Have you heard of the new Personal Savings Allowance (PSA)?

From April 2016 the new Personal Savings Allowance (PSA) will start.

The PSA will apply to all non-ISA cash savings and current accounts, and will allow some savers to receive a generous portion of their interest totally free of tax.

It’s expected that 95% of savings will no longer be taxed.

Basic rate taxpayers will receive £1,000 in savings income tax free, higher rate taxpayers get a band of £500 and additional rate tax payers get nothing.

From April 2016 banks and building societies will stop automatically taking 20% in income tax from the interest earned on your non-ISA savings.

personal tax

Limited company or sole trader?

What is a Limited Company?

A limited company is an organisation that you can set up to run your business – it’s responsible in its own right for everything it does and its finances are separate to your personal finances.

Any profit it makes is owned by the company, after it pays Corporation Tax. The company can then share its profits.

What is a Sole Trader?

If you start working for yourself, you’re classed as a self-employed sole trader – even if you’ve not yet told HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

As a sole trader, you run your own business as an individual. You can keep all your business’s profits after you’ve paid tax on them.

You can employ staff. ‘Sole trader’ means you’re responsible for the business, not that you have to work alone.

You’re personally responsible for any losses your business makes.

The key Advantages and Disadvantages of Companies are shown below:

Advantages Disadvantages
Credibility – be seen as a serious business Reporting – annual return, statutory accounts and corporation tax return
Tax – normally you will pay less tax by having a company IR35 – are you a disguised employee
Reduced risk – you are protected from personal liability Directors – obigations under the Companies Act
Flexible – shares can be created and transferred Advice – professional help and advice reqiured to maximise benefits

How do you form a Limited Company?

You can form your company directly with Companies House for £15, it normally takes 24 hours. We can form it for you, ensuring the optimum share structure is in place and we than also deal with any VAT or payroll registrations required with HMRC.

You’ll need:

  • the company’s name and registered address
  • names and addresses of directors (and company secretary if you have one)
  • details of shareholders and share capital

What are the next steps?

Once your company has been formed you need to:

  1. Open a bank account for the Company, this can often take a couple of weeks
  2. Register for Corporation Tax
  3. Register for other taxes (if they apply to your business) – VAT, PAYE, CIS
  4. Set up your accounting software
  5. Create shareholder agreements, contracts and other legal documents (if required)

Starting a new business, whether sole trader or Limited, needs careful consideration, a business plan and some start up capital to name but a few things.  We do recommend you come and talk to us right at the beginning so things are set up in the best way that works for you. What may be the optimum route for one person is not necessarily the same for another – we offer bespoke advice.


fee protection


Following the restriction of tax relief for mortgage interest and the 3% increase in Stamp Duty Land Tax all is not doom and gloom for buy to let landlords. Following on from the consultation this summer the draft Finance Bill 2016 includes the legislation to reintroduce tax relief for the replacement of furnishings in buy to let properties from 6 April 2016.


This will apply to both furnished and unfurnished lettings and will mean that the cost of replacing items such as cookers and washing machines will again qualify for relief following the withdrawal of a concession from 6 April 2013.

Note that the alternative, and simpler, 10% wear and tear allowance will be withdrawn from 6 April 2016 for those letting properties fully furnished.

Those letting properties under the more stringent furnished holiday letting rules will continue to be able to claim the Annual Investment Allowance which provides 100% tax relief for the initial furnishing as well as renewal of furniture in holiday properties.

Christmas Parties – top tips

It’s that time of year again, Christmas. Which means the Works Christmas Do.

So we thought it would be useful to give you as employers some top tips for the occasion.

Top tips for Christmas parties:

– Employment law still applies during any events outside of the workplace. This means that a business is still at risk if any incidents do occur

 Christmas parties should be enjoyable, but don’t make attendance compulsory. Family commitments or religious reasons may preclude attendance

 Consider timing. Putting it on a Wednesday night may mean that bizarrely attendance is down on Thursday

 Invite all employees though. Even those you’ve forgotten about on maternity leave etc​

– Circulate a memo reminding your employees of what constitutes acceptable non-discriminatory behaviour, and the disciplinary consequences they will face should they fail to comply

But what if you didn’t do this?

Ok so there are some risks and this is a serious issue, but is a huge policy going to help you? Maybe but also maybe not.

Sadly employees do stupid things, whether it’s at Christmas or not.

Whether they’ve read a policy or not, after 10 pints of lag​er and half a bottle of free wine they aren’t going to remember it and will likely do as they drunkenly want. It will need to be dealt with, but in reality you cannot legislate for every situation.

So beware – but enjoy