Brendan’s Blog

HM Revenue & Customs Investigations

No Comments »

Did you know that in 2015/16, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) secured a record £26.6bn of additional revenue through tax enquiries into businesses and individuals? Their target for the future is even higher. The fact is that HMRC is becoming more and more focused on investigating those they believe may not be paying the right amount of tax. What triggers an investigation? HMRC claims compliance checks are normally triggered when there…

Read More

Making Tax Digital

No Comments »

Making Tax Digital How and when will digital tax affect you? Some big changes are happening for taxpayers. We’ve been submitting personal tax information securely online to HMRC  for many years but now, from April 2017, every individual and business has a new digital tax account. HMRC want to rely more heavily on third party information via the digital tax accounts, and less on the end of year Self-Assessment Tax Returns. They want to…

Read More

Plan your taxation

No Comments »

Make sure that you are doing all the simple things that are available in terms of planning your taxation – and other financial – affairs. These will differ greatly according to your current and future personal circumstances but should certainly mean that you: • Fully utilise your current annual tax allowances. • Fully utilise your basic-rate tax band. • Consider pension planning and maximise contributions where this is appropriate. • Maximise contributions into ISAs. • Consider Capital Gains Tax and ensure that…

Read More

Encourage technical improvement

No Comments »

Our government is very keen to encourage technical improvement in the way we conduct all aspects of commercial activity. Accordingly it provides VERY generous tax reliefs for activities that qualify, in its terms, as ‘Research and Development.’ While this includes the work undertaken by scientists wearing white coats and working in laboratories, it also covers the work done by entrepreneurs in improving the processes they use in their everyday business. The tax man may accept that anything you do which finds a way to…

Read More

Rich Pickings From Pastures New

No Comments »

If your business is setting up a new venture, then consider whether it would be appropriate to establish a separate business entity to undertake this move. There are significant tax advantages that could derive from using a separate company or stand-alone LLP to house a new venture. This could be the case in a diverse range of circumstances including ventures where: • You are seeking to motivate and incentivise senior staff; • VAT planning may be an issue; • the venture…

Read More

VAT is the question

No Comments »

VAT is not the ‘simple tax’ which Chancellor Anthony Barber referred to when it was introduced in 1974. While it may not offer planning opportunities to all businesses, there are many for which careful thought can realise genuine – and significant – savings. The first question – for the smaller business – is whether or not to register voluntarily for VAT. Where work is predominantly ‘B2B’ in nature, registration is…

Read More

To claim or not to claim?

No Comments »

Your business will pay tax on the profits it makes. Profits are generally determined after deducting ‘any expenses incurred wholly and exclusively for the purposes of the business.’ You must obviously understand the distinction between ‘business expenses’ and ‘personal expenses’ and then be aware of three points which are relevant: Make sure you have a watertight system of record keeping in place. Then make sure that you accountant has a thorough understanding of what you do, so that you can work with him to ensure…

Read More

Your package

No Comments »

If you do opt to run your business through a company then take good advice on planning the way you take your ‘remuneration’ out. There is a mixture of factors that could be relevant: There is no simple ‘right-and-wrong’ to the way you should plan your remuneration package. Simply be aware that you could save a great deal in both personal and corporate taxes by taking proper advice. Take some time to consider precisely what you want to gain from being in…

Read More

Alone, or in company?

No Comments »

As an accountant advising owner-managed businesses, I am regularly asked: “Should I be running my business through a Limited Company for tax reasons?” While ‘circumstances alter cases’ and so there is no definitive answer to this question, there are a few simple observations to be made: If, for any of these reasons, you think you are not trading through the appropriate vehicle, then it would be worth discussing this in…

Read More

The view from the outside

No Comments »

My final suggestion in driving profits up is that you get someone independent to work with you in reviewing the performance of your business. Whether that be an accountant, business coach, or simply a retired friend. While taking on such a mentor may cost some money in the short-term, providing you find someone who can genuinely add value, it will: Once again I must admit that, since we’ve been working with a mentor in our business, we have ‘grown up’ and delivered much…

Read More