Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Are your Child Benefits under threat?

Thursday, May 6th, 2021

For some time now, HMRC have had the power to claw back some or all of the Child Benefits you receive if either parent’s income exceeds £50,000.

The benefit is recovered by the High Income Child Benefit Charge (HICBC). This states that if either parent had income over £50,000 and:

  • either partner received Child Benefit, or
  • someone else received Child Benefit for a child living with you and they contribute at least an equal amount towards the child’s upkeep.

Then part or all of the Child Benefit received may need to be paid back to HMRC. It doesn’t matter if the child living with you is not your own child.

You may not have considered the HICBC before if your incomes were below the £50,000 cap, but if your income for 2020-21 exceeded this amount you should be aware of the following.

  • The parent with the higher income for 2020-21 (more than £50,000) will need to register to submit a self-assessment tax return and pay any HICBC due – unless they are already registered in which case, they will need to enter the amount of Child Benefit received on their return and pay any tax due.
  • The parent with the higher income, even if they were not the person claiming the Child Benefit, will need to make this declaration.

How will benefits be paid back?

1% of the Child Benefit received will be recovered by HMRC’s HICBC for every £100 the highest earner’s income exceeds £50,000. Accordingly, once the highest income exceeds £60,000 all the Child Benefits received will be reclaimed.

To avoid the charge, it is possible to decline receipt of Child Benefits. Care should be taken in triggering this option as it can have roll-on disadvantages when claiming future State Benefits or obtaining a National Insurance number for children.

To summarise:

  • Parents where the highest income is below £50,000 will not be affected and can continue to claim Child Benefit with no tax claw back.
  • Parents where the highest income is above £50,000 but below £60,000 will be affected and will need to pay the appropriate HICBC.

There are strategies that you could use to reduce your taxable income below the £50,000 or £60,000 thresholds as these are calculated net of any allowable deductions.

Please call if you would like more advice regarding these deductions or dealing with your registration for self-assessment, if required.

Averaging profits for creators of literary or artistic works

Tuesday, May 4th, 2021

A special relief is available for creators of literary or artistic works under which they can claim to add together their profits for 2 years and be taxable on the average of those profits if certain conditions are met. This helps to even out fluctuating tax charges for creative persons who may pay little tax one year but perhaps higher rates of Income Tax the following year. The averaging process may help to reduce overall liabilities.

You can claim averaging if your profits come from disposing of works or from royalties you get for allowing people to reproduce your works. So, for example, you can claim if you are:

  • an author whose income comes from the sale of your written work – even if a small part of your income comes from personal appearances
  • a computer software writer whose income comes from royalties for reproducing the code you write, which is protected by copyright

You cannot claim averaging if your profits come from the services you provide. So, for example, you cannot claim if you’re:

  • an architect whose income comes mainly from your services – even if some of your income comes from selling material protected by copyright
  • a computer programmer whose income comes from the service of writing scripts or programs, not the actual works

Advisory Fuel Rates from 1 March 2021

Tuesday, May 4th, 2021

The advisory electricity rate for fully electric cars is 4 pence per mile.

Hybrid cars are treated as either petrol or diesel cars for advisory fuel rates.

The advisory fuel rates for petrol, LPG and diesel cars are shown in these tables.

From 1 March 2021

You can use the previous rates for up to 1 month from the date the new rates apply.

Engine size

Petrol – rate per mile

LPG – rate per mile

1400cc or less

10 pence

7 pence

1401cc to 2000cc

12 pence

8 pence

Over 2000cc

18 pence

12 pence

 

Engine size

Diesel – rate per mile

1600cc or less

9 pence

1601cc to 2000cc

11 pence

Over 2000cc

12 pence

Tax Diary May/June 2021

Tuesday, May 4th, 2021

1 May 2021 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 30 July 2020.

19 May 2021 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 May 2021. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 May 2021).

19 May 2021 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly return for the month ended 5 May 2021.

19 May 2021 – CIS tax deducted for the month ended 5 May 2021 is payable by today.

31 May 2021 – Ensure all employees have been given their P60s for the 2020-21 tax year.

1 June 2021 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 31 August 2020.

19 June 2021 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 June 2021. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 June 2021)

19 June 2021 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly return for the month ended 5 June 2021.

19 June 2021 – CIS tax deducted for the month ended 5 June 2021 is payable by today.

Data Protection obligations

Tuesday, May 4th, 2021

Everyone in business that handles personal data must register for data protection purposes with the Information Commissioners Office.

Most business will need to pay an annual fee of £40 or £60 but this can rise to £2,900. Some organisations only pay £40 regardless of their size and turnover. These are: charities and small occupational pension schemes.

If you need to register, there is an online process you can use at https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/data-protection-fee/self-assessment/.

What is personal data?

Understanding whether you are processing personal data is critical to understanding whether the UK GDPR applies to your activities. Generally speaking, personal data is information that relates to an identified or identifiable individual. The following additional definitions are reproduced from the ICO website:

  • What identifies an individual could be as simple as a name or a number or could include other identifiers such as an IP address or a cookie identifier, or other factors.
  • If it is possible to identify an individual directly from the information you are processing, then that information may be personal data.
  • If you cannot directly identify an individual from that information, then you need to consider whether the individual is still identifiable. You should consider the information you are processing together with all the means reasonably likely to be used by either you or any other person to identify that individual.
  • Even if an individual is identified or identifiable, directly or indirectly, from the data you are processing, it is not personal data unless it ‘relates to’ the individual.
  • When considering whether information ‘relates to’ an individual, you need to consider a range of factors, including the content of the information, the purpose or purposes for which you are processing it and the likely impact or effect of that processing on the individual.
  • It is possible that the same information is personal data for one controller’s purposes but is not personal data for the purposes of another controller.
  • Information which has had identifiers removed or replaced in order to pseudonymise the data is still personal data for the purposes of UK GDPR.
  • Information which is truly anonymous is not covered by the UK GDPR.
  • If information that seems to relate to a particular individual is inaccurate (i.e., it is factually incorrect or is about a different individual), the information is still personal data, as it relates to that individual.

A new government-backed loan scheme

Tuesday, May 4th, 2021

A new Recovery Loan Scheme was launched 6 April 2021, to provide much needed liquidity to businesses affected by COVID lockdown measures. Under the scheme, loans of up to £10m are available. The minimum facility sizes vary, starting at £1,000 for asset and invoice finance, and £25,001 for term loans and overdrafts.
Potentially, these loans will be attractive to businesses in retail and hospitality that are gradually being allowed to reopen.
As with the Bounce-Back Loans, the government is providing lenders – the high street banks – with a measure of guarantee to underwrite their risks.
In a recent press release government confirmed:
The scheme, which was announced at budget and runs until 31 December 2021, will be administered by the British Business Bank, with loans available through a diverse network of accredited commercial lenders. 
26 lenders have already been accredited for day one of the scheme, with more to come shortly, and the government will provide an 80% guarantee for all loans. Interest rates have been capped at 14.99% and are expected to be much lower than that in the vast majority of cases, and Ministers are urging lenders to ensure they keep rates down to help protect jobs. 
The Recovery Loan Scheme can be used as an additional loan on top of support received from the emergency schemes – such as the Bounce Back Loan Scheme and Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme – put into place last year.
Business owners who are considering a recovery loan should apply the usual considerations. i.e., can they afford the interest and capital repayments.
Please call if you would like help considering your options.

 

Charity – using a subsidiary trading company

Tuesday, May 4th, 2021

One or more charities can set up a subsidiary trading company to trade on their behalf. This may be a useful strategy if your charity:

  • makes profits on trading that is not linked to its primary purpose
  • makes a profit that comes close to or is higher than the small trading tax exemption limit
  • wants to protect its assets from any trading losses
  • wants to have a separate organisation to carry out all its trading activities

VAT considerations

A charity’s trading company will not have to pay VAT on:

  • profits it makes from donated good sales (as long as it gives these profits to the parent charity)
  • fundraising events it runs for its parent charity

Other types of VAT relief that charities get are not available for their trading subsidiaries.

Trading companies must pay tax and VAT on all their other income and profits in the same way as ordinary limited companies.

Beware trading into insolvency

Thursday, April 29th, 2021

The present pandemic has created just the right conditions for certain businesses to trade their way into insolvency.

As we start the gradual withdrawal from lockdown, consumers will be on the lookout to spend after months of enforced home “arrest”. This will likely fuel an increase in economic activity on an unprecedented scale as we bounce-back towards pre-pandemic levels.

But isn’t this good news?

Under normal circumstances, yes, this is great news, but unfortunately, many businesses have needed to spend reserves and borrow in order to survive the last fifteen months of COVID disruption. They are standing on the starting line for a marathon, wearing slippers; unprepared financially for what is about to unwind.

Does your business fit into this category?

  • Cash reserves are limited
  • Losses have stripped away accumulated profits
  • You are obliged to offer better terms of trade to your customers than you receive from your suppliers. i.e., you sell goods on say 60-days credit terms but pay your suppliers for raw materials cash on delivery.

But why does this matter if sales are profitable?

When you sell goods on credit – 60-days in our example – for those 60 days you will have to pay suppliers and other overheads, wages, rent and other costs, before cash arrives in your bank account for sales made almost two months ago.

Ironically, the more successful you are in creating new sales, the more damaging this funding crisis potentially becomes. In accounting speak, you will be over-trading.

Planning is critical

If your business fits the description we have outlined above it is imperative that you plan your business growth. It may still be possible to manage higher sales as long as you organise cash-flow support to fund costs until higher sales, and therefore retained profits, provide you with the resources to self-sustain future growth.

No business owner should have to suffer the financial tragedy of over-trading through lack of planning. Pick up the phone, we can help.

New build your own home funding

Tuesday, April 27th, 2021

Considering a home build? It would seem that government is keen to support this activity as they have just announced new plans to provide over £150 million in new government funding. This is aimed to make it easier and more affordable for people to build their own homes.

The ‘Help to Build’ scheme will ensure that self and custom home building can become a realistic option to get onto the housing ladder through lower deposit mortgages.

Lowering the required deposit will free up capital, so people can build the home that they want and need whether it’s a commissioned, made to order home, or a new design from scratch. The scheme will provide an equity loan on the completed home, similar to the Help to Buy scheme.

Made to order homes allow people to customise the home they want based on existing designs. This could include more office space, or a particular design to support a family’s requirements including for disabled or older people.

Self and custom build could deliver 30-40,000 new homes a year: a significant contribution to the country’s housebuilding ambitions.

The scheme is part of the government’s wider Plan for Jobs as the new plans will also benefit small building firms. SME builders account for 1 in 10 new homes and the scheme will help scale up the number of self and custom build homes built every year.

This follows the news that major lenders have signed up to the government’s new 95% mortgage guarantee scheme to help more people than ever on to the housing ladder. Lloyds, Santander, Barclays, HSBC and Natwest are launching mortgages under the scheme with Virgin Money following next month.

New Recovery Loan Scheme

Thursday, April 22nd, 2021

A new government backed loan scheme was launched 6 April 2021.

A recent news story confirming the details is reproduced below:

The scheme, which was announced at budget and runs until 31 December 2021, will be administered by the British Business Bank, with loans available through a diverse network of accredited commercial lenders.

 

26 lenders have already been accredited for day one of the scheme, with more to come shortly, and the government will provide an 80% guarantee for all loans. Interest rates have been capped at 14.99% and are expected to be much lower than that in the vast majority of cases, and Ministers are urging lenders to ensure they keep rates down to help protect jobs. The Recovery Loan Scheme can be used as an additional loan on top of support received from the emergency schemes – such as the Bounce Back Loan Scheme and Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme – put into place last year.

The Recovery Loan Scheme will ensure businesses continue to benefit from Government-guaranteed finance throughout 2021.

With non-essential retail and outdoor hospitality reopening this week, Ministers intend that new support is still available to businesses to protect jobs. From 6 April 2021, businesses – ranging from coffee shops and restaurants to hairdressers and gyms – can access loans varying in size from £25,000, up to a maximum of £10 million. Invoice and asset finance is available from £1,000.

Businesses who are tempted to secure lending under this scheme should ensure that future trading will generate sufficient funds to cover interest charges and provide cash flow to repay the amount borrowed.

Please call if you would like our help to consider your options.