Reduce your NI bill by £50,000 5

Yes £50,000, thats how much you could save in employers NI if your business qualifies for the regional employers NICs Holiday.

http://www.businesslink.gov.uk/bdotg/action/detail?type=ONEOFFPAGE&&itemId=1085763708&&r.s=p&&r.pp=12&&r.l1=1073858808&&r.lc=en&&r.li=1085814941

Under this scheme, for a limited period and subject to meeting certain conditions, new businesses may qualify for a deduction of up to £5,000 from the employer NICs that would normally be due – for each of the first ten employees they take on.

The National Insurance contributions (NICs) holiday is available to new businesses that start up during the period from 22 June 2010 to 5 September 2013.

The types of business that may be able to apply for the holiday are:

  • a sole trader, company or partnership that begins to carry on a trade, profession or vocation
  • a property business or investment business
  • a new trading charity whether or not it is carrying out activities with a view to profit

Managed Service Companies do not qualify for the holiday.

If you have recently started a new business its well worth finding out if it will qualify.

steve@bicknells.net

Salary v’s Dividend – how much money could I save? Reply

This has to be one of the most popular questions business owners ask their accountants, purely looking at it from a financial perspective I would recommend trying out these free calculators:

http://listentotaxman.com/index.php

This allows you to calculate the Tax and NI payable on Salaries

http://www.contractorcalculator.co.uk/Dividend_Tax_Summary.aspx?uid=0&logon=False&psalary=50000&div=1&status=OutsideIR35&pyt=LimitedCompany&expenses=3000&other=0&pension=0&tc=747L&age=30&salary=12000&rate=25&rt=Hourly&rt2=Hourly&weeks=44&dwpw=5&dwpw2=5&hours=37.5&dni=3000&tty=2011&rate2=25&weeks2=44&hours2=37.5&status2=OutsideIR35&psalary2=50000&mir=0.05&ma=200000&mp=25&cid=0&vat=1&vi=False&cby=1&ar=1&gs1=0&gs2=0&gs3=0&gs4=0&nd=80000&pbt=1&dpo=16-Jul-2011&dop=01-Jan-0001&inv=1&hpd=11&me=150&vt=Car&mpw=0&mpc=0&pt=Monthly&ace=500&mt=Parasol&wl=InsideLondon&uds=Basic&Host=LOCAL

This link calculates the tax on dividends (Dividends are paid after the company has paid Corporation Tax which is 21% for small companies)

steve@bicknells.net

 

 

Can I make a suggestion? £5000 tax free 10

In the current economic climate every business needs to look for new ways to improve but few businesses take advantage of the HMRC approved schemes

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/paye/exb/a-z/s/suggestion-schemes.htm

Basically there are 2 types of award:

Encouragement Awards where the employer can pay £25 tax and NI free

Financial Benefit Awards where employees can be paid up to £5000 tax and NI free

Financial benefit awards are exempt from tax and NICs up to the greater of the following, subject to an overall limit of £5,000:

  • 50 per cent of the financial benefit you reasonably expect the suggestion to lead to in the first year following its adoption
  • 10 per cent of the financial benefit you reasonably expect in the first five years following adoption

Sounds like a win win to me

steve@bicknells.net

Installing Sage 2012 using Templates Reply

Whether you are changing systems or just want a fresh start with the latest version its worth trying the Sage Templates to upload data.

Once you have loaded Sage, click on Help, then About then Program Directory and you will find a folder called Import Templates, in that folder are Templates for:

Audit Trail Transactions

Customer Record

Fixed Assets Record

Nominal Record

Product Record

Project Record

Project Transaction

Stock Transaction

Supplier Record

The templates are excel files and on the top row are comments on the content required. If you are already using Sage you can export the data, clean it and then re import it.

Basically as a minimum you will want to import outstanding customer and supplier transactions (using the audit trail), static data for customers, suppliers and nominal and unreconciled bank transactions. The opening trial balance can be entered using the Audit Trial import.

Use the Practice Company on Sage until you are confident you know your imports will work.

It takes a bit of time to get the imports correct but once its done it works really well.

Steve@bicknells.net

 

 

Group Corporation Tax – why not have a simplied arrangement? 1

Its often worth having a Tax Group even if you don’t have Group Accounts ie you have multiple businesses under common control but that are not directly owned subsidiaries. The reason for this is to offset profits and losses to reduce the total tax payment.

Generally this means completing a special extra return, the CT600C, unfortunately, this form is not available from HMRC to file on line.

There is a solution regulation 6 SI199/2975 (CTM97690) allows you to write to HMRC and explain which companies make up the group and ask for a simplified arrangement – meaning HMRC will automatically net off the returns with out the need for CT600C returns.

By doing this you can file the CT600’s on line for free with HMRC.

steve@bicknells.net

 

Free Web Based CRM and Business Applications 1

Rosie Barfoot sent me a comment yesterday about Workbooks, they offer a totally free 2 user version of their software http://www.workbooks.com

I have signed up and downloaded a copy today, looks pretty good, CRM, Quotation Management, Products, Contracts, Invoicing, I need to get my head round how to use it but it seems pretty comprehensive. Its 100% web based, it can link to Sage and Outlook (not sure if thats in the free version), you can customise it and create templates, sounds ideal for a start up business.

steve@bicknells.net

Free Fundraising, Anti Virus, Office Suite, E Mail and Calendar 1

I asked some of my Linked In buddies what they recommend for Free, here is what they said:

Tony Croft (4 Networking) said:

Can I recommend ‘Free Fundraising’ with Simply Fundraising.
Let somebody else make donations to your cause/s when you shop, put petrol in the car, eat out, etc and get free flights as a reward for doing it.
Can you beat that? http://www.simplefundraising.co.uk/

Marco Tomat (4Networking) said:

I would like to recommend Microsoft’s free anti-virus software called Security Essentials, you must have a licenced copy of windows of course, it’s much faster and less bloated than the new free AVG 2011 which is causing older or low spec. machine to slow down. If you are a teenager who likes downloading stuff then you need to buy one of the mainstream products!
http://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/security_essentials/default.aspx

Paul Driscoll (CIMA) said:

Fed up with the increasing cost of Microsoft licences some years ago, we implemented Open Office ( http://www.openoffice.org ) to replace Word, Excel etc.. All working well and would not now go back to MS.

We are also in the process of moving all machines to Mozilla Thunderbird for e-mail and Lightening for calendar ( http://www.mozilla.org/projects/calendar/sunbird ) which is part of the same suite as the popular Firefox internet browser.

Free Payroll! with free updates! 3

If you have a business, the chances are you will need to operate a payroll.

When you set up in business the easiest and quickest way to register a payroll is on line

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/paye/intro/register-email.htm

Once your payroll is registered its worth obtaining dispensations to hopefully avoid or at least reduce the need for P11D’s

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/paye/exb/schemes/dispensation.htm

Having registered your payoll you will get a pack in the post from HMRC which will include a CD ‘Basic PAYE Tools’ this CD has everything you need to run your own payroll for free, as an alternative you can download ‘Basic PAYE Tools’

http://www.businesslink.gov.uk/bdotg/action/detail?itemId=1086949246&r.l1=1073858808&r.l2=1083106843&r.l3=1083106693&r.l4=1086857322&r.s=sc&type=RESOURCES

Its a great bit of software and you can set up multiple business and create employee databases.

The only thing it doesn’t do is produce payslips, but you can do that easily yourself  by creating your own template in Word or Excel.

steve@bicknells.net

 

Consultants beware of IR35 – use the QDOS Model Contract (Free) 2

IR35 came into existance in 1999,  it was created to prevent workers previously employed from creating a limited company and then benefiting from lower taxes and national insurance through the use of dividends and expenses.

HMRC believed that it would generate £220 million a year in National Insurance Contributions and £80 million in Income Tax, but it has actually only generated around £1.5 million a year and HMRC have brought a number of cases before the courts, the latest being MBF Design Services Ltd v Revenue and Customs (2011) and ECR Conculting Ltd v Revenue and Customs, the taxpayer was successful in both cases.

I was reading an article in Accounting Practice about the MBF Design case and HMRC assisted a Foreign Airbus UK employee to prepare his statement but apparently because the employee struggled to read the statement or be examined on it the tribunal were unconvinced.

I have always found QDOS to be an invaluable source of help in the field of IR35 and you can download free guides and contracts using this link

http://www.qdosconsulting.com/freelancer-contractor/free-guides-templates

steve@bicknells.net

Corporation Tax online – its free, its iXBRL complaint and you can file accounts too Reply

I recently registered to use the HMRC Corporation Tax online services and my activation codes arrived today, so far I am impressed.

Obviously you need to know how to correctly do your Tax Computations first, nothing can remove the complicated tax calculations for Capital Allowances, Loans to Participators, Small Company Relief etc, you need skill for that part. But from reading the manual it seems that you can enter your accounts, computations and complete the CT600 and file it without needing to spend a fortune on specialist software to produce the iXBRL tagging now required.

Let’s see if I am still impressed when I try to enter the information.

steve@bicknells.net