Blog & News

Latest News from Your Finance Team

We spend a lot of time offering our clients practical advice on how they can grow their businesses – please see some of our articles below and feel free to share.

How to Practice Mindfulness in the Workplace

Through the COVID crisis, Your Finance Team have concentrated on supporting clients with advice on their company finances and making sure they understand the government support available. However, more than ever, we have seen how COVID has created real anxiety amongst business owners due to uncertainty and the rapidly changing economic environment. All of this takes its toll, and we are very aware of the human impact of the virus. To help you, we have provided some tips for wellbeing in the workplace. Did you know there are 70 million sick days a year in the UK due to mental health issues? Mindfulness in the workplace is a hot topic.  It’s about more than just being ‘nice’ or speaking politely to people.  It is about embracing an approach to working with others that benefit them and you.  COVID-19 has had more businesses than even looking into how they can protect their staff members mental health and their own! But how do you practice mindfulness in the workplace? What is mindfulness? Being mindful is something that can be used in all parts of life, not just at work.  It is about being present and in control of your actions and behaviours.  Scientists say we spend as much as 47% of our time with our mind’s wandering or not focused on what we are doing.  Take driving to and from work – can you remember every moment of it? While that’s okay for some routine tasks we don’t need to think about, the lack of mindfulness can be a sign of being unhappy and also impact productivity.  We often let our... read more

Your Finance Team Achieves Xero Gold Partner

But what does this really mean and is it important? Xero is an incredibly fast growing cloud-based accounting software that Your Finance Team (YFT) have been using for the past 5 years and consistently grown their expertise and client base alongside its own growth and popularity. Xero allows companies to keep control of their finances in the most efficient way possible giving access to live data anytime, anywhere. We are really pleased to have been awarded Gold Partner Status by Xero due to our extensive knowledge of the system and the number of Xero clients that we now support. YFT can get any business setup on Xero swiftly and efficiently, simplifying and adding value to your business. Our gold status also means that we have loads of experience of installing the brilliant range of Xero add-on software apps.  These apps are all aimed at making our clients lives easier: Our favourite apps include: Receipt Bank – a receipt scanning app Chaser – a credit control and invoice chasing tool Pleo – to process and manage expenses GoCardless – enables business to take direct debits simply and easily. Syft – produces some great management accounts so our clients can see and track their performance in real time. The staff at YFT are all Xero qualified and as Xero Gold Partners we can: Get you setup on Xero and provide training for your team Assist in the migration of data from your existing accounting software – Quickbooks, Sage or an excel spreadsheet. Show you how to use the functions in Xero to understand how your business is performing Advise on the... read more

Can You Buy an Electric Car Through Your Company?

Should You Buy an Electric Car Through Your Company? A company car is one which is purchased and owned by a company but made available for private use by an employee. Successive governments have increased the personal tax costs of company cars which has meant that having a company car is often seen as expensive and not particularly attractive to the employee. Personal tax on a company car is calculated based on the Co2 emissions and the list price of the car: essentially, the higher the price and the more Co2 emissions, the more you pay in tax. A more attractive alternative is now a possibility, and if electric cars appeal to you then you could make decent tax savings by purchasing an all-electric car through your company. What’s Changed? A zero-emissions vehicle used to attract a benefit in kind rate of 16% which meant that, for example, a £35,000 car would have a taxable value of £5,600. A basic rate taxpayer would be liable for tax at 20% on this value. From April 2020, the government dropped the benefit in kind rate to zero for all electric cars. This means no personal tax charge for the car! The 0% will remain for tax year ending April 2021 and then increase from April 2021 to 1% then to 2% from April 2022. This means a basic rate taxpayer with a £35,000 car would pay tax of £70 for 2021/22 and £140 for 2022/23. Despite these increases, it is still a significantly lower tax rate than any other types of company car. Buy or Lease? There are also decent corporation... read more

How to be Brilliant at Video Presenting

Here at Your Finance Team we have been making a lot of video calls over the last few months.  It got us thinking about how to be the best you can in the current ‘new normal’ and that even though this Corona-crisis will end it will have changed the way we work, forever. We found this Blog from one of our clients The Speakers Coach with some great tips. Find out more... read more

Making Tax Digital – are you ready?

  Making Tax Digital or MTD is one of the furthest reaching HMRC initiatives of the past 20 years, which makes it all the more surprising that a recent British Chamber of Commerce survey discovered that nearly a quarter of British businesses surveyed had no knowledge of the impending arrival of MTD whilst a further 66% had only heard the phrase with no idea of its implications for their organisation. What is Making Tax Digital? An initiative designed to make the entire UK tax system more efficient (and HMRC claim, easier for taxpayer). In the first phase, all VAT registered businesses above the £85,000 threshold will be required to keep digital records and to submit their VAT returns using compatible software. In the second phase, income tax and corporation tax will also be make digital. HMRC says that the new digital system will: Create more accurate tax records and reduce the scope for errors, miscalculations and deliberate fraud Allow automation for businesses, accountants and HMRC, saving time at every stage in the taxation system Reduce the burden of taxation on small businesses by given them the opportunity to record and file tax returns online   Making Tax Digital timeline April 2019 – first phase, the new MTD regime for VAT reporting, will be implemented April 2020 – second phase of MTD relating to income tax for self employed person and those receiving an income from property is expected to roll out, along with an MTD plan for corporation tax. Take action today to make MTD a pleasure not a pain Key points to understand are: maintaining digital records must... read more

Late Filing Penalties – A Move to Points System Proposed

A move from fines to points system A move to a points system rather than fines from 2019 is being proposed. This is in an attempt to focus Treasury attention on serious tax avoidance offences. Rather than on punishing small taxpayers who’ve made mistakes. The present system has been to impose a £100 fine on all self-assessment tax payers when they miss the 31 January deadline. This sum increases as further deadlines are passed without payment. The second deadline is the end of April. In the 2016/17 tax year 840,000 individuals failed to meet the deadline, many of whom appealed against the fine for reasons including illness and hardship. From 2019 The proposed new points system, which would come into effect in 2019, would have a sliding scale based on the number of times an individual or business needs to report to HMRC. For example, individuals paying annually via the self-assessment system would incur a fine after just two points. While those paying quarterly can accrue four points. A benefit of this system is that sustained compliance with the tax regime after a failure will return the points accumulated back to nil. So if you miss filing, but then comply with deadlines for the next annual filing period, your ‘earned’ points will be wiped off your record. For further information please contact us  at Your Finance... read more

Important Tax Deadlines for 2017/18

Important Tax Deadlines We have listed below the key tax deadlines for individuals, self-employed and businesses: The tax year runs from the 6th April – 5th April. Date Information Required 31 July 2018 The second payment on account must be paid to HMRC for tax year 2017/18 05 October 2018 The deadline to let HMRC know that you need to do a self-assessment tax return for tax year 2017/18 31st October 2018 The deadline for submitting paper copies of your tax return for 2017/18 to HMRC and also the deadline for submission if you want HMRC to calculate how much tax you owe 30 December 2018 The deadline for submitting a tax return if you want HMRC to adjust your 2018/19 PAYE code to recover any underpaid tax. The maximum you can repay via your PAYE code is £3000 31 January 2019 Deadline for on line self-assessment submissions. The balance of any outstanding tax and national insurance for 2017/18 must be paid to HMRC. The first on account payment for tax year 2018/19 must be made 5 April 2019 Last Day of Tax Year Limited Companies Taxable profits of up to £1.5 million You must pay your Corporation Tax 9 months and 1 day after the end of your accounting period. Your accounting period is usually your financial year, but you may have 2 accounting periods in the year you set up your company. Taxable profits of over £1.5 million If your taxable profits of more than £1.5 million, you must pay your Corporation Tax in installments. If you need help managing any of your tax deadlines please get in... read more

HMRC Cease to Accept Credit Cards

HMRC cease to accept payments via credit cards In a surprisingly timed announcement, HMRC said that they would cease to accept credit card payments for tax bills from 13 January 2018. Those who previously paid their self assessment by this means will now have to select an alternative means of payment. It’s a painful change which will most impact those who were hoping to reduce the suffering of their tax bill by paying by plastic. Self Assessment tax payments In 2016, more than 800,000 of us paid our self assessment bill by credit card. Allowing us to benefit from the period of extra grace this gave us to dig up the cash and for some, being able to spread the cost over several months by only paying off the minimum charge. Only personal credit cards are covered by the ban. Debit card payments are still possible, although they confer none of the benefits of credit cards. Those with corporate and business credit cards can also still pay. Why the change? It’s not entirely unexpected. New legislation around credit card surcharges which came into effect in the summer has caused the knock-on effect that’s led to this ban. Organisations can no longer charge a fee to those paying with credit cards, but they must still pay the processing fees for credit card payments. HMRC would have been in a difficult position of charging back the processing fees to the public purse. Alternative payment methods are: debit cards, direct debits, online (BACs) or telephone banking services provided by banks. It’s a double blow to the self-employed who used to pay via Transcash –... read more

Entrepreneur’s Relief – One of the Best Kept Secrets

Entrepreneur’s Relief Since April 2008, Entrepreneur’s Relief (ER) has been one of the best kept secrets of British business life. Perhaps the way that successive governments have handled Entrepreneur’s Relief explains why this excellent scheme is not as well recognised, or as used, as it should be by the business community. The Benefits of Entrepreneur’s Relief Qualifying businesses can save between 8% and 18% Capital Gains tax. Each individual’s qualifying amounts are subject to a lifetime limit which is related to business period. Businesses disposed of between: April 2008 to 5 April 2010 up to £1 million 6 April 2010 to 22 June 2010 up to 2 million 23 June 2010 to 5 April 2011 up to £5 million or after 6 April 2011 up to £10 million. Spouses or civil partners working in the same business are classed as separate individuals. Therefore claim individually. Because each person is entitled the full amount of Entrepreneurs’ Relief, this makes the benefit doubly attractive. Especially to family firms. It’s clearly an attractive benefit, so how do you ensure you qualify? Qualifying for Entrepreneur’s Relief Qualifying conditions for this benefit must be maintained throughout a 12 month qualifying period. This can be before the date of disposal or before the date the business ceased trading. Both individuals and some qualifying trustees of settlements can claim the relief. But, it’s not available to personal representatives of the deceased nor in relation to trusts where the entire trust is a discretionary settlement. The relief must be claimed, in writing, by the first anniversary of the 3rd January following the end of the tax year... read more

How to protect your business from currency fluctuations

Currency fluctuations The Brexit vote has left UK firms more exposed to currency fluctuations in an increasingly volatile and globalised market. Sterling’s devaluation against both the dollar and the Euro have improved competitiveness between firms inside the UK who are net exporters of products. This, however, causes major difficulties for businesses that are using sterling to buy imported products. They are exposed to currency movement and in some cases have seen 10-20% price increases on imports which have had a substantial effects on margins. Fluctuating exchange rates also make budgeting difficult creating uncertainty in cash and profit forecasting. Ways to manage currency fluctuations: Partner Agility Working with suppliers who operate within several regions offering different currencies, allows a business to request products that are sourced from financially advantageous locations. Changing location, however, can have its own inherent risks, including: variation in quality lack of transparency to the end consumer potential negative impacts in corporate social responsibility terms if a firm is seen to ‘go where the cheapest goods/services’ can be found. Another option is to pass the currency risk to customers or suppliers by demanding payments in domestic currency. Although this approach will be tempered by the level of buying and selling power you have in the market. Establishing a bank account in the foreign currency you trade in This is a simple and common strategy for SMEs particularly those that buy and sell in the same currency. The approach ensures you don’t need to change your revenue to sterling, which is usually the point in the process where most losses are incurred. Whilst this can be relatively easy... read more

We are a member firm of the Institute of Chartered Management Accountants and a certified Xero advisor

cima-accountant-kent xero-accountant-kent

We are a member firm of the Institute of Chartered Management Accountants and a certified Xero advisor

cima-accountant-kent XERO Silver Partner FSB Member