Bank of England February 2016 Inflation Report Summary

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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.


Have HMRC really waived £100 fine for late self-assessment filing?

Have HMRC really waived the £100 fine for late self-assessment filing?

Have HMRC really waived £100 fine for late self-assessment filing?

If you keep up to date with accountancy news, you may be aware of the rumours that HMRC have been waiving the £100 late self-assessment fine that is usually imposed by HM Revenue & Customs, if the filer has a “reasonable excuse”.

HMRC staff were asked to waive the £100 fine if people with mitigating circumstances appealed after paying up – this was all reported in an internal memo allegedly leaked to the Daily Telegraph.

It is estimated that up to 890,000 people could have potentially benefitted from the amnesty for missing the 31 January deadline as HMRC deals with a backlog of nearly a million letters from British taxpayers.

HMRC said it was trying to focus its resources on tackling major tax avoidance instead of “penalising people for trying to do the right thing”.

However, previously, people who appealed the fine faced a two- or maybe even three-week investigation of their tax affairs before a decision was reached.

Leaked HMRC memo

The HMRC memo questioned the “lengthy” process, especially given that the “overwhelming majority of appeals” were actually accepted.

The alleged leaked document stated;

“Our penalty regime is intended to influence customer behaviour, but also be clear and cost effective, fair and proportionate.

“The current way of managing penalties does not meet these objectives, and so we have decided to take a more proportionate approach where a customer has filed their return late, and then appealed against their penalty.

“This means that in the vast majority of cases we will be accepting the customer’s grounds for appeal, and we can cancel the penalty.”

So, have HMRC really waived £100 fine for late self-assessment filing?

It may be a hunch, but perhaps the recent act of goodwill could be something to do with a backlog of paperwork and the need for a less complicated appeals system?

In any event, don’t risk filing your self-assessment late – a spokesman for HMRC did add that despite the policy, nobody will be getting off the hook unless they’ve now sent in their return and “have a good reason for sending it in late”.

Don’t take a chance – particularly when affordable help is at hand from Omni Chartered Accountants. Click here to contact us now, request a free of charge call-back from our website http://www.taxandaccountancysolutions.co.uk  or take our Accountancy Savings Challenge today!

 


Is self-discipline a common trait of successful business people?

Is self-discipline a common trait of successful business people

Is self-discipline a common trait of successful business people?

Success just happens, right?

We all want to get somewhere in life and in business. We have aspirations, goals and dreams. But why is it that only some people are able to get there?

Is it because of luck, circumstance, or talent?

Depending on the person it could be a combination of these elements.  The one common theme that does come up when conversing with successful people is discipline. Whether it’s a business person growing an organisation or a self-employed sole trader building a small business, discipline is the one element they all have in common.

Discipline is a fundamental element in obtaining goals, dreams and desires.

Discipline is what keeps us going when times are tough and not going our way. It makes the bad times easier to get through. We must constantly practice, repeat, and believe in our purpose.

Given this knowledge, why do so many individuals leave self-assessment until the last minute?

Don’t leave your self-assessment until the last minute

The end of January may seem like a long way off right now but it will come round quicker than you think. Our advice would be to get your return done as early as possible.

How to avoid HMRC fines

The earlier you start to do it, the more time you have to check that you have everything to complete it, as you may find for instance that you do not have all the interest statements you need. HMRC won’t hesitate in fining you if there are mistakes in your tax return. The last thing anyone needs is a wholly avoidable fine from the tax man.

For many people, filing an online self-assessment return is a straightforward process. However, if you are unsure about the information you are submitting, don’t be one of the almost one million people caught out each year.

Omni Chartered Accountants can help you for as little as £95.00 – call 01902 837 408 and take the Omni Challenge today to see how much we could save you by managing your accounting affairs!


Self assessment tax return help

The self-Paper crumpleassessment tax return is an unavoidable burden if you are liable for self-employed tax or have more complicated income tax affairs. Both self-employed business owners and company directors must complete self-assessment tax returns.

The right approach to your self-assessment tax return will minimise aggravation and can reduce the amount of income tax that you end up paying.

Our guidance will help you understand the key issues that need to be dealt with. For help with the specifics, talk to an accountant: professional expertise should save you time and money.

Registering for self-assessment

Who needs to complete a self-assessment tax return?

  • Recently self-employed
  • Have become a partner in a partnership
  • Are a company director
  • Have untaxed income (perhaps from rental property or complicated income tax affairs)
  • Have an income of £100,000 or more
  • Need to pay capital gains tax or have expenses to claim

There are a number of circumstances under which you may be required to complete a self-assessment tax return.

You can find out if you need to complete a self-assessment tax return on the HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) website, or by giving Omni a quick call on 01902 837408.

Before you can complete your first self-assessment income tax return, you will need to register with an accountant or with HMRC. You should register as soon as your circumstances change but certainly no later than 5 October after the end of the tax year for which you need to submit a form.

Self assessment tax return help


Avoid HMRC penalties by filing your self assessment tax return by end of January

Have YOU filed YOUR self assessment online return?

Avoid HMRC penalties by filing your self assessment tax return by end of January

According to recent estimates, only seven million out of the twelve million individuals and businesses across the UK who were required to file their HMRC self assessment tax return have actually done so.

The online deadline is less than one month away.

Are you one of the five million that need to get their act together to avoid severe penalties?

Self assessment tax return penalties 2015

Avoid HMRC penalties by filing your self assessment tax return by end of January

The standard HMRC fixed penalty for failing to file your tax return is £100 – but don’t be fooled into resting on your laurels.


Daily penalties of £10 per day – with a maximum cap of £900 will also apply if your tax return is still outstanding 3 months after the deadline date.

Act now to avoid HMRC late self assessment filing penalties

We can help you make that all-important deadline – all you need to do is send us, where possible, your books and information that we need to prepare and file your self assessment with the HMRC on your behalf.

Our open pricing policy is competitive and a standard self assessment will cost just £95 at our current rates.

Get in touch today and act quickly – when you choose Omni Chartered Accountants, you know that you are in safe hands.