Making Tax Digital (MTD) help and guidelines by ESB Accountancy

Making Tax Digital (MTD) help and support guidelines for Glos businesses by ESB Accountancy

Making Tax Digital (MTD) help and support guidelines for Glos businesses by ESB Accountancy

MTD for VAT

For most VAT registered businesses with VATable turnover over the VAT registration threshold of £85,000, Making Tax Digital for VAT applies from the start of the first VAT accounting period beginning on or after 1 April 2019. However, for some businesses, the start date is delayed until 1 October 2019. Please ask us if you are unsure which category you fall into.

Capital allowance for non-residential buildings and structures

The introduction of a new capital allowance for non-residential buildings and structures was announced at the time of the 2018 Budget, and a technical note was published for consultation at that time. The allowance is available for businesses that invest in non-residential structures or buildings on or after 29 October 2018 and is given on a straight-line basis at a rate of 2%.

At the time of the Spring Statement 2019, draft legislation was published for comment. As a result of the consultation process, some changes were made.

Legislation to provide for the new capital allowance was laid before Parliament and came into force on 5 July 2019.

Payroll reporting

Employers are required to report details on an employee’s pay and deductions to HMRC on or before the date that payment is made to the employee by making a full payment submission (FPS). If no payments are made to any employees in the tax month, an employer payment summary(EPS) shouldbesentinstead. Penalties are charged if in more than one tax month in the tax year:
• the FPS was late;

• HMRC did not receive the expected number of FPSs; or

• an EPS was not sent in a month in which no employees were paid.

HMRC have recently updated their guidance on what happens if payroll information is not reported on time.

HMRC allow a three day period of grace and will generally not charge a penalty if the FPS is filed within three days of the payment date. However, this is a concession not a right and should not be relied on; HMRC may charge penalties where an employer regularly files in this three-day window.

If you don’t currently use software, or your software won’t be MTD-compatible, you’ll need an adviser who can file your VAT returns on your behalf.

Please talk to us at ESB Accountancy to discuss how your business can comply with the new laws – with several decades of financial experience here in Gloucestershire you can either ring us now on – email us on edith@esbaccountancy.co.uk or click the Contact Us buttonpayroll bookkeeping services small business help contact esb accountancy gloucestershire cheltenhamor please fill the form at the bottom of the contact us page.

Off payroll business rules (IR35) explained by ESB Accountancy

Rules for business off payroll working (IR35) from April 2020 explained by ESB Accountancy

Rules for business off payroll working (IR35) from April 2020 explained by ESB Accountancy

Legislation has been published in draft which extends the off-payroll working rules as they apply to end clients in the public sector to large and medium sized end clients in the private sector.

The rules apply where workers supply their services via an intermediary, such as a personal service company, to an end client which is a large or medium private sector organisation. Companies Act 2006 definitions are used to determine whether an organisation is large or medium sized.

The rules shift responsibility for determining whether the off-payroll working rules apply and, if they do, deducting tax and National Insurance from payments made to the worker’s personal service company, from the worker’s personal service company to the end client to whom the services are supplied.

The amended business off payroll rules do not apply to small organisations, which will continue to apply the IR35 rules as now.

Under the IR35 rules, a 5% deduction is available to reflect the cost to the personal service company of administering the rules. This will not be available from 6 April 2020 in respect of engagements with medium and large organisations.

The draft legislation is available on the Gov.uk website at www.gov.uk/ government/publications/rules-for- off-payroll-working-from-april-2020, together with a tax information and impact note and explanatory notes.

Comments on the draft legislation are sought by 5 September 2019.

The legislation makes changes which cover the existing IR35 rules and the rules as they apply from 6 April 2017 to public sector end clients.

The existing IR 35 rules will continue to apply where services are provided via an intermediary to an end client that is outside the public sector and is small.

The rules are extended to include large and medium sized end clients in the private sector and are amended so that they work for both the private and public sector. Companies Act 2006 definitions are used to determine whether an organisation is small. The changes in the rules apply from 6 April 2020.

If you don’t currently use software, or your software won’t be MTD-compatible, you’ll need an adviser who can file your VAT returns on your behalf.

Please talk to us at ESB Accountancy to discuss how your business can comply with the new laws – with several decades of financial experience here in Gloucestershire you can either ring us now on – email us on edith@esbaccountancy.co.uk or click the Contact Us buttonpayroll bookkeeping services small business help contact esb accountancy gloucestershire cheltenhamor please fill the form at the bottom of the contact us page.

Business Finance Bill clauses published by Govt

Draft business clauses for inclusion in the Finance Bill 2019-20 have been published for consultation to ensure that the legislation works as intended.

The final contents of the Finance Bill 2019–20 will be subject to confirmation at the time of the 2019 Budget.

Each measure is accompanied by:

• a tax information and impact note which sets out what the legislation seeks to achieve, why the Government are undertaking the change and a summary of the expected impacts;

• the draft legislation; and

• an explanatory note which provides a more detailed guide to the legislation.

The consultation will close on 5 September 2019.

The draft Finance Bill clauses are available on the Gov.uk website at www.gov.uk/government/collections/ finance-bill-2019-20.

The Government have also published impacting definitions for the tax information and impact notes and the Financial Secretary to the Treasury’s declaration. The impacting definitions explain what is meant by:

• the Exchequer impact;

• the economic impact;

• the individuals and household impact;

• the equalities impact; and

• the impact on businesses and civil society organisations.

The impacting definitions for the tax information and impact notes are available on the Gov.uk website at www.gov.uk/government/ publications/draft-finance-bill-2019- 20-legislation-impacting-definitions- and-declaration. The Financial Secretary to the Treasury’s declaration is on the same page.

If you don’t currently use software, or your software won’t be MTD-compatible, you’ll need an adviser who can file your VAT returns on your behalf.

Please talk to us at ESB Accountancy to discuss how your business can comply with the new laws – with several decades of financial experience here in Gloucestershire you can either ring us now on – email us on edith@esbaccountancy.co.uk or click the Contact Us buttonpayroll bookkeeping services small business help contact esb accountancy gloucestershire cheltenhamor please fill the form at the bottom of the contact us page.

National Insurance rates for businesses and employees in 2019

ESB Accountancy lists the National Insurance rates for businesses and employees in 2019

ESB Accountancy lists the National Insurance rates for businesses and employees in 2019

National Insurance contributions

For 2019/20 the lower earnings limit for Class 1 National Insurance purposes is increased to £118 per week, the primary and secondary thresholds are increased to £166 per week and the upper earnings limit is increased to £962 per week.

The secondary threshold for under 21s and the apprentice upper secondary threshold, which are aligned with the upper earnings limit, also rise to £962 per week.

The main rate of employee Class 1 National Insurance contributions, payable on earnings between the primary threshold and the upper earnings limit, remains at 12% and the additional primary rate, payable on earnings in excess of the upper earnings limit, remains at 2%.

The employer rate, payable on earnings above the relevant secondary threshold, remains at 13.8%, as does the Class 1A and Class 1B rate.

The employment allowance also remains at £3,000 for 2019/20.

The self-employed will continue to pay Class 2 and Class 4 contributions for 2019/20. Class 2 contributions are payable at a rate of £3 per week for 2019/20 where earnings exceed the small profits threshold, which is set at £6,365 for 2019/20.

Class 4 contributions are payable at the main rate of 9% on profits between the lower profits limit, set at £8,632 for 2019/20, and the upper profits limit, set at £50,000 for 2019/20, and at the rate of 2% on profits in excess of the upper profits limit.

The rate of voluntary Class 3 National Insurance contributions is set at £15 per week for 2019/20.

Please talk to us at ESB Accountancy to discuss how your business can comply with the new laws – with several decades of financial experience here in Gloucestershire you can either ring us now on – email us on edith@esbaccountancy.co.uk or click the Contact Us buttonpayroll bookkeeping services small business help contact esb accountancy gloucestershire cheltenhamor please fill the form at the bottom of the contact us page.

Tax relief for entrepreneurs selling businesses

ESB Accountancy explains the tax relief for entrepreneurs selling businesses

ESB Accountancy explains the tax relief for entrepreneurs selling businesses

New personal company tax test

Entrepreneurs’ relief reduces the amount of capital gains tax payable on the disposal of qualifying business assets. The availability of the relief is contingent on the qualifying conditions being met.

Entrepreneurs’ relief is available for the disposal of shares and securities in a personal company.

The definition of a personal company was changed with effect from 29 October 2018. Prior to that date, a company was an individual’s personal company if the individual held at least 5% of the ordinary share capital of the company and that holding gave the shareholder at least 5% of the voting rights in the company.

From 29 October 2018 two further tests apply – the individual must also be beneficially entitled to at least 5% of the distributable profits and at least 5% of the assets available for distribution to equity holders in the event of a winding up.

The new test must be met if entrepreneurs’ relief is to be available in respect of disposals on or after 29 October 2019.

If you are planning on disposing of shares in your personal company, speak to your adviser to check that your company meets the new definition of a personal company.

Extension of the qualifying tax period

For entrepreneurs’ relief to be available, the qualifying conditions must be met throughout a minimum qualifying period. The minimum period is to increase from one year to two years for disposals on or after 6 April 2019.

Forward planning is essential where a disposal is planned to ensure that the conditions have been satisfied throughout the relevant minimum period.

Speak to your adviser or ESB Accountancy to determine the optimal disposal date to ensure that relief is not lost.

Please talk to us at ESB Accountancy to discuss how your business can comply with the new laws – with several decades of financial experience here in Gloucestershire you can either ring us now on – email us on edith@esbaccountancy.co.uk or click the Contact Us buttonpayroll bookkeeping services small business help contact esb accountancy gloucestershire cheltenhamor please fill the form at the bottom of the contact us page.

Tax changes for business directors in Glos

HMRC has announced dividend tax changes for business directors

HMRC has announced dividend tax changes for business directors in Glos

HMRC has reduced the dividend allowance for company directors of businesses for the 2018/19

For 2018/19 the dividend allowance is set at £2,000 – a reduction from £5,000 for 2017/18. The reduction in the allowance will affect your profit extraction strategy if you have a personal or family company. Where the company has retained (post-tax) profits, these can be extracted in the form of dividends.

All taxpayers regardless of the rate at which they pay tax are entitled to the dividend allowance. This is beneficial in extracting profits from a family company as it provides a route for extracting dividends without triggering a further tax liability in the hands of the recipient. Dividends covered by the allowance are taxed at a zero rate.

The reduction in the dividend allowance has reduced the profits that can be extracted tax-free via this route. For example, in a family company with four shareholders, in 2017/18 it was possible to pay £20,000 out in dividends before any dividend tax was payable; for 2018/19 it is only possible to extract £8,000 tax-free in this way.

Speak to your adviser or ESB Accountancy to discuss what the reduction in the dividend allowance means for you and the impact this has on the optimal profit extraction strategy for your personal or family company.

Please talk to us at ESB Accountancy to discuss how your business can comply with the new laws – with several decades of financial experience here in Gloucestershire you can either ring us now on – email us on edith@esbaccountancy.co.uk or click the Contact Us buttonpayroll bookkeeping services small business help contact esb accountancy gloucestershire cheltenhamor please fill the form at the bottom of the contact us page.

Bookkeeping for Making Tax Digital for Glos Businesses

Businesses in Gloucestershire have bookkeeping for Making Tax Digital decisions to make.

Businesses in Gloucestershire have bookkeeping for Making Tax Digital decisions.

Bookkeeping for businesses – DIY or outsource?

As a business grows, you’ll have less time to spend on the accounts because you’ll be busier dealing with other matters. This may be a good time to get support. You could bring in your own accounts assistant or bookkeeper, or outsource your financial management to your accountant.

The right option will depend on how much accounting you can do, or want to do, and what you can afford to outsource to an accountant.

The important thing is not to get behind with your accounts – as you grow, there are more regulations to adhere to, like VAT registration and reporting like Making Tax Digital.

When starting a new business, accountancy support is often seen as an expense that can be “done without” during the first year of trading.

But this decision can be a false economy, as an accountant should work with you to develop a good understanding of your business. Your accountant will go on the journey with you and guide you as a trusted advisor so that you can operate in a tax-efficient manner, while working within budgets.

Think about whether the accountant or bookkeeper can serve your needs now and into the future.

Maybe you need advice on business strategy – such as mergers and acquisitions and attracting investors – or basic book-keeping services to free up your own time.

Or businesses can buy accounting software

Online cloud technology has helped to make accounting software easy to use wherever you are – and cheap. Some accounting software for small businesses costs less than £30 per month, although fees rise when more workers use it.

Tracking progress through an accounting system keeps the business owner in charge of their income, costs, profits and cash flow.

Fir example a new business could be making profitable sales but without robust cash flow control could soon run out of money and find themselves in a fix.

Using accounting software to manage your business finances can be quicker and more efficient than keeping a record of expenses and invoices on a spreadsheet or paper.

There are apps that use algorithms that allow you to take a picture of a receipt and submit it for processing in the cloud. Data from the receipt, along with a PDF of the receipt, is then entered into the accounting system. This saves significant time on book-keeping tasks, allowing you to spend more time building your business. We know this because we use it too.

If you don’t currently use software, or your software won’t be MTD-compatible, you’ll need an adviser who can file your VAT returns on your behalf.

Please talk to us at ESB Accountancy to discuss how your business can comply with the new laws – with several decades of financial experience here in Gloucestershire you can either ring us now on – email us on edith@esbaccountancy.co.uk or click the Contact Us buttonpayroll bookkeeping services small business help contact esb accountancy gloucestershire cheltenhamor please fill the form at the bottom of the contact us page.

Bookkeeping and Making Tax Digital for Glos Businesses

Bookkeeping and Making Tax Digital help and advice for Glos Businesses in Cheltenham, Cotswolds, Stroud and Tewkesbury by ESB.

Bookkeeping and Making Tax Digital help and advice for Glos Businesses in Cheltenham, Cotswolds, Stroud and Tewkesbury by ESB.

Getting on top of money coming in and out of a business – and complying with regulatory and tax rules – can be challenging. Nick Huber outlines some basic steps that can ease the burden for small business owners.

Starting your own business can be exciting, scary and exhausting. But financial paperwork – your company accounts, tax and payroll – can feel like a chore. It’s easy to neglect, even though doing so could make the difference between your business surviving and thriving, or collapsing due to a cash flow shortage.

Accounting software can help new businesses manage their finances. But according to research published in 2017, around one in six (16 per cent) small and medium-sized businesses in the UK still uses a shoebox for their bookkeeping.

The research by the UK200 Group, an association of UK chartered accountancy and law firms, also found that 23 per cent of small and medium sized businesses still use manual records.

That will soon have to change. The Government plans to make the tax system digital by 2020.

By then all but the smallest businesses must keep digital records and submit digital VAT returns quarterly. The following are all areas to consider if you’re looking to stay on top of your accounts.

First, write a business plan.

This should include an executive summary (a summary of your business and what it’s trying to achieve), an analysis of your competitors and a financial section that includes an income statement (how your business will generate money each year) and a cash flow statement (how much money will be needed to meet your business obligations).

A business plan doesn’t have to be long, complicated or onerous to produce.  Without the formality of this pre launch activity, any new business could be in danger of going off track before it’s even started.”

If you don’t currently use software, or your software won’t be MTD-compatible, you’ll need an adviser who can file your VAT returns on your behalf.

Please talk to us at ESB Accountancy to discuss how your business can comply with the new laws – with several decades of financial experience here in Gloucestershire you can either ring us now on – email us on edith@esbaccountancy.co.uk or click the Contact Us buttonpayroll bookkeeping services small business help contact esb accountancy gloucestershire cheltenhamor please fill the form at the bottom of the contact us page.

Making Tax Digital for VAT Glos businesses guide

ESB Accountancy guide for Making Tax Digital (MTD) for VAT Glos businesses.

ESB Accountancy guide for Making Tax Digital (MTD) for VAT Glos businesses.

The start date for Making Tax Digital (MTD) for VAT is fast approaching. If you are a VAT-registered business with turnover in excess of the VAT registration threshold of £85,000, you will need to comply with the requirements of MTD for VAT from the start of your first VAT accounting period beginning on or after 1 April 2019.

If you are VAT registered but your VATable turnover is below £85,000, you can choose whether to join in, but if you do there is no going back and once in MTD for VAT you will need to stay within MTD for VAT as long as you remain VAT registered.

Under MTD for VAT you must keep certain VAT records digitally and send your VAT returns to HMRC using software that is MTD-compatible.

You will no longer be able to use HMRC’s VAT Online service to file your VAT return.

You will need to keep your business records digitally from the start of your accounting period. If you already use software to keep your business records, check your software provider’s plans to introduce MTD-compatible software.

If you don’t currently use software, or your software won’t be MTD-compatible, you’ll need an adviser who can file your VAT returns on your behalf.

Please talk to us at ESB Accountancy to discuss how your business can comply with the new laws – with several decades of financial experience here in Gloucestershire you can either ring us now on  – email us on edith@esbaccountancy.co.uk or click the Contact Us buttonpayroll bookkeeping services small business help contact esb accountancy gloucestershire cheltenhamor please fill the form at the bottom of the contact us page.

Drive to increase number of business women

There is a drive to increase the number of business women as half as likely as men to start a business

Drive to increase number of business women
“Unfair obstacles” may be stopping women from starting and growing their own companies the government has said.

The govt said women were half as likely as men to start their own business, and only a fifth of smaller firms were led by females. It said this was creating a “significant pool” of untapped potential.

Accordingly, it has asked Alison Rose, head of RBS commercial and private banking, to lead a government review into the issue.

“Unfortunately, statistics show that women make up only a third of all entrepreneurs in the UK,” Ms Rose said. “To better drive the UK’s economy, we need to understand, and tackle, the barriers and reasons as to why this is.”

More than 1,000 businesses are started every day in Britain and small and medium size (SME) businesses support more than 16 million jobs.

However, last year only 19% of SME employers were majority led by women – defined as controlled by a single woman or having a management team of which a majority were women.

Meanwhile, women only make up 27% of full-time chief executives and senior officials.

According to a survey of company founders by Unilever Foundry, a number of barriers are stopping women becoming entrepreneurs.

Women it spoke to who had started companies said there were too few female role models in business.

The research also found men and women were still not being encouraged to enter roles that stereotypically are not associated with their gender.

Finally, it found women who started companies often encountered discrimination – such as investors being less willing to invest in their firms on gender grounds.

Robert Jenrick, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, said: “The fact that Britain is home to so many new, innovative businesses is something to be proud of. But the fact that so few of them are started by women is shocking. This is not because of a lack of talent or appetite.”

The Treasury said its review would consider ways to boost female engagement in entrepreneurship. It will respond to the review after it is published next spring.

Please talk to us at ESB Accountancy to discuss making the most of your business idea – with several decades of financial experience here in Gloucestershire you can either ring Edith now on  – or email me on edith@esbaccountancy.co.uk or click the Contact Us buttonpayroll bookkeeping services small business help contact esb accountancy gloucestershire cheltenhamor please fill the form at the bottom of the contact us page.

UK unemployment at record low levels

UK unemployment fell by 65,000 to 1.36 million in three months to June – the lowest for more than 40 years, official figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show.

UK unemployment fell by 65,000 to 1.36 million in three months to June - the lowest for more than 40 years, official figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show.

They also show a rise in productivity, but a slowdown in wage growth. Wages, excluding bonuses, grew by 2.7% in the three months to June, compared with a year ago.

The CBI said the size of the UK workforce was shrinking at the same time as vacancies for skills and labour were growing.

The unemployment rate fell to 4% in the quarter to June. That was the lowest since February 1975 and better than the figure expected by economists.

The drop came despite a smaller than expected 42,000 increase in the number of jobs created over the three month period.

On productivity, the ONS also said output per hour worked was up by 1.5% – the biggest rise since late 2016.

The official figures also showed 104,000 people who were employed on “zero hours” contracts, which do not guarantee a set number of hours per week, left such work. That left 780,000 people with those conditions as their main job.

It also said the number of people aged 16 to 64 who were not working, looking for work or available to work – what is known as “economically inactive” – increased by 77,000 from the first quarter of the year.

Here’s something economists have thought for decades that they know for sure: that if unemployment keeps getting lower, wages will improve. For years, the economy’s been rudely ignoring the economists’ theory, with wages sagging even as the unemployment rate hits fresh lows.

But recently, reality’s looked just a little more willing to conform to economic predictions. Pay rises (excluding bonuses) averaged 2.7% in the year to the end of June – higher than the official inflation number of 2.4% (but lower than the 3.4% rise in the old-style Retail Prices Index used to calculate rises in rail fares).

Judging by the unemployment rate dropping to 4.0% – its lowest since February 1975 – that coincided with an apparently super-tight labour market, meaning lots of jobs available for fewer people to fill them.

And there’s a key factor making the labour market tighter: a net outflow of EU nationals working in the UK. In the second quarter of the year, the number of EU nationals was 2.28 million on the Office for National Statistics’ estimates – down by 86,000. That’s the biggest fall in 21 years.

Earlier this month, the Bank of England raised interest rates for only the second time in 10 years, as it sought to manage inflation amid signs of a strengthening UK economy.

Please talk to us at ESB Accountancy to discuss making the most of your business tax rates – with several decades of financial experience here in Gloucestershire you can either ring us now on  – email us on edith@esbaccountancy.co.uk or click the Contact Us buttonpayroll bookkeeping services small business help contact esb accountancy gloucestershire cheltenhamor please fill the form at the bottom of the contact us page.

A million couples miss out on tax break

More than a million married and civil partnered couples are still eligible for a tax break but have yet to claim it, HMRC has said.

More than a million married and civil partnered couples are still eligible for a tax break but have yet to claim it, HMRC has said.

The Marriage Allowance is worth up to £238 a year, and backdated payments of up to £662 could also be available.

There was criticism that the allowance, aimed at couples with one major source of income, was not easy to claim.

However, the government said that the new online application took fewer than 10 minutes to complete.

So far, about three million couples have successfully applied for the allowance.

HMRC has organised several advertising campaigns to persuade people to apply for Marriage Allowance, but has been frustrated by the lack of take-up.

How Marriage Allowance works:

  • Partners must either be married, or in a civil partnership
  • One partner needs to be earning at least £11,850 a year, and paying tax at the basic rate of 20%. If he or she is earning over £46,350 (£43,430 in Scotland) they are not eligible
  • The other partner must be earning less than £11,850 in 2018-19, meaning they pay no tax
  • If the above conditions are satisfied, the partner not paying tax can transfer 10% of his or her tax allowance to a partner, so saving £238 in this tax year
  • Back-claims can be made for previous years.

Please talk to us at ESB Accountancy to discuss making the most of your family business tax rates – with several decades of financial experience here in Gloucestershire you can either ring us now on  – email us on edith@esbaccountancy.co.uk or click the Contact Us buttonpayroll bookkeeping services small business help contact esb accountancy gloucestershire cheltenhamor please fill the form at the bottom of the contact us page.