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How to Grow Your Business and Shrink Your Debts at the Same Time

Research by The Telegraph newspaper found that 60% of new businesses fail within the first three years. One of the biggest reasons for this is debt. Not only can too much debt land your business in hot water financially, it also prevents many businesses from expanding and taking the next steps. However, growing your business and reducing your debts doesn’t have to be an either/or situation.  By creating a long-term plan and putting the time you spend paying off debt to good use, it’s po...

May 10, 2021

Increase in Scams Purporting to be From HMRC

As the 31 January deadline for self assessment tax returns approaches there has been an increase in the flood of scams purporting to be from HMRC.As HMRC issues thousands of SMS messages and emails as part of its annual self assessment tax return push, the department has warned taxpayers completing their returns to avoid being caught out by a rise in fraudsters using calls, emails or texts to offer fake ‘tax rebates’ or ‘tax refunds’. Fraudulent HMRC communications have already beco...

May 7, 2021

Why You Should Be Wary of Cheap Accountants

Everyone loves a bargain. It’s basic human nature. However, when it comes to running your business you should be focusing on investments, not bargains - especially when it’s time to hire an accountant.  There are plenty of cheap accountants out there, but choosing their services based on price alone is a dangerous game. Of course, it’s tempting to hire a low cost accountancy service; no-one likes shelling out large amounts of cash. However, there are many pitfalls of hiring a cheap ac...

May 6, 2021

How to Set Up and Maintain a Budget for Your Startup

Creating and following a realistic budget for your startup is essential. In fact, it can even determine whether or not your business makes it out of the gates.  A budget shows you how much money you’ll need to make in order to break even and highlights what you can and can’t afford. It also helps you to forecast and manage your cash flow, which is essential to keep your business in good financial health.  Budgeting can be a daunting task but this guide is here to make it easy by br...

May 3, 2021

How to Manage Stress as an Entrepreneur

Being an entrepreneur is stressful. A small amount of stress can actually be a good thing as it pushes you to work harder and propel your business forward. However, too much stress can take all the joy out of entrepreneurship, harm your health and hinder your productivity.  Studies show that people who suffer from prolonged stress experience a range of nasty side effects, including insomnia, low self-esteem and frequent colds or infections. Whilst it’s true that stress is part and parcel ...

April 23, 2021

The Most Dangerous Accounting Mistakes For Your Small Business

Starting your own business is an amazing thing to do but it’s can also be risky.There’s a lot to think about when you first start out on your own and it can be tempting to put accounting on the back burner, but that would be a huge mistake. Good accounting is crucial to the financial health of your business and mistakes can be devastating, especially in the early days. It’s important to know which mistakes to avoid to ensure that your small business is around for years to come. 1. Bad...

March 24, 2021

VAT Return Filing Changes Ahead for Voluntary Registered Businesses

Making Tax Digital (MTD) for VAT has been with us for some time now but not all voluntary registered businesses currently file their returns under the new regime. While MTD for VAT will be mandatory for all VAT registered traders from 2022, changes in 2021 will affect VAT registered businesses not yet in MTD.If you are using accounting software to file your returns you are likely to be filing them under the new MTD system and you can easily check by looking at your software.HMRC’s VAT records ...

March 19, 2021

7 Most Common Money Mistakes for Startups To Avoid

Smart financial management is essential for any business, no matter how big or small. However, it can be difficult to get things right, especially during the startup stage. Poor financial planning is one of the most common reasons that startups fail, so the sooner you take ownership of your business’ financial health, the better.Dealing with your finances head-on from the get-go is the best way to set yourself up for lasting success. Careful planning can help you to avoid common money mistakes...

February 26, 2021

SME Brexit Support Fund

This week the government announced that small and medium-sized businesses (SME's) can get up to £2,000 through the SME Brexit Support Fund to help with training or professional advice.The grants can be used for training on: • how to complete customs declarations• how to manage customs processes and use customs software and systems• specific import and export related aspects including VAT, excise and rules of origin.The fund will be administered through the existing Customs Grant Scheme an...

February 12, 2021

Increase in Scams Purporting to be from HMRC

As the 31 January deadline for self assessment tax returns approaches there has been an increase in the flood of scams purporting to be from HMRC.As HMRC issues thousands of SMS messages and emails as part of its annual self assessment tax return push, the department has warned taxpayers completing their returns to avoid being caught out by a rise in fraudsters using calls, emails or texts to offer fake ‘tax rebates’ or ‘tax refunds’. Fraudulent HMRC communications have already beco...

January 7, 2021

Show Me The Money

It’s a great feeling. You’ve done the work, sent the invoice quickly, the client pays and you’re on top of the cash flow. Running a business is a dream…..Except when you get the odd client who doesn’t pay quite so quickly. Your bills start to mount up as you wait and wait and wait. Chasing money can feel toe curlingly embarrassing but you need paying. It’s an irritating but routine part of running a business. So how do you deal with a late payer whilst not upsetting your client?...

November 30, 2020

Spending Review

Late November should have seen the Chancellor announce his Autumn Budget and a Comprehensive Spending Review covering the next three financial years. Like many other plans, the uncertainty created by the pandemic has put both on hold. In their place was a ‘Financial Statement’, primarily addressing a one-year Spending Review.The highlights of the Financial Statement were as follows: · No tax announcements, although the Chancellor noted that “we have a responsibility … to return to ...

November 27, 2020

Are You Concerned About Paying Your Tax Liabilities?

There have been so many changes this year to the dates the various taxes are due for payment and, although we have kept you informed along the way, we thought it would be useful to have a summary to refer to. Let’s Look at the Various Taxes Depending on your circumstances you could have the following taxes to pay. VATVAT payments which were due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020 were automatically deferred to 31 March 2021. If you have not settled the VAT you now have a further 11 months f...

November 20, 2020

Can I Re-open My Business as We Begin to Ease Out of Lockdown

As we begin to ease out of lockdown the government, in consultation with industry, has produced guidance to help ensure workplaces are as safe as possible.The government has produced 8 guides covering a range of different types of work to help us understand our responsibilities.These cover:Construction and other outdoor workFactories, plants and warehousesHomesLabs and research facilitiesOffices and contact centresRestaurants offering takeway or deliveryShops and branchesVehiclesIf your industry...

May 16, 2020

Zero Rating of VAT on E-Books to be Fast Tracked

The promise to zero rate VAT on e-books and e-newspapers has been fast-tracked by the government in a bid to boost publishers hit by the coronavirus outbreak.In the spring budget the chancellor announced that E-publications (e-books, e-newspapers, e-magazines and academic e-journals) will be VAT zero-rated from 1 December 2020 but this is now apply with effect from 1 May 2020.Previously, the standard VAT rate of 20% applied to digital publications. In support of the print newspaper industry...

May 10, 2020

Top-Up to Local Business Grant Funds Scheme

Further support is being made available to small businesses with ongoing property costs. £617 million is to be made available to local authorities. This is an additional 5% uplift to the £12.33 billion funding previously announced for the Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF) and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants Fund (RHLGF).Local authorities have been asked to prioritise businesses in shared spaces, regular market traders, small charity properties that would meet the criteria for S...

May 10, 2020

What is a Personal Tax Account and Should I Have One?

A few weeks ago we wrote a post about setting up a Business Tax Account (BTA) which are how the self-employed and companies can file returns, view their tax and pay their tax liabilities. Individuals can also set up a Personal Tax Account and we are encouraging our clients to do so even when we deal with their tax affairs.As we move to a more digital tax system the tax accounts are increasingly being used by HMRC. The benefit of having a PTA is that all the most important information HMRC holds ...

May 10, 2020

How do I Claim the Grant for my Furloughed Employees?

The portal for claiming the grant for furloughed employees has opened today and you can access it via HMRC website. To claim, you will need: your employer PAYE scheme reference numberthe number of employees being furloughedNational Insurance Numbers for the furloughed employeesNames of the furloughed employeesPayroll/employee number for the furloughed employees (optional)your Self Assessment Unique Taxpayer Reference, Corporation Tax Unique Taxpayer Reference, Company Registration Numb...

April 20, 2020

So What Are My Responsibilities as a Director?

The statutory responsibilities of a director have been referred to a great deal in the last few weeks in relation to the Coronovirus Job Retention Scheme. A furloughed company director is not allowed to carry out the usual work they undertake for the company but they can continue to perform their statutory duties.A director has to perform a set of 7 duties under the Companies Act 2006. So what are they?Company’s constitutionA director must follow the company’s constitution and its artic...

April 17, 2020

Directors and the Coronovirus Job Retention Scheme

The vast majority of our clients are director/shareholder owner-managed limited companies. Typically the directors take some remuneration through PAYE by way of salary, usually at a level just above the NIC threshold, with the remainder taken as dividends. Can these directors make use of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme? The simple answer is yes, but only based on their PAYE salary. Dividends are not included as part of the amount that can be claimed. The other key issue is that the director...

April 13, 2020

Business Tax Account

How Do I Set Up a Business Tax Account? Business Tax Accounts (BTA) have been available for a number of years now and are used to file a variety of returns with HMRC. They are increasingly being used by HMRC and have become the easiest way to settle tax liabilities. If you have an accountant you may not have set up a business account. Your accountant can access your details through their own agent account and simply advise you to make a bank transfer to settle any tax liabilities. As we move to ...

April 11, 2020

New Capital Gains Tax for Residential Property

Capital gains tax changes introduced this month mean that landlords and second home owners may pay tax earlier than they anticipate.The changes introduced on 6th April 2020 bring forward the payment of capital gains tax on residential property to 30 days from the completion date.The sale will continue to be disclosed on self-assessment tax returns but there are additional reporting requirements.What are the new rules?The disposal of UK residential properties after 6 April 2020 that generate a ca...

April 10, 2020

The Self-Employed Income Support Scheme

It has only been a week since the Chancellor announced the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme but it has been a very long week for those waiting for a similar announcement for the self-employed. The Self-employed Income Support Scheme is good news for a large proportion of self-employed individuals but unfortunately it is not available for everyone. Here are the details we know so far: Am I eligible? You must have submitted your self-assessment tax return for the tax year 2018/...

March 27, 2020

Coronovirus Job Retention Scheme

The Chancellor announced on Friday that government grants will cover 80% of the salary of PAYE employees who are furloughed (temporarily laid off) due to the virus. The scheme will run to 31 October and will change after 31 July with employers bearing more of the costs. What do I need to do as an employer? Identify your furloughed workers.You must notify your furloughed workers that they have been designated as such.  This will be subject to your normal employment contracts so you should se...

March 24, 2020

Covid-19 Update

This week has been quite extraordinary with the Government’s unprecedented steps towards tackling the Covid-19 epidemic with personal, social and business implications for everyone.  Business as Usual The health and well being of our people, clients and loved ones is our top priority. Andrea will be working remotely as from Monday and for the time being I shall be mainly in the office.  Calls to the office will be diverted if I am working from home so please allow a little extra time...

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