Christine Green is completing LEJOG for Women V Cancer

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After receiving a bike for her 70th birthday last year, Christine Green, wife of Green & Co’s founder Hugh, felt in need of an adventure, and what could be better than to cycle from down south in Lands’ End, all the way up to her birth country, Scotland. Some of you may know this cycle as LEJOG.

With such a huge challenge, Christine was originally going to complete it without fundraising, but after a number of enquiries, she organised a JustGiving page, scrapped her PAYG phone and upgraded to a smartphone, and is even doing a daily blog.

So who is the well deserving charity? Christine decided on CAF – Women V Cancer which supports three cancers under one umbrella – breast, ovarian and cervical. This disease in any form is something we can all relate to, either personally or through family and friends and it’s one that impacts on all women from Lands’ End to John O’Groats.

Over the last 4 weeks, having planned her course using a mixture of routes from the Sustrans guide on National Cycle Networks and the Cicerone End to End route, Christine has been racking up the miles.

Now in Scotland, and nearing the finish line, we wanted to share her inspirational story. If you would like to follow Christine on her journey or support her by making a donation, please follow through to her JustGiving page using the button below.

JustGiving - Sponsor me now!
Please note: This article is a commentary on general principles and should not be interpreted as advice for your specific situation.

Insight into Foresight

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Budgeting is an essential tool used to monitor a business. It allows business owners to monitor what the business is actually doing, compared to what it wants to do. This seems a rather straight forward concept to understand, but it can often be met with scepticism when it comes to setting a budget. The “trying to predict the future” concept is inevitably an impossible task and is probably why most business owners feel it is a wasted exercise. This is a common misconception, as budgets need not be exact, but merely indicative.

The idea behind setting budgets is to help carve out a path to follow in the coming year. It allows you to think about where you want to take the business and how you are going to achieve it. Once these questions are answered, the budget simply shows you what the expected financial results would look like. Over the year, you can identify whether the business is following that predetermined path you carved out, or whether it is straying off and needing to be reined in.

Thinking about your business in this way is immensely productive. It will often identify opportunities and threats currently present and force you to think proactively to try and capitalise on the opportunities and manage the dangers.

In today’s economic climate, uncertainty is increasing, which makes the budgeting process more complex. However, here at Green & Co we pride ourselves in helping clients achieve their goals. With our insight into budgeting techniques, we can help you carve out that path for your business.

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

Don’t Be a Lottery Loser – Protect Your Syndicate Winnings

 

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If you and your employees club together to take a chance on the Lottery by operating a workplace syndicate, but you do not have a formal agreement in place, a large win could cause tax issues in the future.

If ever you are fortunate enough to win the jackpot, the winnings will undoubtedly be collected and distributed by a nominated individual, normally the same person who buys the tickets.  However, if by some stroke of misfortune, that person dies within 7 years of the win, HMRC could argue the distributions were technically gifts, particularly if no written agreement exists.  In that event the gifts would be treated as failed Potentially Exempt Transfers (PETs) and therefore subject to Inheritance Tax.

Admittedly this is not an everyday occurrence, but it can happen, and HMRC are likely to chase all those who shared in the winnings for any resulting liability.

Verbal agreements can of course be valid, but they are much more difficult to prove, so if you are a part of a syndicate, it is wiser to draw up a document, showing all members, the amount of the stake each pays and how any winnings are to be shared.  It should always be updated when new members join to ensure they don’t get caught out by the IHT trap.

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

Landlords Kept in the Know as Renting Homes Act Moves Forward

Neil Soundy and Daniel Bellis

The South Wales Argus highlight another successful Gwent Landlord Forum.

Landlords from across south east Wales have again received expert advice, support and insight into the ever-changing rental landscape 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.

Two guest speakers gave informative presentations to a packed room, where landlords were informed of the ins-and-outs of operating as a limited company, AIRBNB and the Renting Homes Wales Act.

Opening the evening was mortgage advisor Neil Soundy, who spoke about the benefits of buying property as a limited or trading company, the basic taxation on limited companies and buy to lets, lower rental coverage requirements and AIRBNB for landlords.

The second speaker was Daniel Bellis, a policy officer for the Residential Landlords Association. Daniel discussed the growing concerns of landlords as the Renting Homes Wales Act has come into effect, including the creation of standardised contracts across the rental sector, fit for human habitation regulations, changes in abandonment procedure and changes to joint contracts.

Ed Gooderham, director of Green & Co Accountants, said: “It’s great to see the forum grow with more and more people attending every session. Both speakers were of great quality, providing our landlords with an informative insight into complex topics. Our continued aim is to provide local landlords with as much information and support as possible, and attendees regularly feedback to us how much they enjoy these events.”

The next Gwent Landlord Forum will take place at the Parkway Hotel in Cwmbran on Wednesday July 12. For more information, please contact Rubin Lewis O’Brien, Green & Co or SerenLiving.

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

Accountant Cycles 360 Miles and Raises £10,000 for Charity

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This weeks edition of the South Wales Argus features an article on Nick Park’s 360 mile cycle as part of the Leonard Cheshire Tour de Cymru.

A Cwmbran accountant successfully cycled 360-miles across Wales as part of the Leonard Cheshire Tour de Cymru team challenge; raising more than £10,000 in the process.

Nick Park, partner at Green & Co Accountants and Tax Advisors, braved the terrain of rural Wales as he cycled across five days from Anglesey to south east Wales, finishing at the Leonard Cheshire home in Llanhennock, near Newport.

Nick said: “It was a huge privilege to take part in the Tour de Cymru organised by Leonard Cheshire Disability to celebrate 100 years of the birth of Leonard Cheshire.”

Leonard Cheshire Disability is the second largest disability charity in the UK and it supports thousands of people by improving their opportunities and helping them to pursue their goals and to live full lives.

Nick said: “We travelled 360 miles visiting eight of the Leonard Cheshire Services in Wales. The welcome we had from the residents and staff was overwhelming. Their enthusiasm and engagement was inspiring. Many of the residents had taken part in the challenge by riding static bikes in whatever way their disability allowed. They were awarded medals for their enormous efforts and it was very emotional and humbling to see how much it meant to them. One resident at Danybryn in Cardiff said that taking part had renewed her determination to learn to walk again.”

Nick and his team has so far raised £10,537.

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

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

HMRC Cash Crackdown

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HMRC has shopkeepers in its sights at the start of a new crackdown on cash payments.

Returns submitted to HMRC by shops and restaurants, whom it believes may not be declaring all of the cash payments they take, are to be crosschecked against the number of card payments taken.

HMRC estimate around 30% of transactions in these business are paid for in cash, and it is thought that investigations will centre on businesses recording more than 90% of their transactions are paid by card.

There are concerns, however, that the new plans could lead to lengthy and unnecessary investigations which could be financially damaging for small businesses.

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

Accountancy Firm Holds Free Seminar on Xero

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This weeks edition of the South Wales Argus features an article on our  Introduction to Xero Seminar.

Cwmbran-based accountancy firm Green & Co Accountants and Tax Advisors is holding a seminar on an introduction to Xero; the cloud-software product.

The free seminar will be held on Thursday, June 8 from 9am until 11am at Parkway Hotel in Llantarnam.

At the seminar, the team will outline what Xero is, the benefits of using the software and how it will help businesses become compliant in the run-up to Making Tax Digital; the government’s commitment to ensuring future tax data submitted by individuals and organisations are online.

The seminar, which will be delivered by Ian Phillips from Xero, is targeted at businesses who are using spreadsheets or offline bookkeeping methods, as well as those looking to understand a little more about Xero.

Ed Gooderham, director at Green & Co said: “We want to use this opportunity to communicate the numerous benefits of Xero to organisations; from micro-businesses to large corporations. The automation element of Xero not only minimises errors but saves valuable time and money whilst relieving administrative stress.”

If you interested in attending the event, contact Katie Williams on 01633 871 122 or email katie.williams@greenandco.com or register on Eventbrite.

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

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

Introduction to Xero Seminar – 8 June 2017

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Does your business currently use Xero or are you considering moving your accounting to a cloud based system?

We would like to invite you to the Parkway Hotel and Spa in Cwmbran, on 8 June 2017, between 9am and 11am, to teach you how to utilise Xero to its full potential and how Xero can benefit your business.

Xero account manager, Ian Phillips, will be coming along to provide you with the following:

  1. A brief summary of Making Tax Digital
  2. An overview of what Xero is and how it can benefit your business.
  3. How to use Xero to streamline your businesses reconciliation process
  4. How to save time and money using Xero.
  5. Tips & Tricks to help you get the most from your accounting system
  6. Running reports to understand your business.
  7. Questions and Answer session to help answer any questions or problems you may be facing.

Eventbrite - Introduction to Xero: Seminar from Green & Co Accountants

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

Commercial Tenancy Forum Launches

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Last weeks edition of the South Wales Argus features an article on our new Commercial Tenancy Forum.

Organisers of the Gwent Landlord Forum have launched a sister-event aimed at the commercial market.

The first Gwent Commercial Tenancy Forum will be held at the Parkway Hotel, Cwmbran, on Tuesday 20th June from 6.30-8.30pm. The event will inform local business owners who currently rent their commercial premises to keep up-to-date on the latest tenancy legislation.

Cwmbran-based Rubin Lewis O’Brien and Green & Co Accountants and Tax Advisors are behind the successful residential event.

Sam George, Managing Partner at Rubin Lewis O’Brien, said: “We’re really excited to launch the Gwent Commercial Tenancy Forum and we hope that it will continue to build on our already successful residential landlord forum.

“This is set to be a fantastic opportunity for commercial tenants to learn of the support and funding that is available to them. We aim to ensure both tenants and landlords are fully informed on all aspects of commercial lettings.”

The guest speaker will be Andy Harvie, Director of TPG Consulting, a group of Chartered Building Surveyors who offer property professionals expert advice on all building and property related matters. Mr. Harvie’s range of experience has seen him offer solutions to clients with complex requirements, his talk will focus on the the dilapidations of commercial properties.

Mr George continued: “We are keen to continue informing both commercial tenants and residential landlords that there is available support to all parties. Andy is an experienced and knowledgeable professional who will be able to help those in commercial lets understand the continually changing policies and the potential financial implications.”

Please contact the organisers directly for tickets to the free event, or register online:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/gwent-commercial-tenancy-forum-tickets-34570251553

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

First Welsh Landlord Fined Under Rent Smart

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A Welsh landlord was the first to be fined last week under the new housing regulations in Wales.

Appearing before magistrates in Newport, charges were brought against him which included failing to register a property of multiple occupancy.  Since November 2016, all landlords must register and declare multiple occupancy properties with Rent Smart Wales, as well as undertaking training to ensure they are aware of their obligations under the legislation covering rental properties.

The property owner in question was fined a total of £4,550 covering numerous offences under the Housing (Wales) Act.  A representative from Rent Smart has called the prosecution a “milestone” and says it sends out a message that non-compliant landlords cannot continue to ignore the regulations without penalty.

Those who haven’t already done so are urged to come forward and register now to avoid falling foul of the law.

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