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.

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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.


Pound surges following shock result in UK General Election

2015 general election results UK economy blog The pound surged and London’s blue chip index raced ahead following the shock result in the UK general election which looks likely to return David Cameron to Downing Street with a majority.

 

The FTSE 250 index – a broader measure of the UK economy – reached an all-time high as bookmaker Ladbrokes leapt 9%, as did house builders Countrywide and Berkeley and Savills and Foxtons, the estate agency chains.

Savills predicted a release of pent-up demand in the top end of the housing market, given that Labour’s mansion tax would not be introduced.

Sterling registered its biggest jump against the US dollar since 2009, while shares in banks, energy companies and house builders all fuelled a rise in the FTSE 100 as the prospect of a Labour government evaporated.

But what about you and SME’s in general?

Do you feel the same boost of confidence surrounding the results and how they will affect your business? How do you think it will it affect your customers and their behaviour?

Are you more or less confident about the future following the election?

Tweet us now @OmnitasTax or join in the conversation on Facebook – of course, if you have any queries regarding your business taxation or accountancy affairs then we are here to help. You can request a free of charge call back from our website or click here to contact us now for a free, impartial initial chat.


UHY Hacker Young report finds UK economy over-taxed

UHY Hacker Young report finds UK economy over-taxed

UHY Hacker Young report finds UK economy over-taxed

According to research by UHY Hacker Young, Top 50 firm, the UK economy is paying way over the global tax average. Britain has a tax burden of 18% above everyone else around the world.

So yes, it is fair to say that we are somewhat over-taxed as a nation.

The high effective rate of 32.9% GDP could well be meaning that our growth could be in jeopardy; the global average is 27.8% of GDP. The US is at 25.4% GDP and Ireland is at 28.3% – even Japan come in at 29.5%.

In saying this, many of our European counterparts also have high tax burdens, with most coughing up around 40% in tax.

The report by UHY Hacker Young warned that such high tax can put off investors, which has knock on effects when it comes to large corporations choosing to locate their bases outside the UK where the tax burden is lower.

UHY Hacker Young tax partner, Roy Maugham, said;

“While our tax burden compares favourably with some of our Western European neighbours, increasingly, that is not where the most intense competition is coming from. It needs to be a clear ambition to make our economy globally competitive by keeping a close eye on the overall tax take – perhaps even setting a specific target.

“That will need to be balanced by greater efforts to ensure that spending on the public sector delivers the best results for its customers.

“How much tax is too much ought to be discussed much more openly during the election campaign.”

What do you think of the latest report? Are we running the risk of falling behind with the rest of the world due to our high taxes? Let us know your thoughts @OmnitasTax and join in the conversation on Facebook – with the General Election only weeks away, the debate is certainly sure to be a lively one!


Are general election worries slowing down UK business growth?

General election worries slowing down UK business growthAmidst general election and eurozone worries, it seems that UK businesses are slowing down their spending, which could be having an effect on our economic recovery.

ICAEW lowered growth forecasts for 2015

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) has lowered its 2015 growth forecasts for the UK economy from 2.5% to 2.4%.

Compared to 2014, this is a slowdown – last year, growth achieved was 2.6%, which was the fastest rate of annual growth since 2007. It was also the strongest of all the G7 economies.

Oil company spend, eurozone and China concerns

The ICAEW downgraded its forecasts for growth in business investment this year from 7.2% to 5.2%, in part because of the fact that oil and gas companies are reducing spend due to the slump in the price of crude.

The possibility of Greece leaving the eurozone and the slowdown in China are also having an impact on UK business spending – recently, China reduced its growth target to 7%, which is its slowest expansion rate for twenty five years.

UK General election and EU

Here in the UK, our own concerns around the general election outcome in May are leaving SMEs uncertain about future government policies and also the possibility of leaving the EU after a referendum if the Conservatives win.

ICAEW chief executive, Michael Izza, said;

“The potential slowdown in GDP growth is a clear sign that UK firms are pressing the pause button on their attempts to drive economic growth. Their exposure to international risks, ranging from the eurozone crisis to China’s cooling economy, has subdued their capital spending plans for the year ahead.

“We cannot overstate the effect of the general election either. Businesses remain concerned about the potential makeup of the next government and its policy towards business. Any steer towards a potential exit from the EU is also causing anxiety. All this means consumers are key to the recovery.”

“Low inflation is ensuring the first annual increase in employee real incomes since the financial crisis, and the average worker will have more money to spend. However, the government must ensure that growth isn’t predicated solely on a rise in household debt, otherwise we could find ourselves back where we were before the financial crisis.”

General election worries slowing down UK business growth  

The current government has argued that to move forward, the UK economy must steer away from its reliance on consumer debt and move more towards investment, manufacturing and exports.

Do you think that the chancellor’s target back in 2012 to double UK exports to £1tn by 2020 is still within reach? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter @OmnitasTax or Facebook!


Liberal Democrats to tax the wealthy

If the Liberal Democrats win the next General Election in May this year, they will be raising tax on higher earners.

This pledge has renick cleggcently been announced by Nick Clegg on the Andrew Marr show, stating that the raise in taxes would be part of their plan to reduce the deficit.

 

Mr. Clegg said;

“[Liberal Democrats’ plans would involve] a mixture of the following components: clamping down on tax evasion and tax avoidance; significant additional savings in Whitehall”.

“There need to be some additional savings but not nearly on the totally implausible scale the Conservatives have said in the welfare budget and there will need to be some tax increases as well which fall on the wealthiest in society.”

The Liberal Democrats plan to recoup £197bn via a number of various measures to help fund the seemingly ever-growing need for tax credits, popular with both the middle-class and any working families that find themselves struggling to make ends meet.

US tax plans

Although this policy may be popular with the UK masses, over in the US, a similar proposal by President Barack Obama has been met with criticism from opponents.

Obama’s plan includes changing the rate of capital gains tax at the top section to 28% from 23.8%. He also wants to close a loophole in the law that allows heirs of large estates to get away with paying the full rate.

In addition, the US’s biggest finance companies, with more than $50bn in assets, also face new charges; however, congress is deeply torn on fiscal policy, so this is likely to be strongly opposed.

Your tax affairs

For advice on your own tax affairs, we are here to help you make the most of your money. In fact, we are confident that we can save you money – for a free consultation, call 01902 837 408 or contact us today.