Making Tax Digital Delayed until 2020

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The Treasury have delivered what is potentially good news for many (yes, you have read that correctly).  Making Tax Digital, or MTD to give it its affectionate moniker, has been both delayed and reduced in terms of requirement.

For businesses that are VAT registered, VAT returns will still have to be submitted via MTD compatible software from 1 April 2019, but in terms of quarterly reporting for tax and national insurance (NI) purposes,  MTD has been delayed until at least April 2020.

The new timetable for income tax and NIC reporting is as follows, although the £85,000 small business threshold is subject to change.

Annual turnover

Old timetable

New timetable

Over £85,000

6 April 2018

At least April 2020

From £10,000 – £85,000

6 April 2019

At least April 2020 but on a voluntary basis

Companies

1 April 2020

At least April 2020

It appears that the Government have quite enough on their plate without launching MTD and undoubtedly many taxpayers will welcome the delay!

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

Doctor, Doctor: Are Medical Expenses Tax Deductible?

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The question of whether medical expenses are tax deductible is one which is frequently posed and we can consider this using the example of a self-employed farmer who seeks treatment from a chiropractor. She believes that the treatment will improve her ability to farm and therefore queries whether she can claim a deduction for this in her accounts.

HMRC do recognise that taxpayers need to be in good health in order to carry on their trade, this allows them to earn an income on which they will pay their taxes. However HMRC’s approach to medical expenses typically follows that applied to costs incurred for food and clothes.

In this instance the farmer’s medical expense will not be tax deductible as the treatment will positively impact her personal life and therefore the expenditure cannot be wholly and exclusively incurred for business purposes.

If you require any further information please contact Green & Co Accountants.

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

2017 Budget Review

Following on from the Chancellor’s first and last Spring Budget, we are pleased to provide you with our summary of the key announcements, along with our tax tables for the 2017/18 tax year:

Budget Summary

Tax Data
The main changes include:

  • The tax-free dividend allowance will be reduced from £5,000 to £2,000 from April 2018.
  • Class 4 national insurance contributions for self-employed workers will increase to 10% in April 2018 and rise again, to 11%, from April 2019.
  • Unincorporated businesses and landlords with a turnover below the VAT threshold will have until April 2019 before they are required to implement ‘Making Tax Digital’.

Among the key changes to note for this year are:

  • The Chancellor confirmed that corporation tax will be cut to a rate of 19% from April 2017 and it will be further reduced to 17% in 2020.
  • The personal allowance will rise to £11,500 in April 2017 and to £12,500 by 2020 and the higher rate income threshold will rise to £45,000, although special rules will apply in Scotland.
  • Individual landlords’ tax relief for finance costs will be restricted to basic rate tax – to be phased in over four years from April 2017.

More information on the Budget is available on our website or if you would like to speak to one of our team please contact us.

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

Accountancy firm develop its own software in bid to perfect service to clients

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This weeks edition of the South Wales Argus features an article on the development of our own software.

An accountancy firm has developed its own software suite in order to help businesses manage their taxation and finances better.

Cwmbran-based accountancy firm Green & Co Accountants and Tax Advisors has spent over two years researching what their clients need ahead of what is a busy few years of legislative changes.

The software suite is comprised of three facets; an income tax forecaster, a financial performance review and a prosperity dashboard.

Barrie Kenyon, Partner at the firm, said: “Recently, the government has made a number of adjustments to the tax system that are all coming into effect across the next three to four years such as the changes to mortgage interest relief and company car benefit. We want our clients to see how the changes in legislation will affect them so we can reorganise remuneration in a tax-efficient way.”

With Green & Co’s software suite, clients can use the forecaster to analyse the current taxable income and see what future liabilities will be for the next five years.

Explaining the financial review element of the software, Mr Kenyon said: “Some clients may not be able to fully understand the numbers thrown at them from the accounts. It is important that they know how to digest the data from key performance indicators of how the business is performing. Our graphical analysis helps clients understand how the business has been performing year-on-year and it is something we can help them work through and improve upon.

“Our prosperity dashboard reviews the business’ progression toward set goals whilst affording directors accurate up-to-date information as opposed to waiting until year-end accounts are produced.”

The theory behind the software is to provide businesses with real-time information in order to make quicker and better-informed decisions regarding the performance, direction and sustainability of the business.

Mr Kenyon continued: “As with everything we strive to achieve, our end goal is to help build a stronger business for our clients whilst increasing profit and reducing liabilities.”

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 barrie@greenandco.com.

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

Gwent Landlord Forum – 29 March 2017

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After our first very successful event of the year held in January, we are now well into 2017 and preparing to welcome our Landlords to our next FREE forum on Wednesday 29th March between 6pm and 8pm at The Parkway Hotel and Spa.

We are continuing to provide a broad range of speakers who can shed a light on important matters which might help you make up your minds as to your future as a property investor. As always, our invitation goes out to all who may be interested so if you know someone who is a landlord or thinking about becoming a landlord, please do pass this invitation on to them – we are always happy to welcome new guests.

Speakers:

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Leanne Flanagan, Tax Senior with Green & Co Accountants will be talking about:

  • The final March Budget taking place on 8 March and how the changes announced will affect you as landlords.

Damian Lines, Head of Wills, Trusts and Probate with Rubin Lewis O’Brien Solicitors will be speaking about:

  • All aspects of Estate Planning as part of the important area of Preparing for the Future.

Stephanie Taylor of HMO Heaven will be covering:

  • Her insider secrets on HMOs. Is now the right time to invest?
  • The 5 easy steps to massively increase the rental income on your buy-to-let properties.
  • Real life case studies demonstrating how you can double your rental income.
  • How to enjoy fantastic property cashflow in Newport without any hassle.

Eventbrite - Gwent Landlord Forum

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

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.

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.

 

 

Self Employed Landlords: What you need to know about Digital Accounting

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By 2020 most businesses, self-employed individuals and landlords will be required to use software or apps to keep their business records and to report their income and expenditure on a quarterly basis to HM Revenue & Customs. This new regime will commence on 6 April 2018 for most small businesses. Self-Assessment tax returns will no longer be completed from 2018/19 onwards.

What records will I need to keep?

HMRC will expect businesses to scan paper invoices and receipts into software using a smartphone camera. For many businesses it is expected that the scanned evidence of income and expenditure will be automatically processed by the software into the relevant accounting entries. HMRC prefers that the following data fields are completed for each receipt or expense item:

  • Invoice date and payment received date, if cash basis being used
  • Invoice value and payment received value, if cash basis being used
  • Income or expenses category, and
  • Deducted amount/percentage for expenses.

The above is the minimum required data which will be needed to enable software to identify and categorise each transaction.

Landlords

Landlords will need to provide the following:

  • The full address of each property
  • Income and expenses attributable to each property.

Quarterly Updates

The data of income and expenditure will have to be reported quarterly, although the reports will only be summary data. Businesses will be able to see an estimate each quarter of what their liability will be, based on the summary data provided.

End of year return

A final fifth submission will be made which will incorporate a correct and complete declaration. It is proposed that this final account will have to be submitted within 9 months of the end of a period of account.

The above is subject to a period of consultation due to end in November and final details are due to be announced in December. Green & Co will keep you informed as further details/changes are announced.

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

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.