Archive for August, 2019

The 1972 Brussels Act has been repealed

Tuesday, August 20th, 2019

If you doubted the resolve of our government regarding the implementation of the 2016 referendum the following announcement may clarify matters.

The Government has signed into law legislation to repeal the Act of Parliament which set in stone Britain’s EU (EEC) membership in 1972. The 1972 Act is the vehicle that sees regulations flow into UK law directly from the EU’s law making bodies in Brussels.

The announcement of the Act’s repeal marks a historic step in returning law making powers from Brussels to the UK.

The repeal of the European Communities Act 1972 will take effect when Britain formally leaves the EU on October 31.

As we have indicated in previous posts, there is growing evidence that a no-deal Brexit is on the cards. Even if this proves to be incorrect, we all need to consider how are lives may be changed.

  • Business owners will have to adjust to the changed relationship with the EU: tariffs, VAT charges, transport complications, delay at ports of entry and so on. Google “EORI” now and apply for the number.
  • Travellers to the UK will no longer be recognised as EU citizens – check your passport.
  • UK citizens resident in the EU may face changes to their access to local healthcare, and the payment of taxation and National Insurance liabilities in their country of residence and possibly the UK.

The government have issued a fairly robust list of the issues that we will have to deal with, visit their information page:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/how-to-prepare-if-the-uk-leaves-the-eu-with-no-deal

The repeal of the 1972 Brussels Act is just one of the many legislative changes that will need to take place from 31 October 2019, unless we manage to agree a formal withdrawal agreement or extend the present deadline.

Be prepared. Our posts as we approach the present deadline can be considered a Brexit weather forecast – if you need a raincoat, hopefully, you will be advised…

Driving and staying in the EU after 31 October 2019

Friday, August 16th, 2019

If, as our new government intends, we leave the EU after 31 October 2019, with or without a deal, what changes will drivers and travellers from the UK be likely to face when they cross the channel after this date?

Bus and coach drivers

According to the latest updates on the Gov.uk website bus and coach drivers will need to consider the following:

• You may need an international driving permit (IDP) if you drive in certain EU countries. You can get an IDP at the Post Office (Present cost is £5.50; you need to be a GB or Northern Ireland resident and be 18 or over).

• Drivers will still need a Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) qualification and maintain their periodic training obligations to drive in the UK. Note: the EU will not recognise the UK CPC qualifications after Brexit.

• To work for an EU company after Brexit consider exchanging your UK Driver CPC for an EU Driver CPC.

The above points are just a sample of the possible issues that drivers and coach companies will need to consider. We recommend that affected companies undertake a thorough risk assessment to make sure that red-tape does not interfere with their scheduled journeys to the EU after the 31 October deadline.

Insurance and road accidents

A ‘green card’ is proof you have motor insurance cover when driving abroad. You will need to carry one for the vehicle you are driving if there is a no-deal Brexit.

You will need to carry multiple green cards if:

• your vehicle is towing a trailer – you will need one for the towing vehicle and one for the trailer (you need separate trailer insurance in some countries)

• you have 2 policies covering the duration of your trip, for example, if your policy renews during the journey.

If you are involved in a road accident you may need to bring need to bring legal proceedings in the EU or EEA country against either the responsible driver or the insurer of the vehicle if there’s a no-deal Brexit. At the moment you can make a claim via a UK-based claims representative or the UK Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB).

You might not get compensation if the accident is caused by an uninsured driver or the driver cannot be traced. This will vary from country to country.

Health care

If you presently have a European Health Card (EHIC) this may not be valid if there is a no deal Brexit. Accordingly, additional travel insurance may be required.

VISAs

According to the European Commission proposals, you will not need a VISA for short trips after Brexit. This means you can stay for up to 90 days in any 180-day period. You may need a VISA for longer periods or to work or study in the EU.

Reasons you Could be due a Tax Rebate

Friday, August 9th, 2019

Tax refunds are good news for everyone and leaves you feeling more than happy to hear from HM Revenue & Customs.

In many situations overpayments of tax occur without the Taxpayer knowing, or even HMRC having any knowledge. Because of this, they never get paid but get swallowed up by the Tax office over time. You don’t even need to register for a UTR number to get one either.

Why does this happen?

The reason is fairly simple, overpayments usually occur when the Taxpayer has not made a relief claim for certain items or expenses. Furthermore, a lot of the relief claims are not automatic, they must be made manually. In this article, we will go through the three  most common reasons why you could be due a tax rebate, and why they don’t happen naturally.

When reviewing the different reasons for tax repayments, please also bear in mind that it’s possible to go back four tax years to make a tax relief claim. With this in mind, we have accumulated a couple of the main reasons that you could be entitled to a tax rebate. 

Unclaimed allowances for Maintaining your work uniform

This is probably the most common area of undiscovered tax rebates. HMRC understand that it is the requirement of workers to clean and maintain their own work uniform, and obviously, this comes at an expense. From washing powder to the cost of the washing machine itself, HMRC recognises that there are costs involved in cleaning workwear.

Expenses for work equipment or tools

There are various situations where an employee might have to pay for tools and equipment, necessary for their job. These necessary expenses are Tax deductible which means that you are entitled to tax relief. Some examples of work-related expenditure for tools & equipment:

  • Knives for chefs
  • Clippers for hairdressers
  • Trowels for bricklayers
  • Multifunction testers for electricians

Expenses Suffered for PPE

As noted above, there might be certain jobs or positions that (legally) require the use of PPE. The main area where this would apply would be for construction trades, such as bricklaying, scaffolding, civil engineering, and a job that requires the worker to be wearing personal protection gear.

Sometimes, but not always, the employer would cover these expenses. If not, then you would have an allowable tax relief claim.

Here at Bonnar & Co we are experienced accountants understand the UK’s tax system inside out, and provide some of the best accountancy services in Birmingham. For more information about how we can help you make financially beneficial choices, get in touch today.

How do I fill in a CIS Tax Return?

Friday, August 9th, 2019

Tax time can be a source of great stress for the self-employed. If you’re confused by your self-assessment tax return, we’ve broken it down to make the process as easy as possible for you. Read on to find out more.

Will I need to submit a tax return?

If you’re self-employed or you’re a member of the Construction Industry Scheme, it’s likely that you will need to submit a tax return to disclose your earnings for the financial year. Usually, HMRC will contact you to remind you that this is due. If you haven’t heard anything, you can check your eligibility online.

What will this entail?

You will firstly need to register for a self-assessment tax return using HMRC’s online portal. Once registered, you will need to complete an SA100 form.

What information do I need to prepare beforehand?

In order to complete your tax return, you’ll also need your UTR (Unique Tax Reference).

This number is unique to you and will be assigned once you register your company. This ten-digit number is how HMRC determines that you are self-employed.

You may also need to complete the following:

Income

You will need to include your turnover for the financial year. This is calculated by totalling up your sales. You must also declare any additional income and property income if applicable.

Losses

You may be able to claim tax relief on any losses you have incurred in the financial year.  The amount of tax relief you can claim against your income each year is limited to the greater sum of £50,000 or 25% of your adjusted total income.

Interest earned

This includes any interest gain from your bank accounts and payment deductions from contractors. This is only applicable if you are a subcontractor. You should add up all of the deductions made by contractors from the financial year, you will find the deductions on the statements given to you by contractors.

Business expenses

Any expenses used for the purpose of your business should be declared to HMRC.

Here at Barron & Co, we understand that filling out a CIS self-assessment form can be tricky. However, if you are based in Birmingham why not trust our chartered accountants to prioritise your best interests while doing all the hard work. Get in touch on 0121 426 4155 to discuss your needs directly with our CIS tax returns accountants or visit our website.

The Ultimate Guide To Setting Up A Company

Friday, August 9th, 2019

Starting a business and working for yourself is a life goal for many people. Many are put off by the size of the task or are not really sure where to begin. Here is our handy step by step guide to setting up a company:

Ask Yourself Some Questions

Ask yourself why you want to start a business. Once you know the reasons behind your thirst to set up a new company, you can decide what kind of business you want to found. If you just want to dabble a little bit in the business world, maybe a part-time side project is more suited for you.

The questions that you should ask yourself are:

  • What subjects am I passionate about?
  • What are my knowledge and skills?
  • How much can I afford to invest?
  • Am I prepared to risk failing?
  • What type of lifestyle do I want?

What’s Your Big Idea?

If you have a superb, groundbreaking idea that can set you up in the world of business, then good for you. If you don’t, however, you should brainstorm one as soon as possible. To do this, first ask yourself what’s happening next in the business world and see if you can get ahead of the curve. Alternatively, think about what things in life annoy you and see if you can think up an innovative solution. Another method is to ascertain what skills you have in your current field and then think about applying them to another completely different area.

Research Your Market

It’s all well and good having this amazing new idea, but what happens if you realise a few months down the line that someone else has already done it? You should research your competitors within the market thoroughly and don’t neglect having conversations or interviews with people. Questionnaires aren’t everything. Don’t just survey people that you know, don’t just use online resources, and don’t solely rely on secondary research.

Company Registration And Other Legal Tasks

Starting a business and knowing you have to jump through all the necessary hoops like registry, tax, licences trademarks, copyrights and business structure can be intimidating. If you don’t have a legal background you may wish to enlist the services of a company such as Barron & Co to help get you on your feet with a minimum of fuss.

Build Your Business Plan

This is a detailed written description that details how you plan on developing your company from start to finished product. Your business plan should include:

Title page – This should include the name of your business.

Summary – This will detail what your plan includes, a company description, the problem your company is solving and how you can solve it. This should help sell your business to investors.

Business description – This will describe what kind of business you are starting and the sector it features in.

Market strategies – This will describe your target market and the best method of reaching this market. It should also list the relative strengths and weaknesses of your competitors and how to react to them.

Development and design – This should contain information about your product and service, and how to develop it along with a budget.

Operations and management – This should feature information regarding how your company will run on a daily basis.

Money Concerns – This will list the source of your funds, the amount and projections of how much will be needed as the business develops.

Finance For Setting Up Your Limited Company

Finding the required cash to get your business off the ground is often the most challenging part of starting a business – especially if you don’t have much to begin with!  Check out these sources of investment that you can explore:

  • Family and friends
  • A small-business grant
  • A crowdfunding campaign
  • Applications to local investment groups
  • Joining a startup incubator
  • Arranging an advance from a potential customer
  • Seeking a loan from a bank

Develop Your Product Or Service

Here is where the real work begins! If you want your ideas to come to life you will usually have to reach out to other people who can fill in the gaps of skills or tools that you don’t possess. You should list how to find and choose manufacturers, as well as information about potential pricing strategies. Here are some tips when developing your product or service:

  • Keep control of your product
  • Try and learn as much as possible during this process
  • Put into action checks and balances to minimise your risks
  • Hire workers who specialise in their role rather than a jack-of-all-trades
  • Don’t risk all your resources by relying on one contract
  • Manage costs closely

Start Building Your Team

A company is its staff so it is very important that you choose employees that will do the job that you expect them to. Finding a good fit for your company is crucial when hiring them so ensure that when you interview them, you state your goals for the business clearly. Make sure that you follow the normal hiring protocols and try to build a powerful company culture.

Find A Location

Finding somewhere to locate your business depends on the nature of your company. If it’s an office, then choosing somewhere with good transport links is highly valuable. If you are opening a store that relies on footfall you should consider the following things:

  • Foot traffic
  • Competition
  • Demographics
  • Accessibility
  • Building infrastructure
  • Cost of rent and utilities

Also, you should be wary about being tied into a long-lease when starting out as you have no idea how your company may develop in the future.

Barron & Co – Small Business Accounting Specialists

Barron & Co is an accounting services and financial advice business that is dedicated to reducing your tax liabilities. We understand that operating a business is a full-on job that is very stressful and that demands strict management of resources, as well as a firm grip on finances.

Since our founding decades ago, we are honoured to say that we have built up a stellar reputation amongst local individuals and businesses as a chartered accountant that is both reliable and competent. Our team of accountants and bookkeepers have worked with a variety of sole traders and small businesses; we understand the challenges that your finances will face in your first five years of operation.

Barron & Co is a proud Birmingham-based chartered accountant that is honoured to have served a vast range of varied clients, from large and small, and from a variety of different sectors. Our team of tax specialists will increase your company’s efficiency by offering a range of jargon-free financial tips as well as a wide range of accounting services. Barron & Co’s mission is to keep your company on track regardless of whether you employ five staff or 5,000.

If you are seeking alternative accounting services, our chartered tax advisors can aid you in registering a company, reducing your tax contributions, helping you self-assess your tax contributions and helping you start a new business. Barron & Co’s list of services include Self Assessment & CIS, Taxation & VAT Services, Limited Company Formations and Bookkeeping & Payroll Services. Our staff are all highly trained and experienced, and know the UK’s tax system inside and out. Barron & Co’s accountancy team are always ahead of the latest developments in law and have the required skills to manage any problem while taking the stress out of tax for you and your company.

The services that we offer can save your business thousands of pounds every year so why not contact us today? Call one of our friendly staff on 0121 426 4155 or alternatively email us via admin-ac@barronandco.co.uk.

Enhanced redundancy cover for parents

Tuesday, August 6th, 2019

The present legal protections against redundancy is to be extended by six months for new mothers returning to work. Parents returning from adoption and shared parental leave will also be protected.

The move comes in response to a government consultation which found that new parents continue to face unfair discrimination. Research estimates that up to 54,000 women a year felt they had to leave their jobs due to pregnancy or maternity discrimination.

Employers should note that pregnancy and maternity discrimination is illegal, and those on maternity leave have special protection in a redundancy situation. The reforms recently announced will, for the first-time, extend the redundancy protection for six months from the date of a mother’s return to work as well as covering those taking adoption or shared parental leave. This will help ensure new parents are protected from discrimination in the workplace, regardless of gender and circumstance.

Today’s announcement follows a raft of recent measures designed to support working parents, as part of the government Good Work Plan. These include proposed new leave entitlements for parents of sick and premature babies and proposed new measures to ensure large businesses are more transparent on their policies for parental leave and pay and flexible working.

Research commissioned by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), found that one in nine women said they had been fired or made redundant when they returned to work after having a child, or were treated so badly they felt forced out of their job.

This change goes further than current EU requirements on maternity entitlements and parental leave.

According to government sources, the aim of this change in redundancy protection is for UK businesses to embrace flexible working and gender equality as this will make it easier for mothers and fathers to return to work and progress in their careers after parental leave.

Tax Diary August/September 2019

Friday, August 2nd, 2019

1 August 2019 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 31 October 2018.

19 August 2019 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 August 2019. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 August 2019)

19 August 2019 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly return for the month ended 5 August 2019.

19 August 2019 – CIS tax deducted for the month ended 5 August 2019 is payable by today.

1 September 2019 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 30 November 2018.

19 September 2019 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 September 2019. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 September 2019)

19 September 2019 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly return for the month ended 5 September 2019.

19 September 2019 – CIS tax deducted for the month ended 5 September 2019 is payable by today.

Low paid workers to qualify for sick-pay

Friday, August 2nd, 2019

The government has started a consultation to transform support for sick and disabled staff and remove barriers for employees.

The Department for Work and Pensions has recently set out new measures to transform how employers support and retain disabled staff and those with a health condition.

Under the new measures the lowest paid employees would be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for the first time, while small businesses may be offered a sick pay rebate to reward those who effectively manage employees on sick leave and help them get back to work.

Under current legislation, to be eligible to receive SSP you must:

  • be classed as an employee and have undertaken work for your employer,
  • have been ill for at least 4 days in a row (including non-working days),
  • earn an average of at least £118 per week, and
  • tell your employer you’re sick before their deadline – or within 7 days if they do not have one.

Each year more than 100,000 people leave their job following a period of sickness absence lasting at least 4 weeks, and the longer someone is on sickness absence the more likely they are to fall out of work, with 44% of people who had been off sick for a year leaving employment altogether.

New homes to have car charge-points

Friday, August 2nd, 2019

In a bid to accommodate yet more electric vehicles on our roads, the government has launched a consultation aimed at increasing the number of homes with electric car charge-points. In a recent press release they said:

“All new-build homes could soon be fitted with an electric car charge-point, the government has outlined today (15 July 2019) in a public consultation on changing building regulations in England. The consultation comes alongside a package of announcements to support electric vehicle drivers and improve the experience of charging.

The proposals aim to support and encourage the growing uptake of electric vehicles within the UK by ensuring that all new homes with a dedicated car parking space are built with an electric charge-point, making charging easier, cheaper and more convenient for drivers.

The legislation would be a world first and complements wider investment and measures the government has put in place to ensure the UK has one of the best electric vehicle infrastructure networks in the world – as part of the £1.5 billion Road to Zero Strategy.

The government has also set out today that it wants to see all newly installed rapid and higher powered charge-points provide debit or credit card payment by Spring 2020.”

The government has already taken steps to ensure that existing homes are electric vehicle ready by providing up to £500 off the costs of installing a charge point at home.

Internet giants face tax-hike

Friday, August 2nd, 2019

It has been confirmed that from April 2020, the government will introduce a new 2% Digital Services Tax (DST) on the revenues of search engines, social media platforms and online marketplaces which derive value from UK users.

This is an attempt to tax, in the UK, revenues earned by these social media platforms from customers resident in the UK. At present, significant profits are being earned in the UK but transferred off-shore thus avoiding UK taxation.

In the notes confirming that these changes would be included in the Finance Bill 2019, HMRC said:

The revenues from the business activity – subject to DST – will include any revenue earned by the group, which is connected to the business activity, irrespective of how the business monetises the platform. If revenues are attributable to the business activity and another activity, the business will need to apportion the revenue to each activity on a just and reasonable basis.

A UK user is a user that is normally located in the UK.

The Digital Services Tax will apply to businesses that provide a social media platform, search engine or an online marketplace to UK users. These businesses will be liable to Digital Services Tax when the group’s worldwide revenues from these digital activities are more than £500m and more than £25m of these revenues are derived from UK users.