HMRC Personal Tax Account

HMRC has taken the first step towards an automated tax assessment system by launchings its new Personal Tax Account

HMRC Personal Tax Account

It allows you to view your personal information, access HMRC’s tax forms and to estimate your PAYE bill; more functions will be added in the New Year.

HMRC New Website 2015

HMRC launched a test version in July of this year and it will soon be available to everyone who is taxed under the PAYE system.

Currently, it only allows you to:

  • View your personal details – name, NI number and address
  • Use HMRC’s Tax estimate Service, which tells you how much tax you’ll pay through PAYE, and to check the information your estimate is based upon
  • Use links to income tax related forms at GOV.UK

Keep an eye on the developments through the HMRC site and of course, our blogs. By following us om Twitter @OmnitasTax or liking our Facebook page, you will always be kept up to date with the latest tax and accountancy news!

HMRC Personal Tax Account

If you would like any advice regarding your tax affairs or would like to speak with us about our competitive accountancy services, call 01902 837 408 or click here and we will get back to you as soon as possible.


HMRC denies new business VAT refunds

HMRC denies new business VAT refundsHMRC has changed its interpretation of a key VAT rule – newly registered businesses are now being denied VAT refunds.

HMRC hasn’t publicly announced this change in practice, so tax advisers and taxpayers have been potentially over-claiming input VAT on new VAT registrations.

What’s changed?

When an established business registers for VAT, it may already hold some stock and assets which will be used after the registration date in connection with its ‘VATable’ sales.

For over 40 years, traders have been able to reclaim all the input VAT paid on those goods on their first VAT return, as long as the following conditions were met:

  • Goods were acquired in the four years before the date of registration
  • Items were still held at the date of registration

However, if you ring the VAT helpline you may now be told that you are unable to reclaim all of the input VAT paid on those goods.

HMRC says the input VAT should be reduced to take into account the use that has been made of the goods before the VAT registration date. There has been no change in practice for VAT reclaims on services, which must be provided in the six months before registration.

HMRC denies new business VAT refunds

If you would like to find out more information, or would like general business accounting advice, give Omni Chartered Accountants a call today! Our number is 01902 837408 or of you can request a free of charge call-back from our website!


Why Budget Tempers Optimism

Confidence among small businesses is cooling, according to the latest Federation of Small Business Index that was published in September.

Why Budget Tempers Optimism

While confidence levels remain firmly in positive territory, SMEs appear more cautious about their prospects than in recent quarters.

After an initial boost given by the clear outcome of the General Election, these results reflect the impact of recent changes announced at the Summer Budget, notably increased taxes on dividends and steep rises in the national living wage.

The number of businesses expecting to grow has also cooled but remains positive, with almost 6 in 10 small businesses (58.7%) anticipating expansion in the next 12 months.

Why Budget Tempers Optimism

How are you feeling about the future? If you need help or advice to ensure your business is as tax efficient that it can be, Omni Chartered Accountants can help!

Request a free of charge call back from our website or click here and we will get straight back to you!


How to avoid cashflow problems

file000610312209

Here are two startling statistics of start-up businesses:

  • One in four businesses don’t make it through the first year
  • More than half don’t survive past the fifth year of trading

There can many reasons for this, but one of the main reasons for this is down to cashflow – without it, a business simply cannot stay afloat. Below are some of the most common cashflow problems and some advice on preventing them from occurring in the first place.

Keeping accurate company records

Lots of new business owners put off bookkeeping duties as they are so busy with the huge workload that can be involved with setting up a new company.

The longer the books are neglected, the worse the problems will get; records and forecasts are pivotal to you knowing what is happening in your business.

It’s also important to ensure that you keep a proper record of what customers have and haven’t paid you to avoid significant sums of money that may owed to you getting overlooked. An effective accounting system is vital to manage your cashflow.

If you don’t have the time to do this yourself, an accountancy practice or bookkeeper will be able to do this for you.

How to manage company debts

Slow payers or bad debt is money that is owed but not paid.

This can be crippling for any new company but is usually preventable if a proper credit control system is put into place early on. If you discover that a customer has a poor credit record but you still want to take them on as a client, ask them for an upfront deposit or issue partial invoices so they can pay as portions of the work are completed. In other words, understand your customers and manage the risk.

A customer at any cost?

Calculate very carefully if want to offer credit terms – does your business model support it? If it doesn’t work early on don’t do it; you can always introduce credit terms as and when the business can afford it.

If you are currently in this situation then re-negotiate terms with your customers and/or suppliers or consider factoring the debt.

No cashflow forecast

A cashflow forecast is vital for any new business and is something that a qualified accountant can put together for you. This will allow you to forecast the months you can expect to see a cash deficit and the months when you may experience a surplus.

It will allow you to plan ahead as well, as give you a pretty good idea of how much cash your business is going to need over the next 12 months in order to survive. It is a good idea to keep the forecast on a rolling 12 month basis.

Free of charge accounting advice from Chartered Accountants

Omni Chartered Accountants offer totally free of charge advice for any business – new or otherwise – that may be experiencing difficulties. We are also here if you or would like to find out more about our cost-effective solutions that are designed to help your company run smoothly.

How to avoid cashflow problems

Call us now on 01902 837 408 or request a free of charge call back from our website today!


Referral scheme: earn commission or credits!

Referral scheme: earn commission or credits!

From day one Omni Tax and Accountancy Solutions Ltd has received referrals.

So we have decided to introduce an official thank you!

You already know how good we are, we like working with and for people and businesses the are recommended to us. Now everyone can benefit with our clear and simple referral programme.

Choose your reward!
Credits:
Every time you refer a client that takes our service we will give you a voucher to be redeemed against our own services.
A: You can get your full years accountancy costs covered.

Commission:
If you would rather be paid for each referred client that takes our services, we will pay you 10% of the first years charges.

In addition we will also give your referred client a 5% reduction on their first years fees!

Referral scheme: earn commission or credits!

Just request a free of charge call back, email andyc@omnitas.co.uk or speak to Andy on 01902 837408 or 07812 988065 today!


Top 5 tips for productive business meetings

BusinTop 5 tips for productive business meetings ess meetings are a great way to put a face to a voice or name, and to build relationships with suppliers and clients.

But are your business meetings productive? Poor planning or meetings for meetings’ sake could all be a waste of your valuable time and end up being counter-productive in the worst-case scenario.

Here are our top 5 tips for productive business meetings:

1. Be prepared for your meeting

Always have an agenda outlined and have copies for any attendees to hand – it also helps to email them over to anyone who is coming to the meeting beforehand in case they would like to add something, or if there is something you have missed or would like to research prior to the meeting date.

2. Be certain about your objectives

Do you want to solve problems, build a relationship, sign off a deal or project, sell a company service or network?

3. Time costs money

Once you have identified your meeting objective clearly, you can set about allocating a time slot. Time is money, so have a think about how long your meeting should last and try and stick to it if you can – we all know that meetings can often over-run unnecessarily!

4. Get involved

Be aware of your involvement and contribute and lead wherever possible – at the same time, try and give attendees the chance to participate!

5. Be a host

Of course, it goes without saying that tea, coffee or soft drinks should be offered but remember that small snacks are also usually very welcome; even small acts of kindness like offering biscuits usually help forge relationships.

We speak to many small business owners who don’t value their time nearly enough – an afternoon or day away from the office can be costly and often also involve plenty of stressful catching up!

If the meeting is unproductive, this can only lead to frustration.

Follow us on Twitter @OmnitasTax to keep up to date with our latest blogs specially written with the UK SME in mind – and remember, we are always here to help advice and guide with business matters as well as offering cost-effective, professional accountancy solutions!


Are you addicted to the busy drug?

Are you addicted to the busy drug? We see many clients during a working week and understand what commitments mean to anyone who is running a business. As such, we are very happy to accommodate working around our clients’ individual business needs.

What we also see is a whole variety of “I’m really busy” scenarios.

When you are your own boss, on occasions it is well worth reminding yourself of certain things. One pivotal and critical element is your own time – you as a resource. Are you being productive? Are you focusing on the correct and most efficient parts of your business?

Are you addicted to the busy drug?

It appears that many of us can, at times, become addicted to the ‘being busy drug’. But let’s be really clear.

Being busy doesn’t necessarily mean that you are being:

  1. Effective
  2. A success
  3. Important

Being busy could actually mean that:

  1. You have poor organisational skills and fail to delegate
  2. You are a people pleaser who cannot say no
  3. You are suffering from a lack of clarity regarding your actual purpose

So please, never ever confuse being busy with being effective. Instead, spend a little more time trying to stop and understand what you’re aiming to achieve, before you move on to take action.

At Omni Chartered Accountants, we are not just here to ensure we assist with your accountancy needs; we also care about your success and want to see your business flourish.

So as well as taking our Accountancy Price Challenge, to see how we could save you money with your accountancy bills, why not give us a call today on 01902 837 408 for some free of charge business advice?


Time, money and effort

Time, money and effort

Time, money and effort

There is a certain irony in running a small business that does not always become apparent until you actually run one: You are a limited resource and deciding priorities on where to focus your time is key to being productive

Deciding small business priorities: Time, money and effort

You are regularly off balance. You rarely have the resources to do the job well, you are always behind in something, there is always an uncertainty to worry about and of course, it takes time, money and effort, to reduce the time, money and effort of running the business.

And its time, money and effort that are in short supply.

But understanding how to break through your current level of business and get to the next level is the most important thing any small business owner needs to learn.

Whether you want your business to remain small and simply grow in profitability or whether you want your business to grow to the next stage, the business you run will need a step change in order for it to happen.

Step change for small businesses

A step change, by definition, is one that makes a significant change.

It is when the line on the graph stops looking like a gentle incline and begins to resemble a staircase. Whether the staircase is a step up in profitability or revenue or a step down in costs, it is a discontinuous change and these changes don’t happen by themselves.

Why not share your own experiences and help someone who is currently in that cycle of uncertainty? Whether you sell a service or a product, what worked for you?

At Omni we are great believers in sharing and helping, it really is amazing what you can achieve when you don’t mind who gets the credit!

At Omni we see many business performances, and what is certain is that if you want to make a step change in your business, the first thing that you have to realise is that it may somehow involve the internet.

It may be about marketing or ecommerce. Or it may not. It could as easily be about productivity, customer happiness, new sources of goods, new type of distribution, enlarging your catchment from local to global. It could be discovering partners, new routes to market or outsourcing core activities.

In truth it could touch any part of your profit and loss statement.

Call us today to discuss your plans for the future of your business – we are here to guide and advise you to make the changes that could help take your enterprise to a whole new and exciting level!


When should we put a share agreement in place?

When should we put a share agreement in place?

Usually, it is best to put a shareholders’ agreement in place when you form the company and issue the first shares. In fact, it can be a positive exercise to ensure there is common understanding of shareholders’ expectations of the business.

At that point, the shareholders should, as far as is possible, be of a similar mind about what they expect to offer and get from the company. Indeed if the differences of opinion between you at this stage are too strong to form a shareholders’ agreement, it is likely to ring warning bells about the nature of your future working relationship.

When should we put a share agreement in place?

You may choose to defer discussing a shareholders’ agreement in order to get on with the important task of establishing the business. While you may have every intention of return to it at a later date when there is more time, the appropriate opportunity may not arise and something else always takes priority.

Even if you do pick it up later, by then the shareholders’ expectations and feelings towards the business may have diverged, making it more difficult for them to agree to the terms that should be included in the shareholders’ agreement.

What should I ask to be included in a shareholders’ agreement?

This, as described above, will depend on your level of shareholding and the number of your fellow shareholders.  The key provisions, however, that you should consider including in a shareholders’ agreement are those relating to:

  • Issuing and transferring shares – including provisions to prevent unwanted third parties acquiring shares and how a shareholder can sell shares.
  • Providing some protection to holders of less than 50% of the shares – including requiring certain decisions to be agreed by all shareholders.
  • Running the company – including appointing, removing and paying directors, deciding on the company’s business, making large capital outlays, providing management information to shareholders, banking arrangements and financing the company.
  • Paying dividends
  • Competition restrictions
  • Dispute resolution procedures

We will look at these and other things you might want to include in a shareholders’ agreement in a forthcoming article.

It is possible that the contents of the shareholders’ agreement may overlap with other company documents, particularly the articles of association. The articles will, for example, contain provisions relating to decision making and transfers of shares and in another article we explored what investors should look for in a company’s articles of association.

Consider seeking legal advice if you are not sure which provisions to include in which documents, but overall do ensure that the shareholders’ agreement and articles of association are consistent with one another.

To find out more, feel free to request a free of charge call back from our website or click here and we will contact you by return.


What is a shareholders’ agreement?

What is a shareholders’ agreement? limited company structure, majority shareholder, minority shareholder, partnerships, shareholder agreement, shareholder rights, small business, SME, dividendA shareholders’ agreement is, as you might expect, an agreement between the shareholders of a company.
It can be between all or, in some cases, only some of the shareholders (like, for instance, the holders of a particular class of share).

Its purpose is to protect the shareholders’ investment in the company, to establish a fair relationship between the shareholders and govern how the company is run.

A shareholders’ agreement will:

  • Set out the shareholders’ rights and obligations
  • Regulate the sale of shares in the company
  • Describe how the company is going to be run
  • Provide an element of protection for minority shareholders and the company
  • Define how important decisions are to be made

The shareholders’ agreement will contain specific, important and practical rules relating to the company and the relationship between the shareholders.

How will a shareholders’ agreement help me if I am a minority shareholder?

Without a shareholders’ agreement, a minority shareholder (one owning less than 50% of the shares) will on their own have little control or say in the running of the company. Indeed, the control will often rest with one or two shareholders.

Companies are generally run by majority decision and even if the articles of association include provisions that protect the minority, these can be changed via special resolution by holders of 75% of the shares.  There are laws that provide limited protection to minority shareholders but these can be costly to enforce and may not achieve the required redress.

Protecting your rights as a minority shareholder

Being a minority shareholder and having a shareholders’ agreement that includes the requirement for all shareholders to approve certain decisions ensures that you have a say in the important decisions that impact the company.

This could be decisions on the issue of new shares, appointment or removal of directors, taking on new borrowings or changing the main trade.  However, if the shareholders’ agreement requires all decision to be unanimous this could cause problems and ultimately prevent your company carrying out its business.

As a minority shareholder, you may want a provision included that if someone is willing to buy the shares of a majority shareholder, that shareholder can only sell the shares if the same offer is made to all shareholders including you as a minority shareholder. This is often referred to as a “tag along” provision. This should then ensure that you receive the same return on your investment as the other shareholders.

How will a shareholders’ agreement help a majority shareholder?

If, as the majority shareholder, you want to sell your shares but a minority shareholder is unwilling to agree then including a provision forcing that shareholder to sell their shares is important.

This is often referred to as a “drag along” provision.  This will then allow you to realise your investment at a time and price that you feel is appropriate.  Obviously the price and other payments for the sale will need to be fair for all shareholders, including the minority shareholders.

In addition you would want to prevent minority shareholders passing on confidential company information to competitors or setting up rival businesses, each of which can be included as a provision within a shareholders’ agreement.

Another concern is where one of your fellow shareholders could transfer their shares to anyone.  This could cause problems for you and the other shareholders, especially if the sale is to a competitor or someone else you do not want involved with the company.

Conversely, however, to force an unhappy shareholder to stay may cause more problems than having a new unknown shareholder who is interested in the company being successful.  You and your fellow shareholders need to get on with each other for the business to thrive.  To overcome these problems, shareholders’ agreements will often include rules around share sales and transfers – who shares can be transferred to, on what terms and at what price.

In our blog tomorrow, we will discuss when the best time is to put a share agreement in place. In the meantime, if you have any queries or would like to discuss your situation in more detail, request a free of charge call back from our website or click here and we will contact you by return.