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[16 Apr 2017 | Comments Off on Director shareholder payments 2017/18 | ]
Director shareholder payments 2017/18

Since the introduction of the Dividend Allowance and the Interest Allowance in 2016, compounded by the new Scottish rates of tax in 2017, there is no easy way to work out the optimum pattern of salary and dividends for directors of small UK companies.
Here’s a rough guide to what you might want to pay yourself and what sort of personal income tax reserve you may need to keep. Remember, that this is in addition to your company preparing its own corporation tax reserve. A company can only pay dividends from …

headline, one offs »

[8 Feb 2017 | Comments Off on VAT Flat Rate Scheme – The New Rules from 1 Apr 2017 | ]
VAT Flat Rate Scheme – The New Rules from 1 Apr 2017

The VAT Flat Rate Scheme changes from 1 Apr 2017 when new rules come into force in a heavy handed attempt to combat abuse of the system. The FRS differs from standard VAT accounting because you pay a percentage of your business turnover rather than paying the actual VAT arising on the difference between sales and purchases.
You continue to charge clients the headline rate of 20% VAT and you can potentially benefit by remitting a smaller percentage to the taxman. The FRS rates differ from sector to sector, but for …

one offs »

[28 Jun 2016 | Comments Off on HMRC System Borked | ]
HMRC System Borked

Late on Thursday 23 Jun 2016, we tried to submit a number of Coporation Tax returns for clients. The data went in (apparently), but the normal response did not come back. We tried again early on Friday with the same blank result.

According to Acorah, our software supplier, this issue (experienced by many accountants) was raised with HMRC on Friday, and whilst the data has arrived on the HMRC systems, it is only the “result” message which is failing. We checked the HMRC status page on both Thursday and Friday and …

one offs »

[12 May 2016 | Comments Off on National Insurance Contributions and the UK State Pension | ]
National Insurance Contributions and the UK State Pension

We are accountants and tax advisers, and we do not get involved in pension matters. However, this is what we know about the interaction between National Insurance Contributions and the UK State Pension.

If you are following our recommended director shareholder payments pattern, then your salary should be high enough to give you a National Insurance credit, even though you don’t pay Class 1 National Insurance.
A full year at this level is a “qualifying year”. This page https://www.gov.uk/state-pension/eligibility used to say:
“You might not pay National Insurance Contributions because you’re earning less …

annual »

[8 Apr 2016 | Comments Off on Director shareholder payments 2016/17 | ]
Director shareholder payments 2016/17

In the good old days there was an easy way to work out the optimum pattern of salary and dividends for directors of small UK companies. With the advent of the Finance Bill 2016 the situation has become hopelessly complex and that prompted AccountingWeb to publish a critical blogpost. Here’s the first bit with the all important table:

If you want to see the blogpost in full you’ll have to sign up for membership of AccountingWeb. It’s a free resouce for accountants!
And, as we said in our 30 Nov 2015 blogpost, …

getting things done, routine »

[14 Mar 2016 | Comments Off on Meal allowances | ]
Meal allowances

It’s long been a policy of ours that all employee expense claims (and directors’ expense claims) should be supported by receipts, proving that the relevant expenditure has taken place, and that the employee’s claim is for a legitimate business expense. That’s set out in our guide:
Claiming back expenses from your own Limited Company
We don’t need to see every receipt from Pret a Manger for £2.99 sandwiches, but we want the reassurance that you the client make a point of keeping your staff (and yourself) within the rules.

So, here is something …

getting things done »

[12 Feb 2016 | Comments Off on Wriggle Room and Late Filing Penalties | ]
Wriggle Room and Late Filing Penalties

Do you have a penalty notice from HMRC relating to the late filing of a 2013/14 or 2014/15 Self Assessment tax return?
Then you may be interested in a working practice which HMRC introduced recently, because they don’t have enough staff to check “reasonable excuse” claims. And whatsmore, they have extended the meaning of “reasonable excuse” which used to be limited to things like . .

Death of a close relative
Burglary
Flood

. . . to include a number of lesser reasons which they previously refused to accept. So “reasonable excuse” now includes . …

one offs »

[30 Nov 2015 | Comments Off on Dividend Tax 2016/17 | ]
Dividend Tax 2016/17

Significant changes to the taxation of dividends will take effect from 6 April 2016
Planned changes:

10% notional tax credit being scrapped
Introducing a tax free Dividend Allowance of £5,000
Then, dividends tax rates will be set at 7.5% for basic rate taxpayers, 32.5% for higher rate taxpayers and 38.1% for additional rate taxpayers.

In short, this means that the majority of owners of small limited companies, who take a small salary and large dividend, will see a significant increase in their personal tax bill. With the exception of the first £5,000 tax free band, …

headline, on the bridge, one offs »

[16 Nov 2015 | Comments Off on Buy To Let – new tax rules | ]
Buy To Let – new tax rules

Two new sets of rules come into force over the next few years.
No more “10% Wear and Tear” allowance
The allowance is being abolished. Starting on 6 Apr 2016, landlords who rent out furnished accommodation will no longer be able to claim the flat rate 10% allowance every year, and instead will be permitted only to claim the actual costs of like-for-like renewals and replacements.
Restriction of loan interest relief
Over a three year period, starting on 6 Apr 2017, the amount of tax relief you can claim for loan interest paid, will …

getting things done »

[13 Jul 2015 | Comments Off on Where is BX9 1BX? What happens to HMRC post? | ]
Where is BX9 1BX? What happens to HMRC post?

Have you had a letter from HMRC with the new BX9 1BX address? Did you write back to it? What happened to your letter?
BX9 1BX is an artificial post code and it’s not on the Royal Mail database. It’s a mail handling facility operated by HMRC in Bexley, Kent. Letters are opened and scanned and electronically dispatched to other HMRC offices. Occasionally, bulky items are forwarded as originals (using internal mail) to the HMRC office which is to deal with them.
In Jun 2006 we adopted a policy of sending all …