cover full time employees but also those who are part time, on maternity, paternity or adoption leave and people who are self-employed, subject to meeting HMRC’s eligibility criteria.  Initially, the scheme will only be available to parents of children under 2 years old, but by the end of the year this will be extended to all working parents across the UK with children under 12, or under 17 if disabled.

How the scheme works

The Government offers working families 20% support towards qualifying childcare costs.  Through the childcare service, parents must apply to open an online childcare account provided by NS&I, which payments can be paid into by the families and out of directly to the childcare provider.  For every £8 that is paid in to the account, the Government will make a top up payment of an additional £2, up to a maximum of £2,000 per child per year (£4,000 for disabled children).

Once this scheme has been implemented, any Employer Supported Childcare (ESC) schemes will be closed.  However, if you are already in an ESC prior to the launch you will have a choice of which scheme you would like to stay with, and the same scheme must be used for each child.

You can find a Childcare Calculator on the HMRC website which will help you compare the schemes available to you and check which works best for your family.

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

South Wales Argus Features Another Highly Successful Landlord Forum

imgID104609972.jpg.gallery

The South Wales Argus highlight another highly successful Landlord Forum, held at the end of March. Green & Co’s own Leanne Flanagan opened the evening in front of another large crowd.

Property landlords from across South Wales received advice and support in light of the recent budget as part of the bi-monthly Gwent Landlord Forum.

The event, held by Cwmbran-based Rubin Lewis O’Brien, Green & Co Accountants and Tax Advisors, and lettings agency SerenLiving, took place at the Parkway Hotel.

You can read the whole article here.

If you are interested in attending our next Landlord Forum, due to be held on May 31st, please get in touch now to register your interest.

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

Barrie Kenyon Features In This Weeks South Wales Argus

MH_161016_Green_And_Co_018.JPG

Barrie Kenyon of Green & Co features in this weeks South Wales Argus discussing how some changes in the new tax year will effect employees as well as employers.

The new tax year has seen a raft of changes, with more legislative reform scheduled to come into effect over the next few years.

From changes in dividends, stamp duty, and national insurance (with a U-turn thrown in for good measure) the way that people are taxed is an ever-evolving landscape. However, it’s not just directors, landlords and the self-employed who have been targeted with new legislation.

To read the whole article, please click here.

Class 2 Voluntary Contributions

Class 2 NI.jpg

Although the self-employed heaved a sigh of relief when the Chancellor reversed his decision to raise the rate of Class 4 NIC recently, other changes in the structure of National Insurance will give cause for concern, particularly for those with low earnings.

The abolition of the self-employed stamp (Class 2 NIC) from April 2018 means those who are currently below the Small Earnings Exemption and have been paying voluntary Class 2 contributions in order to secure contributory benefits will no longer be able to do so.  From that date they will have to pay Class 3 voluntary contributions which is currently £14.10 per week, compared to the Class 2 amount of £2.80 they are currently contributing.  In addition, the special rates for share fishermen (currently £3.45) and volunteer development workers (£5.60) will also be abolished, so they too will have to pay the higher Class 3 amount to maintain their contributions.

The situation is further complicated as in the past those with income below the Class 2 limit had to opt out of paying the stamp by applying for exemption, whereas now low earners have to opt in if they wish to make contributions – a fact many may not have been aware of, and may give rise to gaps in their records.

You can check your Class 2 record by logging onto your personal tax account at HMRC on-line, by post or by phone – details can be found here. If you have gaps in your contributions you can now backdate your Class 2 contributions for up to 6 years but you will need to do so before Class 2 is fully abolished.  You need 35 years of contributions paid or credited to be entitled to the full state pension.

If you would like to discuss your situation with one of the team at Green & Co, 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.

Mates Rates – Letting your property at below Market Value

Letting your property.jpg

When you let a property to a third party for a market rent it should be relatively straightforward to calculate your taxable rental income, or loss if applicable. A market rent is that which a landlord can expect to receive in accordance with rents charged for similar properties in the same area. If your rental income exceeds the allowable expenditure incurred the profit will form part of your income and if the allowable expenditure exceeds the income then, assuming you meet all criteria, you will have a loss which you can carry forward and offset against future rental income.

There are some circumstances where a market rent is not charged. For example, a parent may let a property to their child for a lower amount, as parental duty dictates.  In this instance the expenses incurred, such as mortgage interest, landlord insurance, etc., may be greater than the rent received. If this is the case, then the expenses are not sustained wholly and exclusively for business purposes and in strict terms should not be claimed. However the good people at HMRC do allow expenditure to be claimed up to the value of the rent received, therefore resulting in no profit no loss. As a result, however, any actual ‘loss’ will be lost.

Should you have any Landlord tax queries please contact Green & Co on 01633 871122.

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

Some employee perks are losing their tax breaks.

Salary sacrifice.jpg

From 6 April 2017 the tax and employer national insurance advantages of a salary sacrifice or salary exchange will be removed, with the exception of:

  • Pensions
  • Childcare (Vouchers, workplace nurseries or directly contracted childcare)
  • Cycle to work
  • Ultra-low emission cars with co2 emissions of or less than 75g/km.

Any employees who have swapped their salary for benefits, for example, additional holiday days, will now pay the same tax as if they were buying them out of their post-tax income.

If any arrangements which were in place before April 2017 relate to cars with co2 emissions over 75g/km, accommodation or school fees, they will be protected until April 2021. All other arrangements (arranged before April 2017) that are not detailed above will be protected until April 2018.

If you are worried about any of these forthcoming changes, please contact us at Green & Co for further help and guidance.

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

 

National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage

Minimum Wage2.jpg

As announced by the Chancellor in the Autumn Statement, the rate of the National Living Wage is set to increase to £7.50 per hour from April 2017.

In line with this, the government has accepted the recommendations of the Low Pay Commission for the National Minimum Wage and from April 2017 the new rates will be as follows:

£7.05 per hour for 21-24 year olds
£5.60 per hour for 18-20 year olds
£4.05 per hour for 16-17 year olds
£3.50 per hour for apprentices (under 19 or 19 and over and in the first year of their apprenticeship)

The National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage are legal requirements. If H M Revenue and Customs (HMRC) find that an employer has not paid the correct minimum wage, they can send a notice for the arrears as well as a penalty.

If you are unsure what you should be paying, please consult a specialist. Green & Co run a dedicated payroll department that can organise this for you. If you would like more information, 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.

 

 

New Allowance for Pension Advice

Pension Advice.jpg

A new allowance which will enable people to access pensions advice in a tax efficient way will commence in April 2017.

Under existing rules, if you require advice regarding pensions you will normally have to pay a fee to a Financial Adviser. A new allowance being introduced in April will mean that you will be able to use funds saved in a defined contribution type pension fund to pay for the advice instead. The ability to access the advice in this manner essentially means that the cost of the advice is tax free.

The amount which can be accessed is £500. It can be accessed up to 3 different times provided it is in different tax years.

Be aware that the allowance can only be used to pay for regulated advice and cannot be used by those in final salary schemes unless they also have a defined contribution pension plan at the same time.

If you would like further information or would like to discuss your situation please contact our tax team.

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