Blog

HMRC Raid Takeaways for Till Fraud

Clients who have discussed tax planning with us will be aware that we frequently advise that certain industries are at much higher risk of HMRC activity than others.  The industry which is consistently investigated more than any other is the food and hospitality sector – especially takeaways or businesses selling a mix of hot and…

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Budget March 2024

  Budget time is upon us again.  For a pre-election budget there was very little in the way of tax giveaways or movements to reduce the tax burden on UK businesses and taxpayers. Nonetheless, we have marked out some of the key points clients should be made aware of.  Most changes are minor, but the…

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Companies House to Massively Increase Fees

Some bad news announced this morning.  Companies House have declared that effective from 1 May 2024, there is going to be an enormous increase to all of the administrative filing costs for UK companies.  This comes on the back of a push from the UK government to heavily increase the admin involved in all company…

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Travel Expense Reimbursements – Umbrella Company Loses Case

Travel Expense Reimbursements Clients of our practice are likely to already be aware that we are fond of HMRC’s simplified expenses rules for travel, particularly given the Irish rates claimable for cross-border travel here between Northern Ireland the Republic of Ireland. However, a reminder last week from an HMRC case that went awry for an…

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Landlords – Should I incorporate?

Landlords have been debating the question, “Should I incorporate” for years now.  Back in 2017, the government began the phased introduction of restricting tax relief for residential property finance costs if you have earnings above the Basic Rate Tax Band (i.e. >£50,000).  Before 2017 the single biggest tax allowable expense for most landlords was the…

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Autumn Statement 2023

As you may be aware, the UK government announced the Autumn Statement yesterday.  There was very little in this of value to most small and medium sized businesses but there are a few points that are worth highlighting and being aware of.   Minimum Wage Increase and Age Requirement For National Loving Wage Dropped Effective…

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Public Profit and Loss for all Limited Companies gets approval

As of this week, the government have passed The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act 2023. This bill aims to improve transparency and end the reputation the UK has built over the years as a laundromat for Russian money and international tax avoidance.  Unfortunately the implications of cracking down on this activity means a steep…

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How to Fail at Stamp Duty Dodging

One of the problems with the accountancy industry is traditionally that clients are obligated to take a lot on trust.  Only an accountant is really capable of telling whether someone else is a good accountant, and for many business owners they have only the word of their current accountant to go on.  This pattern tends…

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New R&D Tax Claim Rules – Effective from 1 August 2023

As clients (who read our recent blogs or emails) will be aware HMRC are introducing a major revamp of the R&D rules for all claims submitted after 1 August 2023.  This covers returns for all accounting periods beginning on or after 1 April 2023. As an additional trap, you can now no longer make retrospective…

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HMRC Closes Self Assessment Helpline

Unfortunately, just when it appeared that HMRC’s services had reached absolute rock bottom, Jim O’Hara, the chief executive, has found new ways to slash the quality of the service.   From June onwards taxpayers will no longer be able to speak to HMRC about any of their self assessment affairs for a period of three…

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Invest NI – New Innovation Vouchers

This week, Invest NI launched a new round of innovation vouchers. These are Vouchers worth up to £5,000 that can be used to pay for expertise from public sector knowledge providers such as Universities, Colleges, Technology Institutions or Research Organisations.  The schedule of knowledge providers can be found here.   Typical projects are: Help to…

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Resource Efficiency Capital Grant

The next call for Resource Efficiency Capital Grant (RECG) applications opens on Tuesday 4 April 2023, closing Tuesday 16 May at 17:00. The RECG provides Invest Northern Ireland customers with financial support for the installation of new equipment that delivers a reduction in raw materials, waste and/or water. This support enables businesses to achieve costs…

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March 2023 Budget

There have been some substantial changes in yesterday’s budget that you should be aware of.  You can obviously find these summarized elsewhere on the internet, but we thought it would be helpful to highlight those changes we think are most significant to our clientbase.  If you are a client with a SSAS, R&D work or…

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Roundtable with Small Business Commissioner

Proactive recently attended a meeting with the UK’s small business commissioner; which should be available on the ACCA and UK Business Commissioner websites soon.   Overall a helpful meeting, although we were unsurprised to learn that HMRC and most of the government sector were extremely unaware of most of the challenges and realities of operating…

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The Budget for small businesses (Now that dust has settled)

Now that the dust has settled, let’s take a look at the relevant parts of the budget for small businesses.   National Insurance The National Insurance increase of 1.25% on both employee and employer’s contributions has been reversed effective from April 2023. Dividend Tax The Dividend tax increase of 1.25% has also been reversed, the…

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Changes to R&D Tax Credit from April 2023

HMRC are continuing their crackdown on the R&D Tax Credit scheme, with new rules taking effect in April 2023.  The stated goals of these changes are: To Modernise the regime by extending the relief To refocus the incentives on UK-based R&D To improve compliance by deterring fraud and errors Resolve design flaws of current rules…

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HMRC’s poor service – Complaint from all accountancy regulators

Under pressure from their members our professional bodies have finally broke their silence on HMRC’s poor service.  All of the major accounting regulators have issued a full letter to HMRC calling the organization out over the absolute collapse in their service levels since 2020.   “We are under considerable pressure from our members to demonstrate…

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Electric Car Tax Breaks

Electric Car Tax Breaks With the price of fuel flying through the roof and the government’s approach to levying extremely high levels of tax on company cars provided as a benefit in kind, many business owners are looking at electric vehicles as a strong alternative to traditional cars or pickups. The tax benefits are strong…

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New Rates Grants Announced by Stormont

Following on from our blog post last week about relief available in the Budget Stormont have announced a new batch of Rates Grants, mostly based around your business’ eligibility for the last few grants scheme and the NAV/rateable value of your premises. We will try to jog your memory about which of the confusingly named scheme…

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March 2021 Budget – Brief Summary

In line with yesterday’s budget there are a few things that everyone should be aware of.  We’ve done our best to keep this as brief and easy to read as possible, there are ample guides elsewhere which can summarize the budget in more technical language.  Most of the information thus far comes from the chancellors…

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Limited Company Director’s Support Scheme

The Limited Company Director’s Support Scheme £3,500 Taxable Grant To be eligible for the scheme you (the Director) must meet all of the following criteria: You are a Northern Ireland Resident. You are a Person with Significant Control (PSC) for the company/companies* listed in your application (i.e. you hold more than 25% of shares in…

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VAT – seven key points for the smaller business

Seven key VAT areas to consider for the smaller business. If you are starting or have recently started a business in the Co. Antrim area we, at Proactive Accounting, can help you comply with the VAT regulations. This factsheet focuses on VAT matters of relevance to the smaller business. A primary aim is to highlight…

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VAT – how to survive the enforcement powers

With careful planning Proactive Accounting can help businesses in the Co. Antrim area to avoid VAT penalties. Although some of the penalties for VAT infringements have been less severe in recent years, there is still an alarming array of enforcement powers to trap the unwary. By being aware of the problem areas and planning carefully,…

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VAT – flat rate scheme

We explain how the VAT Flat Rate Scheme operates. The VAT flat rate scheme for small businesses reduces the administrative burden of operating VAT. If you are starting or have recently started a business in the Co. Antrim area we, at Proactive Accounting, can advise as to whether the flat rate scheme is appropriate to…

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VAT – cash accounting

We summarise the workings of cash accounting for VAT. If you are starting or have recently started a business in the Co. Antrim area we, at Proactive Accounting, can advise you on the cash accounting scheme. Cash accounting enables a business to account for and pay VAT on the basis of cash received and paid…

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VAT – bad debt relief

VAT Bad debt relief allows businesses that have made supplies on which they have accounted for and paid VAT but for which they have not received payment to claim a refund of the VAT. We explain the situations where the relief applies. If your business is in the Co. Antrim area we, at Proactive Accounting…

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VAT – annual accounting scheme

The annual accounting scheme helps small businesses by allowing them to submit only one VAT return annually rather than the normal four. The scheme is intended to help with budgeting and cash flow and reduce paperwork. If you are starting or have recently started a business in the Co. Antrim area we, at Proactive Accounting, can…

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VAT – a summary

We highlight the key VAT areas you need to consider when running your business. If you are starting or have recently started a business in the Co. Antrim area we, at Proactive Accounting, can help you comply with the VAT regulations. VAT registered businesses act as unpaid tax collectors and are required to account both…

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Venture Capital Trusts

Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs) offer similar tax breaks to individuals as the Enterprise Investment Scheme. VCTs are managed by a variety of specialist fund companies. At Proactive Accounting, we advise individuals on tax efficient investments in the Co. Antrim area. Some information about VCTs is given below. Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs) are complementary to the…

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Taxation of the family

Husbands and wives are taxed separately and the tax position of any children is also a consideration. Marriage breakdowns can also have a considerable impact for tax purposes. We consider the relevant issues and the basic tax planning opportunities. If you live in the Co. Antrim area we, at Proactive Accounting can help you plan…

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Statutory Residence Test

We consider the statutory residence test and outline rules and records required. If you live in the Co. Antrim area we, at Proactive Accounting, can provide advice on your individual circumstances. The concept of residence in the United Kingdom is fundamental to the determination of UK tax liability for any individual. The Statutory Residence Test…

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Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme

The Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme complements the Enterprise Investment Scheme and is attractive to start up companies and investors in such companies. At Proactive Accounting, we can provide help if you are interested in financing your start up business in the Co. Antrim area or you are interested in providing seed capital to such businesses.…

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Property investment – tax aspects

On the basis that the investment in property appears to make commercial sense what tax factors should you take into account? If you are considering property investment in the Co. Antrim area we, at Proactive Accounting, can help you to make property investments in a tax efficient manner. Investment in property has been and continues…

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Property investment – buy to let

Buy to let traditionally involves investing in property with the expectation of capital growth with the rental income from tenants covering the mortgage costs and any outgoings. If you live in the Co. Antrim area we, at Proactive Accounting, can help you sort out some of the potential problems that may arise and structure the…

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Personal tax – self assessment

We summarise the self assessment rules and penalties for failing to comply with your obligations. If you live in the Co. Antrim area we, at Proactive Accounting, can prepare your tax return on your behalf and advise you on payments that may need to be made to HMRC. Under the self assessment regime an individual…

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Pensions – tax reliefs

Personal Pensions are common types of ‘registered pension schemes’ which allow members to obtain tax relief on contributions into the scheme and tax free growth of the fund within limits. We consider the rules here. At Proactive Accounting, we provide advice on all taxes in the Co. Antrim area and can help you to consider…

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Tax-Free Childcare

Tax-Free Childcare replaced Employer Supported Childcare, and has the advantage that the self employed, as well as employed individuals, can make use of the scheme. At Proactive Accounting, we can provide guidance on Tax-Free Childcare and Employer Supported Childcare in the Co. Antrim or surrounding areas. The government has introduced a tax incentive for childcare…

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Non-domiciled individuals

We, at Proactive Accounting, provide here an introduction to the taxation in the UK of income arising outside the UK for non UK domiciled individuals. If you live in the Co. Antrim area we can advise you of the effects of this legislation and deal with any tax issues arising. This factsheet sets out the…

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Lasting Powers of Attorney

Proactive Accounting can assist individuals throughout the Co. Antrim area, and we can provide expert advice on a wide range of personal taxation issues. Here is information on lasting powers of attorney. A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document which someone (the Donor) makes, giving someone they trust (the Attorney) the power…

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Individual Savings Accounts

ISAs are tax-exempt savings accounts available to individuals. At Proactive Accounting, we advise individuals on tax efficient investments in the Co. Antrim area. Some information about ISAs is given below. Successive governments, concerned at the relatively low level of savings in the UK economy have over the years introduced various means by which individuals can…

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Giving to charity

As experienced accountants, Proactive Accounting can advise on a range of issues when it comes to giving to charity. We can help individuals and businesses in Co. Antrim to make use of the available tax reliefs and to maximise the value of their donations. We consider the options available for individuals considering making tax-effective gifts…

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Furnished holiday lettings

Property ownership has a number of different tax implications, not to mention the complex rules regarding Furnished Holiday Lettings. Proactive Accounting can guide individuals in the Co. Antrim area through the legislation, whilst helping to minimise their potential tax liability. Different tax rules apply to income from letting property, which is generally taxed under the…

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Enterprise Investment Scheme

The Enterprise Investment Scheme allows qualifying companies access to equity investment from new and, in some cases, existing shareholders. The shareholders obtain potentially attractive tax breaks. At Proactive Accounting, we can provide help if you are interested in financing your business in the Co. Antrim area or you are interested in providing capital to businesses.…

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Child Benefit charge

The receipt of Child Benefit can result in a tax bill. This potential bill brings the Child Benefit into the scope of self assessment and, if you live in the Co. Antrim area we, at Proactive Accounting, can advise you on the potential application of the Child Benefit Charge and possible tax planning that may…

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Valuing your business

There are a number of methods available to calculate the value of a business. It is not a precise science but requires experience and judgement. If your business is in the Co. Antrim area we, at Proactive Accounting, can help you value your business and help you develop an exit strategy if you have decided…

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The value of outsourcing

The team at Proactive Accounting can help businesses in the Co. Antrim area when it comes to making decisions about outsourcing core functions. Here are some of the issues to consider… Most business owner-managers find that they spend only a small percentage of their time on important strategic planning. A great deal of their effort…

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Strategies for increasing revenue

At Proactive Accounting we can provide businesses in the Co. Antrim area with assistance and advice on a wide range of business issues. Here is a guide to strategies for increasing revenue… One of the keys to successful profit improvement and sustained business growth is to develop strategies that increase revenue for your business. A…

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Small Company Accounting

We consider the reporting requirements and their impact. At Proactive Accounting, we can provide guidance on the reporting standards in the Co. Antrim or surrounding areas. The required format of statutory accounts that small companies have to prepare and send to Companies House has changed. This factsheet sets out the choices that small companies now…

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Selling your business

At Proactive Accounting we can advise businesses in the Co. Antrim area on business exit strategies and selling a business. Here are some of the essential points to consider… Selling your business may be the time when you finally get to reap the rewards of a lifetime of work. Or it might be the opportunity…

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Pricing strategies

At Proactive Accounting we can provide businesses in the Co. Antrim area with assistance and advice on a wide range of business issues. Here are some of the key points to consider when setting prices… One of the most important decisions to be made when launching a product or service is setting the price. Sometimes,…

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Criminal Finances Act 2017

The Criminal Finances Act makes companies and partnerships criminally liable for failing to prevent tax evasion. At Proactive Accounting, we can provide guidance on the key aspects of the Act and the implications for your business in the Co. Antrim area. Under the Criminal Finances Act 2017 (CFA) companies and partnerships may be criminally liable…

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Preparing for your accountant

Thank you for allowing us, at Proactive Accounting, to provide you with a service in the Co. Antrim area. Whether we are producing your accounts or carrying out tax compliance work, being prepared for us will ensure our work is carried out smoothly and efficiently and with the minimum disruption to yourselves. We highlight the…

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Money laundering

We consider how money laundering rules affect your organisation. If you have a business in the Co. Antrim area we, at Proactive Accounting, can assist on a number of matters relating to the regulations. There are tough rules to crack down on money laundering and the proceeds of crime. These rules affect a wide range…

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Micro Entity Accounting

This factsheet considers the options available to micro entities when preparing their accounts. At Proactive Accounting, we can provide guidance on the options available and their implications in the Co. Antrim area. Small companies, which qualify as ‘micro-entities’, have a choice of accounting standards: to use the same accounting standard – FRS 102 – as…

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Limited liability partnerships

The key features of a Limited Liability Partnership are explained. If your business is in the Co. Antrim area we, at Proactive Accounting can help you consider whether an LLP structure is appropriate for your business. Most important features of LLPs The key advantage of a LLP compared with a traditional partnership is that the…

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Accounting records

At Proactive Accounting we can advise businesses in the Co. Antrim area on keeping financial, tax, accounting and other records. Here are some of the key points. One of the most commonly asked questions faced by accountants is what accounting records a business must keep, and for how long. This is not surprising, as record…

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Grants

Grants are sums of money awarded, by the government or other organisations, for a specific project or purpose. Generally the amount is not repayable. If your business is in the Co. Antrim area we, at Proactive Accounting, can help you find an appropriate source of grant funds and help you with your business plans. Ensuring…

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Directors’ responsibilities

Becoming a director carries with it potentially onerous duties. Make sure you know what those duties are. If you are located in the Co. Antrim area we, at Proactive Accounting, can provide professional advice to help you fulfil your duties and obligations. The position of director brings both rewards and responsibilities upon an individual. Whether…

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Charities in Scotland: trustees’ responsibilities

Being a Scottish charity trustee brings responsibilities. At Proactive Accounting, we can provide guidance on the reporting requirements in the Co. Antrim area. It is often considered an honour to act as a trustee for a charity and an opportunity to give something back to the community. However, becoming a trustee involves a certain commitment…

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Data security – General Data Protection Regulation

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force on 25 May 2018 adding some new elements and significant enhancements to the UK’s existing data protection regime. The GDPR requires that all organisations that deal with individuals living in an EU member state to protect the personal information belonging to those individuals, and to have…

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Data security – Data Protection Act

The key compliance issues surrounding data protection and the Data Protection Act. If your business is in the Co. Antrim area we, at Proactive Accounting, can provide you with assistance or any additional information required. Many businesses are totally reliant on the data stored on their PCs, laptops, networks, mobile devices and in the cloud.…

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VAT – Making Tax Digital

Making Tax Digital for VAT (MTDfV) fundamentally changes the way in which businesses keep VAT records and submit VAT returns. At Proactive Accounting, we can provide guidance on the key aspects of MTDfV and the implications for your business in the Co. Antrim area. Over the coming years, the government will phase in its landmark…

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Making Tax Digital for Individuals

Making Tax Digital (MTD) represents a significant change to the way in which taxpayers record their financial information and submit tax returns. At Proactive Accounting, we can provide guidance on the key aspects of MTD for individuals in the Co. Antrim area. The government has started phasing in its landmark MTD initiative, which will see…

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Company secretarial duties

Certain information about a company must be publicly available including, for example, the company’s annual accounts, registered office address and details of directors, company secretary (if there is one) and members. Providing and updating this information has historically been the job of the company secretary. If your company is in the Co. Antrim area we,…

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Cash basis for the self-employed

We consider the optional rules which allow small unincorporated businesses to calculate their profits for tax purposes on a cash basis rather than the normal accruals basis. Accruals basis and cash basis One example which illustrates the difference between the accruals basis and cash basis is that credit sales are included in the accruals basis…

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Recovering VAT on staff expenses

Proactive Accounting can help businesses in the Co. Antrim area with recovering VAT on staff expenses. Although the VAT rules normally prevent you reclaiming VAT on supplies that are not made direct to you, there are certain circumstances when the rules are relaxed. Subsistence Expenses For instance, the VAT element of subsistence expenses paid to…

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Charities in Scotland: trustees’ responsibilities

Being a Scottish charity trustee brings responsibilities. At Proactive Accounting, we can provide guidance on the reporting requirements in the Co. Antrim area. It is often considered an honour to act as a trustee for a charity and an opportunity to give something back to the community. However, becoming a trustee involves a certain commitment…

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Bribery Act 2010

Under the Bribery Act 2010 it is an offence for organisations to ‘fail to prevent bribery’. The defence against this offence is to ensure that your business has adequate procedures in place to prevent bribery. If your business is in the Co. Antrim or surrounding areas we, at Proactive Accounting, can provide you with assistance or…

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Travel and subsistence for Directors and employees

We summarise the main areas to consider in deciding whether tax relief for travelling and subsistence expenditure is available. If you are an employer or employee in the Co. Antrim area we, at Proactive Accounting, can advise you on the expense rules. Travelling and subsistence expenditure incurred by or on behalf of employees gives rise…

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Pooled cars and vans

Proactive Accounting can advise employers in the Co. Antrim area on the use of pooled cars and vans. Here is an overview of the main considerations… Some employers, or groups of employers, find it convenient to have one or more cars or vans that are readily available for business use by a number of employees.…

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Payslips

Employers in the Co. Antrim area should be aware of the legal requirements concerning payslips – here is the Proactive Accounting guide to the essentials… Most employees receive payslips and take them for granted, but what are the legal requirements? All workers, including those working part-time and temporarily, are entitled to receive a written payslip…

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Payroll Real Time Information

The Real Time Information requirements are wide ranging and potentially onerous on employers. We provide a summary below. If your business is in the Co. Antrim area we, at Proactive Accounting, can help you to set up and run your payroll or we can run your payroll for you. We set out below details of…

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Payroll – basic procedures

Here is an outline of what you need to do to set up and run your payroll.  If your business is in the Co. Antrim area we, at Proactive Accounting, can help you to set up and run your payroll or we can run your payroll for you. New Employer In order to set up…

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National insurance

The National insurance contributions (NICs) regime is complex and represents a significant ‘tax’ on employers, employees and the self employed. It is very easy not to pay the correct amount of contributions. If your business is in the Co. Antrim area we, at Proactive Accounting, can advise you on NICs and help you with any…

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Homeworking and tax relief for employees

Homeworking is the norm for many employees but how do the rules work with regard to the tax and what expenses are deductible? If you are an employer or employee in the Co. Antrim area we, at Proactive Accounting, can advise you on the expense rules. Working from home may be an attractive option for…

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Employer supported childcare

Childcare and employer provided childcare vouchers are very popular with both employers and employees alike. If your business is in the Co. Antrim area or you are employed in the area we, at Proactive Accounting, can advise you on the exemptions available for employer supported childcare. Employer Supported Childcare (ESC), commonly by way of childcare…

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Employment benefits

We consider some of the main benefit rules that apply to directors and employees. If your business is in the Co. Antrim area or you are employed in the area we, at Proactive Accounting, can advise you on the benefit rules. Today the remuneration of many directors and employees comprises a package of salary and…

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Cars for employees

These are commonly referred to as company cars and are taxed by reference to the list price of the car but graduated according to the level of its carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. We outline the main areas to consider and the tax and national insurance implications. If your business is in the Co. Antrim area…

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Car or van?

At Proactive Accounting businesses in the Co. Antrim area often ask us about the tax implications of having a car and a van – here is a guide to the main points… There are several tax areas which rely on being able to determine whether a particular vehicle is classified as a car or a…

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Your staff handbook

At Proactive Accounting we can advise business owners in the Co. Antrim area on many of the issues you face. Here are some pointers for what should be in your staff handbook… Lengthy employment contracts, containing a huge amount of detailed information about terms and conditions, entitlements and procedures, are increasingly being replaced by short…

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The National Living Wage and the National Minimum Wage

All employers need to be aware of their responsibilities regarding compliance with the National Living Wage and the National Minimum Wage. At Proactive Accounting we can help firms in the Co. Antrim area with a range of business issues. Anybody working, aged 25 or over and not in the first year of an apprenticeship, is…

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Statutory sick, maternity and paternity pay

An outline of an employer’s obligations to pay statutory payments such as Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP), Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP) and Shared Parental Pay (ShPP). As the scheme payments are statutory, it is important that rules are adhered to. If you are an employer in the Co. Antrim area we, at…

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Recruitment procedures – employment law

What are the main principles involved in the recruitment of employees? Our guidance should help you avoid mistakes, as well as ensure that your recruitment process improves and you take on better employees as well. If you are an employer in the Co. Antrim area we, at Proactive Accounting, can provide you with assistance or…

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Recruiting the right staff

At Proactive Accounting we can advise businesses in the Co. Antrim area on many aspects of business life. Here are some tips on recruitment… Hiring new staff is costly and time-consuming, but it is worth investing the effort to get it right. Without good people your business cannot succeed, and for a growing business, making…

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Pensions – automatic enrolment

The government is placing greater responsibility and sometimes higher costs on employers. Employers are required to provide access to pension provision for their employees. If you are an employer in the Co. Antrim area we, at Proactive Accounting, can provide help and advice of your auto-enrolment responsibilities. What is automatic enrolment? Automatic enrolment places duties…

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Occupational pension schemes: trustees’ responsibilities

Occupational pension schemes require the establishment of a trust in order to gain the tax advantages and to ensure that the assets of the pension scheme are kept separate from those of the employer. We outline in this factsheet the main responsibilities of occupational pension scheme trustees. If your business is in the Co. Antrim…

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Legal working in the UK

It is a criminal offence to employ anyone who does not have an entitlement to work in the UK. We provide an overview of the documentation required to ensure that your business does not fall foul of the law. If you are an employer in the Co. Antrim area we, at Proactive Accounting, can provide…

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Identifying and preventing fraud

At Proactive Accounting we can advise on a wide range of issues which we know are important to businesses in the Co. Antrim area. This article considers strategies for identifying and preventing fraud. Your business, like every other business, is threatened by fraud. Some estimates suggest that fraud could be costing the UK economy in…

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Getting the most out of staff appraisals

At Proactive Accounting we can advise business owners in the Co. Antrim area on many of the issues you face. Here are some tips for more effective staff appraisals… Staff appraisals provide a valuable opportunity for you and your employees to work together to achieve future growth – for the employees’ personal careers and for…

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Dismissal procedures

We highlight the main principles involved in the dismissal of employees including some common mistakes that employers make. If you are an employer in the Co. Antrim area we, at Proactive Accounting, can provide you with assistance or any additional information required. There have been many changes to employment law and regulations in the last…

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Annual leave

Workers are entitled to paid annual leave.  We consider their entitlement and some complications. If you are an employer in the Co. Antrim area we, at Proactive Accounting, can provide you with assistance or any additional information required. Background Under the Working Time Regulations 1998 (as amended), workers are entitled to paid statutory annual leave…

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Agency workers regulations

Under the Agency Workers Regulations workers supplied to a company (or to any other entity) by an agency become entitled to receive pay and basic working conditions equivalent to any directly employed employees after a 12 week qualifying period. If you are an employer in the Co. Antrim area we, at Proactive Accounting, can advise…

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The Construction Industry Scheme

For those working in the construction industry, the compliance requirements of the Construction Industry Scheme needs to be coped with. At Proactive Accounting, we can assist you to comply with the onerous requirements of the Scheme for your business in the Co. Antrim area. The Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) sets out special rules for tax…

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Research and development

Research and development (R&D) by companies is being actively encouraged through a range of tax incentives including an increased deduction for R&D revenue spending and a payable R&D tax credit for companies not in profit. At Proactive Accounting, we can provide R&D advice for your company in the Co. Antrim area. Research and development (R&D)…

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IR35 personal service companies

We summarise what situations are caught by the special rules that apply to some personal service companies and the implications of the rules. At Proactive Accounting, we can help check whether the regime may apply to your company if you live or work in the Co. Antrim area. The ‘IR35’ rules are designed to prevent…

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Husband and wife businesses

There are tax planning opportunities available to husband-and-wife businesses, but care needs to be taken. If you are in the Co. Antrim area, Proactive Accounting can guide you through the options. This article provides an overview… HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has shown great interest in businesses where both spouses are owners (either as shareholders…

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Homeworking costs for the self-employed

Self-employed and working from home? Some of the costs of the home can be claimed against tax and, in some cases, these costs may be considerable. We set out types of costs that may be relieved here but at Proactive Accounting, we can advise on maximising the relief due to you if you live in the…

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Employed or self employed?

Employers in the Co. Antrim area sometimes ask Proactive Accounting about classifying workers as employed or self employed – a surprisingly complex issue. Here is an overview of the key points. The question as to whether someone is employed or self employed is not as straightforward as it might at first appear. Many people assume…

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Corporation tax – quarterly instalment payments

If your company is caught by the quarterly instalment payments rules, the first payment of corporation tax for a current accounting period will be before payment has been made for the previous accounting period. At Proactive Accounting, we can help check whether the regime may apply to your company and assist you to comply with…

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Capital allowances

Tax relief is available on certain capital expenditure in the form of capital allowances but the amount of these allowances can vary depending on the type of asset acquired. At Proactive Accounting, we can provide advice on maximising tax relief for capital expenditure for your business in the Co. Antrim area. Overview The cost of…

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Business motoring – tax aspects

For many businesses the tax allowances available for business motoring is an important matter to consider. At Proactive Accounting, we can provide advice for your business in the Co. Antrim area. This factsheet focuses on the current tax position of business motoring, a core consideration of many businesses. The aim is to provide a clear…

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An introduction to corporation tax

At Proactive Accounting we can advise companies in the Co. Antrim area about all aspects of corporation tax and corporation tax planning. Here is an introduction, but contact us for more advice. The corporation tax rate is currently 19% and there are no plans to reduce the rate in the future. Self assessment A company…

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Trusts

Trusts are separate persons for UK tax purposes and have specific rules for all the main taxes. There are also a range of anti-avoidance measures aimed at preventing exploitation of potential tax benefits. If you live in the Co. Antrim area we, at Proactive Accounting, can provide taxation advice to help you utilise trusts as…

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Stamp Duty Land Tax

Stamp Duty Land Tax is payable by the purchaser in a land transaction which includes a simple conveyance of land such as buying a house but also creating a lease or assigning a lease. If you are considering property investment or acquiring a lease on a commercial property in the Co. Antrim area we, at…

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Land Transaction Tax

Land Transaction Tax is payable by the purchaser in a land transaction which occurs in Wales. At Proactive Accounting, we can provide guidance on Land Transaction Tax in the Co. Antrim area. Land Transaction Tax (LTT) is payable by the purchaser of property in Wales. Who pays the tax? LTT is payable by the purchaser…

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Land and Building Transaction Tax

Land and Building Transaction Tax (LBTT) is payable by the purchaser in a land transaction which occurs in Scotland. At Proactive Accounting, we can provide guidance on LBTT in the Co. Antrim area. Who pays the tax? LBTT is payable by the purchaser in a land transaction occurring in Scotland. Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT)…

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Making a will and other related matters

Making a Will is one of the most fundamental aspects of estate planning, yet many people do not appreciate its importance. At Proactive Accounting we have experience in many aspects of estate planning, and can advise people in the Co. Antrim area on strategies to help minimise the tax bill. It is an essential means…

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Inheritance tax – a summary

Inheritance tax is often called a voluntary tax in that, with planning, the payment of inheritance can be avoided. It is a tax levied on a person’s estate when they die and on certain gifts made during an individual’s lifetime. If you live in the Co. Antrim area we, at Proactive Accounting, can provide taxation…

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Capital gains tax and the family home

A valuable relief exists on the sale of the family home but in certain situations careful planning is required to ensure that the relief is obtained. If you live in the Co. Antrim area we, at Proactive Accounting, can provide taxation advice to ensure that maximum opportunity is taken of principal private residence relief. The…

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Capital gains tax

We consider the taxation of capital gains and outline the reliefs available. If you live in the Co. Antrim area we, at Proactive Accounting, can provide taxation advice to ensure that maximum opportunity is taken of the reliefs available for capital gains tax. A capital gain arises when certain capital (or ‘chargeable’) assets are sold…

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Writing a business plan

At Proactive Accounting we can provide objective assistance with writing a business plan, based on our experience in helping start-ups in the Co. Antrim area. Here are some of the key aspects to consider… Creating a business plan is one of the most important things you will do when starting up. It will help determine…

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Taking on staff

At Proactive Accounting we can provide start-up businesses in the Co. Antrim area with help and advice. Here are some general points to consider regarding taking on staff. As your business grows, you will probably need to hire new staff members. Recruiting the right people Conducting Interviews Regulations Recruiting the right people Without good people…

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Sources of finance

We, at Proactive Accounting, summarise the means of finance that are available and where we can help if you are starting, or have recently started a business in the Co. Antrim area. The financing of your business is the most fundamental aspect of its management. Get the financing right and you will have a healthy…

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Raising finance

Every business needs finance – whether it is just starting up or looking to develop and grow. What type of finance is best suited to the development of your business, and who should you approach for funding? If you are starting, or have recently started a business in the Co. Antrim area we, at Proactive…

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Names, trademarks, patents and other registrations

Business names, trademarks, patents and registrations are vital considerations for start-ups – Proactive Accounting can advise businesses in the Co. Antrim area. Choosing a business name Your business name is an ideal starting-point for building a brand, which can help you to forge a strong identity in the marketplace. You might want to draw up…

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Insuring your business

We consider the types of insurance you may need when starting a new business. If you are starting, or have recently started a business in the Co. Antrim area we, at Proactive Accounting, can provide you with any further information you require. When starting a new business, you will no doubt recognise the need for…

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Incorporation

If you run your business as a company you may save a considerable amount of tax. However there may be disadvantages and a sole trade or partnership structure may be better. If your business is in the Co. Antrim area we, at Proactive Accounting, can show you the potential tax savings currently available to you…

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Franchising

We consider the advantages and disadvantages of franchising and operating issues. If you are considering entering into a franchise in the Co. Antrim area we, at Proactive Accounting, can help with business plans and provide independent advice. Franchising is a flourishing industry boasting nearly 1,000 brands in a multitude of different sectors. The business community…

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Credit control

What are the points to consider when taking on a new customer? Similar points may arise in regard to your suppliers. If you are starting, or have recently started a business in the Co. Antrim area we, at Proactive Accounting, can help you manage the credit requirements of the business. Obtaining new customers is great…

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Considerations when starting a business

What issues should you consider when setting up in business? If you are starting, or have recently started a business in the Co. Antrim area we, at Proactive Accounting, can help you with appropriate and professional advice. It is the ambition of many people to run their own business. Some may have been made redundant…

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Choosing your accounting date

At Proactive Accounting we can advise businesses in the Co. Antrim area about choosing the best and most tax-efficient accounting date. Here are some of the issues to consider. Q. Can I select any date for my accounting year end? A. Yes The choice of a year end accounting date is for the business owner…

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Business structures – which should I use?

We consider the options available to you when starting your own business. There are tax and legal implications which have a bearing on the choice you make. If you are starting, or have recently started a business in the Co. Antrim area we, at Proactive Accounting, can help you decide on an appropriate business structure.…

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No Acknowledgement of Directors Income Support From Uk Government

Last week there was a bit of a flurry in the press around the Government potentially backing a proposal by the Federation of Small Businesses and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants to pay company directors who are compensated via Dividends an equivalent of the SEISS grants. https://www.ft.com/content/e6277d45-0383-4c46-84f7-00d53a741026 Under the proposed scheme, company directors who…

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Covid Support Schemes November 2020

Further to our last post about the Job Support Scheme, we have to warn you that it is no longer relevant as of Monday.  The government have delayed its introduction for another month, instead they have extended the older more generous scheme and will pay 80% of furloughed employee’s wages with employers covering employer’s NIC and pension…

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The New Job Support Scheme

As you should hopefully be aware, the current government furlough scheme will end completely on the 31 October 2020 to be replaced by the new “Job Support Scheme” (JSS). For employers this represents a big drop in the funding available to keep employees on the payroll.  It appears that this Job Support Scheme (JSS) will…

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Northern Ireland Hardship Grant for Micro-businesses

As some of you already know, Invest NI have now launched the Hardship Fund for Micro-Businesses.  You can now access this via this link: https://www.investni.com/ni-micro-business-hardship-fund   You should have most of the information at hand allowing you to complete this application, but you will likely need to contact us to get your RTI submission report and your…

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Covid-19 – Updated News and Reliefs for Businesses

The chancellor has set out temporary measures to support services through this period of disruption. The following measures are introduced to support businesses: Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme All UK businesses will be eligible. Under this scheme you will be able to “furlough” workers who are unable to perform their jobs because of Coronavirus. HMRC will…

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Covid-19 – Relief for Businesses

How does the outbreak of Coronavirus affect your business? The Government has offered support to small to medium sized businesses with costs relating to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) by refunding eligible SSP as a result of the COVID-19 if certain criteria are met: Must have less than 250 employees as of 28 February 2020 Can…

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Job Listing: Practice Manager – Belfast (Partner Designate)

Looking to join N.Ireland’s fastest growing Accountancy Firm? We are looking for an ambitious, experienced Practice Manager to join our fast growing Practice in Belfast. The successful Applicant is likely to have at least 5-10 years Practice experience, be professionally qualified and have excellent communication skills. In depth tax and accounts preparation knowledge is a…

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Creative Tax Credits for Games, Film & Tv

For most industries, dealing with HMRC consists of ruthless compliance requirements and demands for tax payment. For certain industries however, the government have chosen to offer tax incentives to encourage growth and development. First among those are what the UK government regard as “Creative Industries” which consist of: Television Animation Film Video Games Theatre Orchestra…

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Don’t Let Hmrc Reject You!

Don’t Let HMRC Reject You!  As we all get back to normal after a busy tax year end for 2017 we are so happy to have helped so many businesses big and small to understand their tax liability and the ways and rules of HMRC. Something that comes to light every year is new clients’…

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Director Tax Free Benefits

As a limited company Director, you’re fortunate enough to be in the unique position of being able to exercise complete control over the way in which your company pays you for your services.  For most people, this means tax savings can be made by declaring a small salary and compensating themselves through issuing dividends which…

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Autumn Budget 2017

Autumn 2017 Budget Changes The budget was less extreme than most were predicting thankfully.  However, there are a few key pieces of information included which are likely to be relevant to our clients.   Dividend Allowance The dividend allowance reduction from £5,000 to £2,000 as planned by the government last year appears to be going…

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Making Tax Digital – What You Need to Know

What is Making Tax Digital? Making tax digital is a new government initiative that by 2020 sets out the end of the tax return system as you know it. Are you read for the upheaval? From 2020, HMRC will begin to phase in a system requiring businesses to change from submitting one tax return per…

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Tax Free Childcare Scheme

The government has recently launched a scheme for parents of children to qualify for what they’re calling Tax Free Childcare.   In simple terms, how this will work is that you will have a tax free childcare account set up in your name and for every £1 you put into the scheme, the government will…

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Bookkeeper and Accountancy Jobs

Bookkeeper and Accountancy Jobs We’re currently in the process of hiring more staff and have job positions open at the moment for experienced bookkeepers as well as fully or part qualified accounts.   The job posting for an experience bookkeeper is listed below along with details, the position and roles involved in the accountant position…

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Auto Enrolment Pensions

For many of our clients, 2017 represents the year in which they will be required to register for auto enrolment pensions.   Unfortunately, for small businesses this process usually involves an excessive amount of bureaucratic filing and administration.  From your staging date (which can be found here) you are expected to enrol all eligible staff members in a…

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March 2017 Budget Small Businesses

Concerned about what impact the changes to Budget 2017 will have on your business?   Quarterly Tax Returns back-down The first point of note within the new Budget is that the government have partly backed down from their proposal to force small businesses and the self employed to file four tax returns per year on…

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IR35 in the Public Sector

A brief update on the government’s IR35 policy as it drives ever onwards.   From April 2017 the government will be enacting a new policy placing the liability for all unpaid PAYE and NIC balances (in cases where they rule someone acting as a limited company subcontractor was actually an employee.) onto the public sector…

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March 2016 Budget

Another quarter, another budget.   This year, along with another expected round of cuts, Osbourne has announced a few things which may be of interest to our clients.   First off was a significant cut in Rates, although unfortunately our initial reaction is that this probably won’t extend to Northern Ireland as Rates are set…

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End of Wear and Tear Allowance, Mortgage Relief

I’d like to draw the attention of our clients with buy to let properties to the new rules the government are proposing for claiming for fixtures and fittings in properties from April 2016 and the changes to Mortgage Interest Relief. Whereas up until now, landlords have been able to claim mortgage relief as a normal…

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How Can You Avoid an Enquiry From Hmrc?

The question of avoiding what every taxpayer fears – a long and time consuming enquiry from HMRC – is one that should be at the forefront of any good accountant’s mind.  Inherent to this is that we must understand how HMRC target enquiries.  Many of the methods HMRC use in their detection of tax returns…

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Broadband Connection Voucher Government Grants

This is a quick update to make our clients aware of government grants subsidies for SMEs to upgrade their broadband connection within Belfast.   The conditions are as follows:   Your business is within an eligible area one of the 50 cities taking part in the scheme. Check your postcode to find out if you’re eligible You are a SME,…

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Self-administered Pension Changes From April 2015

A note to all current or prospective clients on the Pension changes and how they relate to our speciality for SSAS pension schemes as a tax saving measure.   Flexible Access Pension savers can now withdraw up to 25% of their total pension pot tax free from the moment they turn 55.   This can be…

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HMRC Cycle to Work Scheme

The HMRC cycle to work scheme is a scheme which offers a great way for small traders to purchase a bicycle while claiming capital allowances on it.   In its simplest form, which is the form most likely to be used by a small company, the business can make a purchase of bicycles and cycling…

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The Basics of Dividends for Small Businesses

(See the previous two blog posts for more information on withdrawing cash from your company) The final way of withdrawing money from your company in a tax efficient manner is by paying yourself dividends as compensation rather than drawing a substantial salary.  Ideally, you will begin to draw dividends once you’ve paid yourself a salary…

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Old Fashioned Accountancy

I recently read a discussion on an accountancy website where a client asked for advice on dealing with his accountant.  The client wanted to move his records onto Xero to take advantage of the cloud computing they offer but the accountant refused citing what the client saw as flimsy and non-specific reasons.   It’s always…

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New Accounting Practice Puts Tax Planning Back on Agenda

Jon Dickinson-Senior Partner of Proactive Accounting-A new Chartered Accountancy Practice based in Belfast has promised that tax planning will be a core service provided to Clients from start up. “Too many Accountancy Practices have shied away from legitimate ways of saving tax due to the aggressive stance taken by HMRC”. We will adhere to the…

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