Saturday, 28 May 2016

Monthly UK Tax Updates - May/June 2016

Changes Next Year for Public Sector Workers “Off Payroll”

It was announced in the March Budget that Finance Bill 2017 will include measures to change the rules for those workers supplying their services to public sector bodies via their own company. The current rules require the intermediary to consider whether or not the IR35 rules apply to the engagement, and if so apply PAYE and National Insurance (NIC) to the income paid via the intermediary company.

If the proposed changes go ahead the public sector body will be required to assess whether the IR35 rules apply and operate PAYE and NIC.

For these purposes public sector includes central Government departments, Local Authorities, the NHS, schools and other bodies such as the BBC.

Tax Relief for Travel Expenses For IR35 Workers

Another measure affecting such workers, and those in the private sector, concerns tax relief for travel and subsistence expenses. New legislation in the current Finance Bill 2016 seeks to deny relief for travel and subsistence expenses incurred by workers caught by the IR35 rules. The restriction will also apply to agency workers where there is supervision, direction and control (SDC) over the worker by the end user client.

According to updated HMRC guidance the SDC test will be the only test used to determine whether the new rules will apply and ignores the other employment status factors. The HMRC examples suggest that if there is no expertise within the end user organisation then there is likely to be limited SDC and the worker will continue to be entitled to relief for travelling to the client’s premises.

Possible New “Look Through” Entity Will Change Small Company Taxation

The Chancellor announced in his Budget Speech that the Government is considering further major changes to small company taxation following a review by the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS).

As in many small companies the directors are also shareholders the OTS believe that it would simplify matters if the shareholders of such companies were to be taxed on their share of profits made by the company in proportion to their shareholdings. In other words the shareholders would be subject to income tax in a similar way to members of a partnership or LLP and there would be no corporation tax paid by the company. This would clearly level the playing field between limited companies and unincorporated businesses. However it is likely to result in more tax payable than under the current rules!

We will monitor further discussions on this possible future change and keep you updated.

Changes to Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) Reporting

Following the abolition of monthly paper CIS returns from 6 April 2016 HMRC have indicated that some leniency will be allowed for late returns for the first three months of the new tax year. Contractors and other businesses required to operate CIS now have to submit their returns online.

It is proposed that from April 2017 contractors will also be required to verify subcontractors online.

Remember that it is not just mainstream contractors that are required to operate CIS. The system extends to property developers who pay plumbers, electricians, and others in the building trade. However CIS does not apply to home owners and property investors who renovate a property prior to renting out to tenants.

Thinking of Building Your Own House? You Can Reclaim The VAT

You can apply to HMRC for a VAT refund on building materials and services if you are building a new home, or converting a property into a home. In order to qualify the home must be separate and self-contained, be for you or your family to live or holiday in, and not be for business purposes (although you can use one room as a work from home office). Builders working on new buildings should zero rate their work anyway and you won’t pay any VAT on their services.

Where there is an existing dwelling on the site you will normally need to demolish the existing building, however it will count as a new build where a single fa├žade is retained if that is a condition of the planning consent. You may also claim a refund for builders’ work on a conversion of non-residential building into a home, or a residential building that hasn’t been lived in for at least 10 years.

When you make your claim you must supply a copy of the planning permission, a full set of building plans, the invoices - including tenders or estimations if the invoice isn’t itemised, and proof the building work is finished. Please contact us if you need advice or assistance on this or any other VAT matters.

Scottish Taxes

In these newsletters we tend to focus on tax matters that apply generally throughout the UK. However, under powers devolved to the Scottish Government there is now a different system of tax for the transfer of property in Scotland instead of SDLT.

Please contact us if you are considering buying a property in Scotland. We will also keep you up to date with other Scottish tax developments from time to time. 

Friday, 13 May 2016

Elements of Effective staff Induction Programmes!

Elements of Staff Induction ProgrammesThe quicker a new staff member is made aware of the procedures and policies of their new workplace, the sooner they are able to comply with company expectations.

Your staff induction program should be delivered in a simple format that explains your firm’s policies and procedures, your expectations of them and their specific responsibilities.

In addition to helping new staff, an induction can be useful for helping employees who are returning from extended leave or are taking on a new role in the business.

Mix formal and informal components

Effective staff induction programmes tend to have a mix of formal and informal elements. A relaxed format will help to put your new employee(s) at ease. After all, the first few days in their new jobs will be stressful so anything the company can do to alleviate this will create a good first impression.

You want your new employees to feel welcomed and the format of the induction programme should convey this message. It is important, of course, to ensure that the formal aspects of the induction are covered too. So, presentations and training sessions on things like health and safety, legal requirements and systems should be scheduled into the new joiner’s first few days.

A staff induction booklet that compliments the training is a useful reference tool for new staff members. There is often a lot of information to take in on the first day of work. Your staff will appreciate the fact that they have a document to refer to later on (rather than having to bother their manager every few minutes). Don’t forget to cover the basics such as core hours of work, pay and leave entitlements. The induction should also cover things like fire escapes, break areas, toilet locations, etc.

A positive experience

The importance of making a good first impression should not be forgotten.

Employers who welcome new employees with a commitment to open communication, formalised policies and procedures and a positive work environment are rewarded by enthusiastic staff.

Employees appreciate when an effort has been made to welcome them. Good relationships are the foundations of good businesses. So think of your induction training as your way to make a great first impression on new joiners to the business.

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Business Strategy: How High Should You Aim & How To Accomplish Objectives?

Every business owner or manager knows that in order to succeed and grow the business, some big thinking is often required. But how high should you aim?

The process of setting strategic business objectives is harder than it looks. It takes a lot more than setting stretched goals to actually see any real achievement, and there are often hidden challenges, particularly when it comes down to the execution.

Aiming high helps

If you aim high in business, even if you don't quite make it, you will inevitably end up doing much better than you would have otherwise done. When setting your strategic objectives, thinking differently about goal setting can be a real game changer.

For example, setting a goal to double the size of the business versus one to increase in size by 10%, will push your business much harder. The 10% goal drives thinking about how to stretch the current business, using the existing tools and assumptions. It is merely building on an existing solution that many people have already spent a lot of time thinking about. In contrast, doubling the size of the firm requires a different mindset; one that moves away from the tendency to think in an incremental and linear manner. This opens up new possibilities that would never have been considered otherwise as the business must focus on creativity and innovation - the kind that, literally and metaphorically, can push the business to the next level.

Making strategic goals manageable

Stretched goals or targets are by definition very big. They are risky and can take several years to achieve. The details of how to accomplish these objectives will not be known when they are set.

Odds of success can be improved with a disciplined strategy execution, and a 'small wins' framework can often help. The objective is to break a larger goal down into smaller, manageable but interlinked parts. For each sub-goal, the team must define the various streams of work required, explicit outcomes, key deliverables, due dates, and a single owner for each component. As such, it will allow for visible and measured progress towards the completion of the larger goal while generating consistent action. Regular updates and team meetings will encourage people to be accountable for their part of the project. This will help drive consistent execution of tasks.

What separates great businesses from those that are merely good are not just the stretched target and strategic goals they set themselves to achieve but also the way they think differently about setting those objectives, and the discipline with which they implement them.

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Key Account Management Strategy!

Anyone in business will tell you that it is easier and cheaper to sell more products and services to an existing client than it is to go out and find a new client.

Key Account Management or “KAM” is all about focusing on your key existing clients – your very best customers. In theory, this is the perfect way to increase your profits and develop better relationships with your most valuable clients. If we apply the 80:20 rule then, in an average business, 80% of profits tend to be generated by the top 20% of the clients. So, these key accounts are the most valued customers of a business.

KAM strategy

A KAM strategy is a marketing and business development approach which focuses on taking special care of these customers. Each key account should have a business plan, dedicated resources (such as an account manager or single point of contact in your firm) and should be identified throughout your business as being a strategically important relationship.

Choosing Key Client

The most important thing here is to select the right customers for investment. Many businesses tend to underestimate the importance of this step and often show a casual attitude when it comes to selecting the right clients to develop. Some firms simply select all their big clients. There is nothing wrong with that strategy; however, they often fail to consider the potential to grow those particular relationships. After all, just because a client is big doesn’t necessarily mean it is particularly profitable.

Key Client Relationship Plan

In creating a KAM strategy you should also consider resources. There is no point in creating a strategy to develop 60 key clients if you only have the resources to actively manage 10 key clients. These key client accounts will need to be managed in an active way and this will require time and effort. Ideally, you will want to create a specific business plan for each key client relationship and you will need to dedicate some financial and people resources in order to execute these business plans.

Key account management, if executed well, can be a very effective marketing strategy in that it focuses your firm’s business development and marketing resources on the targets where you are likely to make the biggest impact.

Are you looking to develop your business but struggling to find the key client and manage them? 
To know how we can help you, please contact us at:
☎ 020 89310165 ☏ 07900537459 

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

First Impressions Count!

You only have one chance to make a good first impression.

Here are a few tips to help you to make a good first impression with new clients, contacts and during business meetings:


Being known as a 'natural' at interpersonal communication is not just a gift that a select few enjoy. We can all enjoy the reputation of being a great communicator.
Focussing the conversation on the other person takes the pressure off you.
Avoid interrogating your new acquaintance, and even if you are nervous, make sure you always slow your speaking rate down.

Presentation is everything

Adjust your posture, stand up tall and adjust your voice and gestures to a positive setting.
Establish rapport with your new contact by mirroring their head nods and tilts.
Speak at their pace and volume level.
You'd be surprised by just how many different 'voices' a successful salesperson uses in a day - they spend a large amount of time mirroring the other person's gestures, voice, language, pace, intonation and volume.

It’s about them

Encourage your contact to talk about their business, their successes and their achievements.
Don’t make it about you - give them the opportunity to talk about themselves.
Do your research before you meet your new contact.

If their firm has been in the press for positive reasons then refer to it and compliment their business. Then step back and let them talk.

Ask questions and listen - you have two ears and one mouth so aim to use them in that ratio.

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

Monday, 9 May 2016

Supplying Digital Services to Customers in Other EU Countries

The VAT place of supply rules changed on 1 January 2015 where digital services are supplied to non-business customers. The place of supply changed from where the supplier was based to where the customer is located as some companies were avoiding UK VAT.

This rule change had serious implications for small businesses supplying digital services such as software downloads to non-business customers. Where those customers are in other EU countries the UK trader may be required to register for VAT in that country and charge that country’s VAT rate on the supply. This is because unlike the £83,000 UK threshold many EU countries have a zero threshold. To simplify compliance with the EU VAT rules HMRC introduced the VAT Mini One Stop Shop (MOSS).

How UK VAT MOSS works?

Once you register your business for the scheme, you must account for the VAT due on any qualifying sales by sending HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) a VAT MOSS Return and payment each calendar quarter.

This means you only need to send a single VAT MOSS Return, each calendar quarter. You don’t have to declare the VAT due separately in each EU member state.

HMRC will send the relevant parts of your return and payment to the tax authority of the country where your customers are based.

Please contact us for further assistance if this may apply to your business. 

☎ 020 89310165 ☏ 07900537459