Are you making the most of tax free benefits? Reply

I want you

Have you considered giving your employees or yourself benefits in kind that are tax free, here are some to choose from:

  1. Pensions – Up to £40k can be paid in to your pension scheme by your employer (2015/16)  and you can use carry forward to pay in even more
  2. Childcare – Up to £55 per week but check the rules to makesure your childcare complies (HMRC Leaflet IR115)
  3. Mobile Phone – One per employee
  4. Lunch – Tax Free Lunch Blog
  5. Cycle Schemes – Cycle to Work Blog
  6. Fitness – Fitness Blog
  7. Parties and Gifts – Christmas Blog
  8. Parking – Parking Blog
  9. Business Mileage Allowance – 45p for the first 10,000 miles then 25p
  10. Long Service Award – A bit restrictive as you need 20 years service, the tax free amount is £50 x the number of years
  11. Eye Tests and Spectacles – The Eye Test must be needed under the Health & Safety at Work Act
  12. Suggestion Schemes – Suggestion Scheme Blog
  13. Insurance such and Death in Service and Income Protection – Medical Insurance Blog
  14. Travel Expenses – Travel Blog
  15. Working From Home – Working from Home Blog
  16. Clothing – Tax Allowances
  17. Trivial Benefits – Trivial Blog
  18. Training – Training and Salary Sacrifice CPD
  19. Relocation Costs
  20. IPad or Laptop – IPad used for Business
  21. Rent a Room to another employee – Rent a room blog

Why is international VAT so complicated! Reply

Stress business woman

EU VAT is a nightmare.

Here is an example of why its complicated…

Before 1st January 2015 all businesses supplying telecommunications, broadcasting and e-services such as downloaded ‘apps’, music, gaming, e-books and similar services to private consumers located in other EU Member States (referred to as ‘B2C’ supplies) were taxed where the business supplier was established, which is simple to understand and implement.

Since 1st January 2015 VAT is now charged in the country where the customer has ‘use and enjoyment’ of the services.

So lets say you are an American (normally zero rated) on holiday in France, even though you pay with an American credit card and buy from a UK supplier because you are reading your ebook in France, French VAT will apply. Sounds like a nightmare, doesn’t it.

To help with this HMRC introduced the VAT MOSS (Mini One Stop Shop).

Then there is is the VAT return….

Box 2 Acquisition Tax is calculated as UK VAT due on VAT free purchase of goods from other Member States, i.e. 20% x Box 9 figure, the same amount is then entered in Box 4 (as noted below by HMRC) so the net effect is Zero.

Box 9 Total EU Purchases are the value of goods bought from other EU Member States on a VAT free basis.

The following are HMRC’s instructions:

Box 2: VAT due from you (but not paid) on acquisitions from other EU countries

You need to work out the VAT due – but not yet paid by you – on goods that you buy from other EU countries, and any services directly related to those goods (such as delivery charges). Put the figure in Box 2. You may be able to reclaim this amount, and if so remember to include this figure in your total in Box 4.

Box 4: VAT reclaimable on your purchases

This is the VAT you have been charged on your purchases for use in your business. You should also include:

  • VAT due (but not paid) on goods from other EU countries and services directly related to those goods (such as delivery charges) – this is the figure you put in Box 2

If you trade regularly with the EU you may be required to do Intrastat Returns

Here is a useful guide from Sage.

Business Connections Newsletter – September Reply



Did you see our September Newsletter:

  • Free Sage One Start Software for new Bicknell Business Advisers clients
  • How much tax can you save by working from home?
  • How can you save tax by going on a course?
  • 10 ways to pay less VAT
  • Do you need to declare income? HMRC will find you!
  • Do you have 47 minutes to hold on to speak to HMRC?

Click on this link to get a copy

Sign up to our mailing list

Why are Freelance workers so popular with businesses? Reply

Why is it attractive to use Freelancers?

  1. Skill is more important than location in many business sectors – we live in world where the internet can allow you to work with anyone at anytime, you can now track down the best person to work with even if they live thousands of miles away
  2. Lower fixed costs – Using Freelancers will lower your fixed costs (in similar way to Zero Hours Contracts), you employ them for a specific project and only pay for what you need so there isn’t any surplus capacity
  3. Tax advantages – Freelancers run their own business and that means they pay less tax than employees. Employers save tax too, such as Employers NI.
  4. Competitive Advantage – You can put together a team for a contract rather than finding contracts that fit your workforce, this means you can hire the best.
  5. 110% Commitment – A Freelancers success and future work depends on them performing to the highest level on every contract, failure is not an option for a successful contractor.



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Did you know Life Cover is now classed as a business expense? Reply

Business Accountant


Life Insurance is now tax-free and classified as a business expense.

Offering death in service benefits to you or your employees ensures they don’t have to worry about their loved ones should the unthinkable happen. Whether you’re a company director who wants to offer it to you and your staff, or contractor who wants it for your own family, Life Insurance has always come with hefty tax implications. But that’s no longer the case.

Changes mean big savings.

As a director or a contractor you probably aren’t aware of ‘A Day’ and why would you be. Back in April 2006 there was a big change in legislation (known as ‘A Day’). Though this was over a decade ago many people still aren’t aware of the significant savings involved.

Here’s what ‘A Day’ means for you:

  • Life Insurance premiums are not taxed on the employee as a P11.

  • Premiums can be…

View original post 410 more words

Will Making Tax Digital (MTD) make life easier for you? Reply



One of the big areas of concern has been over the quarterly tax reporting requirements and concerns over data accuracy, as a result, the government has given exemptions for small businesses which will mean 5.4 million small businesses won’t now need to report quarterly.

Data accuracy is going to be critical, are most businesses up to providing data in real time? RTI has worked for payroll but could it really work for accounting information? many businesses rely on their accountants and book keepers to get the information correct.

Do you need a business card? is an e-card better? Reply


Business Cards have been seen as the most important tool physical networkers have because:

  • You can hand them out
  • You can collect them to follow up later
  • They advertise your business – direct marketing
  • They create a lasting impression

But they are a cost and like all costs you should work out whether the benefit exceeds the cost.

A lot of networking is now done online though Linked In, Facebook and Twitter and its becoming the focus of advertising spend

So should you now stop using physical business cards and switch to e cards like about me


HMRC – please don’t leave me hanging on telephone! Reply

genervte frau am telefon

Taxpayers have 3 main ways to contact HMRC:

  • Online
  • Phone
  • Post

Often taxpayers want to ask questions and get quick answers, which is why they like to use the phone. The NAO have published a report and the key facts are below.


We also know that taxpayers often leave things till close to the deadline


So if you don’t want to spend 47 minutes waiting to speak to HMRC only to find out they can’t answer your question because its too specific or requires an opinion why not use an accountant?


Three reasons why Directors love Relevant Life cover Reply

Business Accountant


If you’re a Director, you may already have Life Insurance to look after your loved ones after you’re gone. In return for paying a monthly premium, it pays out a lump sum to help look after them. But many contractors are switching to a product called Relevant Life cover, because it is much more cost-effective. Here’s why.

  1. It’s classed as a business expense.

Unlike traditional Life Insurance, which you pay out of your own pocket, Relevant Life cover can be classed as a business expense. That means the monthly costs can be put through your books, making it eligible for tax savings.

  1. You can save up to 100% of the cost personally.

No matter what your tax bracket is, you could save 100% on the cost of your life cover by placing the plan on company expenses. Taken over 25 years this adds up to a considerable amount. For instance…

View original post 247 more words

Is your Salary Sacrifice going to be taxed? Reply

Parking design

Its a busy time for Government Consultations, we have one currently underway called

It runs until 19th October 2016.
Some salary sacarifice items will be protected from any changes:
  • Workplace Childcare
  • Employer Pensions
  • Cycling to work

But everything else is up for grabs for example parking…



Which of your salary sacrifices are at risk?