2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

Madison Square Garden can seat 20,000 people for a concert. This blog was viewed about 67,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Madison Square Garden, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

SCA Group Announce Acquisition of Access Scaffolding IOW

Businessman hand touching M & A - merger & acquisition concept

SCA have recently completed the acquisition of Access Scaffolding IW, and have formed a single division for our Isle of Wight operations that will become the largest provider of contract scaffolding on the island. Access Scaffolding IOW will exist as a wholly owned subsidiary of the SCA Group, with the existing owner, Ashley Palmer, excited to commit his future to the new venture.

Ashley Palmer’s scaffolding business, Access Scaffolding, has been a presence on the Isle of Wight for many years, and the business has undergone substantial growth under Ashley’s stewardship, forging some great partnerships and working relationships along the way. SCA recognises the potential in Ashley’s business, and the hard work that has gone in to creating such a fantastic company, and coupled with our resources, reputation and enhanced service provisions, we believe that we can further improve the offering to the Isle of Wight, and build upon some well laid foundations.

SCA also has vast experience of working on the Isle of Wight with local people and local businesses, and we can further establish the reputation of ‘SCA Access IOW’ through our accreditations and memberships, not to mention our network of contacts and customers. As full members of the National Access & Scaffolding Confederation, or the NASC (as one such example), we can demonstrate our dedication to high standards of workmanship, attention to detail, and ability to work to the highest levels of health and safety, something that can only bring additional benefits to the service we can provide.

Ashley’s focus in the past has been on delivering a high quality, access scaffolding service to his clients, which has served the market well. With SCA’s influence, we can expand on these capabilities, and offer a wider package including Rope Access and Industrial Painting as well, and we look forward to exploring these possibilities with Ashley on board.

With the formation of a single division now complete, it is essential to us that ongoing activities remain uninterrupted, and with this at the forefront of our minds, all existing customer contracts of Access Scaffolding will be fulfilled as scheduled as we look to not only maintain existing relationships, but build and strengthen them as well.

Should you have any queries or concerns or future requirements for the new division, please note all the relevant contact details below:

Mr Ashley Palmer
Contracts Manager
Mobile:                07917 132390

Mr Barry Westbrook
Divisional Director
Mobile:                07736 691184
Head Office:       01202 820820

10 crazy Christmas accounting facts

Been Naughty?

It’s nearly Christmas, but did you know….

  1. While millions of people are exchanging presents, feasting on turkey, and nodding off in front of the television, 1,600 people are expected to take time out from the yuletide festivities and do their tax return online
  2. If your employer spent more than £150 per head on parties you could be facing a tax bill in the new year
  3. If you are given third party gifts (suppliers) worth more than £250, then you could he taxed on them
  4. An employer may provide employees with a seasonal gift, such as a turkey, an ordinary bottle of wine or a box of chocolates at Christmas. All of these gifts can be treated as trivial benefits.
  5. Shoppers spent £1.2bn on ‘Panic Saturday’ (20th December 2014)
  6. Christmas Shoppers will spend £74bn in 2014 and of this £17.4bn will be spent online
  7. From 2016, employers will be able to give employees tax-free “benefits” – not cash – of up to £50 a year.
  8. HMRC will not be holding any Christmas Parties for its staff according to the Telegraph
  9. Many people think Scrooge was an accountant but he was actually a moneylender
  10. There is no VAT on purchased gift vouchers as they are treated as cash equivalents, its only when they are used to purchase items that VAT needs to be accounted for.

Have a great Christmas


Is it worth claiming tax relief on Personal Car Number Plates?

uk number plate

HMRC have made it clear you can’t claim Capital Allowances for Personalised Car Number Plates, however, they do fall within the Intangibles Regime.


An intangible asset (other than goodwill) satisfies the asset conditions if it meets all the following tests:

  • it is an intangible asset for accounting purposes (CIRD11120) including an asset which comes within the definition of ‘intellectual property’ in section 712 (3) of Part 8 (see CIRD11150),
  • it is a fixed asset (see CIRD11170),
  • it does not fall within one of the statutory exclusions (see CIRD25000 onwards).

Basically you write off the cost over it useful life or use a rate of 4% per year.

There is an argument for not claiming a deduction against your corporation tax because then any gain will be subject to the capital gains tax rules, but as you will probably keep the Registration indefinitely getting a tax saving now rather than possibly getting one later might be more beneficial.



HMRC Solicitors Campaign – do you have anything to declare?


You can tell HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) about any income you haven’t declared (this is known as ‘voluntary disclosure’).

The Solicitors Tax Campaign gives you the chance to do this if you work within the legal profession as a solicitor in a partnership or company, or as an individual.

How to tell HMRC about undeclared income

  1. Fill in a notification form by 9 March 2015.
  2. Fill in a disclosure form and pay what you owe by 9 June 2015.

Use the calculator to help work out what you owe. Only use the calculator if both of the following apply:

  • your tax affairs are straightforward
  • you’re entitled to only basic personal allowances

There’s a different calculator if you need to tell HMRC about more than 5 years of unpaid tax.

Call the helpline before 9 June 2015 if you need more time to pay.

Help and advice

You can read more about how to make your voluntary disclosure.

Call the Solicitors Tax Campaign helpline if you need more help.

Solicitors Tax Campaign helpline
Telephone: 0300 013 4749
From outside the UK: +44 300 013 4749
Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm



When will you file your Self Assessment Return?

SA monthly online figures 2011-12

It’s Self Assessment time, most returns are filed online in December and January, here is some great advice from Ruth Owen from last year….

If you are late you will get penalties https://www.gov.uk/estimate-self-assessment-penalties

If you don’t have all the answers take a look at my 3 life savers

3 Self Assessment Life Savers – Estimates, Provisional and Corrections

If you don’t know where to send the payment this might help

Self Assessment Payment – Shipley or Cumbernauld


Common Auto Enrolment mistakes..


The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has recently highlight the following problem areas:

  1. Employer forgeting to do the declaration of compliance within 5 months of staging, many employers wrongly assumed that registering on the Government Gateway was enough.
  2. Confusion caused by running multiple payrolls for the same employer for example weekly and monthly
  3. Completing the declaration of compliance but without choosing a pension provider
  4. Omitting self employed workers who have a contract to provide work personally


7 excuses for late Self Assessment Returns and Late Payment

the dog ate my homework

Every year thousands of tax payers miss the deadline of 31st January, here are some excuses that HRMC accepted!

  1. a failure in the HMRC computer system (HMRC)
  2. your computer breaks down just before or during the preparation of your online return (HMRC)
  3. a serious illness, disability or serious mental health condition has made you incapable of filing your tax return (HMRC)
  4. you registered for HMRC Online Services but didn’t get your Activation Code in time (HMRC)
  5. it was lost in the post HMD Response International v’s HMRC 2011 The accountant produced a contemporaneous note in his office diary for 16 May showing that he had filed the return.
  6. “Impecuniosity”Maxine Barron v’s HMRC
  7. Cashflow difficulties caused by a change in CIS Status Kincaid v’s HMRC 2011

Around one in nine (11%) of the 560,000 people in Inner London who had to send in a tax return last year didn’t do so by the relevant deadline – 31 October for paper returns and 31 January for online submissions.

The one million taxpayers in Outer London were more punctual, with one in 11 (9%) failing to meet the deadline, but they were still the second worst offenders. The tardiest taxpayers outside of London were in the North West of England, with 8% of their 890,000 returns failing to meet the deadline.

Taxpayers in the rest of the English regions fared better. The most punctual were in the South West, with only 6% of their one million tax returns arriving late. The other English regions, as well as Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, all registered 7% of late tax returns, which was the UK national average.

Don’t be late, get it done!!!



Will property prices go up because of changes to stamp duty?


The big news in the Autum Statement was the change to Stamp Duty.

• No stamp duty will be paid on the first £125,000 of a property
• 2% will be paid on the portion up to £250,000
• 5% is paid for the portion up to £925,000
• 10% is paid on the portion up to £1.5m
• 12% is paid on anything above that

HMRC have a handy new calculator, here is link


There are also more details at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/rates-and-allowances-stamp-duty-land-tax/rates-and-allowances-stamp-duty-land-tax

98% of all buyers will pay less tax under the new system

Will this lead to big increases in property values?


10 ways save tax on your Self Assessment Tax Return


It’s Self Assessment season, most people who are required to do self assessment will submit their returns in December and January.

You must always send a tax return if you’re:

  • a self-employed sole trader
  • a partner in a business partnership
  • a company director (unless it’s for a non-profit organisation, eg a charity, and you don’t get any pay or benefits, like travel expenses or a company car)
  1. Don’t miss the deadline of 31st January or you will get penalties and interest
  2. If you are new to Self Assessment makesure you get your HMRC log in details early and know your NI and UTR numbers otherwise you won’t be able to file online which could lead to penalties
  3. Claim all your expenses for example a self employed worker will claim for travel , protective clothing (PPE), home office expenses
  4. Don’t forget Pension Contributions if the tax hasn’t been claimed by your pension provider or you are a higher rate tax payer
  5. Don’t forget Donations to Charity if you are a higher rate tax payer
  6. Have you included out of pocket expenses for example parking
  7. If you are employee could you claim a tax allowance for clothing?
  8. Does your company pay mileage below the HMRC rates, you could claim a tax allowance on the difference
  9. Check you have all your motoring expenses included
  10. Makesure you have claimed all your costs on Buy to Let