General News

HMRC Tax Scam

Telephone and email scams are always a threat, but as we approach the Tax Return deadline of 31 January each year we always see an increase in the number of calls and emails pretending to be HMRC. The most recent scams seem to involve phone calls threatening the listener with arrest and/or deportation if they don't pay their overdue tax immediately.

These scams have become more sophisticated as they are able to make it look as if they are calling from HMRC's official phone number, making it harder to tell if it is real or not.

Capital Allowance on High CO2 Cars and Assets in Special Rate Pool Reduces

One of the other capital allowance changes announced in the Autumn Budget was the reduction of the writing down allowance on assets in the special rate pool from 8% to just 6% per annum reducing balance from April 2019.

The assets included in this pool include long-life assets, such as aircraft, integral features within buildings and cars emitting more than 110g CO2 per kilometre. 

Passing on the Family Home

New inheritance tax rules for passing on the family home started on 6 April 2017. This additional relief should be taken into consideration when drafting your Will and we can work with your solicitor to make sure your Will is tax efficient.

From 6 April 2017 an additional nil rate band of up to £175,000 is available on death where your residence is left to direct descendants. This is in addition to the normal £325,000 nil rate band. 

Increased Capital Allowances Started

The Chancellor announced a temporary increase in the Annual Investment Allowance (AIA) for expenditure on plant and machinery to £1 million from 1 January 2019. However transitional rules mean that the full amount will not necessarily apply to your business straight away. 

Transferring Your Current Properties into a Company

What do you need to consider? Sadly the answer to this question is “It Depends!!”

However, there are some general principles that we can consider when looking at this situation.

There are a couple of questions which depend on your tax position and a few that relate to your preferences.

Gifts of up to £50 to Employees

From April 2016 new rules were introduced to allow employers to provide their directors and employees with certain “trivial” benefits in kind tax-free.

The new rules were brought in as a simplification measure so that certain benefits in kind do not now need to be reported to HMRC as well as being tax-free for the employee. There are of course a number of conditions that need to be satisfied to qualify for the exemption. 

Conditions for the exemption to apply:

Getting Your Whole Business to Make the Most of Social Media

Getting your whole business to make the most of social media 

Most, if not all, of your staff will have social media accounts. What if you could get all of your staff to like and share your business’s social media posts?  

Co-Working Spaces - Can They Work for You?

Co-working spaces were once the preserve of freelancers and creative types. Now medium to large sized businesses are getting in on the act too.

The modern workplace is evolving. First, we had flexible working. Then we had remote working. Now we are seeing an increased demand for co-working spaces – workspaces which are shared by people who don’t all work for the same business.

Confirmation Bias

Most business people these days have too much information and not enough time. We don’t have the time to weigh up every facet of every decision. This tends to encourage us to take shortcuts where we can. As such, we often go into a meeting or a negotiation with an idea as to what the outcome might be.

This is known as confirmation bias. It is our natural tendency to seek out information or to look at things in a way that confirms our preconceptions.

Helping Customers to Pay You on Time

You’ve done the work. You’ve invoiced the customer 60 days ago. You are still waiting to get paid 30 days after payment was due. It’s time to chase for payment.

It’s never easy chasing customers for payment. However, this is business and you are entitled to be paid for the work that you have done. Unless your company is a bank, you are not in the business of providing credit for your customers. So what should you do?