National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage

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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.

 

 

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.

 

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.

Welsh Landlords – Are You Registered Yet?

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Landlords of properties in Wales are being reminded that the deadline for registration with the Rent Smart scheme is fast approaching.

According to the administrators, Cardiff City Council, around 75% of landlords have so far failed to register.  Out of an estimated 100,000, only just over 25,000 applications have been received and any landlord not having done so by 23 November 2016 will be breaking the law.

The scheme aims to improve the quality of rental accommodation in the Principality, with registered landlords undergoing compulsory training in order to be licenced to let property. Failure to honour the regulations could result in fixed penalty fines, or even a criminal record.

Registration costs just £33.50 for on-line applications, irrespective of the number of properties being let, and the licence itself is valid for 5 years.  Although the application only takes a few minutes, it can take up to 8 weeks to process. Of those who have already completed the training, 96% say it was worthwhile and will make them a better landlord.

Those landlords using a letting agent need not register, provided the agency itself has done so.

Green & Co run a bi-monthly landlord forum to keep landlords up to date with changes like the Rent Smart Scheme. Our next forum is being held on 30 November and will cover the announcements made by Philip Hammond in the Autumn Statement. To register your interest, please email katie@greenandco.com.

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

Autumn Statement – The Big Question

Ed Gooderham and Nick Park look at two key issues raised by the Autumn Statement in answer to the South Wales Argus‘ Big Question this week (see below for their answer in full):

www.greenandco.com

“The Autumn Statement has raised, in particular, two key issues.

The good news is that there are changes to Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT). Under the old rules (the slab system), house buyers paid tax at a single rate on the entire property price. The new rules mean that house buyers will only pay the relevant rate of tax on the part of the property price that falls within each tax band. As with the old system, there will be no stamp duty on properties under £125,000. However, at the £250,000 threshold, the duty only increases to 2% and there are increases to 5% and 10% for properties up to £925,000 and £1.5m respectively.  These changes will greatly reduce the burden of stamp duty on those looking to get a foot on the housing ladder.

The bad news relates to businesses changing from sole traders or partnerships to limited companies. Based on the information that we have seen so far, it will no longer be possible to claim Entrepreneurs’ Relief on the sale of goodwill to a related company. Similarly, it will no longer be possible to claim Corporation Tax Relief on goodwill purchased from a related party. These changes are effective immediately, but do not affect purchased goodwill from unrelated parties.”

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

Autumn Statement 2013

The 2013 Autumn Statement

Autumn Statement

The economic position in December 2013 looks a good deal rosier than it did back in the spring when George Osborne presented his Budget. But that does not mean he felt able to announce major tax reductions. He said that his plans for the coming tax year were fiscally neutral, although there were some significant changes.

These included welcome relaxations to business rates, some encouragement to employee share ownership and a new way for some people to boost their state pension entitlements with a new voluntary national insurance arrangement from 2015. There was less friendly news about capital gains on homes, especially for non-UK residents.

Our summary provides a quick and easy guide to how the changes will impact you. We hope it will help you find what you need. Please let us know if you would like any further information or you want to discuss the implications of these important announcements.