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.


OTS summer budget news for the UK SME

OTS summer budget news for the UK SMEThe government announced in its Summer Budget that the Office of Tax Simplification is due to review the closer alliance of National Insurance and income tax.

On the government agenda this autumn will be consultation on reforming Class 4 NICs, abolishing Class 2 NICs and simplifying NICs for the self-employed.

Taxation of SMEs will also be reviewed, with a focus on deformations between personal and business tax systems and the complexities that are faced by many small businesses in the UK.

The OTS has been in place since 2010 and will now remain on as a permanent office of HM Treasury.

It is there to advise the government on how to develop and deliver a simpler tax system, including compliance issues and provide independent advice on tax complexity issues.

Financial secretary to the Treasury, David Gauke, outlined the plan in a letter to the leaders of the OTS:

“The first is a closer review of alignment of income tax and national Insurance contributions. This is an area often cited as an area of complexity for taxpayers.

“I would like the OTS to look at what the impacts, costs and benefits of closer alignment would be and to set out what the necessary steps would be to achieve closer alignment. This is a new type of review for the OTS, focusing on the issues and impacts rather than on making specific recommendations.

“The second is a review of the taxation of small companies, focusing on the distortions between the personal and business tax systems. This builds on your previous review of small business tax which focused on unincorporated small businesses.”

OTS summer budget news for the UK SME

What do you think about the OTS – will they really simply business for the UK SME? Join in the conversation on twitter @OmnitasTax or like us on Facebook!


HMRC eases stance on late PAYE filings

Tax and AccountancyUK businesses with less than 50 employees will now be allowed three days’ leeway by HMRC before being penalised for late filing of PAYE submissions.

HM Revenue & Customs has confirmed that late payment penalties will carry on being reviewed on a “risk-assessed” basis as opposed to being issued automatically.

No change to PAYE filing deadlines

HMRC have confirmed that there will be no change to the actual filing deadlines, which usually means that businesses need to file them actually on or before each payment due date.

HMRC will be closing close to 15,000 PAYE schemes in March 2015 in a bid to prevent unnecessary penalties being issued, for companies that have not filed a PAYE report since April 2013, and as a result, look to appear to have ceased trading.

These company schemes will be written to, advising them about the planned closure and what they should do if they are – or should be – operating PAYE.

Employers with less than 50 employees are also reminded that late filing PAYE penalties will apply from 6 March.

A discussion document has been published by HMRC in order to gauge views by the deadline of 11th May 2015. Suggestions concerning potential improvements to the way in which penalties apply for PAYE payment failure or to meet deadlines for registration or returns will be considered.

How to run your PAYE smoothly and avoid penalties

Of course, it is not always easy running a business and PAYE is something that a good accountant like Omni Chartered Accountants can help you with.

Seeking help with your PAYE affairs may work out more cost-effectively than you may think, especially when you consider the time saving and potential problems that your company could face if deadlines and payments are not made by the dates as set out by HMRC.

For more information, contact us now by clicking here or request a free of charge call back from our website by clicking on the link at the top of this page.


Can I switch from being a limited company to sole trader?

Limited Company to Sole Trader

 Here’s a typical question…

“I bought and took over a small business back in 2010, which was a limited company. Turnover has diminished so a lot less admin is needed. Is it possible to change a limited company to sole trader?”

 Here’s the answer!

 Can I switch from being a limited company to sole trader?

1.    Striking off a limited company from the Company Register

A limited company can cease trading at any time but as it has a separate legal entity it has to be removed from (or ‘struck off’) the Register of Companies.

Before that can happen, financial reports up to the date of cessation must be prepared and filed and any outstanding corporation tax paid. If there are any unrelieved corporation tax losses (losses accumulated not yet offset against taxable profits), these will be lost.

2.    Asset disposal and liability settlement

In addition, any remaining assets must be disposed of and liabilities must be paid. Assets can be ‘sold back’ to you. This includes items such as a website and email address.

3.    Dealing with the VAT and PAYE

If the company is VAT registered you should check if it is possible for the registration to be transferred to the Sole trader. As you purchased a business there may be some goodwill remaining which will have to be written off. Any PAYE scheme must be closed.

4.    Closing company bank account

After the final payments of tax and other liabilities, etc. the bank account must be closed. It is possible to apply to HMRC that any distributions (usually the bank account balance) can be treated as a capital gain subject to capital gains tax instead of income tax. Generally there is a tax saving on this.

However this can be complicated so you should talk to your accountant for the best advice. In any case, this can only be done when the company is closing down and not at any other time.

5.    Notify HMRC and other parties

If the business is transferred to a sole trader you will need to notify the existence of the new business to various agencies such as HMRC. Arrangements to have insurances transferred to the sole trader business will also have to be made.

The payments on account regime for Income Tax for sole traders is particularly onerous in the first year or two of trading, so you will have to put by a percentage of income (approximately 20 per cent) to make the payments when they fall due.

Seeking advice makes this whole process easier!

Of course, this whole process can seem quite a daunting one, so it makes sense to seek professional advice if you can.

Omni Chartered Accountants are experts in all areas of small business accounting and taxation advice, and can offer free of charge advice to help you make the right decision and also offer a cost-effective solution to dealing with the stages that are required to make the transition from Limited Company to Sole Trader.

Call 01902 837408 today or request a free of charge call-back from our website for an initial consultation – alternatively, click here to contact us via our dedicated client contact form.