Bank of England February 2016 Inflation Report Summary

Bank of England February 2016 Inflation Report Summary , accountancy advice, UK tax advice, free tax advice, free company advice, changing from sole trader to limited company, how do I change from sole trader to limited company, limited company advice, forming a limited company, changing from sole trader, sole trader advice
This report is courtesy of the Black Country Chamber of Commerce.

Bank of England February Report significant points:

  • There has been a softening of UK growth forecasts from 2.5% to 2.2%
  • Spare capacity in UK is 0.3% of GDP and unemployment is below 5%, which leaves little room for manoeuvre within the current downturn – this may lead to price pressure
  • A corporate cash balances are high (lessons learned from the recession) and because lending from the non-banking sector has grown, any issues within the financial sector are not expected to have a catastrophic effect on a globally resilient UK
  • Global growth outlooks are fuelling the 7% drop in equity; growth expectations amongst emerging economies have dropped significantly as a result of the drop in commodity prices (Less investment and bank lending tightening). Growth expectations in advanced economies has risen (where 75% of our exports go to)
  • Oversupply is the reason why the oil prices are dropping. Some commentators are expecting prices to drop to $10 a barrel
  • Productivity in the UK is rising but more business investment is required to consolidate

Click here to view the full Bank of England February 2016 Inflation Report.

We will continue to keep you updated with all of the latest financial and accounting news and hope that you have found our Bank of England February 2016 Inflation Report Summary useful.

Follow us on Twitter @OmnitasTax and like our Facebook page – we are happy to help with any queries that you may have.

If you require any tax or general accounting advice, feel free to call us on 01902 837 408 or you can request a free of charge call-back from our website.


Will UK Consumers Reject Technology in 2016?

Will UK Consumers Reject Technology in 2016?

I recently read a report – 2016 predictions – that UK consumers will increasingly reject tech in favour of a more traditional in the year ahead, creating new opportunity for businesses.

For Britons, 2016 will increasingly be about balancing the technological with the human element. We’ll continue to enjoy technology that gives us greater control over entertainment, purchasing, consumption, our work and personal lives.

We’ll use technology to learn; to sidestep traditional rules and behaviours and to speed up our lives using all the wearables, smart technology and internet led services that will be available in the year ahead.

But 2016 will see a growing reaction against the omnipresence of technology. More and more of us will want to balance our tech use with romance, relaxation, creativity, tradition, sensuality, rawness and honesty.

More and more of us will lose our “fear of missing out” and actually gain some pleasure from missing out. We’ll find time to switch off gadgets and seek out older, quieter, less urban environments in which to enjoy some ‘me time’. Or even take some tech-free we time with our closest friends and family.

More employers will embrace relaxation, digital detoxing and mindfulness.

The year ahead will see the “Slow Living” movement gain momentum, as more young people embrace old fashioned, inefficient ways to do things.

Many will start enjoying the traditionalist lifestyles and “Olde England” attitudes of village life and good neighbours, feeling a call of duty and encouraging others rather than making fun of them.

Reacting against the logic and ‘perfection’ of technology, some Britons will start championing flaws, randomness and a sense of danger. As with the trends we’ve seen in 2015, will all of the above have implications for business community?

Well maybe, but I think this is a utopian and perhaps unrealistic dream – technology will continue to be a massive part of our lives and our businesses and it’s up to us to stay in control: use it and don’t let it use us. How do you see 2016?

Will UK Consumers Reject Technology in 2016?

Written by: Andy Coleyshaw, Partner at Omni Tax & Accountancy Solutions Ltd


Tax relief restricted for many contractors from April 2016

Are HMRC digital tax accounts a good or bad thing?

HMRC has confirmed that people working through umbrella companies will no longer be able to claim tax relief on travel expenses.

Only those who can pass a test of being genuinely self-employed will be allowed to set these costs against expenditure in their accounts.

From April 2016, tax relief will be stopped if an individual is employed by an intermediary but is under the “supervision, direction and control” of an end user.

In addition, tax relief will be stopped if services are provided through a personal service company (PCS) and the engagement is caught by the Intermediaries Legislation (IRS35).

Once the definition and further guidance has been issued on the term, “supervision, direction and control” has been published by the HMRC, businesses will need to review the way they use temporary labour and all or any existing documentation that may be in-situ between them and employment intermediaries.

Contractors will need to take appropriate advice and make their decisions about which supply model to use.

Could you be affected by these new changes? Will your business have to take a look at how you manage your temporary labourers? Omni Chartered Accountants are here to provide advice and guidance and welcome any queries that you may have on this topic.

Tax relief restricted for many contractors from April 2016

You can request a free of charge call-back from our website www.taxandaccountancysolutions.co.uk or call us today for a chat about your circumstances on 01902 837 408 – we will be happy to help!

 


Are HMRC digital tax accounts a good or bad thing?

Are HMRC digital tax accounts a good or bad thing?

Taxpayers will start to be able to manage their tax affairs online with the formal launch of personal tax accounts by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

By mid-December 2015, more than one million taxpayers completing their self-assessment will have been directed to their online personal tax account, HMRC has said.

These personal tax accounts, which will work in a similar way to online banking, promise to give people a “clear and joined-up view” of the tax they pay and enable them to update their tax details, supposedly removing the need to resubmit information.

Personal tax accounts

The launch of personal tax accounts is part of a drive towards a fully digital tax service. Two million businesses are already using their digital accounts and by April 2016, all of the UK’s five million small businesses will have access to their own digital account.

Every individual taxpayer will also have access to their own digital account by April 2016.

HMRC have said that by 2020 businesses and individual taxpayers will be able to register, file, pay and update their information at any time of the day, and at any point in the year, to suit them. For the vast majority, there will be no need to fill in an annual tax return. This will make it hugely important that you take the right advice from a professional or firm of Accountants.

At the moment, the information that HMRC receives from a range of sources is held on separate systems. This can mean taxpayers being asked to give information to the taxman that it already holds on another system.

The new digital tax accounts will join up the information HMRC holds in one place.

HMRC additional information and control

However some see it as not only being unable to cope but as an ulterior way of gleaning additional information and control.

One such quote from a tax blog;

“The real objective is to spy on your financial affairs 365 days a year and take what they think is the tax you owe directly from your bank account whenever they feel like it. After all these years, the present on-line system is a hopelessly unreliable mess.”

This may be an extreme view, but it is certain that the current systems and advice lines are struggling to cope with demand, wait times are increasing and historic legacy systems have not delivered as promised.

So, do you know what this means to you? Are you concerned, and if so by what?

Are HMRC digital tax accounts a good or bad thing?

Let us have your comments, views and concerns @OmnitasTax – we would love to hear your thoughts! Of course, if you require any tax or general accounting advice, feel free to call us on 01902 837 408 today!


2015 Autumn Statement from an SME perspective: Smoke and Mirrors?

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Mercurial Chancellor’s Autumn Statement treads fine line between smoke, mirrors and political sleight of hand.

 Chancellor George Osborne’s smiling face delivered a customary, skillful declaration of Government intent unveiling mouth-opening surprise in a ‘rabbits out of the hat’ delivery designed to trample over the critics of his financial and political aspirations.

 Determined to maintain his battle with Austerity the chancellor unveiled headline grabbing measures fuelled by a reduction of £8 billion in Government borrowing; robust growth forecasts for the next four years reducing Government debt as a share of GDP.

Opposition voices complained the ‘less generous’ Universal Credit benefit system introduced in stages between 2013 and 2017 but, as ever, the engine driving Treasury optimism is the performance of business, generating sufficient revenues to enable measures protecting front line budgets such as defence, policing, health and international aid.

 Yet small businesses continue to gnash their teeth about liquidity or rather the lack of it. Orders and production satisfactory, but getting paid?

 The old adage Cash is King never truer than today.

2015 Autumn Statement from an SME perspective: Smoke and Mirrors?


Timing bad debt relief

Timing bad debt relief, Accountancy advice, Accountant, accounting, accounting directive, accounts, affordable accounting, Blog, bookkeeping business, Businesses, business owners, chartered accountant, chartered accountants, companies house, company law, EU accounting, financial reporting, general election, HMRC, HMRC online system, HM Revenue & Customs, Income Tax, limited company structure, majority shareholder, minority shareholder, Omni, Omni Chartered Accountants, partnerships, PAYE, self-employed, self assessment, self employment, shareholder, agreement shareholder, rights small business, small business accountant, small business owners, small company accounts, SME, SMEs, tax, tax advice, tax affairs, tax return, VAT, Omni Chartered Accountants, Chartered Accountant Wolverhampton, Tax Advice Wolverhampton, Payroll Services Wolverhampton, CIS Accountant Wolverhampton, Accountant Wolverhampton Whatever accounting method your company uses, its profits have to be calculated on a “true and fair” basis.

That means including the value of invoices issued even where they won’t be paid until the following accounting period – or perhaps not at all. Accounting rules get around this apparent unfairness by allowing a deduction for the value of invoices you think won’t be paid i.e. Bad debts.

Bad debt relief

HMRC allows you to make a deduction from taxable profits for bad debts. However, it takes a tougher approach to it than accounting rules on what is classed as bad debt.

It isn’t just a case of estimating the value of debts you don’t expect to be paid, even if it’s a virtual certainty based on what’s happened historically; you have to carry out a review of each and every specific debt.

Chasing your debts

HMRC will expect you to have made a reasonable and proportioned effort to recover money you are owed.

This will be relevant to the amount of debt of course, e.g. if you are claiming a tax deduction for a £15,000. HMRC expects you to have been very thorough in your attempts to recover it, by using debt collection services for example, or taking court action.

Timing bad debt relief

You should claim relief for the accounting period in which you decide the debt has become irrecoverable.

If you suspect a debt may ‘go bad’, try to establish this in the same accounting period. This ensures that you won’t be taxed on unpaid bills. It is essential that you review your debts regularly – not just when the end of an accounting period is looming!

Post-accounting period

If the status of a debt you thought was bad at the end of your financial year changes, and before you sign your company’s accounts it is paid, HMRC will not accept a claim for bad debt relief.

This works both ways and if a good debt turns bad you can claim relief. Given this, it is well worth reviewing the debts during this period before signing and filing your accounts.

Seeking help

If you would like to talk about your bad debt situation, we would be delighted to hear from you – we are happy to provide expert advice that is totally free of charge. Simply request a call-back from our website, call on 01902 837 408 or click here to contact Omni Chartered Accounts.


Is public trust in British business still dangerously low?

Is public trust in British business still dangerously lowPolling and Research Company research YouGov has just released their findings following its recent survey regarding public attitude towards business.

The results do not make for happy reading.

Some six years on from the financial crisis, trust in corporate Britain remains at worryingly low levels. Asked how much they trusted various sectors and professions, the public revealed the extent to which trust between business and customers has been eroded.

Whilst 81% trust teachers and 89% trust nurses, only 49% trust managers of small firms. Entrepreneurs are trusted by just 30% of the public.

What are your own experiences and thoughts? Is trust affecting your business?
Is public trust in British business still dangerously low?

In this new economy, a positive trust rating is highly prized by both buyer and seller. Transactions are humanised and social media allows experiences – good or bad – to be shared locally and around the globe.

Addressing the lack of trust in business should be a priority for government, policy makers and, of course, for business owners themselves.

The price for not addressing this will be the emergence of a society that risks turning permanently against its wealth creators, and a society that goes down that road will very soon face a number of serious challenges.

A new economic system based upon trust, transparency and accessibility is one we at Omni strongly believe in.

We would love to hear your thoughts on the matter. If you are a business owner, how do you build trust with your clients? Is the interactive way in which we all research our purchases and decisions a good or bad thing?

Tweet us @OmnitasTax and let us know your thoughts, or join in the conversation on Facebook – we are here to help and offer impartial free of charge advice to UK businesses, however big or small they may be.


Why trusting your accountant is key

Why trusting your accountant is keyIs it possible that the big players can ever really take over the position of the “high street accountant” or the reliable online accountancy practice that is always happy to offer one-on-one advice?

Of course not – not in our opinion, anyway.

An accountant should be there for you to advise you on the best way to manage your business finances and tax affairs. Let’s face it; this is a huge responsibility and one that you should only ever hand over to a company that you 100% trust in.

 

For example, you may be looking for the best price, but do cheap prices always mean great value?

Save more than just your accountancy bills

At Omni Chartered Accountants, we do what we say on the tin. We are direct, honest, experienced and – like our title says – we are Chartered Accountants, so you can be sure you are getting a professional level of service at all times.

We offer our clients excellent value for money but at the same time, we don’t scrimp on client service. All of our customers are given an initial consultation and we are always on-hand to offer advice in all aspects of their accounting queries when they need us.

In short, we are in business to save our clients money – we don’t put our profits first.

Why trusting your accountant is key

If you are unhappy with the way in which your company affairs are being managed, or if you would like to review your current accountancy bills, why not contact us for a free review? We will be happy to speak to you over the telephone initially and put forward our ideas as to how we feel our services could benefit your business.

Call 01902 837408 today or request a free of charge back from our website – also, check out our pricing page now to see how competitive our fees actually are.

And that is before we have started helping you to make the most of your company finances and tax affairs! Call Omni today: you won’t look back.


Setting up as a sole trader accountancy advice

Setting up as a sole trader accountancy adviceSetting up as a sole trader can often be the easiest and most cost-effective route for individuals to go into business. However, you will need more than a spare room and an internet connection to make your ideas successful.

Sole trader legal structure

What is a sole trader?

A sole trader is a business owned by one person, where they and their business are legally the same entity. According to the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, there are as many as three million sole traders in the UK, which represents 64 per cent of all private sector enterprises – making it the most popular form of business in the UK.

Tips on setting up as a sole trader

Apart from being the simplest way of setting up and testing your market, another big benefit is getting to keep all your profits after tax. But the risks can be high, as you are personally responsible for any liabilities incurred by the business.

When deciding what to call your business, you need to make sure it has not already been chosen by someone operating in the same sector. Otherwise, you might be sued for passing off their brand as your own. Checking on the web and in the phone book first is a good way to avoid future legal altercations.

Also, if you are planning to turn your business into a limited company, check the name has not already been registered at Companies House – as you may lose your branding by having to change what you are called further down the line.

Declare your status as a sole trader

Once you begin trading the first thing you will need to do is register as self-employed with HMRC. If you fail to do so within the first three months you will be fined £100.

Sole trader records and accounts

Because you are self-employed, you will have to complete a yearly self-assessment tax return. To help you do this you will need to keep a careful record of all your invoices and receipts. It is also a good idea to set up a business bank account in order to keep all your incoming and out goings separate from your personal account.

The amount of tax you will pay will depend on the amount you earn, ranging from ten to 40 per cent. National Insurance contributions are at a fixed rate under class two and four. For more information visit HM Revenue & Customs.

If you are considering this and need any help or advice why not contact Omni Chartered Accountants on 01902 837408 or request a free of charge call back? Alternatively, click here to contact us.

We want you to be enthusiastic, motivated and enjoy your new journey as a sole trader!


EU accounting directive could be threat to UK economy

Map of EuropeA radical new accounting regime set to shake-up the UK’s small business reporting landscape could pose a risk to the British economy as an unplanned by-product of an attempt to slash red tape.

That’s the stark warning from Nigel Sleigh-Johnson, the ICAEW’s Financial Reporting Faculty head, as the government publishes its final recommendations on how the new EU Accounting Directive will be implemented in the UK.

Sleigh-Johnson said;

“Only time will tell whether the reduction in the information required in small company accounts is a sensible reduction in red tape or a source of risk to the UK economy.

“ICAEW for one has persistently warned against the potential risk that over-simplifying reporting requirements can have on the ability of small companies to secure credit.”

What are EU Accounting Directive recommendations?

Under the BIS proposals, set to be enshrined in company law by July 2015 and become effective for financial years beginning on or after 1 January 2016, the most profound changes relate to small businesses.

A legal restriction will be placed on the amount of information required in small company accounts, while small businesses will be denied the option to file so-called abbreviated accounts at Companies House. But they may be allowed to both prepare and file a new simplified form of ‘abridged’ accounts.

Accounting thresholds for SMEs due to rise

Accounting thresholds for small companies are also due to rise, meaning more businesses will have access to the simplified reporting regime.

Sleigh Johnson said he was encouraged that BIS had listened to some of its key concerns, especially that access to the proposed abridged accounts regime for small companies will be restricted to companies that have secured shareholder buy-in first.

But he expressed disappointment that the introduction of the new accounting regime for small companies, especially at an EU level “has overall been an exercise in damage limitation rather than one of well-considered, proportionate simplification, and that subsequently the time available for debate about UK implementation has been so restricted”.

Small businesses, their advisers and lenders would be well advised to prepare for implementation of the new accounting regime, irrespective of the outcome, he added.

The Financial Reporting Council is expected to consult shortly on detailed proposals for revised accounting standards for small and micro companies, also due to come into force on 1 January 2016.

Have your say about the EU Accounting Directive proposals on Twitter @OmnitasTax or Facebook. Omni Chartered Accountants are here to help guide you and provide affordable accounting solutions for your company – contact us now or of course, you can request a free of charge call back.