Looking forward to your future

Our passion as a team is to help your business to succeed as well as providing peace of mind on all compliance matters, and all built on strong client relationships and providing outstanding service.

Legislation will limit the income tax and employer NIC advantages where:

  • Benefits-in-kind are offered through salary sacrifice; or
  • Where the employee can choose between cash allowances and benefits-in-kind

The taxable value of benefits in kind where cash has been forgone will be fixed at the higher rate of the current taxable value or the value of the cash forgone.

The new rules will not affect employer-provided pension saving, employer-provided pensions advice, childcare vouchers, workplace nurseries, or cycle to work. Following consultation, the Government has also decided to exempt Ultra-Low Emission Vehicles which have emissions under 75 grams of CO2 per kilometre.

This change will take effect from 6 April 2017. Those already in salary sacrifice contracts at the date will become subject to new rules in respect of those contracts at the earlier of:

  • An end, change, modification or renewal of the contract; or
  • 6 April 2018, except for cars, accommodation and school fees when the last date is 6 April 2021.

HMRC have issued their response to the consultations on MTD.  The more cynical among us might take the view that HMRC have decided what they are going to do and any “consultations” are purely for cosmetic purposes! (more…)

Small business planning is very important as SMEs that fail to plan are certainly planning to fail. You’ve probably heard that phrase many times but don’t dismiss it as a cliché, learn to live by its rules. Small businesses are often so busy treading water, they spend all their energy and attention on staying afloat. Learning how to write or make a business plan is quite essential and it’s a key step for most SMEs.  But if you want to do better than ‘just about managing’, you really need to plan for the future – after all, if you don’t know where you’re heading, how do you know which direction you need to go in?

There is a myth that a huge percentage of new start-ups don’t survive the first year, but this has recently been debunked – in fact, it appears that in the UK, more than 8 out of 10 companies succeed in the first 12 months, and between a third and a half are still trading after five years.

Plan to succeed

These success rates could be down to the support that’s now available for new entrepreneurs. There are a lot of organisations that help start-ups and small businesses succeed. In Hertfordshire, the organisation Wenta has been providing advice and support – a lot of which is free of charge – for entrepreneurs across the county for over 30 years.

Writing your business plan isn’t just a good idea when it comes to applying for loans and support, it will also help you focus your ideas about your company and clarify the direction you need to take it in. Online, the government has published advice about writing a good business plan, along with links to templates and examples to help you draw up your own plans.

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It doesn’t matter how many members of staff you have working for you, getting the payroll right is crucial to your business.

The main reasons companies outsource payroll services are to save time and to make sure they’re fully compliant with legislation. If you’re not a payroll specialist, then you’ll have to spend time trying to get to grips with the process when you could be more productively working on your core business instead. Payroll can be straightforward to implement if your employee/s have no issues. But most of the time there are other things to be taken into account such as statutory sick pay, maternity pay, student loans, deductions earnings orders etc.

Keeping in line with legislation is hugely important, so if you’re not outsourcing, you will need to be pro-active to make sure you don’t risk having to pay fines for not getting it right. Legislation about tax, NI and pensions is changing all the time and you could be spending precious time away from your core business researching changes in the rules.

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Budget Day will be 8 March 2017 and every year we expect the Chancellor to do something to restrict tax relief for pension contributions. (more…)

With effect from 1 April 2017: (more…)

 

Our previous update on this topic was on 30 August 2016 following the publication of consultation documents by HMRC.  There was a very significant response to these, most of which was unfavourable. (more…)

In 2014, the Government published the results of a call for views from UK businesses about corporate responsibility, and published it in a report, Good for Business & Society. In it, the authors describe corporate responsibility as a voluntary action that “creates shared value for business and society”.

Whilst many companies have defined their CSR policies, we feel that because all the fundraising we do as a team are activities we’d get involved with anyway, we don’t need to make it official, whether it’s for the benefit of charity fundraising, helping out in the local community, or giving local businesses a boost.

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There has been a lot of uncertainty in the world this year, with political events sending the stock marketing yo-yo-ing and the continued drawing out of Brexit making the markets increasingly nervous. What’s going to happen to investments in 2017 is almost anyone’s guess, and in some quarters appears to be more influenced by psychics rather than solid facts. One woman in America, for instance, is predicting a stock market crash because there have been crashes in and 1987, 1997 and 2007.

What to consider when deciding on investments

You don’t have to have a lot of money to make an investment. A simple savings account with a bank or building society counts as an investment. Other types of investment are:

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Brexit hasn’t been out of the news since the vote to leave took place in June, and although the majority of the news stories concentrate on the effects of Brexit on larger companies, not many have looked at the SME in a local context.

The overall picture is still confused. At the end of September, the CBI reported business confidence worsened, but a GfK survey showed consumer confidence had risen slightly and are now back at pre-Brexit levels.

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