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End of personal tax year planning

March 28th, 2019 Posted by Archive 0 thoughts on “End of personal tax year planning”

With just seven days to go to the end of the end tax year, have you considered doing any of the following:


  • Make any last minute pension contributions*
  • Make any charitable donations (and keep records of the same)
  • Utilise any unused ISA allowances:
    • ISA up to £20,000 p.a
    • Junior ISA up to £4,260 p.a
  • “Help to Buy” ISA is still available until 30 November 2019
  • Cleardown any overdrawn directors’ loan accounts
  • Check your newly issued tax code


*Maximum pension contributions are £40,000 per annum (or up to 100% of relevant earnings).  You may have more than £40,000 allowance if you have unused allowance from the last three years and have been a member of a registered pension scheme during that time.  If you have low or no earnings, you can invest up to £3,600 into a registered pension scheme.



Remember to turn on the MTD function!

March 22nd, 2019 Posted by Archive 0 thoughts on “Remember to turn on the MTD function!”

Making Tax Digital (MTD) for VAT takes effect for VAT registered business with periods starting from 01 April 2019.  From this date, most businesses who are VAT registered and have taxable supplies above the £85,000 threshold (in any 12 month period) will have to submit VAT returns via MTD compliant means.

Many businesses who prepare their own VAT returns are choosing to do this using QuickBooks or Xero.  Just a quick note though… remember to turn on the MTD feature on your package!  Failure to do so will prevent your returns being properly submitted to HMRC.  Turn on should only be done when you are ready to submit your first MTD-compliant return – for most businesses this will be the quarter ending June, July or August 2019.

In Quickbooks this feature can be enabled by editing the VAT settings within the “taxes” section.

And in Xero MTD is enabled through the VAT return section, and clicking “new report available” in the top right hand corner, then selecting “try new report”.


Importing/exporting goods to/from EU from 29 March 2019

March 18th, 2019 Posted by Archive 0 thoughts on “Importing/exporting goods to/from EU from 29 March 2019”

If you are an UK-based business who imports/exports goods with the EU from 11pm on Friday 29 March 2019 your business will need to be issued an Economic Operator Registrations Identification number (EORI).

You should have received this letter from HMRC, detailing the steps you now need to take. It can take three days to process an application, therefore we suggest you apply now, if you have not already done so.

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, or at the end of any transitional period, UK business will need to follow the same procedures that apply for trading with the rest of the world.

If you already have a customs agent or software for trading outside the EU, you’ll be able to use these to make declarations on your EU-UK trade.

If your only trade outside the UK is with the EU, you will need to apply for the Transitional Simplified Procedures (TSP) – an agent cannot do this for you.  TSPs are expected to last up to 18 months, and they allow businesses to defer making a full customs declaration and paying any duty due on import.

To register for TSP you must:

  • Have an EORI number
  • Be established in the UK
  • Be importing goods from the EU into the UK (including goods travelling through the EU from the rest of the world, providing they’ve cleared EU customs formalities)


Please note that the EORI number is only relevant for businesses who import and/or export goods as trade.  Businesses who only sell services outside of the UK are not required to obtain an EORI number.

As always, any queries, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

Minimum Auto Enrolment Pension Contribution Increases

March 12th, 2019 Posted by Archive 0 thoughts on “Minimum Auto Enrolment Pension Contribution Increases”



With effect from 6 April 2019, the minimum automatic enrolment contributions are:

                              Employer minimum contribution 3%

                              Employee minimum contribution 5%*

*Employee contributions are effectively 4% after 20% tax relief.

As an employer, if you do not comply The Pensions Regulator will issue statutory notices, followed by penalty notices.  Deliberately failing to enrol eligible employees and knowingly including false information on your declarations are criminal offences.   For more detailed information on auto enrolment responsibilities and penalties go to The Pension Regulator.

As always, please contact us if you require more information.

Tax Free Benefits for Employees and Directors

February 11th, 2019 Posted by Archive 0 thoughts on “Tax Free Benefits for Employees and Directors”
  • Interest free or low interest loans to the value of no more than £10,000 in the tax year
  • Relocation payments and expenses to the value of £8,000
  • Vouchers and gifts to the value of £50 (capped at £300 per annum for a director)
  • Staff entertaining, ie Christmas or summary party – up to £150 inc VAT a head
  • Up to £500 of independent pension advice
  • Employer’s contributions to an employee’s pension scheme
  • One health screening check-up and one health medical assessment
  • £4 a week for employees who regularly work from home
  • Long service awards for 20 years’ service of up £50 a year
  • Award schemes (ie staff suggestion scheme) generally exempt to a maximum of £5000
  • Provision of one mobile phone
  • Work related training
  • Onsite sports facilities/gym
  • Onsite parking facilities
  • Season ticket for a nearby public car park
  • Cycling safety equipment and storage (as long as the employee cycles to work)
  • Onsite childcare/nursery

The above list is not exhaustive, however these are the most common occurring items.  Often with the tax free benefits there are caveats attached to enable the benefit to be tax-free.  If you are unsure as to whether something is a taxable benefit or not, please get in touch and we can help guide you.


Trainee Accountant

May 11th, 2018 Posted by Archive 0 thoughts on “Trainee Accountant”

We’re looking for an enthusiastic person to join our fantastic team as an apprentice Trainee Accountant.  We use cutting edge technology and are client focused.  The role is for a three and a half year fixed term contract which includes working towards the AAT qualification.

The contract commences September 2018 at our Stocksfield office.  The successful candidate must be focused, determined and a good team player.

Please email [email protected] for further details and how to apply.

Changes to the taxation of Buy To Lets

February 12th, 2018 Posted by Archive 0 thoughts on “Changes to the taxation of Buy To Lets”

With effect from April 2017 the new Restricted Mortgage Interest Relief came into effect on BTLs.


Paying your income tax bill

January 2nd, 2018 Posted by Archive 0 thoughts on “Paying your income tax bill”

The Self Assessment Tax Return filing and payment deadline is just around the corner (31 January 2018 for the tax year ended 05 April 2017).


Wills and tax planning for business owners

September 19th, 2017 Posted by Archive 0 thoughts on “Wills and tax planning for business owners”

When running a business, it’s important to ensure that all business owners have an up to date Will and Power of Attorney in place.


Changes to reporting income for SMEs and Individuals

July 7th, 2017 Posted by Archive 0 thoughts on “Changes to reporting income for SMEs and Individuals”

I would urge you to spend just a few minutes reading this … I’ll do my best to keep this as short as possible, sticking to the key points …

Making Tax Digital (MTD) is a HMRC initiative which is due to come into effect from April 2018.  Essentially, all businesses (sole traders; partnerships; limited companies) and individuals who are required to submit Self Assessment Tax Returns with income over £10,000 per annum, will be required to submit details of their income and expenditure to HMRC on a quarterly basis, digitally, in a pre-prescribed format.

Businesses and individuals will inform HMRC of their income and expenditure for a three month period, and HMRC will calculate the tax payable.  This calculation will not take account of accounting and tax adjustments, this will be just a simple calculation of income less expenditure, which will need to be submitted within 30 days of each quarter.   Larger businesses and those who are VAT registered should not find this too onerous task, as these businesses will already be in the habit of collating information for tight deadlines.  However, smaller businesses and those who are, shall we say, a little less organised, need to get organised for Making Tax Digital coming into force.

I have heard some businesses saying “Oh, it doesn’t matter my accountant will take care of it” …. Yes, we shall where clients want us to deal with the additional filing, however …. or maybe “but” would be a more appropriate word, there are a couple of issues:

Firstly, as springs to most smaller business owner’s minds, what will the costs be for this extra work carried out by my accountant?   There will be additional fees where we are instructed to deal with the additional quarterly filing.  However, at the moment until we can see exactly what the requirements will be we are unable to confirm costs.  We generally anticipate though that the smaller the business, the lower the fees.

Secondly, and this is probably the factor of more concern, is the impact on cashflow once quarterly tax payments come into effect.   At some point, a date yet to be confirmed, tax payers will be expected to pay the tax payable each quarter (in real time).  Clearly, spreading the payment of tax throughout the year is a great idea – not having a large tax bill nine/ten months after a year end is a far improved process.    However, the information which will be submitted to HMRC will not take account of tax adjustments and therefore it is far more likely that tax will be overpaid throughout the year, and then refunded once the final year end accounts and tax returns are submitted.

There is also the effect on cashflow on the transitional year where we move from paying tax once or twice a year (depending on the business structure) to paying on a quarterly basis.  There will be a year where many are paying tax for the previous year (as we do currently) and also need to pay any tax due every three months, with that same year.

Quarterly reporting is due to take effect from April 2018 for businesses (sole traders and partnerships) and individuals who have income over the VAT threshold (£85,000).  Limited companies and those that are VAT registered will move over later.  Those with a turnover under £10,000 are exempt.  It may well be that in light of Brexit and other challenges that the Government has, that MTD going live is pushed back until 2019.   However, it has been made clear that this will go ahead at some stage.  The UK are basing their model on that of Sweden, which went live four years.  Much of Europe and the US already file quarterly tax returns.  The dates are yet to be confirmed as to when quarterly payments will take effect.

I hope that I don’t sound too negative about these changes … I am all for it … At Clarand we work digitally with our clients and we anticipate the transition should be smooth, however there will be some challenges ahead for some businesses and individuals in the transitional years.  I think the saying goes …. “By failing to prepare … you are preparing to fail”.  Clarand Accountants have already held a seminar about MTD for their clients, and will be holding more later in the year.


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