Latest Accounting and Taxation News from IN Accountancy
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Tax Relief on Business Mileage

12th October 2017 | Written by In Accountancy | Categories : Accounts, Companies, Contractors, News, People, Personal Tax, Sole Traders & Partnerships
What is business mileage? How is it worked out and how do we claim tax relief on the miles we travel each year?  These are questions we hear week in, week out from local businesses in and around Stockport.
If you use your own car or van for business purposes you maybe able to claim Mileage Allowance Relief.
For cars and vans the current approved mileage rate by HMRC is 45p per Business mile. This is up to the first 10,000 business miles and then a reduced rate of 25p per mile thereafter.
For these purposes the tax year (and therefore claims period) runs to 5th April each year.
In many cases an employer will make contributions to employees through their expenses policy for business miles completed on the companies behalf.  Often these are made at rates less than those allowed by HMRC. Where this is the case, claims can be made through your self assessment return to uplift the Relief you obtained from your employer to the levels of 45p per mile on the first 10,000 Business miles as noted above.
As ever with HMRC there are strict rules and guidelines around what constitutes business mileage. It is important to keep clear and supportable records of where you went, on which dates and for what purpose. This ensures that relief will be obtained for the business miles completed. If you would like any help with setting up a simple system for minimising the hassle in adhering to HMRC guidelines, please do get in touch and we will be happy to help.
If you have used your own car or van for eligible business travel within recent fiscal years and have been paid less than 45p per mile by your employer you are highly likely to be eligible for a tax refund. There are time constraints for making claims for tax relief and the onus is on the individual to ensure that they obtain the full tax relief to which they are entitled. Needless to say many individuals fail to receive the maximum benefit they are entitled to under HMRC guidelines.
Check out our IN-Formed Guide to Expenses for more on what you can and can’t claim as genuine business expenses.

Tax relief on gift aid charitable donations and charity memberships

12th October 2017 | Written by In Accountancy | Categories : People, Personal Tax, Sole Traders & Partnerships
Many higher rate taxpayers fail to reclaim tax relief on gift aid charitable donations and charity memberships. Here you will find out how easy it is to claim that tax relief.
In order to reclaim the tax a gift aid declaration form needs to be completed.
Tax relief on gift aid charitable donations and charity memberships

Gift Aid

Most charities actively encourage and help members or donors to complete the gift aid declaration. It is a way of them significantly boosting the value of membership and donations, by effectively getting an uplift from the government. The basic rate of income tax (20%) on the value of the contribution made by our membership fees or donations.

How to claim tax relief

For a higher rate tax payer you can claim back the rest of the tax that you have paid on charitable donations by including them on your self assessment form. Remember to keep a note of all those donations you make to your friends, family, work colleagues, and random strangers. It all adds up!

Charitable Memberships

Something that many people fail to realise is that there are a number of membership organisations, which are actually registered charities. Therefore you can claim tax relief on your annual (but not lifetime) memberships and regular entrance fees. These include the likes of: The National Trust, English Heritage, various Museums and even your birthday trips to the Zoo!

The IN Team take on Extremescape!

11th October 2017 | Written by In Accountancy | Categories : Case Studies - Companies, News

Last week two teams from Stockport accountants, IN Accountancy took a trip to visit their clients Extremescape in Disley to break out of their escape rooms!

Since converting one of their barns and opening to the public in December 2015 with the Pirate Ship, owners Jess and Graham continue to grow their business with even more rooms to lock in anyone who is brave enough to visit!

Following the Pirate Ship’s success, the Lost Tomb has been allowing groups to search for hidden gold since Halloween 2016.

Stockport Accountants IN-Accountancy at Extremescape Escape Rooms

Stockport Accountants IN-Accountancy at Extremescape Escape Rooms

As one of IN Accountancy’s clients, naturally we had to take the team down and put them to the test! After splitting into two groups, not only did the IN Team race against the clock in order to escape in time, they of course, raced against each other to see who could get out the fastest! After all, who doesn’t love a little bit of “friendly” competition?!

In each of the rooms everyone worked in their teams to find clues, gold and treasure. But, we don’t want to give too much away (mainly because we don’t want you beating our times when you try it for yourself!)

Stockport Accountants IN-Accountancy at Extremescape Escape Rooms

Stockport Accountants IN-Accountancy at Extremescape Escape Rooms

After the great success of this fantastic experience, the team at Extremescape show no signs of slowing down. They have been presented with two out of ten Golden Key awards by blogger and President of the Exit Games website, Ken Ferguson for the best escape rooms in 2016 in England, Budapest and Spain! It’s no surprise that they already plan to open their third room, Viking at the end of the year.

This experience is suitable for 15 years and older. In order to make the most of your time there, it is encouraged to go in teams up to 8.

These rooms will make you draw out your curious side. Encouraging you to search high and low for anything that might help you in your great escape.

The whole team at IN Accountancy highly recommends this fantastic experience to everyone. Whether it’s for team building or just a different styled night out. And hey, you can even take in drinks and snacks! So if you do get locked in, they should keep you going for a while!

Tax Relief if you Work from Home

11th October 2017 | Written by In Accountancy | Categories : Accounts, Companies, Contractors, News, People, Personal Tax, Sole Traders & Partnerships
There are a number of opportunities to obtain tax relief if you work from home.
These can vary substantially dependent on the amount of time you spend in your home office, the type of work you do or business you run, and whether you rent or own the home from which you work.
Claims can be made for costs incurred that are directly attributable with your work area or any services used – common examples would include business telephone calls or the extra cost of gas and electricity for your work area within the home.  Please download our INFORMED Guide to Expenses for more about what business expenses you might be able to claim.
The ability to claim tax relief if you work from home is dependent upon records being maintained sufficiently to prove and support any claim for relief, so please don’t hesitate to contact us should you need any support or advise as to how to do this.
Please also be aware however, that if  the costs incurred cover both private and business use within the home, for example broadband access, then only a proportion of tax relief can be claimed in certain circumstances.
Alternatively, HMRC have provided an allowance of up to £4 per week where there is no need to provide evidence of expenses incurred.
This is designed to provide some simplicity for home workers and avoids the complication of maintaining separate billing records for what might be quite small areas of the home from which business is undertaken. Whilst this may seem a relatively small tax benefit, do remember that every small amount soon adds up. For a 40% taxpayer the relief on the total flat rate use of home allowance of £208 per annum equates to a tax saving of £82.20 in a very simple and risk free manner – certainly better off in your pocket than that of HMRC in our opinion!
0161 4569666
askus@in-accountancy.co.uk

Corporation Tax Explained – What is it and when is it due?

6th October 2017 | Written by In Accountancy | Categories : Accounts, Companies, News
Your guide to corporation tax explained: Corporation tax in its simplest form is the rate of tax charged on a Limited Company’s  taxable profits.
The Financial Year for corporation tax purposes runs to 31 March. The corporation tax rate for each Financial Year is set by government and it is currently on a planned downward trend. The corporation tax rate for the financial year to 31 March 2017 was 20% and this has fallen to a rate of 19% for the Financial Year to 31 March 2018. Under the current government this rate is set to fall by a further 1% per annum until it reaches 17% for the financial year beginning 1 April 2019.
If your limited company’s financial year end is not coterminous with 31 March and there has been any change in corporation tax rates as set out above then your taxable profits for the trading year in question will be allocated proportionally between the Financial Year ends for corporation tax purposes. For example if you have a 30 September 2017 accounts year end then six months of your taxable profits will be charged at a 20% corporation tax rate and six months of your profits will be charged at a 19% corporation tax rate as this trading period spans two Financial Year ends.
Payment of corporation tax is due by the company nine months and one day after it’s trading year end. Interest applies if payment is made late.
Different rules apply if your company has a trading period longer or shorter than  12 months. If this is something that affects you then please contact us and we can explain how corporation tax works for businesses in this situation  – this is often the case in the initial period of setting up a limited company and commencing trading.
Limited companies are required to submit a form CT600 calculating the corporation tax due on their trading results. This form must be completed and submitted to HMRC within 12 months of the accounts year end of your company. Penalties apply for late submission.
For any queries relating to your corporation tax, please don’t hesitate to contact us:
askus@in-accountancy.co.uk
0161 4569666

Autumn Budget will be on 22 November

6th October 2017 | Written by In Accountancy | Categories : News, Personal Tax

Just over 6 weeks to go until the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, publish the Government’s Autumn Budget – the date for your diary is Wednesday 22 November 2017.

The Autumn Budget sets out the government’s plans for the economy based on the latest forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR).

This will be the first Autumn Budget under the new timetable announced at last year’s Autumn Statement which confirmed that there will be only one Budget each year going forward, and always held in autumn now rather than spring.

The OBR is required by law to produce two forecasts a year, and from 2018 there will be a Spring Statement, responding to the forecast from the OBR, but no major fiscal event – though the government has said it will retain the option to make changes to fiscal policy at the Spring Statement if economic circumstances require it.

Also in line with the new timetable, we expect the second Finance Bill of the current parliament (Finance (No. 2) Bill 2017-19) to be published after the Budget; this will become Finance Act 2017. The draft clauses for this Bill will be published for consultation on 13 September 2017.

The first Finance Bill of the current parliament is on its way through parliament and we expect it to get Royal Assent as Finance (No 2) Act 2017 before the Budget.

Article sourced and adapted from ICAEW 

IN Accountancy TOMs Awards 2017 Best Boutique Accountancy Practice

25th September 2017 | Written by In Accountancy | Categories : Accounts, Companies, Contractors, News, People, Personal Tax, Sole Traders & Partnerships, Testimonials

IN Accountancy, Stockport are absolutely thrilled to have once again been shortlisted for a Talk of Manchester TOMs award – this year for the BEST BOUTIQUE ACCOUNTANCY PRACTICE 2017.

IN Accountancy TOMs 2017

We don’t know who nominated us – apparently we had a number of nominations in more than one category – so thank you, whoever and wherever you are 🙂

So, now we move on to the shameless plug. As these awards are judged by public vote we need your help as, as you know we are only a very small business so please do vote for us and spread the word as far as you can.

Voting doesn’t open until 10am on Wednesday (27 September 2017), and you can cast your vote HERE.  They close again at 5pm on Wednesday 11 October, so act fast 🙂

Don’t forget to use the twitter hashtag #TheTOMs of you’re sharing on that social channel…

Love the Little Things: an IN-terview with Jacqui Peckett

Jacqui has always had a passion for sketching and drawing characters, and since 2010 when her first granddaughter was born, she has been inspired to turn her hobby into a career. After creating personalised artwork to hang up in the nursery she was encouraged by friends and family to give her love of illustration more of a career focus.

There is currently 6 hand sketched designs to choice from all of which are Jacqui’s original ideas, which have then been digitally drawn and coloured. Each piece can be personalised with the baby’s name and date of birth creating the perfect keepsake.

The designs are high quality laser jet prints which come double mounted and framed all ready to hang. Jacqui has thought of every little detail and the products arrive wrapped and boxed up ready to go.

Love the Little Things re-launched on Wednesday 20th September and the website is now live for you to browse.

Jacqui has big plans for the future which include extending her collection and offering gift vouchers which will be a perfect present for anyone who has any upcoming baby showers!

https://www.lovethelittlethings.org/

IN-troducing Emma Gee

25th September 2017 | Written by In Accountancy | Categories : News, People

Emma has been running our office since May 2016. She had worked with Sarah at adidas in the early 2000s, so when a position came up we knew exactly who we wanted to lead our front of house team – we finally tracked her down working with the NHS and are sure you’re as delighted as we are that she agreed to join us.

Emma Gee

When she’s not here she’s often physically running around the streets of Great Moor and Bramhall or after her two gorgeous girls, Molly and Jess.

Her latest escapade was completing the Stockport Sports Village Tough Tribe event at Life Leisure in Woodley this weekend with Benchmark Gym, which she absolutely loved despite being left somewhat bruised and battered.

 

When asked about her move into the wonderful world of accountancy Emma said: “Well my Dad did laugh as maths wasn’t exactly my strongest subject at school, but I am loving being part of such a busy, fast growing small business, with the nicest clients and colleagues you could ask for”

 

What’s happening with defined benefits pension schemes?

22nd September 2017 | Written by In Accountancy | Categories : News, Uncategorized

Defined benefit (DB) pension schemes (previously referred more often to as final salary pension schemes) continue to be a hot topic in the business and financial worlds as an increasing number of people seek to transfer their pensions from a DB scheme. Recent figures suggest that more than four out of five (83%) of financial advisers in the UK have seen an increased demand for such transfers over the last twelve months, with over half (54%) describing it as a ‘significant increase’. Additionally, 71% of UK advisers said they expected the demand to increase further over the coming year.

A major contributing factor to this higher demand for DB transfers is the introduction of pension freedoms in recent years. Demand is also being fuelled by the continued uncertainty created by the DB pension scheme deficit. The latest figures suggest that the shortfall has remained stable over the past year despite the political turmoil: the deficit shrank to £183 billion at the end of May 2017, down from £194 billion twelve months earlier. That said, this is still a significant negative amount of money, which is undoubtedly contributing to many looking to ditch their DB pension in favour of something which appears to be more stable.

Employers, too, appear to be moving themselves away from DB pension schemes. It was reported at the end of May that BT is looking to close its DB scheme for current employees, a move unlikely to be popular with its workers; a similar move by Royal Mail Group following the company’s privatisation which aimed to shut the scheme to its current workforce led to strike action in April this year.

The AA has also recently confirmed that it will go ahead with proposed changes to its DB pension scheme, moving all members of the scheme to its existing career average revalued earnings (CARE) pension arrangement. The CARE scheme will also see amendments such as moving its indexation from the Consumer Price Index (CPI) to the Retail Price Index (RPI), likely to be more favourable for those receiving pension benefits.

It looks likely that the changes and discussions surrounding DB pension schemes will continue for some time. If you are a member of a DB scheme and you’re considering a transfer or you’re unsure of what to do, the most important thing to do before anything else is to seek financial advice to ensure you understand the choices available to you and which is best for you. If you have any questions around this topic, please feel free to get in touch with Cullen Wealth directly.