The Brand new App from Liric

As a LIRIC we are constantly looking for ways we can improve the service we offer our customers and we are proud to announce the launch of our brand new LIRIC App.  It’s completely free of charge and it’s available for iPhones, iPads and Android devices.

 

So the next time you need to look up a tax rate or work out a VAT calculation, our new App can help.  It provides you with up to date, important accountancy data at your fingertips.  PLUS:

Photo Receipt Management, Email and Store

Never lose a receipt again! Using the latest App, you can track receipts and expenses literally at the touch of a button. With minimal effort you can take a picture of any receipt and save it to your App. Any additional information can be added later and receipts stored by amount, category, and date. It can help you track all your expenses with ease and enable us to interact digitally with you.

GPS Mileage Tracking and Management tool

When it comes to mileage tracking, half the battle is keeping an accurate tab on your journeys. Using the built-in GPS on your device, it will automatically track your mileage, helping you to record every single trip at the touch of a button. It also manages trips as well, storing them and allowing you to view, edit or email them with complete ease.

Keeping in touch via ‘Push Notifications’

As a LIRIC we are committed to finding ways to communicate and interact with clients in the most efficient possible way.  The new App enables us to send push notifications to all App users.  We will be using this feature to share important news, deadline reminders and financial updates with you.

This App was designed to provide every service you could ask from us. We’ve put your favourite business systems, invaluable tools and features such as calculators, tax tables, logbooks, receipt and income management, instant access to the latest financial news and information and valuable company info, directly from us. With all this on one App, our App will likely be your go-to tool in the future.

It’s available for iPhone, iPad and Android devices completely free of charge right now!

Simplysearch on for the App Store or Google Play for  “liric accountants app” or scan the QR code

Enjoy our App with our compliments!

Spring Budget 2017

The Chancellor’s 2017 Budget contained some important announcements and confirmed a number of changes planned for the new tax year.

There was both good and bad news for sole traders and small businesses in today’s Budget. Following this, we have put together a review which contains the latest tax and financial information, which we trust you will find useful. Please click here to download.

For more information on how the changes in the Budget may affect you, please contact us

In Brief:

Class 4 NICs will increase from 9% to 10% in April 2018, and then to 11% in April 2019 for those earning more than £8,060. Employees currently pay 12%. Class 2 contributions – as previously announced – will be abolished from April 2018. This will affect you if you are self-employed.

In addition, Hammond announced that the tax-free dividend allowance – introduced last year – will be reduced from £5,000 to £2,000 from April 2018. This will affect you if you trade as a Limited Company.

As plans for Making Tax Digital (MTD), continue apace, Hammond also announced that for businesses with turnover below the VAT registration threshold this will be delayed by one year to April 2019 to allow more time to prepare for the changes.

Businesses that have an annual turnover below the VAT registration threshold will have an extra year before they are required to keep records digitally and send HMRC quarterly updates.

Those businesses trading above the VAT threshold will still be required to keep digital records and send HMRC quarterly updates from April 2018.

The exemption threshold for MTD remains at £10,000.

At Liric, we are working on ensuring all our clients have the systems they will need to ensure they comply and there will be much more about this in future newsletters.

 

Changes to Flat Rate VAT scheme

Following last years Autumn Statement, the government have issued their draft legislation detailing the changes to the Flat Rate Scheme (FRS). These will come into effect on 1 April 2017.

If you are using the Flat Rate scheme for calculating your VAT it’s really important that you read the following information.  We will also be contacting you directly if our records indicate that you may be affected by these significant changes.

If your business is classed as a “Low or Limited cost trade”, which will probably catch any consultancy based businesses, the flat rate will increase to 16% from 1 April.

So for example:
If your sales are £5,000 the VAT is £1,000, total £6,000 x 16.5% = £990 VAT payable. So HMRC let you keep £10.

Compare to the 14% rate and the VAT payable would have been £840, allowing you to keep £160.

Please click here for our full factsheet on this important subject and do get in touch with us if you are affected.

Paying your self assessment tax – deadline 31 January 2016

HMRC will not be issuing paper statements and payslips to self-assessment taxpayers to remind them of the 31 January 2016 filing and payment date unless the taxpayer has filed their 2014/15 tax return by 31 December 2015, and has not opted for digital only communications from HMRC.

HMRC will not be issuing paper SA reminders and payslips for taxpayers who file their 2014/15 tax returns in January 2016 or for those taxpayers who have opted for digital-only SA communications from HMRC. Payment options available without a payslip are by debit/credit card, CHAPS/BACS, direct debit or via online or telephone banking.

Payment by cheque through the post is available but only with a paying in slip. If you do not have a paying in slip you can print a payslip but this cannot be used to pay over the counter at a bank, building society or Post Office.

Further details on how to pay can be found on the HMRC website – GOV.UK at: https://www.gov.uk/pay-self-assessment-tax-bill

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

RENEWALS BASIS IS BACK FOR BUY TO LET LANDLORDS

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

How will the 2015 Autumn Statement affect you and your business?

Download our guide to the 2015 Autumn Statement Autumn-budget-statement-2015.pdf.

 

Our summary offers an overview of the key business, tax and financial measures announced in the Autumn Statement which could affect you and your business. Major announcements include the reversal of cuts to tax credits, the introduction of a new 3% stamp duty surcharge for buy-to-let properties and second homes, and an extension of the doubling of small business rate relief for a further year.

 

For tailored advice on any of the topics covered within the Autumn Statement, and how they may have an impact on your business or personal finances, please give us a call on 01763 853633.

 

We offer far more than traditional tax and compliance services, and can advise on a range of strategies designed to minimise your tax bill, improve profits and maximise your personal wealth.

 

 

Auto Enrolment pensions

Pension Automatic Enrolment is with us and the staging dates for smaller companies are on the horizon. Between 2015 and 2017, over 1 million companies will be staging, which is a staggering 51,134 companies per month.

There is a wealth of information available on the Pension Regulators website www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk but we have summarised the key facts for you. LIRIC-Auto-Enrolment-guide.pdf

Don’t leave this until the last minute, or think “it doesn’t affect me” because any business with a PAYE reference has a duty to comply and there are serious fines for non-compliance.

If you have the correct company pension structure in place, that’s great, but if you don’t it is important that you read on.

Whether you have an existing pension scheme or not, you absolutely must ensure that you comply with the government’s pension reform regulations. Not just any old pension scheme will do… it has to follow the new rules.

Following the rules not only means that your company pension scheme has to be in line with the regulations the government have put in place, but it also means that you have a duty to explain all changes to your staff so that they are aware of the situation!

The good thing is that we are here to help with this.

If in doubt give then contact us: