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[24 Jan 2016 | Comments Off on Budget Day Bombshell? | ]
Budget Day Bombshell?

We are indebted to Richard Dyson of The Daily Telegraph for this news on pensions. Though we stress that it’s a forecast and not an absolute certainty.
A tax break set to be axed within weeks
And at the same time, we need to remind you that we are not authorised to provide pensions advice, but we can tell you about tax law and possible changes to it. If we are to believe everything which we read in the Press, which we hear in Accounting Bulletins and which we learn on our …

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, …

one offs »

[12 Jun 2015 | Comments Off on The Pensions Regulator Letter | ]
The Pensions Regulator Letter

Proactive is not authorised to give pensions advice, and the comments here are a guide to complying with new legislation. It is not a guide to pensions!
The Government decided in about 2012 to shake up UK pension provision, and as a result, a lot of smaller businesses have to comply with the new laws from 2015 or 2016. It appears that they launched a campaign in Spring 2015, sending letters like this example, to the smallest of UK employers.

Oddly, if the new legislation does not apply to you, then you …

one offs »

[1 Feb 2015 | No Comment | ]
Invoicing foreign clients and charging in foreign currencies

All invoices must show the same information as your letter headed paper, business address, registered number and that sort of thing (to comply with The Companies Act 2006). The following rules also apply:

The date of the invoice must be shown.
Invoices must be sequentially numbered. The numbering must be purely numeric.
The word “Invoice” must appear and be abundantly clear.
The name and address of the person being invoiced must appear. This is the name of your customer and not necessarily the name of the individual in their head office. If your customer …

getting things done, one offs »

[12 Dec 2014 | No Comment | ]
#VATMOSS #VATMESS

VAT MOSS applies to all businesses whether or not they are currently VAT registered! Do you sell (or are you planning to sell) digital products (eServices) over the web?
From 1 Jan 2015 the rules change and as a result, some non-VAT registered business will need to review their business methods and may be forced to register for VAT. Businesses which are already VAT registered may need to collect more data from their customers and charge a different VAT rate depending on where their customer lives.

The rules were developed to make …

one offs »

[30 Jul 2014 | No Comment | ]
HMRC on strike

Is it worth phoning HMRC? Do the staff in the call centres actually have any expertise? If you’re promised a return call, do they actually call you back? In our experience the answer to all these questions is an emphatic “no”!
Today, staff at HMRC are going on strike (for three days) to protest about staffing levels. We have long known that things are not getting done. We gave up phoning HMRC in 2006 and started a process of sending them everything in writing. That way, if there is ever any …

one offs »

[24 Jun 2014 | No Comment | ]
Correcting mistakes

“One of my invoices to my customer is wrong. What should I do?”
In cases like this the easiest solution is to reverse the invoice using a credit note, and then issue a completely new invoice (and hopefully get it absolutely right). A credit note is basically a negative invoice. It should replicate the incorrect invoice in every respect, except that the heading is “Credit Note” and not “Invoice” and all the figures should be preceded by a minus sign. The date on the Credit Note is normally the date you …

one offs »

[24 Sep 2013 | No Comment | ]
A “no show” policy

From time to time, life’s little dramas can get in the way of business meetings. No doubt all of us have, at one time or another, encountered a “no show” and wondered what to do about it. Our policy is simple – we expect 24 hours notice of any variations to agreed meetings. Failing to notify us and failing to show up will lead such customers one step closer to becoming ex-customers. That’s particularly unfortunate in the case of a “first free no obligation meeting” as we don’t permit second …

one offs »

[5 Sep 2013 | No Comment | ]

All businesses need standardised documents for their correspondence and invoices. An invoice is basically a standard letterhead with the addition of a number of billing points. The examples set out here assume that your business is a limited company.
VAT invoices must show:

Your address and the address of your company registered office. If your company registered office and your principal place of business are one and the same, you only need to show the address once, provided that it is clear that they are one and the same!
Your company registration number.
Your …

one offs »

[8 Aug 2013 | No Comment | ]
Pre Trade Expenses

I’ve only just registered my business, can I claim pre trade expenses which I paid personally?
The basic principal is that “if you paid for something in the knowledge that you were starting a business, and the prime motive for buying this something was to enhance that business, then it is a business expense” and (subject to a three year time limit) you can claim for it. That applies to both goods and services, and in order to claim the full cost you must satisfy both parts of this test, that …