Friday, 29 April 2016

New Accounting Rules for Businesses-SMEs 2016!

Tax Implications Of New Accounting Rules

The calculation of profits for tax purposes is based on the profits of the business computed in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. The introduction of a new accounting standard (FRS 102) means that some of the figures in your accounts may need to be restated and these changes may have tax implications.

We will discuss these changes with you and seek to minimise the tax impact where possible.

Interest Free Loans and The New Accounting Rules

The treatment of interest-free loans is complicated under The New Accounting Rules - FRS 102.

One of the areas where there may be a change in your company’s accounts is where you have received or made a loan that is interest free or at less than market rates. Unless the loan is repayable on demand the new accounting rules require the loan to be recorded in the accounts on an amortised cost basis.  For example, this means that a £20,000 interest free loan repayable in two years time would be valued at £18,141 if the market rate of interest is 5%.

This method recognises that £20,000 today is worth more than £20,000 in two years time. If your company is borrowing the £20,000 then there would be finance expenses of £907 in year 1 and £952 in year 2 reflecting the initial £1,859 discount. These finance expenses would be deductible for corporation tax provided the lender is also charged to UK corporation tax on the interest. But if the interest free loan was from an individual such as a director there would be no tax deduction, a point clarified in the latest Finance Bill.

Is Paying Interest On Directors Loans Better Than Dividends Now?

The new 32.5% rate on dividends received by higher rate taxpayers means paying interest on directors’ loan account credit balances is now more tax efficient than paying dividends, once the new £5,000 dividend allowance has been used. This will also avoid the accounting issue mentioned above if a market rate of interest is paid. Unlike bank interest the company is still required to deduct 20% basic rate income tax and pay this over to HMRC quarterly with form CT61. Remember that higher rate taxpayers can receive £500 interest income tax free from 6 April 2016.

Inheritance Tax Planning using the New Lifetime ISA

Budget 2016 announced a new “Lifetime ISA” that will be available to those aged between 18 and 40 from 6 April 2017. The Government will add 25% to the amount saved subject to a maximum of £4,000 a year (plus £1,000 from the Government). It seems there will be no requirement that the savings come from the person named on the account so parents, grandparents, or other relatives could make payments into the account.

Where you have excess income and have concerns about inheritance tax (IHT), what about taking advantage of the exemption for normal expenditure out of income by committing to regular payments into the account. £4,000 a year would save you £1,600 IHT, so £2,400 net turns into £5,000 gross, per recipient!

Contact us to know more on how these will affect your business:
☎ 020 89310165 ☏ 07900537459 

Employment Allowance: April 2016

Employment Allowance Is Now £3,000 But Not Single Director Companies.

You could get up to £3,000 a year off your National Insurance bill if you’re an employer.

The allowance will reduce your employers’ (secondary) Class 1 National Insurance each time you run your payroll until the £3,000 has gone or the tax year ends (whichever is sooner).

You can only claim against Class 1 National Insurance you’ve paid, up to a maximum of £3,000 each tax year. You can still claim the allowance if you pay less than £3,000 a year.

For the last two years there has been a £2,000 allowance available to employers to set against their employers National Insurance liability for the year. This increased to £3,000 from 6 April 2016 and no action is required if you claimed the allowance for 2015/16. However, from 6 April 2016, limited companies where the director is the only employee paid earnings above the Secondary Threshold for Class 1 National Insurance Contributions (£156 a week) will no longer be entitled to claim the Allowance.

HMRC guidance states that if more than one employee or director earns above the Secondary Threshold, the company will continue to be eligible for Employment Allowance for the whole tax year. This other employee could be the director’s spouse or partner. The HMRC guidance is not consistent with the legislation however and we hope to clarify the matter so that you don’t miss out.

More information at!

Contact us via:
☎ 020 89310165 ☏ 07900537459 

Friday, 22 April 2016



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.

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Twitter Website Cards - Basics!

They say that “a picture paints a thousand words,” and Twitter’s recently unveiled “website cards” might just show that statement to be true.

Available on both desktop and mobile, Twitter cards allow marketers to add media to tweets – meaning businesses now have additional space to add content to. Users can attach photos, videos and media to Tweets that drive traffic to their website. Users simply have to add a few lines of HTML to their webpage, and those who Tweet links to that content will have a “Card” added to the Tweet that’s visible to all of their followers.

The website card allows users to easily discover interesting content while giving advertisers the ability to drive a higher volume of clicks since users are able to preview an image, related content, etc.

Website cards can be used to drive traffic to your website’s homepage, a product page or a specific landing page, perhaps giving your audience a little preview, or further information about what they will find when they click through.

Business users of website cards can use a range of targeting options based on signals including keywords or tailored market segments. The website cards can also be used in conjunction with conversion tracking to measure the end-to-end conversion from a Tweet engagement / Twitter campaign through to a user making a purchase or signing up to say, a newsletter.

The main reason these cards are useful is that they can be used to create a “call to action”. If you get your content and marketing message right, you should be able to improve your click-through rates to your website.

You will need an advertiser account on Twitter to start creating website cards. Twitter has now made its advertiser platform available for businesses in the UK, USA, Canada, Ireland, South Africa and a few other countries.  The website cards are pretty easy to create but it is worth noting that:

•               Maximum image size is 1 MB
•               Minimum required image height is 96 pixels
•               Minimum required image width is 240 pixels

•               Minimum of 5:2 aspect ratio required (An image of 640 pixels x 256 pixels). 

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Tips While Planning Your Business's Exit Strategy!

Building a good business is one thing. Knowing when it is time to sell it is an entirely different matter. For many entrepreneurs it's not enough to build a business, they have to make sure to have an exit strategy, a way to get the money back out.

Depending on who you are and what kind of business you have, an exit strategy may mean something completely different to you compared to somebody else. Is it a retirement plan or are you ready to move on to your next venture?

Without a proper exit strategy, you risk losing some of the value that you have created. You could miss the perfect opportunity to sell your business as a result of being unprepared.

Here are a few things to consider when creating your exit strategy:


Consider the various options that will be available to you.

You can

  1. Sell the business outright and move on. 
  2. List the business on the stock exchange through an Initial Public Offering (IPO). This would allow ownership of the business to transfer to shareholders but you probably wouldn’t be able to walk away immediately. 
  3. Perhaps you want to pass your business on to the next generation. In order to do this you may need to set up a family trust so that you can structure the transfer of ownership to your children in an appropriate manner.
  4. Wind the business down, extracting cash over a period of time and eventually just close the doors.


Only you will really know when it is time to exit your business. You may feel you have had enough, are too old or perhaps or are ready for your next challenge. You may see the potential to expand into other markets and need to find a way to fund that opportunity. Regardless of when you are ready to sell, make sure that the timing of the sale is right for the market. You should also build enough time into your plan to allow for professional advisors to complete due diligence, etc.

The Right Team

Consider the team of advisors that you will need to successfully complete the transaction. The business will need to be valued, you will need tax and legal advice. There will be lots of administration required and you may also need to consider financial planning to create appropriate structures to manage your wealth as a result of the sale.


Regardless of the type of exit strategy you choose to develop, there will be an element of cost to consider. Whether professional advisor fees, tax bills or transaction fees, make sure that you have enough cash provisions to cover the exit costs.

We'll help you exit the business in the best possible way!
Contact us via:
☎ 020 89310165 ☏ 07900537459 

Friday, 1 April 2016

Last minute Tax Saving and Planning!

It is always best to plan your tax starting early in the year.  Though, it's never too late than never. Here are some last minute tax savings tips. 

Don’t Lose Your Personal Allowance

For £2 that your adjusted net income exceeds £100,000, the £10,600 personal allowance is reduced by £1. Pension contributions and Gift Aid can help to reduce adjusted net income and save tax at an effective rate of 60%.

Year End Pension Planning

Take advantage of the pension carry forward rules in order to benefit from any unused allowances from the previous three tax years.  This is generally the difference between the old £50,000 annual pension allowance and your pension input that year and can be added to your relief for 2015/16.

Note that the annual pension allowance is £40,000 for 2015/16 and 2016/17, although those individuals with income over £150,000 will have their annual pension allowance reduced by £1 for every £2 over £150,000.

To avoid losing pension relief brought forward from 2012/13 which lapses 5 April 2016, consider making an additional pension payment before 5 April 2016.  If your pension input was £24,000 in 2012/13 then there is £26,000 unused relief available to add to your 2015/16 allowance. You would need to make gross pension contributions of at least £66,000 (£40,000 plus £26,000) to avoid losing this generous relief.

Will Pension Tax Relief Change Again On Budget Day?

There has been a lot of speculation that the Chancellor may announce further major changes to tax relief on pension contributions in his March Budget, based on consultations with the pensions industry.

Under the current rules an individual’s contributions can save them tax at their highest marginal rate and also help them avoid losing their personal allowance (see above). So a £8,000 pension contribution by a higher rate taxpayer results in £2,000 (20%) being added to their fund by HMRC = £10,000 gross. The £10,000 gross contribution would then save a further £2,000 in tax, so the net cost would be just £6,000 if they are a higher rate tax payer.

It is understood that the Government is considering introducing a flat rate of pension tax relief of between 25% and 33%, which would be good news for basic rate taxpayers, but higher rate taxpayers would lose out. If say a 30% rate of relief was to be introduced, a £7,000 contribution would be topped up to £10,000 with no further relief. It has also been suggested that it may not be possible in future to agree with your employer to sacrifice part of your salary in exchange for an additional tax free employer pension contribution. The starting date of these possible changes is uncertain but they may be effective from Budget Day!

Make Charitable Payments Under Gift Aid To Save More Tax

Higher rate taxpayers should make any charitable payments under Gift Aid so that they obtain additional tax relief. The charity will also be able to reclaim the basic rate tax from HMRC making it even better.

Year End Capital Gains Tax Planning

Have you used your 2015/16 £11,100 annual exemption?  Consider selling shares where the gain is less than £11,100 before 6 April 2016. Also, if you have any worthless shares, consider a negligible value claim to establish a capital loss. You may even be able to set off that capital loss against your income under certain circumstances.

Used Your 2015/16 ISA Allowance? 

Your maximum annual investment in ISAs for 2015/16 is £15,240.  Your investment needs to be made before 6 April 2016.  In addition, have you thought about investing for your children or grandchildren by setting up a Junior ISA? In the 2015/16 tax year, you can invest £4,080 into a Junior ISA for any child under 18.

Other Tax Efficient Investments

If you are looking for investment opportunities, have you considered the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS)? These investments in certain qualifying companies allow you to set off 30% of the amount invested against your tax bill as well as capital gains tax (CGT) deferral.  An even more generous tax break is available for investment in a qualifying Seed EIS company where income tax relief at 50 per cent is available and in addition it is possible to obtain relief against your 2015/16 capital gains. Both EIS and Seed EIS also provide a CGT exemption when the shares themselves are sold after 3 years.  Note however that qualifying EIS companies tend to be risky investments so professional advice should be taken.

A 30% income tax break is also available by investing in a Venture Capital Trust.

Inheritance Tax Planning Before 6 April 2016

Have you made use of your annual Inheritance Tax (IHT) exemptions? The annual exemption is £3,000 per donor (plus last year’s £3,000 exemption if you did not use it). Also consider making regular gifts out of your income to minimise the growth of your estate that will be liable to IHT. Gifts out of your surplus income are not subject to IHT if properly structured.
Buy New Machinery Before 6 April?
Those running a business and making up accounts to 5 April should consider buying plant and machinery to take advantage of the Annual Investment Allowance (AIA) of £200,000.  The AIA provides a 100% tax write off for equipment used in your business. This tax relief extends to fixtures and fittings within business premises such as electrical, water and heating systems. There is also 100% tax relief if you buy a new car that emits no more than 95g CO2 per kilometer and an increasing number of cars now fall below that limit.

Note that 5 April is not relevant if your business makes up accounts to a date other than 5 April. If your business year end is say 30 June, then you would need to acquire the equipment before that date to get the 100% tax relief.

Consider Paying Dividends Before 6 April 2016

Something that we have mentioned in previous newsletters for those running their own companies is to consider paying dividends before 6 April 2016 when the new system of dividend taxation starts.  Although the first £5,000 of dividends will be taxed at 0% from 2016/17, once that has been used up there will be a 7.5% across the board increase in the rate of tax on dividends. Please contact us to arrange a meeting to discuss this further.

But Delay Replacing Furniture In Buy To Lets Until After 6 April 2016?

Tax relief for the replacement of furniture, including white goods, is being reinstated where the expenditure is incurred on or after 6 April 2016.  This is good news for those landlords renting out properties unfurnished but providing white goods where the tax relief had been withdrawn in 2013.

If you have any questions, please contact us at:
☎ 020 89310165 ☏ 07900537459 

The Key Points From Budget 2016!

One of the main themes of the Chancellor’s March 2016 Budget was to ensure that the next generation inherits a strong economy, is better educated, and grow up fit and healthy. His proposed “sugar tax” on the soft drinks industry will be used to fund longer school days for those that want to offer their pupils a wider range of activities, including extra sport.

He again stressed his prudence in concentrating on debt repayment and the importance of “mending the roof while the sun shines”, although he acknowledged that there were numerous factors that could impact on his “bullish” growth forecasts and promises of future budget surpluses.

There will be further changes affecting savers and he hinted that there could be yet further changes to pensions, but not for the time being.


As already announced, the basic personal allowance for 2016/17 will be £11,000. The March Budget announced that this will increase to £11,500 for 2017/18. Remember that if your adjusted net income exceeds £100,000 the personal allowance is reduced by £1 for every £2 over £100,000 giving an effective rate of 60% on income between £100,000 and £122,000 for 2016/17. Contact us for advice on planning to avoid this 60% rate.


The 20% basic rate band for 2016/17 will be £32,000 and for 2017/18 it was announced that this will be £33,500. This means that you will pay 40% tax if your taxable income exceeds £43,000 for 2016/17 and the threshold will be £45,000 for 2017/18. The 45% top rate continues to apply to taxable income over £150,000 for 2016/17.


The current £15,240 ISA limit is frozen for 2016/17. The Junior ISA limit remains at £4,080 for 2016/17.

The Chancellor announced that the ISA allowance will increase to £20,000 from 6 April 2017 and that from the same date there will be a new “Lifetime ISA” account where investors aged between 18 and 40 who save up to £4,000 a year will have 25% (up to £1,000) added by the government. Those who have been saving in the new “Help to Buy” ISA will be able to transfer their savings to this new account and use the savings to help them buy their first home or use them to provide an additional pension. These may in future replace traditional pension saving schemes.


There was much speculation about further major changes to pensions such as taxing the lump sum and limiting tax relief, but these did not materialise.

From 6 April 2016 the pension fund lifetime allowance will be reduced from £1.25million to £1million. Transitional protection for pension rights already over £1million will be introduced alongside this reduction to ensure the change is not retrospective.

As already announced, those with income in excess of £150,000 will have the normal £40,000 annual allowance reduced by £1 for every £2 over £150,000.


From April 2016, a tax-free allowance of £1,000 (or £500 for higher rate taxpayers) will be introduced for the interest that people earn on savings. If they are a basic rate taxpayer and have a total income up to £43,000 a year, they will be eligible for the £1,000 tax-free savings allowance.

If they are a higher rate taxpayer and earn between £43,000 and £150,000, they will be eligible for a £500 tax-free savings allowance, but those with income in excess of £150,000 a year will be taxed in full on their interest income.
As a result of these changes banks and building societies will pay interest gross from 6 April 2016.


It was announced in the Summer 2015 Budget that there would be a £5,000 tax free dividend allowance from 6 April 2016 and that once used the rate of tax on dividend income would increase by 7.5%. This means that basic rate taxpayers will pay 7.5% tax on dividend income, higher rate taxpayers 32.5% and additional rate taxpayers 38.1%. Note that from 6 April 2016 dividends will no longer carry with them a 10% notional credit. This is the reason why dividends received by basic rate taxpayers were effectively tax free up to 5 April 2016.


Where a “close” company controlled by 5 or fewer shareholders (participators) makes a loan to one of those persons the company is required to pay tax to HM Revenue and Customs. The rate of tax increases from 25% to 32.5% from 6 April 2016 in line with the dividend rate for higher rate taxpayers. This tax is not payable if the loan is cleared within 9 months of the end of the accounting period and will continue to be repaid to the company if the loan is repaid or written off after the 9 month period.


An unexpected announcement was a reduction in the rate of capital gain tax from 6 April 2016 down from 18% to 10% for basic rate taxpayers and 28% down to 20% for higher rate taxpayers. The 18% and 28% rates remain for disposals of residential property.

There has been no change in the inheritance tax nil rate band which remains at £325,000 until 2020 although an additional nil band will be available from 6 April 2017 where the main residence or assets of an equivalent value are left to direct descendants. This additional relief will be protected where the person downsizes to a less valuable property from 8 July 2015 onwards. Please contact us if you would like to discuss inheritance tax planning.


Entrepreneurs’ relief (ER) will be extended to external investors in unlisted trading companies. This new investors’ relief will apply a 10% rate of CGT to gains accruing on the disposal of ordinary shares held by individuals. These shares must be subscribed for by the claimant and acquired for new consideration on or after 17 March 2016. The shares must have been held for a period of at least three years starting from 6 April 2016 and there will be a lifetime cap of £10 million.

In the 2014 Autumn Statement it was announced that it is no longer possible to claim CGT entrepreneurs’ relief against the gains arising on the sale on or after 3 December 2014 of goodwill by a sole trader or partnership to a limited company in which they have a controlling interest. That restriction was then legislated in Finance Act 2015. It has now been announced that the relief will still be available provided that the transferor does not receive more than 5% of share capital or voting rights in the acquiring company.


A single corporation tax rate of 20% has applied since 1 April 2015 regardless of the level of the company’s profits. In the Summer 2015 Budget it was announced that this would reduce to 19% in April 2017. The Chancellor has now announced that this will now be reduced to 17% from 1 April 2020.


From April 2017, the government will introduce new allowances for the first £1,000 of trading income and the first £1,000 of property income. Those with income below this level will no longer need to declare or pay income tax on that income. Those with income above the allowance will also benefit by deducting the relevant allowance from their gross income. This appears to be aimed at people starting small businesses on E-Bay and renting on air B&B.


There will be fundamental changes to the rules for setting off corporate tax losses starting on 1 April 2017. For losses incurred on or after 1 April 2017, companies will be able to use carried forward losses against profits from other income streams or from other companies within a group. However, large companies with profits in excess of £5m will only be allowed to offset brought forward losses against 50% of the amount of profit in each future period.


From 1 April 2017, to restrict profit shifting by multi-nationals, the UK will be introducing a Fixed Ratio Rule limiting corporation tax deductions for net interest expense to 30% of a group’s UK earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA). This is in line with the rules that exist in several other countries and will address profit-shifting through interest charges. Note that this restriction will not apply where the net UK interest expense is less than £2 million.


The rules for calculating the Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) charged on purchases of non-residential properties and transactions involving a mixture of residential and non-residential properties changed with effect from Budget Day to bring them more into line with the mechanism for charging SDLT on residential property. On and after 17 March 2016, SDLT will be charged at each rate on the portion of the purchase price which falls within each rate band. The new rates and thresholds for freehold purchases and leases premiums are:

Purchase price
SDLT rate,  cumulative
Up to £150,000
NIL                        NIL
£150,001 - £250,000
2%                   £2,000
£250,001 and over
5%       (no maximum)

Note also that the additional 3% SDLT charge on additional residences commences on 1 April 2016.


The Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme (GASDS) allows charities to treat small donations such as those in collecting boxes as if Gift Aided.

With effect from 6 April 2016 the maximum annual donation amount which can be claimed through GASDS will be increased from £5,000 to £8,000 allowing charities and Community Amateur Sports Clubs to claim Gift Aid style top-up payments of up to £2,000 a year.


The VAT registration limit has been increased by £1,000 to £83,000 from 1 April 2016. The de-registration limit also increased by £1,000 to £81,000.

If you have any questions, please contact us at:
☎ 020 89310165 ☏ 07900537459