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.

Proposed NIC rise has been dropped!

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As mentioned in the recent Budget, the Chancellor had intended to increase the Class 4 National Insurance Contributions (NIC). The NI rate for the self-employed (Class 4) was meant to increase from 9% to 10% in April 2018, followed by another rise to 11% in April 2019. This would have brought NIC for the self-employed more in line with the employment rate, which is currently 12%.

Today, however, the Chancellor Philip Hammond has made a complete u-turn, announcing that the government will scrap the increase. This action has been taken because many feel the change would break the manifesto promise not to increase National Insurance, Income Tax or VAT.

Chancellor Hammond has explained that “it is very important both to me and to the Prime Minister that we are compliant not just with the letter, but also the spirit of the commitments that were made. In the light of what has emerged as a clear view among colleagues and a significant section of the public, I have decided not to proceed with the Class 4 NIC measure set out in the Budget.”

This means that the 4.8 million Britons who are currently self-employed  can rest assured that, for now, the Class 4 NIC rate will stay at 9%.

If you have any questions regarding this change, or any of the other changes announced in the Spring Budget, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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

 

Business groups set out Spring Budget priorities

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Business groups have outlined their priorities for businesses and the economy ahead of the 2017 Spring Budget. 

In a letter to Chancellor Philip Hammond, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) called on the government to ‘back business’s growth ambitions’ to help build prosperity across the UK, and to work alongside firms to ‘prioritise stability’ during periods of economic uncertainty.

The CBI also urged the government to tackle the UK’s ‘outdated’ business rates regime and limit its ‘growing burden’ on businesses.

Echoing the call of the CBI, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) also recommended that the government take action on ‘delivering real reform’ to the business rates system. It called for HMRC to abandon the ‘fiscal neutrality principle’ in business rates reform, suggesting that this acts as an ‘unacceptable barrier’ to the revision of the system.

In its submission, the BCC outlined its desire for the government to bring forward the switch from the Retail Price Index (RPI) to the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) to April 2017, instead of during 2020, as is currently planned.

Meanwhile, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has advocated for a ‘pro-business’ Budget that supports self-employed individuals, urging the government to help more people start up in business. It also called for the government to ‘improve job creation and drive productivity across the nations and regions of the UK’.

In a radical move, the Institute of Directors (IoD) has claimed that the UK tax system is ‘not keeping up with the growth of self-employment and the digital economy’, and has called for the Chancellor to create a new Tax Commission when he presents his Budget. The IoD argues that the new Commission should investigate how tax applied to the self-employed could be brought into line with employees, and how online stores could be taxed fairly in relation to high street shops.

The Institute has also called for an increase in the Annual Investment Allowance (AIA) cap from £200,000 to £1 million and a consultation on ‘liberalising’ investment schemes for business start-ups.

The Chancellor will present the 2017 Spring Budget on Wednesday 8 March. Full coverage of the key announcements will be available on our website, so please visit regularly. 

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.

HMRC clamping down on offshore tax evaders

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On 5th September, HMRC opened its Worldwide Disclosure Facility (WDF). The WDF was initially announced in the Budget 2015, and allows those with outstanding tax to pay to put their affairs in order and will offer no special terms.

HMRC has been clear that that not paying tax by failing to disclose your offshore income and investments is illegal. In 2014-15 HMRC brought in over £26 billion from tackling tax evasion and avoidance, and has raised more than £2.5 billion from offshore evasion initiatives since 2010.

Those who chose to ignore the new disclosure facility and who do not come forward and pay the outstanding taxes from offshore investments and accounts, could face penalties of up to twice the tax they try to evade, and increase the risk of potential criminal charges.

HMRC will be even better able to target evaders from October 2016, when it starts to receive an unprecedented amount of data on those with offshore accounts in the Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories – one year ahead of even more data coming in from across the globe, when the Common Reporting Standard comes into force.

If this affects you, or to find out more, visit HMRC.

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

Newsletter Summer 2016

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With Summer fast approaching, its time for our Summer 2016 edition of the newsletter, this time featuring:

  • Highlights from the 2016 Budget
  • All change for ISAs – new tax-free ways to save
  • The rules governing holiday and pay
  • Business Round-Up
  • Web Watch
  • Reminders for your Summer Diary
  • And much more

Click here to read the full newsletter.

Ed Gooderham’s thoughts on the Budget

Ed Gooderham, partner at Green & Co, tweeted along live with George Osborne’s Budget announcements. Catch up with his thoughts here…

If you have any questions on any of the above or about the Budget in general, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 01633 871122

Landlord Forum – 30 March 2016

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We are delighted to announce that our next Landlord Forum is taking place on Wednesday 30th March at the Parkway Hotel in Cwmbran. The Forum will run for 2 hours and will commence at 6pm. 

Building on our promise to provide Landlords with up to date and interesting information, our next event is dealing with important financial and regulatory changes, and whether to remain a Landlord despite all the changes. So if you are a landlord currently letting properties or thinking about buying to let in South Wales this event is for you.

Speakers will include:

  • Leanne Flanagan – Tax Senior at Green & Co Accountants and Tax Advisors – With the Budget being held on 16 March, Leanne will be discussing the major announcements and the implications these may have on the Buy-to-Let market.
  • Greg Tay-Lodge – Partner at QualitySolicitors Rubin Lewis O’Brien – Greg will be discussing Section 8 and Section 12 of the Housing Act.
  • Karen Newton – Investor, Author and Speaker – Karen is the founder of the Tiroka group of companies covering a range of industries including property, health & beauty, network marketing and publishing. Together with being an Angel Investor she has interests in 19 businesses.  Karen is going to share her story about how she became a property investor and why she believes property investing still has a lot to offer.

Enquiries

For any enquiries about this event, please contact Katie Williams at Green & Co on 01633 871122 Email: katie@greenandco.com  or Penny Jarman at Rubin Lewis O’Brien on 01633 626359 Email: pennyj@rlob.co.uk.

 

Eventbrite - Landlord Forum

Will Dividends Still Pay Dividends?

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And in the blue corner we have the Chancellor delivering another heavy hit on incorporation!

The latest budget brought with it unwelcome news for directors of private limited companies who extract dividends as well as individuals with vast shareholdings, as the Government has abolished the dividend tax credit as we know it and introduced a new dividend taxation.

From April 2016 there will be a £5,000 tax free dividend allowance for all taxpayers and then dividends received in excess of allowances will be taxed at 7.5% for basic rate taxpayers, 32.5% if you’re higher rate and 38.1% for those paying tax at the additional rate.

The corporation tax rate will fall gradually until it reaches 18% in 2020; however it is doubtful that this will counter the effects of the new dividend taxation for those extracting regular dividends from owner managed businesses.

Exact details of the measure will not be known until the Finance Bill is published, but small business owners need to re-evaluate the way that profit is extracted from companies prior to the changes to ensure tax efficiency.

In addition, those with significant investment portfolios who are in receipt of dividends in excess of £5,000 need to consider the implications. One such consideration is whether they need to register for self-assessment from April 2016.

For further information 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.

Photo credit: freedigitalphotos.net